The Russian completed 17 laps, one more than the Frenchman. The session went smoothly, with both men only fitting the Soft compound Pirelli in the closing minutes of the session, as they went for a qualifying simulation. Nico Rosberg was fastest for Mercedes, ahead of Jenson Button in the McLaren and Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari. With the late start time to today’s action, both our drivers had sponsor commitments this morning, with Daniil arriving at the Red Bull Australia hospitality area, just as local hero and former Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo was leaving. Quite how it came into the conversation we don’t know, but DK admitted to a secret passion for playing table tennis. As for Jev, he was in his element as went to talk to Renault guests, some of the talk in their common mother tongue of course.

The moment of truth now approaches, with the first qualifying session due to start at 5pm local time. Looking at the skies, the weather seems set to change, as the wind has picked up and a very occasional drop of rain has been seen in the paddock.