@AspiringAcca Still no sign of the McLaren on track. The car is being worked on in the garage.
@Kriss Raikkonen is now out on softs. He has just improved on his time to go 1s down on Hamilton (Hamilton set his best time on the super-soft tyre).
@Salman It appears to be completely within the rules to run the double T-wing. Mercedes is evaluating both T-wing concepts as well as the Shark Fin. I imagine many of the cars will look different come Melbourne. It will be interesting to see which teams go with which approach.
@simmar Hamilton set a 1:21.765 yesterday on the soft tyre.
@Koul A bit of everything. Teams are focusing on set-ups, reliability, learning the new parts of the cars, testing new parts and getting any niggling (or serious) issues rectified by the first race. It is very difficult to guage exactly what times mean at this stage, as teams are all running different set-ups, tyres, fuel loads etc - and some will be keen to hide their true pace from rivals.
@rockedin123: That's still ongoing. Frustratingly, Ferrari have been very Ferrari about their media schedules (ie, they aren't doing any) so we haven't actually been able to probe anyone officially on the issue. Hopefully that changes when Vettel and Kimi face the media on days three and four, though there's a limited amount they will be able to say on the issue I imagine.
@LYNGGAARD: It is a good phrase and one that I think is relevant for this. It does seem like a recipe for disaster - not only are there the obvious risks of all the cars flying down to Turn 1, there's cold tyres and brakes to consider as well - the drivers will have been sat there slowly behind a Safety Car and then stationary on the grid.
Magnussen and Bottas have the track all to themselves at the moment. Must be concerning for Merc's rivals to see how efficient the team is either side of the lunch break - Bottas is already on lap 17 of the afternoon.
Some reports from the paddock. Spoke to Magnussen at lunch time, he said he thinks Turn 9 is "very close" to flat out - and he reckons it should be easy flat on the softer compounds.
We also spoke to Sauber's latest recruit, Tatiana Calderon, who has been signed as development driver. There was some confusion when the press release said she'd be doing simulation training, as Sauber does not have its own simulator, but she will be using one in Austria. Her goal is to test the car at some point this year or next and then end F1's wait for a female driver - I don't know much about her, but there are some in the paddock who say she has quite a bit of promise.
@praj: Last year it was announced as being after every start, but some of my colleagues are convinced it's only wet starts. I will do some digging this afternoon to actually find out what it is.
@SudiptaSengupta: Nope, no affiliation. You'll notice the yellow and blue livery (colours of his sponsors, Banco do Brasil), have gone this year. It is harsh, but Ericsson's money is just as important to the team, while Mercedes obviously compensated them for taking Wehrlein for the 2016 season. But you're right, massively harsh on Nasr.
And ironic for Nasr, too, as that result directly impacted his chances of a seat - without it, Manor may have survived, and he would have been able to take the seat we were all linking him with.
@Tony7: Probably very! Though he's still an ambassador for McLaren, so he will have to pretend he's not relieved and it's all about #progress...
@krishna: Oh if he's got the car, he's going to be a contender. Le Mans proved his talent - there are some questions about his ability to seize the moment in the same way Perez has done time and time again at Force India, but I think if they have a half decent car this year he'll push for that sort of result.
Bottas is just about to equal Vandoorne's lap tally for the whole day. Looks like the Finn is doing a full race simulation this afternoon.
Hello there! Raikkonen goes P1 on soft tyres, edging Hamilton's benchmark by 0.023s.
Game on for Australia!?
@Motormouth: Yep, that's in our story. It was likely damage on the under tray or something like that - his car went over the gravel quite awkawardly, these cars can be very sensitive to damage in those instances.
Looks like Raikkonen is doing a start launch at the end of the pit lane. Start of a race simulation for the Finn?