Wearing a prototype black carbon helmet for manufacturer Schuberth, Felipe Massa on Tuesday continued to impress at the wheel of Ferrari's 2010 car.
As the Valencia test entered its second day in chilly conditions, the Brazilian led his chasers into the 1m11s and was "extremely satisfied with the car's set up and the tyres' grip", according to the famous Italian team.
Again impressive was Sauber's new C29, this time in the hands of Japanese rookie Kamui Kobayashi, while Lewis Hamilton was a full second ahead of test driver Gary Paffet's Monday time in the McLaren MP4-25.
However, the British team concerned some onlookers when it was seen to again use its green aerodynamic paint, so synonymous with McLaren's problems of 2009.
But McLaren said the paint is now routine, and "no cause for concern".
At the lunch break, Mercedes (Nico Rosberg), Williams (Rubens Barrichello), Renault (Robert Kubica, who is also wearing a black carbon helmet on Tuesday) and Toro Rosso (Sebastien Buemi), followed in the time sheet pecking order.