Hello and welcome to ESPN's live coverage of the first day of the third and final Barcelona test.
Obviously the biggest news coming into this test is that Fernando Alonso will not participate in the final test for McLaren, following his unusual but nasty crash last Sunday which left him with concussion.
@McLaren_Fan: I doubt it. Eric Boullier said they would be looking at performance (or hoping to) at some point in these four days but at the moment reliability is still the biggest issue they need to get through. McLaren doesn't seem too worried about how good it's engine will be once it's turned up, though....
The temperature is just over 5 degrees this morning. Chilly, but not as cold as some of the mornings last week. I didn't have to de-ice my car when I left the hotel, which was a bonus.
The session is green and Ericsson and Raikkonen bolt straight out of the garage and onto the track.
@Marais: Kevin Magnussen will take over both of Alonso's days, though McLaren is yet to confirm its schedule beyond today.
@SnehasisDas: Well, opinion in the paddock is split. It was a very unusual crash, indeed. We have no reason to doubt McLaren's official press release but the way they handled the aftermath was rather clumsy, especially here at the circuit last Sunday. Wind could certainly cause a crash, as it did with Sainz later in the day, but crucially he spun off the other way - the more logical way - at that turn.
Hamilton, fresh from an appearance at the BRIT Awards last night, is out there on his installation lap.
@MadhusudanRamakrishna: Nope, they unveil the car tomorrow.
@altaf: Kimi. Today's driver line-up is written in full at the top of this thread.
@SnehasisDas: It's far too early to say. I don't think it's a bad thing to be at McLaren-Honda, it seems a quite exciting partnership. But in Arrivabene Ferrari finally seems to be moving in the direction Alonso always wanted, with all departments working towards the same goal.
@MadhusudanRamakrishna: Yes, the team plans to use them all before homologation. The benefit of that being any engine you start the season with and use before you next use a token will not recieve the same upgrade, meaning if you need to switch back to an old engine at any point in the season you'll be at a disadvantage.
There is a more in-depth explanation about why Mercedes would spend them all now.
@mfbull: They've been using the word "team" an awful lot in recent weeks....
It's all a bit quiet out there. No official times but plenty of early installation laps.
@Cristian_Ioan94: They will certainly be closer, but Mercedes finished last week's test in pretty ominous fashion.
@Glenny: Manor named Will Stevens as one of its drivers for the new season yesterday. The team is planning to start the year with a modified version of its 2014 car fitted with a 2014-spec Ferrari power unit. It says the new car is in "an advanced stage of build" at its current race preparation facility in Dinnington.
The team is working flat-out to be there in Melbourne and it would be a remarkable achievement if it made it.
@Pavel: True, though that would require the other two manufacturers doing the same and Renault and Ferrari are quite likely to hold some back for the season.
Kimi has set the first time of the day, a 1:30.703.
Raikkonen lowers the benchmark again to a 1:30.692.
@Donovan: There were too many politics and factions across the board at Ferrari. Arrivabene is also trying to get Ferrari to do what made Mercedes so effective in creating the V6 power unit it did last year - getting all the departments working towards the same goal, without internal fractions and rivalries, which has been a hallmark of Ferrari since the end of its domination.