Lewis Hamilton edged out Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher on the opening day of the final pre-season Formula One test in Barcelona.

The three-day session is the last opportunity for the teams to fine tune their cars ahead of the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 16 March.

McLaren star Hamilton set a time of one minute 22.276 seconds, just 0.043secs ahead of reigning world champion Raikkonen, who pipped the young Briton to the title last season by a point.

Five-times world champion Schumacher, testing Ferrari's new car for the first time this year in his advisory role to the team, was third quickest with a lap of 1min 22.428secs.

Williams' strong pre-season continued as drivers Kazuki Nakajima and Nico Rosberg were fourth and sixth, sandwiching the second McLaren of Heikki Kovalainen, with all three drivers dipping under 83 seconds at the 4.655km Circuit de Catalunya.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso in his Renault and the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld had the seventh and eighth best times, with Force India's Adrian Sutil ninth.

It was the the on-track debut for the VJM01, named after co-owners in Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya and Dutch entrepreneurs Jan and Michiel Mol.

Toyota and Honda continue to struggle heading into the new season with Timo Glock and Kamui Kobayashi 13th and 16th for the former, while Rubens Barrichello and Alexander Wurz were 17th and 18th for the latter.

David Coulthard brought up the rear of the 19 drivers in his Red Bull, although technical problems resulted in him completing only 25 laps.

The only team absent were Super Aguri, who have been forced to pull out of this test due to ongoing financial problems, and with their future unclear.