Kevin Magnussen was quickest in the first collective test in Catalunya on Tuesday.
GP3 Champion and 2008 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup winner Valtteri Bottas set the pace in the morning for Tech 1 Racing but it was Magnussen, driving in Robert Wickens' championship-winning car for Carlin, who set the quickest time of the day in the afternoon.
The Dane, who finished second for Carlin in the British Formula 3 Championship this year, set a time of 1:33.598secs to top the timesheets in the final minutes of the session.
Magnussen said: “I took part in Formula Renault 3.5 Series collective testing with Pons Racing in 2009 and 2010, and it was good to do these tests with Carlin, my F3 team, here today. I know the way they work and I feel right at home. I'd love to carry on with them in 2012 and in this event.”
His late flourish demoted Bottas to second but his lap time, just 0.299secs down on Magnussen was enough for him to maintain second place.
He said: “We put new tyres on pretty early in the first session, and it was the right time because the air temperature went up quickly. Then during the second session, as it was very hot, we did an installation lap with a pit stop.
“We don't know where we're going to be driving next season, though Formula Renault 3.5 Series is one of the options we're looking into at the moment.”
Walter Grubmuller finished the session in third for P1 Motorsport, heading the two Comtec cars with Adrian Quaife-Hobbs outpacing Lucas Foresti.
Quaife-Hobbs, who won in GP2 last season, said: “I felt at ease when I drove a Formula Renault 3.5 car last year and I got my bearings straightaway today. It's a single-seater that really suits my driving style.
“I'm going to do some testing with another team at Motorland Aragon, and before that I've also got the Abu Dhabi F1 rookie test with Marussia Virgin Racing. I can't wait to try out the new car. It all depends on the budget, but Formula Renault 3.5 Series is one of the priorities for next season.”
Nick Yelloly maintained his impressive form in Barcelona and was sixth fastest for ISR, just ahead of Estonian Kevin Korjus who tangled with the British driver in the Series finale on Saturday.
Yelloly was the sole ISR runner as Nathanael Berthon's car was too badly damaged following his shunt after colliding with Wickens in Race Two on Sunday.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Kevin Magnussen Carlin 1m33.598s 2. Valtteri Bottas Tech 1 1m33.897s + 0.299s 3. Walter Grubmueller P1 1m33.908s + 0.310s 4. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Comtec 1m34.071s + 0.473s 5. Lucas Foresti Comtec 1m34.107s + 0.509s 6. Nick Yelloly ISR 1m34.128s + 0.530s 7. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 1m34.147s + 0.549s 8. Rio Haryanto Epic 1m34.195s + 0.597s 9. Daniel de Jong Draco 1m34.260s + 0.662s 10. Marco Sorensen Gravity-Charouz 1m34.310s + 0.712s 11. Nico Muller Epic 1m34.498s + 0.900s 12. Daniel Abt Pons 1m34.632s + 1.034s 13. Arthur Pic P1 1m34.654s + 1.056s 14. Vittorio Ghirelli BVM Target 1m34.752s + 1.154s 15. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 1m34.828s + 1.230s 16. Zoel Amberg Pons 1m34.921s + 1.323s 17. Will Stevens Fortec 1m35.081s + 1.483s 18. Anton Nebylitskiy KMP 1m35.228s + 1.630s 19. Carlos Huertas Fortec 1m35.329s + 1.731s 20. Andrea Roda Draco 1m35.571s + 1.973s 21. Nikola Martsenko BVM Target 1m35.686s + 2.088s 22. Benjamin Lariche KMP 1m35.956s + 2.358s 23. Yann Cunha Gravity-Charouz 1m36.340s + 2.742s