Behind the scenes at F1 testing - Ted Kravitz
While there is an element of business as usual with Red Bull topping the timesheets on the first day of the Barcelona test, events in Bahrain are overshadowing anything that happens on track.
Drivers and teams are practising for the first race, but they do not know where the first race will be.
Alonso positive despite car troubles
Fernando Alonso remained upbeat after encountering his first reliability problems with the 2011 Ferrari. He had run trouble-free up until today, but was sidelined for two spells due to electrical and mechanical failures on the F150 Italia.
What happens to F1 if Bahrain is cancelled
The cancellation of the GP2 series event in Bahrain against the background of continuing unrest in the Gulf state's capital Manama has raised serious concern about the viability of the F1 season openeron 13 March.
Bernie Ecclestone has promised a decision on whether the race can go ahead next week. At present, the Bahraini authorities are trying to sound optimistic. Cancelling the event would be a huge blow to them.
A few questions asked by people today
Owen in Sandbach : "Very concerned about McLaren. Are they lacking in pace AGAIN with a new car? What's the general feeling amongst the teams & experts?
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson: "In answer to Owen's question about McLaren's form, the truth is it is very difficult to judge at the moment. That goes for all the teams because of the uncertainty over tyre compounds and fuel loads, but even more so for McLaren, whose car has done much less running than most of the others. It's true that the perceived wisdom in F1 is that the Red Bull and Ferrari are the fastest cars, the order changing depending on who you speak to. But the McLaren simply hasn't done enough laps to come to any conclusions at all. That said, the contrast between them and their top-three rivals is stark so far. The Red Bull and Ferrari have generally run reliably and looked obviously quick. The McLaren has not."
Jon in Romford : "So the car behind adjusts its rear wing to overtake, the car in front presses its Kers button in response. Hmm, who wins that race?"
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson: "To answer Jon in Romford's question, in theory the guy behind would win, because unless he was driving a Lotus, Virgin or Hispania, he would press his Kers button as well as using his moveable rear wing. It's worth bearing in mind, though, that the idea of the moveable rear wing is to make overtaking easier - not easy. F1's stakeholders still want overtaking to be difficult between evenly matched cars, just not practically impossible. And they will adjust how it is used until they get it right."
Comparison between a 13 lap run by Mercedes and an 11-lap run by Mclaren. Day 1
27.5, 28.3, 28.6, 28.7, 28.4, 28.4, 29.4, 31.2, 30.2, 29.8, 29.8, 30.5, 30.2
28.1, 28.9, 28.9, 29.1, 29.4, 30.2, 42.9, 30.1, 30.3, 30.2, 30.
Yesterday we also had a 13-lap run by Mercedes and an 11-lap run by McLaren, two teams that have question marks about their abilities over longer runs - Mercedes because its drop-off has been steeper than the other frontrunners in the previous tests, McLaren because it hasn't yet done enough long stints to show anything one way or the other.
Schumacher begins with a 27.5 but his time drops straight into the 28s and is nearly three seconds slower after just nine laps. Button meanwhile, starts in the 28s and is just two seconds slower than that after 10 laps - but by that time he would have been five seconds behind Schumacher if these times were set in a race.
[U]Comparison between Ferrari, Mclaren and Williams on a 12 lap stint
24.4, 25.2, 25.8, 26.2, 28.2, 27.6, 27.0, 27.4, 27.6, 27.9, 28.4, 28.8
29.4, 28.8, 28.8, 29.4, 29.8, 29.7, 29.8, 30.1, 30.8, 31.0, 31.7, 31.7
29.6, 29.4, 30.5, 31.0, 30.1, 30.7, 30.9, 31.3, 31.5, 32.2, 32.0, 32.5
Ferrari, McLaren and Williams all ran for stints of 12 laps at some point this afternoon. No information on tyre compounds or excess fuel, so it's another round of guessing.
Alonso was easily the quickest of the trio, starting in the 24s and dropping to four seconds slower after 10 laps. The drop-off rate looks like it could be either a looked after super soft or a thrashed soft.
Button and Barrichello both began in the 29s, though the McLaren was able to hang around the 1m30.0s or lower mark for longer than the Williams. Button slipped into the 31s for the last three laps of his stint (2s slower than it started) while Barrichello was in the 32s for his last three (finishing 3s slower than his first laps).