Hamilton's race sim is still in full swing - he's just completed lap number 35.
Hamilton pits for a fresh set of tyres.
Hamilton and Ricciardo's race sims are going to have to be disrupted - we have a Toro Rosso in the gravel and a red flag.
Sainz has gone off at Turn 9.
@MadhusudanRamakrishna: Yes, that was a feature of last year's W05 as well. Interesting to see that quite a few teams have followed that trend (as you can see on the Ferrari below)
So just as we were getting interested comparing the race sim times of Ricciardo and Hamilton, a rookie spoils our fun. The recovery vehicle is out there now doing its thang so we should be under way again shortly.
@Prithvi: That's possible, but I think the problems with last year's Ferrari extended well beyond being suited to Alonso over Raikkonen. It's also fair to say that the Ferrari motorhome had quite a frosty atmosphere at times last year under the old management and its tensions with Alonso
The recovery vehicle returns to the pits passed the media centre and those green glags come out again.
@Prithvi: He's certainly up there. I'd put Paddy Lowe, Pat Symonds and Peter Prodromou in the mix, but Allison did amazing things with a small budget at Lotus. Andrew Green has been doing good things at Force India with limited money. Of course, Ross Brawn was largely behind the Mercedes dominance of last year, so he shouldn't be forgotten.
@mfbull: False. I heard similar rumours, but they were coupled with suggestions McLaren would go orange.
Hamilton heads back out on track, I presume to continue his race simulation.
@MIKEB: That's a very good point. Strictly speaking we are discussing more about technical directors than designers and you are right to say that is more of managerial role at times.
@mfbull: We have a winner!
@Apollo: Is the correct answer
Right, back to F1, Perez, Alonso and Massa are on track. Alonso on the soft, Massa on the winter hard and Perez on the medium.
Alas, the game of "Name the artist of the BMW Art Car" comes to an end for another year. However, if you ever get a chance to see them, I fully recommend it.
@Dhruv: To start with, don't look at the fastest times. The best place to start to understand them is by looking at longer runs. We might get Nate to do some number crunching later in the week when we have a few race-length runs to compare.
@MIKEB: Track temperature is 22.8C. That's still pretty chilly for F1 tyres, which are designed to run on track temperatures ranging from 30-40C. Pirelli has developed a special winter tyre for testing that gets up to operating temperature very quickly in cold conditions. The low temperatures are just another reason not to get too excited about quick laps at the top of the timesheets.