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As it happened: Test day two
By Pablo Elizalde and Matt Beer
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
07:59 Good morning and welcome to day two of the third and final pre-season Formula 1 test from Barcelona's Catalunya circuit.

08:01 Looks like we might be in for a quiet start to the morning, with messages being relayed that fog here will delay the start of the test.

08:04 Once the fog clears, we're expecting another sunny day here, with a top temperature of 15 degrees.

08:08 At the moment, there's no way the track's medical helicopter would be able to fly with the current level of fog, and testing cannot start until the weather clears enough for the safety procedures.

08:09 The fog is relatively bad - we can still clearly see the grandstands opposite us on the pits straight, but from our media centre vantage point near the startline, we can't see the track's final corner.

08:10 McLaren isn't wasting any time, though - pitstop practice is underway while the team waits to take to the track.

08:16 The sun is trying to break through now.

08:17 Security guards at the paddock entrance shivering as they munch their way thorugh the chorizio sandwiches.

08:17 Our breakfast choice was none too shabby - a basic croissant/meat/cheese, pain au chocolat arrangement. But the tea was disappointing.

08:18 While we kill time discussing food, teams have been handily tweeting fog pictures so we can give you an idea of conditions.

08:19 This is what @MyCaterhamF1 can see

08:20 Sauber's @OfficialSF1Team invites us to play 'spot the race control tower'

08:21 Pirelli's @PaulHembery reckons Formula 1 needs to adapt to the fog rallying-style: "Hmmm we need some of those lights from WRC , Kimi would be ready to rock."

Copter08:24 When this helicopter can see enough to take off and fly somewhere, then it will be safe to start the session.

08:25 Our first medical helicopter shot of 2012 Live testing and it's covered in fog. That would break the heart of a former member of the AUTOSPORT team turned Formula 1 team media guru for whom a shiny medical helicopter was a source of great excitement.

08:26 Good news: track action will be underway in five minutes.

08:26 We can hear engines firing up in the pitlane as teams prepare to get going.

08:26 So that gives you five minutes to do a bit of catch-up reading if you missed yesterday's events.

08:27 Lotus made a pretty spectacular return after its enforced week two absence, as Romain Grosjean set the fastest time:

Grosjean quickest for Lotus on day one

08:28 And in our testing blog for AUTOSPORT Plus subscribers, Jonathan Noble pondered the plight of Marussia and HRT, the only teams whose 2012 cars haven't made it out yet:

Inside testing: Barcelona daily blog

08:29 Green flag and we're off.

08:29 First out is Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, followed by home hero Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari.

08:30 Alonso's presence in the Ferrari cockpit explains the bigger crowd turnout today - probably as many fans in the stands already as there were by peak time on Thursday.

08:32 Next out, Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull and Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham.

08:32 The Finn is making a return to the cockpit after food poisoning kept him out of action yesterday - and promptly some... detailed... tweets.

08:35 There's a message on the timing screen saying that only installation laps are allowed at present.

08:36 So that's exactly what Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso), Romain Grosjean (Lotus) and Pastor Maldonado (Williams) do, while Kobayashi has gone back out twice for further systems checks without setting a time.

08:38 Quick debate among the AUTOSPORT Live team - can you have more than one installation lap, or does it become a systems check once you've been out once? Email and help us decide...

08:39 Nico Hulkenberg is now out for Force India.

08:40 Track temperature is 13.9 degrees, which is about four degrees lower than at this time yesterday.

08:41 Out goes Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes. His team-mate Nico Rosberg managed 128 laps yesterday - how many will the seven-time champion notch up today?

08:42 The only car we haven't seen on track yet is the McLaren.

08:43 Of course you don't just have to email to tell us where you stand on the 'can you do more than one installation lap or does it then become a system check/shakedown' debate, you can also email us your questions for our team of experts in the paddock.

08:43 And now Lewis Hamilton and McLaren make their first appearance of the day.

08:44 The 2008 world champion wasn't in the car when the team was practicing pitstops during the fog delay earlier.

08:46 In the space of just 10 minutes, the track temperature has gone up almost four degrees to 17.8. That's the sun breaking through.

08:48 Everyone has now done at least one installation lap, and Vettel has popped back out for a second.

Fog08:49 It's now less foggy than it was earlier, but here's photographic evidence of why we started half an hour late.

08:53 Caterham's enthusiasm for Yazoo prompts a disapproving headshake from AUTOSPORT's Jamie O'Leary, as @MyCaterhamF1 provides this update: "Installation lap done & while the car's being checked we're on an 80s tune tip in the office"

08:54 Red flag.

08:54 Maldonado's Williams has stopped between the Turn 5 hairpin and the following uphill bend. That seems to be a popular place for cars to grind to a halt this week.

08:54 Wonder why all the cars keep stopping at the place that's nearest to the back entrance to the paddock...?

08:56 The timing screen reports that no oil was spilled on track.

08:58 Green flag again.

08:58 The Williams is back in the pitlane on a low-loader after swift work by the Spanish marshals.

08:58 Maldonado was slowest yesterday, 2s off Grosjean's pacesetting Lotus.

09:01 Kovalainen and Hamilton are first back out after the session resumed.

09:02 A quiet first hour update for you: no one has set a time yet as we were half an hour late starting due to fog, and then Maldonado caused a red flag. Kobayashi has the highest mileage tally so far with three out/in-laps.

09:02 But now Kovalainen goes through to start what we hope will be a flying lap in the Caterham.

09:03 And here's the first time of the day from the Caterham: a 1m32.074s.

09:03 That's about 7s where his team-mate Vitaly Petrov ended up yesterday.

09:04 Looks like Vergne is on a flyer now too.

09:04 Hamilton has been sweeping right over towards the pitwall on his laps so far, and Schumacher does likewise now.

09:04 Kovalainen improves his pace to a 1m31.786s.

09:06 Kovalainen goes quicker again, reaching 1m31.149s on the soft tyres.

09:07 Alonso gives the home crowd something to cheer for by going fastest with a 1m25.324s on the soft tyres.

09:08 Pitstop practice is McLaren's focus so far, as Hamilton is yet to do a full flying lap.

09:09 Alonso drops down to a 1m23.990s, and Grosjean starts his day with a 1m24.131s.

09:09 Grosjean beats Alonso to the top spot with a 1m23.782s.

09:09 The Lotus is running on hard tyres, the Ferrari was on softs.

09:10 Alonso and Grosjean now both lapping in 1m24.1s.

09:10 While Vettel does a practice pitstop, is held for a while, then sets out on mediums.

09:11 Alonso continues through and is now lapping in the 1m27s.

09:12 That pacesetting lap from Grosjean is only 0.5s off yesterday's best time.

09:12 Which makes it an impressive early-morning effort on hard rubber.

09:13 Another practice stop for McLaren.

09:13 And Vergne comes in for another one too, as Toro Rosso also sharpens its tyre changing skills.

09:15 Alonso comes into the pits after a stint that went 1m25.3s, 1m23.9s, 1m24.1s, then 1m27s and 1m43s.

09:17 Silence descends over the Circuit de Catalunya as all cars pit... but only briefly before Vergne and Schumacher go out.

09:17 Vergne pits after just one lap, though.

09:18 Earlier we were debating whether you could have multiple installation laps or whether after one installation lap those out/in runs became something like systems checks. And we asked you to send your thoughts on the matter to

09:19 Graham's analysis pretty much represents the consensus - you CAN have multiple installation laps if you're still installing something: "By true definition 'Installation' means act of installing or the state of being installed, so a number of installation laps could be done by this very definition. That leaves us with systems checks which may follow after a number of installation laps."

09:21 Schumacher does a 1m25.639s on soft tyres to go third. Alonso's second-place time was also done on softs, while pacesetter Grosjean used hards for his 1m23.782s.

09:21 Kobayashi now comes out on medium tyres.

09:23 Schumacher improves his pace by a tenth, getting down to 1m25.520s, then immediately slows.

09:24 Red flag.

09:24 We were wondering why a pick-up truck was driving across the track...

09:24 Schumacher's Mercedes caused the problem.

09:24 It has come to a halt at Turn 7.

09:24 Just before then, Kobayashi did a 1m30.970s to go fourth.

09:25 And Vergne dived in for yet another Toro Rosso practice pitstop.

09:26 @MyCaterhamF1: Would be time for run 3 but a red flag holds Heikki in the garage. Front wing flap and front anti roll bar being adjusted.

09:27 No oil reported on the track where Schumacher stopped.

09:27 It's taking a while to get the Mercedes moved.

09:27 Car is actually on the track, although off line. The previous stoppages have been for cars off the track next to the barriers.

09:28 A low loader is now in attendance.

09:31 The W03 is loaded onto the back of the truck.

09:33 And back to green.

09:34 Kobayashi is first out with a set of medium tyres on his Sauber.

09:35 And here's Kovalainen on the same rubber.

09:36 Red Bull crew rush out and do a practice stop for Vettel.

09:37 As a result of the earlier fog delay, the session has been extended until 5.30pm local time today.

09:37 Red Bull's pitstop was rapid and Vettel is out on softs.

09:38 Hulkenberg is out on hard tyres and does his best lap of the day - a 1m25.882s puts the Force India fourth.

09:38 Kovalainen does a new personal best of 1m28.657s in fifth for Caterham then pits.

09:39 Faster again for Hulkenberg as he goes third with a 1m25.506s on hard tyres. That periscope device isn't slowing the Force India.

09:40 Alonso is back out and goes fastest with a 1m23.447s, beating Grosjean by three tenths.

09:40 Vettel does another practice pitstop.

09:40 Alonso's lap is within 0.2s of the time that put Grosjean on top yesterday.

09:41 Alonso is running on hard tyres, and does a 1m23.5s next time around.

09:42 And the press room tours start. Good morning tourists.

09:42 Vettel does another practice pitstop. Like McLaren and Toro Rosso, Red Bull has done quite a lot of running so far without going for flying laps yet.

09:43 Alonso's third lap on this set of hard tyres is a 1m23.9s.

09:43 Does that suggest the rubber has a two-lap peak then a 0.4s drop-off?

09:44 Now a 1m24.1s for the consistent Ferrari.

09:44 As Vettel's latest practice pitstop sees him head out again on softs.

09:46 Up to 1m24.9s for Alonso that time around, but the delay could have been traffic.

09:47 The Ferrari is now the only car on the track.

09:49 Hulkenberg's recent run in the Force India lasted six laps, all between mid 1m25s and low 1m26s apart from a stray 1m31s.

09:49 Alonso now slows to a 1m35s as Vettel's crew practice another pitstop.

09:51 Alonso pitted after that slow lap, but now Grosjean is out again.

09:51 Will the Lotus reclaim the top spot it lost to Alonso during the Ferrari's latest run?

09:51 Not immediately, but he does close in - Grosjean laps in 1m23.528s to get to within 0.081s of Alonso.

09:55 Vettel's run of practice stops comes to an end as after the latest one he cut the engine and was wheeled back into the garage.

09:55 Vergne is out on medium tyres, as is Hamilton.

09:57 Vergne puts in a 1m24.260s to go third, as Hamilton does a 1m27.594s in sixth.

09:57 Those were the first proper flying laps of the day for both men.

09:58 Hamilton improves by over a second next time around and goes sixth.

09:59 Red flag.

10:00 That's our fourth stoppage of the morning already if you count the red flag that came out to cover the fog delay first thing.

10:00 This time it's for debris on the apex of Turn 2.

10:00 Looks like somebody may have hit a marker board.

10:00 Marshals are picking up what appears to be bits of polystyrene.

10:03 Good time for a two-hour update, and it's Alonso fastest ahead of Grosjean, then Vergne, Hulkenberg, Schumacher, Hamilton, Kobayashi and Kovalainen, and no times yet from Vettel and Maldonado.

10:04 While Vettel has done 13 laps but focused on pitstop practice and not done any flyers yet, the lack of a time from Maldonado is because the Williams stopped and caused a red flag on its third lap.

10:04 With Ferrari and Lotus at the front, it could almost be 1964 again... until you get to the very modern sounding Toro Rosso and Force India in third and fourth.

10:04 There a fire truck/rescue tender helping out with the marker board clear-up at Turn 2 now too.

10:06 Back to green, and out comes Vettel.

10:07 Daniel Ricciardo is browsing his mobile on the pit wall. Keeping up with events via AUTOSPORT Live?

10:09 Vettel's first flying lap of the day is a 1m26.368s, and that's good enough for sixth.

10:09 While the track temperature has reached 26.1 degrees.

10:12 Vettel goes ever so slightly faster next time around with a 1m26.340s, 0.027s better than his first lap, but he stays sixth.

Mercedes10:14 Schumacher is back out after his earlier problem. This is what the Mercedes looked like being lifted onto a truck not long ago.

10:14 Vettel pits and does a practice stop.

10:14 Schumacher immediately puts in his best lap so far, doing a 1m24.663s on hard tyres to demote Hulkenberg to fifth.

10:15 Hamilton goes fifth on medium tyres with a 1m24.709s lap.

10:17 Alonso very briefly came out on hard tyres and with the periscope measuring device on his Ferrari, but now pits again.

10:17 Hamilton improves to 1m24.613s, slipping ahead of Schumacher's Mercedes by 0.05s.

10:19 Hulkenberg pits after a four-lap run that kicked off with his current best of 1m24.995s, then went into mid 1m25s with a 1m31s in the middle.

10:20 Red flag.

10:21 It's for Schumacher in the gravel.

10:21 By the look of the wheel trails in the gravel trap, it seems the Mercedes just sailed straight on at Turn 5.

10:22 Five red flags already on this disjointed morning, and two of them caused by Schumacher's Mercedes.

10:22 For those of you on tyre watch, Schumacher went off while on hards.

10:22 We'll await word from the team on whether it was driver error or a technical problem that put Schumacher off the road.

10:24 The Mercedes is being craned out of the gravel bed and placed onto the low loader.

10:24 This is becoming a more complicated morning than the Mercedes mechanics would have hoped for.

10:25 Bit of a contrast to yesterday too, when Rosberg did 128 laps for Mercedes and ended the session in confident mood:

Rosberg: Delaying car debut was right

10:27 The covers are now on the Mercedes and it's touching down on the back of the truck again.

10:28 Despite causing two stoppages, Schumacher isn't actually too far behind on mileage. The Mercedes man has done 15 laps, whereas busiest driver of the morning Kobayashi has only had time to get 21 in.

10:28 Partly because people keep causing red flags...

10:31 Back to green again.

10:32 Alonso, Vettel and Kobayashi all rush out straight away.

10:35 Vettel is on hard tyres, the others are running mediums.

10:35 The French contingent - Vergne and Grosjean - come out too.

10:36 Another member of France's recent F1 influx is watching from the pits today, as reserve Jules Bianchi is in attendance at Force India.

10:36 But no sign of Charles Pic, with the 2012 Marussia not passing its crash tests in time.

10:37 Grosjean sets a new benchmark time in the first sector, but isn't so quick around the rest of the lap.

10:38 It's a 1m23.597s for Grosjean, 0.069s down on his earlier best.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso10:38 Vergne going quickly too, he cements his third place by improving to 1m23.922s.

10:40 Vergne banks another low 1m24s lap. Much like yesterday, Toro Rosso is doing a string of short, fast runs in the morning.

10:41 Grosjean and Vergne are both lapping in mid 1m24s.

10:42 Kovalainen and Hulkenberg back on track now, as Grosjean comes in.

10:43 Grosjean was out for three laps - a mid 1m23s, then a 1m26s, then a mid 1m24s.

10:43 Kovalainen is on mediums and improves to 1m26.274s in seventh place, just ahead of Vettel.

10:44 Improvement straightaway from Hulkenberg. Running on hard tyres, he does a 1m24.191s in fourth.

10:45 Hulkenberg then drops into 1m30s.

10:46 Now Hulkenberg picks up speed again with a personal best first sector. The rest of the lap is a bit slower, and he's a tenth off his previous best.

10:46 Actually, not quite a tenth - a modest 0.031s.

10:48 Vettel improves to fourth fastest with a 1m24.0s.

Sebastian Vettel10:49 Following on from yesterday's picture of Button peeping over a barrier with earplugs in and a bit of a quiff, we're going to celebrate Vettel's improvement with a picture of Vettel peeping over a barrier with his helmet balanced atop his head.

10:50 Kovalainen, Grosjean and Hulkenberg have all recently pitted to end runs.

10:51 Vettel bashes out another 1m24s lap.

10:53 Only Vettel on track at the moment, though it looks from here like Maldonado will be back out soon.

10:54 The Williams is currently stranded at the bottom of the timesheets, having only done two laps before it stopped earlier this morning.

10:56 No one has done more than seven laps in a stint so far today, looks like the programmes are short runs with new parts this morning before race simulations this afternoon.

10:56 We have news from Mercedes, but it's rather inconclusive... The team is still investigating whether Schumacher's gravel adventure was due to a car problem or driver error.

10:56 Maldonado puts in his best (and first) lap of the day with a 1m26.839s.

11:00 Now Maldonado improves to 1m25.801s, and that puts him eighth.

11:00 The Williams is now ahead of Kovalainen and Kobayashi.

11:03 But not for long, as Kovalainen jumps back in front of Maldonado to eighth with a 1m25.690s on soft tyres.

11:07 Just under an hour to go until the lunchbreak now, and it's still Alonso on top ahead of Grosjean, Vergne and Vettel.

11:08 Hamilton is back out and sets his best time of the day with a 1m24.249s, though it doesn't move him above his existing sixth place.

11:09 That time from the McLaren came on hard tyres.

11:10 Grosjean pits from a soft-tyre run, four rapid laps between mid 1m23s and mid 1m24s.

Force India11:13 Hulkenberg, on medium tyres, does his best lap of the day with a 1m23.993s and goes fourth for Force India.

11:15 Kobayashi does a 1m26.111s, but stays last, 0.3s behind nearest rival Maldonado.

11:16 Vettel improves to third place as he laps in 1m23.536s on hard tyres.

11:16 That was the start of the Red Bull's run.

11:16 The world champion is within 0.008s of Grosjean's second place now.

11:19 Still no one doing very long runs - Alonso's seven-lap stint on hards, which included the day's top time, is the longest we've had so far.

11:19 Current slowest man Kobayashi also did seven straight laps, on medium tyres.

11:20 Alonso's run saw a 2.5s drop-off, while Kobayashi's times went up by 2.4s.

11:24 Hulkenberg does his best first sector time so far.

11:24 And that results in a new best lap time for the Force India, which improves to 1m23.893s but stays fourth.

11:25 Hulkenberg is just 0.029s ahead of Vergne.

11:25 And it's very close at the top, where only 0.089s covers Alonso, Grosjean and Vettel. All their best times came on hard Pirellis.

11:26 Alonso went out on hards again, did a slow data-gathering lap, then pitted again.

11:29 Alonso is back out once more and doing constant speed runs, crossing the line at around 100mph.

11:29 Now the Ferrari comes back in, while Vettel is starting a run on medium tyres and Vergne is going out on softs.

11:31 Vergne now goes fastest on his softs.

11:31 The Toro Rosso does a 1m23.126s.

11:32 That puts Vergne 0.321s ahead of second-placed Alonso.

11:34 Vergne is back in again - that was a qualifying-style single lap run on softs.

Sebastian Vettel11:34 Vettel pits after a short run on softs, which saw a mid 1m23s, a slow lap, then a high 1m23s.

11:36 Hamilton now does a personal best in sector two.

11:36 Kovalainen is out on super soft tyres, which could be interesting from Caterham.

11:36 Hamilton's lap is an overall improvement - but not a huge one. A 1m24.237s keeps him sixth.

11:37 Vergne has now moved from softs to super softs - which will probably be even more interesting than what Caterham can do on the latter rubber.

11:37 Kovalainen goes up to fifth on super-softs, just 0.7s off the pace. Very encouraging lap from Caterham.

11:38 That recent improvement from Vergne put him quicker than the time that Grosjean set when leading the way yesterday.

11:38 Schumacher is back out, Mercedes reporting no damage from the gravel visit. Unlike most, he's using hards.

11:38 The Mercedes immediately sets a new personal best in sector one.

11:39 Red flag.

11:39 Again.

11:39 Six now this morning - two of them caused by Schumacher, but this one isn't it seems.

11:40 Vergne has caused the red flag.

11:40 The current pacesetter had just gone quicker than before in sector one, but his Toro Rosso has stopped at Turn 7.

11:40 No damage by the looks of it, but a fair bit of smoke from the rear of the car. Might be heat soak rather than evidence of the problem, though.

11:41 Bit of ingenuity from the marshals. To keep the car from rolling back down the hill, they've placed fire extinguishers behind the rear wheels.

11:44 That was going to be a bit of an interesting lap from the Toro Rosso too, as it had just done a 1m23.126s in a qualifying simulation on softs and now seemed to be trying the same on super softs.

11:45 The Toro Rosso is now on a trailer and being returned to the pits. Computer reports no oil spilled.

11:46 There are now people in the upper tier of the main grandstand, which wasn't the case yesterday, but it's busier at Catalunya with Alonso in action.

11:48 Back to green.

11:48 Just over 10 minutes until the lunchbreak.

11:48 Hamilton, Alonso, Schumacher and Maldonado hurry out.

11:50 Vettel sets off too, while Maldonado is straight back into the pits.

11:50 Schumacher is picking up where he left off on hard tyres. But it's mediums for Alonso and Hamilton.

11:51 Hamilton improves to a 1m24.111s and stays seventh.

11:51 Another red flag.

11:51 With just 10 minutes before lunch, we suspect this may be a car doing a deliberate dry-fuel run.

11:52 Is that seven reds now or eight...?

11:52 A lot, anyway.

11:52 More than you'd want in a morning if you were trying to develop an F1 car.

11:52 And a mixed blessing for AUTOSPORT Live writers, as we love writing about hurrying marshals and lorries, but it's also interesting to see stints develop.

11:53 It's world champion Vettel who has caused this red flag.

11:54 Chequered flag comes out now.

11:55 So it's a slightly early end to a morning session that started with a fog delay, saw a plethora of red flags, and Vergne going quickest for Toro Rosso in a single-lap spurt on soft tyres.

11:56 Alonso, Grosjean, Vettel, Kovalainen, Hulkenberg and Hamilton complete a top seven all within a second, with Schumacher just slightly slower and then Maldonado and Kobayashi trailing.

11:56 Pretty even on the mileage front too - Vettel has the highest tally with 37 laps, but everyone is in the 30s except Schumacher (19) and Maldonado (20). The Mercedes caused two red flags and the Williams prompted a very early stoppage too.

11:57 This afternoon's session will be extended by half an hour to make up for this morning's fog delay.

11:57 Which will be welcomed by teams as all these stoppages will have been thoroughly inconvenient this morning.

11:57 We're off for lunch, and will return with a food-related question and more testing analysis in an hour-ish...

12:54 Not long till the cars come back out, and if you weren't around this morning, here's what you missed:

Vergne fastest on second morning

12:58 A change to the line-up for the afternoon - Bruno Senna takes over the Williams from Maldonado.

13:01 Green flag for the afternoon session.

13:01 We're going to be running until 5.30pm local time today to make up for the half hour lost to fog this morning.

13:02 Kovalainen and Hulkenberg are first to venture out.

13:03 And speaking of Kovalainen, he has tweeted an update on his recovery from the food poisoning he described pretty graphically yesterday, via @H_Kovalainen: "Feeling better today, lost 3kg in a day though, engineers happy but piling it back up now when appetite is back!"

Mercedes13:03 Schumacher sets off too, no doubt keen to make up for this morning's interruptions, which saw the Mercedes cause two of the red flags.

13:04 Hulkenberg trundles down pitlane blipping the throttle.

13:04 The slender Kovalainen is running medium tyres on his Caterham.

13:05 (For the benefit of anyone who wasn't here two minutes ago, Kovalainen has been tweeting about how much weight he lost with this week's bout of food poisoning - we haven't started monitoring the svelteness of drivers' waists)

13:05 Yesterday's pacesetter Grosjean sets off for Lotus.

13:07 Red flag.

13:07 It's not the Caterham or the Mercedes.

13:07 And Grosjean is back too, so it's Hulkenberg.

13:07 The Force India has stopped at Turn 10.

13:08 News from Williams: the Maldonado stoppage this morning was engine related.

13:10 Hulkenberg has stopped on the asphalt in a run-off area, doesn't look like an off.

13:11 Just before the excitement of another red flag, we were going to remark that if Vergne stays on top until the end of the day, it would continue the run of every test day this winter seeing a different fastest driver.

13:11 Which might mean we're going to be in for the most extraordinarily unpredictable season in years.

13:11 Or it might mean that testing is totally deceptive and times mean nothing.

13:15 Matt Larkin emailed to say... "Since the end of the season last year, our family has regularly sat down to a dish of 'Pasta Maldonado' at the weekend, a very quick-to-rustle-up blend of pasta, cooked chorizo, peppers, tomatoes, peas and parmesan cheese which seems to satisfy the whole family.

"Do you know of any other F1 related dishes which we should be sampling?"

13:15 None of us actually ate lunch today because the media centre sandwiches disappeared too quickly, we were too busy working, and we can't afford our own bread.

13:15 So we're not the people to ask, Matt.

13:16 But we reckon the AUTOSPORT Live readership might have a few ideas for F1-related meals in the spirit of Matt's 'Pasta Maldonado', so email your suggestions to

Pastor Maldonado13:17 We did manage to peak into Williams and see Maldonado himself eating what looked like a plate piled full of cured meats. Nothing else. No carbs, all protein for Pastor.

13:18 Meanwhile, the stranded Force India has been covered and lifted onto the truck.

13:19 Back to green.

13:20 Kovalainen, Grosjean and Schumacher head straight out.

13:20 Schumacher keeps having runs interrupted by red flags today - both his own and other people's.

13:21 Sauber's Kobayashi is leaving the pits too.

13:21 Tyre watch: Kovalainen and Schumacher on hards, Kobayashi on mediums and Grosjean on softs.

13:22 Nice mix of compounds.

13:22 Inviting you to email with F1-based foods in the style of reader Matt Larkin's 'Pasta Maldonado' has prompted a deluge of suggestions already.

13:23 Grosjean rockets straight down to a 1m23.7s, just 0.2s off his best of the day.

13:23 Schumacher is slow across the line - most likely doing a deliberate constant speed run rather than in trouble.

13:24 Steve in Bath recommends: "Why not try Jenson 'Milk Chocolate' Buttons. No preparation time necessary."

13:24 That was a single-lap soft-tyre blast from Grosjean, who is now back in the pits after his 1m23.7s.

13:25 Alonso is also cruising now.

13:26 Tom Gordon says: "You happened to have tapped into a game sometimes played with my six-year-old son. From the old days you could always have a [Gerhard] Berger and chips. Although I suppose you could have a Rosberger nowadays... There are more!"

13:26 Dominic says: "I'm tempted to try a Hei-kiev-alainen this year!"

13:27 Luca from Maranello emails to tell us that if we "want to taste good pasta, you know where to find it."

13:28 Yes, that would be Ferrari's communications chief Luca Colajanni. Thanks Luca!

13:29 An email not about food... Liam asks what tyres Kovalainen used to put Caterham in fifth. The Finn was on super softs, Liam, and a short run. So it was qualifying-style, but still impressive pace.

13:30 Kovalainen is one of just two drivers on track at the moment, along with Schumacher. No headline-grabbing lap times from either, but they are both on hard tyres so these may be the early stages of long runs. The Mercedes is circulating 3s quicker than the Caterham.

13:31 Rob and Rene email to suggest the Hulkenberger as the F1 food of the moment.

13:32 Rob adds: "Kobayashi Dashi (dashi more of a stock than a soup but pretty close)"

13:33 It looked like Schumacher was about to do one of the day's longer stints, but then he pitted. That was a six-lap stint from the Mercedes, starting in mid 1m26s and getting up to low 1m28s.

13:33 Kovalainen stays out, and his times have dropped off half a second over his seven-lap run on hard tyres.

13:35 Aaron's F1-related food suggestion: "How about a nice Chicken Kovalainen with a dollop of Cheesy Kobayashi?"

That does actually sound like you could ask for it in a takeaway.

13:35 Kobayashi (minus cheese [hopefully]) is back out and seems to be on some of those pesky unmarked Pirellis that we can't identify for you.

13:38 Kobayashi goes up to eighth with his best time of the day, so the mystery tyres could be softs.

13:38 Grosjean is definitely on softs and just did his fastest first sector yet.

13:39 Grosjean is back in the pits

13:40 Just one flying lap for the Frenchman this time out

13:40 Twelve laps in this stint for Kovalainen. Hard to read too much from his rather inconsistent times though

13:41 It's the battle of the KOs: Kovalainen vs Kobayashi on track

13:41 Alonso is now leaving the pitlane much to the delight of his fans

13:42 As Kobayashi pits

13:43 Alonso does another slow run down the front straight

13:44 Schumacher heading out of the pits now

13:45 Alonso drives into the pitlane and straight back out. He's using Pirelli's hard tyres

13:46 1m33,754s from Kovalainen, his slowest of the stint

13:47 Alonso cruises past slowly again. Looks like a constant speed test for the Spaniard

13:48 Kovalainen decides to end his run, which is the longest of the day at 16 laps. His average laptime was not too impressive though: 1m31.594s

13:49 Alonso is back in the pits and Bruno Senna heads out for his first run of the day

13:49 The Brazilian has taken over from team-mate Pastor Maldonado at the wheel of the Williams

13:51 Vettel heading out on mediums

13:51 As usual, we could see some really long stints this afternoon. We believe Vergne is due to do a race distance

13:51 Hard tyres for Senna, who goes quicker than Maldonado straight away

13:52 In fairness, Maldonado only did six flying laps, although Senna has done just one

13:53 Senna knocks another half a tenth off: a 1m25.111s this time

13:53 Grosjean is out on hards

13:54 Vettel on the mediums is a second slower than Senna on the hards. Plenty of fuel on that RB8, you'd think

13:55 Senna's third timed lap is just 0.004s off his previous one

13:57 Alonso leaves the pits once more

13:58 Either something is wrong with Senna's timing, or he has posted the exact same laptime twice over three laps

13:59 Now Senna, Schumacher and Alonso return to the pits

13:59 You'd think there was a red flag, but no, the tracks is clear

14:00 Not for long. There's a noise coming from the other side of the track

14:01 Vettel has pitted too, so not the long run we expected.

14:01 Senna popped out, but is back in.

14:03 Speaking of Williams, Maldonado's plate of meat wasn't the only exciting thing happening there today - there have been some changes at board level too:

Williams steps down from board

14:03 Kovalainen and Kobayashi go back out.

14:03 The Caterham is on hard tyres.

14:06 Kobayashi is on softs and does his best lap yet - a 1m23.836s puts him sixth.

14:08 If we were awarding a trophy for most informative F1 team twitter feed, Caterham's @MyCaterhamF1 would be topping the league table at present, and here's more of its insights: "Run 10 set-up changes, all to measure effect of rear ride height change: Front wing flap angle, front torsion bar & front anti-roll bar."

14:08 Still no sign of morning pacesetter Vergne back on track after that fire in the Toro Rosso.

14:09 Kobayashi's rapid 1m23s was followed by a pair of less than swift 1m30s, and now he pits.

14:10 Shall we do some more of the deluge of F1-related food suggestions you've been pouring into OK then.

14:13 Before that, we should let you know that Alonso has pitted and Hamilton is going out.

14:13 Grosjean is out on softs, and Vettel sets off on medium Pirellis.

14:14 Senna is also back on track.

14:14 Anyway, back to food...

14:19 Personal best times from both Senna and Vettel, the Red Bull doing a 1m23.473s in third, and Senna a 1m24.925s in 10th.

14:21 Owain soon-to-be-from-Spain has come up with enough F1-related food suggestions for a dinner party, offering "Schumacher-oni cheese, Chicken Tikka Massa-la and (a retro choice) the Alessandro Pannini" to be followed by a pudding tribute to Timo Glock's past and current Virgin/Marussia team-mates: ""A Maple and Pic-an tart served with a (obvious) helping of D'Ambrosio custard".

14:23 Kovalainen continues on his long stint, passing 13 laps now.

14:23 Hamilton hits his marks, leaves the pitbox then immediately shuts the McLaren down.

14:23 So now just Grosjean and Kovalainen on track.

14:28 Kobayashi came past on what we thought were super softs but it turns out they're hards - another tyre marking curiosity.

14:28 Schumacher does a personal best of 1m24.061s on softs in eighth place.

14:30 Not sure any other AUTOSPORT Live question has ever opened the email floodgates like the 'F1-related food' call. Literally hundreds of you emailing in with suggestion, including Luka's "How about a Brawn cocktail for dessert?"

Kovalainen14:32 Kovalainen finally pits to end the longest stint we've seen today. It was 18 laps on hard tyres, starting in 1m30s, then mostly in 1m31s until eventually reaching 1m32s.

14:36 Grosjean is on softs and the pit wall signs suggest a race distance is the plan.

14:36 Schumacher is right on the back of Kobayashi.

14:36 Quite an obvious rhythm out there now as everyone settles into long runs and race simulations.

14:37 "I'm hungry for a Glock monsieur," announces Helen Stephanos in's latest F1-food-related email.

14:38 After passing Kobayashi, Schumacher is now closing in on Grosjean.

14:38 As he laps in mid 1m26s, Schumacher is circulating quickest among those currently on track.

14:38 But the Mercedes now pits.

14:39 That was an eight-lap stint, starting with a one-off 1m24.0s, then two 1m25s, then into 1m26s.

14:40 Hamilton's pit board suggests a five-lap run for the McLaren, which is on unmarked Pirellis.

14:40 Vettel leaves the pits on medium tyres.

14:42 Great F1 food work from Sean McMorrow, with some 1980s/90s retro thrown in: "Charlie Whiting (or Whitebait), Bearnaise Ecclestone, Remy Martin Brundle, Antonio Pizzeria, Pedro Dinner, Mika Hakkasan, Olivier Pain au Chocolat, Alex Coffee, Gianni Mortadella"

14:43 Senna dives past Grosjean into Turn 1.

14:44 Vettel does his fastest lap of the day, and goes second with a 1m23.361s on medium tyres.

Sebastian Vettel14:44 That puts the Red Bull 0.235s off Vergne's time.

14:46 Alonso pits and switches from mediums to soft tyres.

14:50 Hamilton pits, McLaren does a practice stop, and then rolls the car into the garage.

14:50 Vettel looks poised to pit.

14:51 Dan Parker adds "How about a Steak-i Kovalainen?" to's flood of F1-related food suggestions.

14:51 Grosjean pits, does a practice stop, and swiftly rejoins.

14:52 And sounds like Senna did the same.

14:52 From James Hunter: "What about a bit of Martin Crumble?"

14:53 "Am I too late to suggest Catering-Ham?", asks Neil. No, you're not.

14:54 Grosjean's now 25 laps into his race simulation and onto soft tyres.

14:54 Looks like pitstop practice is now the focus for Senna and Williams as he comes in and out.

14:55 We reckon the unmarked tyres Kovalainen is using are softs given that he is lapping in 1m28s now.

14:56 Continuing the F1-related menu suggestions, Mark goes for "Fernando Chicken Alfonso followed by Bernie Eccles Cake".

14:57 More 1980s nostalgia from Karl: "Cakey Rosberg".

14:59 We've had a huge amount of variations on the theme of 'Cheese and Hamilton sandwiches', but bonus points to Adam, who says "Spam-ilton is the dish of the year!"

14:59 Problems for Sauber, reported by @OfficialSF1Team: "C31 is back in the garage and will stay there for a while as we have to fix an hydraulic leak."

15:00 We also haven't seen anything of Vergne's Toro Rosso or Hulkenberg's Force India since they caused red flags just before and just after lunch respectively.

15:02 Alonso's race simulation continues as he pits and swaps one set of softs for another. The Ferrari did eight laps in that stint, going up from 1m29s to 1m30s and eventually 1m32s.

15:04 Chris 'no surname, I'm working' recommends a 'Pat Fry up' for our F1 food list.

15:05 Chris, we kept you super-incognito by not publishing your location either. But if anyone has an employee called Chris somewhere in southern England who's not paying attention, you know they're watching AUTOSPORT Live...

15:06 The window to get back out and get a race distance in is fast disappearing for Vergne, which is not good as he has to hand the Toro Rosso over to Ricciardo tomorrow.

15:08 But Vergne is still fastest based on the time he set before the red flag. And if he stays there, it will be the first time this pre-season that a rookie has topped a test - although returnees Raikkonen, Grosjean and Hulkenberg have all had days of leading the way.

15:09 Speaking of Raikkonen, we think we know the answer to @Lotus_F1Team's tease: "Guess who's just dropped into the Lotus F1 team motorhome for a cup of coffee? A clue... the coffee may be hot but he's ice cold..."

15:10 Grosjean pits to move onto stint four of his race simulation. That last run was on soft tyres and was 10 laps mostly in 1m28s, before reaching 1m29s at the end. The Lotus man is now onto hard tyres.

15:11 Another practice pitstop for Senna and Williams.

15:12 Carol's offer for our F1 food list: "Anyone suggested Coq au Vergne yet?"

15:13 Possibly Carol, because the mailbox has never been busy, but it's yours we published...

15:14 Something less savoury from Lars in Gothenburg: "you can ask Heikki what he ate the other day and have that a recipe for the weight watchers' club. 3 Kg in a day is not bad going."

That's how much weight Kovalainen shed during his bout of food poisoning yesterday...

Fernando Alonso15:15 Alonso seems to get five or six good laps out of a set of softs before the pace drops away, but Grosjean's hold up a little longer.

15:17 As Alonso's pace goes up to 1m30s, Grosjean barges past him on the main straight.

15:18 As the fuel load comes down, Grosjean hits 1m27s on hard tyres.

15:20 Andrew gets respect for the sheer volume of puns squeezed into his F1 food suggestion: "F1 haute cuisine has to be Jackie Stew-art, for which chef Ducarouge and Ken Tyrrell as Matra D nearly got 4 Michelins in 1969 (a Goodyear)"

15:21 Alonso finally gives up on that set of softs and pits.

15:22 The Ferrari did 12 laps, starting in 1m28s, but progressing up to 1m32s as it got slower and slower.

15:23 Now Alonso gives the mediums a try.

15:23 And Schumacher has set off with softs on his Mercedes.

15:24 Many of you are probably wondering why we're filling AUTOSPORT Live with F1-related food puns today.

15:24 It's because, in response to how often we mention food (our own, food we pine for while buried in laptops, and food we see teams eating), reader Matt Larkin emailed with a recipe for a dish of his own called 'Pasta Maldonado'. And then we opened the floodgates to the rest of us. And you didn't disappoint.

15:25 Schumacher does his best time of the day so far with a 1m23.978s but remains eighth.

Romain Grosjean15:28 This is a very promising race simulation for Grosjean, who is doing consistent 1m28s - a similar pace to Alonso, but the Ferrari is on mediums and the Lotus on hards.

15:28 More pitstop practice for Senna and Williams.

15:32 Schumacher is losing a lot of time across this run on soft tyres - in the space of five laps, he has gone from 1m23s to 1m26s.

15:33 Vettel's last run was a brief 1m28.8s on medium tyres, then back to the Red Bull garage.

15:33 We have a whole hour still to go as testing has been extended to 5.30pm local time due to this morning's fog delay.

15:35 So the order with an hour to go: Vergne quickest but just 0.9s covering him, Vettel, Alonso, Grosjean, Kovalainen, Kobayashi, Hulkenberg, Schumacher and Hamilton. Then the shared Williams, with Senna and Maldonado bringing up the rear.

15:36 Top lap tally belongs to Grosjean's whose impressive race simulation has now taken him up to 105 laps for the day. Not far behind are Alonso on 95 and Kovalainen on 92.

15:37 Lowest mileage counts for the full-day drivers (so discounting the Williams pair) are 33 laps for Hulkenberg and 31 laps for Vergne, both of whom caused red flags around lunchtime.

15:40 Hamilton has just started a soft tyre run with a 1m32s.

15:41 Alex emails with a brilliant variation on F1/food links:

"On a tangential note, for a few years now myself and a bunch of friends have been watching races as part of what we call our "F1 Foodies" group: each race one memb er of the group hosts. Everyone else comes over to watch the race, and the host gets to choose a lunch(/dinner) menu to cook. The twist being that the food *must* be from the country that the race is being held in. We've had some great feasts over the years! I made kimchi from scratch for Korea last year - quite an experience..."

15:42 Alonso has had some more success getting life out of the medium tyres the softs, but now his times are dropping off again.

15:43 The Ferrari started this stint of its race simulation in mid-1m27s and is into 1m29s by lap 12.

15:45 The mailbox is currently split around 80% F1-related food puns, 5% people complaining about the number of food puns, and 15% actual questions about F1 and testing. So we ought to do one of the latter.

15:47 'audifan' asks what nationality Grosjean actually is, "as he is sometimes referred to as Swiss, sometimes French."

Romain Grosjean holds dual French/Swiss nationality, and was born in Geneva, Switzerland, but has a French racing licence, so in F1 terms is officially French - and part of the country's F1 renaissance along with Vergne, Pic and Bianchi.

15:47 Alonso pits and takes on another set of mediums for his next stint.

15:47 Grosjean is almost up to 60 laps in Lotus's race simulation.

15:48 So far the team has chosen not to simulate a safety car period, which teams often do during this process.

15:49 Vettel is back out and lapping in mid-1m28s.

15:49 Grosjean pits again, and this time it sounds like the engine is switched off.

15:50 So that's the end of what seemed to be a very respectable race simulation for Lotus.

15:51 Magesh emails to say that if his question appears in AUTOSPORT Live, he will shave his beard tomorrow. Otherwise, he'll wait until after the first race in Melbourne.

15:52 We've got an easy answer to his question too, so really it depends what Magesh's friends and family think he would look like with a substantial beard...?

15:52 While we ponder that, let's go through Grosjean's eye-catching race simulation.

15:55 Stint one was 11 laps on soft tyres, mostly in mid-1m30s, with a few 1m31s.

Stint two was 13 laps on softs, almost all in mid 1m29s before a few mid 1m30s at the end.

Stint three was 10 laps on softs, mostly in low 1m28s, with a handful of mid 1m29s at the end.

Then he finished up with 25 laps on hards, mainly in mid 1m27s, before eventually trailing off to mid/high 1m28s.

15:57 Alonso's long run continues, and on lap seven of his fifth stint, he is doing 1m26s on medium tyres - but he was in 1m24s four laps ago.

15:58 The drop-off across a stint does seem more severe for the Ferrari than for Grosjean's Lotus on its comparable run.

15:58 Schumacher's Mercedes also gets around four or five good laps out of its soft tyres before beginning to lose pace noticeably.

15:59 OK Magesh, we've decided you shouldn't have to grow a beard until Melbourne - it was a driveline problem that halted Hulkenberg earlier. The team had hoped to get out again before the end of the day, but with half an hour left, it's not looking too promising.

16:01 While many teams are working on long stints this afternoon, McLaren is in and out in short bursts. Hamilton is doing a run on softs that has so far brought a mid 1m25s then a mid 1m27s.

16:02 Magesh says he will now shave his head as well as his beard as we answered his Force India question...

16:04 After a 1m28s, Hamilton pits and that's another brief run done.

16:06 So now it's just Alonso on track by himself, lapping in 1m27s on lap 12 of this stint of his race simulation, which must be nearly done.

16:06 Vergne emerges from the pits.

16:06 The current pacesetter hasn't been seen since an engine problem halted his Toro Rosso just before lunch.

16:08 AUTOSPORT Live readers continue to take the F1/food links to intriguing new places. After Alex explained that he and a group of friends cook meals on grand prix weekends themed on the country where the race is held, Tim emailed to say: "I think Alex's food idea was better than mine. I cooked a meal based on the nationality of the race winner. I soon grew bored of sausages..."

16:08 Vergne pits after an installation lap, switches to super softs, then blasts out again.

16:09 The Toro Rosso was on a super soft run when it stopped this morning, so looks like the team is picking up where it had to leave off.

16:09 Grosjean went out but came straight back in again after a lap.

16:10 No flying lap for Vergne on the super softs this time either, as he comes in for a practice pitstop.

16:11 Good Sauber news from @OfficialSF1Team: "We made it, C31 and Kamui are ready to go out again. To fix the hydraulic leak, the gearbox had to be removed and flanged again."

16:12 Vergne comes back around for another practice stop, this time with a front wing change thrown in.

16:13 Alonso's race simulation/very long run is over, here's how it looked:

16:15 Stint one was nine laps on mediums, consistently in 1m30s with a few 1m31s.

Stint two was eight laps on softs, starting in low 1m29s, then going up to mid 1m30s before a single 1m32s.

Stint three was 12 laps on softs, going up from low 1m28s to mid 1m31s.

Stint four was 14 laps on mediums, going from mid 1m27s to mid 1m29s.

Stint five was 14 laps on mediums again, from mid 1m24s to high 1m26s.

16:17 Darshan Chokhani rounds off our afternoon of F1-related food puns: "One big question, we have now a whole menu card ready for a good buffet.. Who is going to cook all these? How about asking HRT's new chef?"

HRT may not have a 2012 car on track yet, but it has announced a new chef...

16:19 Vergne continues to do practice stops, including front wing changes and in the latest case, a big old-school slide out of the pitbox into the pitlane.

16:19 Grosjean improves his best time to 1m23.448s, but stays fourth.

16:20 That lap by Grosjean was on medium tyres.

16:23 Going into the final few minutes of this extended test day (we're finishing half an hour later because fog delayed the start this morning), and we have Vergne, Vettel, Schumacher and Hamilton on track.

16:23 Vettel is shown the 'in' board.

16:23 Kobayashi comes back out on mediums in the repaired Sauber.

16:24 Another practice pitstop for pacesetter Vergne.

16:24 Not a great practice stop for Vettel - the rear jack didn't go down quickly enough.

16:26 Alonso exits the pits with a lot of flow-vis paint on his Ferrari.

16:27 Grosjean is on softs, and sets personal bests in the first two sectors...

16:27 Grosjean goes top with a new best time of the day.

16:27 With just four minutes until the end of the session, Grosjean blasts to the head of the order with a 1m22.614s on soft tyres.

16:27 It's a French one-two, with Grosjean half a second clear of Vergne.

16:28 We've had a different man fastest on each of the nine days of testing held so far this winter, but could Grosjean make it back-to-back time-topping days? It certainly looks that way.

16:28 Quickest on two consecutive days and a very strong race simulation this afternoon... have to say it doesn't look like missing last week hurt Lotus too much.

16:29 But remember this time last year, when it was still Renault, we were pretty excited about the team's radical car and its testing form too...

16:29 Someone around here even announced that Nick Heidfeld would be world champion...

16:30 Chequered flag is out.

16:31 Friday is over, 10 of the 12 days of pre-season testing are done, and Grosjean has become the first man to go fastest twice.

16:31 The Lotus was half a second quicker than second-placed Vergne, with Vettel, Alonso, Kovalainen, Kobayashi, Hulkenberg, Schumacher and Hamilton next up.

16:32 Senna and Maldonado did half a day each in the Williams and brought up the rear.

16:32 Lots of Lotus guests here today. They'll be happy.

16:32 Grosjean almost had the highest mileage tally too, but his 123 laps were pipped by Alonso's 124.

16:33 Kovalainen also did over 100 (104), but their engine and driveline problems respectively limited Vergne and Hulkenberg to 31 and 33 respectively.

16:33 Keep checking tonight for plenty of news, analysis and feature content from Barcelona.

16:34 And we'll be here all weekend on AUTOSPORT Live too as F1 winter testing 2012 reaches its denouement. Thanks for joining us, and apologies to the hundreds of you whose F1 food puns we didn't quite get to.

P Driver Team Time
1  GrosjeanLotus 1m22.614s
2  VergneToro Rosso 1m23.126s  +0.512
3  VettelRed Bull 1m23.361s  +0.747
4  AlonsoFerrari 1m23.447s  +0.833
5  KovalainenCaterham 1m23.828s  +1.214
6  KobayashiSauber 1m23.836s  +1.222
7  HulkenbergForce India 1m23.893s  +1.279
8  SchumacherMercedes 1m23.978s  +1.364
9  HamiltonMcLaren 1m24.111s  +1.497
10  SennaWilliams 1m24.925s  +2.311
11  MaldonadoWilliams 1m25.801s  +3.187
All timing unofficial. Updated: 16:33 GMT
Clear skies High Temp: 15°C / 59°F
Track: Dry
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