Raikkonen sets a new personal best, a 1:29.855.
@mfbull: Yes, but we're talking about peformance upgrades. The 'reliability' flexibility they have on upgrading the engine really doesn't have a huge impact on performance. Same with the upgrades they are allowed for safety.
Ferrari and Renault are likely to hold back tokens so they can assess the areas they are weak and then make changes during the year. Mercedes has the luxury of knowing it will be the team to beat again so can flex its muscles early, so to speak.
@legion777: Here's what Mercedes HPP managing director Andy Cowell said:
"We will get to Melbourne with the best performing hardware that we believe will survive five race distances, and then we will reflect. What we don't want to do is go 'maybe there's an opportunity to delay some of that performance' and that's the risk because when the timing window moves backwards there is always the risk that you slow down. We are not doing that, we are working damn hard to make sure we are in the best place possible for Melbourne."
@WayneBond: They could. Engines are not homologated yet.
@Khalid@DXB: The MGU-K seal? Not really, no. Alonso's stint only lasted a handful of laps.
The results of our poll certainly are interesting. As a neutral observer, it does seem Ferrari and the Tifosi tend to needlessly inflate expectations ahead of the season. That's why I think Arrivabene is doing a good thing by predicting two wins this year. Anything more would seem slightly optimistic at this stage.
@mick: Too early to tell but it's certainly not a stretch to think they could be further ahead this year.
The full Mercedes explanation can be seen in the next link
I can't work it out but I think the Ferrari has a slightly different shade of red today. It looks brighter...
@MikeInDenmark: Hello Mike. We've only seen five laps from Button today, but no updates from the team as to why just yet.
@AdiosAyrton: I trust the timing screens in the media centre are correct in this instance, thanks though.
@racer19: Possibly, but one of the issues it has is a lack of resources compared to the likes of Williams last year, hence why it's performance dropped off so strongly last season. We'll have to see the sort of aero package Force India has produced before we can make an accurate assessment.
@mick: It's a fair guess but we won't know until we see it. But if it's doing a 1:24 on mediums you can expect to see a fair whack of time shaved off, yes.
@CrM: Possibly, but they want to compete and staying on the grid allows them to slowly rebuild and get back twards some sort of competitive level.
@racer19: They've not said anything about plans to run a new nose.