Defending triple world champion Sebastian Vettel outpaced home hero Fernando Alonso to clock the fastest time in Friday's second free practice session ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
The 25-year-old Red Bull driver narrowly edged out the Ferrari man with a best time of one minute 22.808 seconds after Alonso had delighted his compatriots during a wet morning session by clocking the early fastest time.
Just 0.083 seconds covered the top three men as Alonso split the two Red Bulls of Vettel and his team-mate Mark Webber, who was third fastest.
After an all-Mercedes battle involving both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in the early stages of the afternoon session, it was Alonso and the Red Bulls that dominated the lead order through the low-fuel runs in the final part.
Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus was fourth fastest ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari, Hamilton and Rosberg, with the struggling McLarens of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez down in 12th and 13th respectively.
Hamilton spun his Mercedes at Turn 11 during the early runs, swiftly rejoining without problems and ultimately taking sixth on a day when tyre wear was again a major issue with Paul di Resta suffering a major scare when the left rear tyre on his Force India car delaminated on the main straight.
The Scot parked his car on the grass. He ended up 10th, two places behind team-mate Adrian Sutil.