It's hard to tell at the moment, but McLaren and Renault have struggled for mileage so far. Haas has made a reasonable start to testing, but are not planning any upgrades before Australia. Force India has struggled with reliability on and off and had an engine issue earlier today.
For those asking, there's been no sign of the McLaren for about four hours.
@Openthedrs I think it's always a shame to have a driver of Alonso's talent and experience struggle because of the car. Vandoorne has a lot more time on his side and I'm pretty convinced he'll get his chance in the future. But it's early days at the moment and we'll see if the McLaren starts to pick up.
Someone with a good knowledge of aero and the technical side of F1 just walked into the media centre and said "Well, this year is going to be rubbish" - he's just spent the afternoon trackside and does not see how cars are going to be able to overtake each other this year.
It's only one person's opinion, and there are lots of them in the paddock. Certainly these cars are going to be significantly harder to follow than previous iterations, but that doesn't necessarily mean overtaking in general will be worse off.
@Barbapappa: Ha, that's true!
Good news McLaren fans - but how many laps can they do in just under 90 minutes (and counting)?
I doubt overtaking will ever be impossible in F1. I hope these cars don't place more emphasis on DRS.
@Tony7: I've never understood that comment - the development started a long time before it came into the sport, and Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault weren't exactly telling the world about their designs. By the time the media really found out about the 'split turbo' design, Honda would have been about 12 months into development of its engine, so it couldn't just stop and start a whole new concept. Besides, manufacturers rarely believe simply copying another idea is the best way forward, and Honda would have been convinced their design would have beaten the rest
The biggest problem for Honda was that it lost a whole year of testing and races, and came into 2015 a year behind and having only gathered data on the dyno. There was also poor communication between Woking and Sakura, meaning Honda had to shove its engine into McLaren's small size zero concept chassis, which led to its own problems. Add to that the token system and you have a perfect (or imperfect, if you're McLaren) cocktail for disaster.
Honda's engine performance last year matched the 2015 Ferrari before the end of the season, suggesting if it had come in for 2014 it could have at least pushed Mercedes for wins.
@Openthedrs: Yep, they completed it earlier this hour. Expected back on track before the chequered flag later.
@Openthedrs: Williams wanted an experienced driver to come in considering the 2017 cars are a much more difficult breed of car, and considering they'd given the other seat to a teenager in Lance Stroll. They probably thought Di Resta had been out of the sport for too long.
No-one has surpassed 100 laps individually yet, but Mercedes has if you combine their two drivers. They're currently on 172, the next closest are Raikkonen and Magnussen, who are both on 92.
Ignore that - my bad eyes again. I read Raikkonen's laps as Hamilton's. It's been a long day.
@fernandoalonso: Sorry Fernando, probably not.
@Mcf1: Cultural differences definitely play a big role in it, I think McLaren and Ron Dennis underestimated how big they would be, especially given the success of the partnership in the past.
Vandoorne has been back out there for his 30th lap and his first of the afternoon. He returns to the pits, as is customary after an installation lap.
Now how many can he complete in the next 65 minutes?
@JasonArellano: We only heard that it was a loss of power, and that an investigation was ongoing.
@Win: I agree. Overtaking ability tends to be what separates the great from the good.
We're heading towards the final hour of running, so it's time for another updates to those times.
@Siddhesh: That's exactly how! And the screen is darkened and a fair bit away from me, making tiny errors very easy to make.