Nice onboard shot with Hamilton on the FOM screens and we see Rosberg running deep ahead of him. Mercedes enjoying running their cars in tandem so far today.
Also seeing a replay of Hamilton getting very close to the Armco barrier at Mirabeau.
Red flag. Merhi is off at Nouvelle Chicane and in the walll - his front wing is gone.
Replays show he just got out of shape under braking. Looks like he's hit the brakes on the bump at the crest of the hill. Wiped out his front wing, too.
@TheGhoul: What discussion was that?
Merhi is out of the car and walking away. That's the scene of many a nasty accident but thankfully that wasn't one of them - just slightly expensive for Manor.
@TheGhoul: Ha! You had me all confused.
Sounds like a lot of Hamilton arguments these days....
@mfbull: If only I could.
@cyrus619: Hulkenberg is ninth with a 1:19.151. Perez down in 11th with 1:19.300.
Good shot of Merhi's crash there, courtesy of the ever-improving official F1 twitter handle.
Umbrellas are out in the grandstands. Looks like the rain is here.
@MontoyaRules: I don't think it favours them, but certainly it doesn't hurt them as much as a circuit like Spain. They don't spend a huge amount of time on full throttle at this circuit. I'm backing Alonso for points.
The forecast for Saturday is for thunderstorms at 14:00 just as qualifying starts and more of the same is expected on race day.
There's not enough rain out there yet to make it a wet circuit, but enough to mean slicks are a bit of a risk. There's very little to learn on the slicks or inters in these current conditions.
So the teams are stuck in limbo slightly about what to do and most are deciding to stay in the garage.
1. HAM 1:17.192
2. ROS 1:17.932
3. VET 1:18.295
4. RAI 1:18.543
5. KVY 1:18.659
We have a super-soft runner! Maldonado is braving the conditions on the option tyre. Everybody run.
It's absolutely bucketing it down now and Maldonado is just crawling around the circuit.
"It's raining too much," says Maldonado.
"Ok, understood. Bring the car back please Pastor."
Legendary reply from Lotus.
Maldonado has made it back safely! Hurrah. That would have actually been a very tough lap on soft tyres with no temperature. Looked like the Lotus mechanics were enjoying watching him crawl back round.
The rain is coming down fairly heavily now but it looks like this could be it for the afternoon.
Replays show Maldonado getting very close to the barriers at the Hairpin. The rain was coming down heavily and it would have been unfair to criticise him for losing the car in those conditions.
The clock doesn't stop to cover the rain, remember, and didn't stop for Merhi's red flag. It's just ticked over into the final hour of this session.