@Alex_raymo: Maldonado is backed by PDVSA - a Venezuelan oil company. So there's that. Though he has a certain reputation Maldonado is, as he proved in 2012, a very quick driver too.
@DonovanKimiFan: Interesting. I will try and find out why that is.
Hamilton has lept to P1, a 1:45.120, with Rosberg's new and improved best just 0.06s off his team-mate.
@mfbull: Possibly. Hulkenberg was always probably behind Bianchi on Ferrari's pecking order, too. Horrible as that sounds, he has moved up the pecking order in the last week because of other events.
@seawolf688: Button. Magnussen has potential and age on his side.
Let's hope not.... the techy guys are on it so hopefully poor old Sirotkin will be on the timing screens soon.
@Bhanu: Unlikely. Helmut Marko appears to have given up on JEV. Seems he changed his opinion on him last year.
Rosberg has risen to P1, a 1:44.707.
Local hero Daniil Kvyat, who has a grandstand named after him at this circuit, jumps into P3 with a tidy 1:45.457.
But he's immediately knocked dwn by Bottas and Button, who slot in ahead of him.
And Alonso goes P1, lowering the benchmark to 1:44.226 - half a second quicker than Rosberg.
@DonovanKimiFan: I can't answer the first two, but the organisers are confident it will be close to a sell-out this weekend. The fan day yesterday was absolutely packed.
Currently no time from either Caterham, with Merhi and Ericsson in the garage.
Button goes fastest in the final sector and lowers the benchmark to 1:44.012.
Bottas and now Magnussen jump above Hamilton, who has returned to the pits..
The track is getting faster and faster out there as purple sectors continue to pop up.
Chilton crosses the line with a 1:48.381, which puts him down in P18.
Lots of drivers struggling at Turn 2, with a lot of running wide there.
As I mentioned earlier too ;)
Alonso loses a huge chunk of time in the tricky final sector after going purple and then green in the first two sectors.
Hamilton continuing to drop down the time screens, only the Mercedes and Caterham drivers remain in the pits.
@VS: I think it's 70,000 for this season, with the promoters wanting to increase that by five thousand for next year.
Still no word from Caterham on what is hindering its drivers.
Button a full second clear in that opening half hour. McLaren congratulates him on his opening run.
So after this half hour, the drivers now hand back an extra set of tyres given to them by Pirelli to encourage more running in these sessions.
Every driver returns to the pit lane.