@AnasAbu: I don't see any reason to expect it falling off the pace. Pat Symonds has really revolutionised the technical side of the team and on an operational side it was functioning much better last year, something Symonds is credited with also. Add into the mix Mercedes power and I can see them challenging for a win or two this season.
Honoured to be joined by footballing legend Shola for this discussion.
With no spare front wing for Kvyat Red Bull's day of testing may well be over. Not a good start for the rookie.
@Brambilla: I think it's one to add to the bucket list for sure. Great way to see teams doing lots of running, unlike free practice sessions the teams are going to run at every opportunity. Plus tickets are cheap!
@UncleBart: The money helps! He's quick as well but he's going to have to shake off the pay-driver label this year.
Hamilton is back out on track.
Max Verstappen jumps above Felipe Nasr into third.
Story coming up on ESPN about Kvyat and that pesky front wing shortly.
Wahey! We have a timed lap from a McLaren, albeit a 1:54.655, which leaves Button some 33 seconds off the pace. It's a start though.
Button quickly returns to the pits after setting that lap.
So who thinks Alonso made the right decision switching to McLaren?
Hamilton has now moved past 50 laps, the first person to do so today. Mercedes once again not hanging around in terms of mileage.
Mercedes W06 has now completed three race distances over two days (one race distance at Jerez is 67 laps)
Keep the Alonso comments coming guys, good stuff so far.
@Red_ZA: Good question. A compact rear to the car says a lot of things about it. In this case, McLaren has moved a few parts that cluttered the rear of the MP4-29 to the front of the new car's sidepods.
This means that the released heat is now expelled via a narrow bottle-shaped rear end, and through a small outlet located above the exhaust. This also seems to indicate that Honda has come up with clever cooling solutions on their power unit.
The drawback of a compact and innovative design is you are more likely to suffer teething problems early on. But once you get those nailed, the theory is you should be better placed as you've got a more efficiently-working package. The rear of this year's car is very Red Bull-esque in design and that's hardly a bad thing.
@paul: Yes. He said last year sometime that McLaren gave him the best long term chance of winning a championship, which was a bit of a kick in the teeth to Ferrari.
@SpittingCobra: Alonso's great strength is his ability to wring it by its neck during a race weekend (especially on a Sunday) and make it behave exactly how he wants it to. There were some rumblings when he left Ferrari that he wasn't perfect when it came to testing feedback, something Vettel is known to be good at relaying to a team.
Hamilton and Maldonado are the men out on track. The Lotus is chipping away at his headline time but it is still three seconds off fellow Mercedes customer Williams.
An update from McLaren....
@ralva8: With so much upheaval at Ferrari it's natural it will take them a while to re-adjust. It's significant that this is the first car fully designed by James Allison, and part of me is surprised Alonso didn't wait around at least one year to see what he could produce. But then on the flip side of that, he couldn't risk another year with an uncompetitive car. I agree with you about McLaren, once they iron out these teething issues the really interesting bit begins.