JEREZ - Former double world champion Fernando Alonso clocked the fastest time on the final day of Formula One testing on Friday, ending a frustrating week for the Italian giants on a high.

His time of 1min 18.877sec, off 39 laps, was good enough to keep out French driver Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso, who timed 1:19.597 for second place.

World champion Sebastian Vettel, in a Red Bull, was third fastest in 1:19.606 with former champion Lewis Hamilton taking fourth spot with a time of 1:19.640 in his McLaren.

Alonso’s best time was the second fastest of the week for a 2012 car - just 0.429sec slower than the quickest, set by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean on Thursday.

“I still think there is a long way to go until Australia (the first race of the season on March 18), in terms of how many days and how many tests we can do,” Alonso told

“The progress in these four days has been quite big for us. Maybe not in performance or times or whatever, as I don’t know what the times were like in the first two days or what were the track conditions in the first two days compared to now, but definitely all the tests we did and all the understanding of the car has been positive for us.

“We will arrive to Barcelona much more prepared than how we arrived in Jerez.”

The teams now head for Barcelona for the next winter test which takes place from Feb 21-24.

Leading times:

1. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari) 1:18.877 39 laps; 2. Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 1:19.597 80; 3. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull-Renault) 1:19.606 50; 4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:19.640 86; 5. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus-Renault) 1:19.729 95; 6. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN/Sauber-Ferrari) 1:19.834 76; 7. Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Force India-Mercedes) 1:19.977 90; 8. Bruno Senna (BRA/Williams-Renault) 1:20.132 125;9. Jarno Trulli (ITA/Caterham-Renault) 1:22.214 117