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As it happened: Test day three
By Matt Beer and Steven English
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
08:00 Good morning and welcome to Friday's Live coverage from Jerez

08:00 There were torrential downpours overnight at Jerez, there's flooding around the area but the weather is clear at the moment and the track looks pretty close to dry for the start of the session

08:03 Track and air temperatures are both 8 degrees, but it's early days yet - at least there is blue sky and a chance of some sun

08:04 Fernando Alonso is first out in the Ferrari, followed by Jenson Button's McLaren, Mark Webber's Red Bull, Nico Hulkenberg's Williams and Robert Kubica's Renault. All five drivers are on track for the first time this week

08:08 Jaime Alguersuari is out as well for his first laps of the week in the Toro Rosso

08:11 Heikki Kovalainen also took the Lotus out for the first time time since crashing it yesterday. Everyone has just done an installation lap and headed back to the pits

08:20 AUTOSPORT's man on the ground at Jerez today is Mark Glendenning, keep an eye on his Twitter updates too

@m_glendenning: Installation laps now from Schumacher and di Grassi. Webber's going out again

08:21 Nico Hulkenberg reckons we might get some proper dry running too

@nicohulkenberg: 's session has just started. The weather in Jerez is fairly acceptable and the forecast looks quite good as well.

08:23 Lucas di Grassi has done an installation lap in the Virgin, and Schumacher is first to set a time

08:27 Lotus is one of many teams waiting for a fully dry track to finally get some meaningful running done

@mikegascoyne: Circuit open on time and clear sky overhead so circuit will be drying up. We plan to do some starts and then wait for dry conditions

08:30 Schumacher is back in the pits. Alonso and Webber are the first onto proper runs. Button is back out in the McLaren

08:33 Alonso and Button are trading quickest laps, both in the 27s now - but there's plenty more to come as the track dries. Kubica is on track in the Renault as well

08:36 The session has been stopped.

08:37 It didn't take Kovalainen long to cause a red flag today

08:39 The stoppage has called a halt to the first proper runs of the day. Webber was eight laps into his, lapping in the 1m31s. Alonso was six into his, in the 28s. Button was only four into his but had just done a 1m27s

08:41 It looks like it's a mechanical problem for the Lotus this morning. The car has stopped on the approach to Turn 9

08:47 There's no confirmation of what caused the Lotus to stop, but there are rumours that someone saw smoke coming from it

08:52 The weather is holding up so far, blue sky and sunshine

08:54 Schumacher and Webber are back on track straight away

08:57 Schumacher sets the best time of the day so far on his first flying lap, Webber improves and Alguersuari sets his first quick lap too

08:59 Shout out to Rubens Barrichello who just gave us a plug on his Twitter

@rubarrichello: car was behaving very well on wets yesterday...hoping for some dry track in Barcelona next week. now I am following live on

09:01 Webber just improved to within a fraction of Schumacher's time, and Alonso is back out on track in the Ferrari

09:03 Webber improves again to go fastest

09:04 Laps covered after one hour of running: Webber, 19; Alonso, 13; Alguersuari, 13; Schumacher, 12; Button, 8; Kubica, 5; di Grassi, 3

09:05 Lotus explains Kovalainen's problem. Looks like he should be back out shortly

@mikegascoyne: Car stopped with a clutch sensor failure. Replacing sensor and updating front wing while waiting for circuit to dry

09:07 Alonso is down into the 1m25s, Schumacher and Button are back in the pits

09:09 Di Grassi does the Virgin's first timed laps of the day

09:13 Alonso is now seven laps into his run, but his times have dropped from the 25s to the 27s. Alguersuari is 12 laps into his with times climbing from 28s to 30s. di Grassi's last lap was a 1m44s

09:14 Lotus sounds like it's finally enjoying a bit of Spanish sun

@mylotusracing: Sun is finally shining at Jerez and we've got Robbie Williams & The Pouges on our playlist here, brilliant way to start the morning!

09:15 The Virgin is now somewhere near the pace, di Grassi does a 1m31s

09:16 Schumacher is the only one left on track now as the others all head for the pits

09:18 Button heads back out in the McLaren for his second run of the day

09:18 Weather update:

@m_glendenning: Track is now the driest it has been for the entire test. Ambient temp now 10.C, track temp 16.C. And miracle of miracles, we have sun!

09:21 Button is into the 1m26s on his first lap

09:22 Button is first into the 1m24s on his second flying lap - but we're still five seconds slower than the quickest times of last week's test so there's plenty more to come yet

09:25 Of the teams not to post times yet, Williams and Force India have done installation laps and Lotus broke down before setting a time, only Sauber hasn't been on out track yet

09:26 Button does a 1m23s then heads back to the pits, while Alguersuari goes second

09:27 Button's times on that run: 26.7, 24.4, 24.0, 23.5

09:29 Alguersuari is the only car on track now, onto his fifth lap of this run and 25th of the day

09:32 Alguersuari improves into the 1m24s and di Grassi is back out in the Virgin

09:34 @m_glendenning: Kamui is strapped into the Sauber so we should see him soon. Very quiet down at Force India though - will try to find out what's going on

09:35 Nice busy pitlane first thing this morning

09:35 We have the second red flag of the day

09:39 di Grassi has stopped at the exit of Turn 12 in the Virgin

09:41 It doesn't look as though there's any damage to the car, could be another mechanical glitch

09:42 Alguersuari was eight laps into a run when the session was stopped, lapping consistently in the high 24s/low 25s

09:43 di Grassi is off at the kink after the chicane towards the end of the lap. Reports now suggest he may have gone into the barrier

09:52 Something tells me Virgin is a little slow with its tweets and is about to have its Friday feeling squashed

@virginracing: Good ol' Grassi has pulled a 1m31.6s lap out already! How's that for a Friday feeling!

09:53 AUTOSPORT has been down to have a look and any Virgin damage is still inconclusive

@m_glendenning: Saw the Virgin being taken off the truck - still no obvious signs of damage, although the rear was part-covered to hide the diffuser

09:54 Kubica is first man back out on track as the pitlane opens

09:54 And there's another red flag already

09:58 The Jerez timing screen suggests Kobayashi may be the cause of this red flag, on Sauber's first lap of the day. But no visual confirmation yet...

10:00 Laps covered after two hours: Alguersuari, 31; Webber, 26; Alonso, 19; Schumacher, 18; Button, 14; di Grassi, 11; Kubica, 8

10:05 Williams is planning a race simulation for Hulkenberg this afternoon, if the weather holds

@clairevwilliams: The Hulk's in the car today. Scheduled to do half a day of pitstop practice combined with set-ups & a race sim, providing the weather holds!

10:08 Kobayashi was definitely the cause of the red flag, but it's still not clear what happened

10:08 Kubica and Webber head back out onto track

10:09 @m_glendenning: Things looking more lively at Force India, so expect to see Sutil return shortly. Lotus is aiming to be back after midday

10:11 Sutil is out in the Force India for the first time today

10:11 Ferrari is very excited about bolting on some slicks. Expect to see times tumble

@insideferrari: A festival of red flags so far. Now it's time to run on slick tyres!

10:13 Alonso out now as Webber and Sutil get up to speed

10:15 Alonso goes onto his first flying lap on slicks...

10:16 ...and improves his best time, but not by a lot

10:19 Alonso, Alguersuari and Schumacher all move into the high 1m23s

10:20 Webber is back in the pits after a five-lap run spent mostly in the 1m24s

10:22 Schumacher goes fastest and Alonso second, both in the 1m23s, just as Button leaves the pits

10:25 Schumacher pits as Button heads onto his first quick lap

10:25 ...and it's a 22.6, Button goes straight back to the top

10:26 Schumacher's run was only three quick laps: 23.9, 23.6, 23.3

10:27 Alonso pits too after eight laps: 26.2, 25.1, 24.7, 23.8, 23.8, 23.4, 24.1, 24.2

10:27 Button has the track to himself now

10:28 ...but not for long, Sutil and Kubica head back out

10:29 Air temperature is now 11 degrees and the track temp has climbed to 22. There's less wind than yesterday too, conditions should be good for some quick times

10:32 Button seems to have the legs on Alonso and Schumacher so far, but the track is going to keep getting faster

10:33 Kubica goes fourth in the Renault with a 23.6

10:33 Button is still on track, seven laps into his run now but lapping in the 1m23s

10:34 Kubica improves again, just 0.060s slower than Alonso now

10:35 Button pits, just as di Grassi heads back out in the Virgin. It can't have been too badly damaged

10:38 di Grassi is straight back in again, so no comparable time for Virgin yet in good conditions

10:40 Alonso and di Grassi are back out on track again

10:40 ...and di Grassi is straight in again. Webber has pitted as well so Alonso has the stage

10:42 Alonso goes fastest: 1m21.969

10:43 Alguersuari is back for another stint, di Grassi has done another out and in again

10:46 ...he's just lapped 0.001s slower than his best

10:49 Welcome to the party Hulkenberg and Kobayashi. Both have just set their first times of the day

10:52 Hulkenberg is into the 1m25s in the Williams, while Kobayashi has taken the Sauber back to the pits

10:53 Alonso pits, so his best time was set on the first flying lap of a seven-lap run

10:53 Kubica and di Grassi head back out. Will the Virgin manage to go round twice and set a time?

10:54 Button is back on track in the McLaren too. Can he respond to Alonso's 21.9?

10:55 That's a no for Virgin, di Grassi is straight back in. Webber comes back out in the Red Bull

10:56 Kubica goes second for Renault with a 22.4

10:57 Button goes back to the top - 1m21.435s. This is almost like qualifying! Almost...

10:58 Alonso heads back out...

10:59 Webber goes second for Red Bull with a 21.7

10:59 Alonso improves to a 21.8

11:02 Alonso and Webber improve, but both are still a couple of tenths off Button's time

11:02 Laps after three hours: Alguersuari, 49; Webber, 43; Alonso, 42; Hulkenberg, 37; Kubica, 29; Button, 27; Schumacher, 23; Sutil, 19; di Grassi, 17; Kobayashi, 6

11:04 Weather update: Still bright and sunny. Fingers and toes crossed

11:06 Button is six laps into his stint, all in the 1m21s. Webber is five into his, in the 22s now. Alonso has been in the 21s for most of this run

11:06 Alonso pits as the Virgin comes out again

11:07 It was too good to last. Red flag

11:07 It looks as though it might be Webber

11:09 Webber was six laps into a run, lapping in the 22s/23s

11:11 Webber has stopped between Turns 8 and 9. It's not yet clear why

11:14 While it's quiet, a reminder to check out AUTOSPORT's brand new Digital Edition. You can now read the magazine online -

11:18 A couple of updates from the paddock:

@h_kovalainen: Bit of a troubled morning, clutch problem taken time to fix. I've taken early lunch, hopefully non stop afternoon ahead!

@tororossospy: Jaime is working on brake systems and aero stuff today. Nice to see the sun and the slick tyres out again.

11:21 Webber's car has arrived in the paddock on the back of a truck, hidden under a cover. It looks mechanical, it stopped on a straight

11:22 Alguersuari is first back out as the session restarts

11:23 di Grassi just missed the wall when he went off earlier in the Virgin

11:26 Kubica and Alguersuari both set their best times so far straight away

11:27 Four cars are now within half a second of the quickest time. But we haven't seen the Mercedes on track in the last hour

11:31 Just two cars on track at the moment, Kubica in the 22s and Alguersuari in the 23s

11:32 Kubica pits, Hulkenberg is on track in the Williams

11:34 ...and Hulkenberg is straight back in again, and back out. Pitstop practice at Williams

11:37 Button leaves the pits again

11:37 Sutil is out too, making four cars on track

11:38 Hulkenberg improves his time but the Williams is still only in the 1m25s

11:39 Button breaks into the 1m20s. Now just a second slower than the fastest time from last week's test

11:40 Williams pitstop practice this morning

11:43 di Grassi has now completed 20 laps in the Virgin, but since his earlier spin his last seven runs have been out and straight back in

11:45 Alonso and Kubica are back on track now

11:46 Away from Jerez, Stefan GP is preparing to test and says it is very close to a deal with Jacques Villeneuve

Stefan GP fires up Formula 1 car

11:51 Button is back in after seven laps, Hulkenberg is 10 laps into a run, Sutil seven, Kubica three and Alonso two

11:55 Alonso, Kubica and Hulkenberg are still out there, all lapping 2-3s slower than their best times

11:55 Spoke too soon, Kubica pits

11:59 Laps after four hours: Alguersuari, 64; Hulkenberg, 55; Alonso, 54; Webber, 46; Kubica, 45; Button, 40; Sutil, 35; Schumacher, 23; di Grassi, 21; Kobayashi, 6; Kovalainen, 0

12:00 Webber wasn't thrilled when his Red Bull stopped

12:01 Schumacher back on track for the first time in ages. Button is out too

12:02 Alonso is 10 laps into his run, lapping in the 23s now. Hulkenberg is 18 into his, doing 27s/28s

12:05 Schumacher does his best time of the day straight away, into the 22s

12:05 The Lotus finally makes it onto the timing screen

12:06 Kovalainen starts his run with a 28.5

12:08 Hulkenberg pits after 19 laps and breaks into the 23s on his first lap back out. Looks like this could be a race simulation for Williams

12:09 Lots of grumpy-looking drivers at Jerez today. Cheer up chaps, you've got a dry track!

12:09 Hulkenberg down to a 23.3 now

12:10 And Kovalainen takes the Lotus into the 27s

12:13 1m27.285s for the Finn on his next lap as he tries to make up for lost time

12:14 Just a five-lap run for Schumacher this time, all between mid-1m22s and low 1m23s.

12:15 Button appears to be on a long run, though his times are gradually dropping off from his early 1m20s to low 1m22s.

12:19 More progress from Kovalainen, down into the 1m26s.

12:19 Button comes in after eight laps, having averaged 1m21.4s and set a best of 1m20.8s. As the McLaren pits, arch-rival Ferrari sets out with Alonso.

12:21 That 1m26.5s ended Kovalainen's 10-lap outing, which saw him averaging in the 1m27s.

12:22 @nicohulkenberg "is hard-working again. 1:23.364 on his fastest lap. And the weather is still fine - thanks for your prayers."

12:23 That tweet impressively sent by Hulkenberg from the Williams cockpit on lap three of his current run...

12:25 Kovalainen's first run of the day went down well with Lotus boss @tonyfernandes: "Good 7 laps from heikki. Not really pushing it and he's doing great times. Sun still out."

12:25 and @MikeGascoyne too: "Good to get out on the track and get our first run in the dry. Heikki taking it easy but now we can get to work"

12:28 Track getting quite busy now. Kubica, Schumacher and Sutil join Alonso and Hulkenberg on the circuit, and Kovalainen resumes running too.

12:28 Improvement straight away from Sutil, who jumps to fifth.

12:31 And then shaves another tenth off his time on the following lap.

12:32 Another mid-1m22s for Sutil and then back to the pits.

Fernando Alonso12:33 Looks like a long run for Alonso, 10 laps now and all in 1m23s or 1m24s.

12:35 Kovalainen is creeping closer to the rest of the field, 1m26.2s now for the Lotus.

12:39 Schumacher heads for the Mercedes garage after 10 laps. A best of 1m21.9s that time around, with most of the run in 1m22s or 1m23s.

12:39 Meanwhile Hulkenberg and Alonso are racking up more miles - 23 and 15 laps respectively on this run so far.

12:40 Alonso is running in 1m24s, Hulkenberg in 1m25s.

12:40 And the pair have the most mileage of the day too - 83 laps for Hulkenberg now and 78 for Alonso, and we're only just past the halfway point of day three.

12:44 Both now head for the pits too. That was a 15 lap run for Alonso with a best of 1m23.1s and an average of 1m24.1s, while Hulkenberg did 25 laps, with a peak of 1m23.3s and an average down in 1m26.5s thanks to a very slow one-off lap mid-run.

12:49 Hulkenberg sets out again and begins his run with a 1m21.432s, which thrusts him straight up to second.

12:49 Button is still 1.038s in front, though.

12:51 Hulkenberg is alone on the circuit now, Kovalainen having pitted after nine laps mostly in the 1m27s region.

12:52 Alonso heads out to join Hulkenberg again.

Nic Hulkenberg12:52 Looks like some concerted race preparations for Williams and Ferrari at the moment, with long runs punctuated by swift pit visits.

12:55 A rapid start from Alonso, straight down to 1m20.115s to put Ferrari at the head of the times.

12:56 After that 21.4 straight out of the box, Hulkenberg is now on a consistent longer run: 22.0, 22.0, 22.2, 22.1, 22.2, 22.3 on his next six tours.

12:57 Kovalainen returns to the track again.

12:59 Consistency from Alonso too, his times on this run so far: 20.1, 20.6, 20.5, 20.6, 20.7

13:02 Just one flying lap and back in for Kovalainen that time. Alonso and Hulkenberg continue on in the mid-1m20s and mid-1m23s respectively.

13:06 @nicohulkenberg reminds us that he wasn't tweeting while driving: Quotes from Nico have always been put in quotation marks ("...") - so please no "Hulkenbergtweetingwhiledrivinggate" ;-)

13:07 So no Tweet button on the steering wheel of the new Williams then.

13:09 While not tweeting, Hulkenberg has continued his long run and become the first driver to pass the 100-lap mark today. The Williams is currently in the mid to high 1m23s, 16 laps into this stint.

13:09 More company for Alonso and Hulkenberg now as Alguersuari and Kubica set out.

Mike Gascoyne and Heikki Kovalainen13:10 @MikeGascoyne: "Heikki about to do some longer runs to compare the two tyre compounds"

13:12 And sure enough, out comes Kovalainen. Webber leaves the pits too.

13:14 This is a relentless stint from Alonso - 15 laps in and he does a 1m20.2s, having only once gone as slowly as 1m21s in the run so far.

13:14 That was the end of Alonso's run and he heads back to the pits. Schumacher is now heading out.

13:15 Pitstop practice for Renault at the moment, lots of in and out laps for Kubica.

13:16 Schumacher sets a 1m21.7s to move ahead of Kubica for fifth.

13:16 Kovalainen has improved too, the Lotus now on 1m26.033s.

13:17 Button joins the action again.

13:18 Hulkenberg's latest long run has come to an end. 22 laps that time, with a best of 1m21.4s straight out of the box and an average of 1m23.0s.

13:19 Alguersuari is seven laps into his stint and in the mid-1m25s, while Webber is lapping between mid-1m22s and low 1m23s.

13:21 Alguersuari pits, so it's now Button, Webber, Schumacher and Kovalainen circulating.

13:22 Button is in 1m21s and 1m22s early in his run, Schumacher mostly in 1m22s after five laps, as is Webber after eight laps. Kovalainen's stint has ranged from 1m26.0s to 1m28.0s so far.

13:29 Not much to split Webber and Schumacher on their respective runs at present - the Mercedes perhaps a tenth or two quicker. But Button's current mid-1m21s are a second faster. Kovalainen continues in the 1m26s.

Jenson ButtonAlthough this time Button is right down in 1m25.7s.

13:31 Schumacher comes in following a 10 lap run that started with a 21.7 but averaged 1m22.6s. Kubica is out again.

13:34 Button and Kovalainen also return to the pits, while Kubica just did another quick in and out. So that leaves Webber out by himself.

13:35 Button did nine laps, averaging 1m22.3s with a best of 1m20.9s. Kovalainen's stint was 11 laps, averaging 1m26.7s.

13:37 Webber is not alone for long, Alguersuari sets off. Another pitstop run for Kubica too.

13:38 Virgin's di Grassi returns to the circuit too.

13:39 The Brazilian is currently some way adrift at the foot of the times.

13:41 Immediate improvement from Virgin - di Grassi's 1m25.328s takes him ahead of Kobayashi and Kovalainen.

13:42 Also still out, Webber and Alguersuari, both lapping in low 1m24s.

13:42 Quicker still from di Grassi: 1m24.835s this time.

13:43 Back into 1m23s for Webber and Alguersuari this time around.

13:44 @thefifthdriver: - John Button snapped giving advice to head of vehicle design Andrew Bailey!

Lucas di Grassi13:46 A 1m24.5s for di Grassi now on what proves to be his last flying lap of the run.

13:46 Button heads out as Alguersuari comes in too.

13:48 That was a five lap run for Alguersuari, averaging 1m24.0s, and four laps for di Grassi with an average of 1m25.1s.

13:48 Webber is continuing onto his 26th lap of this run, with times now in the low 1m23s.

13:50 Seems Lotus had to curtail that last stint: @MikeGascoyne - "Stopped long run with a cracked exhaust. Back out soon"

13:52 Webber ends his run - 25 laps with an average of 1m23.8s and a best of 1m22.4s. Button now has the track to himself.

13:52 The world champion is lapping in low 1m21s at the moment.

13:56 Alguersuari heads out to join Button.

14:01 @clairevwilliams: There was a monsoon in Jerez last night. Cosworth were forced to take a 30km round route to get to hotel & the airport was flooded!

14:02 Alonso leaves the pits. Time for another Ferrari and McLaren head to head.

14:03 Or perhaps not, as Button pits.

14:03 That was an eight lap run for the world champion, interrupted by a couple of rapid pitstops at the end. A best of 1m21.1s and an average of 1m21.3s.

14:05 A slight improvement by Alguersuari, who finds 0.019s over his previous best. Webber goes out now too.

14:06 Schumacher joins the fray as well.

Mark Webber14:07 Webber jumps to the top of the times with a 1m20.022s, 0.093s faster than Alonso.

14:09 Quicker still next time around - a 1m19.3s puts Webber 0.7s clear of the field.

14:10 Meanwhile Alonso and Schumacher are both lapping around the high 1m21s and low 1m22s.

14:12 Webber's time is not only the fastest of this week - which has been mostly wet admittedly - but 0.2s quicker than Lewis Hamilton's benchmark time from the first Jerez test a week ago.

14:13 Webber then does a 1m19.6s before pitting.

14:13 Alonso, Schumacher and di Grassi are the men on track now.

14:14 Webber's stint was a bit of a sprint: four flying laps in 20.0, 19.3, 26.2 and 19.6.

14:15 Di Grassi gets straight up to speed - his 1m23.504s is his best of the day yet, and puts Virgin just over half a second behind Toro Rosso, and 2.5s ahead of Lotus.

14:16 An update on the lap counts - Hulkenberg is the most active of the day with 110, ahead of Alonso on 107 and Alguersuari on 89.

Kamui Kobayashi14:17 The least active are Sutil (40 laps), di Grassi (32 laps) and Kobayashi, whose Sauber only did six laps before its problems.

14:17 @clairevwilliams sumarises Williams's day: "So far today, we have done pitstop practices with the Hulk & are now doing race sims. Much better weather-wise today - clear skies = good!"

14:21 Alonso comes in after a 12 lap run averaging 1m21.8s and with a top time of 1m21.427s.

14:21 And Schumacher pits too. His stint was 10 laps, averaging 1m22.4s and with a best of 1m21.9s.

14:22 The session has been stopped.

14:23 Looks like di Grassi prompted this stoppage.

14:23 The Virgin might have interrupted plans for longer runs by Ferrari and Mercedes.

14:25 Confirmation that it's di Grassi who caused the red flag.

14:31 The Virgin is parked on the long straight into the Dry Sack hairpin.

14:32 It has been loaded onto a truck and is heading back towards the pits now.

14:38 The session has restarted.

14:39 Hulkenberg, Kubica, Sutil, Alguersuari and Kovalainen head straight out.

14:41 Just an installation lap for Kovalainen following the exhaust repairs by the look of things, the Lotus pits again.

14:41 Current pacesetters Webber and Alonso set out to join Hulkenberg, Kubica, Sutil and Alguersuari.

14:42 Weather news from AUTOSPORT's man in the paddock @m_glendenning: "Quick weather update while we wait for the restart - ambient is now 14.C, track is just under 28.C."

14:43 Kubica is back in, but Button is going out.

14:44 A new fastest time immediately for Webber, who improves to 1m19.299s.

Mark Webber14:46 @redbullf1spy: "Mark the first driver into the 1:19s – potentially because he didn't have the fried bacon this morning… or any morning."

14:49 That was another short run for Webber: 19.2, 22.3, 19.6 and back to the pits.

14:49 Quick outings for Alguersuari (four laps, all between 23.9 and 24.2) and Sutil (four laps between 22.8 and 23.5) as well. Both pit.

14:51 Four cars left on track - Alonso doing mid-1m21s, Kubica and Button both in 1m22s, and Hulkenberg in 1m25/1m26s.

14:51 Schumacher sets out to join them.

14:55 An improvement from Schumacher, but he stays fifth.

14:58 Alguersuari improves his time too, and remains eighth.

14:58 Hulkenberg pits at the end of a 10 lap run. A best time of 1m25.6s, an average of 1m26.5s.

14:59 Kubica is back in the pits too, having done five laps with a best of 1m22.0s and an average of 1m23.0s.

14:59 Another slight gain from Alguersuari but no change in position.

15:00 And 0.001s quicker for Alguersuari next time around.

15:02 Excitement for Kovalainen's fans as the Lotus returns to the track and immediately improves to 1m24.924s.

15:04 Sutil and Alguersuari have resumed running, joining Alonso, Button, Schumacher and Kovalainen on the circuit.

15:04 Sutil shaves 0.3s off his previous best but remains seventh.

15:05 Alonso pits after a 14 lap run that saw a best of 1m21.2s. His average was only 1m23.1s thanks to a slow 1m38s late on.

15:07 Alonso improves to within 0.023s of Kubica's sixth place.

15:08 Webber heads out, Kovalainen pits after a three lap run in 24.0, 25.0 and 24.9.

15:12 Kobayashi returns to the track after a very long absence.

15:12 @m_glendenning explains the problem: The team had a fuel problem that was "not major but very time-consuming to fix"

15:13 Most other drivers are now back in the pits, although Webber continues on, lapping in the high 1m22s.

15:14 Unsurprisingly Kobayashi immediately goes quicker than he had so far, but remains last.

15:14 Hulkenberg goes back out too.

15:15 Quick summary of recent runs: Sutil did 4 laps, averaging 22.4s, Alguersuari did eight laps, averaging 22.8s, Button did 16 laps, averaging 23.4s, and Schumacher did 12 laps, averaging 22.9s.

15:16 Kobayashi returns to the pits.

15:16 And going into the final 45 minutes, Webber remains fastest on 1m19.299s, 0.8s ahead of Alonso and 1.0s ahead of Button.

Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso15:17 Most active driver of the session is now Alonso on 126 laps, just ahead of Hulkenberg's 123. Alguersuari has done 105, Button and Webber are on 93. Just 10 for Kobayashi.

15:17 @m_glendenning: "Random sighting of the day: di Grassi's 2009 GP2 team-mate Dani Clos is visiting the Virgin garage"

15:21 @tonyfernandes: "Heikki ( spelling correct ) going out. Learning lots. Car has pace. 5 months. Not bad."

15:21 That mention of spelling is because the Lotus boss accidentally spelt his driver's name 'Heikke' earlier, which someone probably pointed out to him.

15:22 Kovalainen is on track again now incidentally, as are Kobayashi, Sutil and Kubica, plus Hulkenberg and Webber on their existing long runs.

15:26 Kobayashi gets his time down to 1m22.810s and is back ahead of the two new teams, while Kovalainen improves to 1m24.238s.

15:26 More gains from Lotus - Kovalainen down to 1m23.7s. Di Grassi is now just 0.2s ahead in the battle of the newcomers.

15:28 Kovalainen returns to the pits after setting that time. Three laps with an average of 1m24.1s.

15:30 On track now: Webber and Hulkenberg lapping in mid-1m23s on fairly long runs, both now over 10 laps. Kubica and Sutil have just started out and are doing 1m22s and 1m25s respectively in their early laps. Kobayashi is five laps into a stint and averaging 1m23s.

15:32 Kobayashi comes in after seven laps all between 22.8 and 23.7.

15:33 Kovalainen sets out again - can he get Lotus back ahead of Virgin in the remaining minutes?

15:34 Both teams have had their gremlins today, but will probably be pleased to be around 4s off the pace at this stage.

Heikki Kovalainen15:34 Lotus is winning the mileage battle today - 56 laps and counting for Kovalainen, 34 for di Grassi.

15:36 Alguersuari and Alonso come out.

15:36 Kovalainen improves to 1m23.521s, 0.017s splits the new teams.

15:38 Three drivers have just finished runs - Webber did 17 laps with an average of 1m23.8s and a best of 1m22.8s. Hulkenberg did 12 laps with an average of 1m23.3s and a best of 1m22.7s. Just five laps for Kubica, a best of 1m22.2s and an average of 1m23.9s.

15:39 Latest weather forecasts suggest another good day for the teams tomorrow. A dry day with a top temperature of 15 degrees is expected, and cloud moving in during the afternoon.

15:39 Showers are also forecast - but not until the evening.

15:40 Kobayashi comes back out, as does Kubica. while Alguersuari is back in the pits.

15:41 Alonso has started this stint with three laps between 1m21.4s and 1m21.6s.

15:41 Kobayashi picks up more speed and jumps to eighth.

15:42 Alonso comes into the pits, Webber goes out to join Kubica, Sutil and Kobayashi.

15:42 Both Kubica and Kobayashi are doing mid-1m22s, Sutil is still in the 1m25s.

15:44 Kobayashi goes 0.1s quicker than his previous best.

15:45 Button and Alguersuari rejoin the action.

Jaime Alguersuari15:47 @tororossospy: "Jaime's dad and half Barcelona seem to have turned up in the paddock this afternoon. And as the sun's out, the truckies are washing trucks."

15:49 Slight improvements but no change of position for Kobayashi and Alguersuari with just over 10 minutes to go.

15:49 Mid-1m23s laps from Webber, Button, Kubica and Kobayashi right now. Kovalainen is in the 1m25s.

15:50 Alguersuari gets within 0.05s of his best time, while Kobayashi heads for the pits.

15:50 Stats from the Sauber driver's stint: seven laps with a best of 1m22.2s and an average of 1m22.6s.

15:55 A red flag with five minutes to go.

15:57 Looks like it might be Hulkenberg who has stopped this time.

15:58 The Williams will have to be retrieved from near the Dry Sack corner.

15:59 Not yet clear whether the session will be extended as the flag came out with five minutes to go, or if that is the end of Friday's running.

16:03 Chequered flag is out.

16:04 So at the end of the dry day the paddock was praying for, Webber comes out on top with a 1m19.299s, ahead of Alonso on 1m20.115s, Button on 1m20.394s, Hulkenberg on 1m21.432s and Schumacher on 1m21.437s.

16:04 Di Grassi put Virgin in front in the battle to be the best newcomer, but Kovalainen was only 0.017s behind for Lotus - and both teams were only just over 4s slower than Webber.

16:05 Hulkenberg completed the most laps with 138, ahead of Alonso on 132, Alguersuari on 120, Webber on 115, Button on 101 and Kubica on 100.

16:05 Di Grassi only managed 34, Kobayashi just 28.

16:05 Thanks for following the test live with AUTOSPORT today - join us for more tomorrow morning.

P Driver Team Time
1  WebberRed Bull 1m19.299s
2  AlonsoFerrari 1m20.115s  +0.816
3  ButtonMcLaren 1m20.394s  +1.095
4  HulkenbergWilliams 1m21.432s  +2.133
5  SchumacherMercedes 1m21.437s  +2.138
6  KubicaRenault 1m21.916s  +2.617
7  SutilForce India 1m21.939s  +2.640
8  KobayashiSauber 1m22.228s  +2.929
9  AlguersuariToro Rosso 1m22.564s  +3.265
10  Di GrassiVirgin 1m23.504s  +4.205
11  KovalainenLotus 1m23.521s  +4.222
All timing unofficial. Updated: 15:48 GMT
Mainly sunny High Temp: 14°C / 57°F
Track: Dry
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