Day three of testing as it happened

Felipe Massa records the fastest lap for Ferrari as Nico Rosberg manages 148 laps for Mercedes on the third day of testing.

7 February 2013 Last updated at 17:17

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As it happened

  1. 0745: 

    Hands up if you enjoyed the first two days of testing? Good, good, that looks like pretty much everyone. Lotus, no need to strain your arm so hard, it won't reach any higher! Right, onto day three...wait a sec, who is that slumped on the desk in the corner? Mercedes? Come on, it is not all bad. New dawn, new day and all that...

  2. 0750: 

    Welcome to day three of pre-season testing in Jerez, Spain. Few changes in the drivers who we will be seeing in action, most notably reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel gets his first testing run out of 2013 for Red Bull. Also making an appearance is Kimi Raikkonen for Lotus while Mercedes will be hoping for better fortunes as Nico Rosberg returns to the wheel. They will all be rolling out onto the track at 0800GMT.

  3.   
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "There's no doubt what has been the biggest story of pre-season testing so far - the travails of Mercedes. The team for whom only winning the title is good enough have managed only about 30 laps over two days so far following a car failure each for Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, who suffered a crash caused by brake failure on his first proper day's driving with the team. Rosberg is back in the car on Thursday, with Hamilton driving the final day, and the Englishman was clear about what the team needs for the remainder of the test. 'We have lots of tyres,' he said, 'we just need to make sure we're first out in the morning and hammer it and get as many laps as possible. If we can do 110-120 laps a day that would be a good fightback."

  4.  
    GET INVOLVED

    I have thoroughly enjoyed all your contributions during the first two days of testing so once again I am issuing a call to arms and asking for your input. Who are the winners and losers for you so far after the first two days? Is there any cause for concern over the issues Mercedes have had, or is it nothing to worry about?

    Send in your thoughts on Twitter, #bbcf1 and text in on 81111 (UK only). Names on those texts as well please, Cheers!

  5. 0802: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    We are under way once again as Felipe Massa heads out for the third successive day for Ferrari. Max Chilton, back in the Marussia, soon joins him while Jean-Eric Vergne and Kimi Raikkonen join the fun as they get their first taste of the Jerez circuit this year.

  6. 0805: 

    Here is the line up for today, by the way.

    Red Bull - Sebastian Vettel

    Lotus - Kimi Raikkonen

    Ferrari - Felipe Massa

    McLaren - Jenson Button

    Mercedes - Nico Rosberg

    Caterham - Charles Pic

    Toro Rosso - Jean-Eric Vergne

    Williams - Valtteri Bottas

    Sauber - Esteban Gutierrez

    Force India - James Rossiter

    Marussia - Max Chilton

  7.  
    GET INVOLVED

    David Hird on Twitter: "Winners are McLaren and Torro Rosso, both look quick. Mercedes obvious loser, need an epic day today to catch up."

    Alex Hamilton on Twitter: "Predicting a battle between Lotus and Red Bull at season start. Both look quiet and reliable but also fast. Go Kimi!"

    F1FantaticBD on Twitter: "It is a bad omen to have such failures, but when the things get tough, the tough gets going. So, Mercedes, show us your true colour."

  8. 0809: 

    It is a chilly day in Jerez, but bright sunshine once again. Air temperature is 3C while the track temperature currently stands at 5C.

  9.  

    It has been a pleasing couple of days for Lotus' Romain Grosjean, who was fastest by some margin on day two, and he will undoubtedly be leaving Spain with a big smile on his face. He tweets: "Sevilla airport early morning! Alarm wasn't nice after two days in the car... have a good day."

  10.   
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "If it had not been for Lewis Hamilton's problems, Romain Grosjean's pace in the new Lotus may have attracted more attention - the Franco-Swiss was nearly 0.8secs quicker than the next fastest man in setting the pace. The Lotus, just as it did last year, looks like a good package straight out of the box. He emphasised that his pace-setting time 'doesn't mean much', adding that it was a 'good surprise - the car felt good, there's nothing very crazy about that time.'"

  11. 0815: 

    Almost all the drivers have had a venture out onto the circuit now, although we are still waiting to see Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull and the Caterham of Charles Pic.

  12.  

    New Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde on Twitter: "I will show you around a bit today, lots of inside info of the team and me! So follow close..."

    You have our attention Giedo...

  13. 0821: 

    James Rossiter is out on the circuit once again for Force India after the 29-year-old from Oxford got an hour under his belt towards the end of day two. Rossiter is the team's test and simulator driver, we are still waiting to discover who Paul di Resta's team-mate for the coming season will be.

  14.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Merv on Twitter: "Too much is being made of Mercedes problems. It's testing, breaking stuff is the whole point, does nobody remember Lotus last year?"

  15. 0827: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    Caterham are making a couple of little tweaks to Charles Pic's car, hence why he is still to emerge from the pits. No Sebastian Vettel out there as yet, perhaps waiting to make a dramatic late entry after deciding to adopt the persona of "Dr Evil" recently...

  16.   
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "Red Bull were working away quietly on Wednesday, with Mark Webber - who hands over to world champion Sebastian Vettel on Thursday - pounding out something like 170 laps over his two days. BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson said the Red Bull looks at the moment a bit like a 'one-line car' - if the driver misses his turn-in point, there's not enough front-end grip to get it back on line. But Webber insisted he was happy so far. 'In terms of consistency I was very happy with the last few days for myself,' he said. 'I might have bombed two or three laps here and there but I did 170-odd. The car gives me the confidence to push pretty hard and early indications are we can certainly build from there in terms of development.'"

  17. 0830: 

    Marussia's Max Chilton is not messing around and has already completed six laps in the early stages of this session. He clocks one minute 27.581 seconds with his first timed effort and fellow rookie Valtteri Bottas gets himself off the mark soon after with 1m29.697s in the Williams.

  18.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Lewis, via text: "Mercedes have nothing to worry about. With Lewis Hamilton at the wheel whatever the cars pace is, double it! To be honest it doesn't look to bad. No concern yet! I think Sergio Perez will be like Giancarlo Fisichella when he left Force India to go to Ferrari...out of his depth. And Jenson Button just isn't quick enough to lead at McLaren . Can't wait for Melbourne!"

    Paddy, via text: "Me being a massive McLaren fan it's hard for me to swallow but I think the Lotus boys have something to prove this year. Romain Grosjean the dark horse. Personally I've rated him. As soon as he works out how to use his mirrors, he could be a strong candidate for top spot. His race pace was always there. Just traffic negotiation. Valencia was a big shame for him."

  19. 0838: 

    Max Chilton lops off over three seconds from his previous best time as he comes round in 1m23.938s on medium tyres. Marussia will be one of the teams hoping for a pretty trouble-free day after suffering a suspension problem on day one and then engine trouble on day two.

  20. 0842: 

    Here comes our 2012 world champion for his first lap of the year. Sebastian Vettel heads out in the Red Bull for an installation lap while the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg completes a slow speed aero run.

  21.  

    McLaren's Sergio Perez on Twitter: "Very happy with our fist day on Wednesday!! A very busy day, good program and getting there with the adaptation."

    Jenson Button, fastest on day one after suffering a fuel-pump issue, is back in the McLaren for day three.

  22.   
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "Sergio Perez had a low-key first day in the McLaren on Wednesday, setting seventh fastest time when team-mate Jenson Button had been an impressive fastest on the first day. The Mexican, who admitted work still needed to be done on his seating position in the car, still sounds a bit wide-eyed about his new team. 'It's another level,' he said. 'Everything in the team is on a massive level.' Perez was suitably cagey, refusing to compare either the car or the Mercedes engine with the Sauber-Ferrari he had in 2013. He said the car gave him confidence and he is aware of the magnitude of the expectations now on his young shoulders. 'Once you have the car to do it,' he said, 'it is something you have been waiting for your whole life and it is an opportunity you don't want to waste. On the physical side I have done incredibly preparation.'"

  23.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Aor Noiphan on Twitter: "Mercedes focusing on innovation and forgetting about basics? Wiring looms and brakes."

    Peter Jeeves on Twitter: "I think Lewis Hamilton is trying to do at Mercedes what Michael Schumacher did at Ferrari, they shouldn't be worried at the moment."

  24. 0852: 

    Fairly quiet on the circuit now with just Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez out there and the latter takes advantage of the clear track to jump to the top of the embryonic timesheet, posting 1m21.931s in the Sauber.

  25.  

    Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery on Twitter: "Jerez surface ever more aggressive, big increase in macro roughness, so graining/abrasion high. Hard to work with from a tyre perspective. Jerez was always a good circuit to push tyre compounds, but now looking too far out of line compared to other tracks."

  26. 0856: 

    Nico Rosberg quickly displaces Esteban Gutierrez in P1 as the German clocks 1m19.687s on his seventh lap in the Mercedes. Expect Rosberg to get plenty of laps in today after Mercedes managed just 27 in total over the course of day one and two.

  27. 0903: 

    In case you missed them, here are some comments from Lewis Hamilton following his crash into the tyre wall on day two: "I'm just glad that firstly I'm safe and that it's happened now, not when we're in the season or something. This is what testing is about. It's about getting through those development phases, errors or whatever they may be and working on them and that's what the guys are doing."

    Read more from Hamilton in chief F1 writer Andrew Benson's piece.

  28. 0907: 

    Just four drivers left now to record flying laps. Nico Rosberg still leads the way and there is perhaps minor cause for cheer at Mercedes as the German completes his 17th lap. Jean-Eric Vergne is second fastest with 1m21.238s while Charles Pic has put 1m25.619s on the board.

  29.  

    James Hogan on Twitter: "Give us some links to last year's testing pages so we can compare last year to this please.

    Ask and you shall receive - 2012 day three in Jerez.

  30. 0913: 

    Sebastian Vettel is straight in at P2 on the timesheet with his first timed lap, flying round the Jerez circuit in 1m20.893s. He'll have had plenty of information to take in after Mark Webber slogged it out for an impressive 101 laps on day two.

  31.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Dan, via text: "The last two days of testing have been great, so good to see Jenson Button putting in fast times. Sergio Perez has a great mentor in JB. Kimi Raikkonen will be quick, can't wait for the season to start!!!"

  32. 0923: 

    Bit of a lull on the circuit with just a couple of cars out on the track. Yet to see timed efforts from Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa or James Rossiter.

  33.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tom Miles on Twitter: "I can see Sergio Perez being a real contender this year. Consistency is the key. Ask Sebastian Vettel."

  34. 0932: 

    Felipe Massa is off the mark and in some fashion too as he hammers it round the Jerez circuit in 1m19.005s - his quickest in the three days of testing - and enough to see him move top of the timesheet ahead of Nico Rosberg.

  35. 0936: 

    That is the first time Felipe Massa has really sought to push the pace of the Ferrari, with the team having concentrated more on aerodynamic tests on day one and two. I'll hand over to chief F1 writer Andrew Benson to explain in more detail...

  36.   
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "Like Red Bull, Ferrari have been playing it cool in Jerez. Team boss Stefano Domenicali made it clear at the launch last week that they would not be going for lap times and he has been true to his word. Felipe Massa has been concentrating on verifying that the car behaves aerodynamically as it is expected to - a key issue for Ferrari, who have struggled for the last three years with correlation between their wind tunnel data and that from the track. The longer the test goes on like this, the easier it is to see why Fernando Alonso skipped it. He has been tweeting pictures of himself hard at work on physical preparation. He has not said where he is, but it looks very much like it's the Canary Islands, where he has trained before."

  37.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Dan, via text: "Cannot wait to see what Jenson Button can do with the McLaren that has finally been built for his needs. Go JB"

    Paul, via text: "Can't say I am too concerned about the early mishaps for Mercedes. That's what testing is for. They aren't championship contenders this year, but I think with Lewis Hamilton driving they may get a sneaky win or two."

  38.  

    Marussia on Twitter: "We're hoping for two solid days of running now to really start piling the miles on the MR02 in Jerez."

  39. 0944: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    Sebastian Vettel has completed 16 laps in just under two hours this morning and has steadily improved his lap times. His best currently stands at 1m20.585s, putting him third fastest.

  40.  

    Lee on Twitter: "Will we see the silver dream machine get some serious mileage today Mercedes?"

    It is looking that way, Nico Rosberg has completed 34 laps already, more than both he and Lewis Hamilton managed during the first two days.

  41. 0954: 

    Little bit of drama in the pit lane this morning as Force India's James Rossiter hit a team mechanic after missing his braking point, Autosport reports. The mechanic was knocked into the air, but is thankfully uninjured.

  42. 0958: 

    Track temperature is up to 15C now with all but three drivers clocking timed laps. Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, who has been performing some aerodynamic runs, is one of those yet to record a timed effort, along with Jenson Button in the McLaren and Force India's James Rossiter.

  43.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Jerez

    "The Mercedes is up and running this morning after its troubled first two days. The start of this test has obviously been a bit of a setback but the car has looked consistent out on the track. There is a new front wing coming on Friday, when Lewis Hamilton will be back in the car, and it's clear from Hamilton's comments on Wednesday that they need it. He admitted the car does not even have as much downforce as last year's McLaren. That might be a wake-up call for Mercedes."

  44.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Jerez

    "I've been saying since June last year that there was something wrong with their front-wing philosophy. All the teams are struggling to get enough downforce from the front wing, but Mercedes have been taking downforce-producing bits off it. From what I know the bits do, the pieces missing are worth about 40kg of downforce. That equates to about 60kg of lost downforce at the back, because it's a 40:60 ratio, and so that's 100kg of downforce they don't have that they could. That's worth 0.8secs a lap."

  45.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Jerez

    "I'm sure Mercedes have plans in place to fix that. They have nine days of testing left after this one and they have to make them count. Everyone's saying they're concentrating on 2014, when big regulation changes are introduced. But while there is a huge change in the engine rules, with the introduction of 1.6-litre V6 turbos with extensive energy recovery, the chassis rules are a continuation of the current ones, with a few small changes. So if Mercedes are going to get the best out of the aerodynamics of the car in 2014, they have to prove they understand them and can do the same this year."

  46.  

    Mercedes on Twitter: "34 laps completed so far for Nico Rosberg this morning, including a longer run of 10 laps."

  47. 1009: 

    Fantastic observations as always from our technical analyst Gary Anderson. Stay across this live text as we will have more of Gary's insight coming up in the next hour.

  48. 1012: 
    LATEST LAP TIMES

    1 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1m19.005s 21 laps

    2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1m19.167s, 34

    3 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1m19.829s, 22

    4 Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1m20.342s, 25

    5 Esteban Gutierrez (Suaber) 1m21.527s, 31

    6 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1m21.698s, 25

    7 Max Chilton (Marussia) 1m23.938s, 21

    8 Charles Pic (Caterham) 1m25.365s 21

  49. 1013: 

    Still nothing on the clock from James Rossiter, Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button. Rossiter has completed eight laps, with Raikkonen on six and Button four.

  50. 1018: 

    Nico Rosberg you little devil. No sooner does the latest lap times entry go out in this live text and the Mercedes man decides to reclaim top spot on the timesheet with 1m19.004s, edging Felipe Massa's time by the length of a gnat's wing (0.001 seconds to be exact).

  51. 1021: 

    Felipe Massa has still been posting very quick times this morning and you get the feeling we'll be seeing the Brazilian's name at the top of the pile again sometime today. Gary Anderson has taken a closer look at what Massa has been doing so far...

  52.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Jerez

    "Felipe Massa's Ferrari made its first appearance at the top of the timesheets earlier this morning after two days of data-gathering. The car has actually been setting decent times all through the test but it doesn't look as consistent as the Lotus. At the moment, the Ferrari has the same problem as the Red Bull - once the front washes away, the driver can't get it back. Whereas the Lotus is much more pliable. However, it's clear from the times he was setting and the pattern of his runs that for a lot of his laps on Wednesday, Lotus's Romain Grosjean did not have a lot of fuel on board, and the fuel load has a dramatic effect on car behaviour."

  53.  

    Caterham on Twitter: "We're focusing mainly on acclimatising Charles Pic in the CT03 this morning and he's already completed 27 laps."

  54. 1025: 
    RED FLAG

    First red flag of the day as Charles Pic's Caterham comes to a stop on the circuit, just before Turn 2.

  55.  

    Jess, via text: "Love Gary Anderson's unique, detailed but understandable insight into Formula 1. It is fascinating!"

  56. 1031: 

    Charles Pic has climbed out of the stranded Caterham and once again the recovery truck has been despatched post haste. Should be back up and running pretty swiftly.

  57.  

    Caterham on Twitter: "Technical issue brings Charles Pic to a halt on track. No damage to Charles or the car so we'll get him back and take a proper look."

  58. 1035: 

    Apologies McLaren fans, there has been a dearth of entries regarding Jenson Button so far, that is largely because it has been a quiet morning for the Briton but minutes before Charles Pic came to a stop he clocked a flying lap, with 1m19.834s putting him fourth fastest.

  59. 1037: 

    Charles Pic and car are back in the Caterham garage, the track is reported clean and we are back under way, with Kimi Raikkonen straight out for a run.

  60.  

    Force India on Twitter: "We've done most of the aero runs in Jerez. Plan now is for James Rossiter to get more of a feel for the car to help compare with our simulator."

  61. 1044: 

    Told you we hadn't seen the last of Felipe Massa at the top of the timesheet. He is back up there after clocking the first sub 1m18s of the week with 1m17.879s. Still waiting on a timed lap from Kimi Raikkonen who, after a brief foray onto the circuit, is back in the Lotus garage with the team's mechanics at the ready for a bit of tweaking.

  62. 1048: 

    Felipe Massa's time, by the way, came on the soft tyre. Jenson Button briefly climbed up to third fastest 1m19.788s but was soon replaced by Jean-Eric Vergne, who went round in 1m19.707s.

  63.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Jerez

    "The teams are battling with new Pirelli tyres this season, with softer sidewalls, and it may be that means they have to run either higher ride-heights to compensate for the movement in the tyres or run the cars stiffer. Higher ride-heights mean less downforce; stiffer cars means problems over bumps and kerbs. This test is about making those decisions, and they're made harder by the very aggressive surface of the track, which not only wears the tyres out quickly but produces grip the cars won't have elsewhere. This first test is a bit like taking a girlfriend out for the first time. Does she like steak or fish, red wine or white. It's an exploratory test and that might explain why Fernando Alonso chose not to be here. It's about running through job-lists and seeing what the car does - logging data. It doesn't matter who's driving it as long as they are competent."

  64.  

    On Tuesday, Felipe Massa described Jenson Button's 1m18.8s as "an incredible time" wonder what he makes of his own effort just now?

  65.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Katy on Twitter: "So excited for the F1 season to start, with Jerez to get me in the mood!!"

  66. 1057: 

    A quiet spell in Jerez with all cars back in their respective garages. Some fast laps are being put down this morning but those times are not the be-all-and-end-all of testing, as BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson will explain during this lull in activity...

  67.   
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "There is a mantra from teams and drivers at pre-season testing - the lap-times mean nothing. They are referring to the headline lap times. But it's always funny when you get to the first race, and after qualifying they all tell you they knew pretty much where they were going to be. They build up that picture by taking into account all the lap times - and examining what tyres each driver was on and guestimating (which they're pretty good at) the amount of fuel. We can't do all that, but we can average the lap times - and doing so provides an interesting set of numbers. For what it's worth, on day two of this test, the fastest driver on average was Ferrari's Felipe Massa (eighth in the headline times list) followed closely by Lotus's Romain Grosjean (fastest overall), with Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg (fifth) and Red Bull's Mark Webber (fourth) next but more than a second behind Massa/Grosjean. Over the two days so far, Grosjean just pips Massa, with the McLaren drivers third, followed by Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, Hulkenberg and Webber.`"

  68. 1101: 

    After completing 13 laps, James Rossiter posts his first flying lap of the day with 1m20.553s putting him seventh fastest. Just the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen to get on the timesheet now.

  69.  

    Henry, via text: "Loving Gary Anderson's insights. While he's here, could he explain the supposed illegitimacy of Caterham's exhaust outlet?"

    Fear not Henry, Gary has everything covered. Keep an eye on this live text for his thoughts on this.

  70. 1111: 

    Sebastian Vettel improves again with 1m19.676s but remains third and is almost 1.8seconds down on Felipe Massa's best effort. Nico Rosberg has just completed his 46th lap and with five hours still to go of testing, we should see him break the 100-lap barrier, all being well.

  71.  

    Ferrari on Twitter: "Another intense day of work for Felipe Massa, testing continues as planned."

  72.  

    So while Felipe Massa is getting the most out of the Ferrari during his final day of testing, what is team-mate Fernando Alonso up to? He has taken to Twitter to let us know: "3:20h - 88 km bike this morning. Run in the afternoon."

  73. 1121: 

    The fastest lap time in Jerez last year was 1m17.613s by Nico Rosberg in the 2011 Mercedes, also set on the third day of testing. Felipe Massa's best so far today is 1m17.879s, so a tad short of Rosberg's time, but plenty of hours left in the day yet.

  74.  

    Lotus on Twitter: "As everyone keeps asking for him, we've interrupted our tea and banter to send Kimi Raikkonen out again."

  75. 1125: 

    Soon after being sent back out by Lotus, Kimi Raikkonen sets his first time of 2013 testing by clocking 1m22.514s to slot in ninth. That means all drivers have completed timed laps today.

  76.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Neil, via text: "Felipe Massa's performance so far makes me impatient to see what Fernando Alonso can do!"

  77.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Speaking of Fernando Alonso, do you think he is making the right choice to skip this week's testing in Jerez to instead work on his physical condition. Will a later venture into the Ferrari see him better prepared mentally or is he missing out on some crucial time in the car? What of Felipe Massa? What can he achieve this season?

    Let us know your thoughts on Twitter: #bbcf1 and on text: 81111 (UK only).

  78.  

    Sauber on Twitter: "So far, everything is going according to plan. Esteban Gutierrez has already completed 41 laps."

  79. 1137: 
    LATEST LAP TIMES

    1 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1m17.879 37s laps

    2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1m19.004s, 53

    3 Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1m19.707s, 39

    4 Jenson Button (McLaren) 1m19.788s, 21

    5 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1m19.829s, 34

    6 Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) 1m19.995s, 46

    7 James Rossiter (Force India) 1m20.068s, 22

    8 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1m21.610s, 49

    9 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 1m22.014s, 12

    10 Max Chilton (Marussia) 1m23.938s, 27

    11 Charles Pic (Caterham) 1m25.365s, 28

  80.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Sam Pennells on Twitter: "If I was Felipe Massa I'd secretly be overjoyed at the prospect of three straight days testing. He wants wins in 2013."

    Luke Cassar on Twitter: "Fernando Alonso knows what he needs to know of the F138 he doesn't need testing. Barcelona will be enough for him, Jerez is a waste of time

    Sam Payne on Twitter: "I wanna see Felipe Massa push Alonso all the way. He was brilliant in 2008! At least one win this year hopefully and a title charge!"

  81. 1149: 

    Quietened down once again in Jerez with just Nico Rosberg and Esteban Gutierrez pounding round the circuit at the moment. Rosberg is really racking up the laps, with over 50 to his name so far in the Mercedes.

  82. 1151: 

    Seems most drivers have stopped for a bit of food, no official break in testing for lunch, but with things quiet this is an opportune moment to catch up again with BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson.

  83.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Jerez

    "There has been a bit of a discussion about the exhaust exit on the Caterham and whether it complies with the regulations. The rules say the exhaust exit has to point upwards at 10 degrees and in towards the centre of the car at between 0-10 degrees. But the teams want the gases down in the area where the floor meets the rear wheels to improve aerodynamics. So all the cars have channels beyond the exhaust exit that use something called the Coanda effect to attach the gases to a bodywork surface that slopes downwards in that direction. The issue with the Caterham is that it has a small turning vane - aerodynamically shaped piece of bodywork - in that channel to try to enhance the effect. But it is an area where the rules have all sorts of restrictions that basically ban turning vanes. It's a grey area because there is an exhaust exit there but the rules still say you can't have aerodynamic devices there. We'll have to see how that pans out. But I'm not even sure it will be a benefit. That's because you want the exhaust flow to have as much energy in it as possible to have the greatest effect at the floor. Putting that turning vane in might help its direction in simulations but it will reduce its energy."

  84.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Kevin, via text: "A driver of Fernando Alonso's talent, missing this week will not make any difference to the season for him or Ferrari."

    Sarah, via text: "Felipe Massa can gain good confidence from the extra track time. And Fernando Alonso has nothing to prove to anyone. He'll be fine whatever like any experienced professional."

    Jon, via text: "I'm sure Fernando Alonso made correct decision, he'll be fresher and has only missed data correlation. Ferrari looking good!"

  85. 1204: 

    Starting to see the pace of the Lotus first shown by Romain Grosjean on day two of testing as Kimi Raikkonen is up to fourth with 1m19.539s, but Force India's test and simulator driver James Rossiter is even quicker, moving into third on the timesheet with 1m19.303s.

  86. 1209: 

    Jenson Button is fifth fastest after clocking 1m19.603s a little earlier. All-in-all a good session so far for McLaren on the back of a pretty pleasing day for Sergio Perez in his first outing for the team on day two. The gremlins in the McLaren from day one that ate into Button's testing time appear to have been dealt with.

  87.   
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "The lap-time averages from the first two days of testing painted an interesting picture at McLaren. Whereas Jenson Button wowed Jerez on day one with the fastest single lap time and the fastest average (by a substantial margin in both cases), Perez was only seventh fastest overall on his debut. Still not comfortable in the cockpit, getting to know the car and team and how they worked, and on a very different programme to Button judging by their lap times, Perez was 0.711secs slower than Button on fastest times - and a whopping 2.539secs adrift on average. No-one's saying that means anything; they're just the raw statistics."

  88.  

    Dave, via text: "Looking good for Lotus and Ferrari, but if Gary Anderson is right, then Mercedes with sorted aero package will be right in the hunt. And with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel, they can eek out another 0.5 - 1.0 secs per lap. Potential Brawn GP style surprise on the horizon me thinks. All those who criticised Lewis' move could be eating humble pie soon!"

  89.  

    Lotus on Twitter: "Back in the garage and time to try a different exhaust, maybe the RC40."

  90. 1224: 
    Jenson Button

    Jenson Button in the MP4-28 and it is so far so good for McLaren today. When asked about his title aspirations, Button was sitting firmly on the fence on Tuesday, saying only: "It's far too early to talk about us being championship challengers."

  91. 1226: 

    Nico Rosberg is 80 laps down already in the Mercedes and is showing good consistency at the moment, averaging 1m20s with his last three laps.

  92.  

    Marussia on Twitter: "38 laps under Max Chilton's belt. He's 10th on the timesheet, but everyone running to different programmes."

  93.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Rich, via text: "Personally I'm not an Fernando Alonso fan at all. I give credit to the fact he manages to stay in the hunt each year. But shouldn't he have done all his physical conditioning in the break, and now be at the track helping the team and importantly his team-mate, even if he doesn't drive?"

  94. 1237: 

    It is looking pretty calm on the circuit as we embark on a bit of a midday lull in action. Nico Rosberg, Max Chilton and James Rossiter have all been on long runs while the track has been relatively empty.

  95.  
    GET INVOLVED

    With things quiet, time to throw a little quiz question out there. Who holds the record of the fastest lap in testing at Jerez, what was the time and when was it set? The quickest to provide the answer will have their name proudly emblazoned on this very page at 1315GMT.

    Send your answer on Twitter #bbcf1 and on text: 81111 (UK only)

  96.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Chris, via text: "In response to Rich's text, Felipe Massa and Pedro de la Rosa are both experienced drivers who will be more than capable of getting the Ferrari on the right track. Fernando Alonso wants to be fresh for a new season-last year must have taken a lot out of him. Expect great things again from him!!"

  97. 1251: 

    Appears to have been a good morning of testing for Esteban Gutierrez in the Sauber. He completed 72 laps while getting in some long runs as well, with the team reporting no technical problems throughout.

  98. 1256: 

    The track has fallen silent and just the sound of engine fire from the garages punctuates the otherwise still air. That can mean only one thing, sandwich o'clock. After some long runs on cheese and onion this week I've decided to test out some Cajun chicken. Keep your answers coming to the earlier quiz question. Still 20 minutes left.

  99.  

    Mercedes on Twitter: "Time for Nico Rosberg to grab a bite to eat. 86 laps this morning, putting good miles on F1W04."

  100. 1305: 
    LATEST LAP TIMES

    1 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1m17.879s, 49 laps

    2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1m19.004s, 85

    3 James Rossiter (Force India) 1m19.303s, 42

    4 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 1m19.539s, 28

    5 Jenson Button (McLaren) 1m19.603s, 28

    6 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1m19.676s, 51

    7 Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1m19.707s, 50

    8 Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) 1m19.995s, 71

    9 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1m21.578s, 58

    10 Max Chilton (Marussia) 1m23.938s, 44

    11 Charles Pic (Caterham) 1m25.365s, 28

  101.  

    Caterham on Twitter: "The technical issue's fixed and we should be back out in the next hour."

  102. 1313: 

    We have movement on the circuit! It is Paul di Resta for Force India, with the British driver having taken now taken over from James Rossiter, who was in the seat for the morning session and posted the third fastest time of the day so far with 1m19.303s.

  103. 1315: 

    Answer to that earlier quiz question, and the name of the quickest to get it correct, coming up in the next entry. Drum roll please...

  104. 1317: 

    Michael Schumacher set the fastest lap in Jerez testing back in 2004 with 1m15:650s. Well done to Daniel Chiappe, who took just three minutes to provide the answer. Right, back to testing.

  105.  

    With a lot of testing for Force India done by James Rossiter in the morning, Paul di Resta is on the timesheet with just his second lap, clocking 1m23.729s to go 10th fastest.

  106.  

    Marussia on Twitter: "We've had a slightly broken programme due to some difficulties we have experienced with on-board electronics, but some good mileage anyway. This afternoon Max Chilton will be completing the race distance programme before switching focus to more regular performance work."

  107. 1328: 

    Nico Rosberg is back out in the Mercedes and is quick to dip under 1m19s for the first time today, clocking 1m18.766s and strengthening his position as the second fastest on the circuit so far on day three.

  108.  

    Mercedes on Twitter: "Nico Rosberg is back out for the afternoon programme. The times suggest lunch was worth three tenths ;)"

  109. 1338: 
    Nico Rosberg

    Having returned to the garage shortly after that quick lap, Nico Rosberg is back out and on a long run in the Mercedes and has just completed his fourth successive lap.

  110. 1344: 

    Jean-Eric Vergne and Sebastian Vettel are back out on the circuit now. Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, is lapping with pretty consistent times, the last six laps being in and around the 1m22s mark. He has completed 102 laps in total today and still just over two hours to go!

  111.  

    Pirelli on Twitter: "First summary after nearly three days of testing is that it's hard to draw any real conclusions. Apologies if you were expecting big news!"

  112.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Richard, via text: "So the cars are getting more efficient, safer, more aerodynamically complex, more advanced, grippy tyres, Kers systems. All great (Oh and uglier). Just one thing though, by the very nature of F1, shouldn't they be getting quicker every year?"

  113. 1355: 

    Kimi Raikkonen improves his personal best lap time as a 1m19.2s moves him to third and above James Rossiter, who is now back in the Force India garage with Paul di Resta out in his place for the afternoon.

  114. 1400: 

    Remember the earlier incident involving Force India's test driver James Rossiter and a mechanic (0954)? Rossiter tweets: "Happy to say my mechanic, Marcus is ok. He has some bruises but that's all. Looks like I'm buying the beers."

  115.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Mark Raishbrook โ€on Twitter: "Richard (1355) yes, they should. And they do. That's why new rules and regulations are introduced every few years to slow them down."

  116. 1404: 
    RED FLAG

    Second red flag of the day as Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso comes to a stop at the exit of the pit lane.

  117. 1409: 

    Easy enough to get things back under way as the Toro Rosso is rolled the short distance back to the garage and we are up and running once again.

  118. 1411: 

    New BBC F1 presenter Suzi Perry has been watching trackside with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. You'll be able to see the interview on this website shortly, but Horner told Perry he expects another close season in 2013.

    "We've had reasonably stable regulations over the last four years and very stable regulations into this year," he said. "All the cars you see are evolutions of 2012 cars. We had some great close racing last year and I think you're going to have the usual suspects hammering it out again this year."

  119. 1415: 

    Caterham have power-cycled Charles Pic's car and he is heading back out onto the circuit following some technical issues earlier. If all else fails turn it off and back on again...

  120.  

    BBC F1 presenter Suzi Perry on Twitter: "Great couple of days at F1 testing, met drivers, teams etc watched cars from various track points and concocted various plans for season :-D"

  121. 1419: 

    Charles Pic is quick to improve on his personal best today as he clocks 1m22.801s, putting him 10th. Max Chilton's Marussia and the McLaren of Jenson Button are also now back out on the circuit.

  122. 1425: 

    Nico Rosberg whizzes round to tick off his 115th lap in the Mercedes, a hugely impressive amount of time on the circuit in one day. Looks like they really are pushing the car as hard as they can and everything is looking rosy at the moment after the problems of day one and two.

  123. 1427: 

    Max Chilton and Jenson Button are the only Britons outs on track at the moment with Paul di Resta having been back in the Force India garage for the last hour. Not sure as to why he is yet to re-emerge.

  124. 1431: 

    Got some more thoughts from Gary Anderson coming your way shortly after our technical analyst caught up with McLaren sporting director Sam Michael during lunch...

  125.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Ben, via text: "Incredible endurance from Nico Rosberg, to still be consistently quick after 115 laps shows how fit these guys are."

  126.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Jerez

    "I had a long chat with McLaren sporting director Sam Michael over lunch and they are pretty happy with where they are at the moment. The car is responding to changes and they have some new parts coming for the final two days of the final test at the beginning of March. They were pleased with Sergio Perez's first run on Wednesday - he was competitive and consistent, and Sam was admiring the narrow sidepods and more aggressive undercut on the Red Bull. I've been watching the McLaren on the track and it has more understeer than any other car, on a consistent basis. Sam said he wasn't worried - that it was caused by tyre graining on this aggressive track surface - but I think they'll have to have a look at that because there are other cars out there with much less understeer. The other worry for McLaren is the fuel-pump failure that affected Jenson Button on day one. That was a new part aimed at solving the problem that cost Lewis Hamilton victory in Abu Dhabi last year. It's a Mercedes part, but it's odd that it's now failed twice on a McLaren and not on any other Mercedes-engined cars."

  127. 1439: 

    Sebastian Vettel is making ever-so-slight improvements to his lap times and goes round in 1m19.052s. The Red Bull driver is still third fastest, behind Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa. Jenson Button, meanwhile, has just reeled off an 12-lap long run, averaging 1m24.33s.

  128. 1447: 
    LATEST LAP TIMES

    1 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1m17.879s 53 laps

    2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1m18.766s 123

    3 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1m19.052s 71

    4 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 1m19.200s 40

    5 James Rossiter (Force India) 1m19.303s 42

    6 Jenson Button (McLaren) 1m19.603s 44

    7 Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1m19.707s 63

    8 Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) 1m19.995s 83

    9 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1m21.578s 67

    10 Charles Pic (Caterham) 1m22.801s 36

    11 Paul di Resta (Force India) 1m23.729s 7

    12 Max Chilton (Marussia) 1m23.938s 54

  129. 1452: 

    Approaching the final hour of day three testing and just Sebastian Vettel is out there at the moment in the RB9. The Red Bull has been consistent from day one and it is looking like this will be another largely trouble free testing session.

  130. 1458: 

    Nico Rosberg is certainly doing a good job of putting to bed any concerns over the Mercedes' reliability and he has managed 40 more laps than any other driver today. Speaking of Mercedes, BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson has had a closer look at the WO4...

  131. 1459: 

    Looks like we won't be seeing more from Paul di Resta today, as Force India confirm: "An early end to the day for us in Jerez. An exhaust failure means we need to check things over so we probably won't run again today."

  132.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Jerez
    Mercedes

    "Mercedes have brought a new front wing to Jerez and Nico Rosberg is running it on Thursday. We talked about their front-wing problems earlier and this one is definitely a step forward. It is a five-element wing, but what's unusual is that it has five elements all the way from the endplates up to the start of the FIA-defined aerodynamically neutral section in the centre of the wing. The large number of elements is a good idea in front of the front tyre because the team want to have enough wing shape to give good downforce during braking, but when the driver turns into the corner, the blockage created by the front wheels is removed, and in that situation it's easy for the airflow to separate and for the car to lose downforce. The slot gaps between the elements of the wing help stop that happening. But inboard of the front wing, the more slot-gaps you have, the less downforce you can create. So most teams will have fewer elements inboard of the tyre. Having said that, it is a step forward and it will give them more consistent downforce, and less understeer mid-corner, if not perhaps more overall downforce."

  133.  

    Tristan, via text: "So after missing nearly two days running have Mercedes caught up on track time with Nico's Herculean effort today?"

    I think it would be fair to say they will have, if Nico keeps going as he is he won't be far off 150 laps by the end of testing today. Unbelievable stuff.

  134. 1512: 

    Few of the drivers have been on long runs this afternoon and, with just over 45 minutes left of the session, it looks like the 1m17.879s set by Felipe Massa earlier is going to be day three's fastest time.

  135. 1520: 

    Nico Rosberg heads back into the pit lane with his total laps for the day currently at 137. Felipe Massa has put together a long run, with his best lap time 1m19.0s. Jenson Button also out on the circuit.

  136. 1525: 

    Worth refreshing this page because at the top an interview with Christian Horner will magically appear. The Red Bull team principal tells BBC F1 presenter Suzi Perry his main aim for 2013 is to extend the "halcyon period" that has seen his team win three drivers' and constructors' titles.

  137.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Graham, via text: "Nico Rosberg putting the pressure Lewis Hamilton! Will Hamilton stay on the track tomorrow? Go Jenson Button!"

  138. 1531: 

    Nico Rosberg has been out, clocked another six laps and returned to the pits to take his total to 143 for the day. With 30 minutes left of testing I'm starting to become anxious! I want him to hit 150.

  139.  

    Malcom, via text: "How is Kimi Raikkonen's ice cream button working?"

    Good question, haven't heard reports of him complaining over team radio. Guess he could have used his mute button though...

  140. 1538: 

    Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Esteban Gutierrez are all out on the circuit at the moment. Gutierrez has also entered triple lap figures for the day with the Sauber man now on 101 - only overshadowed by Nico Rosberg's super-human effort, so great going!

  141. 1542: 

    Jenson Button averaging 1m23.14s from his last five laps as we approach the final 15 minutes of this session. The McLaren driver's compatriot Max Chilton is still out there and improves his best time in the Marussia to 1m21.454s, the ninth fastest of the day. Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, is edging ever close to that magical 150...

  142.  

    Graham, via text: "I spent most of yesterday afternoon puzzling what Kimi Raikkonen 'Jenson' button did. Did it improve the car in the wet? Did it bestow determination? Perhaps it added an extra 20% charisma to the driver. Then it hit me....Jenson Button button....doh!"

  143.  

    Marussia on Twitter: "Max is now working on performance runs and seems to be performing very nicely indeed. P10...No wait, this just in - P9!"

  144. 1551: 

    Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Charles Pic and Max Chilton are all out on the circuit as we enter the final 10 minutes of the session. Felipe Massa was out for a single lap and then back in again.

  145. 1558: 
    RED FLAG

    Third and final red flag of the day as Jenson Button comes to halt. The Briton had just come back out of the pits following a 16-lap run. After stopping, the car started rolling down the hill it was on, but Button managed to bring it to a halt again.

  146. 1601: 

    Can't speculate on what caused Jenson Button to stop but it ends my hopes of seeing Nico Rosberg hit 150 laps. Button's McLaren, which stopped between Turn 7 and 8, is loaded onto before it is whisked back to the garage.

  147. 1602: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG

    FELIPE MASSA IS FASTEST ON THE THIRD DAY OF PRE-SEASON TESTING IN JEREZ

  148.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Lester Mak on Twitter: "Wow, Nico Rosberg has done 123+ laps in F1 pretesting today, some 350 miles, or the distance from Jerez to Lisbon by car!"

  149. 1606: 
    FINAL LAP TIMES

    1 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1m17.879s

    2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1m18.766s

    3 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1m19.052s

    4 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 1m19.200s

    5 Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1m19.247s

    6 James Rossiter (Force India) 1m19.303s

    7 Jenson Button (McLaren) 1m19.603s

    8 Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) 1m19.934s

    9 Max Chilton (Marussia) 1m21.269s

    10 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1m21.575s

    11 Charles Pic (Caterham) 1m22.352s

    12 Paul di Resta (Force India) 1m23.729s

  150.  

    Suzi Perry on Twitter: "For those asking about the BBC F1 forum. We will be doing this again after our live races, I look forward to your tweets."

  151. 1611: 
    COMPLETED LAPS

    1 Nico Rosberg 148

    2 Esteban Gutierrez 110

    3 Sebastian Vettel 102

    4 Valtteri Bottas 86

    5 Felipe Massa 85

    6 Jean-Eric Vergne 85

    7 Jenson Button 83

    8 Max Chilton 78

    9 Charles Pic 57

    10 James Rossiter 42

    11 Kimi Raikkonen 40

    12 Paul di Resta 7

  152. 1617: 

    So after the disappointment of day one and two, Mercedes bounce back in some style as Nico Rosberg completes 148 laps without any major issues. Red Bull enjoyed another good run in Sebastian Vettel's first outing in 2013 and all was well for McLaren's Jenson Button, although that stop minutes before the end could yet be cause for some concern.

  153.  

    Lotus on Twitter: ""So, another day's testing has come to a conclusion. Clutch woes meant early cup of tea for us."

  154. 1630: 

    Right, that's our lot for today. A pretty uneventful third day of testing but that will have been just the way Mercedes would have liked it. Lewis Hamilton returns for the fourth and final day of testing on Friday so join me once again for live text commentary from 0745GMT. Until then, goodbye.

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