In a session in which most of the leading challengers held back, BMW-Sauber's Nick Heidfeld on Saturday posted the fastest time in the free practise for Sunday's Grand Prix, reported the dpa.
Heidefeld, who is second in the drivers' standings on 16 points behind Ferrari's defending champion Kimi Raikkonen (19), posted a time of one minute 21.269 seconds for the 4,655 kilometre-long lap on the Circuit de Catalunya.
The German beat Scotland's David Coulthard in a Red Bull and two- time world champion Fernando Alonso in a Renault into second and third place.
Raikkonen had the 13th fastest time, while his team-mate Felipe Massa, who won the last race in Bahrain three weeks ago, was four places ahead. McLaren-Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was 11th fastest.
Qualifying for the fourth of 19 season races takes place later Saturday.