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As it happened: Test day three
By Pablo Elizalde, Matt Beer, Sam Tremayne and Kevin Turner
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
07:50 Increased security, civil police and guard dogs - it can only mean one thing. Fernando Alonso is at Jerez for his first day aboard the new Ferrari F14 T.

It's day three of the first pre-season test at the Spanish track. Welcome back.

Fernando Alonso F1 Ferrari 2014

07:54 Alonso's arrival is part of the en masse changes that typically accompany the halfway mark of each four day test.

But there's something else new today: we're hoping to see Marussia's new car rolled out for the first time.

The team had been hoping to join the test from the start, but was forced to hold its car in its UK factory because of a last-minute technical glitch.

07:56 So who else are we looking forward to seeing today?

For starters, Daniel Ricciardo is set for his first official test as a Red Bull driver, taking over the reigns from reigning champion Sebastian Vettel.

The RB10 hasn't exactly enjoyed a smooth start however, with Red Bull forced to end day two early due to a battery problem.

08:00 Here is the full line-up for day three:

Ricciardo, Red Bull
Hamilton, Mercedes
Alonso, Ferrari
Button/Magnussen, McLaren*
Hulkenberg, Force India
Sutil, Sauber
Vergne, Toro Rosso
Massa, Williams
Chilton, Marussia
Frijns, Caterham

* Button to take the morning of day three after the team didn't run on day one

Jerez F1 201408:02 @McLarenF1: "#Jerez. A new dawn. A new day. #F1"

08:03 We're green, and we have immediate action as Massa heads out for his first run as a Williams driver.

08:05 Robin Frijns, Caterham's new number three, joins the track.

The ex-Sauber reserve and 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 champion was a strong contender for a 2014 race seat according to team owner Tony Fernandes. Good to see him getting track time already.

08:06 Alonso makes it three, joining former team-mate Massa out on circuit. Which feels a little strange to see.

08:06 Good news for Toro Rosso, good news for Renault - after sitting out the entirety of day two, Jean-Eric Vergne exits the pitlane.

08:07 He's joined by Lewis Hamilton, returning for his second day in the Mercedes W05.

The Briton made a positive start to the 2014 season on day one, before a front-wing failure curtailed his running. Team-mate Nico Rosberg then took charge for day two and racked up 97 laps.

08:08 We have a car stopped on the pitlane entry. We can't see what it is yet, as it is quickly surrounded by mechanics.

Lewis Hamilton F1 Mercedes 201408:10 So, five runners in the first eight minutes. All but one dive straight back into the pits - Hamilton has stayed out and comes round for what could be the first flyer of the day.

08:12 Looks like it was the Caterham that stopped entering the pitlane, with Frijns being wheeled back to the team's garage as we type.

Hamilton doesn't complete that lap, meaning we have quiet after a busy opening.

08:16 If you're just joining us, here are the main themes to look forward to:

* Is Renault back in business after a troubled second day?
* Alonso takes over at Ferrari
* Massa's first runs in a Williams
* New Marussia will break cover

Felipe Massa F1 Williams 201408:19 @WilliamsF1Team: "Felipe is officially a Williams driver! He looks good in blue we reckon...

Plan for today is a bit of aero work and then just generally putting some miles on the #FW36 to check all systems & parts #Jerez."

08:20 Caterham reports that a software issue stalled the car as Frijns entered the pitlane.

08:23 Jenson Button becomes our sixth driver to head out.

The Briton was only scheduled to take part in the first two days, but after McLaren failed to get out on day one it confirmed Button will run this morning, before handing over to rookie Kevin Magnussen.

08:24 Button comes back to the pitlane and is wheeled back into the garage amid a swarm of photographers.

08:27 McLaren was the centre of attention yesterday morning when the delayed emergence of its MP4-29 gave us a first look at the car's rear suspension.

It was immediately clear that McLaren had come up with an innovation, as AUTOSPORT's technical expert GARY ANDERSON explains:

Gary Anderson's analysis: McLaren's suspension 'blockers'

08:27 Alonso breaks the silence, and then stays out. Vergne heads out for his second run of the day in the Toro Rosso.

Fernando Alonso F1 Ferrari 201408:31 Alonso, sporting "aero mapping" sensors, moves onto four laps for the morning.

08:32 We have our first time of the day, as Vergne comes round in a 1m53.181s. Safe to say that will fall significantly.

08:33 Vergne improves to a 1m52.368s.

Alonso pits, while Hamilton heads out.

08:38 Button heads out for his second run of the day.

The Briton said yesterday that it was immediately apparent that McLaren's new challenger does not have the same "issues" that plagued the team last season.

Too early to make that call? You can read it in full here.

08:39 Hamilton pits, but Frijns and Massa head out for Caterham and Williams respectively.

08:40 Both men return after single exploratory laps, and we have a temporary lull.

08:45 We've already had a collective 21 laps after just 40 minutes of day three, but we haven't seen everyone yet.

Red Bull remains the most obvious absentee, but we're also yet to see anything from Force India or Sauber - while Marussia is still hard at work trying to roll its car out for the first time.

Magazine08:47 You could use this lull to run to the nearest newsagent to buy your copy of this week's AUTOSPORT magazine, which is now on sale, or you could read the digital version:

AUTOSPORT's F1 2014 launch special

It's an expanded edition covering all the F1 unveilings so far in depth, with our technical expert GARY ANDERSON's verdicts on the designs plus exclusive interviews with drivers and team personnel from up and down the pitlane.

08:50 Sauber has been showing off its new recruit in the pitlane. He even has his own hashtag:

@OfficialSF1Team: "#SuperSutil all suited up catching some sun before his first run."

08:51 Hamilton heads out for his fifth lap of the day, moments before Vergne (leading the way on six) joins him on track.

08:55 In between tweeting, Hamilton goes top for Mercedes with a 1m36.344s.

Incidentally, Alonso holds the second fastest lap of the day, even though he pitted and therefore crossed the line en route to his garage.

08:56 Scratch that, Alonso holds the top spot now.

Moments after Massa goes fastest, Alonso pips his former team-mate with a 1m29.267s.

Fernando Alonso F1 Ferrari 201408:59 Alonso improves again next time round, this time posting a 1m27.515s.

09:04 Incidentally, temperatures are still very low - both air and track are just seven degrees C at the moment.

09:06 Alonso brings that seven-lap stint to a close. He lowered the benchmark several times, eventually getting down to a 1m26.321s.

09:11 Which is a neat time to recap the order after the first hour (and a bit):

1 Alonso (Ferrari) 1m26.321s, 12 laps
2 Massa (Williams) 1m33.087s, 5 laps
3 Hamilton (Mercedes) 1m36.344, 10 laps
4 Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1m45.525s, 13 laps
5 Button (McLaren) no time, 5 laps
6 Frijns (Caterham) no time, 3 laps

09:14 Adrian Sutil makes it seven for the day, heading out for his first lap as a Sauber driver.

09:18 Sutil heads straight back in, but Hamilton moves the other way and heads for his 12th lap of the day - which is enough to put him second overall.

09:22 Four laps so far for Hamilton, and every one has brought an improvement. His latest effort is a 1m29.519s.

09:23 And as the Briton clocks up his 15th lap of the day, Red Bull's ongoing absence is becoming increasingly conspicuous.

Jenson Button F1 McLaren 201409:25 Button discovers the downside to a pit box being underneath a media centre.

He doesn't get away cleanly from the garage, stalls (prompting a massive turbo whoosh) and promptly has a massive audience peering from above.

09:28 Eight laps now for Hamilton, and he is still improving. A 1m27.356s moves him onto the tail of Alonso.

It also means he's completed, in this single stint, the same amount of running as Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull managed over the entirety of day two.

09:30 Red Bull is getting ready to run however.

The team tells AUTOSPORT the engine has been fired up this morning, and that it is completing final checks.

09:35 Hamilton, now on his 12th lap of this stint, is joined by Alonso and then Sutil.

09:38 Hamilton brings that 12-lap stint (14 including out and in) to a close. It was very consistent - he improved every lap for the first seven, then hung around the 1m27s for the remainder.

Adrian Sutil F1 Sauber 201409:40 Adrian Sutil is on the board. His first flying lap in a Sauber is a 1m40.955s - which he instantly improves upon next time around to move into fourth overall.

09:43 Alonso meanwhile lowers the day three benchmark to a 1m26.017s, on the fourth lap of his current run.

09:45 Poetic from Mercedes:

@MercedesAMGF1: "There's a symphony of turbocharged goodness as @LewisHamilton roars round #Jerez; V6 #F1 is music to the ears, fact."

Incidentally, our man KEVIN TURNER was on track on day one to get an early sense of what the 2014 cars look and sound like on track. You can read his thoughts here.

09:48 Button heads out for McLaren, and his first flyer of the day is enough for second overall - a 1m27.349s, seven thousandths of a second quicker than former team-mate Hamilton.

09:51 If you're just joining us, here are the main themes so far on day three:

* Alonso sets the early pace on his first day in the F14 T
* Hamilton clocks up the first long run
* Sutil and Massa make new team debuts
* New Marussia set to break cover
* Red Bull is yet to run

09:56 Vergne is back out for Toro Rosso and heads on to his 16th lap of the day.

Add in Frijns's four for Caterham, and this is officially the most productive day so far for Renault.

10:00 Hamilton takes the Mercedes back out. He has already completed 25 laps today.

10:01 Vergne and Button pit, leaving just the Mercedes on track.

Robin Frijns F1 Caterham 201410:02 Frijns takes the Caterham back out. Let's hope he can keep it running this time.

10:02 Renault's problems yesterday, and their implications for Vettel and Red Bull's title defence, were the major talking point on Wednesday evening.

In his mid-test analysis column, EDD STRAW rounded up the five big storylines that have already developed after two days of 2014 running.

F1 2014's plot begins to thicken

10:05 Quick round-up of times and laps completed:

1 Alonso (Ferrari) 1m26.017s, 20 laps
2 Button (McLaren) 1m26.503s, 15 laps
3 Hamilton (Mercedes) 1m27.356s, 27 laps
4 Sutil (Sauber) 1m32.150s, 8 laps
5 Massa (Williams), 1m33.087s, 5 laps
6 Vergne (Toro Rosso), 1m45.525s, 17 laps
7 Ericsson (Caterham), no time, 5 laps

10:05 And now Hamilton goes quickest with 1m25.973s for Mercedes.

10:07 Frijns has made it back to the pits. Sutil is now out for Sauber as Hamilton continues his run, lapping in the 1m26s.

Robin Frijns F1 Caterham 201410:13 The Caterham crew didn't love the pitlane rescues this morning it seems:

@CaterhamF1: "Box Robin box" is the command from Tim to @RFrijns .. a few deep breaths from the mechanics, released when the car arrives at the garage..."

10:17 JONATHAN NOBLE has just been catching up with Marussia's Max Chilton, who says the team is still working on the car and hoping to get out today.

10:20 Hamilton is still going - this stint is up to 13 laps and counting - but he's been bumped off the top as Button comes round in 1m25.030s.

10:25 It's early days, of course, but here are the best laps, per engine manufacturer, set so far at Jerez:

Mercedes - 1m24.165s (Button, day two)
Ferrari - 1m24.812s (Raikkonen, day two)
Renault - 1m36.530s (Vergne, day one)

10:26 Red flag, and it's for a Ferrari...

Fernando Alonso F1 Ferrari 201410:27 The F14 T is parked out on circuit, and Alonso is quickly out and walking.

10:30 The Ferrari is on the back section of the track, just before the Ayrton Senna chicane. Plenty of marshals surrounding it, and now the Ferrari crew has arrived.

10:33 The covers are on, the low loader has arrived, and the car doesn't have a long way to travel back to the garage (where a mass of media has already gathered).

We should be back underway shortly.

10:34 Incidentally, Hamilton was on another long run when that red came out, having just started the 19th lap of his stint.

10:39 Some meticulous tweaking of the car cover has delayed proceedings slightly, but the low loader is just about moving and on its way back.

10:42 The old adage that testing times mean little:

@McLarenF1: "Jenson's currently fastest this morning, he's set a 1m25.030s - but don't read anything into these times. #earlydays"

10:44 It's always amusing watching TV crews and photographers trying to snaffle shots of a Ferrari hidden behind car covers and pit screens.

The F14 T is at least back in the pitlane, which means we're green once more.

10:50 We have a special guest for Live today - Nico Rosberg will be answering your questions from 1530 local time.

Have a question for the three-time grand prix winner? Email us at

We'll pick out the best questions and put them to the man himself this afternoon.

Nico Rosberg F1 Mercedes 2014

10:52 In the meantime, back to the track - where Button and Sutil have headed out following that brief red flag.

10:55 Sutil sets a new personal best of 1m30.888s, but is still more than four seconds down the road from the top trio of Button, Hamilton and Alonso.

10:56 Massa is also out for Williams. It's been a relatively slow start to the day for the team, with just six laps on the board so far.

10:58 Red Bull is out. Daniel Ricciardo takes to the track for the first time in the RB10, which has completed just 11 laps so far in 2014 testing.

11:00 Red flag. We're not sure what the cause is yet.

11:00 It's the Red Bull...

Red Bull F1 201411:01 A smoking RB10 is parked out on track. Ricciardo makes a quick exit, and then inspects the rear of his car.

11:04 The car made it as far as the double left-hander after Dry Sac before Ricciardo pulled to the side of the circuit. He's out the car, has his helmet off and is inspecting the car.

11:06 Red Bull's crew is out to the car and the covers are quickly on.

11:07 AUTOSPORT's technical expert GARY ANDERSON took an in-depth look at what's causing Renault's current problems and the implications for Red Bull in his Wednesday night analysis feature.

11:11 The car is on the low loader, the crew in the course car has returned, so we should be back underway shortly.

11:17 Covers on, the RB10 is being carted back to the pitlane. Still just the 11 laps for Red Bull's new creation, and we're approaching the halfway mark of the third day.

Mercedes, by comparison, has completed 160, while Ferrari has managed 104.

11:19 Back to green, and Jenson Button is out immediately.

Nico Hulkenberg F1 Force India 201411:20 He's followed promptly by Nico Hulkenberg, who starts the first lap of his Force India return.

11:20 Vergne and Massa also head out, making it four cars on track.

11:23 Hulkenberg pits, but Button, Massa and Vergne stay out.

11:23 As Massa registers a new personal best, Sutil emerges for Sauber.

11:27 Massa and Williams have been conducting a lot of sensor work today. The Brazilian is still running a small pitot sensor on the roll hoop, which gives an accurate air-speed measurement to use as a reference for downforce levels:

@WilliamsF1Team: "Lots of aero sensors going on and off the car which takes time between runs but Felipe has clocked up 10 timed laps today so far."

11:31 As we near the mid-point of day three, here is a quick recap on the main themes so far:

* Red Bull stops on track on first lap of the day, and 12th of the test
* Button sets the early pace
* Hamilton leads the lap count after two long runs
* Marussia's 2014 challenger yet to appear
* Caterham and Force India yet to set a time
* Massa and Sutil make new team debuts

Nico Rosberg F1 Mercedes 201411:31 We're getting hundreds of questions for Nico Rosberg already, but if you want yours in the mix as well, email now.

You've got just over two hours before we 'close the lines', and Rosberg will be here answering your questions live at 2.30pm UK time/3.30pm CET.

11:32 @clubforce: "A successful installation lap for @NicoHulkenberg as The Hulk makes his official return to the team! #FeelTheForce."

11:33 The latest AUTOSPORT podcast has just been published, featuring a full analysis of the 2014 Formula 1 picture so far.

Ideal background listening while following AUTOSPORT Live, we'd suggest...

11:36 Alonso takes the Ferrari back out. We now have three on track, with Button and Massa being the other two.

11:37 No we don't! Button brings the McLaren in.

11:39 And Alonso improves to 1m25.508s to go second.

11:42 He then improves to 1m25.495s. That's still around 0.7s slower than Raikkonen managed yesterday.

11:42 Massa is in, so it's now just the Ferrari on track.

11:43 Alonso is running on the medium tyre, which Button used to get into the 1m24s on day two.

11:45 And Alonso is in, so we have an empty track once more.

Jenson Button11:45 As usual at this time of year, the visually bizarre sensor contraptions teams are running to get data about their cars' aerodynamic behaviour are attracting plenty of comments.

AUTOSPORT's technical experts will explain more about how these devices work later in the week.

11:46 In case you were wondering, the black thing pointing skywards in that pic is the sensor. It is hard to know what's a sensor and what's aerodynamics at times under this year's aero rules...

11:49 Run down of times and laps completed so far:

1 Button (McLaren) 1m25.030s, 40 laps
2 Alonso (Ferrari) 1m25.495s, 32 laps
3 Hamilton (Mercedes) 1m25.973s, 45 laps
4 Massa (Williams) 1m27.286s, 24 laps
5 Sutil (Sauber) 1m30.161s, 28 laps
6 Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1m45.525s, 22 laps
7 Frijns (Caterham) no time, 8 laps
8 Hulkenberg (Force India), no time, 2 laps
9 Ricciardo (Red Bull), no time, 1 lap

11:50 Ricciardo has gone out and this time he has made it past the start-finish line to start another lap.

Hulkenberg has also gone out again in the Force India.

11:52 Ricciardo brings the Red Bull back in. That's three laps he's managed, though one of those he didn't really finish under his own steam...

11:52 Hulkenberg records a time of 1m34.475s. That puts him sixth.

11:56 Earlier, Hulkenberg told EDD STRAW he is happy to be back at Force India:

"It's pretty much the same crew I worked with in 2012. I know my race engineer, I know my mechanics.

"Obviously, there are a few new faces, but that should help to bed in quicker and get everything smoother in terms of the working processes.

"I feel that I am very well supported there. We worked together successfully at the end of 2012 and I see no reason why that shouldn't be the case again."

11:59 Williams still seems pretty upbeat about its new car. Much of the FW36's running has been on the special Jerez hard tyre, potentially not as quick as the rubber some of the other teams have been using.

@WilliamsF1Team: "Another good run for Massa and he's back in.... his initial feelings about the #FW36 are all good"

12:04 A quick look at how many laps the various engines have completed today, while we are quiet again:

Mercedes 115 (four cars running)
Ferrari 60 (two cars running)
Renault 33 (three cars running)

12:06 Encouraging news on Michael Schumacher's recovery today as doctors begin to reduce his sedation and begin the 'waking up process' - see the AUTOSPORT homepage for the latest from the hospital.

12:12 Button has spent much of the test on top of the times, since the McLaren MP4-29 first hit the track yesterday morning.

That's not bad considering the fitness issues he has had recently:

"I did a helluva lot of training over the winter and limiting my diet, but that's all gone out the window in January.

"I haven't trained for three weeks because I've had an infection in my knee.

"I've not been able to train at all. I'm not as light as I will be at the first race."

12:14 Latest update from Red Bull:

@redbullracing: "Dan's just completed 2 more laps, slow going for the #RB10. Tactically we're taking the 'less is more' approach..."

12:17 Massa breaks the silence and takes the Williams back out.

Alonso Ferrari12:18 AUTOSPORT has just been looking at pics of some of the cars. Worth commending Ferrari for making Alonso's number 14 more visible than we have come to expect in F1.

12:20 Massa improves to 1m26.435s, but he is still fourth.

12:25 This is a decent run from Massa, in the 1m26s and 1m27s, on the Jerez hard tyre. Nice amount of kerb used at Turn 4 too.

12:27 McLaren has confirmed Button's running is done for the day. Kevin Magnussen will be taking over this afternoon.

Yesterday, Button had this to say about his new team-mate:

"I've done a couple of photoshoots with him and that's about it so far. He's got a nice smile! That's about as much as I know him.

"He's an intelligent guy and he's proven his speed to the team.

"I’ll be here when he's driving to sit in on the meeting at the end of the day to see how he feels the car and what his feedback is like."

12:29 Massa continues his consistent run, 1m27.6s and 1m27.5s on his last two flyers.

12:36 Massa pits after a 12-lap run. It looked like his tyres had just started to lose their edge as he slipped into the 1m28s.

12:38 Hulkenberg heads out for Force India. He hasn't done many laps today compared to the other Mercedes runners, just six.

12:39 And he's not going to be covering many more right now as the Force India has stopped entering Turn 5.

12:41 That's our third red flag of the day, following Alonso and Ricciardo earlier. All three engine manufacturers have thus been involved with a red flag today, though it is too early to say what the exact cause of Hulkenberg's stoppage is.

12:43 Most of the focus has remained on Red Bull - and particularly Renault.

Our technical expert GARY ANDERSON analysed Red Bull's situation after Daniel Ricciardo's truncated debut earlier today, and revealed there are paddock whispers about Renault raising eyebrows at Red Bull's electronics installation:

Gary Anderson analyses Red Bull's troubles

12:48 You've got another 45 minutes to get your questions for Nico Rosberg in. Email them to

He's also doing a social media Q&A with his Mercedes team today just before he joins us, but on AUTOSPORT Live he'll be able to answer you in more than 140 characters...

And he's an intelligent bloke, he's bound to have more than 140 characters to say...

12:49 The Force India has been taken away, so hopefully we will go green again soon.

12:50 Track temperature is up to around 27 degrees at the moment, not too terrible for this time of year.

Nico Hulkenberg12:50 We can confirm that Hulkenberg is back in the pitlane himself as EDD STRAW is following him around right this second (and taking pictures as he does so).

12:52 And we're up and running again. Not that the cars are flocking onto the track just yet...

12:54 Latest weather forecast is that we'll have scattered showers tomorrow, so this could be the best chance to usurp Button's best time from day two.

12:54 Sutil and Frijns head out, but one of the cars doesn't sound too good. A lot of popping and banging out the back of the circuit.

12:56 Frijns carries on past the pits, but Sutil brings the Sauber straight back in.

12:58 Frijns returns to the pits, leaving the circuit empty.

13:03 If you're just joining us, a quick summary of the day so far:

* Button continues to set the pace for McLaren.
* Red flags caused by Alonso, Ricciardo and Hulkenberg.
* Renault teams continue to struggle. Red Bull has completed just three laps so far.
* Schumacher begins waking process.

13:05 Sutil has gone out so we have one car on-track.

Adrian Sutil F1 Sauber 201413:09 No improvement for the Sauber, which has now come back in.

13:12 This could explain why we haven't got much going on:

@WilliamsF1Team: "Brief pause in proceedings as Felipe jumps out for some lunch #Jerez"

We suspect Williams may not be the only team employing this strategy!

13:19 It's the last call for questions for Nico Rosberg, we'll be closing the email 'lines' in 10 minutes and then he'll join us on AUTOSPORT Live at 2.30pm UK/3.30pm CET.

Email with the question you'd like to ask the Mercedes man.

13:19 Marussia is reporting that Max Chilton is in his racesuit, so we may get to see the new MR03 run fairly soon.

13:27 While we're waiting for the track action to restart, here is the current order:

1 Button (McLaren) 1m25.030s, 40 laps
2 Alonso (Ferrari) 1m25.495s, 32 laps
3 Hamilton (Mercedes) 1m25.973s, 45 laps
4 Massa (Williams) 1m26.435s, 36 laps
5 Sutil (Sauber) 1m30.161s, 32 laps
6 Hulkenberg (Force India) 1m30.205s, 7 laps
7 Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1m45.525s, 22 laps
8 Frijns (Caterham) no time, 10 laps
9 Ricciardo (Red Bull) no time, 3 laps

Nico Rosberg F1 Mercedes 201413:30 And that's it, lines are closed. We're sorting through the hundreds of questions you've sent in for Nico Rosberg and we'll get through as many of them as possible when he's here with us in an hour.

13:33 Alonso and Hulkenberg break the silence, though the Force India comes straight back in again.

13:34 And Magnussen heads out for his first run in the McLaren MP4-29.

13:37 Magnussen goes on to a flyer as Hulkenberg heads back out.

Alonso is lapping in the 1m26s on the medium Pirelli.

13:38 And Magnussen's first lap, on the hard Jerez tyre, is 1m31.936s.

13:39 Alonso pits and goes straight back out again. Magnussen improves to 1m29.773s, which puts him fifth.

13:40 Hulkenberg improves his time too, just a fraction slower than the McLaren.

13:41 Magnussen improves to 1m28.533s.

13:43 Magnussen continues to bring his times down on his first run in the MP4-29, now to 1m27.731s.

13:45 Alonso is in the pits, leaving just the McLaren and Hulkenberg's Force India on the circuit.

13:47 Hulkenberg brings the VJM07 back in. He has still only done 14 laps today; it's not been a great one for Force India.

13:48 Magnussen comes in after his first eight-lap run as a McLaren grand prix driver.

13:51 Alonso takes the Ferrari back out. So far, the F14 T is the only car able to get close to the performance of the Mercedes-powered machines.

13:53 The home favourite gets straight down to a mid-1m25, just 0.006s slower than his best earlier today.

13:54 And then he pits, still in second behind Button, who is done for the day.

13:58 And we finally have the Marussia heading out on track. Max Chilton at the wheel.

13:59 Magnussen follows him out, so we have a new F1 car and a new F1 driver on-track.

Alonso leaves the Ferrari pit in the F14 T too.

14:01 Alonso in, Hamilton out. It's a while since we've seen the Mercedes on-track, even though it has still completed more laps today than any other car.

14:02 Chilton has brought the Marussia in after its installation lap.

14:04 And here's the new Marussia MR03.

Full story here.

14:04 Magnussen is now on the normal Pirelli hard tyre and immediately improves to 1m27.521s. He's still fifth though.

14:05 And now a 1m26.568 for McLaren's new man, while Massa takes the Williams back out.

14:07 A little squirm for Magnussen at the last corner, but the result is 1m26.348s, which moves him to fourth.

14:09 Hamilton had been lapping in the 1m27s, but records a slow 1m46s last time around.

14:11 And back into the 1m27s for Hamilton, running on the hard Jerez tyre. He's running a very similar pace to Magnussen's McLaren, which is on the standard hard.

14:12 Massa's run wasn't very long, but Hamilton has now done eight laps in this stint.

14:14 We spoke too soon! Hamilton pits, leaving only Magnussen on his own.

14:15 JONATHAN NOBLE has just returned from the paddock and has reported that Adrian Newey and Christian Horner have already left the track. Not a good day for Red Bull...

14:18 Magnussen pits. He has already completed 19 laps today in the MP4-29. That's more than Red Bull has managed in three days!

14:20 Marussia seems pretty happy with how the MR03 ran on its first outing.

@Marussia_F1Team: "Straight out of the garage & a good clean installation lap. We couldn't have asked for any more than that!"

14:21 Alonso is back out on track with the Ferrari. He needs to find half a second to knock Hamilton off top spot.

14:24 Thanks for all your questions for Nico Rosberg. The man himself will be arriving shortly to provide his answers to AUTOSPORT Live.

Nico Rosberg F1 Mercedes 2014

14:26 Alonso comes in briefly, then blasts back out.

14:29 Hamilton's Mercedes whistles down the pitlane. Lewis says he has been preparing for 2014 in a slightly unusual way:

"It has probably been the shortest winter I have ever had out of the car. I spent Christmas and New Year training in the mountains and I even put a turbo on my snowmobile, so that I could get used to the feel of a vehicle delivering power in that way, which was pretty awesome."

14:31 And it clearly worked because Hamilton sets a new best time of 1m23.952s.

14:34 Hamilton is on the medium Pirelli. He has followed that lap up with a 1m24.056s, the two fastest laps of the test so far.

Magnussen, on the hard, has also improved, to 1m26.210s.

Magnussen Jerez D314:35 And now a 1m25.751s for Magnussen.

14:36 Sutil has also joined the two Mercedes-powered cars on track.

14:42 And comes in. Hamilton has also pitted, leaving Magnussen out on track.

Nico Rosberg F1 Mercedes 201414:43 Our first question for Nico Rosberg is from Suvrajit Ganguly, who asks:

I know it's a very early stage in the game, but how different does the 2014-spec car feel from the cockpit? Are the differences in handling, sound and performance obvious?

Nico Rosberg: "The driving is similar. The tyres are harder at the moment so that makes it a bit more difficult....and the engine is different, especially because of having the low RPM - but good torque and needing to run higher gears in the corners. Last year we did a hairpin in first gear, this year it's maybe third."

14:45 While Rosberg answers your questions, Alonso and Sutil head out to join Magnussen on-track.

14:45 Phil Waldron is next up in our "Ask Nico" section:

Lewis doesn't seem as mentally strong as yourself and some others. Is that something you work on alongside all the other aspects of racing (fitness, diet, engineering etc) or do your Finnish genes just make you naturally more chilled out?

Nico Rosberg: "It's the Finnish genes ;)"

(Incidentally, Nico was very amused to find that one member of AUTOSPORT Live didn't know what a smiley was...)

14:46 Red flag as Sutil appears to have crashed the Sauber.

14:48 He is sat at Turn 5 with the front wing and front-left wheel missing.

14:48 Peter from the Netherlands: Do you ever challenge your Dad in activities like karting or cycling perhaps? And if so, who wins?

Nico Rosberg: "No, but check out on YouTube - we went ice rallying against each other a couple of years ago. Guess who won...;)"

Nico Rosberg F1 Mercedes 201414:51 Stratos from Edinburgh: What is more difficult - trying to master four-ball juggling or trying to figure out F1's latest rules?

Nico Rosberg: "Both are very difficult - not so much the rules but the whole technology involved in driving the car is really complicated and complex.

"For example, my whole steering wheel is custom made, and I have a smart phone section in the car which I set up to my own needs with whatever I want on there."

14:54 Josh from London: Are you surprised by Renault's performance in testing so far, and are you surprised by the reliability of the Mercedes engine?

Nico Rosberg: "We all expected a lot of reliability issues. I'm definitely surprised at our performance yesterday, that we were able to do so many laps.

"And Lewis again today is leading in terms of amount of laps and that's really important progress so early on to sort out the reliability challenge."

14:55 Sutil update: It's not Turn 5, it's Turn 7. The position of the car and tyre marks indicate some sort of failure rather than a straight driving error.

14:56 Mark Gavan asks: Given the love-or-hate-quality to the new turbo engines this year, what is your favourite sound from F1's history?

Nico Rosberg: "Probably the V10s, because they were the most aggressive, the loudest, the most brutal."

KEKE ROSBERG15:00 Nico's father Keke was one of the stars of F1's first turbo era.

He was not only the last man to beat the turbocharged factory teams to a title in the period in 1982 (in his Cosworth DFV powered Williams), but then produced one of the era's greatest turbo drives when the team got its hands on Honda power.

Last week's AUTOSPORT magazine celebrated the brutally powerful 1980s turbocharged grand prix cars, and Keke made appearances in both Derek Warwick's top 10 F1 turbo driver rankings and in our selection of the best turbo F1 drives.

15:02 Onto our next question - Kristian from Denmark asks: Of all the drivers in the paddock, who is the best dancer? My money is on you...

Nico Rosberg: "I have no idea! All I do know is that I am definitely not the best singer..."

Nico Rosberg F1 Mercedes 201415:03 Our final question of "Ask Nico" relates to his relationship with team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg and Hamilton, remember, grew up in karts and have been competing ever since...

Brendan Delfino: You've grown up with Lewis in karting, however, since you've both come into Formula 1, Lewis has become a major celebrity. How much have you changed both as individuals and in your relationship with each other?

Nico Rosberg: "The relationship hasn't changed.

"It's just a bit more compicated in F1 because there's more involved, more people, more all over the place.

"Other than that it's pretty similar. We still have an occasional laugh together and it's still incredibly competitive as it always was."

15:05 And we're up and running again, with just under an hour to go of day three in Jerez.

15:06 Alonso and Magnussen are the first two to head out.

15:07 And that's a wrap. Thanks for all your questions, and of course thanks to Nico Rosberg for taking the time to visit and answer as many as he could.

15:09 GARY ANDERSON has a theory on the Sauber crash:

"Looking at the CCTV of the accident scene, I'd guess that the Sauber suffered a rear suspension failure. There's one set of solid black lines, which is Sutil being on the brakes, and there is the other set of broken tyre marks which will be the back of the car spinning.

"It's an odd place to go off as you are still under power, and if something happens at the rear it steers the car one way or the other. But there is no confirmation from the team on this and as I didn't see what happened, that's based only on what we could see after the crash.

"The interesting thing here will be to see how the anteater nose stood up to the impact. It appeared to be off the car after the impact, so that needs to be investigated because this is the first test of the new nose structures."

15:10 Vergne has also gone out in the Toro Rosso, so we have three cars on-track.

15:11 Alonso appears to be on the hard Jerez-spec tyre, so he is unlikely to be challenging the top times.

Vergne finally gets a proper time in, but he is still eighth.

15:14 Vergne now does a 1m30.595s, the quickest time achieved by any of the Renault-engined cars so far this week.

15:15 He goes quicker again to move ahead of Sutil's Sauber.

15:16 But he comes by the pits rather slowly and things don't look good.

Toro Rosso F1 201415:16 And it's another red flag as the Toro Rosso grinds to a halt.

15:19 Vergne has stopped just past the pit exit. He's out, but this just underlines how terrible this test has been so far for the Renault teams.

15:21 Green again for the last 40 minutes.

15:25 Magnussen goes out again. He has already done 36 laps, despite only taking over from Button this afternoon.

15:25 Chilton has also taken the Marussia out. And Hulkenberg joins them now too.

15:27 Magnussen is on the mediums and has just gone fastest of all in sector one.

15:27 And in sector two...

Kevin Magnussen McLaren F1 201415:28 The rookie goes fastest, with 1m23.276s to put McLaren back on top.

15:29 Hulkenberg makes a big improvement to, moving the Force India to fifth.

15:31 Hulkenberg pits. Magnussen has just done a 1m23.894s, so he has the top two times at Jerez so far.

15:33 Magnussen brings the MP4-29 in after his fast run.

15:41 Magnussen heads back out. Can he go even quicker?

Team-mate Button said yesterday he thought someone would get into the 1m22s before the end of the week.

15:45 Good news for Toro Rosso, as Jean-Eric Vergne heads out.

15:46 Make that bad news - he doesn't even make it to the pit exit before pulling to a halt. Red flag.

Jean-Eric Vergne F1 Toro Rosso 201415:47 Helmet in hand, Vergne takes a look around the car before trudging back down the pitlane, just as his crew coming running up from the garage.

15:48 McLaren uses the stoppage for a practice pitstop. It's an efficient one too, and Magnussen is on his way - for all of five metres at least, before he stops and is rolled back into the garage.

15:50 @ToroRossoSpy: "Another stop, unfortunately! We'll check #STR9 shortly."

15:51 Caterham meanwhile has wrapped up for the day, meaning Robin Frijns' first official day of running with the team encompasses 10 laps, none of them timed.

15:51 Green flag, and we're back underway.

15:56 Into the final five minutes of day three, and Magnussen, Massa and Chilton are out.

Max Chilton F1 Marussia 201415:58 Chilton stays out for a first run down the main straight, but then pits next time round. No lap time then, but five laps on the board. Red Bull is on three, Caterham on 10.

16:00 Practice start at the pitlane exit for Alonso, who escapes just before the chequered flag flies.

16:01 @Marussia_F1Team: "Nice round of applause from the grandstand as @maxchilton completes a fifth and final lap in the new #MR03. A good debut!"

16:02 And that's a wrap for day three. Kevin Magnussen keeps McLaren on top in his first official session for the team, while Felipe Massa leapfrogs Lewis Hamilton late on to secure second for Williams.

16:02 Curious to know the main themes and major events of the day? Our full report is imminent.

16:09 Day 3 results:

1. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren-Mercedes) 1m23.276s, 52 laps
2. Felipe Massa (Williams-Mercedes) 1m23.700s, 47 laps
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1m23.952s, 62 laps
4. Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes) 1m25.030s, 40 laps
5. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 1m25.495s, 58 laps
6. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India-Mercedes) 1m26.096s, 17 laps
7. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso-Renault) 1m29.915s, 30 laps
8. Adrian Sutil (Sauber-Ferrari) 1m30.161s, 34 laps
9. Robin Frijns (Caterham-Renault) No time, 10 laps
11. Max Chilton (Marussia-Ferrari) No time, 5 laps
10. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull-Renault) No time, 3 laps

16:12 That's it for AUTOSPORT's live coverage for the third and penultimate day here at Jerez.

Our team on the ground is sweeping the paddock as we type to get all the latest news and reaction after a day where Renault teams, and Red Bull in particular, struggled once more.

Keep up with all the reaction from the teams and drivers on, and look out for the thoughts of JONATHAN NOBLE and KEVIN TURNER for subscribers to AUTOSPORT PLUS as well over the next few hours.

Our live service will resume first thing tomorrow.

Felipe Massa F1 Williams 2014

P Driver Team Time
1  MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes 1m23.276s
2  MassaWilliams-Mercedes 1m23.700s  +0.424
3  HamiltonMercedes 1m23.952s  +0.676
4  ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes 1m25.030s  +1.754
5  AlonsoFerrari 1m25.495s  +2.219
6  HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes 1m26.096s  +2.820
7  VergneToro Rosso-Renault 1m29.915s  +6.639
8  SutilSauber-Ferrari 1m30.161s  +6.885
All timing unofficial. Updated: 15:56 GMT
Clear skies High Temp: 13°C / 55°F
Track: Dry
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