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Live Reporting

Jamie Strickland

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Thanks and bye for now

    We're done for the day. That was a pretty satisfactory start to the weekend, with cars off left, right and centre and the Mercedes very much under pressure from the Ferraris, which may be fragile but are at least very quick.

    We're back with you tomorrow from 09:30 BST, kicking off with third practice and then qualifying from 13:00.

    In the meantime, here's another picture of Keke Rosberg.

    Truly, the 1980s were wonderful.

    Keke Rosberg
  2. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    So, people complain about fuel- and tyre-management. But what won best F1 era in BBC vote? The '80s. Go figure.

  3. It had to be, didn't it? Vote result

    The votes are in, and I have to say I'm not wholly surprised that the decade that gave us all THIS...

    Nigel Mansell
    Senna and Prost
    Keke Rosberg

    ... has been named the best F1 era by you, esteemed readers.

    A convincing 33.5% voted for the 1980s, with the 1990s second (23.3%) and 2000s in third (21.6%).

    Thanks for your votes.

  4. Post update

    Force India on Twitter: A solid day of work at the track today, with the rain mercifully staying away. 95 laps on the board for us this afternoon!

  5. FP2 times

  6. FP2 - 11-20

    11 Sainz, 12 Kvyat, 13 Ericsson, 14 Bottas, 15 Massa, 16 Alonso, 17 Ricciardo, 18 Button, 19 Stevens, 20 Merhi

  7. FP2 - top 10

    1 Vettel, 2 Rosberg, 3 Raikkonen, 4 Maldonado, 5 Hamilton, 6 Hulkenberg, 7 Grosjean, 8 Verstappen, 9 Nasr, 10 Sainz

  8. Chequered flag

    Sebastian Vettel
  9. Post update

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    "They've stopped Alonso going out too to prevent his engine getting damaged. We're not sure if that means Button's engine is damaged, but they're certainly looking like they'll have to remove it. More questions than answers at the end of another bad day."

  10. Maldonado off at turn three

    Pastor Maldonado of Lotus has been one of the stars of this session, up in P4, but he cannot escape without a quick run through the scenery.

    He locks up into turn three and rumbles through the gravel before rejoining via an escape road.

  11. Teasing us down at Williams

    Williams tell Felipe Massa on the radio: "No fuel saving now, flat out to the end."

    Oh to hear those words come Sunday afternoon.

  12. Post update

    Sauber on Twitter: Only 10 minutes remaining in FP2. Marcus went out for another long-run on supersoft tyres.

  13. #bestf1era - 2000s

    Your final memory-jogger is for the 2000s.

    Giancarlo Fisichella has your year-2000 model...

    Giancarlo Fisichella's Benetton, 2000 testing

    While the 2009 McLaren of Lewis Hamilton closes out the noughties.

    Lewis Hamilton in his 2009 McLaren, Brazil
  14. Get involved - #bestf1era

    Oliver George: For me the current era (2010-2014) of F1 is best: It's on TV, it's developing, it's exciting. It's happening now...

    Ahmet Douas: Has to be the screaming Honda V12s in 1991. Its amazing to watch videos of Senna and Berger manually downshifting!

    Alessandro Martins: 80s - where drivers made the difference. After this decade, the technology changed everything…

  15. Post update

    Mercedes on Twitter: With 10mins to run, it's practice starts and pit stop rehearsals on the menu for FP2 dessert...

  16. All over down at McLaren

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    At McLaren: "Game over. Both cars in the garage. They are not telling us much - you can probably assume it's a Honda issue. Nobody left on the pit wall."

  17. Speed trap times

  18. Post update

    Force India on Twitter: Both drivers out on longer runs so don't expect times to improve, as the clock marks 15 minutes left.

  19. #bestf1era - 1990s

    The 1990s began like this...

    Nigel Mansell in his Ferrari in 1990

    And bowed out looking rather like this...

    Damon Hill's 1999 Jordan during testing
  20. Post update

    Formula 1 on Twitter: Plenty of cars have experienced problems on Spielberg's turns today and Roberto Merhi is the latest

  21. #bestf1era - 1980s

    Your reminders for the Eighties are as follows...

    The 1980 Ensign driven here by Clay Regazzoni...

    Clay Regazzoni in his Unipart Racing Team Ensign N180 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 at Long Beach in 1980

    Through to 1989 and an image as iconic as they come: Ayrton Senna's yellow helmet at the wheel of a McLaren.

    Ayrton Senna's 1989 McLaren at Monaco
  22. Gearbox problem for Vettel

    Sebastian Vettel, currently top of the order, is informed of a gearbox problem over the team radio and is told to return to the pits.

    "Anything I can do on the track?" the four-time champion asks.

    "Negative, just slow down and box," comes the reply.

    That is his second issue of the day having stopped with a similar issue just four laps into FP1.

  23. Post update

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    More problems for Jenson Button and Honda...

  24. Top six and gaps

    1 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:09.600

    2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) +0.011s

    3 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +0.260s

    4 Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) +0.314s

    5 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.537s

    6 Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) +0.667s

  25. #bestf1era - 1970s

    Into the 1970s we go, which began with cars sporting rear- and front-wing elements of a style that would become commonplace as the decade wore on. Here's Jochen Rindt, world champion in 1970, at the wheel of his Lotus.

    Jochen Rindt in his 1970 Lotus-Cosworth 72C at Brands Hatch

    By 1979, ground-effect aerodynamics were all the rage, as demonstrated here by Gilles Villeneuve in his Ferrari at the Spanish Grand Prix.

    Gilles Villeneuve in his Ferrari at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1979
  26. Kimi Raikkonen team radio

    Team: "Headwind into Turn eight has changed direction."

  27. Get involved - #bestf1era

    Richard Geary: 1960s racing meant RACING. Drivers were racing in F1, F2, Saloon & sports cars at the same meeting. Magic Days.

    Terry C: 1967 - No ads, 4-wheel drifts, no aero, nose-to tail, late braking, overtaking, suspension, tyres last. Just like real cars.

    Barry Dunne: Has to be the '80s and early '90s. More teams, more drivers, more drama, less predictable.

    Sir Jackie Stewart, 1967
  28. More McLaren bother

    Jenson Button has pulled into the pits, reporting a loss of power in the Honda engine. He's out the car and his session looks done after 17 laps.

    The Briton is down in 18th at present, ahead of only the Manors, and is 2.3secs off the pace.

    Team-mate Fernando Alonso is four tenths better off in 16th in the McLaren sporting the new nose cone.

    Jenson Button
  29. Sainz escapes at turn five

    Carlos Sainz has done a rare thing today. He's gone off track and actually found some gravel to bounce through.

    Who left that there?

    The Spaniard was bouncing through the kitty litter and on course for a tap into the barriers, but an escape road came to his aid at the last minute, his car gripping to the asphalt and turning sharply away from the tyre barrier.

  30. Ferrari back on top, Lotus looking strong

    This session is proving very much that Mercedes have a big fight on their hands this weekend.

    Lewis Hamilton is all at sea - he just cannot get the car nailed down through the corners.

    Team-mate Nico Rosberg looks better, but he is still being run close by the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, who is currently fastest on a 1:09.600.

    Meanwhile, Lotus look good, as they did in Canada, and currently have Pastor Maldonado in fourth on a 1:09.9.

    Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton
  31. Post update

    Mercedes on Twitter: Another wobble from Lewis: this time at T9. Not quite hooking it up yet but there's still time...

  32. Rosberg into P1, Hamilton struggling

    Nico Rosberg has gone top with a 1:09.611, a quarter of a second up on Kimi Raikkonen, both set on the super-soft tyre.

    Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, has had a run of very scruffy laps since switching to the supersoft.

    He's twice lost it through the final turn and also into turn one.

    Very, very ragged from the championship leader.

  33. Post update

    Sauber on Twitter: Off we go again. First run on supersoft tyres for Marcus, Felipe following soon.

  34. Get involved - #bestf1era

    Richey Clarke: The last turbo era. Over 1100bhp, H pattern G box. Minimal downforce. How they kept them on the circuit I'll never know.

    Russ Hawker: Has to be the 1980s. Prost, Senna, Piquet, Mansell, Lauda, Rosberg.

    Martijn vd Graaf: No doubt, the Prost/Senna battles where legendary. And not only on the track. F1's greatest drivers.

    Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna
  35. Mercedes to do supersoft runs

    Right, this should be telling. Let's see where Mercedes come out relative to Ferrari when they post a lap on the quicker rubber.

  36. Post update

    Manor on Twitter: Red rubber boots up next for Will.

  37. Raikkonen fastest on supersofts

    P1 goes to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who sets a 1:09.860 on his first run on the Pirelli supersofts.

    The Finn is the first man on to the red-walled rubber and it seems him go 0.277 quicker than Hamilton.

    On his latest attempt, Raikkonen got it badly wrong through the final two turns, running up onto the kerbs and off the circuit. He continues on his way.

    Kimi Raikkonen
  38. Alonso's first new-nose lap

    Alonso does a 1:11.5 in his McLaren, which is sporting a revised nose section. That lap briefly put him in the top 10 but he's back down to 13th now - 1.6secs off the pace.

  39. Toro Rosso team radio

    Carlos Sainz: I don't know what happened at turn one, as soon as I hit the brakes I locked the tyre. The tyres are really weird."

    Sainz has gone off twice at turn one inside the first half-hour of this session.

  40. #bestf1era - 1960s

    Into the 1960s and cars are now becoming smaller, lower and lighter beasts, as demonstrated here by the Lotus of Innes Ireland at the 1960 British Grand Prix.

    Innes Ireland in his Lotus at the 1960 British Grand Prix

    By 1969 the benefits of aerodynamic downforce were being explored by designers, resulting in some wonderfully wild designs, as demonstrated here by Graham Hill's Lotus.

    Graham Hill's 1969 Lotus at the Monaco Grand Prix
  41. Toro Rosso team radio

    Max Verstappen: "I've got a headache."

  42. Williams drivers on track

    No panic. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas are out and straight into the top 10.

    As you were.

    Felipe Massa
  43. #bestf1era - the 1950s

    As we're asking you to vote for the best F1 era today, we thought we'd jog a few memories with a look at some of the cars that bookended the decades.

    We start with the 1950s.

    F1's first world champion Giuseppe Farina kicks us off with his 1950 Alfa Romeo, seen here at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone - the very first F1 race.

    Giuseppe Farina in his 1950 Alfa Romeo at the British Grand Prix

    By the end of the decade the cars were constantly being being refined, note the higher cockpit sides on Tony Brooks's 1959 Ferrari, seen here on the streets of Monaco.

    Tony Brooks's 1959 Ferrari on the streets of Monaco
  44. Turn one claiming more victims

    We've just seen Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz go straight on at turn one for the second time in just a few minutes.

    Romain Grosjean and Nico Rosberg have also had similar moments, in addition to the numerous incidents in FP1.

    This track is testing these guys.

  45. Post update

    McLaren on Twitter: Those upgrades on @alo_oficial's car include the all-new nose.

  46. Hamilton quickest

    Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheets for the first time today.

    He's done a 1:10.137 to eclipse Kimi Raikkonen's erstwhile benchmark by 0.161secs.

    Lewis Hamilton
  47. Where are the Williams boys?

    Ten minutes gone and we have 18 cars on the board. The Williams cars are the only absentees.

    Problems? Or just keeping their powder dry?

    Valtteri Bottas
  48. Times tumbling already

    It's not taken long to better the times set in opening free practice.

    Nico Rosberg set the quickest time with a 1:10.4 this morning.

    Less than 10 minutes into FP2 that mark has been eclipsed by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who does a 1:10.298.

    Rosberg has just improved on his morning time and is in second, 0.070secs behind Raikkonen.

    Kimi Raikkonen
  49. Post update

    Sauber F1 Team on Twitter: It's still dry, so we head out with soft tyres on both #C34

  50. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "According to Jennie Gow on 5 live, Alonso now has the new nose on the car. We'll update you when we know more..."

  51. Post update

    Mercedes on Twitter:Rain droplets beginning to fall: will there be a mad rush to grab a little dry FP3 running? We're about to find out!

  52. Green light

    Second free practice is under way.

  53. Post update

    Red Bull on Twitter: Getting that Friday feeling, Red Bull style!

    red bull
  54. McLaren may not be able to run upgrade

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "McLaren have a big update for their car in Austria but it is not yet clear whether they will be able to run it. It has emerged that there has been a complication to do with the crash test, which was passed earlier this week, and McLaren are currently in conversation with governing body the FIA over how to resolve the issue.

    "There will be more details later when the situation has been clarified. But it is another blow on a weekend that has already seen Fernando Alonso receive a 20-place grid penalty for using a fifth example of three parts of the engine and may also see Jenson Button hit with a grid penalty, too."

  55. Groundhogs in Canada, Ferrari team bosses in Austria

    The intrepid Canada groundhog was a big talking point after Montreal, but in Austria this morning a rather more sentient being was to be found stumbling into the path of F1 cars.

    Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene was the man in question, and you can see and read about it here.

    David Prowse is fuming.

    Green Cross Code Man and Maurizio Arrivabene
    Maurizio Arrivabene and Felipe Massa
  56. Post update

    Force India on Twitter: The weather has taken a turn for the worse here in Spielberg... are we going to have a wet FP2?

    force india
  57. Get involved - #bestf1era

    Mihail Nesterovich: It's got to be mid and late 90s for me - Schumacher vs Newey Cars!

    Kevin O'Brien: V10 magic of 96/97 was unbeatable.

    Stu Cudmore: 1985-1994 Mansell, Prost, Senna, Piquet / Williams, Lotus, Ferrari, McLaren.

    Mansell Senna
  58. Senna era 'worse than now' - Massa

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "A high proportion of fans - among them Mark Webber, no less - seem to think there is some kind of major problem with F1 at the moment. But Williams driver Felipe Massa has cautioned against viewing the past with rose-tinted spectacles. The Brazilian said that the 20-year anniversary of Ayrton Senna's death last year prompted him to watch some old races from the legend's era and the result was not pretty.

    "'I was watching most of the races he did, it was a lot worse than how it is now,' Massa said. 'The difference in the qualifying was maybe 1.5 seconds to the third place, they (Senna and McLaren team-mate Alain Prost) were lapping the third place every race. So the difference was a lot bigger than it is now. But when you speak to the people everybody says the past is amazing.

    "'So go back and watch, and then compare to now. This is something that people need to do, not looking in the past without remembering so well, and just saying the past was amazing. The past looks more interesting also, because the tracks were a lot worse, they were a lot more bumpy, so when you see the cars driving with the bumps it looks more difficult. But now everything is more for our world, everything is more safe, the tracks are different.'"

    Senna and Prost
    Image caption: Yep, the 1980s could definitely be dodgy on occasion
  59. Get involved - #bestf1era

    We're loving your contributions to today's debate.

    It's giving us a great excuse to trawl through the archives, where gems such as Graham Hill's 1969 Gold Leaf Lotus - resplendent with silly wings - do lurk.

    Graham Hill in his 1969 Lotus at the Monaco Grand Prix
  60. Alonso's 20-place penalty confirmed; Ricciardo gets 10

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer


    "We finally have some certainty on some of the penalties some of the drivers are facing this weekend.

    "The FIA has put out a statement listing the new engine elements being used, which reveals that Fernando Alonso is using a fifth engine, turbo and MGU-H and Daniel Ricciardo a new engine. As each is a fifth element, that means Alonso gets one 10-place penalty and two five-place penalties (20 places in all) and Ricciardo one 10-place penalty. As Alonso is likely to qualify somewhere between 12th and 16th, that will almost certainly mean he will get a drive-through penalty at the start of the race in addition to dropping to the back of the grid - according to the sliding scale of extra punishments for unserved grid drops.

    "Ricciardo's punishment also depends on where he qualifies. If he's in the top 10, it'll be just the grid drop. If he's lower than that it's a five-second penalty if it's up to five unserved grid places or a 10-second penalty if it's between six and 10. There is no news yet on possible penalties for their team-mates, Jenson Button and Daniil Kvyat."

  61. Welcome back

    Hello. Ready for some more of the F1 cars?

    Me too. Thirty minutes and they will be with us again for FP2.

    We'll bring you all the action and analysis as Nico Rosberg bids to top the timesheets once again.

    All that, plus more gems from the picture vaults as we ponder what was F1's greatest era.

    Image caption: Julie Andrews, earlier today
  62. Bye for now

    Nico Rosberg

    Right, we're out of here for an hour or so.

    That was a pretty lively session, with locked brakes aplenty and high-profile failures for both Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

    Most crucial of all, Nico Rosberg appeared to have the legs on Lewis Hamilton, who was more than a little curt with his team over the radio at the end of that session.

    Please join us at 12:30 BST for the build up to FP2, which begins a 13:00.

    Andrew Benson's FP1 report is now on the site.

  63. FP1 times

  64. Post update

    Williams on Twitter: After 26 laps for Bottas he then has a pitstop practice to focus on, as the boys swarm his car...

  65. Lap leaders

    Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr

    Max Verstappen put up the most laps in that session, with 38 for Toro Rosso.

    Sergio Perez of Force India completed 37, ahead of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, both with 36.

    At the other end of the scale, Sebastian Vettel managed just four laps in the Ferrari before his gearbox issue struck.

  66. Post update

    Lotus on Twitter: FP1 done for Jolyon Palmer.

    P14 for the Brit, stepping in for Grosjean for the fourth time in FP1 this season.

  67. FP1 top 10

    1 Rosberg 1:10.401, 2 Hamilton +0.3s, 3 Raikkonen +0.6s, 4 Bottas +1.1s, 5 Nasr +1.2s, 6 Kvyat +1.2s, 7 Ricciardo +1.3s, 8 Verstappen +1.4s, 9 Massa +1.4, 10 Perez +1.5

  68. Hamilton getting tetchy

    Lewis Hamilton has just responded pretty irritably to being asked to make some changes in the cockpit.

    "How many changes do you guys want me to do, can I just focus on driving?" comes the reply from the championship leader.

  69. Chequered flag

  70. Get involved - #bbcf1

    George Taylor: Maurizio should re-watch the Green Cross Code on crossing an active road. Or pit lane!


    David Prowse there, in the second-best acting gig he ever got.

  71. Toro Rosso team radio

    Max Verstappen: "It's undriveable, seriously. So much understeer at Turn Eight."

  72. Post update

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    Vettel in the garage...


    Vettel stopped out on track earlier with what has been diagnosed with a gearbox problem. We won't be seeing him on track until FP2.

  73. Get involved - #bestf1era

    Johnny Servoz Gavin
    Image caption: Johnny Servoz Gavin at the wheel of a 1967 Matra

    Cynical Human: 1967 was the peak of car design for mechanical grip and no aero. Great cars, great drivers and great circuits.

    Ash: The 80s-90s were the best eras. Senna-Prost battles, Schumacher and Ferrari, and Murray Walker with the facts.

    Michael Brown: Schumacher/Hakkinen. Everything was all out, very little conservation.

  74. Palmer running well

    A quick check on Jolyon Palmer's progress for you.

    The Lotus test driver - in for Romain Grosjean for this session - is running in 10th place, one tenth and two place ahead of regular driver Pastor Maldonado.

  75. Fuel-saving 'an art' - Hulkenberg

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "The Canadian Grand Prix has reignited the debate about the state of F1, with many fans objecting to the requirement on the drivers in Montreal to save fuel during the race. We've addressed this issue in a major feature this week already. Many fans are comparing F1 unfavourably with the world endurance championship, there being a growing belief that the drivers in sportscars are flat out for longer than those in F1.

    "When it comes to tyre usage, that is certainly true, but there is a lot of misinformation going around about this when it comes to fuel-saving - as Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, who won Le Mans on his debut last weekend, explains.

    Nico Hulkenberg

    "'To do lift and coast in Formula 1 is quite easy - you just left off and coast down. The difficulty is to do it efficiently and to lose as little lap time as possible. When you do it your braking point varies, so it's quite difficult for us to judge, you know, where the actual braking point has moved. To get close to that target, I think that's the art, that's what makes it difficult. In WEC we also have quite a bit of lift and coast. They have different fuel regulations, they're even tighter than here in F1, so fuel management is quite crucial there.'"

  76. Catching JB unawares

    No no no, Jenson Button.

    If someone takes you by surprise with a camera, the standard procedure (as I have perfected over the years) is to half-close your eyes, slacken your jaw to give your mouth a lovely 'lolling' look, and generally try and look as ugly as possible.

    This is far too flattering.

    McLaren F1 driver Jenson Button
  77. Top 10 check

    Just under 25 minutes to go. Not a lot of change in the order.

    Nico Rosberg leads the way on a 1:10.401, with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton 0.308secs back.

    Then it's Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso and Sergio Perez of Force India. Carlo Sainz rounds out the current top six in the second Toro Rosso.

  78. Get involved - #bestf1era

    Peter Guenter: Surely the Schumi/Hill era. Those battles were legendary! The entire '90s basically.

    Liam Geraghty: 1998-2001 Hakkinen v Schumacher. Some titanic tussles and wonderful overtaking moves.

    Lukas Redl: For me it would be 2000-2008 when F1 was on the edge, cars were difficult to drive, drivers were making mistakes.

    Michael Schumacher leads from Damon Hill
  79. Post update

    Honda on Twitter: After some great work by the McLaren Honda engineers Alonso has made it back out on track for FP1.

  80. Button locks up too


    Jenson Button has joined Lewis Hamilton in locking a tyre into turn one.

    The 2009 champion tries to carry on but the tyre is flat-spotted and excessive vibration forces the McLaren man into the pits.

  81. Big lock-up for Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton has closed to within three tenths of Nico Rosberg's quickest time, but he's pushing hard to even manage that.

    He just locked up into turn one, the Mercedes sailing on into the lovely mountainous scenery.

    Of course, this being F1 in 2015, it's a big area of Tarmac and he escapes further punishment.

  82. Maldonado quickest through speed trap

    speed trap
  83. Ricciardo's good humour being tested

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "The last race in Canada was quite possibly the first time in his Formula 1 career in which Daniel Ricciardo's famous smile looked like slipping. A frustrating weekend led to him saying the team's upgrades were making no difference and that he was lost in terms of knowing why he could not get the car working for him. With the distance of a fortnight, Ricciardo had developed some perspective, saying that the fact he had won in Canada in 2014 had played its part in his mood.

    Daniel Ricciardo

    "'I probably went in there quite in a way emotional from what happened there a year earlier and probably just hoping for too much,' Ricciardo said. 'So that already probably set the target too high from the start and it sort of spiralled into a poor weekend, for obviously some other reasons as well.

    "'We come here now with let's say a fresh approach on it all. I have a new chassis. I think we've got any variables that were maybe there in Canada and ready to have a good weekend. We know the track doesn't really suit everything for our performance right now but hopefully we'll have a good weekend here in front of the home fans.'

    "Ricciardo was even sanguine about the likelihood of a grid penalty for taking a fifth engine, which Red Bull duly confirmed later that day. Perhaps that was an influencing factor in Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz making his latest threat to quit the sport."

  84. Get involved - #bestf1era

    Nigel Mansell's 1992 Williams, Spa

    Jon Bennett: The '90s for me. Height of tech, great racing, highs and lows. Sums up F1's history in one decade.

    Elton Lam: The 1980s. Turbo era. Massive slick tyres. Big grids. Sparks. Senna, Prost, Mansell, Piquet, etc.

    Charlie Brown: Enough said...

  85. Post update

    Manor F1 Team: "Roberto takes a breather at the 10 lap mark. #FP1"

  86. Tough times at Red Bull

    Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz claims his team's uncompetitive form of the past two seasons is draining his "will and motivation" to remain in F1, writes Andrew Benson.

    The Austrian has repeatedly threatened to quit the sport if Red Bull cannot get hold of a competitive engine.

    "What else has to happen that we will lose our motivation completely?" he told Red Bull's Speed Week magazine.

    Red Bull have collected just 54 points from the first seven races after dominating the sport from 2010 to 2013.

    Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz
  87. Post update

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    Vettel's car wheeled back...

  88. Post update

    Romain Grosjean on Twitter: Watching FP1 from the pitwall this morning. Looking forward to drive the car this afternoon.

  89. Top 10 check

    1 Rosberg, 2 Hamilton, 3 Raikkonen, 4 Kvyat, 5 Maldonado, 6 Massa, 7 Perez, 8 Bottas, 9 Verstappen, 10 Ricciardo

  90. Post update

    Formula 1 on Twitter: No harm done... Massa and Arrivabene share a joke after their near miss in the pit lane.

  91. New trousers for Arrivabene


    A bit of a scare in the pit lane for Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene a few moments ago.

    The uber-cool Italian hopped down off the pit wall to cross into the garage but did so right in front of the of Felipe Massa, who was pulling away in his Williams.

    Fortunately for Arrivabene, Massa was quick on the brakes - as was Arrivabene to be fair.

    A glance of a split-second's duration passed between the two men, the look on Arrivabene's face appearing to say: "Yeah, that was pretty dumb. Sorry mate."

  92. Get involved - #bestf1era

    Jake Nichol: 1980s-1990s. 4 of the all time greats, immense power, great racing and Murray commentating on it all.

    PtheP: Mid 60s to early 70s. Clark, Gurney, Hill, Stewart, Rodriguez, Brabham, McClaren, Rindt, Peterson. Gethin at Monza in '71.

    Matthew Taylor: 1990s. Mixture of V8/V10/V12s, good/bad teams/drivers, controversy, Murray & James, 'The Chain'... loved that era.

    Jim Clark at the 1966 British Grand Prix
  93. Williams running with upgraded aero package

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Williams had to rely on a spin by Kimi Raikkonen for Valtteri Bottas to get on to the podium at the last race in Canada, and have generally lagged behind Ferrari all year. But the team have some updates in Austria that they hope might enable them to challenge.

    "Bottas said another podium 'should be our target - if all the updates work as expected should be really close with Ferrari'. What are the updates? 'Aero bits only,' the Finn said. 'The main bits are the floor and rear wing. The numbers look good but always need to prove it works as expected.'"

    Williams F1 driver Valtteri Bottas
  94. Rosberg leads early running

    Quick time check for you with just over 25 minutes of the session gone.

    The Mercedes of Nico Rosberg is out in front with a best lap of 1:10.401. That's a very useful 1.092secs ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

    Very early stages of course.

  95. Ferrari team radio

    Sebastian Vettel: "Lost drive, I lost drive in fourth gear."

    The Ferrari man is parked up down an escape road. Steering wheel is off and the four-time champion climbs out of his car and very probably out of the session.

  96. Get involved - #bestf1era

    Sir Jackie Stewart at Zandvoort in his Matra MS80 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 in 1969

    As usual we want to pick your brains during practice and today's debate is a nice easy one: what has been the best era of F1?

    From race one in 1950 right through to the present day, F1 has witness myriad changes that have shaped and defined the sport decade-by-decade, from the mid-engine revolution of the early 1960s through huge advances in aerodynamics, engines and technology.

    But what era, for you, best defines this wonderful sport?

    Get in touch using #bestf1era

  97. Hulkenberg basks in Le Mans glory

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    Nico Hulkenberg takes the win at Le Mans

    "Force India's Nico Hulkenberg had the unusual experience of being the centre of attention on Thursday, after his debut victory at Le Mans last weekend. The German was clearly still riding the wave of euphoria that came with victory at one of motorsport's biggest races. 'Incredible to go there and win at the first attempt,' he said. 'So proud. The feelings I've had the last few days have been crazy.' His fellow F1 drivers were happy to express their admiration - 'massive respect', Sebastian Vettel said - and Hulkenberg even took the winners' trophy from Le Mans into the official news conference, where Fernando Alonso would have been forgiven for eyeing it somewhat jealously.

    Nico Hulkenberg takes the win at Le Mans

    "Alonso has made no secret of his wish to race at Le Mans one day, and he came very close to securing a deal to partner Hulkenberg in that very car, only for Honda to reject it. 'I was 99.9% deal done this year with him in the the car,' Alonso said. 'Hopefully I can do it in the near future and, if not, when I finish F1 definitely it is one race I would like to do. Winning in Monte Carlo in F1, 24 Hours Le Mans and Indy 500 are the most prestigious three races and hopefully one day I can race there.'

    "Alonso said he had had no frustration from knowing it could have been him on the podium, too. 'When I knew in December it was not possible I stop thinking about it,' Alonso said. 'I'm super-happy for him. He deserved it because he has a great talent and in F1 he did not have the luck to be in the right place.'"

  98. Post update

    Manor on Twitter: Installation lap, tyres off and tightly wrapped. Here's our tyre man Bruce in action...

  99. Testing times at McLaren

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer


    "Oh dear. That's not the start McLaren and Fernando Alonso wanted. His car fitted with the old nose, to get some baseline data before trying the revised short nose, the Spaniard has an engine problem and coasts down the pit lane with the car switched off.

    "Alonso has talked about this being a 'testing weekend'. Testing, of course, has two meanings. And this is not the one Alonso was referring to."

  100. If I had a pound...

    ...for every time I'd written about a McLaren conking out in the opening minutes of a practice session this season.

    I'd have £4.

    We've just seen the McLaren of Fernando Alonso rolling down the pit lane, no sound from the engine, with a gaggle of mechanics running along behind.

    More engine bother? We'll find out soon enough.

    Fernando Alonso outside the McLaren facility
  101. Ferrari 'realistic' over chances this weekend

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Can Ferrari take the fight to Mercedes this weekend? BBC F1 analyst Allan McNish believes so - he says he saw enough in Canada to believe that the engine upgrade that was introduced on the red cars there would have put Sebastian Vettel in a position to challenge for the front row had he not had his engine problems in qualifying. And as the Red Bull Ring has similar characteristics, the same goes for here. Vettel himself was keeping expectations in check, though.

    Sebastian Vettel

    "'We also have to be realistic [in] challenging the Mercedes.,' Vettel said. 'We know that first of all we need to have a flawless weekend, and maybe hoping for them to have a little bit of a struggle. In normal circumstances it is quite difficult to beat them as they are still the favourites going in and there is still quite a big gap.'"

  102. Green light

    The lights go green and the first practice session is under way.

    Here's your playground, boys:

  103. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    "Williams have brought a number of new upgrades here."

  104. Palmer in for Lotus

    Just to mark your card for one personnel change in the upcoming session.

    British driver Jolyon Palmer will be at the wheel of the Lotus for his fourth FP1 outing of the season. He replaces regular driver Romain Grosjean.

    This is the first of five successive FP1 outings for the reigning GP2 champion, who is certainly getting some invaluable F1 mileage under his belt in 2015.

  105. More on Alonso's woes

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "A bit more info on the penalty that Fernando Alonso will get for Honda changing various parts of his engine. We still don't have an absolute answer, but Honda said this morning that they have changed the internal combustion engine and the energy store - so that's at least 15 places on the grid - and the company say they may yet change more. Honda will only know their approach with Jenson Button, who is likely also to have a penalty, after he has run in practice."

  106. Post update

    Lotus on Twitter: It feels quite humid & rained first thing but the sun is attempting to come out!

  107. McLaren running major upgrade in Austria

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Huge grid penalty notwithstanding, there will be a lot of focus on Fernando Alonso's McLaren this weekend. The team have a major aerodynamic upgrade package here, with a shorter nose and revised front and rear wings, and the team is expecting a marked step forward in performance. There is only one, though, and it's Alonso's turn to get it, after Jenson Button had the privilege back in China in April, when there was only one new floor."

    Fernando Alonso at the Canadian Grand Prix
  108. Post update

    McLaren on Twitter: Good morning from a damp (but drying) Friday in Austria. Set up is in full swing ahead of FP1.

  109. Alonso facing hefty grid penalty

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "This will be a weekend dominated by penalties for several drivers, with Fernando Alonso already looking at at least a 15- or 20-place grid penalty, McLaren team-mate Jenson Button waiting to see whether he will face a second weekend of grid penalties after McLaren assess his situation following his running on Friday, and Red Bull are also to change the engines in both cars, taking Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat onto their fifth engine, and therefore penalties for each, the extent of which - as with McLaren - is not yet clear.

    Fernando Alonso

    "The reason for this rash of engine changes? The Red Bull Ring is a track that rewards power and on which a good chassis, such as Red Bull and McLaren have, makes less of a difference because the corners are generally short. So it make sense to take the hit in Austria, where they expect a difficult weekend anyway, that at other tracks on which the cars should go better."

  110. Raindrops on noses

    Wet Mercedes nose

    Good news for all fans of excitement. It's been raining overnight.

    Let's face it, a bit of rain does make things better, doesn't it? It certainly provided the only real moment of drama in Canada last time out (groundhogs aside), when Lewis Hamilton aquaplaned off in practice.

    Esteemed BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson has been on Twitter this morning stating that the mountains to the north of the circuit "will offer fair shelter against most showers".

    However, he says that while there should be a lot of dry running today "a few showers" are possible.

  111. Post update

    Red Bull on Twitter: Good morning from the Red Bull Ring! Back on home turf, ready for the track action to begin.

    Red Bull
  112. A dramatic setting

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    Styria Mountains

    "The Red Bull Ring is in a spectacular location that, in terms of verdant magnificence, is unmatched in F1 even by Spa. But while the Styrian mountains are easy on the eye, this kind of landscape brings with it the inevitability of changeable weather. And that's what Formula 1 faces this weekend.

    "It rained overnight, and there is the chance of showers for the rest of Friday and into Saturday, although the race should be dry. If it does rain through first and second practice, wet weather will inevitably limit running. But a spot of rain always livens things up and this track is a tricky little place at the best of times so action should not be in short supply."

  113. High five?

    Lewis Hamilton

    Good morning all. Welcome along to round eight of F1 2015.

    For many a year this would have been the halfway point of the campaign, but in this brave new world of 20-race seasons it feels like we're still just warming up.

    Although with a handful of wins under his belt already, Lewis Hamilton would probably says he is fully warmed up and in the swing of things.

    The Mercedes man is aiming for victory number five of the year this weekend and with it an increased championship lead.

    But first, he and 19 other men need to do some practice. They're heading out at 09:00 BST