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Live Reporting

Jamie Strickland

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Thanks and goodbye

    Well it's been a busy four days but I think we now have a clearer picture of where we stand heading into the new season.

    Mercedes look far and away the team to beat, with Williams and Ferrari looking the pick of the chasing pack. Special mention too for the Sauber and Force India cars, which look both reliable and quick.

    Work clearly remains to be done at McLaren, but they are not the kind of team to stay down for too long.

    First practice in Melbourne on 13 March is where the new season begins in earnest.

    Do please join us.

    Nico Rosberg's Mercedes
  2. Final pre-season test, overall top six

    Here's the top six times from the past four days of testing, and the tyre the lap was done on (only best time from each driver is included).

    1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:22.792 (soft)

    2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:23.022 (soft)

    3. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:23.063 (super-soft)

    4. Felipe Massa (Williams) 1:23.262 (super-soft)

    5. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:23.276 (super-soft)

    6. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:23.469 (super-soft)

  3. Testing points to only one outcome in Melbourne

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Well, that's it. Twelve days of pre-season testing are over. By the end of the week, the cars will be on their way to Melbourne for the first race and in a fortnight's time we will know the winner of the first grand prix of the 2015 season.

    "On the evidence so far, you'd have to say it would take a miracle - or some poor reliability - for it not to be either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg.

    "Mercedes are the class of the field, and are very likely to start the new season as they ended the last.

    "A full analysis of the lessons of pre-season testing will be on the BBC Sport website later this evening."

  4. Final times, day four

    1. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:23.063 (89 laps)

    2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:23.469 (129)

    3. Felipe Nasr (Sauber) 1:24.023 (159)

    4. Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:24.527 (85)

    5. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:24.638 (72)

    6. Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:25.113 (130)

    7. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:25.186 (148)

    8. Jenson Button (McLaren) 1:25.327 (30)

    9. Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) 1:28.272 (35)

  5. There's £4.37 I'll never see again

    So Mercedes left us wondering on their super-soft pace after all. No gung-ho heroics at the end there.

    Very sensible. Very Mercedes.

    It also underlines why I am not an F1 team boss and never have any money.

  6. Chequered flag

    Pre-season testing 2015 is at an end. Next stop Oz.

  7. Five minutes left

    Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel still circulate.

    Is this going to end with a whimper or a bang?

  8. F1 journalist Dan Knutson in Barcelona

    "The teams are starting to pack up anything not needed if their cars are still running. The crews have been here for a long time - nearly two weeks if you include a couple day of setting up before testing began at the Barcelona circuit."

  9. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Blackburn Lad: "If I were Mercedes I'd blitz everyone else's times on the soft and then call it a day. Leave them all wondering."

  10. Rosberg rides again

    Mercedes tweet: "@nico_rosberg isn't ready to head into the sunset just yet! Just over 30mins to go and he's maximising every one! #F1"

    That's the soft tyre he has on. Still we wait for the super-softs.

    Mercedes of Nico Rosberg
  11. Thirty minutes remain in pre-season testing

    The final throes of pre-season are upon us. Here's how we stand:

    1. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:23.063 (89 laps)*

    2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:23.469 (109)

    3. Felipe Nasr (Sauber) 1:24.023 (151)

    4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:24.638 (58)

    5. Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:25.113 (120)

    6. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:25.186 (132)

    7. Jenson Button (McLaren) 1:25.327 (29)

    8. Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:25.710 (71)

    9. Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) 1:28.272 (35)*

    * No more running today

  12. Verstappen back on track

    Toro Rosso tweet: "Now this is good news, Max is back! It will be good to get out for the final hour of pre-season testing #GOTOROROSSO"

    Max Verstappen brought out the red flag earlier this afternoon when the STR10 sufferered an engine problem between turns 11 and 12.

    Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen
  13. Lotus admit defeat with car rebuild

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "That's it for Lotus. They have abandoned their hopes of getting the car repaired in time to go out again following Pastor Maldonado's post-lunch crash and called it a day."

    Pastor Maldonado of Lotus
  14. Place your bets for a Mercedes showstopper

    Now I'm a long way from being a big gambler, but if a book was running on Mercedes choosing to end pre-season testing with a super-soft tyre extravaganza I would be prepared to wager my life savings on it happening.

    And I'm not one to bandy £4.37 around lightly.

    The world champions' fearsome W06 is yet to don the red-walled tyre this winter, even though the rubber is estimated to be 0.5-0.8secs a lap quicker. For the record, their best lap so far is a 1:22.792. So it's feasible a lap in the 1:21s could maybe - maybe - be within reach.

    Surely that's how they want to sign off. I know I would.

    John McCririck
  15. Vettel on the move again

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Ferrari have sent Vettel out again - he's now just over 20 laps into his interrupted race simulation."

  16. Ferrari race sim hits trouble

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Ferrari sent Sebastian Vettel out on a race simulation run earlier this afternoon, but it appears they have run into trouble - the German has not re-emerged after pitting at about what would have been the end of a first stint. We'll check and report back."

  17. F1 journalist Dan Knutson in Barcelona

    It's a pleasant, warm (18 degrees Centigrade) afternoon, but there are not that many fans in the grandstands as neither Fernando Alonso nor Carlos Sainz is testing today.

  18. Williams' pre-season testing is over

    Williams tweet: "So that's winter testing completed for us. Next stop for the guys is @ausgrandprix Well done team!"

    Williams end the day with Valtteri Bottas leading the way on a 1:23.063, set this morning on the super-soft tyre. The FW37 did just 89 laps but the team have not reported any issues.

    Williams pit crew
  19. F1 journalist Dan Knutson in Barcelona

    "Lotus's pit wall gear is all still in place, as is the pit stop gantry equipment. It does not look like the team is packing up the transporters either, so the crew must be working on getting the car repaired so Pastor Maldonado can get some more laps in before the end of the day."

  20. Force India pass go 100 times

    Another good day for Force India and the fledgling VJM08.

    It has cracked 100 laps for the second day running having only first turned a wheel in anger late on Friday morning.

    Sergio Perez, in the car today for the first time, sits fifth at present with a best time of 1:25.113.

    Force India of Sergio Perez
  21. Pictures of the day

    Daniel Ricciardo

    Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo chats with an engineer from the cockpit of the 'camo' RB11.

  22. Pictures of the day

    Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas

    Lovely shot here of Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari SF15-T in close quarters with the Williams FW37 of Valtteri Bottas.

  23. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Anthony Wyatt: "If that Fangio statue was near my old home the wheels would be gone."

  24. McLaren's day getting better

    McLaren tweet: "Good to be out getting some more laps on the board."

    Jenson Button has done 21 laps since lunchtime, having managed just two this morning.

  25. F1 journalist Dan Knutson in Barcelona

    "This statue of five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio and his 1955 Mercedes W196 is located just outside the entrance to the paddock here at the Circuit de Catalunya."

  26. Engine problem caused Verstappen stoppage

    Toro Rosso tweet: "We've had to stop due to engine problem. Max will have to wait before hopefully going out again. Nice view meanwhile."

    Toro Rosso
  27. Times and laps update

    Laps times are largely unchanged since the lunch break as longer runs and race simulations take precedence, although Jenson Button's McLaren is at least on the board now and Daniel Riccardo's Red Bull has improved after an earlier ERS problem.

    Here's where were at:

    1. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:23.063 (76 laps)

    2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:23.469 (66)

    3. Felipe Nasr (Sauber) 1:24.023 (113)

    4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:24.638 (22)

    5. Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:25.113 (86)

    6. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:25.186 (94)

    7. Jenson Button (McLaren) 1:25.994 (23)

    8. Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:26.267 (68)

    9. Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) 1:28.272 (35)

  28. Button goes beyond 20 laps

    Jenson Button's McLaren is getting closer to the times he managed on Friday. A 1:25.994 on the soft compound sees him into seventh, and 23 laps are now on the board.

  29. Rosberg closes on century

    Mercedes tweet: "Box, box, box is the call for @nico_rosberg! 93 laps on the board with 2hrs30mins to go... he's racking up the miles."

  30. Sauber first to 100 laps again

    Not for the first time this week it is Sauber who break the tape on a century of laps.

    Felipe Nasr brings up his ton during a run on the hard Pirelli tyre. He has a best time of 1:24.023, good for third in the standings with around two and a half hours to go.

    Felipe Nasr of Sauber
  31. Lunchtime quiz #3 Answer

    I asked you what Ronnie Peterson, Jody Scheckter, James Hunt and Gerhard Berger all have in common.

    The answer is they are all 10-time grand prix winners, indeed they are the only men currently on that tally. David Harrison was quickest with the right answer.

    Thanks again for playing.

    Mika Hakkinen, Gerhard Berger and Michael Schumacher
    Image caption: Berger won his 10th grand prix at Hockenheim in 1997
  32. Green flag

    We're off again.

  33. Maldonado targets top 10 in Melbourne

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Pastor Maldonado held a media briefing at lunchtime, shortly before his unfortunate accident at Turn Four - after which he is fine, incidentally.

    " Maldonado said that Lotus remained encouraged about their new car: 'For sure not as top as Mercedes but not that bad. It is a good step forward. The feeling is not too bad.'

    "Asked why he and team-mate Romain Grosjean were faster in the second test than this one he said: 'We are now focused on testing different things. More focus on the race pace. Last week we were pushing a bit more than this week. If we want to go forward in qualifying we can do it.'

    "As for the team's aims for Melbourne, he said: 'Let's start the season targeting the top 10 and then we'll see after that.'"

    Pastor Maldonado
  34. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Courtland Adams: "Will Lotus ever realise that they'd most likely have more success without Crashtor Maldonado? Even without the PDVSA investment..."

    Chris Brassett: "I really hope McLaren can sort out all their problems in time for the season open in Melbourne!"

    Matthew Cheshire: "Think I could hear JEV and I'm 10k from the Adelaide circuit. Joys of a Ferrari V8!" [see 09:07]

    Phil: "McLaren were in a similar situation in 2011 but went on to qualify & finish 2nd in The 1st race. Fingers crossed for a repeat."

  35. Red flag

    Max Verstappen's Toro Rosso has stopped out on track.

  36. Meanwhile, 300 miles away in Monaco...

    Lewis Hamilton tweets: "At the beach with Roscoe. I'm wishing you an amazing Sunday. #Monaco #bestdog #blessed"

    Hamilton completed his pre-season commitments for Mercedes yesterday.

    Lewis Hamilton
  37. Lotus with decision to make after Maldonado crash

    Lotus tweet: "A bit of work in the garage after an off this afternoon. Currently assessing whether we'll return to the track."

  38. Red Bull and Ricciardo back on track

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "When Daniel Ricciardo said on Saturday evening that he 'couldn't wait for testing to be over', it's a fair bet he wasn't wishing for a final day like this.

    "Ricciardo managed 10 laps this morning before an ERS problem - something of a recurring theme with Renault engines - consigned him to the garage.

    "But after a four-hour delay he has finally gone out again. Only McLaren, with their new Honda engine, and Force India, whose new car did not appear until Friday, have done less mileage than Red Bull this winter."

  39. Lunchtime quiz #2 Answer

    I asked you who came next in this sequence of drivers: Olivier Panis, Eric Bernard, Johnny Herbert...

    The answer is Franck Lagorce, and the reason, as many, many of you told me, was that he was the fourth and final man after Panis, Bernard and Herbert (below) to drive for the Ligier team in 1994.

    Panis was ever-present for Ligier in 1994, his debut season, while Bernard contested 13 races and Herbert one before he was scooped up by Benetton. Lagorce was drafted in for the final two races of the year in Japan and Australia.

    Johnny Herbert
  40. Button and McLaren up and running

    Finally we have some better news out of McLaren.

    The MP4-30 has set a time in Jenson Button's hands - a 1:28.391 - and has done eight laps.

    They're back in the pits again now mind you.

  41. Green flag

    The Lotus is cleared away on a truck and the barriers at turn four are patched up.

    Will bring you more information on that incident when we have it.

  42. Red flag

    Pastor Maldonado's Lotus has gone into the barriers at turn four.

  43. Button up to four laps completed

    The second half of the day has not started in the most promising fashion for McLaren. Another two laps are on the board, but the MP4-30 really needs to get some consistent track time.

    Friday's 100-lapper suddenly seems a long time ago.

  44. Nico settles in for an afternoon drive

    Mercedes tweets: "Action stations..."

  45. Who, what, where, when? Answer

    Thanks for humouring this F1 nerd by once again playing along with the lunchtime quizzes.

    A good number of you got the blurry picture right. But I think I'll let sean, who got in touch using #bbcf1, to explain the answer, just because I love the way predictive text has hijacked his message.

    "It's a bar and Prost fever trimming back after a lap 1 traffic jam at Leows, Monaco. 2000? Heidfeld and Zonta/JV?" sean - and his phone - wrote.

    Indeed it is a BAR and Prost driver running back after a lap one crash at Monaco in 2000. The drivers were Nick Heidfeld of Prost and BAR's Ricardo Zonta.

    Nick Heidfeld and Ricardo Zonta
  46. Green flag

    The final session of pre-season testing 2015 has arrived.

    It's now or never guys.

  47. Race sim planned for Ferrari

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Ferrari have revealed that Sebastian Vettel is to do a race-simulation run this afternoon - just as team-mate Kimi Raikkonen did on Saturday.

    "Rivals have been crunching the numbers on Raikkonen's run, and a source told BBC Sport it was 'nothing special'.

    "After a bright start to testing, the supposed Ferrari revival is not looking quite so strong, and the evidence at the moment is that they are a couple of tenths or so behind Williams, never mind Mercedes.

    "Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene, though, said he saw no need to revise his aim of two wins this season. 'It is ambitious,' he said. 'If you are near to them (Mercedes); I am not going to wish them bad luck but you never know. The most important thing is to be there. The target is ambitious but not unrealistic.'"

  48. Lunchtime quiz #3

    OK, one more quick quiz question before the action starts up. I'll give the answers to all three teasers after 13:00 GMT.

    Ronnie Peterson, Jody Scheckter, James Hunt and Gerhard Berger.

    Please tell me what connects these four men.


    Ronnie Peterson
  49. Lunchtime quiz #2 What's the fourth in this sequence?

    Victoria Coren

    In a move that's sure to have my wife rolling her eyes, I'm abusing my position to the full this Sunday lunchtime by including a picture of Victoria Coren-Mitchell to illustrate this next round.

    If you're not aware, the lady above presents Only Connect, a quiz show that asks people to find the connection between seemingly unconnected things.

    So, to cut to the chase, I want you to tell me who or what comes next in the following sequence?

    Olivier Panis

    Eric Bernard

    Johnny Herbert


    Answers to #bbcf1


  50. Final pre-season test, morning times and laps completed

    1. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:23.063 (45 laps)

    2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:23.469 (52)

    3. Felipe Nasr (Sauber) 1:24.023 (72)

    4. Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:25.113 (54)

    5. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:25.186 (69)

    6. Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:26.267 (49)

    7. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:26.587 (10)

    8. Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) 1:28.272 (35)

    9. Jenson Button (McLaren) no time (2)

  51. Who, what, where, when?

    Right, here's today's blurry-picture quiz offering,

    Normal rules apply. Tell me who these two gents are, what they are up to and where and when this all played out.

    Answer using #bbcf1 please.


  52. Chequered flag

    Pens down. We're done for the morning in Barcelona.

    Times and laps completed coming right up.

  53. Spoke too soon

    The McLaren lives. Jenson Button is on track just minutes before lunch.

    He tours round for a lap and heads straight back to his garage.

  54. Ten to go til lunch

    There's a few super-soft runs going in before lunch. Perez, Vettel, Nasr all on the Red Stripe, as it were.

    I'll let the dust settle and bring you up to speed in due course.

    In other news, still no McLaren...

  55. Mercedes' message for Schumacher

    Mercedes tweets: "Still in our thoughts and prayers every day."

  56. Nasr improves again

    Felipe Nasr is enjoying his Sauber today. He improved his best time to 1:24.023, again on the super-soft tyre, and is closing in on 70 laps completed already.

  57. What am I?

    Just to mark your card for not one but two quizzes this lunchtime (well, who knows when the bosses will let me do this again?)

    We'll have the revered who, what, when, where? round and a new one that I've just made up that in no way rips off a popular BBC Four quiz that recently made the jump to BBC Two. Oh no.

    Henry Kelly
  58. New Ferrari boss criticises Ecclestone

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene was pictured in the grandstands on Saturday. Today he has held a news conference, and in his explanation for his visit, he has had a bit of a pop at F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and his usual stance of making it difficult for teams and others to get passes to access the paddock at races.

    Maurizio Arrivabene

    "'I heard that in Australia there will be more restrictions in terms of passes and I think this is not acceptable,' Arrivabene said. 'So I said to the guys 'OK, if we are going to have a situation where the paddock is going to be empty, it's better if we start training to go to the people and we sit in the grandstands.'

    "I have to say it was a good experience because the people were very well-educated, we were with our headphones following the test. They were respectful, asking for pictures. It was a good experience and I hope to have others like this.

    "Exclusivity doesn't mean having an empty paddock. This is my clear statement.

    "I don't play golf but I watch it on television sometimes and it's one of the most exclusive sports. But when they play, you have thousands of people following the players. And this is not working against exclusivity of the sport.'"

  59. More on Alonso and McLaren

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Another observation on the likelihood or otherwise of Fernando Alonso's return in time for Australia.

    "Kevin Magnussen would stand in for the Spaniard if he was not fit. The Dane was scheduled to drive on Sunday, but after his only day in the car was restricted to 38 laps on Saturday, McLaren changed their plan and put Jenson Button in it. Or will do, once it works.

    "Surely they would not have done that if they thought there was a strong possibility Alonso would not be fit."

  60. Nasr up to second as Sauber pile on the miles

    Sauber tweet: "Short-runs underway. This time with soft tyres."

    Felipe Nasr has gone further than anyone else today, with 55 laps on the board as I type. A soft-tyre run of 1:24.852 has just put the handsome C34 into second place.

  61. Three hours gone - your top three

    1. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:23.063

    2. Felipe Nasr (Sauber) 1:24.852

    3. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:25.186

  62. F1 journalist Dan Knutson in Barcelona

    "Although Force India was only running the 2014 car at the last test it had five transporters in the paddock, three of which expand into double-deckers. Both the 2014 and 2015 cars will be in those transporters and heading back to the team's Silverstone base later tonight."

  63. Bottas flirts with 1:22s on super-softs

    A 1:23.063 for Bottas on the super-soft tyres. That's the third best time of the Barcelona tests, beaten only by Nico Rosberg's 1:22.792 on Friday and Lewis Hamilton's 1:23.022 yesterday.

    Ominously, those Mercedes times were achieved on the slower soft compound tyre.

  64. Super-soft klaxon

    Bottas now has super-soft boots on.

    Stand by yer beds.

  65. Bottas stretches advantage

    The Williams of Valtteri Bottas is humming along beautifully this morning.

    The FW37 was already the quickest car out there today but the Finnish driver has just pulled further clear. Now on the soft tyre he has a best lap of 1:23.859, more than a second clear of anyone else.

  66. Perez into fourth

    Force India tweet: "New best for Checo - 1:26.414 to go into P4. #FeelTheForce"

  67. McLaren at least expect good news on Alonso

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Even more important than whether the McLaren car works, the big question surrounding the team is whether Fernando Alonso will be fit to race in Melbourne after suffering concussion in his accident a week ago.

    "There are still unanswered questions about what caused the crash, but McLaren racing director Eric Boullier sounds pretty confident about his star driver being available. He said the driver line-up would be firmed up 'as soon as the green light is given by the doctors, which should be next week'.

    "Kevin Magnussen, who would replace Alonso if the Spaniard cannot drive for medical reasons, also sounded like he did not expect to get the call. 'It should be possible to step in,' the Dane said. 'But that's not my worry at the moment. It looks like he's fine. That's the good news and hopefully everything will be as normal.'"

  68. Bottas goes fastest

    The Williams of Valtteri Bottas goes to the top of the list with a 1:25.009 set on the Pirelli development tyre.

    Pirelli confirmed this morning that the development tyre is equivalent to the regular medium rubber.

    1. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:25.099

    2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:25.186

    3. Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:26.267

    Valtteri Bottas
  69. Two hours gone - completed laps

    Felipe Nasr (Sauber) - 36

    Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) - 34

    Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) - 30

    Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) - 27

    Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) - 26

    Sergio Perez (Force India) - 23

    Valtteri Bottas (Williams) - 22

    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing) - 10

    Jenson Button (McLaren) - 0

  70. ERS problem for Ricciardo

    Red Bull tweet: "After a good start on the final day of testing, the #RB11 has had an ERS problem. The Team are looking into it."

    The RB11 had done 10 laps before the gremlins struck. Its best time was a 1:26.587.

  71. 'We're as happy as we can be'

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Only Force India have done fewer miles than struggling McLaren, which is hardly surprising given their new car only ran for the first time at lunchtime on Friday.

    "Given its youth, Nico Hulkenberg has piled on a lot of laps. 'Impressions are good,' he said on Saturday. 'Straight out of the box in one afternoon, almost 80 laps; two and half race distances today. That's very good and positive and we were able to do some good and proper work. It is a little bit similar to last year's car, so straightaway we found a good basis to work from. We have achieved a lot and everybody is as happy as they can be.'"

  72. Verstappen goes second

    The Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen has elbowed its way up to the sharp end, a time of 1:26.267 on the soft tyres good for second pace.

  73. F1 journalist Dan Knutson in Barcelona

    "The reason why the red flag period didn't last very long is because the Red Bull mechanics were able to push the car back from where it had stopped at pit exit - so no time was wasted loading it on the tow truck."

  74. F1 journalist Dan Knutson in Barcelona

    "Williams' Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds says that the FW37 is running in full Melbourne-spec. There will be a couple of new parts added to the car when it arrives at the Albert Park track, but this is the version of the car that will race in the Australian Grand Prix."

    Valtteri Bottas is currently second for Williams with a best time of 1:26.440 from 19 laps spent mostly on the medium tyre.

  75. Keeping it simple at Ferrari

    Ferrari tweet: "Last day in Barcelona."


    Don't know what everyone else thinks but in my humble opinion Sebastian Vettel's simple helmet design is the nicest he's ever had. And he's had a few...

  76. Green flag

    That was an easy enough one to tidy away and we're off again.

  77. Low-key Red Bull quietly confident

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Red Bull have been keeping well under the radar so far this winter, apparently not doing a single run on low fuel, and only rarely even using the soft tyre. Despite that, up and down the pit lane engineers believe they are in the heart of the mix behind Mercedes and Daniel Ricciardo agrees.

    "'It's clear Mercedes are strong,' he said. 'For the rest it's still a bit of question mark. But I think we're in that next group with Williams and Ferrari. We've got to pull in those silver cars but if we can do that we're looking good.'

    "He did allow that Red Bull appeared to be looking 'more competitive' on high fuel. But then they have not really done any shorter runs on low fuel as yet. If history is anything to go by, that may well remain the case on Sunday as well."

  78. Red flag

    Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull RB11 is stranded at the pit exit and we have our first red flag of the day.

  79. Trouble continues to swirl around McLaren

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "This is far from the first time I have said this over the winter, but the news is not good from the McLaren pit. They had hoped to spend the final day of testing proving out reliability and perhaps doing a race simulation if there was time.

    "But after an hour of the session there is still no sign of Jenson Button and the team say they have a 'bit of a delay with today's programme'. They blame systems checks - which begs the question why these were not completed before the session started - and say they 'hope to be out later this morning'."

  80. This looks... familiar

    Here's a sight sure to get misty-eyed nostalgics all, er, misty-eyed.

    A Ferrari pounding round the grand prix track in Adelaide - some 20 years after the circuit last held an F1 race.

    The man in the frame is Ferrari development driver Jean-Eric Vergne, who was demonstrating the 2009 Ferrari F60 during a V8 Supercars meeting.

    Jean-Eric Vergne
  81. First hour ticked off

    Here's your top three an hour into this session.

    1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:25.277 (22 laps)

    2. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:26.587 (8)

    3. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:26.718 (15)

  82. Get involved

    Please get in touch with your observations on today's action using #bbcf1.

  83. Rosberg improves time

    The Mercedes of Nico Rosberg remains atop the pile. He's on the medium tyre now and has improved to 1:25.277.

  84. 'System checks' behind McLaren delay

    McLaren on Twitter: "Bit of a delay with today's programme, the team are running some system checks, but hope to be out later this morning…"

  85. McLaren 'right up against it'

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "After the optimism generated by Jenson Button's 101 laps on Friday, Saturday was another blow in the solar plexus for McLaren-Honda, Kevin Magnussen forced to stop running after 39 laps with an oil leak.

    "McLaren are now right up against it, and really need to have a good day on Sunday. Racing director Eric Boullier admits they are inevitably going to have a tough start to the season but remains bullish about their medium-term prospects.

    "'It is true we didn't do as many laps as we wanted,' he said. 'It is true it is going to hurt the development of the car, but we will recover. It is just a delay. It is not that negative. The more miles we put on the car the more problems we will discover but the base is positive.

    "'Reliability is still a concern and I don't know how long it is going to take. I think it will take a few races but we should at least be ready by Europe to be more competitive.'"

    "The plan for Sunday is to prove out some race-related reliability and perhaps do a race simulation if the car will allow them."

  86. Button ready to go - but no sign yet

    McLaren tweet: "Getting set for the final day of testing with @JensonButton"


    No sign of Button yet though. With 40 minutes gone he's the only driver not to head out. The issue that ended the team's day early yesterday is perhaps still to be resolved.

  87. Super-softs in play again

    Interesting that a couple of drivers have blinked early on the super-soft tyre today.

    The Sauber of Felipe Nasr has done a modest 1:27.963 on what is regarded as the quickest single-lap tyre of all those available, while the Williams of Valtteri Bottas has also bolted on a set of the red-walled tyres.

  88. Hamilton shuns number one billing

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Lewis Hamilton has chosen to keep his selected number 44 for this season, despite having the right as world champion to switch to the number one, as is traditional.

    "This was his explanation on Saturday: 'Everyone can get number one when they win the championship, but it's irrelevant for me. Number 44 means more to me than number one. It doesn't mean I'm not number one. Number 44 is my family number, it's the number I had when I first started racing; I won my first championship with 44. It means something to me.

    "The number one itself - Vettel's had it, Schumacher's had it, all of the champions have had it, but no one's had 44.'

    "When it was pointed out that he had also had it, in 2009, he said: 'It didn't look very good on the car; 44 looks better.'"

    Lewis Hamilton
  89. F1 journalist Dan Knutson in Barcelona

    "Partial overcast and warmer today. The air temperature is 8.8 degrees Centigrade, and the track temperature is 12.8 degrees Centigrade."

  90. Rosberg up for the fight

    Nico Rosberg tweets: "Ready for another marathon. preparing like a prize fighter..."


    Rosberg has already landed the first blow of the day, an early lap of 1:25.492 on the Pirelli development tyre putting the Mercedes top of the pile.

  91. Hamilton focused only on Mercedes

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Lewis Hamilton was in one of monosyllabic moods after his final day of testing on Saturday, and more than one person in Barcelona wondered whether that might be because he knows he has ended the winter with a slower ultimate lap time than team-mate Nico Rosberg.

    "Whatever it was, he kept his answers short and to the point. Still, he seems confident enough. 'The team have done an incredible job,' he said. 'I wouldn't say I've had a lot of running but it's been OK. We got some running and I feel good in the car.'

    "Of course, given Mercedes' advantage, you might think he couldn't feel anything else, but he says he has not been dwelling on where everyone stands.

    "'In all honesty I haven't been looking at what other people are doing,' Hamilton said. 'The engineers will have a guesstimate of where we are compared to the others, but that will become irrelevant at the first race.

    "'I can guess it will be Williams, Ferrari or Red Bull. But it's irrelevant. We'll face whoever we're fighting and we hope we'll be at the front fighting with them. I see no reason to go home and think about who it is. We just need to make sure we arrive at the first race best prepared.'"

  92. Perez gets first go in new Force India

    Force India tweet: "Final preparations for @SChecoPerez as he is about to get the first taste of the VJM08! #FeelTheForce"

    Force India

    Nico Hulkenberg was behind the wheel of the VJM08 for the first day and a half, piling up more than 230 laps.

  93. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "The build-up to the Formula 1 season is shorter than it used to be. Long gone are the days of unlimited testing, and a couple of years ago the number of pre-season tests was cut from four to three.

    "But still Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo spoke for a lot of people on Saturday when he said: 'I can't wait for testing to be over and to go racing.'

    "There's just today to go before the teams return to base and pack up their cars for the first grand prix.

    "All of them today will have things they want to cover. But only Force India and McLaren - short on mileage for very different reasons - desperately need the next eight hours."

  94. Green flag

    Track's green. Time to fire up those engines.

    The Sauber of Felipe Nasr is first out. Nico Rosberg's Mercedes - the quickest man in pre-season testing so far - is in hot pursuit.

  95. Today's drivers

    In no particular order, here are today's drivers: Felipe Nasr (Sauber), Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso), Jenson Button (McLaren), Pastor Maldonado (Lotus), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Valtteri Bottas (Williams), Sergio Perez (Force India) and Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari).

  96. Good morning

    Welcome to the final day of pre-season testing ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship.

    Come 17:00 GMT the phoney war will be over and we can finally train our sights on the tasty prospect of 20 races over the next nine months.

    But let's not get ahead of ourselves - there's lots of action to come over the next few hours.