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LIVE COMMENTARY: JEREZ FEBRUARY TEST - WEEK ONE - TEST DAY THREE
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Test day three
By Pablo Elizalde and Steven English
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
08:00 Good morning and welcome to AUTOSPORT's live coverage of the third day of testing at Jerez

08:00 As expected, the weather is poor, with rain on and off. At this moment it is not raining, but the sky is filled with threatening clouds

08:01 Virgin Racing says it will not run until the afternoon following its problems with the front rear mounting yesterday. Spare parts are not expected to arrive until lunchtime

08:02 Adrian Sutil is the first man to take to the track in the Force India VJM03

08:03 Sutil is followed by everyone else - except Virgin and Nico Rosberg

08:04 The track is wet in places, but it is likely to dry up pretty quickly if there is no more rain. Although that seems unlikely

08:07 Installation laps completed. Only Rosberg left to do it

08:08 Rosberg now takes to the track as Pedro de la Rosa sets the first quickest time of the day with a 1:21.824

08:09 First red flag of the day

08:11 Today's session needed just eight minutes before the first red flag, as de la Rosa stops somewhere in sector two

08:12 It looks like a mechanical problem for the Spanish driver, who pulled to the side of the track on the straight

08:13 The track temperature is 11 degrees Celsius at the moment

08:17 De la Rosa's car is now being removed from the track, so the action should continue in a few minutes. Only the Spaniard and Sebastian Vettel have set a time so far

08:20 Official numbers from yesterday's session say 6,400 people attended the test. Nothing like Valencia's numbers - over 36,000 people on the best day

08:26 Green flag, as Massa, Petrov and Alguersuari take to the track

08:27 Read the latest on Virgin Racing here:

Virgin faces further test delay

08:32 All drivers now on track, except Hamilton and de la Rosa. And Lucas di Grassi, of course, who will not run until the afternoon

08:33 @ClaireVWilliams: This morning, Rubens is concentrating on more set-up work

08:34 Massa puts Ferrari on top of the times with a 1:21.603. The Brazilian's time is still over 1.6 seconds off Kamui Kobayahis's best from yesterday's session

08:35 Eight cars on track at the moment as the teams try to take advantage of the conditions before the rain hits Jerez again

08:38 Times are now updated. Check the right side of the screen

08:44 Vettel has managed 14 laps already with the Red Bull, clearly trying to maximise the time running in the dry

08:45 After causing the red flag earlier on, Pedro de la Rosa is back on track. It took Sauber short to get the car running again after the problem

08:46 And the Spaniard shows the speed of the Sauber again, posting the quickest time of the day - 1:21.101

08:48 Rubens Barrichello is one of the busiest men so far this morning, having completed 16 laps with the Williams. He is still at the bottom of the times though

08:49 De la Rosa is the first man to lap in the 1:20s today - 1:20.736 - as the times continue to improve

08:51 His compatriot Alguersuari makes sure Toro Rosso continues to shine as he moves to the top of the times with a 1:20.288

08:52 Alguersuari is quickest in all three sectors and also tops the speed trap chart

08:53 1:22.000 for Petrov, who moves into fifth position with the Renault R30

08:54 Vettel is the first man to reach the 20-lap mark. Not bad for less than an hour of running. Barrichello and Massa have also hit that number

08:56 @NicoHulkenberg at the airport: "Sorry for the delay. Our start was difficult because of the hydraulic leak which made it impossible to drive a lot. But the afternoon was much better, so I am fairly happy with yesterday's session. The car is like a new pair of shoes: It doesn't fit perfectly at the beginning but you feel more and more comfortable day by day. I'm looking forward to our next test in Jerez again. Take care!"

08:59 Alguersuari sets the quickest time of the week so far with a lap of a 1:19.919. The Spaniard is flying at the moment, but remember fuel loads

09:01 As we reach the one-hour mark, only Sutil and Barrichello are out on track

09:06 Barrichello improves and leaves Hamilton at the bottom of the timesheet. The Williams driver has completed 26 laps so far

09:07 @ClaireVWilliams: Rubens on the radio saying its really wet now on track, last few runs on slicks

09:09 Serious rain now hitting the track

09:10 @TheFifthDriver: It's been spitting lightly for the past half hour, it's coming down a bit more heavily around the back of the circuit - the rain is coming!

09:10 The track is empty as the rain makes its appearance

09:11 @eddstrawF1: I'm upgrading the weather status from "spotting with rain" to "raining lightly"

09:12 A band of rain is sweeping in from the Atlantic and is expected to fall throughout the day. Dry running might be over for today

09:14 Laps so far: Barrichello 30, Massa 24, Vettel 23, Hamilton 20, Alguersuari 20, Sutil 20, de la Rosa 17, Petrov 16, Rosberg 4, di Grassi 0

09:17 Away from Jerez, today we also have the Lotus launch in the afternoon, plus Rally Sweden, where focus will be on Kimi Raikkonen

09:19 It is likely to be quiet for a while now, as no team will be willing to go out and destroy its intermediate tyres with these conditions. Not wet enough for full wets either

09:21 Kimi Raikkonen is currently in 11th place in Rally Sweden, 1m30s off the lead after special stage 3

Jerez testing09:23 This was Jerez a little more than an hour ago. Now it's quite a lot darker

09:27 The FIA has announced it will not be publish the starting weights of cars this year. More on AUTOSPORT soon

09:29 There is, quite literally, nothing going on at Jerez at the moment

09:32 @eddstrawF1: The most exciting thing in the past few minutes was the loss of power from some plugs in the press office. Track quiet.

09:36 @eddstrawF1: Based on yesterday's feedback, it seems that tyre warm-up won't be a problem this year.

Remember the problems Brawn had in 2009? Given that the medium and hard compounds were getting up to temperature OK on a relatively cool track, looking good on that front

As for why - the front tyres are 20mm narrower than last year. So less contact patch for the same amount of energy going through them

09:38 Read the new rules story here:

FIA to keep fuel weights secret in 2010

09:43 Hamilton breaks the silence and jumps onto the track some 45 minutes after his last run

09:43 And now he returns to the pits and leaves the track empty once again

09:50 The track is currently damp. With a bit of sun and a few cars running, a dry line would appear quite quickly. Unfortunately we have none at the moment

09:59 Rosberg gives us some entertainment by taking to the track

10:06 Barrichello and Massa are currently running now. The rain seems to have stopped

10:07 Only Barrichello left on track, the Brazilian lapping in the 1:34s with the Williams

10:09 A 1:37 for Barrichello now

10:13 The session has been red-flagged

10:14 Since Barrichello was the only man on track, chances are it was him causing the stoppage...

10:16 Barrichello spun his Williams at Turn 9, causing the second red flag of the session

10:19 While there's no action at Jerez, you can follow the WRC here:

Loeb takes early lead in Sweden

10:23 Still no action at Jerez as Barrichello's Williams is being recovered following his spin

10:27 Light rain still hitting the track. Barrichello's car is now into the pits so expect the green flag soon

10:30 Green flag

10:30 But there are no cars on track at the moment

Rubens Barrichello10:33 Barrichello has been the busiest man in the first 2.5 hours of the test, having completed 36 laps before his stoppage

10:35 Sutil, Hamilton and Vettel leave the pits

10:40 Vettel has stayed on for a run, with a best lap of 1:29, so some ten seconds off the pace

10:46 Petrov, Hamilton and Rosberg currently on track

10:50 @rubarrichello: chuva por aqui...estamos andando bastante com o tanque cheio pra completar o maximo de km.../we running a lot as we need the mileage

10:56 The air temperature is only eight degrees at the moment. Track temperature just four degrees higher

10:56 Rosberg leaving the pits to join Petrov on track. No one else is running right now

11:03 Drivers coming in and out of the pits regularly now. The mixed conditions are not very useful for teams

11:09 Barrichello's stoppage was caused by a driver error. No mechanical problems in the car

11:10 The Williams driver still has the biggest amount of laps so far with 37. Hamilton and Vettel follow with 33, Sutil with 28, Alguersuari with 26, Massa 25, Petrov 22, de la Rosa 27, Rosberg 13

11:22 Force India is happy, despite the weather

@clubforce: 28 laps for Sutil so far today. We've been improving everyday.

11:24 Hamilton just went out of the pits and came straight back in again. Nobody is doing any more than one or two laps in a run at the moment

11:28 Virgin is almost ready to update us with news on when its car will be back out on track

@virginracing: It's a bit damp and nippy today in Jerez... Brrr. More updates on parts in a min, stay tuned... ; )

11:30 Hamilton has extended a run to cover a second lap! And Nico Rosberg heads back out onto track as well, it's positively heaving now.

11:34 Virgin's parts are soon to arrive at Jerez. The team is hoping to have the car out at around 3pm

11:37 Barrichello is ready to head back out, following his spin just over an hour ago

11:40 Southern Spain doesn't look good for half term sun, still raining lightly at Jerez with a deep, grey gloom covering the sky

11:41 Red flag. Rosberg was the first person in ages to attempt more than two laps, and he hasn't made it back

11:42 @eddstrawF1: Rosberg is somewhere in sector 2 - could be a similar place to where Rubens had his minor off

11:44 @eddstrawF1: Rosberg's car is off the track on the exit of Turn 4. Looks like he might well have dropped it on the exit of the left-hander

Fernando Alonso testing at Jerez on Thursday11:49 While the session is stopped, here are Fernando Alonso's thoughts on Ferrari's progress following his day in the car on Thursday

Q & A with Fernando Alonso

11:56 Green flag. Barrichello back on track after his earlier spin, Petrov and de la Rosa out as well. Maybe someone will do more than two laps...

12:02 Still drizzling - they're lapping 10 seconds slower than the best times of the day.

Track temperature 14 degrees, air temp 10 degrees, wind 3mph north easterly. There will be no shipping forecast

12:03 Mercedes says Rosberg didn't spin. It was a "systems check" that caused him to stop

12:09 Sutil's report on his morning's work:

@clubforce: Adrian happy with the morning, although the frequent red flags stopped some longer runs. 'The car's responding pretty well to changes.'

12:10 Barrichello has been out for a while, lapping in the 1m30s now. De la Rosa just did a 1m28s

Rain is steady, track getting wetter and cars starting to throw up spray

12:16 Petrov leaves the pits for what could be his third single-lap run in 20 minutes

12:22 Barrichello's run ends after 25 minutes, Vettel does a quick in and out

12:25 Track is empty and quiet, they must all have lunch on the go

In other news, Jorge Lorenzo has fallen off another motorbike

Lorenzo suffers hand injury

12:29 The silence is shattered. Massa heads back out on track in the Ferrari and de la Rosa is out too in the Sauber

12:38 Laps covered so far today: Barrichello, 52; Hamilton, 38; Vettel, 37; Petrov, 37; Sutil, 34; Alguersuari, 34; de la Rosa, 31; Massa, 27; Rosberg, 20

12:45 Massa is still out on track. He is lapping in the 1:29s and has done nine laps already on this run

Jerez testing12:58 Not a lot of people at Jerez today. The weather, and Alonso's absence, surely are not helping

13:01 @TheFifthDriver: http://twitpic.com/12rgww - Lewis in the middle of a run on a damp, grey day in Jerez

13:03 Hamilton ends his run after 7 laps, Massa after 10 and Barrichello after 15. Massa was lapping the quickest of them, breaking into the 1m29s

13:05 @TheFifthDriver: http://twitpic.com/12rhe3 - Here's #lewis pulling into the pits - you can see water streaming off his inter tyres!

Vitaly Petrov13:10 Vitaly Petrov heads back out in the Renault. Massa has also returned to the track for another run

13:14 @insideferrari: Track conditions are still not easy. Felipe has done one run on intermediate tyres and one with extreme wet: 45 laps in total so far.

13:21 Massa, Petrov and Barrichello the only ones lapping at the moment. Barrichello has been easily the busiest driver so far today, he's just done his 75th lap

13:24 There might not be a lot happening at Jerez, but it's all going off in Sweden:

Hirvonen takes lead, Solberg goes off

13:29 Weather update from Jerez: Still raining

13:30 Barrichello is the only one on track now, just gone onto his 80th lap

Sebastian Vettel13:32 Vettel spies on rivals while waiting for his next run in the Red Bull

13:35 Lunch is over at Mercedes

@officialmgp: It's not getting any drier! Nico's just gone out on wet tyres for his first run after our lunch break.

13:39 Hold onto your hats, we now have Barrichello, Rosberg, Hamilton, Petrov and Alguersuari all on track at once

13:42 ...and Sutil too makes six - that's two thirds of the active cars out at the same time

13:47 It was too good to be true. Six cars out at once equals almost immediate red flag

13:47 Sutil has stopped out on track

13:48 Sutil had been lapping in the 1m35s, Alguersuari and Petrov in the 33s. Rosberg had just done a 1m27 - the fastest lap in a good few hours

13:52 Force India explains Sutil's situation:

@clubforce: Initial reports suggest an electrical problem. Will give an update when we get the car back

13:58 @eddstrawF1: Red flag will be in momentarily - Sutil's car is being unloaded in the pits. Getting steadily wetter. Can't see any dry running again today

14:01 Green flag. Alguersuari heads back out straight away

Lucas di Grassi14:02 No update from Virgin yet on when the VR-01 will be ready to go out. Lucas di Grassi is hanging around, looking hopeful

14:04 Vettel heads out for the first time this afternoon, followed by Rosberg

Alguersuari completes his first flying lap on wet tyres - a 34.8

14:09 Weather update: track temp 12 degrees, air temp 9. There has only been 2mm of rainfall, just a light drizzle all day

14:13 Five cars on track. Alguersuari lapping fastest in the 31s, Hamilton and Vettel 32s, Rosberg in the 34s, Petrov just warming up

14:16 Barrichello out too, as Alguersuari comes in. Hamilton is now fastest on the track with a 30.7

14:21 Alguersuari does a practice start on his way back out

Massa in the 30s, Barrichello doing 33s and Petrov 34s

14:22 Claire Williams is back out in the rain, providing pictures from the pitlane

@clairevwilliams: http://twitpic.com/12ru6w - Rosberg heading out

14:25 Sutil will be sidelined while the team investigates the electrical problem that stopped him out on track 45mins ago

@clubforce: Going to be out of action for a time as fault investigation continues. Hope to get running again before the end of the day in 1h 40 mins.

Rubens Barrichello14:26 Barrichello has now done more than 100 laps today, almost all in the wet

14:31 Check out our gallery of photos from the test so far:

Jerez testing images: Day 3

14:32 Vettel and de la Rosa heading back out to join Alguersuari, Massa, Petrov and Rosberg

Alguersuari lapping fastest in the 1m31s

14:34 Massa is flying in the Ferrari, he just did a 1m28.789s

14:39 Virgin finally makes it out onto the track for an installation lap

14:40 Lucas di Grassi has now done his first lap in the car in an official Formula 1 session

14:41 Ferrari is pleased with Massa's current run so far:

@insideferrari: Massa is doing a long run on extreme wet tyres. Good lap times and tyre wear is reasonable.

14:41 Di Grassi's first laptime in the Virgin is a 1m45s

14:43 He improves second time round to a 1m39s, 10 seconds slower than the fastest cars circulating right now

14:46 Massa chases down and passes di Grassi. The Ferrari is lapping in the 1m27s and the Virgin in the 1m37s

14:48 Temperatures have dropped. Track to 10 degrees, air to 7. Wind is 5mph north easterly

14:50 Di Grassi pits after a seven-lap run to check the front wing modifications. Just Barrichello and Alguersuari left on track now

14:51 Elsewhere, it looks as though things aren't going too well for Kimi Raikkonen on Rally Sweden

Gronholm, Raikkonen hit trouble

14:58 De la Rosa heads back out in the Sauber to join Alguersuari and Barrichello

14:59 One hour of the today's test remaining, three cars on track right now

15:02 Laps covered so far today: Barrichello/Williams, 117; Massa/Ferrari, 72; Alguersuari/Toro Rosso, 69; Petrov/Renault, 68; Hamilton/McLaren, 60; Vettel/Red Bull, 58; de la Rosa/Sauber, 52; Rosberg/Mercedes, 51; Sutil/Force India, 48; di Grassi/Virgin, 7.

Lucas di Grassi15:05 Di Grassi returning from his first run in the Virgin

Given the conditions at the time, he was lapping within about five seconds of most teams

15:10 Hamilton and de la Rosa both lapping in the 1m30s, Alguersuari doing 32s/33s. De la Rosa pits

15:14 Raining harder now. Most run for the garages but Vettel ploughs on out there

15:16 Vettel in too now, he gave up after one lap and headed for cover

15:17 Mercedes waiting for the rain to ease but hoping to send Rosberg back out

@officialmgp: The conditions are getting worse and worse... Nico's done 51 laps today and now back in the garage waiting for a lessening of the rain!.

15:18 Williams just can't get enough laps in, 120 and counting. Barrichello heads back out with the rain the heaviest it's been all day

15:19 Di Grassi back out for a second run in the Virgin. There won't be much pressure on the front wing with conditions this bad

Rubens Barrichello15:20 Barrichello undeterred by the gloom

15:21 ...probably not for long though:

@clairevwilliams: Rubens on the radio saying the track is like a river and un-driveable.

15:22 Force India has found the problem with Sutil's car and is hoping to get another lap in before the end of the day:

@clubforce: Electrical fault has been found and fixed and team are working hard to get the car out for an install lap before finish of the session.

15:26 Empty track again as Barrichello and di Grassi head straight back to the pits

15:28 Weather update: Dark. Wet

15:28 @eddstrawF1: Track is now very wet and there's a lot of standing water. Don't expect much action for the last 30 minutes

15:30 Total rainfall today is 7.2mm, most of it coming in the last 90 minutes

15:31 Mercedes not confident about getting back out today

@officialmgp: Jock and Riccardo are back up in the engineering office and not too optimistic about the prospect of getting any more running in today...

15:32 It's not been a great day for spectating at Jerez...

15:33 Williams sounding like it has given up for the day too:

@clairevwilliams: http://twitpic.com/12s80n - It's chucking it down, everyone's aborted for now..

15:34 Wait, it's not over yet. Hamilton heads out with the track all to himself

15:36 He's on one...

@eddstrawF1: Hamilton starts a flying lap, dodging the puddles

15:38 ...but headed back to the pits

15:39 The forecast for tomorrow is for a dry day, with just an outside chance of a shower during the afternoon. Here's hoping for some more meaningful running than today

15:44 15 minutes to go. It's only getting wetter

15:46 Rosberg is eager for more:

@officialmgp: Nico wants to go out.... we might just see some action to finish the day!

15:47 The end of testing isn't the end of Formula 1 for today, Lotus will launch its car in London at 17:00. All the news to come on AUTOSPORT

15:48 Rosberg does a practice start and heads out for another run

Lucas di Grassi15:49 The Virgin VR-01 came safely back in one piece today

15:51 Doesn't look like Rosberg achieved much:

@eddstrawF1: Rosberg is crawling round on the sodden track

@eddstrawF1: Rosberg thought better of taking the chicane and took the circuit configuration that misses it. Pits in.

15:51 ...but he's gone back out anyway

15:54 ...and back in again

15:56 Rosberg and Mercedes are done for the day:

@officialmgp: And that's it for the day...!

15:57 The only changes to the driver line-up tomorrow are Schumacher in for Rosberg at Mercedes and Kubica in for Petrov at Renault

So it's, McLaren/Hamilton, Ferrari/Massa, Red Bull/Vettel, Mercedes/Schumacher, Sauber/de la Rosa, Williams/Barrichello, Toro Rosso/Alguersuari, Renault/Kubica, Force India/Sutil and Virgin/di Grassi

16:01 End of session. Alguersuari finishes on top for Toro Rosso, with a time set on dry tyres early in the day

16:02 Force India just missed getting Sutil back out after the car's electrical problem ealier this afternoon

@clubforce: Unfortunately we just missed the deadline to get the car out, but we'll be back tomorrow!

16:03 Read the full testing report, here:

Alguersuari tops rain-hit Jerez test

16:05 Sutil happy with his day, despite the mechanical glitch:

@clubforce: Adrian's initial comments: The car is good and I think it’s a positive place to start. I’m very confident on the general speed of the car.

16:09 Thank you for following the day's action on AUTOSPORT Live. Reaction coming up on the website, plus the Lotus launch at 17:00

Join us for the final day at Jerez tomorrow

  FASTEST TIMES
P Driver Team Time
1  AlguersuariToro Rosso 1m19.919s
2  De la RosaSauber 1m20.736s  +0.817
3  SutilForce India 1m21.428s  +1.509
4  MassaFerrari 1m21.603s  +1.684
5  VettelRed Bull 1m21.783s  +1.864
6  PetrovRenault 1m22.000s  +2.081
7  RosbergMercedes 1m22.820s  +2.901
8  BarrichelloWilliams 1m23.217s  +3.298
9  HamiltonMcLaren 1m23.985s  +4.066
10  Di GrassiVirgin 1m37.107s  +17.188
All timing unofficial. Updated: 15:38 GMT
  OVERVIEW  
  CURRENT WEATHER
Heavy rain High Temp: 12°C / 54°F
Track: Wet
  INFOBOX
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