Find out more about our subscriptions
As it happened: Test day one
By Pablo Elizalde, Matt Beer and Steven English
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
07:55 Good morning and welcome to AUTOSPORT's live coverage of the second pre-season test of 2011 at Jerez.

07:56 Unlike Valencia last week, all 11 teams present now have 2011-spec cars to use, with the McLaren MP4-26, Virgin MVR-02 and Force India VJM04 all having been unveiled in the past few days.

07:57 The only new car yet to be unveiled - although studio shots have been released - is the new Hispania. The team is not present at Jerez this week, choosing instead to do a filming run with Pirelli at Monza.

08:01 The session gets underway, with Lotus and Toro Rosso first out.

08:04 Conditions are good for the early running this morning, with just a small amount of mist on an otherwise sunny day.

08:04 The air temperature is a chilly five degrees, with seven degrees track temperature.

Force India VJM0408:06 Before the action got underway this morning, Force India held a photoshoot with its new car, which was launched online on Tuesday.

08:08 Mark Webber, Felipe Massa, Vitaly Petrov, Sergio Perez, Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock and Daniel Ricciardo have all done installation laps and returned to the pits. We're yet to see the first flying lap of the week.

08:09 And Virgin reckons it might be a while before we see any times, @MarussiaVirgin: "Timo reporting that the track feels a it damp and it's still cold. We are expecting everyone to wait a while"

08:10 Rosberg sets out in the Mercedes.

08:12 And Rosberg comes back in after an installation lap.

08:13 The big news since the last test has been Robert Kubica's terrible rally accident. Several teams are carrying 'get well' messages for the Pole on their cars today.

08:14 Later in the test Renault will give reserve driver Bruno Senna and the currently drive-less Nick Heidfeld a day of running each as it tries to choose a substitute for Kubica. For now, Vitaly Petrov is in the Renault for the opening two days.

08:15 The sun is breaking through the remaining mist now. Track temperature is up to 12 degrees, though the air is still only six.

08:16 Lewis Hamilton sets off in the new McLaren, and Perez brings the Sauber out for a second time.

08:17 Perez is starting what should be the first flying lap of the day.

08:18 If you've got any burning questions about what's going on at the test, email and our team of reporters will do their best to provide answers.

08:18 Just an installation lap for Hamilton, he's back in.

08:19 Perez starts things off with a 1m32.216s in the Sauber.

08:20 By the end of the first Jerez test week last year, the best times were in the 1m19s region.

08:21 But bear in mind that there are still damp places on the track at present this morning - and these will be Perez's first laps of Jerez in an F1 car.

08:21 Perez stays out and laps in 1m32.3s next time around.

08:23 Ex-McLaren driver @H_Kovalainen likes the look of this year's model: "Lewis just arrived from his first lap with new mc's at Jerez car looks good"

08:23 Perez improves to 1m26.413s.

08:23 The Mexican rookie is still the only man to have done a flying lap as he continues onto a sixth tour.

08:25 @OfficialLRGP: "Get well soon Robert! A message from everybody in the team is on our engine cover today"

08:26 Perez is starting to find his feet, lapping in 1m23.585s.

08:27 The session has been stopped.

08:27 Red flag, and Perez was the only car on track at the time.

08:27 So we're assuming it's the Sauber that has caused the stoppage.

08:28 The problem appears to have occurred in sector two.

08:29 Unlike Valencia last week, you can't see almost everything from one vantage point at Jerez. But it looks like the Sauber stopped on track at the long left before the double right of Turn 9.

08:31 Recovery trucks have now reached Perez.

08:31 @glenn_autosport: "Rear of the McLaren looks pretty interesting now it's not made of plastic. Doing our best to get a pic ASAP"

08:33 The stricken Sauber can just about be seen from the Jerez press room balcony, as this picture from @TeamAnglais shows

08:35 Looks like the Sauber just stopped with a mechanical issue rather than an incident. Prior to that, Perez had completed nine laps and his average on this five-lap run had been a 1m28.8s - but remember the track is a little damp.

08:38 First question of the day while we have a pause. Daniel Clegg asks: Just a quick question about the circuit itself. I'm going to be at the next three days of the test, so where's the best place to get photos and videos from? features editor @TeamAnglais says:

It's my first time here too! The track is more compact than you'd think from TV, you can see almost all of it from the top of the paddock.

There's a grandstand on the outside of the right-handers at the end of the lap and another at the beginning of the pit straight that should both be good for shooting from. I haven't explored far outside yet, but if you can get up the hills around the edge of the circuit you can probably video quite long sections.

08:39 If you've got any question you're keen to ask our team at Jerez, email

08:39 Still in a red flag situation, but engines are now firing up down the pitlane.

08:42 Here's a look at McLaren's message for Kubica, courtesy of @TheFifthDriver

08:44 Still a red flag at Jerez and the engines have gone off again. No sign of oil being mopped out or any other track attention where Perez stopped, so unsure why the stoppage is continuing.

08:45 The truck carrying Perez's Sauber has now got back to the paddock.

08:46 We're back underway at Jerez.

McLarenLots of interest in the rear end of the new McLaren this morning, as it appears to be different to the launch spec seen in Berlin. Hard to get a good look through the measuring equipment attached to it when it came out for its installation lap, though.

08:47 Trulli, Ricciardo and Massa are first to set off as we get back to green.

08:49 Pastor Maldonado brings the Williams out for the first time today. The car's fitted with the wake measuring device on its sidepod that was first seen in Abu Dhabi.

08:50 First time of the day from Ricciardo, he does a 1m30.896s.

08:51 Massa and Trulli complete flying laps too, and Massa is quickest on 1m24.156s.

08:53 Massa improves to 1m23.860s, Ricciardo does a 1m24.987s on his next lap.

08:53 Rosberg sets a tentative first lap-time of 1m34,645s.

08:53 Now it's Ricciardo quickest - a 1m23.222s.

08:53 First time of the day from Webber, a 1m26.173s.

08:54 Petrov sets Renault's first time of the day, a 1m33.311s.

Perez08:55 Here's a picture of Perez's broken Sauber being returned to the pits, courtesy of @glenn_autosport

08:56 Ricciardo goes faster still in the Toro Rosso, getting down to 1m22.931s.

08:57 Massa and Webber have also improved, down to 1m23.6s and 1m24.0s in the Ferrari and Red Bull respectively.

08:57 The Red Bull is running without a shark fin on its engine cover - the first time in a long while it's been seen in that trim.

08:57 Trulli is up to fifth on a 1m26.962s in the Lotus, though that's 4s off pacesetter Ricciardo.

08:58 The temperature is rising all the time now, up to nine degrees air and 16.7 on the track.

08:58 Webber closes on Ricciardo's time, the Red Bull improving to 1m23.194s.

08:59 Looks like there's a lot of dust on the track at Turn 5 - the right-hander onto the long back straight. Big clouds being kicked up every time a car goes through there.

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Jerez testing09:03 An unsurprisingly big message of support for Kubica on the engine cover of Petrov's Renault today.

09:03 After that flurry of quick times, Massa is now the only car on the track, lapping in mid-1m23s.

09:05 Massa comes back in, and the track is empty.

09:06 With an hour gone, it's still Ricciardo fastest for Toro Rosso on 1m22.9s, 0.2s ahead of Webber, with Massa third ahead of Perez.

09:07 Away from Jerez, there's a new naming row brewing...

Ford suing Ferrari over F150 name

09:08 While there's nothing happening at Jerez, remember you can email if you've got any questions about what's happening in testing.

09:10 Jeff Dickson has asked whether Kubica's rally crash is likely to cause teams to tighten their contracts with drivers and restrict their 'extra curricular' activities.

AUTOSPORT news editor @glenn_autosport replies:

"Formula 1 teams have long been aware of the dangers of letting their drivers enjoy dangerous hobbies. Let us not forget Juan Pablo Montoya's 'tennis' accident (that might have involved a two-wheeled vehicle), or Mark Webber's broken leg courtesy of a mountain bike crash in 2009.

"Some teams place heavy restrictions on their drivers - I know of some that have to get special permission to go karting! But as Renault team boss Eric Boullier said last week, giving drivers the freedom to do things they enjoy away from F1 can help get the best out of them when they return to their day job. And it's worth noting that a top-line driver will have more power than a youngster when it comes to negotiating these things."

09:10 Rosberg is back out, and is the first to try a practice start at the pit exit today.

09:11 He's going onto a second lap. The Mercedes has yet to set a proper flying-lap time today.

09:11 Renault update from @OfficialLRGP: "Today’s test programme for Vitaly is as follows: aero runs this morning, tyre evaluation, set-up work in the afternoon & some longish runs."

09:12 Rosberg sets a 1m25.278s to go fifth.

09:14 Next time around he improves to a 1m24.806s, but stays fifth.

09:14 Of those yet to set a time, everyone has been out for at least an installation lap bar Adrian Sutil in the newly-launched Force India.

09:18 Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) and Petrov (Renault) are back out now too.

09:19 Question from Nigel Robertson, who asks: Can you tell us which tyres they're running? features editor @TeamAnglais says:

Pirelli has brought all four compounds of dry tyre to Jerez (super soft, soft, medium and hard), as well as intermediates and wets. But, as yet, there's no way to identify which compound is on a car at any given time.

We'll have to wait to Bahrain to be able to tell who is running which.

09:21 Perez is back out after causing the earlier stoppage.

Sergio Perez, Sauber09:22 Whatever the problem was, it was very swiftly repaired by Sauber.

09:22 Rodney Thompson asks about the tyre allocation for the test. Pirelli has brought a maximum of 30 sets of tyres per team to Jerez, and there is an overall allocation of 100 sets of tyres per team to cover all four pre-season tests.

09:23 Petrov improves for Renault, moving up to fourth with a 1m24.453s.

09:23 The Russian currently shares the track with Webber's Red Bull and Perez's Sauber.

09:25 Webber and Perez are both lapping in 1m23.7s, slightly shy of their best times.

09:26 But on his next lap, Perez goes quickest of the day so far with a 1m22.871s.

09:26 That deposed Ricciardo, and as if to reply, the Toro Rosso reserve immediately leaves the pits again.

09:29 Latest to head out on track are Massa in the Ferrari and Trulli in the Lotus.

09:31 Ricciardo goes back to the top with a 1m22.443s.

McLaren close-up09:33 Steve Arnott asks if McLaren is running a forward-facing exhaust here. From the angles we've seen so far, it doesn't look like it.

09:34 It's now just Massa's Ferrari and Ricciardo's Toro Rosso on track, with Trulli just leaving the Lotus pits to join them.

09:35 The Italian paused for about 20 seconds at the pit exit.

09:35 Force India news from @clubforce: "The guys are currently running some tests on Adrian's #VJM04 before sending him out."

09:36 The VJM04 remains the only car yet to leave the garage so far this morning.

09:36 Cars that have been out but are yet to set a flying lap are Hamilton's McLaren, Maldonado's Williams and Glock's Virgin.

09:37 Trulli comes into the pits, waits at the pit exit again - perhaps checking temperatures - and then heads out again.

09:38 Massa pits, now it's just Rosberg and Trulli doing laps.

09:39 Temperatures are still heading upwards, the air is now 10.8 degrees, with 21.7 on the track.

09:39 Perez sets off again in the Sauber.

Jarno TrulliTrulli improves his best time to a 1m26.640s.

09:42 Changes at the top as Massa and Perez go to first and second.

09:43 Massa's 1m20.709s is the first time below 1m21s today.

09:43 That puts the Ferrari 0.7s clear of Perez's Sauber, with Ricciardo - who had been quickest for Toro Rosso a few moments ago - now 1.7s adrift in third.

09:43 Trulli has finished his run and come back into the pits.

09:46 Webber does a practice start at the end of the pitlane as he takes the Red Bull out again.

09:47 Photographers are gathering around the McLaren garage, which suggests we might soon see Hamilton out again.

McLaren09:47 The MP4-26 has only done an installation lap so far.

09:48 Hamilton sets off. This time the car is running without the rear sensors it carried on its earlier outing.

09:49 @ToroRossoSpy: "Here in Jerez, we're running our DRS for the first time. DRS? Drag Reduction System, or adjustable rear wing to you and me."

09:49 As Trulli finishes another quick run, it's now Perez, Webber and Hamilton on the track.

09:51 Hamilton does the new McLaren's first public flying lap, a 1m23.854s.

09:51 The McLaren pitboard says he has four more laps to go on this run. That time put Hamilton fifth.

09:53 A second quicker for Hamilton on the next lap, up to fourth with a 1m22.724s.

09:54 Now down to a 1m22.283s and up to third for Hamilton.

09:57 Ricciardo nudges Hamilton down to fourth, the Toro Rosso taking third with a time 0.001s quicker.

09:57 Just the Toro Rosso and McLaren on the track at present.

09:57 Ricciardo then improves again to a 1m21.755s. He remains third.

09:58 Not long until we see the Force India VJM04 in action for the first time. @clubforce: "And the VJM04's Mercedes engine is being warmed in the garage now ahead of its first-ever install lap"

09:58 Hamilton finishes the McLaren's first run and returns to the garage.

10:00 Sutil heads out to give the Force India VJM04 its first run.

10:00 This will just be an installation lap and then back into the pits for checks.

10:02 And sure enough, Sutil returns to the pits.

Force India10:03 Though that was the car's first lap on-track, it was displayed in the pitlane earlier for a photoshoot.

10:03 Shortly after Sutil pitted, Ricciardo brings the Toro Rosso in too, which leaves the track empty.

10:04 So with two hours gone, Massa is quickest for Ferrari by 0.7s over Perez's Sauber, with Ricciardo third for Toro Rosso ahead of Hamilton's McLaren and Webber's Red Bull.

10:04 Everyone has now done a flying lap bar Glock in the Virgin, Maldonado's Williams and Sutil in the new Force India, but all three have done installation laps.

10:05 And if you're looking for Hispania, it's skipping this test to do some filming work for Pirelli at Monza with its 2010 car.

10:05 Trulli comes back out for Lotus, pausing at the pit entry again and then doing a practice start.

10:05 Webber follows him in the Red Bull.

10:05 Sutton Images photographer James Moy is missing his first F1 test in years, and asks: Is Fernando the duck still a resident in Jorge Lorenzo's pond? Photo please to prove it.

I can't see from here. Will send one of your colleagues in that direction to find evidence!

10:06 A rabble of tourists has turned up in the press office, taking pictures of us. We can't be the most interesting thing here!

10:06 If you have any questions for us at the test, email and we'll do our best to track down some answers.

10:07 It's not just tourists taking pictures of journalists, Renault's at it as well... @OfficialLRGP: "Lots of media here following the action. Here is a look inside the press centre."

10:09 Webber and Trulli both improve their times on consecutive laps.

Mark Webber10:10 Webber is now fourth on a 1m22.257s, Trulli seventh on 1m24.792s.

10:12 Ricciardo does a practice start on the way out.

10:13 The Australian is in action for the morning today before handing over to Toro Rosso race driver Jaime Alguersuari.

10:14 Force India's strategy for today courtesy of @clubforce: "Programme for the morning will be lots of install laps to conduct systems checks before moving to longer runs this afternoon"

10:23 On track now: Ricciardo, Perez, Webber and Trulli

10:26 With both Webber and Ricciardo in action this morning, we're debating the last time that two Australians shared a track in F1. And drawing a blank so far...

10:30 Everyone has finished those runs with no improvements recently.

10:34 Sutil takes the Force India back out for its next run. As the team announced earlier, it will spend the morning doing installation laps before longer runs this afternoon.

10:36 There was a brief bit of close racing during the last few laps, as Hamilton caught up with Massa's Ferrari, then backed off to get some clear air and was himself caught by Ricciardo, who stayed on the McLaren's tail for several laps.

10:37 Temperatures at still creeping up at Jerez, we're now up to 14.9 degrees in the air (compared to five degrees when testing commenced) and 27.2 on track.

10:39 We have answers for our 'last time two Australians shared a track in F1 cars' debate - in Brazilian GP practice in 2004, Ryan Briscoe was out for Toyota while Webber was driving for Jaguar.

If you want the last time a grand prix featured two Australians - which won't be repeated just yet with Ricciardo only on Friday duty for Toro Rosso for now - you have to go back to the 1977 Dutch GP, where Williams's Alan Jones was joined by Vern Schuppan in a Surtees.

10:40 Sutil came straight back in as expected, so Perez is now the only man on track.

10:42 It seems that teams are already working hard on exhaust development following the appearance of Renault's radical design.

No replicas of the forward-facing system on the Renault yet, but our trackside photographers reckon Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Red Bull have all modified their exhausts since Valencia.

We'll bring you pictures as soon as possible.

10:43 More on that subject from AUTOSPORT news editor @glenn_autosport: "Re/ Exhaust notes: The Ferrari and Red Bull sound noticeably different. Ferrari makes such a deep noise, almost like it's dropped a cylinder

"Haven't had a good listen to the Renault yet, but it didn't sound that different"

10:45 Perez still has the track to himself, lapping in high 1m24s and mid-1m25s on this run.

10:49 Massa comes out to join Perez.

10:51 After his earlier 1m20s lap, Massa starts off in the 1m22s this time.

10:52 Perez has covered the most miles of anyone so far today, despite causing the early red flag. The Mexican is now on his 40th lap.

10:53 Next best are Massa (29), Webber (28), Trulli (27), Ricciardo (24), with Rosberg on 16, Petrov on 14, Hamilton on eight and the rest yet to set times.

Sergio Perez10:53 Perez comes in to end that stint. It was an eight-lap run, averaging 1m25.3s.

10:54 Hamilton and Rosberg come back out to join Massa.

11:00 We expect to see @karunchandhok driving for Lotus later this week as the team assesses him as a potential reserve driver. In the meantime, he's spectating: "Interesting viewing from up here of fast and slow section"

11:01 Massa pits, there were some very slow laps in that stint, many over 1m30s - suggesting he was possibly doing some constant speed aero tests on straights. He certainly slowed a few times coming past us on the pits straight.

11:02 Hamilton and Rosberg are both still out. The McLaren is lapping mostly in mid-1m22s and low 1m23s, while the Mercedes is on high 1m24s and mid 1m25s.

11:03 Minor gremlins to deal with at Renault, news from @OfficialLRGP: "The team has spotted an oil leak on the car and is checking things over in the garage. Vitaly probably won’t be out again until after lunch."

11:04 A few people have been asking us via why Mercedes doesn't seem to have done much running this morning. Rosberg has done plenty of in/out and installation laps, but this current stint is his first long run. So he's been more active than the timing screens suggest.

11:05 Lotus has been trying out its adjustable rear wing this morning, @MyTeamLotus: "One good bit of news this morning is that we've successfully tested DRS and are now looking at fine-tuning it"

11:06 More on Mercedes, Ricardo Baptista asks if we have any indication of how the team feels about its new car.

AUTOSPORT news editor @glenn_autosport replies:

"The general feeling we got from the first test at Valencia was that Mercedes weren't too happy with how things went. I spoke to Norbert Haug about it on Monday for a story in this week's AUTOSPORT magazine, and he said that the purpose of last week was to make the car reliable after the hydraulic problem the car suffered on day one.

"He didn't go quite as far as admitting Mercedes was off the pace, but he admitted that 'some cars were quicker' and suggested that there was a lot more to come from the MGP W02."

11:07 And still speaking of Mercedes, Rosberg has pitted after a run mostly in low 1m25s.

11:08 Hamilton's McLaren is now doing high 1m23s as Trulli comes out to join him.

11:08 Several people have asked about the lap record at Jerez to compare laptimes.

The fastest race lap at Jerez was a 1m23.135s set by Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Williams in 1997. More revelant is the quickest lap of last year's test here, which was a 1m18.971 by McLaren's Jenson Button.

Lewis Hamilton11:09 Hamilton has pitted now too. He did eight laps, starting off with low 1m22s before rising to high 1m23s.

11:10 @glenn_autosport: "Renault mechanic just took a few pics of the McLaren as it pitted. In fairness, he wasn't really close enough to get any detail shots"

11:11 Perez rejoins in the Sauber.

11:12 Massa also comes back out for Ferrari.

11:14 The recovering Kubica is very much at the centre of everyone's thoughts at Jerez today

Teams show support for Kubica at Jerez

11:15 It keeps on getting warmer in Spain, as the track temperature passes 30 degrees for the first time all day. It was seven degrees on track when we got underway at 9am. The air temperature is now 16.8.

11:16 On the track at the moment, both Massa and Perez are lapping in mid 1m23s, while Trulli is doing mid 1m26s.

Felipe Massa11:18 For the benefit of readers unfamiliar with F1 teams' testing habits, this isn't a radical aerodynamic piece on the Ferrari F150, it's one of the range of data measuring instruments that teams use in testing.

11:19 On this lap Massa is slowing on the straights and then regaining speed for a few corners before slowing again. Teams often ask drivers to carry out 'constant speed aero tests' by cruising down straights in testing.

11:19 Perez and Trulli have now pitted, so it's just Massa on the circuit.

11:23 Hamilton sets off again, while Massa pits, but heads straight past the garage so he can do a practice start at the pit exit.

11:23 Rosberg also leaves the pits. The Mercedes man has definitely done more start practice than anyone else today.

11:25 Massa pits again and this time returns to the Ferrari garage to end his run.

11:26 Hamilton and Rosberg remain out. The McLaren has started this run with a 1m22.7s. But it doesn't look like hes on a long stint - McLaren shows him the 'in' board.

11:27 Hamilton comes in, while Perez has gone out and done a drivethrough down the pitlane early in his run.

11:29 Webber is the next to set off. The Red Bull is currently fourth in the order.

11:30 Perez's last stint showed the same instant tyre drop-off then leveling out that we were seeing in Valencia, he lapped in: 21.4, 23.3, 24.9, 25.7, 26.3, 26.3, 26.7, 27.9

Nico Rosberg11:30 Rosberg is onto the fourth lap of his current run, all in mid-1m25s so far.

11:31 Rosberg is chasing Webber on the track, the pair running about three seconds apart at the moment.

11:34 We haven't seen a flying lap from the new Virgin yet, and here's why, courtesy of @MarussiaVirgin: "Working on a couple of reliability issues at the moment. Hope to be out soon."

11:35 @glenn_autosport: "Webber joined the fray just ahead of Rosberg, and in the space of three laps has cleared off. Hope for Merc's sake that's fuel-load related"

11:37 Webber's current run started with a 1m23.2s, then went up to 1m24.8s, and has been getting quicker again on recent laps. He's currently on 1m23.9s.

11:37 Rosberg is doing low 1m26s, Perez low 1m24s.

11:38 Perez now comes back in as Hamilton rejoins.

11:43 Webber has pitted, after a six-lap run that ended up mostly in high 1m23s. Massa now sets off for another stint in the Ferrari.

11:44 Massa comes into the pits at the end of his first lap, goes straight to the pit exit, lighting up the rear tyres on the way, then does a fully-fledged practice start.

Unlike other drivers' practice starts earlier, this was a full-on race simulation version, including sitting at pre-determined revs as if forming up on the grid.

11:46 It looks like Massa's first lap was simulating the drive to the grid, and the second was a formation lap, as he then came back into the pits after a slow lap and did another full-on practice start.

11:46 Our theory that Massa is doing a race simulation is dented as he comes in for another practice start...

11:47 Perez is also now back in action.

11:48 Massa's now doing a fourth consecutive practice start.

Felipe Massa11:49 @TeamAnglais: "wouldn't be surprised if Ferrari are by far the best at driving in and out of the pits in 2011 - that's all Massa seems to be practicing"

11:51 While Massa, just for a change, pits again, Hamilton leaves the garage and joins Perez on the circuit.

11:51 Latest on Ferrari start practice is that Massa had a bit more wheelspin on attempt number five.

11:53 And now Massa heads back into the garage. Starts sorted, we assume.

11:53 Meanwhile, on the circuit, Hamilton improves his time to a 1m21.914s.

11:54 That puts him ahead of Webber into fourth.

11:54 Perez is four laps into a run that is averaging in the mid-1m25s.

11:55 He now pits, as does Hamilton, so the track is empty again.

11:56 We're coming up to the halfway point of today's session, and Massa remains fastest ahead of Perez and Ricciardo, with Hamilton now up to fourth and Webber fifth.

11:56 Still no lap times from Maldonado's Williams, the new Virgin or the new Force India so far today, though all have done installation laps.

11:57 While it's quiet, remember you can email your questions to for our team to answer.

11:57 Ben Panettiere asks: I understand that the adjustable rear wing will be activated by the proximity of the car in front during the race. Can the drivers adjust them manually during testing, practice and qualifying to maximise/minimise downforce to gain a better time?

AUTOSPORT F1 editor @eddstrawF1 says:

The use of the adjustable rear wing is only regulated during the race. In testing, practice and qualifying, it can be used as much as the driver likes – so the way it is used on Saturday afternoon in particular will be critical to where you line up on the grid.

11:58 Looks like it will be a while before we see the new Force India out again. @clubforce: "A couple of hours' downtime while we work on a teething problem. We'll be out again this afternoon"

11:59 Perez still has the highest mileage of the day with 60 laps completed.

12:00 Here's the full list for the morning: Massa 51, Perez 60, Ricciardo 24, Hamilton 37, Webber 38, Petrov 14, Trulli 35, Rosberg 41, Glock 1, Maldonado 2, Sutil 1

12:03 Hamilton went back into the pits after posting his best time of the day: 1m21.914s

Now the Briton is back out again

12:04 Perez and Trulli have joined him

12:05 @MyTeamLotus: Last run of the morning session about to go - then it's lunchtime before we start again this afternoon

12:06 Maybe we can find out about what the drivers are having for lunch this week too

12:07 Trulli just had a huge wobble through Turn 4

12:07 Chris Nicolaides asks: I heard there will be some testing of the rear wings under simulated race conditions. Do you know when that is scheduled for? features editor @TeamAnglais says: There is talk of an informal simulation taking place at some point during this test, but there will be a properly-organised one during the Bahrain test.

12:08 Perez is hunting down the Lotus of Trulli

Jarno Trulli12:11 Trulli is currently on the fourth lap of his current run. Lapping in the 1m28s and 1m29s. Then he will have lunch

12:13 Jonas Fynboe Ebert asks: Do you reckon Mercedes GP will be strong this year? They haven't impressed in the first tests, but could they be holding back? It is sad to see them so far behind the top teams in laptimes.

AUTOSPORT F1 editor @eddstrawF1 says:

I have serious concerns about where Mercedes is at the moment, although I must add the caveat that drawing conclusions based on the first test is very dangerous. Ignoring the laptimes, I'm hearing that those inside the team are not delighted with the way the car is performing. If that is the case, Mercedes could be looking at a similar year to 2010.

Having said that, even if Mercedes is struggling right now, that isn't to say that things can't be turned around. In 2008, BMW was in serious trouble early in testing, but at the final test got the car working and Robert Kubica was leading the championship after the Canadian Grand Prix.

There are some capable people at Mercedes and Ross Brawn's leadership can't be under-estimated, so it's best to reserve judgement.

Going back to laptimes, you have to be very careful judging teams based on that in testing. Fuel makes a huge difference (three-tenths of a second per 10kg at Valencia) and teams will be concentrating on their development programmes. This idea that teams are sandbagging early in testing is misleading for the simple reason that no one is chasing headline times. Context is everything.

12:14 Webber, Petrov and Trulli are sharing the track at the moment

12:14 The Russian is back out after he was sidelined for a while with an oil leak

12:16 Trulli is now ready for lunch, having returned to the pits after a six-lap run with an average time of 1m28.272s

McLaren12:18 Here's the latest shot of McLaren's rear as the mystery over exhausts continues

12:20 We've had a few questions about who is running KERS this year...

It's only the three new teams not running it this season: Lotus, Virgin and Hispania.

It's worth mentioning that Virgin's Nick Wirth said last week that KERS was only worth 0.3 seconds, and the new teams are looking for bigger chunks than that

12:20 No action on track at the moment

12:24 Petrov heads back out in the Renault

Force India detail12:25 Edward Wilmore asks: Is there a view on the legality of the Lotus and Force India "blade" roll over hoop yet?

AUTOSPORT F1 editor @eddstrawF1 says: There is a very clear view that it is unquestionably legal. The regulations have changed since last season, effectively mandating a roll "spike" that is stronger.

Here is the rule in question: Article 15.2.4 of the technical regulations.

2011: "The principal roll structure must have a minimum enclosed structural cross section of 10000mm2, in vertical projection, across a horizontal plane 50mm below its highest point. The area thus established must not exceed 200mm in length or width and may not be less than 10000mm2 below this point."

The modified rule gives less flexibility in how you package the roll spike, dictates an enclosed cross section and effectively mandates a thicker, and therefore stronger, structure.

It was felt that this would effectively outlaw such a design because a spike built to 2011 regulations is a serious blockage to the airbox. However, Lotus and Force India think they have managed to get around this with the way they have profiled the air intakes and spike. Technical bods that I have spoken to have questioned the wisdom of the design, but not the legality.

12:29 Dan Chambers asks: I'm wondering what's going on with the teams that have done installation laps but no running (Williams, Force India and Virgin)?

Well, in the case of Force India and Virgin they are basically running their cars properly for the first time today, so installation laps are the norm.

As for Williams we are not quite sure yet.

12:30 Unlike in the past, there is no mandatory stoppage for lunch this time, but most teams seem to have stopped to eat because there is nothing going on on track

12:32 Petrov breaks the silence as he returns to the circuit

12:33 And back in...

12:35 Adam Shipway asks: Has Ricciardo finished his running for the day? I believe he was only supposed to run in the morning, but was hoping we would see more than 24 laps from him.

Yep. Jaime Alguersuari is scheduled to drive in the afternoon

12:36 Webber completes another timed lap: 1m25.115s

12:38 A 1m24.336s for the Australian, who is the only driver completing full laps at the moment. Petrov keeps going in and out

12:40 Thanks to @WilliamsF1Team for the update: Simple problem with the rear wing actuator this morning. Easy to fix, but caused a lot of downtime because of the installation in the top of the gearbox

12:41 @MarussiaVirgin: Green light for fire up now. So hopefully going our soon

12:41 Three-lap run for Webber so far: 1m23.859s is his best

Rear wing12:45 Stephen Davison asks: Could there be a situation where drivers are given the light to show that they are allowed to adjust the rear wing, but as they do so they just slightly drift away from the 1sec distance allowed? What will be the punishment for infringing the one-second rule?

AUTOSPORT's F1 editor @eddstrawf1 says: The adjustable rear wing will only be available for use when the FIA timing system releases it, so there is no way to adjust it when not allowed unless there is some kind of problem.

The one-second rule applies to two timing loops, demarked by painted lines on the approach to the corner before the designated overtaking straight, and provided you are within one second at both of those points, you will be able to use the system. Even if you lose a few tenths in the corner and start the designated passing zone over a second behind, the wing will still be usable.

12:47 Seven laps for Webber during the current stint, and he keeps going

12:50 Richard White wants to know who is driving for McLaren on Saturday...

It's Hamilton

12:53 Glock is back on track with the new Virgin, having completed just an installation lap so far

12:54 Webber is still running: Eleven timed laps for the Red Bull driver on this stint

12:54 Compatriot Ricciardo joins him and Glock on track

12:57 Gabriel Hui asks: What was last year's best time at the Jerez circuit and who has set the benchmark this year so far?

Last year the fastest time was set by Button: 1m18.871s

And this year, look at the times on the right...

12:58 Glock has completed his first timed laps of the day

12:59 Sixteen laps for Webber, and he keeps going

13:00 Owen Hamilton asks: Is Perez running low fuel or is the new Sauber/Perez as good as his time suggests?

Your guess is as good as ours, but times are likely to change as the session progresses anyway.

13:03 Jaime Alguersuari takes to the track, having taken over from Toro Rosso team-mate Ricciardo. The Spaniard sets s best time of 1m25.530s

13:03 Webber watch: 18 laps and counting

13:05 And that's the end of Webber's run. Eighteen laps covered with an average of 1m23.864s, a best of 1m23.035s and a worst of 1m26.603s

13:08 Not much happening on track at the moment

13:09 Petrov leaves the pits once more

Mark Webber13:11 Not as high-tech as the forward exhausts, but there's another trend in Formula 1 this year: beards

If Heidfeld races this year it could be one of the hairiest seasons ever

13:13 Some more insight into Webber's stint:

Rather than his times dropping off after the first laps, he got faster, increased pace steadily over the first 10 laps, then decreased slightly towards the end: 25.1, 24.3, 23.8, 23.7, 23.5, 23.5, 23.4, 23.1, 23.0, 23.9, 23.1, 23.2, 26.6, 23.0, 23.3, 23.5, 24.1, 24.7.

His average of 1m23.864s was inflated by the single 1m26s lap. Will keep an eye out for other leading teams when they attempt similar runs.

13:15 Mexican fans want to know how's the crowd at Jerez.'s features editor @TeamAnglais says: There's a decent crowd. I wouldn't like to guess a figure but most of the stands near the paddock have scatterings of fans. And I did see a Mexican flag on our way through the grandstand at the chicane

13:18 Sutil and Maldonado are still sitting at the bottom of the times without a timed lap completed

13:20 Petrov goes out again. The Russian has returned straight back into the pits six times in a row now

13:23 mawerickin asks: While other teams are making such a hue and cry about lack of more testing, what has made HRT do a photo session giving up on a entire test? Are they being paid for photo filming?

Well, it would have been easier and cheaper to stay in Spain and test with the rest of the teams, so you have to think that, yes, they are getting paid to do it. That's our opinion, at least.

13:24 Alguersuari jumps up to sixth position with a 1m22.897s lap

Fans13:26 Jos Verstappen fans at Jerez?

13:28 Alguersuari goes even quicker, but still stays in sixth: 1m22.689s

13:31 The quickest man so far, Felipe Massa, heads back out of the pits once more after 1.5 hours in the garage

13:33 Glock is also on track with the Virgin

13:35 This time Massa stays on track for a timed lap: 1m25.771s

13:35 As Rosberg is back out in the Mercedes

Red Bull13:37 At least it looks like Toro Rosso's exhausts do not point forward

13:39 Four-lap stint for Massa so far

13:40 Some questions about the race strategy for Monza.

It may be a little early to answer that...

13:41 Another reader wants to know when is Fernando Alonso driving.

He will take over from Massa on Saturday and Sunday. The Brazilian drives today and tomorrow

13:42 Speaking of which, Massa has stopped in the pits after a four-lap run with an average time of 1m26.536s

Sergio Perez13:44 We've had a few people asking if the Sauber pace is genuine, considering how quick its car was in 2010 testing before flopping during the season.

AUTOSPORT's news editor @glenn_autosport says: While we don't know what sort of programme Sergio Perez is on today, it's worth noting that the team admitted the reasons behind its testing form last year.

The Swiss outfit said that it was probably one of the only teams to do any proper qualifying runs last winter, so while it was showing its full potential and looking pretty good, everyone else was holding back. That would have partly been a hunt for sponsors, but also just a decision on the team's part (remember BMW pulled out over the winter) to see exactly what kind of performance it had with the car BMW left behind.

13:50 Lap count so far... Massa 57, Perez 66, Ricciardo 36, Hamilton 40, Webber 67, Alguersuar 14, Petrov 34, Trulli 43, Rosberg 46, Glock 19, Maldonado 2, Sutil 1

13:51 Petrov entertains the crowd with some massive burnouts down the pitlane before doing a practice start

13:51 He was probably warming up the tyres rather than trying to entertain the crowd though...

13:52 Rosberg sets his quickest time of the day: 1m23.963s. Good enough for seventh

13:54 For all those asking, here is the schedule for the Jerez test (drivers and all)...

13:57 David Surgenor wants to know if Kimi Raikkonen has been completely ruled out as a replacement for Kubica.

While you can never say never in F1, there are a few strong reasons to think he is out the running. For starters he has a contract to compete in the WRC, and Renault has not mentioned his name as a possible candidate at all.

McLaren14:00 Could this be the mysterious McLaren exhaust?

14:00 Massa, Alguersuari and Rosberg out on track at the moment

14:00 Perez too now

14:02 AUTOSPORT's news editor @glenn_autosport adds this on the Raikkonen question: As well as the contract issue, it's worth considering that it takes a driver more than four weeks to get up to F1 levels of fitness.

Kimi was hardly a fitness freak during his time in F1, and he is unlikely to have upped his efforts in the gym in his first year of WRC. So a last-minute return might not appeal to him. I'm sure he'll get asked about it in Sweden this weekend though.

14:04 Renault enjoying Spain: @OfficialLRGP The sun is out, hardly a cloud in the sky, and the track temp is 28 degrees. This is why we come winter testing in Spain!

14:05 Force India is yet to return to the track after the first installation lap. The team said earlier it was working on a teething problem and that it would be back in action in the afternoon

14:07 Meanwhile at Abu Dhabi, GP2 Asia racing is back and Romain Grosjean has secured pole position:

Grosjean on pole for Asia opener

14:11 Felipe Massa in on a ten-lap stint now. The Ferrari driver has managed 68 laps, only behind Sergio Perez, who is on 73

14:14 Webber is 67, Rosberg on 63, Trulli 43, Hamilton 40, Petrov and Ricciardo 36, Alguersuari 21, Glock 19, Maldonado 2, Sutil 1

Felipe Massa14:16 Thirteen laps on this stint for Massa, with consistent times except for a 1m30s and a 1m28s

14:16 Petrov improves his best lap to a 1m23.978s. Still eighth quickest

14:19 Rosberg completed a 17-lap run with an average of 1m25.560s, then pitted, and return to the track right away

14:19 Red flag

14:19 Rosberg, Alguersuari, Massa and Petrov were out when the red flag came out. And Petrov has returned to the pits

14:20 It could be Rosberg, the only driver who has not returned yet

14:21 Rosberg seems to have stopped in sector 2 of the track

14:23 That's the second red flag of the day following this morning's stoppage, caused by Perez

Nico Rosberg14:26 And while we wait, some insight from @TeamAnglais: I'll let someone else decide when it's the right time to start worrying about the pace of the Mercedes. But here are the details of the 14-lap run Rosberg just did before he stopped:

28.1, 23.9, 23.9, 24.4, 24.5, 24.3, 24.6, 25.0, 26.2, 25.4, 25.3, 26.1, 26.0, 25.7

He then pitted a couple of times but rejoined without refuelling or changing tyres:

26.5, 27.1, 26.8

Earlier, Webber was consistently in the 1m23s over a similar 19-lap run. Massa dipped into the 1m22s and then 1m24s late on two long runs. The only other car to do a stint as long as 12 laps so far is Trulli, and he dropped from 1m24/25s to 1m26s at the end.

14:31 Johan Bagewitz asks: Just wondering how you think Renault would justify choosing Nick Heidfeld as the replacement driver for Robert Kubica over Bruno Senna. Didn’t Eric Boullier say that in the unlikely case that something like this would happen they would choose Senna? You can't really misinterpret that, right?

AUTOSPORT's news editor @glenn_autosport says: Eric Boullier has addressed his comments since Robert Kubica's accident. He has said that his initial comments about Senna were in reference to if Renault ever needed a stand-in for a short period of time.

But with the chances of Kubica's absence being anything up to a full season, the team is looking for a replacement under different circumstances to those Boullier was considering when asked at the Renault launch.

Bruno is still in the mix - and will get a chance to test for the team this weekend - but the general feeling coming out of the team is that it needs an experienced campaigner if a long-term stand-in is required.

14:32 Less than 90 minutes of the session remaining. Red flag is still out as Rosberg's car is recovered

14:38 Mark Harrison asks: Are McLaren showing their true hand at the moment?'s managing editor@EliGP says: The answer to that could be the answer to the same question about any other team right now. This is testing and therefore it is very hard to know what each team is doing or what levels of fuels they are running.

Also, McLaren is running its new car for the very first time today and, after just 40 laps there is clearly a lot more to extract from it.

We will have a clearer picture in the next test in Barcelona.

14:39 Remember you can still send your questions to

14:41 Alejandro Burger asks: Any info about Maldonado's problem today in Jerez?

Yes: there was a problem with the rear wing actuator. The team said it was easy to fix, but caused a lot of down time because of the installation at the top of the gearbox

14:44 Green flag

14:44 Massa, Alguersuari and Sutil straight out of the pits

14:46 Sutil is yet to complete a timed lap in the new Force India VJM04

Andrian Sutil14:48 And that is not the case anymore. The German posts a 1m26.442s, leaving Maldonado as the only driver without a time

14:50 After that, Sutil is back into the pits

14:52 Massa coming in and going out a few times. He set a lap of 1m22.3s before returning to the pits

14:54 Another red flag

14:54 This time the culprit is Petrov, who has spun into the gravel at Turn 1

14:56 The Renault sits backwards in the gravel as the team dispatches a van of mechanics equipped with cooling fans

14:57 The mechanics are doing all sorts of work on the car before they let the marshals touch it to start the recovery process

15:00 We enter the final hour of today's session

15:00 And the red flag is still out while the Renault is brought back into the pits

15:01 After what seems like the longest process ever to attach a rope to the car to lift it out, the cover goes on the Renault

15:03 Mild panic from the mechanics as the car is lifted up. They're giving it a thorough inspection before allowing it to be put on the back of the truck

15:03 Spinning at Turn 1 is very convenient because the camera catches all the action and it's broadcast in the media room. We encourage all teams to spin at Turn 1

15:06 Finally, the Renault is on the back of the truck and heading to the pits. Good job it wasn't any further away than Turn 1!

15:08 Green flag should be out as soon s the Renault is back in the garage. Less than an hour left

Vitaly Petrov15:11 Petrov had managed 47 laps before his spin. Whether he returns to action will depend on the speed of Renault's mechanics to clean the car and check it's all okay

15:12 Renault is now making sure the car comes off the truck as slowly as it went on it

15:14 The car is finally back in the garage. Now we just need the truck to leave the pitlane

15:14 And as that happens, it's green flag again

15:16 Sutil, Glock, Perez, Webber and Massa on track

15:17 In F1 news, Ferrari has renamed its F1 car to end the dispute with Ford...

Ferrari rebrands car after dispute

15:18 Hamilton is finally back on track

15:19 The McLaren driver had not been out of the pits since around 2pm, over two hours ago

15:20 That didn't last long. He's back in

15:22 Sutil now jumps onto the track with the Force India. Just eight laps for the German so far, but he's better off than Maldonado, who is yet to post a time with the Williams

15:24 And as we say that, Maldonado heads out of the pits

15:24 Only Trulli, Petrov and Alguersuari are not on track at the moment

15:25 Tenth lap for Sutil, who posts his best time yet: 1m25.055s

Pastor Maldonado15:26 Maldonado returned to the pits after an installation lap. Still no time for the Venezuelan

15:27 Glock goes quicker on his first flyer of the run: 1m25.086s

15:28 Massa has been the busiest man by some margin: 87 laps so far. Perez follows on 79

15:30 Daniel Hlawatsch asks: Is there any info why the Mercedes stopped? Also, do you know if Mercedes is planning to come up with further updates or did they show us what they got already?

No info yet, we are afraid. As for the updates, there is probably no team not taking a big upgrade to Bahrain, and that applies to Mercedes too.

15:30 Just 30 minutes left of this session

15:32 Maldonado leaves the pits again. Hopefully this time we will see a time from him

15:33 Six-lap run for Massa so far, consistently in the 1m22s except for a 1m29s

15:34 Glock drives his Virgin car back into the pits after a five-lap run. Average laptime: 1m28.083s

15:35 Dana Benner asks: Why do the teams only use one car during the tests? Is it cost, rule-based or just the fact that there is no point playing with set-up feedback from two different drivers at the same time?

AUTOSPORT F1 editor @eddstrawF1 says: It's cost-driven by agreement with the teams. If they could, most would run two cars because that amounts to twice the data and twice the running time.

If managed properly, there would be no conflict between the work that the two cars did. Effectively, you could up the 15 days of testing allowed to 30 by running two cars.

15:36 With 25 minutes left, Maldonado completes his first timed lap of the day: 1m36.297s

Jarno Trulli15:37 Suzie Jones asks: When teams like Lotus, HRT and Force India do deals to buy power-trains from other teams, do they literally get crates of gearboxes, or is it an exchange of IP?

AUTOSPORT F1 editor @eddstrawF1 says: Their deals will be to receive the gearboxes as a complete unit, much in the same way as engine supply deals work.

Incidentally, it's worth noting that the Williams gearbox in the HRT is a 2010 example, rather than a 2011 specification.

15:38 After seven laps, Maldonado has improved to a 1m35.482s

15:39 Trulli also improves in the Lotus: 1m24.458s

15:40 1m35.174s for Maldonado, who continues to improve in the Williams

15:41 Petrov returned to the track after his spin and has jumped up from eighth to seventh with a time of 1m23.537s

15:42 Maldonado is back in the pits. The four quickest men (today) are on track at the moment

Nico Rosberg15:45 Jim Devereauxa asks: Why are Mercedes still running the same two-element front wing that for the most part has not changed since Brawn introduced it back in 2009 (coincidentally at the same time they had a big drop off in form that year)? Virtually every other team has massively updated theirs and stuck with the three-element concept. Surely it would be sensible to at least test a three-element concept, would it not?

AUTOSPORT's F1 editor @eddstrawf1 says: I'm sure that they have continued to look closely at a three-element design. The basic advantage of a two-element front wing is more surface area and therefore more downforce, but it is far more prone to airflow separation. The team, which as you say, went two-element in 2009 as its form dropped off, but seems committed to making the design work.

There may be some specific reasons for doing this that might only apply to that car; remember, the front wing doesn't work in isolation and they may feel the way the two-element design interacts with the rest of the car is advantageous. As you say, the team is going against the trend, so it's possible that it's the wrong direction – but there's far more to Mercedes's struggles than that I expect.

15:46 Sutil moves up to eighth in the Force India with a lap of 1m23.701s

15:47 @clubforce: Adrian out on track completing longer runs. Not going for times today, just putting mileage on the car.

15:50 Trulli and Sutil improve their laptimes, but not their positions, as the test enters the final ten minutes

15:50 Massa, in the pits, is three laps short of the 100 mark

15:52 Perez 88, Webber 86, Rosberg 67, Petrov 54, Hamilton 53, Trulli 48, Alguersuari 38, Glock 37, Ricciardo 36, Sutil 21, Maldonado 9

15:55 Webber has jumped ahead of Hamilton and Ricciardo and is now third with a 1m21.522s

15:55 Five minutes left

15:55 All drivers on track except Petrov

15:55 It promises to be a busy final minutes

15:57 Alguersuari, Petrov and Trulli seem to be done for the day

15:57 Nope, Trulli heads back out...

15:59 Petrov also joins the track, as Glock is back in the pits and we can say with some confidence his day is over...

15:59 Massa enters his 99th lap

16:00 That's around 1.5 grand prix distances

16:01 Petrov completes a late flyer to improve to a 1m23.504s

16:02 Chequered flag is out

16:02 Some cars completing their final lap

16:03 Maldonado sets his best time of the day - 1m34.968s - but still finishes at the bottom

16:04 Rosberg and Perez at the last ones to return to the pits

Felipe Massa16:06 As all cars are back in their garages, it's Felipe Massa who finishes on top of the times.

The Ferrari driver has also been the busiest man today with 101 laps covered, kicking off the Jerez test in perfect fashion.

16:06 Massa will continue at the wheel of the Ferrari tomorrow before handing over his car to Fernando Alonso on Saturday

16:07 Join us tomorrow from 9am CET (8am GMT) for more live coverage of the test.

Thank you for tuning in

P Driver Team Time
1  MassaFerrari 1m20.709s
2  PerezSauber 1m21.483s  +0.774
3  WebberRed Bull 1m21.522s  +0.813
4  RicciardoToro Rosso 1m21.755s  +1.046
5  HamiltonMcLaren 1m21.914s  +1.205
6  AlguersuariToro Rosso 1m22.689s  +1.980
7  SutilForce India 1m23.472s  +2.763
8  PetrovRenault 1m23.504s  +2.795
9  RosbergMercedes 1m23.963s  +3.254
10  TrulliLotus 1m24.458s  +3.749
11  GlockVirgin 1m25.086s  +4.377
12  MaldonadoWilliams 1m34.968s  +14.259
All timing unofficial. Updated: 16:03 GMT
Clear skies High Temp: 19°C / 66°F
Track: Dry
Loading info ...