Hello and welcome to the first free practice session of the 2015 season! It's good to be back, isn't it?
The big story of interest this week has been Giedo van der Garde and his legal challenge to drive for Sauber. The court ruled in his favour but without a superlicence it looks unlikely he will take part. Full story to follow soon on ESPNF1.
@Capoa: An utter shambles.
The Van der Garde issue means Sauber is unlikely to run in this session. We are unlikely to see Manor Marussia, either, as the team works on an engine software issue. With no winter testing under its belt that's hardly surprising.
@Rahulan: Sauber not signing him to a contract would have been a good start.
@Capoa: It's a tough one. On the one hand, Van der Garde is perfectly within his rights to pursue a deal Sauber signed. On the other, Sauber acted in the way it did because of the way smaller teams struggle for money. So this whole problem is part of a wider problem, but it's Sauber coming out of it looking bad.
@Rahulan: It's an Australian court so it was for the Australian race. I would imagine the issue will be resolved in some way before Malaysia as both parties will want to avoid a repeat of the last few days.
We''re off! The clock is ticking and the 2015 season is underway.
The two Ferraris head straight out on track.
@Tazio: I'm afraid - unless you're a huge fan of grey - it's still the same.
Lots of cars out there for their installation laps. Young Verstappen is one of them.
@Flarenac: That will be down to numerous factors, but mostly how well the engine survives this race. With only four engines allowed this season McLaren aren't going to want to move on to a second at the second race of the season.
Speak of the devil - Magnussen is out on track.
@mfbull: We're not sure yet as it gets clarified at this race. We'll find out from Honda at some point at the next few days hopefully.
@alex: Well it's too late for him to do it for this race.
Magnussen completes his installation lap and returns to the pit lane. How many laps can McLaren finish today after such a rotten winter? Encouraging start as they were ready to go from the first few minutes.
@Jimmy: No. It looks more glittery.
Lots of sparks flying from the back of Hamilton's Mercedes in the middle sector. Rosberg's installation lap saw him go purple in the first two sectors.
Hamilton sets a 1:32.044, before Rosberg lowers the benchmark to a 1:29.557. Mercedes starting the season with confidence.
@Capoa: There's a very swanky new F1 live area there now though for times etc.
@Phoenix: Good way of putting it. I can't imagine many teams are going to want to go near him after this.
@Dutchy: Nothing is impossible in F1, but a lot of things are unlikely - including Verstappen winning on Sunday.
Button starts a timed lap.