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As it happened: Test day three
By Matt Beer, Glenn Freeman and Scott Mitchell
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
07:42 Good morning from a cloudy and slightly-warmer-than-yesterday Barcelona. It's nearly time for day three of Formula 1 testing.

07:46 This is today's anticipated driver line-up:

MERCEDES: Hamilton
WILLIAMS: Massa/Bottas
TORO ROSSO: Verstappen
LOTUS: Maldonado
SAUBER: Ericsson

Trapped nerves, illness, etc, etc permitting.

07:49 Williams has tweaked its original plan slightly and is focusing on pitstop practice today, with Felipe Massa doing the morning then Valtteri Bottas taking over.

Massa suggested yesterday that plan is partly because some rain is expected today.

07:49 Right now, it's cloudy but dry, and the AUTOSPORT makeshift ice-scraper (a notepad) was not required this morning.

07:50 Air temperature is 6.7 degrees C, it's 8.9 on track, humidity is 82 per cent and for the full set of weather info available on the screen, we can also reveal that the barometric pressure is 1003.6mb.

08:00 This is the view out of the window: grey skies and a growing smattering of spectators as we head into the weekend. Add some Red Bull-Renault engine noise from underneath us and you're basically here.

08:00 As the light goes green, Sebastian Vettel is first out for Ferrari.

08:01 Lewis Hamilton is also quick to take to the track in the Mercedes.

08:02 Problem for the Ferrari straight away, Vettel has parked and the red flag is out.

08:02 It looks like Vettel might have spun that into the gravel, judging by the tyre marks over the kerbs.

08:03 The Ferrari is beached at Turn 5.

08:03 Here's the scene at Turn 5, as captured by the circuit cameras:

Sebastian Vettel off

08:04 A probably slightly bemused Vettel is out of the Ferrari and replacing the steering wheel. A recovery truck is on site.

08:06 Vettel seems to have lost it coming out of Turn 4 and ended up backwards in the gravel on the approach to Turn 5.

08:07 Our colleagues at LAT were right on the scene to get this shot of the Ferrari coming to rest:

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, goes off, Barcelona F1 testing February 2015

08:08 The red-sheeted Ferrari is now being lifted onto the recovery truck.

08:11 This second LAT shot gives a better idea of where Vettel ended up.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, goes off, Barcelona F1 testing February 2015

It is very slightly drizzly here this morning, so he may have found some surprise dampness.

08:12 The incident scene is cleared and all the course cars are moving away now. Shall we try this again?

08:12 Max Verstappen also made it onto the track in the Toro Rosso before the red flag forced everyone back in.

08:14 Is Vettel assisting with the recovery here, or curious about something at the back of the Ferrari? We'll find out later.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, goes off, Barcelona F1 testing February 2015

08:14 Back to green, lots of noise from Daniil Kvyat's Red Bull beneath us immediately.

08:15 We won't be seeing Marcus Ericsson for a bit, suggests Sauber:

"Good morning! After having issues with the gearbox yesterday, the team is working on the #C34 to head out soon."

08:16 Hamilton is straight back out, joined by Massa, Pastor Maldonado, Kvyat and Pascal Wehrlein.

08:17 Hamilton blasts past the grandstands. He managed an installation lap before the Vettel incident, so might get straight to work.

08:17 Massa and Wehrlein are back in, while Maldonado passes through the pits and rejoins.

08:18 An immediate time from Hamilton, who does a 1m33.246s to get our morning going.

08:18 With rain predicted later, we might see a busy morning.

08:19 But Lotus indicated last night that rather than trying to pre-empt the weather, it would focus on what was actually coming out of the sky (or not) and work accordingly. The team didn't think there would be much to gain from any wet running at this point.

08:19 Another quicker lap from Hamilton, who does a 1m30.544s on medium tyres.

08:20 Verstappen and Maldonado, who has a very large aero rake on the front of the Lotus, are also still out.

08:22 Hamilton was quicker again in the first sector of his lap, then returned to the pits briefly. Verstappen and Maldonado are also going in and out at the moment.

Marcus Ericsson08:26 Marcus Ericsson is pretty chilled about Sauber's garage problems, as this tweet shows:

"@SauberF1Team I'm not a morning person anyway so that's ok ?. Give me a shout when we're ready. I'm in my driver room."

Excellent socks, Marcus.

08:27 Verstappen, Massa and Wehrlein are the men on track at the moment. The Williams is particularly good at producing sparks down the pits straight.

08:30 Times now from Verstappen - a 1m32.195s - and Wehrlein too, with a 1m36.599s for the Force India.

08:30 Kvyat's Red Bull appears from beneath our feet as Massa comes back in.

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull

08:31 Verstappen improves to a 1m31.253s, staying second, 0.709s behind early pacesetter Hamilton.

08:32 Best first sector of all for Verstappen now, though, so the top spot might be changing after this lap.

08:33 Verstappen backs off and returns to the Toro Rosso pit without completing that lap.

08:33 Hamilton has resumed running, though, and is adding more purple to the timing screens.

08:34 Rapid stuff from Hamilton, who shaves three seconds off his own benchmark and laps in 1m27.011s.

08:35 Quicker again for Hamilton, as he does a 1m26.798s.

08:37 Another improvement for Hamilton, a 1m26.142s that time around. He's still on medium tyres.

08:37 Meanwhile Red Bull is doing pitstop practice with Kvyat. This one included a change of steering wheel too.

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull

08:39 After that flurry, Hamilton backs off to a 1m34.221s on his next lap.

08:43 Early-doors lap count:

Hamilton 13
Verstappen 9
Kvyat 6
Wehrlein 5
Maldonado 5
Massa 4
Vettel 2
Button 1

08:43 Vettel has been back out now to check the de-gravelled Ferrari, and Jenson Button has also got McLaren on track.

08:44 Massa does his first complete flying lap for Williams with a 1m27.544s to go second.

08:49 Button does McLaren's first flying lap of the day - a 1m30s puts him third.

08:50 Massa is continuing round on medium tyres, following up his 1m27.5s with two consecutive 1m27.7s laps.

08:51 Button does a 1m29.151s next time around, staying third. Just him and Verstappen running at the moment.

08:51 Pacesetter Hamilton brings the Mercedes back out now too.

08:52 Verstappen goes ahead of Button into third with a lap 2.4s off the pace.

08:55 Our German colleagues have just spoken to Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene, who said Vettel accepted the blame for his early spin.

08:56 Vettel was quick to hold his hands up on his return to the pits, saying he misjudged the grip on cold tyres.

08:56 Hamilton is on a more conservative run now, lapping in 1m29s. Verstappen interrupted his run with a quick pitstop and has rejoined.

08:57 Verstappen was quicker than his previous best in the first and last parts of the lap, but a tad slower in the middle, so stays third.

08:58 Lap count latest:

Hamilton 17
Verstappen 14
Massa 9
Wehrlein 6
Kvyat 6
Maldonado 5
Button 5
Vettel 2
Ericsson 0

08:58 Times so far:

1 Hamilton 1m26.142s
2 Massa +1.402s
3 Verstappen +2.424s
4 Button +3.009s
5 Wehrlein +10.457s

08:59 Headlines from the first hour:

* Vettel spins into the gravel on cold tyres on his out-lap
* Hamilton sets early pace ahead of Massa
* Gearbox problems keep Sauber in the garage

09:04 Vettel is back out again and looks like he's starting his first proper run of the day.

09:04 Quite busy now: Massa, Verstappen, Kvyat and Maldonado are out too.

09:05 For those of you who haven't had a good look yet, here's a decent angle of Vettel's current crash helmet design.

Sebastian Vettel helmet, F1 testing 2015

09:05 Massa brings Hamilton's advantage down to seven tenths as he improves to a 1m26.912s in the medium-shod Williams.

09:06 Vettel and Maldonado put their first times of the morning on the board - Vettel is fifth for moments before the Lotus demotes him to sixth.

09:08 Vettel gets down to a 1m30.116s, still 3.9s off Hamilton.

09:08 Maldonado does a 1m28.257s and jumps from fifth to third ahead of Verstappen and Button.

09:09 Vettel gains a bit more time and nips ahead of Button into fifth.

09:11 Another small improvement from Vettel, he stays fifth on a 1m28.933s.

09:16 Wehrlein moves the 2014 Force India up to fifth, and is improving again on his next lap.

09:17 Red flag is out, waiting to see the cause.

09:17 Button's caused this one, the McLaren is stopped at Turn 7.

09:19 Here's the McLaren pulled to the side of the track on the way out of that kink.

Jenson Button

09:21 The mood was mixed at McLaren yesterday - clearly plenty of satisfaction at the fact things definitely were going better, but also plenty of realism over the fact that 'better' was a relative term.

09:22 Both Eric Boullier and Fernando Alonso tempered their enthusiasm with recognition of how much ground there is still to regain:

Boullier: McLaren is 50 per cent behind

Alonso not sure McLaren can be ready

09:22 Button's car is now covered and being lifted onto the truck.

09:24 Friday was still Honda's best day so far. The firm had expected that the quality problem with an MGU-K seal that stopped Button on Thursday would wreck its second day too, but the car proved tougher than feared and managed 59 laps.

09:25 The revised parts Honda had brought to solve the problem arrived a day earlier than expected, but rather than lose time with an engine change, McLaren opted to keep Alonso running with the power unit from Thursday and start again properly today.

09:26 Both McLaren and Honda remain adamant that they're a long way away from going for a performance run or trying a race simulation and are still - in Boullier's words - "ticking the boxes" of checks and data gathering.

09:27 Despite that, the mood about the car itself is upbeat.

Boullier described Button as "happy" and Alonso too - before grinning and clarifying that to "well, he's not unhappy".

09:27 With two days of data at our disposal now, here's how the speed trap figures shape up so far at this test for each car:

Sauber - 334.3 km/h (Nasr, day 1)
Lotus - 331.2 km/h (Maldonado, day 1)
Force India - 330.2 km/h (Perez, day 1)
Williams - 330.2 km/h (Massa, day 2)
Mercedes - 327.2 km/h (Hamilton, day 2)
Ferrari - 325.3 km/h (Raikkonen, both days)
Toro Rosso - 324.4 km/h (Sainz, day 2)
Red Bull - 322.3 km/h (Ricciardo, day 2)
McLaren - 313 km/h (Alonso, day 2)

Ferrari-powered Sauber - which also managed 330 km/h with Ericsson on day two - ruins the Mercedes party a bit, but all of the German firm's teams are covered by just 4 km/h towards the top of the order.

You can't dispute the works Ferrari's consistency as Raikkonen clocked the same top speed on both days (!), while the Renault-powered Red Bull-owned teams are clearly still lacking a bit.

It's obviously too early to judge Honda's performance in the McLaren, although the Japanese company said earlier this week that it plans to start doing some top speed work before the end of this test.

Fernando Alonso, F1 testing 2015

09:29 We're back to green, but no one's come out yet. The weather is looking slightly brighter and the drizzle didn't amount to anything.

09:30 Lap count summary:

Verstappen 20
Hamilton 18
Massa 15
Maldonado 15
Kvyat 12
Vettel 11
Wehrlein 9
Button 7
Ericsson 0

09:30 Times so far:

1 Hamilton 1m26.142s
2 Massa +0.770s
3 Maldonado +2.115s
4 Verstappen +2.424s
5 Wehrlein +2.488s
6 Vettel +2.791s
7 Button +3.009s

09:31 Though Kvyat has done a reasonable number of laps, none of them have been timed yet, with intense pitstop practice going on at Red Bull for a second straight day and the car coming in after every lap.

09:32 BEN ANDERSON has news from McLaren: The car shut down unexpectedly and Button switched it off. The team is investigating the cause now.

09:33 Lap count by engine:

Mercedes: 57
Renault: 32
Ferrari: 11
Honda: 7

09:34 Force India is first back out with Wehrlein, and it sounds like something Renault-powered is joining him.

09:35 Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen are on track too now.

09:38 Verstappen improves to third on a 1m27.417s.

09:38 Vettel is also finding time, up to fourth on a 1m27.864s.

09:39 Vettel's next lap is quicker in sectors one and two, but he's 0.045s slower by the finish line.

09:40 The Ferrari is running on mediums, as is everyone currently out bar Hamilton, who's gone for winter hards.

09:40 Winter hards aren't quite so necessary today, with the air temperature at 8.8 degrees C it's literally twice as warm as yesterday morning.

09:42 Vettel does shave 0.04s off his time on this lap, staying fourth.

09:45 Still no sign of Sauber as it works on the gearbox problems that hit its day on Friday.

BEN ANDERSON reports that the team expected to be running by now, but completing the fix is taking longer than hoped.

We'd imagine Ericsson is remaining chilled in the meantime.

09:47 Under this sheet is a broken McLaren-Honda - XPB captures Button's car returning to the pits:

Jenson Button, McLaren, on truck, Barcelona F1 testing, February 2015

09:50 Still no flying lap today from Kvyat - he does his best middle sector time yet then dives in for another practice pitstop.

09:52 Busy pitlane now, with Massa (from what we can hear, the Williams pit bay is just out of sight) having gone for a practice pitstop, Kvyat still doing likewise, and Vettel and Maldonado coming in to end their runs.

09:54 With Massa and Kvyat in and out of the pits, the only driver on a run at present is Verstappen, who's logging consistent 1m30s on mediums.

09:56 Yesterday it was Sainz in the Toro Rosso, and he completed 100 laps despite some technical problems and spinning into the Turn 9 gravel. He put a well-that-could've-been-worse slant on things at the end of the session:

"I think it's the most satisfying number of the day," he said of his lap count. "Why? Because we had a number of issues and we managed to complete 100 laps so we made a not-so-good day into a good day."

09:56 Fine work as ever from our photographers at @latphotographic and @XPBimages - both got pictures of Vettel going off first thing this morning, and those are now uploaded to our testing gallery:

Barcelona F1 testing gallery

Sebastian Vettel goes off, Barcelona F1 test 2015

09:57 Hamilton and Wehrlein have set out to begin new runs, while this time Kvyat switches the Red Bull off as he comes in.

09:58 Massa, Verstappen, Hamilton and Wehrlein are running relatively close on track at present, all on mediums.

09:59 Red Bull has its screens up as Kvyat is wheeled into the garage, but it also has the disadvantage of being parked below a media centre full of journalists leaning over to get detail shots from above.

10:00 Massa ducks out of the 'pack' on track and pits, while Verstappen is running a faster pace than Hamilton, who is quicker than Wehrlein, so our train is going to spread out.

10:02 Or maybe not, as Hamilton steps it up from a 1m36s to a 1m27s and catches Verstappen.

10:02 Meanwhile Wehrlein finds some time and goes up to fourth on a 1m27.699s.

10:04 When cars have been ducking out to pass each other on the pits straight, the sparks kicked up as they jink off line have been quite visually impressive. That's a little aesthetic rule tweak that will look quite cool both on TV and from the grandstands this year...

...but it's probably not quite the shake-up F1 really needs, is it?

10:05 Lap count latest:

Verstappen 40
Hamilton 29
Massa 26
Maldonado 24
Wehrlein 22
Vettel 21
Kvyat 16
Button 7
Ericsson 0

10:05 Times so far:

1 Hamilton 1m26.142s
2 Massa +0.770s
3 Verstappen +1.275s
4 Wehrlein +1.557s
5 Vettel +1.681s
6 Maldonado +2.115s
7 Button +3.009s

10:07 Headlines from the morning:

* Vettel spins off on cold tyres on his very first lap
* Hamilton sets the early pace ahead of Massa
* Button causes a red flag as his McLaren shuts down on track
* Verstappen leads the way on mileage

10:07 Lap count by engine:

Mercedes: 101
Renault: 56
Ferrari: 21
Honda: 7

10:08 Wehrlein has pitted and Hamilton is now the only driver on track.

10:11 Hamilton's pace briefly dropped into the 1m32s but next time through he is back in the 1m29s.

10:12 Meanwhile, McLaren has confirmed Button suffered a loss of power. The team is still investigating what went wrong with his Honda power unit.

10:12 Another lap in the low-1m29s for Hamilton.

He's no longer alone on track, as Maldonado joins him.

10:14 That's it for Hamilton on this run, he comes back into the pits as Maldonado's Lotus prepares for a flying lap on what looked like medium tyres.

10:15 Two personal bests for Maldonado in the first two sectors and the Lotus crosses the line in 1m27.966s. That keeps it sixth.

10:17 Vettel returns to the track in his Ferrari, as Massa does the same in the Williams.

10:19 After a 1m30s, Maldonado dips to a 1m28s. Similar to what Hamilton did earlier.

Pastor Maldonado, F1 testing 2015

10:21 Vettel fills his row of the timing screen with green sectors and jumps to second on a 1m26.407s, 0.26s slower than Hamilton.

10:22 Kvyat's back out in the Red Bull and sets a pair of green sectors on his out-lap.

Maldonado's now in the 1m29s.

10:22 Kvyat continues that pace onto the start of his flying lap. He's set a personal-best first sector but will he finish the lap this time?

10:23 Kvyat, on mediums, does set a time, but it's only a 1m30.663s.

The winter hard-shod Massa is just ahead of him on track. Maldonado completes the mini-train just a few seconds behind Kvyat.

10:24 Vettel's lap is a 1m27.3s next time through. Kvyat improves to a 1m28.976s and jumps ahead of Button.

10:25 Massa's back in the pits in the Williams. He said the team would be focusing on pitstop practice and that seems to be the case as we hear him squeal away from the pitbay again.

Maldonado falls into the 1m30s.

10:26 Another improvement for Kvyat, who sets personal best times in sectors one and two. He stays seventh but is now on a 1m28.445s.

10:26 Another lap in the 1m27s for Vettel.

10:28 And another near-identical laptime from the Ferrari as Kvyat slips to into the 1m36s-bracket with a slow lap. He's green in the first sector now though.

10:28 Maldonado's brought his run in the Lotus to an end. Massa's back in the pits in the Williams.

10:29 Further improvement for Kvyat, who shaves less than a tenth off his best time.

Vettel does a 1m27.7s next time through.

10:32 Verstappen's on track and sets the fastest first sector of anyone so far.

10:32 Vettel slowed down on his last lap in the Ferrari, as did Kvyat in the Red Bull.

10:33 Now Kvyat starts pushing again, with a personal best time in the first sector.

10:33 And Verstappen uses the soft tyres to go top in the Toro Rosso on a 1m25.417s.

10:34 The young Dutchman found exactly two seconds compared to his previous best on mediums. The softer rubber providing a bigger benefit than usual, probably due to the cold conditions - track temperature is still only 12.2C.

10:35 Kvyat didn't improve on his lap, instead posting a 1m28.5s. The Russian isn't quite piecing together the sectors, but who knows what his real programme is right now.

10:35 Vettel ends his run and comes into the pits in the Ferrari, shortly followed by Kvyat.

10:35 Wehrlein's back on track in the Force India as Verstappen backs off before going for another quick lap.

10:36 Despite ending the lap with two personal-best sectors Verstappen is 0.4s of his best, thanks to an unspectacular first sector.

10:37 Button's back out in the McLaren-Honda. The team's already lagging well behind on mileage this morning.

Jenson Button, F1 testing Barcelona 2015

10:38 Like Verstappen, Button's on the soft tyre. And the 2009 world champion continues on another lap, but his first sector is uninspiring.

10:39 Verstappen's latest lap is a 1m27.0s, then pits.

Button also pits in the McLaren-Honda, which has nine laps to its name now.

10:40 MATT BEER has wandered trackside, and reports "a mini race between Verstappen and Button, the Toro Rosso takes a peek at the McLaren into Turn 1 but thinks better of it and chases right through the first sector".

10:41 Those two pitting together leaves Mercedes' loanee Pascal Wehrlein solo on track in the 2014 Force India.

10:42 If you're wondering what Force India is getting out this test with the old car, Sergio Perez - who drove yesterday and on Thursday afternoon - says it is learning about the new 2015-spec Pirellis.

Force India focused on 2015 tyres with 2014 car

10:42 Verstappen has rejoined in the Toro Rosso.

10:43 And sounds like Vettel's back out in the Ferrari as well.

Wehrlein brings the Force India back in.

10:46 Verstappen's first sector is solid, his middle sector is purple, his final sector is purple and his laptime is improved.

The youngster gets down to a 1m25.268s.

10:46 Kvyat returns to the track in the Red Bull as Verstappen performs a cool-down lap.

10:47 Vettel and Kvyat are both setting green sector times.

10:48 Vettel just misses out on improving but that's a good lap from Kvyat.

He rises to fourth with two personal best sectors and then a purple final sector, setting a 1m26.589s.

10:49 Next time through, Vettel posts a 1m27.0s. Verstappen's back in the pits and Kvyat's lap is a cool-down effort.

10:50 Kvyat's Red Bull has splashes of green aero paint on it. That ruins the camouflage livery - we can see it now.

10:50 Maldonado's back out in the Lotus as Vettel continues to lap in the 1m27s.

10:51 Kvyat's 0.02s slower than Vettel on his next lap.

10:53 Kvyat pits and after would looked like a quick check of tyre pressures, he's wheeled into the garage.

Maldonado sets a personal best middle sector but doesn't improve his overall laptime.

10:56 A sudden burst of track activity.

Vettel continues in the 1m27s and 1m28s.

Verstappen's back out in the Toro Rosso. Massa's Williams, Wehrlein's Force India, Maldonado's Lotus and Button's McLaren-Honda are all on track again.

10:57 A personal-best first sector for Button, who is slowest of the eight to set a laptime so far (only the Sauber of Ericsson remains without a time).

10:58 Button opts not to complete his lap and brings the McLaren-Honda back into the pits again. Still, it's into double digits for the day now.

10:58 Rapid from Verstappen, who is now more than a second quicker than anyone else thanks to two purple sectors taking him to a 1m24.739s.

10:59 Massa is already back into the pits in the Williams and now Vettel ends a good run as well.

11:01 A short run that for Maldonado. Massa is back out in the Williams, while Verstappen also pits in the Toro Rosso.

11:02 That 1m24s barrier-breaking run from Verstappen was on the super-soft Pirellis.

11:04 Here's an update after another hour passes at Barcelona:


1 Verstappen, Toro Rosso 1m24.739s
2 Hamilton, Mercedes 1m26.142s
3 Vettel, Ferrari 1m26.407s
4 Kvyat, Red Bull 1m26.589s
5 Massa, Williams 1m26.912s
6 Wehrlein, Force India 1m27.699s
7 Maldonado, Lotus 1m27.966s
8 Button, McLaren 1m29.151s

11:05 Lap count, with all bar Massa in the pits:

Verstappen 55
Vettel 41
Maldonado 41
Massa 39
Wehrlein 36
Hamilton 35
Kvyat 31
Button 12

11:07 Lap count by engine:

Mercedes 151
Renault 86
Ferrari 41
Honda 12

11:09 And the morning's stories so far:

* Verstappen leads the way with a super-soft run
* Toro Rosso driver tops the mileage chart as well
* Hamilton sets the early pace on mediums
* Vettel recovers from beaching his Ferrari in the gravel to run third
* Button causes a red flag as his McLaren shuts down on track

Lewis Hamilton, F1 testing 2015

11:09 We've got Verstappen, Hamilton and Massa on track now.

11:11 Another purple first sector from Verstappen, but he is a tenth shy of his previous morning-topping effort by the end of the lap.

11:11 Vettel and Kvyat have rejoined the track for Ferrari and Red Bull.

11:12 Less than an hour to go until the lunch break in Spain, and those of you who were with us yesterday will know that we plan to keep you entertained through that hour by getting you involved in a Formula 1 debate.

Helmet designs were yesterday's topic, so today we want to hear what you think the best and worst F1 car liveries of all-time are.

Let us know your liveries of choice on Twitter using #autosportF1 and we'll get through as many as we can at lunchtime.

11:13 Verstappen brings his Toro Rosso back in after yet another super-soft run.

11:14 Hamilton and Kvyat lap in the 1m26s as Williams returns to the pits in the Williams.

11:15 Now Kvyat's back in, as Hamilton drops to a 1m28s and then a 1m30s.

11:16 Massa returns to the track in the Williams, but is back in again soon after. His disjointed runs, via pitstop practice, leave him on 45 laps so far.

Felipe Massa sparks, F1 testing 2015

11:19 Silence descends at Barcelona as the remaining cars return to the pits. Just over 40 minutes until lunch.

11:23 Teams reporting light rain here, that might be the reason for the lack of track activity. We can't see any drizzle in the pitlane but have sent MATT BEER to the roof...

@WilliamsRacing: "Rain reported on the circuit so @MassaFelipe19 pits. Let's see how long this shower lasts...."

11:24 And MATT BEER confirms: "Moderate drizzle."

11:26 Nice rain sensor from @ForceIndiaF1. Our similar system reports: "Sustained moderate drizzle shower."

11:28 AUTOSPORT's rain sensor: "Patter of rain on the awning over the stairs is like 100 ladybirds tip-toeing rather than 20 puppies running."

11:28 With just over half an hour left to go, Maldonado ventures out in the Lotus.

11:30 Maldonado's straight back in on the intermediate Pirellis.

11:31 Alonso's just walked down the pitlane and this hardy lot gave him quite a nice reception as he did so. The grandstand is a bit busier today now the working week is over.

11:37 As the drizzle continues, here's how we stand before lunch. This may not change, either.


1 Verstappen, Toro Rosso 1m24.739s
2 Hamilton, Mercedes 1m26.142s
3 Vettel, Ferrari 1m26.407s
4 Kvyat, Red Bull 1m26.589s
5 Massa, Williams 1m26.912s
6 Wehrlein, Force India 1m27.699s
7 Maldonado, Lotus 1m27.966s
8 Button, McLaren 1m29.151s

Laps by driver:

Verstappen 58
Vettel 46
Massa 45
Maldonado 42
Hamilton 41
Wehrlein 36
Kvyat 34
Button 12

Laps by engine:

Mercedes 164
Renault 92
Ferrari 46
Honda 12

11:39 Sauber tweets that Marcus Ericsson is preparing to bring the car out for the first time after its technical troubles.

11:43 Massa's the first back on track in the Williams. Still waiting to see if the Sauber will actually appear before lunch.

11:44 We do indeed have the Sauber on track for the first time today, as Marcus Ericcson leaves the pits.

Vettel's also out in the Ferrari. We've got 15 minutes left here.

11:46 Ericsson and Massa come straight back in as Vettel continues. All three left the pits on intermediates.

11:49 Verstappen's on track, Massa's back out as well. Vettel continues in the Ferrari.

11:51 Verstappen's back in the pits with Vettel lapping in the 1m41s.

11:51 Massa also came into the pitlane but has gone back out after his latest trundle through.

11:52 We won't interrupt the final minutes of the morning session too much, but here's our first nomination for worst-looking F1 livery of all time, using #autosportF1 on Twitter:

@StephenCWLL, @Jori_Bremer, and @f1mrfox were among those to choose the 1992 Brabham - can't think why...

At least it gave a future world champion (Damon Hill) his debut in F1.

Damon Hill, 1992 Brabham

11:53 Ericsson's back out in the Sauber. He's obviously setting green sectors, because he's not yet set a time. This is only his third lap.

11:54 Ericsson gets on the board with a 1m42.931s.

11:54 Just Ericsson and Vettel on track.

11:58 Massa's gone back out in the Williams but with two minutes left and times well off the pace, the meaningful part of the morning is long gone.

12:00 That's it for the morning running, and with Vettel already in the pits it's Massa's Williams that takes the flag.

12:03 As things wind down and we prepare our report on the morning's action, here's the first contender for the best F1 livery, which we are letting you decide on Twitter using #autosportF1:

@_mod1982: "#autosportF1 I was quite fond of the Stewart SF-3, one of the last liveries that shows a team's independent spirit. Who else has tartan?"

The 1999 car was of course the last under the 'Stewart' name before the team became Jaguar, and it also took the team's only victory, courtesy of Johnny Herbert, in a remarkable European GP at the Nurburgring.

Rubens Barrichello, 1999 Stewart

12:08 @FerrariSamoF1: "#autosportF1 Best looking car - Benetton B195. Worst looking car- Forti FG01."

There's no right or wrong answers here, and to show that different people have different tastes, @mattbuck4950 says: "#autosportf1 While it wasn't the "best" livery, I always liked the Forti yellow."

We're not sure about the design of that nose, though, and BEN ANDERSON adds: "And people think the current F1 noses look bad!"

Pedro Diniz, 1995 Forti

12:11 Sometimes the more striking F1 colour schemes can be the most divisive:

@SMSGrafica: "@autosport #autosportF1 Best (Benetton 1986)."

@nicolaubrosa: "The awful 1986 Benetton #autosportF1"

Teo Fabi, 1986 Benetton

12:14 Here's the full round-up of the morning so far, after four hours that featured a spinning Ferrari, a broken McLaren, a rapid Toro Rosso and some pesky drizzle:

Saturday morning test report

12:24 Here's a livery that most people agree on - the lovely JPS Lotus.

@GPRacing_NZ says: "#autosportF1 Best livery of all time - JPS Lotus." @WRGerman is among those who agree

That livery from the 1970s-80s has technically made a comeback with the 'Lotus' team that is currently on the grid, but it's not quite the same, is it? We'll go for an original:

Emerson Fittipaldi, Lotus

12:29 Honda is back in F1 this year as an engine supplier to McLaren (who knows, maybe that partnership's original form will make it into this debate before the lunchbreak is over), but it left F1 with a bit of a whimper after two years of under-performing cars.

And it's fair to say the 'Earth Dream' livery concept, first used in 2007, didn't sit well with you guys:

@dankilo3: "#autosportF1 @autosport this car deserved to be slow with that livery"

@TopherF1: "@autosport #autosportF1 For me one of the worst liveries in #F1. Not because of the looks, but because of the irony!"

@Jeroen_Scholte: "@autosport: Worst livery? Obviously the (what on) Earth (is that) livery from Honda."

Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button, Honda 2007

12:33 It's been rude of us not to have given you a picture of the Jordan 191 yet, hasn't it. We do apologise. Penned by our own technical expert Gary Anderson, it helped Eddie Jordan's team make a big mark during its first season in F1.

@joostv13, @techiebabe, @Brad_Klenk, @fernandojs and @ARulamo were among those to choose it, and AUTOSPORT is unanimous in its agreement with you.

Andrea de Cesaris, 1991 Jordan

12:39 If you want to combine surveying the best and worst of F1 liveries with some contemporary testing analysis, then we've got two suggestions for you.

McLaren-Honda's woe this morning is nothing new, but it's particularly frustrating as the team was hoping to make bigger steps forward now it has a replacement MGU-K seal, which was the cause of its day-one issues. You can read exclusive comments from Eric Boullier and Yasuhisa Aria here:

Why McLaren has cause for concern

Then there's the story of yesterday, with the headline-grabbing Red Bull not the real winner when you delve into the data:

Who really won on test day two?

Jenson Button, McLaren, Barcelona, February 2015

12:40 Most F1 teams take a lot of criticism for a lack of imagination with their colour schemes at the moment. In fact, 2015's launch season prompted our magazine editor EDD STRAW to call the teams out for failing to come up with interesting designs anymore.

But there's a relatively recent livery that is getting some love from you on Twitter at the moment - the 2010 Renault, the last F1 car raced by Robert Kubica before a rally accident ended his single-seater career.

@tendencja: "#autosportF1 Renault from 2010. Robert Kubica"

@PickoMotorsport: "#autosportf1 I loved the Renault car that Kubica and Petrov raced in 2010. So beautiful!"

Renault is considering running a fully-branded works team again, so perhaps a variation on this scheme could return in the near future...

Robert Kubica, Vitaly Petrov, Renault 2010

12:48 Not many fans of BAR's first attempt in 1999 out there. The team wanted to run different liveries on each car, but once that was blocked it opted for a half-and-half 'zipper' design.

It only lasted a year, so perhaps the marketing chiefs behind this move agreed with you.

@stjaninaro: "@autosport #autosportF1 The blue/turquoise Sauber is still my all-time favourite livery.The half and half BAR 01 on the other hand.. hideous"

@harjanbrand: "#autosportF1 worst looking livery must have been the two color BAR and the Honda green earth cars"

@martinhendriks: "The BAR-Supertec 1999 split livery is worst and the Gold black Lotus of Senna best. #autosportF1"

Jacques Villeneuve, 1999 BAR

12:51 What an absolutely brilliant response we've had from you on the best and worst F1 liveries, using #autosportF1 on Twitter.

We're sorry we're not going to get all of your suggestions in before the lunch break ends, but we'll squeeze a couple more in and will maybe treat you to some others later in the afternoon when things are quiet.

We might have to extend this debate to tomorrow's testing lunch break as well!

12:54 We sort of gave this one away earlier, but of course the famous red and white McLarens of the 1970s/80s/90s had to make an appearance here.

@OZammit: "The classic #McLarenHonda of the 80's-90's is my favourite livery. Currently, I really like #WilliamsRacing! #autosportF1"

We've snuck a Williams FW14B - editor GLENN FREEMAN's favourite F1 car - in the middle for good measure, too.

Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Gerhard Berger, 1992

12:57 WEATHER NEWS fresh from the Barcelona pit complex roof - it's dry.

12:57 As everyone prepares to get back to the real business at hand today - preparing for the 2015 F1 season, we'll pause our debate on the best and worst F1 liveries and let our team on the ground at Barcelona continue doing the fine job of keeping you up to speed with what's going on in testing.

Here's our last entry for the moment, one that comes with the backing of our own BEN ANDERSON:

@Paul11MSport: "#autosportF1 best livery? I loved the Rial livery from 1988/89, just for that shade of blue!"

1989 Rial

12:57 The track still looks slightly dark in places, but AUTOSPORT was hit by no more than seven trifling spatters of rain during our roof recce.

12:58 So when the session officially resumes in just under two minutes, we should be good to go with some decent running.

13:00 First out for the afternoon is Maldonado's Lotus.

13:02 For Lotus, the rain still wafts: "Session goes live. Car goes out. Gentle rain wafts downward."

13:02 Maldonado comes back in, but Hamilton has gone out and begun a run.

13:03 A race simulation should be on the agenda at Red Bull this afternoon.

13:04 At least, that's what this Red Bull pit board with 'L65' on it hints - and thanks to our desk neighbours at Auto Motor und Sport for drawing our attention to it.

Red Bull pit board

The 'P1' on the pit board suggests Red Bull expects Kvyat to win this simulated race too.

13:07 If Red Bull does complete another race simulation, Kvyat will probably be tired - or so his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo warned on Twitter earlier:

"140+ laps yesterday. Just slept for 16 hours! ? not really.. Very solid day though, making good strides ??"

13:08 Hamilton is lapping in 1m36s at the moment on the potentially slightly damp track. He's using medium tyres.

13:10 There's not much to choose between air (10.3 degrees C) and track (11.7) temperatures today, whereas so far this week there's been a big gap - as the cold air sent journalists for coats but the bright sunshine toasted the asphalt.

The breeze has got up - it's a haircut-ruffling 6km/h north-to-north-easterly, and there's a varied selection of clouds ahead that could yet offer more showers.

The rainfall measure on our data screen still insists today's rainfall is 0.0mm, but some decimal proportion of a millimetre of rain has definitely fallen this morning.

13:11 Hamilton pitted very quickly and is now back out, as is our morning pacesetter Verstappen.

13:13 Verstappen is out on mediums too and lapping in 1m34s, while Hamilton did another exploratory lap then pitted again.

13:15 Meanwhile at Red Bull, man on yellow ladder attends to pit gantry in preparation for race simulation, while Hamilton and Wehrlein rejoin the track.

Red Bull pit

13:17 Verstappen does a couple of 1m34s laps then comes in and parks, with Hamilton and Wehrlein doing likewise.

13:17 It's possibly still a little bit too damp for teams to want to really get stuck into afternoon running.

13:18 Most were pretty dismissive about the worth of wet running when pondering the forecast last night.

13:19 Red Bull looks ready to go when it's confident in track conditions, with its pit area all laid out for the crew to sprint out for tyre changes, and plenty of noise from the engine in the garage below us right now.

13:21 Kvyat does now set off. Still L65 on the pitboard.

13:24 No race sim yet - the Red Bull crew meets Kvyat at the FIA area just before its pit and wheels him back to the garage.

13:25 The Red Bull was still running on intermediates for that exploratory lap - a fair hint that the team wants the track to dry further.

Window13:27 Ignore the massive black lines of the media centre window pillars if you can, and here's the Red Bull mechanics collecting Kvyat and bringing him in.

13:32 Back from another weather check on the roof - there's more sun poking through and bigger patches of blue sky than there has been all day, but still annoying spatters of rain too.

And while there are blue areas above, the cloud over the hills opposite the track looks pretty low, misty and wet.

13:32 Nevertheless, Kvyat is out again, and Ericsson popped out to check the track in the Sauber too.

13:34 But it sounds like Hamilton's verdict wasn't promising, according to Mercedes' tweet: "It's a little greasy out there..."

13:34 OK, Kvyat's happy with the track - the intermediates are swapped for softs and off he shoots. Race sim time?

13:35 The low-on-mileage Ericsson is back out too.

13:36 While we wait for a verdict on the Red Bull race simulation, we'll squeeze in a cheeky additional "best F1 liveries" Tweet from earlier that we didn't have time to include during lunch:

This time, it's the car that took Fernando Alonso to the first of his two world championships:

@TheBPG13: "#autosportF1 I loved the Renault from 2005, IMO one of the best looking f1 cars I've seen"

Fernando Alonso, Renault 2005

13:36 Lap count today so far:

Verstappen 64
Massa 55
Vettel 54
Hamilton 48
Maldonado 43
Kvyat 37
Wehrlein 37
Button 12
Ericsson 8

13:37 Ericsson's last lap was the best of his handful today so far - a 1m42.179s.

13:38 Ericsson's getting up to speed - it's a 1m31.403s this time. Kvyat's soft stint starts with a 1m30.951s.

13:39 Kvyat follows up his 1m30.9s with a 1m30.7s.

13:40 Ericsson goes another four tenths quicker with a 1m30.786s.

13:41 Ferrari says it's hanging back until the weather is definitely sorted:

"Today’s programme again features aerodynamic and set-up work. As the rain intensified, the team decided to slightly modify the programme, with normal work set to resume once it’s over."

13:41 Ericsson brings the Sauber back into the pits, while Verstappen is now out.

13:41 'L61' on the Red Bull pit board now. And still 'P1' so Kvyat's held his lead...

13:44 Kvyat, whose times go 1m30.951s, 1m30.791s 1m31.205s, 1m31.879s, 1m31.641s so far, is chasing Wehrlein on track.

13:44 Ferrari's clearly happy with the weather, as here comes Vettel.

13:45 Kvyat passes Wehrlein on that lap, which makes it a 1m32.1s.

13:47 Verstappen's doing a decent-length run on mediums, lapping in low to mid 1m30s compared to Kvyat's 1m32s now.

13:49 Let's keep an eye on Vettel too. Early in a medium-tyre stint, he's doing 1m29.3s.

13:50 On lap 10 of that 'race', Kvyat is in to ditch softs for mediums.

13:51 Kvyat averaged 1m31.7s on that stint, and his times started with two high 1m30s before settling in mid 1m32s.

13:52 Verstappen's staying very consistently in mid-1m30s on mediums. On the same rubber, Vettel follows some low/mid-1m29s with a 1m28.8s.

13:53 Definite sunshine over parts of the track now, and the view towards the hills look brighter. Looking good for some sustained dry running.

13:54 Yet another mid-1m30s from Verstappen, as Ericsson comes back out too. Vettel stays in high 1m28s for now.

13:55 Kvyat's first two flying laps on his new mediums are a 1m29.7s and a 1m29.8s.

13:55 Ericsson is straight back into the pits.

13:56 Vettel pits too, so that was quite a short run. After some slow early laps, it was all between high 1m28s and low 1m29s.

13:56 @LewisHamilton: "#GarageSelfie Hope you're having a great day! Still feeling under the weather but I'm pushing for you guys. #TeamLH"

Lewis Hamilton Twitter selfie, F1 testing 2015

13:59 Ericsson continues to bring his times down with every run on this compromised day. He's now on 1m30.213s.

14:00 Verstappen's times are drifting from the previous mid-1m30s to low 1m31s as he continues this long stint on mediums.

14:03 Ericsson is doing some very, very slow laps on track at the moment (in a cruising for data way, not an obvious problem), while Verstappen comes in and shuts the Toro Rosso down.

14:03 Wehrlein slightly improves his best time very slightly, doing a 1m27.564s.

14:04 Kvyat is now onto the eighth lap of stint two of his race. His times - on mediums - are up from mid/high 1m29s to mid 1m30s.

14:05 Maldonado vaults the Lotus up the order into third place, lapping in 1m26.336s.

14:06 Hamilton is on another out-lap too, and it ends with his best sector three yet.

14:06 Maldonado's lap was a one-off on softs and he's now back in, while Wehrlein's improved pace came on super-softs.

14:08 Hamilton, who is on mediums, starts his next lap with a new personal best in sector one, but overall it's six tenths off his best.

14:08 Maldonado is back out and improves by another tenth to 1m26.208s, within 0.069s of Hamilton in second now.

14:08 Driver switch for the afternoon at Williams, as Bottas begins his work for the week.

14:10 After that quick lap from Hamilton, he's back in the pits.

14:10 Lap 12 of stint two for Kvyat (lap 23 of his 'race') and his times are now in mid-1m31s.

Daniil Kvyat, F1 testing 2015

14:11 Bottas is yet to set a time, but Williams has said pitstop practice features heavily today and that's what it sounds like is happening now.

14:12 Maldonado backed off after his 1m26s surge to a pair of 1m30s, but now does a 1m27.6s.

14:13 The Lotus now pits. A quick glance at the Red Bull pitboard suggest 40 laps to go for Kvyat - and he's still P1.

14:15 This isn't Red Bull first race-sim work of this test: yesterday's pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo logged more than 140 laps in the RB11 as he got through a lot of valuable work for the team.

However, once we crunched the numbers on some of the other long runs that took place yesterday, it revealed a very ominous picture for eight of the nine teams:

The real winner of F1 testing day two

14:15 Lap count latest:

Verstappen 79
Vettel 67
Kvyat 62
Massa 55
Hamilton 52
Maldonado 50
Wehrlein 47
Ericsson 17
Button 12
Bottas 4

14:17 Wehrlein, now out on mediums, trims a touch off the time he earlier did on super-softs, lapping in 1m27.333s.

14:19 Bottas continues to run through pitstops with Williams, reaching six laps without setting a time.

14:22 Kvyat is cracking on with his long run, and Hamilton is now back on track in the Mercedes.

14:23 Maldonado rises to second now in the Lotus, just shy of Verstappen's benchmark.

The Venezuelan stops the clock at a much-improved 1m24.917s.

14:26 Headlines so far:

* Maldonado on softs jumps to within a tenth of Verstappen's super-soft first place time
* Kvyat mid-way through a race simulation for Red Bull
* Massa hands over to Bottas at Williams
* Vettel, after embarrassing out-lap spin, up to 74 laps for Ferrari
* Sauber gearbox woes resolved, Ericsson covers 20 laps

14:26 Kvyat's long run is over and the Red Bull is wheeled into the garage after dropping to 1m32s pace by the end of that stint.

14:27 Worth noting that Maldonado's rise has coincided with a significant increase in track temperature, from 12C to 20C.

It's fallen away slightly in the last 15 minutes though.

14:29 Vettel's on a longer run in the Ferrari and in the 1m30s. Hamilton's in the 1m28s as he continues to rack up the laps in the Mercedes.

14:30 Shortly before Vettel crosses the line in 1m30.5s, Hamilton brings his medium-shod Mercedes into the pits.

14:31 Vettel and Verstappen (in the 1m31s) are the two only two cars on track. We've still got 2.5 hours to go of day three.

14:31 Maldonado heads back out in the Lotus to make it three on track, but as he does so Vettel's run comes to an end.

14:32 Maldonado sets the best first sector time of any driver so far. And he's purple again in sector two.

14:33 Engine lap tally so far:

Mercedes 224
Renault 154
Ferrari 98
Honda 12

14:33 And on the super-soft tyre the Lotus man beats Verstappen's best effort by almost four-tenths of a second.

Maldonado's new benchmark is 1m24.348s.

14:34 Wehrlein's back out in the Force India, and Ericsson also emerges in the Sauber.

14:36 Lotus' glory run is over, and Maldonado returns to the pits.

Verstappen's running in the 1m31s again after briefly dropping into the 1m32s.

14:37 Slower that time for Verstappen, a 1m32.9s. Ericsson on the medium tyre has just done a personal best of 1m29.171s.

The Swede is not very far behind the Toro Rosso on track so should catch him either this lap or next.

14:38 Ericsson could be about to make McLaren-Honda's day even worse - the Sauber's set to improve, which would leave McLaren bottom of the times with 12 laps completed.

14:39 And Maldonado's back out again. It looked as though the Toro Rosso was still ahead of the Sauber then, which may explain Ericsson's inability to improve.

14:41 Ericsson backs off on that lap so there's a bigger gap ahead of him now.

Maldonado goes purple in sector one but falls 0.11 short of his best.

14:42 The super-softs on Maldonado's Lotus get a bit of a breather on that last lap as the Venezuelan slows down to push again.

Meanwhile, Wehrlein pits in the Force India.

14:43 Bottas returns to the track for Williams.

Verstappen continues to lap in the 1m32s. And now Ericsson pits.

14:43 Maldonado's also back in the pits. There's no second attempt at a flying lap for the Lotus this time.

14:46 Bottas brings the Williams back in. Verstappen has the track to himself.

14:48 Some of you are probably wondering when we'll see the McLaren-Honda again. We're chasing it, rest assured.

Today was supposed to be the turning point for the team, after a faulty MGU-K seal (how many times have you heard that over the last three days?) blighted its Thursday and Friday.

Well, it's been a disastrous day so far. No wonder Fernando Alonso admitted last night he was not sure the team would be ready for the opening round in Australia.

Fernando Alonso, F1 testing 2015

14:48 Verstappen continues to edge towards the 100-lap mark, as Bottas leaves the pits and returns yet again in the Williams. He's crept past McLaren-Honda's total in the process.

14:51 Verstappen pits and takes on new tyres in the Toro Rosso. Swift work, from our vantage point. But couldn't quite see the rubber.

As he did that, Kvyat left the Red Bull garage again.

14:52 And the Toro Rosso comes straight back in again. There's another tyre change, but Verstappen's then wheeled into the garage.

14:52 Out again, in again, out again for Bottas. This time on soft tyres. Not sure how much difference that makes.

Hamilton and Vettel are on track.

14:54 Hamilton improves his time a fraction, but he stays third fastest.

The Mercedes driver's latest effort is a 1m26.076s.

14:56 Bottas looked as though he would actually set a time then. He set a good first sector, a personal best middle sector but then came back in the pits.

Should have seen it coming.

14:59 Three ultra-consistent laps in the high 1m28s for Vettel as Kvyat does back-to-back 1m29.4s.

Those two and Hamilton are on mediums. Hamilton's now in the 1m27s.

15:00 Ericsson improves to a 1m28.858s and that takes him above Button.

So that's the lowest lap count and the slowest time for McLaren-Honda.

15:00 And we count that because Bottas hasn't set a time. If he had, he'd be quicker. The sectors say so.

15:06 Vettel, Hamilton and Kvyat dropping off in unison. They've each lost a few tenths. Vettel and Kvyat were similar pace on the last lap but Hamilton was a second quicker.

They have the track to themselves as well.

15:10 Hamilton is in the pits and back in the garage. That was a run comprising 10 flying laps, and it was very consistent, peaking at 1m26s and running at 1m27s/1m28s throughout.

15:12 This is encouraging for Ferrari and Red Bull. They are both on the 15th lap of their respective runs now and the drop-off has not been alarming.

Kvyat's pace was not so strong in the middle of this stint, but he's evened it up now - and is actually currently running faster than Vettel, or at least at the same pace.

15:13 Wehrlein and Maldonado are both on track now in their respective Mercedes-powered machinery.

15:15 Vettel brings the Ferrari into the pits and ends that intriguing run.

15:19 As Kvyat continues his race simulation, the track has become busier.

He's joined now by Maldonado, Verstappen, Ericsson and Bottas.

15:21 BEN ANDERSON is down at McLaren, where Button hasn't done any running since before lunch.

15:22 "Lots of activity in the McLaren garage. The mechanics are now getting away as Boullier and Arai watch on in the background."

15:23 Kvyat's in, and a quick change of tyres gets the Russian on his way again.

Ericsson just did a 1m29s, Maldonado a 1m31s and Verstappen a 1m30s, all three being on the medium tyre.

15:24 Kvyat's taken on soft tyres. The result is a personal-best middle sector.

The ever-frustrating Williams runs through the pitlane again on hard tyres. The toughest team to judge so far, without doubt.

15:25 The McLaren fires up in the garage, reports BEN ANDERSON.

Button has only done 12 laps all day so far.

15:25 Button heads back out, "with some clutch slip and wheelspin", says BEN ANDERSON. "McLaren is go again".

Anderson looked like a man on a mission when he walked underneath our vantage point just now.

15:26 You can discard our previous tyre information for Maldonado (who is on softs) and Verstappen (on hards). That's what happens when you run to the window at the last minute and catch a glimpse instead of a proper look.

15:28 Kvyat's first three laps on the soft tyre yield a 1m28.0s, a 1m27.5s and a 1m27.8s.

15:29 Button's first lap out of the garage is a 1m33.727s. His next lap starts with an unspectacular first sector as well. Are they going to build up to something more substantial later?

15:30 Button's back in the pits. That didn't last long.

Maldonado's persevering on the soft tyre in the Lotus. He's up to the 1m34s mark now.

15:32 Hamilton's rejoined in the Mercedes. Bottas reaches the 30-lap mark without setting a time.

15:32 BEN ANDERSON at McLaren: "Mechanics are checking the MP4-30 over now. Bodywork is coming off."

15:32 After a few very long runs, it's probably time for a lap count update.

15:33 More on McLaren's problems: "We understand from observers down here that the entire back end of the car was off previously."

Jenson Button, F1 testing Barcelona 2015

15:33 Lap count:

Verstappen 107
Vettel 97
Kvyat 97
Hamilton 76
Maldonado 75
Wherlein 63
Massa 55
Ericsson 38
Bottas 30
Button 15

15:37 Anderson at McLaren: "Button has stayed in the car and tyres are being fitted so it should be out again soon."

15:38 And Kvyat hits the magic 100-lap mark by coming into the pitlane. That was 10 laps on the soft tyre. Off he goes again.

15:41 Kvyat ends his race run. That was some fine work from the Russian. With just over an hour to go and 102 laps in the bag, Red Bull will be pleased.

15:42 Maldonado and Verstappen are still on track. The Lotus is on mediums now, while the Toro Rosso, on hards still, has more laps than any other on 113.

15:42 McLaren reveals that today's problem is a reoccurrence of the seal issue that halted it on Thursday. Another "re-engineered" part is needed.

15:43 Button's back on track in the meantime. Let's see if he can get anywhere.

15:46 Well, it's a full lap from Button at least. Nothing special, but a 1m31.081s is better than we've seen for a long time today from McLaren-Honda.

15:46 Hamilton's run is over, and Verstappen comes in as well. By the sounds of it, the Toro Rosso's gone straight back out.

15:47 The McLaren-Honda is back in the pits now. Up to 18 laps for the day.

15:49 We've got Maldonado, Wehrlein and Ericsson on track at the moment with just over an hour to go. The Sauber's on soft tyres.

15:51 Ericsson uses the soft tyres to jump to fourth in the Sauber, but he's still slower than Hamilton, who did his lap earlier on mediums.

15:52 Verstappen in the pits. A quick change of tyres and the Toro Rosso youngster makes his way back on track.

15:54 Another swift turnaround in the Toro Rosso pits for Verstappen.

Nothing spectacular happening on track. Maldonado and Wehrlein in the 1m31s, and Ericsson a second off his own best.

Vettel's just gone back out in the Ferrari.

16:00 So here are the headlines heading into the final hour on day three:

* McLaren-Honda's day lies in tatters after another MGU-K seal failure
* An afternoon run on the super-softs puts Maldonado on top
* Morning pacesetter Verstappen leads the lap count on 123
* Kvyat completes a race simulation for Red Bull
* Hamilton, Vettel, Kvyat and Massa yet to complete performance runs
* Bottas takes over from Massa for the afternoon but does not set a time

16:01 Vettel just popped out for an out/in-lap before returning straight into the Ferrari pits, while pitstop practice continues at both Toro Rosso and Williams.

16:03 Latest lap counts:

Verstappen 124
Vettel 103
Kvyat 102
Maldonado 93
Hamilton 86
Wehrlein 77
Massa 55
Ericsson 46
Bottas 37
Button 18

16:03 And laps by team:

Toro Rosso 124
Ferrari 103
Red Bull 102
Lotus 93
Williams 92
Mercedes 86
Force India 77
Sauber 46
McLaren 18

16:04 And laps by engine:

Mercedes 348
Renault 226
Ferrari 149
Honda 18

16:06 Here's our story on McLaren's latest problems:

Revised Honda MGU-K seal fails on McLaren

16:06 Quite a quick run starting for Hamilton, whose opening lap is a 1m26.880s - within eight tenths of his best today. Heading to the window for a tyre check...

16:07 Next lap for Hamilton, who's on medium tyres, is a 1m27.1s.

16:08 Maldonado and Bottas continue to duck in and out of the pits.

16:10 On the kart track next to the main grandstand, there's either a runaway leader and a massive battle for second place, or a huge lead battle and someone miles behind. Either way, it doesn't look like there are many overtaking spots.

16:16 Bottas pauses his run of practice pitstops and returns to the Williams garage. Maldonado and Hamilton have the track to themselves now.

16:17 Maldonado is now in the 1m31s on his relatively long run on medium tyres, while Hamilton pits.

16:22 The crowd is starting to disperse a bit as we go into the last 40 minutes of running and the sun starts setting.

There's been a pretty big turn-out in the grandstands and paddock today as we hit the weekend, and there should be more tomorrow when Alonso (and Sainz) are back on track.

There were even fans optimistically hovering between motorhomes and garages at 8am this morning, hoping to pounce on anyone famous flitting around.

We spotted a group of children stopping new Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene for an autograph yesterday evening too. They looked - and this may be a terrible, patronising generalisation - too young to be aware of who he was, but they possibly thought anyone that suave just had to be famous.

16:23 After a quiet period on track, Kvyat brings the Red Bull out again. No tell-tale pitboard to let us know his plan this time.

16:24 No flying laps for Kvyat, he is wheeled straight back into the Red Bull garage.

16:27 Still quite quiet: Ericsson does a single lap in the Sauber, then Vettel sets off for what are so far slow laps in the Ferrari.

Sebastian Vettel, F1 testing 2015

16:31 @ForceIndiaF1: "The crew has completed some routine checks after the latest long run, so we're ready to put in some extra laps before the end!"

16:32 Sure enough, Wehrlein is out again, and so is current second-fastest man Verstappen.

16:34 Seems Force India is quite enjoying having Mercedes test driver Wehrlein on loan, as it tweets this at its engine supplier:

"He's not a bad driver, this kid... you may want to keep an eye on him!"

16:37 Very nice kick of oversteer, bit of tyre smoke and black marks on the asphalt as Verstappen sets off after Toro Rosso's latest pitstop.

16:38 Got a red flag, and it's either Button or Verstappen.

16:39 The McLaren had come to a stop in the pit exit just as it was heading out.

16:39 Verstappen has also stopped just as he took to the track.

16:40 Did one of them (Button?) park first and the other stop in reaction to the red flag?

16:41 Here's a McLaren parked in one part of the pit exit.

16:43 And here's a Toro Rosso parked a bit further down:

Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, stops, Barcelona F1 test, February 2015

16:44 We will get a bit more running yet, as the Toro Rosso is swiftly being hoisted onto the truck.

16:45 Lap count update:

Verstappen 129
Vettel 105
Kvyat 104
Maldonado 104
Hamilton 96
Wehrlein 79
Massa 55
Ericsson 47
Bottas 42
Button 21

16:50 Back to green for the last 10 minutes, and immediate engine noise from Red Bull.

16:50 Whatever stopped the McLaren in the pit exit wasn't a big deal, as Button is straight out too.

16:51 Ericsson and Bottas also go out.

16:51 As does Wehrlein.

16:54 Bottas finally gets the chance to set a lap time of sorts after his hours of pitstop practice, doing a 1m38.067s.

16:56 Bottas pops himself ahead of Button this time with a 1m27.556s.

16:59 Bottas almost improves again, falling half a tenth short. He - and Hamilton, Ericsson and Kvyat, who are also out - should get one more lap today.

17:00 A tenth off his best for Bottas, and the chequered flag comes out to end day three of test two.

17:10 As our journalists head off into the paddock to get reaction to the day's events, here's our full report on day three from Barcelona:

REPORT: Maldonado fastest for Lotus

Pastor Maldonado, F1 testing 2015

17:12 That's it from AUTOSPORT Live for today. Keep an eye on over the rest of the evening for all the latest news from Barcelona + analysis of what's going on beyond the timesheets.

We'll be back just before 8am UK time tomorrow (we know - it's early for a Sunday), and we look forward to seeing you then.

P Driver Team Time
1  Pastor MaldonadoLotus 1m24.348s
2  Max VerstappenToro Rosso 1m24.739s  +0.391
3  Lewis HamiltonMercedes 1m26.076s  +1.728
4  Marcus EricssonSauber 1m26.340s  +1.992
5  Sebastian VettelFerrari 1m26.407s  +2.059
6  Daniil KvyatRed Bull 1m26.589s  +2.241
7  Felipe MassaWilliams 1m26.912s  +2.564
8  Pascal WehrleinForce India 1m27.333s  +2.985
9  Valtteri BottasWilliams 1m27.556s  +3.208
10  Jenson ButtonMcLaren 1m29.151s  +4.803
All timing unofficial. Updated: 16:55 GMT
Mainly cloudy High Temp: 12°C / 54°F
Track: Dry
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