BARCELONA  - Mexico's Sergio Perez, in a Sauber, set the fastest time on the third day of Formula One testing on Saturday as rain brought an early finish to proceedings at Montmelo.

Perez clocked 1min 22.094sec after completing 114 laps, with McLaren's Jenson Button in second place after just 44 laps while Australia's Daniel Ricciardo, in a Toro Rosso, was third.

Even though bright sunshine returned after the mid-afternoon rain, the 10 teams taking part in the session opted not to return on a slippery surface.

The four-day session in Barcelona ends on Sunday with the 2012 season set to kick-off in Melbourne on March 18.

"I am very happy with how my final test day went. We did an intensive programme with qualifying and race preparation, which was important to do," said Perez. "I think we have demonstrated that the car has developed well over the testing period. I feel ready for Melbourne."

Former world champion Button said it had been a frustrating day with the team testing new parts in the morning before the rain disrupted the afternoon plans. "When you get new parts, you want to go out and put lots of laps on it in order to compare it to what you had previously, but we weren't able to do that today. We had a hydraulics issue in the morning, which meant we didn't do much running," said Button.

"So it wasn't the easiest morning and then we didn't do much running in the afternoon either because of the rain. We put a couple of good laps in but didn't get any set-up work done because of the rain. "Hopefully, (teammate) Lewis (Hamilton) will put some more laps on the car tomorrow."


1. Sergio Perez (MEX/Sauber-Ferrari) 1min 22.094sec (114 laps), 2. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:22.103 (44), 3. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 1:22.155 (131), 4. Felipe Massa (BRA/Ferrari) 1:22.413 (122), 5. Paul Di Resta (GBR/Force India-Mercedes) 1:22.446 (108), 6. Bruno Senna (BRA/Williams-Renault) 1:22.480 (111), 7. Heikko Kovalainen (FIN/Caterham-Renault) 1:22.630 (64), 8. Mark Webber (AUS/Red Bull-Renault) 1:22.662 (70), 9. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes-AMG) 1:22.932 (129), 10. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Lotus-Renault) 1:25.379 (43).