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As it happened: Test day one
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
07:35 Good morning from Barcelona where the final pre-season test starts this morning. Just four more days of running now before the teams head to Australia

07:39 The teams' hopes of getting four full days of valuable running appear dashed already, as morning rain has left the track soaked for the start of running at 9am

07:40 However, with plenty of systems checks to get complete, and a long list of items teams will want to tick off before Australia, they will still try and get out there at some point this morning

07:42 The drivers listed down to run today are Webber (Red Bull), Massa (Ferrari), Perez (McLaren), Grosjean (Lotus), Hamilton (Mercedes), Gutierrez (Sauber), di Resta (Force India), Bottas (Williams), Vergne (Toro Rosso), Pic (Caterham) and Chilton (Marussia)

07:48 Engines are firing up in the pit lane so teams look like they are trying to get out there. Might need to, with forecasts for a major downpour later today

07:50 This week should provide us with a lot more answers about the general formbook heading to Australia. As a reminder, here is what we learned from last week's test

07:58 The big talking point this morning off track is Force India's second driver announcement. Adrian Sutil has got the nod, but there is still no official confirmation

07:59 Here is our take on the situation right now. Adrian Sutil was spotted at a restaurant near the track last night....

08:00 And we are off. Charles Pic is first man out for Caterham

08:01 Jean-Eric Vergne is also out for Toro Rosso.

08:02 Max Chilton (Marussia) and Paul di Resta (Force India) also head out early

08:02 And Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes.

08:03 Pic comes straight back in as Mark Webber's Red Bull heads down pitlane.

08:03 Valtteri Bottas has also gone out for Williams.

08:04 Some drivers are on wets, some on inters as they take a first look at the damp conditions.

08:06 Felipe Massa has also gone out for Ferrari.

08:08 And Romain Grosjean, which means nine drivers have now had a look at the conditions. But nobody has yet done a flying lap.

08:10 For the record, Massa has set the best out-in lap so far!

08:20 Momentary internet failure for AUTOSPORT in the media centre, but you've not missed anything. Still only installation laps completed, but now all 11 teams have been out.

08:20 Grosjean brings out the reds with an early off...

08:21 Not a great start for the man trying to make up for a troubled 2012, but the conditions do look tricky.

08:22 Grosjean's Lotus is now being retrieved from the Turn 12 gravel.

08:23 Only McLaren's Sergio Perez has recorded a flying lap, at 1m51.434s.

08:26 To show how challenging conditions are, Perez's best time last week, which was the best of the first Barcelona test, was 1m21.848s.

08:29 At least Lotus can see the funny side of Grosjean's off:

@Lotus_F1Team Wet track spin simulation successfully completed @RGrosjean

08:31 Grosjean's car has been cleared and the session goes green again.

08:32 Having seen some footage AUTOSPORT's Edd Straw describes Grosjean's off:

Lost the rear and backed it into the gravel. Destablised the car a little over the kerb at T11, had a very small wobble but couldn't gather it up on the low grip track and swapped ends. Backed in

08:33 Hamilton and Vergne are the first to venture back out.

08:34 And Vergne heads past the pit entry, so hopefully we'll see a lap from him...

08:35 In the meantime, Massa heads out.

08:35 No, Vergne kills the potential excitement by coming into the pits before completing a flyer.

08:36 And more rain seems to be arriving, so doubt we'll see any quick times for a while.

08:37 Hamilton, Webber and Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez are out again, and Massa joins them

08:39 Lewis Hamilton's brother Nic could also end up with a world title campaign, in the WTCC

08:40 Now we're getting some times. Sun shining again! Webber goes fastest on 1m44.668s

08:43 Webber improves to 1m44.057s.

08:44 Webber is currently on the inter tyre, while Hamilton and Gutierrez are on the full wet.

08:44 And both come in. Perhaps a change of rubber?

08:45 That leaves just Webber and Massa on track at the moment.

08:47 And Webber comes in, having proved the Inters are the fastest tyres to be on at the moment. Massa is also on Inters, so we'll hopefully now see what he and the F138 can do.

08:49 Massa goes second with 1m46.789s, but there should be plenty more to come if Ferrari decides to leave him out. They're still over 20 seconds off a dry time.

08:50 Now it's a 1m45.125s for Massa. Vergne, Bottas and Chilton have now joined him on track.

08:52 Chilton comes very slowly passed the pits on the start-finish straight, but then speeds up again

08:53 Massa edges closer to Webber with 1m44.485s and Bottas is now fifth on 1m49.462s.

08:54 Vergne goes third, 1m45.585s. Chilton slows coming down the pit straight again.

08:55 Bottas improves again to 1m49.036s.

08:55 Vergne goes top with 1m43.059s on the Inters.

08:57 Di Resta's Force India improves to fourth, 1m45.327s. Conditions are clearly improving.

08:57 Massa goes second with 1m43.285s.

08:59 Massa now goes fastest on 1m42.963s

08:59 Lots of improvements as we're getting several drivers having their first decent runs of the day.

09:00 Chilton slows along the main straight again. Very odd as it looks intentional. He still hasn't broken the 2min barrier.

09:02 Di Resta in, having recorded a best of 1m44.709s. Webber's earlier time is still good enough for third.

09:02 Bottas is still going round, but he's in the 1m48s. Heavy fuel load?

09:03 Gutierrez improves to 1m47.096s, currently fifth.

09:04 We've got a special guest later on today, with Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg joining us to answer any questions you put to him. So get your thinking hats on and email us some questions to, or on Twitter with #autosportlive. We should be speaking to him around 1.30pm GTM (2.30pm CET)

09:06 Pic improves to 1m47.521s for Caterham.

09:07 Gutierrez shaves a few more thousandths off with 1m47.019s

09:09 Most head towards pitlane, leaving only Vergne and Gutierrez out on track.

09:09 Di Resta joins them.

09:11 Vergne bumps Massa off top spot with 1m42.155s.

09:12 The sky looks darker again. Are we going to get more rain soon?

09:13 Di Resta improves to 1m44.444s, but still fourth.

09:14 Bottas is back out again. Vergne returns to the pits after his new fastest time.

09:15 So far, Vergne has done more laps than anyone else, with 17. Unsurprisingly, thanks to his off, Grosjean has done the least with five.

09:16 Webber finally goes back out. His Red Bull has been in the pits for almost half an hour, during which time he has been pushed back from first to third.

09:17 Webber immediately improves to 1m43.857s, though he's still third at the moment.

09:18 Di Resta back in, Hamilton back out.

09:21 The Mercedes has been in the pits even longer than Webber, but now Lewis will hopefully have a run on Inters.

09:21 We now have Webber, di Resta, Gutierrez, Hamilton and Bottas on track.

09:22 Perez's McLaren also joins in.

09:22 Unsurprisingly, Hamilton is already faster than he was earlier on the wet tyres, 1m46.709s.

09:24 Rain is now falling, but Hamilton does 1m45.181s to go fifth.

09:25 The sky is looking pretty grey and suddenly we've only got Hamilton and Gutierrez on track.

09:27 And their lap times are beginning to drop off as the rain comes down.

09:27 No, Hamilton has sped up on his next lap and recorded 1m44.545s. He still looks on it.

09:29 And his next lap is a 1m51s.

09:31 Next one is a 1m46s, so Hamilton seems to be doing one quick lap, then a slow one. Rain doesn't look heavy but is steady at the moment.

09:32 Perez and Chilton head out as Gutierrez comes in.

09:33 Gutierrez heads straight back out, a quick stop. Hamilton comes in.

09:36 Webber heads back out, so that's Red Bull, McLaren, Sauber and Marussia out on track.

09:38 The rain is getting heavier. Perez comes in, as do Chilton and Webber...

09:38 And Gutierrez too, so the wet track has finally driven everyone in.

09:39 Even at its best, with Vergne's 1m42.155s, the track was still 20 seconds slower than we would expect in the dry.

09:40 Gutierrez heads straight back out. He's now done the most laps of everyone, with 22. Makes sense for one of the F1 rookies to get as much seat time as possible, providing he doesn't bin it!

09:41 Gutierrez comes back in, but Massa has just gone out, so we've still got one car on track.

09:43 Loads of spray as Massa's Ferrari storms down the pit straight, which at least gives the damp fans something to look at.

09:45 Massa does a 1m49s on his wet tyres.

09:47 The Ferrari now comes in so the Barcelona track is empty once more.

09:49 But not for long as Perez heads out. He's done just 11 laps so far today. Only Grosjean and Pic have done fewer.

09:50 As Perez speeds by the pits, Webber heads out.

09:52 Perez records his best time, 1m50.051s. He really hasn't been out in the best of the conditions so far today.

09:54 The sky is a bit brighter and, although the track is wet, we now have Webber, Gutierrez and Pic on track with Perez.

09:56 Mercedes wondering whether a test at Silverstone, near its base, may have provided better weather:

@MercedesAMGF1 More rain now! We hear it is fully dry in Brackley today. Oh well...

09:58 Perez has now got down to a 1m48.562s, but Webber has just recorded a 1m44s lap!

09:58 Grosjean, after his early morning mistake, finally gets back out on track.

09:59 Webber does a 1m43.9 on the wet tyres. He seems pretty strong in these conditions today.

10:00 Grosjean finally records a flying lap, 1m46.820s.

10:02 Grosjean goes a tad faster with 1m46.615s, set on the wet tyres.

10:04 Webber comes back in, Vergne and Massa head out.

10:05 Both are on wets, so we may get a comparison with the 1m43s/1m44s Webber has just done.

10:06 Grosjean records 1m45.995s to go sixth.

10:07 Vergne's first flyer on wets is a 1m45.2, Massa's a 1m44.5s.

10:08 Chilton records a 1m56.897s lap, but his Marussia is still some way off the other times.

10:09 This time round it is Vergne on 1m44.7 and Massa on 1m45.2.

10:10 Hamilton has also now gone out on Wets. The rain seems to be stopping.

10:10 Vergne in as Massa does 1m44.673s, still not quite as quick as Webber was a few minutes ago on his wet-tyre run.

10:11 After three-quarters of an hour in the pits, di Resta heads out.

10:12 Chilton keeps improving and has now done 1m52.727s.

10:12 Hamilton straight back in for Mercedes.

10:13 If conditions continue to improve, we may see some venturing out again on Inters soon.

10:15 Chilton now down to 1m51.638s.

10:17 Vergne is now out on Inters.

10:18 Bottas is also back out on intermediate rubber, while Massa records a 1m44.3 on wets.

10:19 Vergne in the 1m45s on his first Inters lap. Perez comes in.

10:19 Massa sets a personal best on his wets, 1m42.807s.

10:20 And Bottas does 1m48.003s.

10:22 Massa comes in to complete a longish (9/10 laps) run on the wets.

10:22 Bottas improves to 1m47.503s.

10:24 Hamilton improves to 1m44.149s on inters. That puts him to fourth.

10:26 And now he puts the Mercedes into third with 1m43.550s. Vergne is also in the 1m43s.

10:27 Hamilton is going quicker and quicker, now to second fastest with 1m42.783s. Can he beat Vergne's earlier time?

10:28 Chilton, on a long run, has now got down to 1m50.253s.

10:29 Hamilton edges closer to Vergne's benchmark with 1m42.311s.

10:30 Chilton finally pits after his long run, Gutierrez has now got back out there.

10:31 Hamilton records a 1m42.4s lap, still not quite enough to bump Vergne, but he is easily the quickest man on the drying track.

10:32 Massa is back out, so we currently have the top three from the session circulating.

10:33 Another 1m42 from Hamilton's Mercedes, while Vergne is in the 1m44s. Massa has done a 1m45 on the first flyer of this run.

10:33 Vergne pits as Gutierrez improves to 1m45.931s.

10:34 And Hamilton finally does it, 1m41.614s to move to the top of the timesheets.

10:35 Gutierrez improves to 1m45.767s, also on Inters.

10:37 Webber joins the fray. We now have Mercedes, Red Bull, Force India, Sauber and Caterham on track.

10:39 Pic, Webber and Hamilton come by the pits nose-to-tail. Only five cars out on track and three of them are together!

10:39 Hamilton is still lapping in the 1m42s, so will he go by easily?

10:40 Gutierrez improves to 1m45.020s.

10:41 And Hamilton comes by well ahead of Webber and Pic, though his lap time fell to 1m44s.

10:43 Hamilton straight back into the 1m42s. This is probably the most impressive run of the day so far, though it's hard to judge given the different programmes and fuel loads the teams are running.

10:44 Di Resta, Webber and Gutierrez in. Massa, who had come back in, returns to the track.

10:45 Hamilton does a 1m41.767s, the second fastest lap of the session so far.

10:46 And then does 1m41.629. Massa, following a few seconds behind, records his personal best with 1m41.848s.

10:48 Hamilton finally comes in.

10:49 Grosjean and Bottas have now gone back out, and Hamilton's stop was only brief too.

10:50 Bottas improves to 1m45.570s to move ahead of Grosjean.

10:51 AUTOSPORT's Jamie O'Leary arrives at the track, reporting it has started sprinkling with rain once more.

10:52 Grosjean improves to 1m45.853s, but is still eighth.

10:54 Hamilton has just done a 1m43.0 so it's not too wet just yet.

10:55 Only Hamilton, Webber and Bottas currently on track.

10:56 Vergne joins them as Hamilton does a 1m46.

10:59 Bottas improves, but the rain is coming down more now, so that could be the last improvement for a while.

11:01 Only Vergne and Webber are now on track.

11:02 And both come in.

11:03 Most laps completed so far: Gutierrez with 42.

Least laps completed: Grosjean with 18.

11:04 Vergne has gone straight out again.

Lewis Hamilton11:13 To recap, Lewis Hamilton sits at the top of the timesheets in his Mercedes as the rain returns.

11:18 Webber has improved to 1m43.833s. The rain seems light, but the sky is still grey.

11:20 Those now back out on track: Massa, Webber, Grosjean and Bottas.

11:21 Massa comes in as Webber improves to 1m43.710s on wet tyres.

11:21 Grosjean improves to 1m45.147s, also on wets, while Bottas continues to lap on his inters.

11:23 Webber does a 1m43.649s lap and Grosjean pits.

11:23 Di Resta takes the Force India back out.

11:26 Di Resta, on wets, goes by the pits and is now the only man on track.

11:29 Hamilton and Gutierrez head back out.

11:31 Force India might have sent its car out, but the team isn't enjoying the weather either:
@clubforce The rain keeps falling, plenty of standing water on track and rooster tails so high they interfere with commercial air traffic.

11:32 Hamilton pits. Now we have Webber, di Resta, Gutierrez, Bottas and Perez on track.

11:33 Di Resta pits. Perez only seems to come out when the weather is at its worst!

11:33 So he now joins the fray.

11:34 Massa also goes out.

11:36 Webber is currently fastest in the wet (again), though Gutierrez isn't far behind. Both in 1m47s last time through.

11:37 Red flag is out, we don't yet know why

11:39 Car in barriers at turn 3, looks like Gutierrez.

11:40 He's done more laps than anyone else so far today (46) and has done quite a few in poor conditions.

11:41 Di Resta also had a half-spin at turn two, but got away with it. Gutierrez hasn't been so lucky.

11:45 The Sauber is now under cover and on the back of the rescue truck.

11:47 And we're back on again.

11:48 And literally nobody rushes down the pitlane. Not a surprise given the weather.

11:50 Lotus decides to send Grosjean out. Thanks to his off first thing this morning, he has just done 28 laps. Only Perez (23 laps) has done fewer.

11:51 Grosjean straight back in, so nobody on track.

11:53 The track remains silent for now, as teams count down the seven minutes until the lunch break

11:53 It will have been a frustrating morning for the teams. Every outfit has a big job list to get through before the season starts - and even moment of lost running means there are fewer things that get ticked off

11:54 Bottas ends the silence as he heads out on to the track. He's done 39 laps so far this morning.

11:55 The rain is coming down much heavier right now. Not expecting much useful running to take place this afternoon if the conditions don't improve

11:56 Bottas passes the pits - he is on the wet tyres.

11:56 Hamilton doesn't want to let Bottas have all the fun out there - as he too heads out for a short run before the lunch break

11:57 Bottas stays out, setting a lap time of 1m54.954s. That is around 9 seconds off his best effort from earlier in the day when conditions were much better

11:58 Hamilton decides that there is no point in staying out, as he returns to the pits.

11:59 Bottas is loving it though. Around he goes again - this time a 1m52.845s lap. Now seven seconds adrift of his best time

12:01 Another lap for Bottas. This time a 1m51.350s. He is clearly trying to get a good understanding of wet weather running in an F1 car. Could be invaluable for Malaysia...

12:02 The chequered flag comes out bringing an end to the opening morning of running here at the final 2013 pre-season test

12:03 The drivers may have got some laps notched up on the board, but there will not have been much useful running because of the mixed weather conditions

12:04 As Bottas returns to the pits, it is Hamilton who ends the morning session fastest with a 1m41.614s. He is followed by Massa on a 1m41.848s, Vergne on a 1m42.155s and Webber on 1m43.649s

12:05 Teams will probably spend the lunchtime period working out what programme to run this afternoon, since useful aero data isn't going to be bagged.

12:06 Don't forget that AUTOSPORT Live has Nico Hulkenberg this afternoon to answer your questions. Send anything you want to know about him, Sauber's hopes or the 2013 season to

12:08 AUTOSPORT's Live coverage will be back after the lunch break for this afternoon's three hours of running

12:35 And just to disrupt the lunchtime calm, Force India has confirmed F1's worst-kept secret, that Adrian Sutil will partner Paul di Resta this year.

12:36 We'll be back when the on-track action resumes.

13:01 Welcome back. The green flag is waving over the Barcelona start/finish line and that means day one of this final F1 pre-season test is back underway.

13:05 Perez's McLaren heads out first.

13:10 Perez, on wets, improves and di Resta heads out.

13:11 The rain has stopped, but it could be a while before the morning's best times are approached.

13:12 Perez does another personal best with 1m47.938s. Di Resta also does a 1m47.

13:15 Perez goes quicker again, but is still outside the 1m47s. Checo is just feeding his way into things, by the looks of it.

13:17 Looking at the track, it surely won't be long before we see the intermediate Pirellis. Still a fairly large puddle where F1's parc ferme is held post-race.

13:20 Grosjean heads out in the Lotus. Di Resta is already there, and Webber joins them, still on wet tyres.

13:25 Webber is completing a series of wet laps and is straight into the 1m44s. Significantly quicker than Perez was going. The Australian was consistently the quickest man in wet conditions this morning too.

13:25 Our interpid reporter Kevin Turner will be putting your questions to Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg very shortly. Thanks for all the questions you've sent in, but we don't need any more.

13:27 The tyres on di Resta's Force India do appear to be a very greeny-shade of blue. That can only mean he's the first man out on inters.

13:28 Di Resta's pace on inters last time around was still 3s off what Webber is doing on wets.

13:31 Webber pits, leaving di Resta as the only man on-track. 1m48.6, 1m47.3, 1m46.9. Those times on the inters are rapidly coming down.

13:33 Di Resta pits as Vergne, Perez and Pic all head out.

13:41 The times are really tumbling now. Perez gets down to the 1m43s in the space of three laps on his inters.

13:44 Massa, Pic and Chilton are all on the inters, as is Webber, who is immediatley into the 1m44s.

13:45 Hardy souls here as the Pedro de la Rosa fan club display their support for their man - who isn't even driving - through good weather and bad. Nice one guys.

13:48 Webber has completed the most laps so far today with 54. Gutierrez and Massa are close behind on 47 each. The least busy driver has been Romain Grosjean on 32. Unsurprising given his earlier excursion.

13:49 And speaking of Grosjean, he's out on inters and sets his best time of the day. A 1m43.655s lap elevates the Lotus driver to fifth.

13:50 Webber's improving too, albeit only by a tenth. He stays fourth.

13:56 Chilton improves in the Marussia. He's still 7.7s off the pace, but he has at least found a second. He needs to find 1.8s to get himself off the foot of the timesheets.

13:58 He's not the only Brit going quickly either, as di Resta improves by a second to a 1m43.608.

14:00 Chilton finds another second or so and is now just 0.3s behind Pic on the timing screens.

14:01 We have a new name at the top of the timesheets as Webber goes 1.4s faster than Hamilton's old best. We suspect a set of slicks are on that Red Bull.

14:02 Nope. Still inters on the Red Bull. That's seriously quick!

14:03 And Chilton moves ahead of Pic as he improves by another 0.7s.

Adrian Sutil14:06
Adrian Sutil has been holding court with journalists following the announcement of his Force India drive. We'll let you know what he said very soon.

14:11 Good times from Grosjean and Charles Pic. Each finds over a second. That elevates Grosjean to P2 behind Webber. He's making up for lost time this morning now.

14:12 Don't forget, we'll have Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg as our special guest here on AUTOSPORT live very shortly. Find out if one of your questions was chosen to receive the 'Hulk' treatment.

14:16 The sun is finally out, although Mercedes reports that there is still no definitive dry line.

14:16 Gutierrez and Pic both take advantage, setting new bests

14:18 A huge improvement for Valtteri Bottas. He lops three seconds off his previous best and charges up to P7. Perez improves too and is just a second and a tenth behind him.

14:21 #BOTTAS surges to the top of the timesheets with the first lap inside the 1m39s.

14:22 Massa improves his own pace too. He's now fourth and 1.5s off the top time.

14:26 Gutierrez and Perez both improve by a second within sight of each other. If only there were enough people in the stands to do a Mexican wave (last of the bad puns, I promise).

14:28 So Bottas had a short spell at the top then. Webber slashes 1.5s off the previous best to go back to the front.

14:31 The times are falling all over the shop now. Webber, Perez, Massa, Pic and Chilton all improving their previous bests.

14:32 All the improvements mean we've held back with Nico Hulkenberg, but we'll get started very soon!

14:34 Hamilton's found a few tenths too in the middle of the pack. In fact, he's found another second that time around. Surely it can't be long before the slicks come out... But then, I did suggest that half an hour ago...

14:35 We've now got Nico Hulkenberg here with us to answer your questions, so here goes:

JB asks: You were super strong with Force India in spite of being out of the track the previous year. What is your main aim with Sauber?

Hulkenberg: “To build on the foundation they had last year. I can’t really give you a result or number, but obviously we want to be successful together. It’s early days so let’s see how competitive we are.”

14:37 And I'll use the gap in questions for Nico to tell you that Massa goes fastest on a 1m38.094s.

14:37 Phil from Germany asks: Nico, do you consider yourself the number one driver at Sauber with all your experience and Esteban being a rookie, or is it the same for both of you since you're new to the team?

Hulkenberg: “It’s more what happens on the track. A lot of people write me into the leading position because I’m the more experienced one on paper, but I’m very relaxed about that. I’m here to do my job, to do it properly, and that’s what I’m focused on.”

14:40 Gordon Riddell asks: You start your third racing year in F1 with a third midfield team. Do you think it means some advantage for the future to have experience from three different systems, to see three different working philosophies, or would it have been better to spend all these years at one of these teams in the name of consistency?

Hulkenberg: “You can look at it two ways. One is that I don’t think there are many drivers who have had three teams in such a short period, so that gives me a lot of insight, and I can take the strengths forward from one team and bring it with me to the new team.

"But I don’t think it affects the success – it’s just an experience thing for me personally.

“It wouldn’t have been bad to stay with one team. Switching is always work, getting to know people, and there is a bedding-in phase, but I had no choice at the end of 2010. Every career is different.”

14:40 Bottas and Hamilton both improve their times, but not their positions. Still intermediates remain the weapons of choice, and judging by a glance at Vergne's rears when he pitted a few minutes ago, they're holding up very well indeed.

14:41 Right. Back to our man Kevin Turner with Nico Hulkenberg and your questions...

14:42 Oliver Heycoop asks: What are your thoughts about Adrian Sutil being given the green light over Jules Bianchi at your former team?

Hulkenberg: “I’ve had a good relationship with Adrian, so I am very glad he is back racing. He is a very gifted driver and I think he deserves his seat in Formula 1.

"But I think, of all the upcoming drivers, Jules is one of the few who deserves a chance in F1.”

14:43 Bottas has a nervous moment as he runs wide onto the asphalt run-off by the exit of Turn 8.

14:44 Massa improves his pace-setting time by nearly 1.8 seconds. First man into the 1m36s.

14:45 No great surprise to see Massa is the first man out on dry tyres - medium Pirellis in fact. He's just lobbed another 1.5s off his best mark. Now into the 1m34s.

Nico Hulkenberg with Kevin Turner14:45 We're still with Nico - unfortunate timing with all these quick laps!

Iona Lockerbie from Scotland says she loves you, and also asks: What would your dream job be if you weren't a Formula 1 driver?

Hulkenberg: “I would like to be a special agent, James Bond style. The nice cars, the unlimited black Amex...”

14:47 Ahmad Ammar wants to know: Have you ever named your F1 cars?

Hulkenberg: “It’s a quick answer; it’s no!”

14:49 Massa's straight into the 1m33s. And right on time, Hamilton and Bottas have switched to slicks with him.

14:49 Florence Barden from England asks: Were you disappointed with the start to your F1 career at Williams? You had such an incredible junior record and the early races didn't seem so great compared to team-mate Rubens Barrichello

Hulkenberg: “It was difficult coming into F1 and then driving next to the most experienced driver at the time; it made me look not so strong initially.

"The Williams was quite a difficult car in the first few races, for me to understand and drive. It had a very narrow operating window and obviously Rubens, with his 18 or 19 years of experience, had the better outcome.

" It was all part of the learning process. I’m reasonably happy with where it ended up.”

14:51 Three more tenths off Massa's pace-setting time. He's into the 1m32s now. The best time set here last week was a 1m21.848s from Perez. Don't think we'll get down to times quite that quick today.

14:51 Hamilton pops up into P2, 2.7s off Massa. Gutierrez, Bottas, Webber and Perez complete the top six.

14:52 Massa's faster again. A 1m32.6s lap that time around.

14:53 Viktor Bognar from Hungary asks: Given that Sauber and Force India had somewhat similar performance last year and at best it is viewed as a sideways step. Have you moved to Sauber with an expectation to be "promoted" to Ferrari for 2014?

Hulkenberg: “I wouldn’t say sideways, it’s just a change. I see a lot of potential here and the team has developed well in the last few years, especially last year. It’s performance was outstanding on many occasions.

“It’s a very often asked question about Ferrari, but we are early days in 2013. The focus is on the upcoming race in Melbourne.”

14:54 As Massa goes across the line to set yet another fastest time - this time a 1m32.2 - the rear of the Ferrari appears very softly-sprung. Not quite as dramatic as the porpoising of the Mercedes DTM car last year, but getting there.

14:54 Hamilton knocks Massa off his perch with a 1m32.219s lap.

14:55 David Surgenor asks: In a recent article you stated that you have made he right move to Sauber. What do you feel are the biggest differences (aero/mechanical) in this year's car compared to the Force India?

Hulkenberg: “The Sauber performed very well in high-speed corners, but the tyres have changed a lot this year so it’s not a realistic and fair comparison.”

14:56 But now it's Hamilton who is having to look up the order as Perez - in Lewis's old car remember - goes another half a second quicker.

14:57 Hamilton, Bottas, Massa and Gutierrez all set PBs last time around too.

14:57 Perez improves his own best time by a couple of tenths. Not far off that magical 1m30 bracket. Who will be first to it though?

14:58 Well that answer didn't take long. Bottas goes a second faster again and takes over at the top.

14:59 But only for seconds as Perez sneaks in, six hundredths of a second faster than the flying Finn to retake first place. Webber knocks Bottas down another spot.

15:00 Ballsy move from Lewis Hamilton, who just overtook Bottas around the outside of Turn 3!

15:00 AUTOSPORT is feeling sorry for Nico now. We expected rain so there would be no improvements to distract from his answers!

Mark David Lovas wants to know which are Nico's favourite tracks.

Hulkenberg: “OK, here we go: Monaco, Spa, Suzuka, Zandvoort. It’s a pleasure to drive on those, the flow they give you, challenging, ballsy corners.

"Monaco is a thrill as well, being so close to the wall with no margin for error, and with the whole scenery in the background. It’s quite amazing to just drive there and to nail a qualifying lap is a thrill.”

15:01 Webber dives into the 1m28s in the Red Bull to take over at the top. Most - including the Australian - are on the medium Pirellis, while Bottas is trying out the supersofts.

15:02 Matteo from Italy asks: People are a bit negative about A1GP now because of the way it died, but it was where you came to fame. Have you got any good memories of it?

Hulkenberg: “Loads of great memories from A1. It was a mega time, a real blast. I was still quite young and discovering the world, going to places like New Zealand, Australia, South Africa. We were so successful it could only be good! It was a real pleasure. Somehow my driving style suited the car really well and I felt super-comfortable and super-happy. I had a mega team – Super Nova – and we were dominant.”

15:02 Gutierrez and Perez are second and third as Vergne tries out the soft tyres and Bottas remains on supersofts. Interesting to see the range of tyre strategies being employed during this period.

15:03 Webber improves again. He's just gone round in 1m27.478s on the mediums.

15:03 David Gibson asks: Would you rather be in a really poor F1 team or winning in another series?

Hulkenberg: “That’s a nasty question! I prefer the winning option.”

15:05 Ferrari says Massa is concentrating on long runs at the moment. That would explain why he's in the 31s and 32s right now.

15:05 Here's a question from a former colleague of Nico’s at Force India... Sophie Ashley-Carter wants to know if you miss the Travel Department at Force India.

Hulkenberg: “Big time! Hello Sophie! I got so spoiled by Sophie and the whole travel office. They looked after us so well and I definitely miss you. Yes!”

15:08 Improvements from Chilton and Massa last time out. Interestingly 4s between Pic and chilton in P7 and P8.

15:08 And finally, AUTOSPORT asks Nico a question of its own: There have been rumours you have had trouble fitting in the Sauber C32. Have you?

Hulkenberg: “Not more than I had with other teams. The media blew up the story with the feet a little bit, but it was just due to bigger shoes. They were too large. Apart from that, no. I’m 185cm and couldn’t be much taller, but I’m quite comfortable as it is.”

15:10 Thanks to Nico - good luck for the rest of this test and the season.

And thanks to all those who sent in questions.

15:11 Hamilton gets himself into the 1m30s and Grosjean knocks 7s off his previous best to climb into the 1m34s. Given the weather we've had today, times are even more inconclusive than normal.

15:18 Vergne pits, the inside shoulder of his front-left soft tyre looking well worn.

15:18 Gutierrez puts his Sauber top of the timesheets with the first lap inside the 1m26s. That's a second up on what Webber managed.

15:20 Vergne's iffy-looking tyre could have a little bit to do with him cutting the chicane just before he came in. A TV replay also shows Pic having a big lock-up at Turn 1.

15:21 Hamilton has a quick spin at Turn 1, but gathers it up and gets going again. No harm done.

15:22 Fastest time of the day for Bottas, a tenth up on Gutierrez's best. The Williams rookie is out on unmarked tyres while Gutierrez was on softs.

15:25 Di Resta spent over an hour in the pits, but he's out again and flying. 1m27.107s puts the Force India driver into the top four.

15:27 And all of a sudden we have that all-to-familiar sight of a Red Bull on top once more as Webber goes fastest by 1.4s.

15:28 This is frantic. Good job Jonathan Noble's just arrived back with sugary drinks for the remaining half-hour.

15:31 Massa's done 109 laps so far, that's pretty much twice what Grosjean's managed.

15:35 Perez pits, medium tyres having done their job... for now.

15:36 We have a red flag. Massa has stopped on the kerb exiting Campsa (the corner Kovalainen crashed heavily at in the McLaren a few years ago). No damage to the Ferrari, so it looks like a technical problem.

15:37 Although, he was on a long run. Could the Ferrari be out of fuel?

15:47 We're under way again and most head straight out.

15:48 But Force India says it is done for the day.

15:50 Vergne, Perez and Chilton have all improved.

15:51 Hamilton goes fastest, with a 1m24.348s.

15:52 But Webber immediately responds with the first sub-1m24.

15:53 So now there is half a second between the Red Bull and the McLaren at the top of the times, with Vergne's Toro Rosso in third, over two second off Webber.

15:54 At the other end of the table, Pic and Chilton have also improved.

15:57 Only three minutes to go and everyone is on track except Ferrari and Force India.

15:57 Webber rubs it in even further with a 1m22.693s lap.

15:58 Times are getting closer to Perez's best from last week, which was a 1m21.8.

15:59 Vergne improves, but is still third.

16:00 The flag is out and the last few cars are crossing the line.

16:02 Webber set his best on the soft compound Pirellis. And he ends the session almost 1.7s ahead of Hamilton's Mercedes.

16:04 So the first day of the final test ends with the order:
Red Bull
Toro Rosso
Force India

16:06 AUTOSPORT is now heading off to grab some drivers. Be sure to check later for any updates.

Thanks for joining us. See you tomorrow for day two at Barcelona!

P Driver Team Time
1  WebberRed Bull 1m22.693s
2  HamiltonMercedes 1m24.348s  +1.655
3  VergneToro Rosso 1m25.017s  +2.324
4  BottasWilliams 1m26.458s  +3.765
5  PerezMcLaren 1m26.538s  +3.845
6  GutierrezSauber 1m26.574s  +3.881
7  di RestaForce India 1m27.107s  +4.414
8  MassaFerrari 1m27.541s  +4.848
9  ChiltonMarussia 1m28.166s  +5.473
10  PicCaterham 1m28.644s  +5.951
11  GrosjeanLotus 1m34.928s  +12.235
All timing unofficial. Updated: 15:59 GMT
Mainly cloudy High Temp: 12°C / 54°F
Track: Damp
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