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As it happened: Test day two
By Matt Beer, Glenn Freeman, Ben Anderson, Scott Mitchell and Lawrence Barretto
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
07:51 Good morning and welcome back to AUTOSPORT Live from a slightly misty Barcelona. Formula 1 test day two is nine minutes away.

07:51 It's slightly chillier than yesterday morning at 2.2 degrees C right now, and AUTOSPORT's notepad had to be employed as an ice scraper.

07:52 But the early cloud has cleared, there's a slightly evocative misty sunrise, and Spain is continuing to look a little bit like Devon.

07:52 Below us, the Red Bull-Renault is already revving its engine and poised for the start, and the team's been carrying out pitstop practice.

07:57 Here's the full driver line-up for today:

RED BULL: Ricciardo
FERRARI: Raikkonen
LOTUS: Palmer
SAUBER: Ericsson

07:58 The change of plan there is that Fernando Alonso is taking over from Jenson Button at McLaren, as the team knows today will be compromised by the Honda seal problem that halted it's running yesterday, with a permanent fix not possible until Saturday.

Button had been scheduled to do the first two days so wouldn't have got a clean run at all. This shuffle evens things out - though it does mean Alonso won't have the greatest Friday.

08:00 Green light and immediate sounds of cars heading out.

08:00 Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa are the first men on track for Ferrari and Williams.

08:01 AUTOSPORT's spot in the media centre is right above the Red Bull garage. So we were in prime position to observe the team's pitstop practice we mentioned just before the running kicked off.

08:03 A busy track straight off, with Fernando Alonso, Jolyon Palmer, Nico Rosberg and Carlos Sainz Jr out too.

08:03 Raikkonen, carrying a huge sensor contraption on the Ferrari's rear wing, was straight back into the pits, while Massa stayed out.

08:03 Marcus Ericsson brings the Sauber out now too.

08:04 Even on a cobweb-shaking-off initial run, the scattering of sparks from the Williams on the pits straight was quite impressive.

08:04 Sergio Perez sets off in the 2014 Force India.

08:04 @RenaultSportF1: "Plan today is running, running and more running to optimise driveability and understand the cars more. Looking forward to a productive day"

08:05 That means just four minutes in, everyone bar Red Bull has been out - though we have heard that car running beneath us.

08:06 Perez comes back in past us in the Force India driven yesterday by Pascal Wehrlein before he was called back to Mercedes.

08:07 Wehrlein wasn't sure last night if he'd be out again today, as Mercedes was uncertain whether Rosberg would be fit to drive.

08:09 A bit of confusion here. We had a brief red flag, but the timing screens say it's green again.

Doesn't look like Daniel Ricciardo made it back to the pits though.

08:10 Ricciardo hit trouble in the pitlane exit and has been brought back by the Red Bull mechanics.

08:11 Here's the scene below us as the Red Bull crew drag their car back.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull

08:12 The track is green again but everyone is in their garages.

08:12 That's less than ideal for Red Bull, particularly after Ricciardo admitted last night that Renault is not where it needs to be right now.

Renault engine not where Red Bull wants it to be

08:13 We can already hear the Red Bull-Renault revving again in the garage, and it's straight back out on track smoothly this time.

08:13 That was the sort of false start you might have when you get in the car to leave home and only realise at the end of the road that you forgot your wallet.

We don't think Ricciardo forgot his wallet.

08:14 Alonso's McLaren sets off for another run too.

08:16 It's been a good morning for Nico Rosberg so far. Yesterday Mercedes admitted it couldn't be certain if his painful trapped nerve would allow him to drive today, so Wehrlein remained on standby.

But not only is Rosberg fit enough to hop back in the W06, he's also being inundated with social media well-wishes after announcing that he's going to become a father this summer.

08:16 Alonso and Ricciardo are back in the pits with no dramas, and Ericsson's Sauber is now giving the small crowd something to watch.

08:17 Ericsson stays out and could be providing the day's first flying lap. Rosberg leaves the pits too.

08:19 Ericsson starts us off with a 1m38.337s on medium tyres.

08:20 Yesterday all the attention on Sauber was about Felipe Nasr's collision with Susie Wolff, but in between being quizzed about flying over the front of a Williams, Nasr also let us know how good Sauber's progress is:

"It feels positive but it's difficult to know where we are at the moment compared to everyone else.

"But certainly I feel and the team feels like the car is more consistent through the day. This is clearly a good direction to take."

08:21 Ericsson heads into the pits, while Rosberg, Raikkonen and Palmer are on track.

08:23 Rosberg did clock a lap time officially, but it was a very slow 2m23.716s as he cruised round.

08:24 Rosberg does another 2m22s and wanders slowly down the pits straight. Constant-speed aero testing is clearly on Mercedes' list today.

08:24 Either that or he should be flat-out but he's making a list of baby names in the cockpit... It's probably an aero test.

08:25 Alonso in on track again. Honda is determined to make the most of today:

"Productive day ahead planned. Possibility of limited runs but an opportunity to maximise testing of the car's balance."

08:26 Here's what Ricciardo stopped at the end of the pitlane looked like when captured by a proper photographer from our friends at LAT rather than a journalist who found a bargain camera in Argos:

Daniel Ricciardo stops, F1 testing Barcelona 2015

08:26 The Red Bull was very swiftly back in business once restarted in the garage, and subsequently completed a second installation lap without problems, so that little stutter didn't seem too costly.

08:27 Rosberg continues to cruise round at low speed. Sainz and Perez are also circulating.

08:28 Perez does a first flying lap of 1m32.005s - fastest so far by 6s.

08:28 Lotus tweets an update on its plans:

"First installs and aero runs done @JolyonPalmer wheeled back in for some aero changes before the next run"

08:29 Pacesetter Perez improves to 1m30.238s next time around.

08:30 It's still only 3 degrees C outside, though the track temperature is up to 13.3 as more sun appears.

Humidity is 83 per cent, if you like that sort of thing, and there is officially no breeze.

08:30 Perez backs right off as he crosses the line on his next lap, which clocks in at 1m32s.

08:32 Here's a first look at Palmer on track in the Lotus. The new one-helmet-per-season plan definitely shouldn't trouble the Palmer family, as Jolyon's father Jonathan nailed a lovely design for his career that Jolyon has adapted. Good work.

Jolyon Palmer, Lotus, Barcelona F1 test, February 2015

08:34 And here is sometime Williams, March, Zakspeed and Tyrrell F1 driver Jonathan Palmer in the Lotus pits just now, chatting with technical chief Nick Chester while overseeing his son's first day in his new job.

Jonathan Palmer and Nick Chester

08:34 Just Sainz on track now, and yet to do a flying lap.

08:35 A very early-doors lap count:

Rosberg 7
Perez 6
Sainz 6
Ericsson 5
Raikkonen 3
Alonso 3
Palmer 3
Massa 2
Ricciardo 1

08:38 Sainz brings the Toro Rosso back into the garage, then Ricciardo comes out, does one lap before pitting for a practice pitstop.

08:40 Ericsson improves to a 1m35.653s, remaining second behind Perez.

08:41 Ricciardo shoots in for another (faster) practice pitstop, then charges off on another set of softs.

08:43 Yesterday Red Bull only completed short runs again, although Toro Rosso proved a Renault could run and run and run as Max Verstappen did just that.

Ricciardo admitted he was concerned about where Red Bull-Renault stands, but didn't think too much should be read into Thursday.

"I think the bigger problems seem to be solved today, now just finetuning and get a bit more driveable, getting power down when we need it.

"In terms of global problems it is OK - we didn't do 100 laps but we didn't have to go through any engine change like we faced in Jerez, so definitely making progress on that front."

08:44 Ricciardo is now the only car on track again. Just Perez, Ericsson and Rosberg have set times - Perez a proper-ish flying lap, Ericsson a semi-reasonable lap and Rosberg a lot of aero cruising.

08:46 More pitstop practice for Red Bull outside our window, while Palmer gets going again in the Lotus too.

08:49 Palmer pits again, and Raikkonen takes to the track. The Ferrari stays out for a flying lap.

Meanwhile Red Bull nails another tyre change.

08:51 Rosberg might be attempting a proper flying lap here, judging by the Mercedes' now much less languid engine note.

08:52 Raikkonen has come back into the pits, though, and quickly been squirrelled away by the Ferrari crew.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Barcelona F1 test February 2015

08:53 Yes, OK, the clock in the picture does give away that it was taken by our XPB colleagues half an hour ago rather than being an instant transfer.

Good example of how rapidly the security screens are grabbed when a car pits, though.

08:54 Rosberg does go faster than before, but not what you'd call fast - a 1m49.961s lap.

08:55 Rosberg improves to a 1m44.124s, still 13.886s off the Perez lap that stands as the best of today's limited selection.

08:57 Massa starts a run for Williams, complete with sparks, while Rosberg trims down to a 1m40s.

08:58 This time Red Bull's pitstop practice includes a nose change too.

08:58 Massa goes top with his first flying lap - a 1m28.733s for Williams.

08:59 Faster again for Massa, a 1m27.772s puts him 2.4s clear of Perez.

09:00 These are 'proper' practice pitstops for Red Bull. Even though Ricciardo is coming in lap after lap, the crew are going right back into their positions in the garage and packing away each time, then running out last-minute as they would in a grand prix.

Another crew member stands on the pitwall opposite, observing and making notes.

09:01 Rosberg is still at quite a leisurely pace, but he is now down to 1m39s.

09:01 Massa, who is out on medium tyres, does a 1m27.9s to follow his benchmark 1m27.7s.

09:02 Headlines so far after one hour:

* It's a chilly morning without many flying laps...
* ...but all nine cars have run and Massa leads

09:03 Ericsson has improved Sauber's pace to a 1m34.142s in third place.

09:04 Ericsson goes quicker again, with a 1m31.838s. Still third behind Massa and Perez.

09:05 Lap count latest:

Rosberg 15
Ricciardo 14
Ericsson 11
Massa 8
Sainz 7
Raikkonen 6
Perez 6
Palmer 4
Alonso 3

09:05 Ericsson is 0.016s shy of beating his previous best on that lap.

09:08 The pitstops continue at Red Bull. Trying to decipher the hand gestures between front-end crew members after that one. It was either a variation of a minor 'oops' or just unrelated banter.

09:09 Ericsson is inching ever closer to removing Perez from second place. A 1m30.238s gets the gap down to 0.4s.

09:10 Relatively busy track now: Ericsson, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Sainz all running.

09:10 Williams and Mercedes are both engaged in some online fawning over the Rosbergs' baby news and speculating whether a third-generation Rosberg racer is on the cards.

Talking of racing families, AUTOSPORT Live has just noticed the trio of second-gen competitors on the timing screens here, and been amused by the prospect of Keke Rosberg, Jonathan Palmer and Carlos Sainz Sr lining up on the same F1 grid.

09:11 F1's current Rosberg goes a little faster on a 1m38.523s.

09:13 Sainz does Toro Rosso's first flying lap of Friday - 1m32.134s in fourth place.

Rosberg chips away further with a 1m37.915s.

09:14 Sainz improves to a 1m30.536s next time and takes third from Ericsson, squeezing into the gap between Force India and Sauber.

09:20 Perez, running on mediums, draws himself to within half a second of Massa on a 1m28.365s.

09:20 But Perez is only second for moments before Alonso puts McLaren on the board with a 1m28.265s.

09:21 Perez shoots to the top, a 1m27.424s put him three tenths ahead of Massa.

09:21 Alonso's following lap looks like it will be slightly slower. Looks like he's on Pirelli's 'winter hard' - a decent move at 5.6 degrees C.

09:22 Perez is half a second off his previous mark as he comes through next time.

09:23 Another improvement for Alonso, he stays third but is two tenths (exactly) quicker than before with a 1m28.065s.

09:23 Button had an encouraging run for McLaren around this time yesterday morning too, before the seal problem forced the team to stop running.

09:24 It would've been fascinating to see if McLaren's relatively strong form had continued as conditions improved in the afternoon, but the car was parked by that time.

09:24 Another tenth off for Alonso as he does a 1m27.978s.

09:25 The McLaren-Honda is regularly 3-4km/h down on the Force India-Mercedes in the speed traps.

09:25 That Force India almost just set a new benchmark time - Perez laps 0.036s shy of his current table-topping lap.

09:26 Perez backs off and pits now. Rosberg is still plugging around and has now done a 1m36.704s best.

09:29 Ericsson nips ahead of Sainz again into fourth for Sauber.

09:29 Lap count latest at 10.30:

Rosberg 22
Ricciardo 21
Ericsson 19
Sainz 14
Perez 13
Alonso 9
Massa 9
Raikkonen 9
Palmer 5

09:32 On Twitter, @Itgoscar suggests "I think it's time to start with Sauber facts again, no?"

#Sauberfacts editor (and AUTOSPORT magazine editor too, come to think of it) EDD STRAW is back at base for this test, but he has been tasked with throwing in Hinwil historical obscurity whenever he can between putting a magazine together today and through the weekend.

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Barceona F1 February 2015

09:32 Duly inspired by the promise of #Sauberfacts soon, Ericsson improves his time by 0.056s.

09:33 Massa is back out again and laps within a tenth of his previous best.

09:33 Rosberg bangs in Mercedes' first proper flying lap of the day and goes straight to second, 0.340s slower than Perez and 0.008s up on Massa.

09:35 Massa improves to second for a moment, then Rosberg thrusts Mercedes to first place on a 1m27.242s.

09:35 Rosberg is now 0.182s ahead of Perez and 0.203s up on Massa, with Alonso another half-second back.

09:35 Looks like Massa is on hards for this run, and Rosberg on 'winter hards' - designed to warm up quicker in testing.

09:36 Massa's next lap is four tenths slower, while Rosberg comes through 1.1s down this time.

09:36 Times so far:

1 Rosberg 1m27.242s
2 Perez +0.182s
3 Massa +0.203s
4 Alonso +0.736s
5 Ericsson +3.197s
6 Sainz +3.294s

09:38 This time around, Rosberg is quicker than his previous first sector best, then tails off. He's now the only man on track.

09:42 On Twitter, @elephino says the shots of Ricciardo's Red Bull being pushed down the pitlane remind him of Perry McCarthy's adventures in the Andrea Moda: "A fine @original_stig impression from @danielricciardo".

Here's the best we can find easily to hand to replicate that. Haven't managed to rustle up a marshal with a moustache quite like this Imola example at Barcelona today, but we'll keep our eyes peeled.

Perry McCarthy, Andrea Moda, San Marino GP 1992, Imola

09:42 Rosberg continues his run with a 1m27.877s.

09:46 Also on Twitter, @kshitijgopal asks: "Ferrari hasn't done a timed lap yet? Is Kimi eating ice cream or sleeping?"

Doesn't look like any drama at Ferrari today - it says it's doing aero tests and Raikkonen has just set out again for a 10th lap, which puts him ahead of Alonso and Palmer so far on the mileage chart.

That said, we're pretty sure Raikkonen would suggest you could sleep or eat an ice cream through an aero test. And indeed through a media briefing.

09:47 No ice creams now - Raikkonen does a 1m28.684s to put Ferrari fifth.

09:48 And a small crowd arrives for today's media centre tour. Hello spectators, we're journalists. AUTOSPORT is the ones with the glasses. Enjoy your day.

09:48 Raikkonen takes six tenths off his time but stays fifth, though now within 0.8s of pacesetter Rosberg.

09:49 Raikkonen does a 1m27.770s on winter hards (air temp now 6.3 degrees C) and moves ahead of Alonso into fourth.

09:50 That means we now have four cars within half a second, and five within 0.7s, up front.

McLaren, Fernando Alonso09:50 McLaren has just Tweeted this dramatic looking picture of Alonso leaving the garage, although it doesn't seem too concerned:

@McLarenF1: "Fernando puts the pedal to the metal. #Smoking"

We know the interest in the McLaren-Honda project is huge at the moment, so for those of you keen to know more about how its progress is coming along at Barcelona, BEN ANDERSON spoke exclusively to McLaren racing director Eric Boullier and Honda motorsport chief Yasuhisa Arai:

Why there is cause for concern at McLaren

09:51 Raikkonen is two tenths off his previous best this time around, but Perez is adding more purple to our telly screen...

09:52 Perez goes fastest on medium tyres with a 1m26.447s, seven tenths better than Rosberg's 'winter hard' lap.

09:52 More information from Twitter, with Lotus extolling the virtues of the data-gathering frenzy that is Formula 1 testing.

@Lotus_F1Team: "We're currently taking off one set of complicated air flow measuring kit and fitting some other measuring magic stuff to the car"

09:52 Improvement from Raikkonen too, as he finds three tenths and goes 0.021s quicker than Massa to take third.

09:53 Massa hints at some fun with a new benchmark in the first sector, but his lap overall is a tenth and a half off his best to date.

09:54 Alonso vaults McLaren into second, with a lap 0.294s off Perez.

09:55 Perez looked like he was about to improve the top time, but he falls 0.093s short over the full lap.

09:56 Alonso is quicker in the first sector but doesn't improve overall. He's on winter hards.

09:56 Perez and Raikkonen are lighting up the speed traps now with new Friday bests of 274.8km/h in the first sector just set.

09:58 Meanwhile at Red Bull, a big yellow ladder has appeared to adjust something in the pit gantry.

09:59 Both Perez and Raikkonen have now pitted, leaving Alonso (lapping in mid 1m27s) and Ericsson on track.

10:00 Headlines so far:

* Perez, Alonso, Rosberg, Raikkonen and Massa covered by 0.9s up front
* Ricciardo's Red Bull stopping in the pitlane briefly is only hint of trouble so far
* Neck-pain-free Rosberg tops mileage chart on 34 laps

10:01 Ericsson, with green sectors all the way, improves in the Sauber. He brings his best time down to 1m28.155s but stays sixth.

10:02 Times after two hours:

1 Perez 1m26.447s
2 Alonso +0.294s
3 Rosberg +0.795s
4 Raikkonen +0.977s
5 Massa +0.998s
6 Ericsson +1.708s
7 Sainz +4.089s

10:02 No improvement that time through for the medium-shod Ericsson, who goes just over a tenth slower.

10:03 Latest lap count:

Rosberg 34
Ericsson 25
Perez 22
Ricciardo 21
Raikkonen 19
Massa 19
Alonso 15
Sainz 14
Palmer 5

10:03 Lap count by engine:

Mercedes 80
Ferrari 46
Renault 35
Honda 15

10:04 That's better from Ericsson, who is into the 1m27s and closes in on the group in front.

A 1m27.933s puts him within half a second of Massa in P5.

10:04 The Sauber's not alone on track anymore, with Ricciardo's Red Bull joining it.

10:05 Slower from Ericsson, in the 1m30s, but Ricciardo's set to post his first time of the day.

10:06 Ricciardo crosses the line in 1m28.381s, so the Red Bull gets on the board in seventh place, 1.9s off Perez's benchmark.

10:06 Massa's just left the Williams garage, so three cars on track now.

10:07 Back into the 1m28s for Ericsson.

#Sauberfact – Ricciardo's just overtaken him on the leaderboard with a 1m27.509s.

See, we need @EddStrawF1 for this...

10:09 Big jump there for Ricciardo, who goes third on a 1m26.865s. That's on the hard tyre, too.

10:10 Another improvement for Ricciardo is dashed by a slow final sector.

Was that deliberate or the result of a mistake? He'd gone green in the first two.

Ericsson pits in the Sauber.

10:12 Ricciardo does a personal best first sector again on his latest run but falls just short of improving, with a 1m27.022s.

We have six cars within a second thanks to his leap up the leaderboard.

10:14 Slower lap for the Red Bull as Massa trundles through the pitlane in the Williams.

10:15 Another green first sector and another 1m27.0s for Ricciardo next time through.

10:16 Out comes Palmer in the Lotus. Let's see if they get chance to gain information with that "measuring magic stuff" fitted to the car.

10:18 Ricciardo back into the pits after run boosts his lap count to 30. Ericsson has also reached that number now. Palmer sets a new personal best (1m33.527s) as he adds to Lotus's previous tally of five.

10:19 Rosberg returns to the track as the busiest man so far today adds to his tally of 34 laps.

10:20 Palmer just shy of improving his time, 0.014s slower next time through.

10:20 Immediate impact from Rosberg. He's purple in the first sector.

10:20 And purple in the middle sector...

10:21 And Rosberg, on the medium tyre, goes quickest of all on a 1m25.556s. That's half a second off Maldonado's Thursday benchmark.

10:22 Rosberg's going quicker still on this run. Palmer, on the winter-special hard Pirellis, has lowered his best to 1m30.176s and leapfrogs Sainz.

10:22 Rosberg doesn't improve, it's a 1m26.221s.

Massa's back out in the Williams.

10:24 Massa improves in the Williams, going fifth on a 1m27.204s. He's on hard tyres.

10:25 Perez sets the best time of the Barcelona test so far, using soft tyres to propel his Force India to top spot on a 1m24.927s.

10:25 Quite a lot happening right now. The track is rather busy with all but Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Sainz out of the garages.

10:26 Ericsson has improved his time but stays seventh, now on a 1m27.538s for Sauber.

10:26 Time to see what Alonso and McLaren-Honda are up to.

10:27 Alonso, with mediums on his wagon, stays third but improves to a 1m26.387s.

10:28 Raikkonen's back out in the Ferrari and sets a personal best first sector.

Roserbg, still circulating on the mediums, comes through in 1m26.6s. Alonso follows him soon after, 0.7s slower.

10:29 Raikkonen goes back ahead of Massa (who is back in the pits) on a 1m27.068s.

10:31 Palmer's Lotus just sneaks into the 1m29s, but remains 5s off the pace on a 1m29.945s as he continues to gather data - this is the 10th lap of this run.

10:32 Raikkonen, after a slightly slower lap, improves on his 23rd lap to pass Ricciardo for fourth on a 1m26.804s.

10:33 It doesn't stay that way for long. Ricciardo goes third now on a 1m25.922s, demoting Alonso and Raikkonen.

10:33 Palmer's also improved down in eighth, to a 1m29.628s.

10:33 Alonso's short run is over, he's back in the pits.

10:35 Rosberg continues to log laps on the medium tyre (up to 45 now) and Raikkonen is not improving on his white-walled Pirellis.

Ricciardo, for the record, looks to be on Pirelli's winter hards...

10:37 Rosberg returns to the pits with 46 laps to his name.

Actually, all the drivers but Ricciardo are back in after that busy period comes to an end.

10:38 Ricciardo's run is over and his Pirellis were definitely unmarked. So that's a good time on the winter hard.

Massa's back out in the Williams.

Red Bull-Renault10:39 This week's issue of AUTOSPORT features an analysis of Renault's Formula 1 programme, including what the future could hold for the French manufacturer. Is a return to a fully-branded works team on the cards?

Renault ponders Formula 1 future

10:40 Massa gets down to work with a 1m29.5s.

10:41 Sainz is back out in the Toro Rosso. We'll bring you a lap count update when his run is finished.

10:42 Massa back in the pits again as Sainz looks set to improve.

10:44 Sainz sets back-to-back personal bests. The first takes him above Palmer and the second shaves a few hundredths off his time.

The Toro Rosso is eighth on a 1m29.452s.

10:46 Another improvement for Sainz takes him to 1m28.945s.

10:48 Sainz's latest effort is a 1m30.2s, but all nine cars have now completed an acceptable amount of running almost three hours in.

That last lap took the Toro Rosso level with the Lotus on 19, and Sainz is about to go one better.

10:48 The pace-setting Force India leaves the pitlane in Perez's hands.

10:51 In comes Sainz, and regardless of Perez's current run, we're going to update you on the mileage achieved thus far.

Rosberg 46
Ericsson 37
Ricciardo 35
Perez 29 (and counting)
Raikkonen 26
Sainz 21
Alonso 21
Palmer 19

10:53 That equates to:

Mercedes 94
Ferrari 63
Renault 56
Honda 21

10:54 And to ruin that, Ricciardo and Ericsson rejoin.

Ericsson improves to a 1m27.396s, but stays seventh.

10:55 Palmer's back out now and on a personal best lap. No improvement for Ericsson next time through. Perez in the 1m26s.

10:55 Sainz rejoins as Perez pits.

10:56 @LekhiLucky asks: "@autosport any chance of Kimi/Ferrari combo winning a race this year?....& what do you think of the rivalry between Kimi and Seb?"

BEN ANDERSON (@BenAndersonAuto): "I think it's still far too early to say whether that will be possible. But Ferrari seems to have made real progress with its engine performance (Daniel Ricciardo was genuinely surprised by Raikkonen's pace on the medium tyre yesterday) and if the car's handling is to Kimi's liking then he will certainly be set for a better season than the last.

"But that isn't really saying much, because last year was comfortably his worst since he became an F1 driver, in terms of results.

"As regards Raikkonen versus Vettel, they get on well away from the track, so the relationship should be a civilised one. Ferrari is in a period of serious readjustment, so it needs two drivers that will work together well and pull in the same direction.

"When it comes to which will beat the other, I expect both will enjoy their respective days in the sun, but Vettel's superior work ethic will probably win out across the balance of the season."

10:56 Palmer falls just short of an improvement with a 1m29.8s effort, but he's gone green again in the opening sector.

10:58 Palmer gets Lotus back ahead of the Toro Rosso with a 1m28.128s.

Ricciardo's set a personal best first sector in the Red Bull.

10:59 Ricciardo uses the medium-compound Pirellis to shave a few hundredths of his best effort so far.

11:00 And Ricciardo's immediately back in the pits and his Red Bull is wheeled into the garage.

11:02 Ericsson was closing in on Rosberg's morning-leading lap count but ends up two short as he returns his Sauber to the pitlane.

Palmer and Sainz remain on circuit, neither are improving their time.

11:03 Alonso's back out and will surpass Button's day-one total of 21 laps in the process.

11:06 Alonso's in the 1m27s on his return to the track. Palmer and Sainz are 1m31s and 1m33s respectively.

11:07 Another 1m27s for Alonso, another 1m31s for Palmer and Sainz joins him in that bracket as well.

11:08 Out comes Raikkonen, who goes green in sector one.

11:09 Alonso's finding good consistency on the medium tyre as he posts another 1m27.1s.

Raikkonen's pushed him down to fifth, the Ferrari improving to a 1m26.340s.

11:11 Alonso's next lap is a 1m27.6s, and the faster Raikkonen does a 1m26.5s as he just misses out on improving again.

Fernando Alonso, F1 testing 2015

11:12 Alonso and Raikkonen maintaining their pace on their respective runs at the moment.

Perez, Ricciardo and Sainz on track as well.

11:13 Alonso brings that seven-lap run to an end.

11:14 Perez goes fastest of anyone in the middle sector but his overall lap is not an improvement at 1m25.1s.

11:16 With 45 minutes to go until lunch, here are the big stories of the morning so far:

* Perez leads the way in the 2014 Force India with a soft-tyre run

* Ricciardo causes the only minor problem of the morning when his Red Bull stops in the pitlane

* Rosberg leads the lap count for Mercedes on 46

* Alonso surpasses Button's day-one tally for McLaren-Honda and runs fifth-fastest

11:17 On track we have Perez in the 1m26s, Raikkonen in the 1m27s and Sainz in the 1m31s.

Outlaps complete for Massa and Ericsson. Ricciardo also on track.

11:18 Raikkonen's back in the pits now, after a run similar in duration to Alonso's but a chunk quicker lap-by-lap.

11:18 Ericsson makes a small improvement, not for the first time today, and gets the Sauber's best time down to 1m27.334s.

11:19 Perez returns the Force India to the pits, as Ricciardo sets the fastest middle sector of anyone so far.

11:20 Ricciardo finishes his lap with a personal best final sector and, on the soft tyre, improves to a 1m25.274s to take second from Rosberg.

11:20 @stratosf1 asks: "@autosport @WilliamsRacing seem very confident during testing? Is that a sign that #FW37 is going to be fighting for wins?"

EDD STRAW (@eddstrawF1): "There's certainly a quiet confidence at Williams and given it ended last season as the second-fastest team, there's no reason why it shouldn’t be at the front of the queue to give the works Mercedes team a hard time.

"With a year's knowledge of the Mercedes power units, the dramatic operational improvements the team made over the past year or so and a design unit that appears to be increasingly coherent, there are reasons for optimism.

"But, with Ferrari looking stronger and Red Bull likely to be thereabouts once Renault gets its act together – not to mention the wild card of McLaren – Williams could end up in a tightly-contested battle to be the leading challenger to Mercedes.

"Winning races this year might come down to being in the right place at the right time – as Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull were three times last year."

11:20 Ricciardo immediately backs off in the first sector. Is he coming in, or backing off for a lap?

11:22 BEN ANDERSON's down in the pitlane and reports a practice start for Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari. "Things must be going well if they're working through such procedures," he notes.

Anderson moves to McLaren, adding: "Eyewitnesses report that the engine sounds more refined that it did in Jerez, which is a good sign if so."

11:22 Ricciardo's was indeed an in-lap, so we have just Ericsson on the circuit as Sainz also pits.

11:25 Ericsson's pace is fluctuating between the 1m28s and 1m30s.

Ricciardo's headed back out.

11:26 Have we brought you some trackside data recently? We don't think so.

Air temperature has been climbing steadily and is now at a sweltering 10.4C. Track temperature has evened out at 25.6C.

It's cloudy, but there's very little wind around too. A very still day.

11:26 Ricciardo goes quickest of all on another soft-tyre run. It's a 1m24.574s from the Red Bull.

11:27 BEN ANDERSON, watching trackside, notes that "Ricciardo looks heavy on fuel as the car is sparking on the main straight". Great effort if so.

Anderson adds: "The engine still sounds quieter than the Ferrari or Mercedes."

11:28 Perez doesn't appreciate Ricciardo stealing his thunder. The Force India driver sets a purple first sector.

11:28 Raikkonen's getting in on the act now, too! He goes purple in sector one.

11:30 Perez goes quicker, but his super-soft Pirellis only take him to a 1m24.702s.

Raikkonen, on soft tyres, takes second with a 1m24.584s. Just 0.010s separates the Red Bull and Ferrari.

11:31 Ricciardo has pit since his session-topping effort, with Raikkonen and Perez executing cool-down laps before pushing again now.

11:31 Out comes Rosberg in the Mercedes.

11:32 Not a lot between the super-soft-shod Force India and the soft-tyred Ferrari. Perez does a 1m25.399s; Raikkonen a 1m25.209s.

11:33 Rosberg's on the medium tyre so this is unlikely to be a morning-topping run.

11:34 Now Perez and Raikkonen return to the pits, so Rosberg has the track to himself. His first lap is a 1m34.215s.

11:36 Unsurprisingly, a big improvement for Rosberg on his next lap, which is a 1m25.793s – but that's a couple of tenths shy of his best so far.

11:40 Rosberg's fallen back into the 1m27s now. Ricciardo and Massa rejoin the track action. Less than 20 minutes until lunch now.

11:41 Massa's quick to improve in the Williams, but his 1m26.927s isn't enough to raise the FW37 higher than sixth.

11:42 Ericsson's Sauber is back on track.

11:44 Ricciardo's surge to the top of the leaderboard means we've got a new best laptime of the session so far. Raikkonen and Perez also got below Maldonado's Thursday best with their respective efforts.

11:45 Massa's back in the pits. Rosberg charges onto lap 57 (still leading the way).

11:49 Rosberg's run has been remarkably consistent in the 1m27s, although the latest is a 1m43.2s.

Not sure if it's a coincidence but his was slow and Ericsson's was a very similar 1m42.2s.

11:50 Now Ricciardo comes through, not at full power, and his laptime is 2m11.553s.

11:51 Ericsson in the pits now. Rosberg too.

11:51 Raikkonen brings his Ferrari back on track with less than 10 minutes to go until lunch.

11:53 Ricciardo's time is 'quicker' at 2m03.9s. At least he came down the start-finish straight a lot faster.

Massa is back on track. Ericsson was very briefly.

11:53 Raikkonen fails to improve his time, with a first flying lap out of the pits of 1m24.972s.

11:54 More representative from Ricciardo, whose latest effort is a 1m31.8s.

11:56 A couple of 1m28s for Massa. Sainz looks set for a late improvement.

Rosberg in the 1m27s.

11:56 Despite two green sectors Sainz's lap falls away in the final few corners and he doesn't improve.

11:58 Raikkonen's back in and with two minutes left we're in the final moments of the remaining on-track teams' morning programmes.

12:00 Rosberg's consistency is now in the low 1m28s region as the long Mercedes run continues.

12:01 And the chequered flag comes out to end the morning session.

12:01 Here's the lap count for the four hours so far:

Rosberg 65
Ricciardo 62
Ericsson 58
Massa 47
Raikkonen 46
Perez 44
Sainz 41
Palmer 31
Alonso 28

12:02 Lap count by engine:

Mercedes: 187
Ferrari: 104
Renault: 103
Honda: 28

12:03 Morning times:

1. Ricciardo 1m24.574s
2. Raikkonen +0.010s
3. Perez +0.128s
4. Rosberg +0.982s
5. Alonso +1.813s
6. Massa +2.353s
7. Ericsson +2.770s
8. Palmer +3.554s
9. Sainz +4.371s

12:13 While the teams and drivers enjoy a spot of lunch, here’s a recap on the day’s top stories:

* Daniel Ricciardo leads the way for Red Bull with a 1m24.574s on softs, 0.010s clear of Kimi Raikkonen, who also completed his quick time on the softs
* Neck-pain-free Nico Rosberg tops the mileage chart on 66
* Ricciardo's Red Bull stopping in the pitlane briefly is only hint of trouble so far
* Jolyon Palmer gets his first taste of the new Lotus, taking over from Pastor Maldonado.

12:14 And here's the full story of everything that's happened today so far in our morning report from Barcelona:

Day two morning report: Ricciardo leads for Red Bull

12:21 There has been lots of chat about helmets in the last few days, following the news that drivers will be banned from changing their lid designs during the season.

A simple thin leather skullcap and a pair of goggles used to suffice as head protection for Grand Prix drivers in the early days.

But over the years, the humble crash helmet has moved on with the development of technology and introduction of full-face lids - and so have the designs.

Ayrton Senna’s bright yellow helmet became iconic as did Nelson Piquet’s stunning red teardrop effort and Sir Jackie Stewart’s simple yet effect white lid with tartan stripe.

So we want you to send in your best and worst helmet designs through the eras using the #autosportF1 hashtag and we'll publish a selection of them here. The floor is yours.

Ayrton Senna

12:30 If you're looking for some lunchtime reading, here's something you might have missed. BEN ANDERSON speaks exclusively to McLaren-Honda chiefs on the state of the new-for-2015 relationship:

Why there's cause for concern at McLaren-Honda

12:31 While the likes of Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet picked a design and stuck with it during their careers, there has been a recent trend to change the design for each season, for each race or in Sebastian Vettel's case sometimes for each session.

The German four-time world champion has had over 60 helmet designs - and he hasn't just limited the tweaks to a new paint job. In 2012, he installed flashing lights to the lid for the Singapore Grand Prix night race. A step too far or a cool addition? #autosportF1

Sebastian Vettel

12:39 Thanks for your suggestions on best (or worst!) helmet designs using #autosportF1.

@MikeBoxwell has had his say: "#autosportF1 I wasn't a fan of JB's 'Pink for Papa' helmet, but it was distinctive. "Our Nige" Mansell's helmet was one of my favourites.

"Keeping the same helmet designs is good for driver identification. I've missed that over the past few years."

Join the debate using #autosportF1 on Twitter and we'll see how many we can get through before the track action resumes.

Nigel Mansell, Williams, 1991

12:45 Michael Schumacher stuck with a similar design for the early part of his career before throwing in a few tweaks here and there.

@watchmaker_72 says: "My favourite has to be Schumacher's iconic red lid, with silver detailing. Prophetic - he had 7 stars even before he won 7 titles!"

Keep them coming, using #autosportF1

Michael Schumacher

12:50 We've had lots of suggestions from people on Twitter using #autosportF1 who like the designs of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. So let's chalk the old McLaren team-mates off in one go, shall we?

Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard, F1 2000

12:52 Thanks to those of you having your say on the F1 helmets debate in general, following the news earlier this week that drivers will no longer be allowed to change their helmets from race to race:

@CJOscarB: "@autosport I'm afriad it's time to get with the times. Like cars evolve, so do helmets and design - It's fashion! #autosportF1"

@The_Wiseman94: "@autosport the helmet rule should have exceptions, like tribute or charity helmets like @JensonButton @alo_oficial have done #autosportf1"

@Dan_W_1981: "@autosport I didn't have an issue with changing designs. I liked the variety and it didn't stop me identifying drivers #autosportF1"

@StephenCWLL: "#autosportF1 So pleased on helmet design ban. The helmet is the driver's brand. Their icon. Everyone still recognises Senna decades later."

12:57 A fair few of you have fond memories of Mark Webber's red, yellow and blue lid which also featured the flag of his native Australia. Keep your suggestions of best and worst helmets coming, using #autosportF1 on Twitter.

Mark Webber

12:59 Half a minute to go until afternoon running begins at Barcelona.

13:00 The green light comes on, but no takers just yet.

13:07 Mercedes drops a strong hint that Hamilton is about to take over from Rosberg:

"So, what's the plan for this afternoon, you ask? Well... it's #HAMmertime"

The champion had to stop driving early yesterday due to a fever.

13:10 Ten minutes in, and we can hear engines firing. Quite a bit of time to go, and the teams are in no obvious rush.

13:10 And there's Perez in the Force India, just to make us look a little silly.

13:13 For those of you just joining us after the lunchbreak, here is how the mileage looked after the morning:


Mercedes: 187
Ferrari: 104
Renault: 103
Honda: 28


Rosberg 65
Ricciardo 62
Ericsson 58
Massa 47
Raikkonen 46
Perez 44
Sainz 41
Palmer 31
Alonso 28

13:14 Perez is adding to his tally now. His first lap, on mediums, after the break is a 1m30.7s.

Ericsson's just brought the Sauber out of the pits.

13:17 Just the two laps, both in the 1m30s, for Perez before he comes back into the pits for Force India.

Ericsson's on track and his first flier was a 1m31.2s.

13:19 Lewis Hamilton has indeed taken over the Mercedes. The no-longer-fever-stricken world champion has ground to make up after yesterday.

13:22 Hamilton's first laptime, on mediums, is a 1m31.473s.

BMR BTCC 201513:22 Do we have any BTCC fans in the house? If so, you'll enjoy reading this analysis of Jason Plato's and Colin Turkington's chances at the BMR VW team this year:

Can new BTCC superteam win in 2015?

13:24 Immediate improvement as you'd expect from Hamilton, who remains bottom of the times but lowers his best to 1m30.456s.

13:24 Palmer's out on track now as the GP2 champion continues on his maiden test with Lotus.

13:25 No improvement that time through for Hamilton, a 1m30.7s.

13:25 Thanks for sending in your suggestions for best (or worst!) helmets on Twitter using #autosportF1 following the news earlier this week that drivers will no longer be allowed to change their helmets from race to race.

Quite a few of you have plumped for Heikki Kovalainen's special edition Angry Birds-inspired lid which the Finn ran back in 2012.

Heikki Kovalainen

13:28 Palmer's straight down into the 1m29s, which is quicker than anything else in this fledgling afternoon session.

Hamilton's set a personal best first sector but not improved his overall time since his second lap.

13:28 Perez has headed back out in the Force India, which remains on medium tyres.

13:30 Hamilton a fair bit slower that time through, looks like it was in the last sector he lost his time.

13:31 Raikkonen returns in the Ferrari. When AUTOSPORT made its way through the paddock during the lunch break, there was an amusing bit of sprinting going on from photographers and fans as they tried to get a glimpse of the 2007 world champion near Ferrari hospitality.

Clearly they couldn't work out how exactly to see him, because they kept running round the set-up multiple times.

13:32 Another lap at 1m34s pace for Hamilton. Below, the Red Bull fires up and Ricciardo leaves the garage.

13:33 An improvement that time through from Hamilton, who laps in 1m29.742s. That's 5.1s behind Ricciardo's best.

13:36 Raikkonen comfortably goes quicker than what we've seen since the lunchbreak, but the 1m26.464s from the soft-shod Ferrari is a couple of seconds off the benchmark pace.

13:37 Hamilton back in the pits after starting his afternoon with 11 laps and a best time of 1m29.7s.

13:38 Alonso, Sainz and Ericsson have all left the pits, joining Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Perez on track.

13:39 Raikkonen back in the pits now. Palmer had already returned to the Lotus garage.

13:41 It's a 1m38.2s out of the blocks for the afternoon for Alonso. Ericsson aside (1m30s) the other three are in the 1m31s.

13:43 Next time through Alonso lops 10s off his first effort, down to 1m28s. Sainz 1m29.5s, Ericsson 1m30.2s. Perez and Ricciardo in the 1m31s.

13:45 Alonso returns to the pits in what was a quite noisy McLaren-Honda, but it's difficult judge whether that's problematic as the power unit in the back of the size-zero MP4-30 is unrefined compared to the rest.

13:46 Hamilton's back on track, as his Twitter account reveals he's "feeling a bit better today".

13:47 It looks like the end of that run for Ericsson, but it turns into only a brief trundle through the pits.

Ricciardo and Perez continue in the 1m31s.

13:49 Into the pits and back out again for Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton, F1 testing 2015

13:50 Ricciardo in the pits and the whirring of wheel guns suggest some pitstop practice. Certainly it's a quick turnaround because the Aussie's on his way again.

13:52 During that pitlane visit Mercedes replaced Hamilton's white-walled Pirellis with some orange-branded hards.

He nearly goes quicker immediately, though and now sets a personal best first sector.

13:53 Concentrating on some fine work from Sainz, who is very consistent in the low 1m30s for Toro Rosso.

13:54 Hamilton, after a slower 1m31s, improves his time slightly to 1m29.391s.

13:55 Ericsson's back in the Sauber garage after a run that had a couple of really nice peaks but suffered slightly on consistency.

13:57 Ricciardo's latest lap takes him to 78 for the day, one past the in-the-pits Ericsson. That makes the Red Bull man the busiest of Friday so far, although Hamilton's 17 laps (and counting) means Mercedes has logged the most mileage when Rosberg's 66 from this morning is taken into consideration.

14:00 The Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Ferrari and Mercedes are the only cars on track at the moment. We've got three hours left.

There's little to report from the first post-lunch hour.

Hamilton returning in the Mercedes in Rosberg's absence is the only noteworthy moment.

14:01 Raikkonen's back in the pits, and so is Sainz as well.

14:03 Alonso's re-emerged in the McLaren-Honda.

14:04 Personal best for Alonso today, 1m25.961s – that's 0.4s quicker than he went this morning.

14:06 Despite a personal best first sector, Alonso doesn't improve on the second lap.

14:06 Ricciardo and Hamilton are both cracking on with long runs at the moment. Very interesting - nothing between them.

14:07 Of course, Hamilton's on hard tyres while Ricciardo's on softs. So the more their laptimes stay the same, the better for Mercedes.

14:09 Alonso cracking on, his latest effort is a 1m27.0s.

14:10 And now Alonso's in the pits. Another short run completed by McLaren-Honda.

14:12 Back to our F1 helmet designs debate using #autosportF1 on Twitter:

@the_purist: "#autosportF1 - Thierry Boutsen is one I remember from back in the day, but they were all better when they weren't covered with sponsors"

Thierry Boutsen, 1988

14:13 Raikkonen's though in 1m27.0s, then a slower 1m34.1s, then 1m27.9s.

The Finn's on hard tyres.

14:15 Raikkonen's in the pitlane and lighting up his tyres on the way through to the end, at he's back out again.

14:16 BEN ANDERSON: "Confirmation from Mercedes that Rosberg has stopped driving today as a precaution, so as not to aggravate his neck injury and ensure he is 100 per cent fit for Sunday's test. Hamilton has recovered sufficiently from his fever yesterday to drive, so has taken over for the afternoon."

14:18 Raikkonen just did an out/in-lap and is back in again.

14:18 @HondaRacingF1: "We're pleased with today's results so far. Let's see what this afternoon delivers. #McLarenHonda"

14:21 Quick turnaround in the pits for Ricciardo and he's back out again. May well have been a change of mediums as he continues on his race run.

He's edging closer to 100 laps - 94 at the last count.

14:23 We count that stint at 19 laps for Ricciardo including his inlap and outlap. He was on the medium remember.

Hamilton, on the hard, has surpassed 20 on his run. Fascinating.

14:23 Talking of Hamilton, he's in the pits, tyres changed and off he goes again.

14:24 Lap count latest:

Ricciardo 96
Ericsson 86
Perez 72
Rosberg 66
Raikkonen 64
Sainz 62
Massa 47
Palmer 43
Alonso 38
Hamilton 35

14:26 Ricciardo's immediate pace improvement, a 1m29.6s, suggests he has indeed had a fresher set of medium-compound boots fitted to his Red Bull.

Hamilton's W06 has hard tyres still as he homes in on Perez's Force India on the main straight.

14:26 We've got a red flag.

14:26 No indication where yet or who's involved.

14:27 Looks like Sainz has gone off into the gravel at Turn 9, the fast right-hander out the back.

Carlos Sainz Jr, F1 testing 2015

14:29 While the marshals are called into action and the track falls quiet, here is a snapshot of the day's top stories:

* Daniel Ricciardo leads the way for Red Bull with a 1m24.574s on softs, 0.010s clear of Kimi Raikkonen, who also completed his quick time on the softs
* Nico Rosberg completes 66 laps in the morning before ending his running as a precaution, so as not to aggravate his neck injury and ensure he is 100 per cent fit for Sunday's test.
* Lewis Hamilton, who missed much of yesterday through illness, takes over at Mercedes in the afternoon.
* Carlos Sainz Jr brings out the red flag when he goes off at Turn 9.

14:29 Here's a ropey picture of the Sainz incident as captured on the circuit's cameras.

He hopped out quickly and the recovery truck is at the scene.

Carlos Sainz Jr

14:30 As the picture shows, Sainz didn't get as far as the wall, his Toro Rosso coming to rest backwards in the gravel.

14:31 Sainz had been on a long run on medium tyres at the time, and sits ninth overall right now.

14:31 While we wait for the recovery to finish up, we're diving back into your favourite helmet designs that you've been telling us about using #autosportF1 on Twitter.

If you haven't told us yours yet, get involved.

14:33 This will be a pretty short stoppage, as the Toro Rosso is already being lifted onto the recovery truck ready to depart the scene.

14:35 @avfcmatt1982: "@autosport Problem with today's designs they are all similar, simple designs stand out better. Loved the De Angelis/Alesi style #AutosportF1"

Elio De Angelis, Lotus

14:38 Expecting track to be back to green shortly. In the meantime, hello to the latest round of spectators being shown what journalists look like on the pit/paddock tour. Don't get the impression we're the highlight of their day.

14:39 Football fans will be delighted with Williams right now, with Brazilian ace and Barcelona star Neymar visiting countryman Felipe Massa in the garage.

"Not often we have special guests at testing but welcome @FCBarcelona @neymarjr to @WilliamsRacing," the team posts online.

When AUTOSPORT was making its way from the airport on Wednesday, one member of the team utilised his A in Spanish GCSE to form the sentence "¿Donde esta el Camp Nou?" in an attempt to force a field trip to the famous Catalonian ground.

It failed. And he's not bitter. Not bitter one bit.

14:40 Back to green, and Perez and Massa are straight out.

14:44 Getting busier again - Massa and Perez are staying out to resume runs, and they're joined by Palmer and now Hamilton.

14:47 Massa is out on winter hards and doing mid 1m28s, 2s off his best.

14:47 Alonso's heading out again in the McLaren-Honda. This will take it to the 40-lap mark for the day. Better, but still plenty of work to do.

14:47 Hamilton improves on his first flying to a 1m29.092s.

14:48 Yesterday we had news that the Manor F1 project is on course to come out of administration. Today, positive news from Ferrari on the engine front:

Manor agrees engine deal with Ferrari

14:50 We're focusing on logging what looks to be race runs, or at least certainly not performance runs, for Hamilton, Alonso and Massa right now.

Hamilton moves himself off bottom with a 1m28.788s.

14:51 Perez is still in the 1m31s. We will find an answer to the question 'what will Force India actually get out of this test?' later today.

Sergio Perez, F1 testing Barcelona 2015

14:54 Alonso in the pits after a short run on the softs. He did a trio of 1m26s.

14:57 Massa pits after half a dozen laps on the winter hard. The Williams stacks up rather well against the hard-shod Mercedes over the same period, but as the FW37 is back in the garage and the W06 continues to pound round, fuel may well be at play there.

14:59 Perez pits as Raikkonen re-enters the fray in the Ferrari.

14:59 Personal best middle sector for Hamilton on this lap and shaves a few hundredths off his best lap by the end.

15:01 Two Brits on track as Palmer emerges for Lotus.

15:03 Hamilton moves his run into double digits now, as Palmer makes a very slight gain in the Lotus – 1m28.115s.

15:05 Palmer's improvement somewhat explained by being on the soft tyres. He's had a slower lap that time through.

15:06 Ericsson is back on track in the Sauber. That's been one of the busiest pairings of the day, racking up 86 laps.

15:06 A bigger improvement from Palmer this time, half a second as the Lotus improves its time to 1m27.654s.

15:08 Back to our F1 helmet designs debate using #autosportF1 on Twitter:

@Pip55: "Damon Hill and his father must get a look in? @autosport #AutosportF1"

@EvanWitten "@autosport, if we're talking simple... no one beats the master, Graham Hill"

@TonyCrowther: "@autosport Best example of why to stick, think of your children, Graham, Damon and Josh Hill, iconic design always recognisable!"

@mak9816: "#autosportF1 Got to be the Graham Hill/Damon Hill helmet, striking and distinctive."

Graham Hill

15:09 Palmer drops down to Hamilton's pace (how Lotus would not mind that on a regular basis) now. The long run efforts from the Mercedes are quite impressive.

15:11 Palmer's back to being the fastest man on track. We wrote that a fair bit last year in GP2.

Ericsson is in the mid-1m29s and on to his 90th lap.

15:13 Raikkonen pits in the Ferrari. That looked like a nine-lap run for the Finn.

Massa's back out in the Williams. Will we see something like Wolff's long-distance run yesterday?

15:16 Alonso returns to the track in the McLaren-Honda. Slower lap from Hamilton that time, indicative of either an error or backing off somewhere.

15:16 Ricciardo's back out in the Red Bull. Hopefully further comparison to the Mercedes will be possible.

15:17 Massa's return to the track, again on winter hards, has yielded a 1m28.8s and a 1m28.6s so far.

15:18 That slow lap preceded an in-lap for Hamilton, but he's quickly back out the other side of the pitlane.

15:21 Looks like a fresh set of hard tyres for Hamilton because on his first flying lap out of the pitlane he's improved to a 1m26.732s. That moves the Mercedes to sixth, 2.1s behind Ricciardo's soft-tyred benchmark.

15:22 Looks like Alonso's was nothing more than an out/in-lap.

15:23 Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene reckons Formula 1 should expect a "new" and "happier" Kimi Raikkonen this year - and he tells an interesting story about the Finn's behaviour in the garage during testing!

Ferrari: Expect a "new" Raikkonen in 2015

15:24 The run Ricciardo is on has brought him past the 100-lap mark. He's on lap 104 at the moment, on the medium Pirellis.

15:25 Ericsson's run ends with him just short of going the 100 club.

15:27 Sainz is now back out in a dusted down Toro Rosso after his trip off the road, and he begins his flying lap.

15:28 Or not a flying lap for Sainz, just a checking lap, as he's back in the pits.

15:31 Massa comes in after a run of 10 flying laps, Williams's most representative of the day - and it was very respectable. More on that later...

15:31 Palmer is about to pop in his best lap so far.

15:32 Palmer shoots up to sixth place with a 1.4s improvement taking him to 1m26.280s, 1.7s off the pace.

15:35 Hamilton and Ricciardo's long runs continue with a 1m28.0s for the Mercedes and a 1m30.5s for the Red Bull.

15:35 That's Ricciardo's slowest lap since his last pit visit, as his times drop off.

Daniel Ricciardo, F1 testing 2015

15:35 Palmer has now pitted after his fastest time so far.

15:45 Hamilton completes a 15-lap run (plus out and in) on his hard tyres and pits the Mercedes.

15:45 Meanwhile Ricciardo is up to his 18th lap on this set of mediums.

15:46 Lap count latest:

Ricciardo 117
Ericsson 101
Perez 90
Hamilton 77
Sainz 76
Massa 71
Raikkonen 74
Rosberg 66
Palmer 62
Alonso 46

15:46 Alonso appeared briefly, did an out-lap then returned to the pits.

15:47 We reckon Hamilton just did a 36-lap distance in total, including a pitstop mid-way.

15:48 Massa is out on softs, and his out-lap ended with a best-yet speed trap mark and he's just done the quickest sector one time all day.

15:49 Massa's lap takes him up to fourth, 0.421s behind pacesetter Ricciardo, who has just pitted and change from mediums to softs.

15:49 As we approach the final hour of testing on day two in Barcelona, here is a snapshot of the day's top stories:

* Daniel Ricciardo leads the way for Red Bull with a 1m24.574s, 0.010s clear of Kimi Raikkonen. Both laps were done on the softs.
* Nico Rosberg completes 66 laps in the morning before ending his running as a precaution, so as not to aggravate his neck injury and ensure he is 100 per cent fit for Sunday's test.
* Lewis Hamilton, who missed much of yesterday through illness, takes over at Mercedes in the afternoon and along with Ricciardo focuses on long runs.
* Carlos Sainz Jr brings out the red flag when he goes off at Turn 9 in the Toro Rosso.
* Manor F1 team agrees to use 2014 Ferrari engines as it continues a bid to make the 2015 grid.

15:52 No rush for Ricciardo on these soft tyres. His first lap is a 1m40s and the next a 1m27s.

Massa pushed again on that lap, yet again going purple in the speed trap for the final sector, but he's 0.7s slower than his best.

15:54 That's that for Massa, as Williams frustratingly and unsurprisingly continues to do it's own thing. Difficult to judge exactly where it is.

Track temperature has fallen considerably since earlier, so his 1m25.1s – half a second behind Ricciardo's benchmark from the morning session – stacks up reasonably well.

Felipe Massa

15:56 More activity for McLaren-Honda, which sends Alonso out again.

16:00 First flying lap of this run on the soft tyre yields a 1m26.2s for Alonso, which is very close to his best. Next time through it's a 1m26.6s.

16:01 Massa's back out again in the Williams. Less than an hour to go now.

16:03 Massa's on the soft tyre, so we have three interesting drivers on track on the same rubber.

Ricciardo looks like he's on a much longer run than Alonso, who has been unable to do more than a few laps at a time today.

Massa's purple in sector one. Another performance run...

16:03 Massa's set a personal best middle sector too...

16:04 It's SO close at the top of the times! Massa goes third with a personal best final sector completing a 1m24.672s. He's 0.098s from top spot.

16:05 Alonso pits. Another short run from McLaren-Honda but the times are, at least, encouraging.

16:07 Massa pushes again after a cool-down lap but the Williams only does a 1m25.4s.

16:10 Both Ricciardo and Massa have returned to the pits, so we have just Perez and Sainz on track.

Ricciardo's stint, a 12-lap run on softs plus the in-lap and out-lap, ended in a quick pitstop practice before the Red Bull was rolled into the garage.

Even sat in the cockpit, Ricciardo looks a chilled dude.

16:11 It's definitely been a good day at the office for Red Bull. Ricciardo's logged 132 laps and currently sits atop the times, narrowly besting Ferrari and Williams in a tight battle.

16:12 Raikkonen's finally back out for Ferrari. Second at the moment but the Scuderia could probably use a good end to the day.

16:15 Back to our F1 helmet designs debate, following the news drivers will be banned from changing helmet designs from race-to-race. Get in touch using #autosportF1 on Twitter:

@ReverendFrog: "Always liked the Senna-inspired red and green of my countryman Eddie Irvine. Looked great in the Ferrari too."

Eddie Irvine

16:16 First flying lap of 1m28.6s for Raikkonen, and an almost identical follow-up effort.

Back on track: Palmer (Lotus); Hamilton (Mercedes) and Ericsson (Sauber).

16:18 Hamilton's set a personal best first sector. Palmer's done the same in sector two.

16:20 Hamilton jumps to fifth on a 1m24.9s. And he's gone green again.

And to add to that? He's on the medium tyre...

16:20 Palmer just missed out on improving his time. The Lotus driver did a 1m26.322s.

16:24 Slight drama at Toro Rosso.

Sainz has just come back into the pits and instead of pulling up in his pit space, he pulled alongside it and was wheeled in with his Toro Rosso smoking and a mechanic operating a fire extinguisher.

16:24 That detracted from what we were meant to write, which was Hamilton ending that run on the mediums after just three laps. A performance run to see what was in the white-walled Pirellis? Ominous if so.

16:27 Just over half an hour of the second day remains here at Barcelona. Raikkonen continues to log laps on the medium and Alonso re-enters the fray in the McLaren-Honda, which has surpassed the 50-lap mark.

16:28 BEN ANDERSON raced down to Toro Rosso garage after that dramatic return to the pits for Sainz.

"Bit smokey here," he says. "Lots of attention at the rear of the car. It doesn't smell good..."

16:28 Red flag. Ericsson has stopped on the start-finish straight.

16:31 Ericsson's car is frustratingly out of proper view of AUTOSPORT's cameraphone, but you can just make out the kerfuffle...

The marshals have opened up the pitlane barrier to get him back in the pits, and now we're green again.

16:33 Massa and Hamilton are first on the track again with just over 25 minutes remaining.

16:34 Perez joins them in the Force India.

16:36 Massa does an outlap, a 1m26.2s, and then returns to the pitlane.

Ricciardo leaves the Red Bull garage with unmarked winter hards on his car.

16:39 Alonso's back out in the McLaren-Honda, so too Raikkonen in the Ferrari.

Kimi Raikkonen, F1 testing 2015

16:39 Hamilton, with nothing logged bar a 1m40s on his hard tyres, returns to the pits.

16:43 Lap count latest:

Ricciardo 136
Ericsson 113
Perez 111
Sainz 100
Massa 88
Raikkonen 87
Hamilton 85
Palmer 72
Rosberg 66
Alonso 56

16:44 Heading into the final quarter of an hour, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Perez and Palmer are still on track.

16:47 Here's a shot from our friends at LAT of Marcus Ericsson climbing out of his Sauber after parking it on the start-finish straight and bringing out the red flag a few minutes ago.

Marcus Ericsson

16:49 Perez and Palmer are briefly the only cars on track, before Hamilton comes out for another late run.

16:52 Palmer brings the Lotus back in, while Hamilton is doing a very sedate pace in the sectors, though he picks it up as he crosses the line.

16:58 Currently looking unlikely to get any improvements as we got into the last two minutes. Ricciardo, Perez and Hamilton are out, but none at full pace.

17:00 The chequered flag comes out, and once Ricciardo makes his way back to the pits day two of test two will officially be done.

17:06 Daniel Ricciardo finishes top of the pile on the lap count charts with 142 laps. Fernando Alonso brings up the rear on 59, but that tally is the highest McLaren has achieved on a single day in testing so far.

Here is the day's final tally:

Ricciardo 142
Perez 121
Ericsson 113
Sainz 100
Raikkonen 90
Hamilton 89
Massa 88
Palmer 77
Rosberg 66
Alonso 59

17:11 And here's a snapshot of the day's headlines:

* Daniel Ricciardo finished quickest for Red Bull with a 1m24.574s, 0.010s clear of Kimi Raikkonen. Both laps were done on the softs.
* Nico Rosberg completed 66 laps in the morning before ending his running as a precaution, so as not to aggravate his neck injury and ensure he is 100 per cent fit for Sunday's test.
* Lewis Hamilton, who missed much of yesterday through illness, took over at Mercedes in the afternoon and along with Ricciardo focused on long runs.
* McLaren said it is ’50 per cent’ behind schedule of where it had hoped to be in Formula 1 testing, despite an encouraging day.
* Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene believes Formula 1 will see a new, happier Kimi Raikkonen this year.

17:14 Before we sign off, here's our full report from day two at Barcelona. We're now six days into F1 pre-season, so we've reached the halfway stage.

AUTOSPORT Live will be running in all of its glory over the weekend, hopefully you'll join us tomorrow morning to see what happens. We look forward to having you with us.

Until then, keep an eye on for all the news and analysis from Spain this evening. Ciao!

Day two report: Ricciardo fastest for Red Bull

P Driver Team Time
1  Daniel RicciardoRed Bull 1m24.574s
2  Kimi RaikkonenFerrari 1m24.584s  +0.010
3  Felipe MassaWilliams 1m24.672s  +0.098
4  Sergio PerezForce India 1m24.702s  +0.128
5  Lewis HamiltonMercedes 1m24.923s  +0.349
6  Nico RosbergMercedes 1m25.556s  +0.982
7  Fernando AlonsoMcLaren 1m25.961s  +1.387
8  Jolyon PalmerLotus 1m26.280s  +1.706
9  Marcus EricssonSauber 1m27.344s  +2.770
10  Carlos Sainz JrToro Rosso 1m28.945s  +4.371
All timing unofficial. Updated: 16:20 GMT
Mainly sunny High Temp: 12°C / 54°F
Track: Dry
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