Good morning and welcome to ESPN's coverage of the second day of testing from a rather cool Circuit de Catalunya - the temperature is just 2 degrees Celsius. I even had to scrape ice off my car this morning.
Some early news to bring you about Mercedes, who were waiting on the fitness of Nico Rosberg yesterday...
Rosberg had been struggling with a trapped neck nerve yesterday but it seems he's recovered well enough to get behind the wheel today.
Big question marks about whether we will see a McLaren today. The team's running was limited to just 21 laps because of a broken seal on its MGU-K yesterday - it will not have the necessary replacement until tomorrow, meaning Fernando Alonso might well struggle to accumulate any more mileage today.
@Tungath: Good morning. Mercedes had such a large horsepower advantage last year. We've seen some impressive stuff from Ferrari so far but I don't think Mercedes has been running full beans yet. Yesterday, for example, every run it did was hugely off the pace, suggesting the main focus at this point is high-fuel runs as it looks to solve that reliability problem from last year.
@Surendhar: Teams don't tend to broadcast how much fuel they run in these tests (for obvious reasons). Ferrari seemed to be doing a good job in slightly longer runs yesterday, but without knowing fuel it's a bit of a guessing game really. That's what testing is - a guessing game.
@XanBeX: There's certainly a chance. Any running McLaren can do, it will try and do. But that faulty seal may well continue to be a problem so we'll just have to wait and see.
@McLaren_Senna: That would all depend on this season. Ferrari have a very able junior driver in Raffaele Marciello but it may not want to thrust him straight into the limelight. I've always thought Hulkenberg would be a logical choice for Ferrari but this is all dependent on Raikkonen leaving - if Ferrari has a good season he may well want to extend his career at Maranello further.
I hear some V6 turbos grumbling in the pit-lane to my left. That can only mean one thing - green flag and off we go.
Raikkonen and Massa head out to get this test up and running.
Lots of activity out on track now as Alonso, Palmer and Rosberg all join the party for initial installation laps.
Alonso's McLaren just came past me in the pit-lane with aero sensors on either side, looking more like an X-Wing fighter than an F1 car.
Ricciardo's Red Bull the only car not to have completed at least one lap.
Looks like Ricciardo has stopped at the end of the pit lane and been wheeled back to the Red Bull garage - briefly prompting a red flag.
@McLaren_Senna: They help the team measure air flow around the car. Because of the problems with McLaren's engine aero tests are even more important than they would be otherwise.
@XanBeX: MGU-K works like an uprated version of KERS, converting kinetic energy generated under braking into electricity (rather than it escaping as heat). It also acts as a motor under acceleration, returning power to the drivetrain from the Energy Store. So it's an engine issue.
@Russ: He might need it at the rate these tests have been going for McLaren....
@mfbull: Morning. I think Pastor will likely be the last of his worries! Crucial time to impress the team today.
@GT: I very much doubt it, given their MGU-K problems. But I've been wrong before so let's see.
Alonso completes another few laps and returns to the pits. Still no official times on the board.
@XanBeX: Timo Glock missed a race in 2012 - Europe I believe - because of a stomach complaint.
We have ourselves a lap time. Ericsson crosses in a 1:36.337 for the first official benchmark of the day but obviously that time will keep tumbling down as the temperature gets warmer.
@ND: Indeed we are! We have an exciting new website layout set to launch in April so watch this space.
@mfbull: Oh I see. Possibly, but it is quite staggering how much money Maldonado brings to Lotus. Last year Williams were still making money from his PDVSA contract and it was not an insignificant amount of money.
@Marais: Yes. Disappointingly it will not look like a black and white zebra.
@Marais: Ahem, the ESPN red.