Tweet from @MikeGascoyne: Briefing for first session done. Track drying out but still cold and tricky conditions. Concentrating on systems work for P1
Tweet from @5LiveF1: We will be on air on the Red Button, BBC Sport Online and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra in just over 20 minutes... #fp1 #bbcf1
Don't forget to vote on the Sidepodcast poll: "Who will complete the least number of laps during this session?" https://sidepodcast.com/post/live-australia-2011-free-practice-1
We're also taking bets on who will be the first to spin it. So far, Maldonado appears to be the favourite.
Comment from Nathan: If it's "spin" it I'll say Maldonado. If it's "crash" it.. hmm.. I'll plump for Trulli.
For reference, this weekend's tyre compounds are the hard and the soft - silver and yellow respectively.
There is a handy song to help you remember the different colours and compounds if you're struggling: https://sidepodcast.com/post/i-can-sing-a-sidewall-a-song-for-pirelli
Although it is worth very little, Red Bull topped the most days of the pre-season tests with five P1 positions. Mercedes were second best with four.
Ferrari led three, Renault two, and Williams and Sauber both had one P1 each.
Mercedes GP rolled out a new site ahead of the action today, and with it comes live telemetry: http://www.mercedes-gp.com/
McLaren look set to continue their awesome data work as well: http://mclaren.com/formula1
There's been non-stop talk today, with all the drivers sharing their opinions on what the racing will be like and whether they will be fast.
The Optimist of the Week Award goes to Tonio Liuzzi who believes HRT could be in for some points this weekend, despite the fact the F111 has yet to complete a single lap of testing.
Rubens Barrichello is thankful just to be in Australia at all after a difficult journey. He was stranded in Argentina after the airport had to close. His flight was delayed 15 hours.
Comment from Lukeh: FBFB I think Tonio is confusing points with laps :)
Karun Chandhok sits in his new team garage after being signed up to Team Lotus as reserve driver this week. Karun will participate in some Friday practice sessions throughout the year.
For those online in the UK, the BBC should have the stream here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9433946.stm
The drivers are all being strapped into their cars, engines being warmed up.
Tweet from @willbuxton: Paddock talk this morning says HRT may only have one car available today and even then only for FP2.
Ferrari are running a Japanese flag on the front of the car, with a message of support.
Chandhok is first out of the pitlane, taking his seat in the Team Lotus car. He's in Trulli's car this morning.
Hulkenberg is next out.
Chandhok has lost his front wing already!
Replays show he lost grip out on track, lost the back end and smashed straight into the wall.
Team radio from Karun: "Guys I don't know what happened. I just lost it!"
Comment from Mr C: this is his only session right? gut.ted.
Ted Kravitz on 5live says that Karun doesn't even have a fitted seat for the car as the deal was done so late.
Karun makes a hasty exit. It seems unlikely the team will blame him too harshly, but it makes their day far more difficult than intended.
Track is clear.
Neither Virgin driver is suited or helmeted to get in the car. Paul di Resta is also sitting the session out, as Hülkenberg is in his car.
Just Schumacher, Massa and both Renaults are out on track at the moment. No times as yet.
Ted Kravitz on 5live chases up Karun's crash: "The team are saying from all the telemetry, there's nothing out of the ordinary that's happened to the car. They were having a look at tyre pressures because he might have spun because of low pressure but that doesn't appear to be the case."
Karthikeyan, Liuzzi and Glock are the only drivers not to have left the garage now.
Tweet from @InsideFerrari: both Felipe and Ferandno have some paint on because of aero checks: Felipe on the rear wing, Fernando on the front one
Ten minutes gone, no times set as yet.
Live timing may not be totally reliable, as the circuit are having some problems.
Tweet from @f1timingapp: Track is having positioning feed problems. Race control working on it.
Just learnt that Mercedes are only running live data on Saturdays and Sundays, and McLaren's doesn't seem as good as last year. Oh well.
Selected highlights from Liuzzi at HRT: "The target is to do some laps in my car in the first session of the morning... then hopefully have both cars out in the afternoon."
The Hispania engine is firing up!
If you're struggling to find a stream, Autosport's live updates may be just what you're looking for: http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/320
Along with mine, obviously.
Tweet from @eddstrawF1: #f1 Sounds like the HRT anticipation is going to continue for several more hours...
Lewis Hamilton heads out on track. We've only seen installation laps from all so far.
Karun Chandhok is tucked away in the depths of the garage, talking to his mechanics, explaining what happened.
Hamilton looks like he's going for our first time of the day.
Button is also heading out on track.
Hamilton backed off the lap, and returns to the pits without setting a time.
Button also returns to the garage. Will anyone set a time?
Jaime Alguersuari points at the camera. He's sitting this session out as Daniel Ricciardo gets a turn in the Toro Rosso.
Live timing does seem a bit broken. If you're seeing a red flag, there really isn't. Alonso has just finished another installation lap.
Tweet from @autosportlive: There are one or two breaks in the cloud base but it remains very dull around Albert Park, with the radar showing no sign of imminent rain.
Rosberg heads out of the garage in the Mercedes.
30 minutes completed, just an hour to go now.
And Rosberg returns to the garage. Still no lap time in sight.
The HRT mechanics are busily working on Liuzzi's car but it is still essentially just a tub and a rear wing at the moment.
Petrov and Vettel head out to test conditions.
Petrov returns to the pit lane, with the car making a worrying chugging noise as it gets back to the garage.
Pastor Maldonado is my hero! He sets the first laptime of the season with a 1:39.381.
Massa runs off into the gravel after setting a time, faster than Pastor: 1:31.184.
For reference, last year's fastest time for FP1 was Robert Kubica in the Renault with a 1:26.927.
DIfferent tyres and stuff, of course.
Hamilton jumps up to second, then Webber pushes him down. Massa still fastest for now.
Comment from Kate: It wouldn't be Free Practice if Massa didn't go off at some point...
Massa improves his time to 1:29.572.
Webber tops him by a couple of tenths.
Three drivers under 1:30 now - Webber, Massa, Hamilton.
A note from McLaren's live race updates: Expect to see times dropping now as more and more teams start their "serious" running.
Halfway through the session now, Hamilton jumps to the top of the times.
Hulkenberg locks up heavily as he navigates his Force India around a corner.
Webber jumps up to P1 at the end of a seven lap run - 1:28.217.
Tweet from @InsideFerrari: Felipe is back in the garage. Everything is ok with the car. Fernando is completing another double installation lap
Discussing Petrov's juddering return to the pitlane, @MarussiaVirgin have an idea: probably a rolling bite point learn.
Still no sign of HRT.
Only 10 drivers have set times so far.
McLaren are the hardest working team at the moment, with Button and Hamilton on 12 and 11 laps respectively. Ricciardo for Toro Rosso is the only other driver in double figures - 10 laps.
14 drivers have times now, with seven still to get times, one crashed, and two unlikely to get out of the garage at this rate.
|Sector 1||J Button||282kph|
|Sector 2||L Hamilton||294kph|
|Sector 3||N Hülkenberg||302kph|
|Speed trap||N Hülkenberg||313kph|
Vettel drops the times down to 1:27.869.
A glimpse into the Lotus garage by @sparkteamlotus.
|S Buemi||10th - 1:30.302|
|D Ricciardo||14th - 1:31.248|
Vettel beats his own time, we're down to 1:27.739 now.
Less than 24 minutes to go and Alonso and Kobayashi are the only drivers expected to get a time who are without one at the moment.
Kobayashi puts in his first time and slips into 18th position.
Sutil locks up and runs off track across the gravel after the main straight.
A glimpse of Vettel's tyres shows some massive chunks missing out of the rubber.
A glimpse at the damage to Vettel's tyre.
Alonso sets his first time of the day, and moves up to 9th position.
Sutil takes an alternative route.
Tweet from @OfficialMGP: #F1 The drivers really need to learn how to work with the adjustable rear wing today, where to stop using it, braking point... amazing stuff
Massa locks up and ruins a corner (and probably a tyre) but continues on.
Less than fifteen minutes remain of this first practice session.
Comment from Bassano: Virgin are outside 107%
With ten minutes to go:
Team radio from pit to Hamilton: "Could be more time to find in the first sector." And to Button: "Use the wing to get past if you need to."
Jérôme D'Ambrosio attempts to hit his mark and is 5cm adrift.
Tweet from @autosportlive: Teams are favouring the harder tyre for this first session, saving the softer tyre for improved track conditions in the second period.
Rosberg has jumped up to P3, with a 1:28.152.
A little piece of debris sits out on track, although it's not clear where or who it has come from.
Kobayashi's entire right side of the engine cover. Apparently it has just broken right off. He's back in the garage now.
Webber has popped up to P1, with Vettel taking it right back again with a 1:27.158.
I'd call that trading fastest laps. David Croft on 5live called it flip-flopping. Either way.
Nico Rosberg has a bit of a moment running sideways through the gravel but he regains the track without any major incident.
Tweet from @willbuxton: Kovalainen in the Lotus is just a tenth off Petrov in the Renault. Great job from the boys in Green.
|N Heidfeld||11th - 1:29.381|
|V Petrov||16th - 1:30.477|
One minute left.
Drivers can complete the laps they are on though.
Petrov pulled it out of the bag just as I posted that table. He's now ahead of Heidfeld, 10th and 12th respectively.
Webber puts in the fastest time of the day, a 1:26.831.
Barrichello appeared out of nowhere, good work from the Williams driver.
Webber gets first honours in the 2011 season.
Red Bull have shown their pace, which was not really a surprise to anyone. HRT didn't make it out of the garage, again not a surprise.
One half of both Mercedes and Williams looked really good today, whilst McLaren are almost there but not quite.
We'll know even more when FP2 gets underway at 5:30am GMT.
You wait for ages and then two practice sessions turn up at once!
Goodbye for now, fact fans.
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