@jee1: Teams leave race sims until the afternoon. It looks like he is working through the soft and super-soft tyres at the moment to analyse their strengths and weaknesses.
@IanStephens: But you have Charlie and his small group of scrutineers led by Jo Bauer versus nine (maybe 10) super-competitive teams, some of which have staff of around 400. It's a tricky job, but the FIA do well with the resources they have.
@SD: Although Mercedes has done a remarkable job under the new regulations there should come a point when we question whether it is possible for Ferrari, Renault and Honda to catch up. If it becomes clear they can't because of the way the engine regulations are structured, F1 should consider changing the rules for the health of the sport. The only problem is that that opens up another hornet's nest of problems as each team tries to get an advantage over the others.
Magnussen sets a 1:26.225 on soft tyres in the McLaren to go third fastest. More progress for the MP4-30.
@thequadge: That looks like some good number crunching. But I'll throw in Massa's soft time from from Thursday of 1:23.500. If you give Williams the same soft to super-soft delta as Mercedes that brings his time down to a 1:23 flat. So the gap would be closer to 0.8s. However, bear in mind that 10 kilos of fuel is worth about 0.35s in lap time here. It's entirely possible those times were set with that much (or more) left in the tank.
Magnussen's latest time was actually a 1:25.225 on softs. He is third.
Hulkenberg is on the super-softs now and has set a 1:24.939 to go third fastest. Still 1.677s off the best time today by Massa.
@VS: The main concern is making sure the car can complete a race distance. It looks positive so far, but there are also a load of checks the teams have to do, especially with the complex PUs. Smaller tests, such as finding reverse, also have to be completed before the trip to Australia. Pit stop practice is a bit of a luxury but also important (Force India got some practice on the 2014 car last year) and teams can spend endless hours working through different set-ups to understand the behaviour of the car.
@Josh: I'm not sure why you would add around 5-6 tenths for race trim?
@Liam: Nor am I! Only Australia will have the answer. I think it's fair to say Mercedes still has an advantage and it is still big enough to mean they should win the opening races if everything goes to plan.
@Josh: Nope. Somebody else is speculating they are 1.5s faster than everyone else in race trim but I have no idea how they came to that figure. I said that the gap between Williams and Mercedes from the laps we have seen is roughly 0.8s but that 20kg of fuel either way would be enough to skew that entirely.
@EkloveDasgupta: Most likely more fuel and a different engine setting. Remember the VJM08 only made its track debut about 24 hours ago.
@VS: Honda's deadline is Monday. The rest of the teams don't have a deadline but have to homologate a design before Australia in order to comply with the regulations.
@Josh: But that was last year's Mercedes versus the last year's Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams etc. We are trying to understand the gains the other teams have made this year. You may be bang on, but I would rather try to understand it from the data we have this week than knock off a number at random from last year.
Ericsson is now third fastest on the super-soft with a 1:24.477. Two minutes left before lunch.