On his final day in the RB8 before handing over to this year's Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robin Frijns, the Portuguese driver worked his way down to a 1m42.679s.
While that was just over two hundredths of a second slower than yesterday's fastest time, set by Kevin Magnussen for McLaren, it proved easily enough to end day two on top.
Oliver Turvey, who managed 62 laps in a busy afternoon for McLaren, finished just under half a second down the road in second.
Edoardo Mortara, taking over from Nicolas Prost at Lotus, and Sauber reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez finished the day third and fourth.
The Mexican recently enjoyed his first competitive taste of F1 machinery when he stood in for Sergio Perez, who was struggling with illness, for the first practice session of the Indian Grand Prix.
He was the day's busiest driver, completing 93 laps, and will remain with Sauber for the third and final day tomorrow.
Gary Paffett, on duty for McLaren in the morning before handing over to Turvey, was fifth fastest ahead of Johnny Cecotto Jr (Toro Rosso) and Giedo van der Garde in the Caterham.
The Dutchman focused on aero and set-up work in the morning before switching to long runs and tyre management in the afternoon, racking up 72 laps in total.
Lewis Hamilton sealed pole position for the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a best qualifying lap of 1m40.630s.
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- Robin Frijns
- Oliver Turvey