Ahead of this morning's free practice session, the air temperature is 31 degrees C, and the track temperature is 39 degrees. It is somewhat overcast but thanks to the fact that there no overnight rain the track won't be as 'green', though there will still be dust and sand.
First out is Schumacher, followed by his Toyota teammate, who leads Liuzzi, Kovalainen, Kubica, Speed, Fisichella and Sato.
After just three minutes, everyone bar the Ferraris has made an appearance, though only the Super Aguris stay out for a second lap.
Sato posts the first time of the day (37.007), but this is immediately beaten by his teammate Davidson, who crosses the line at 36.819. Pole for the GP2 race was secured with 40.873.
The Super Aguris stay out on track, Sato raising the benchmark with a 36.229. The Leafield based team looks poised to add to Honda's woes this weekend.
Schumacher performs a practice start, as Albers and Sutil set about carrying out all manner of checks for Spyker.
As Schumacher goes third (36.409), Heidfeld has a big lock up, yet still manages to go quickest in the first two sectors. The BMW driver crosses the line at 34.470 to go quickest, beating the previous best by 1.7s.
Heidfeld improves again, as Kovalainen goes wide. Meanwhile, Speed and Liuzzi go second and third, as Toro Rosso continues to show signs of improvement.
Fifteen minutes into the session, Kimi Raikkonen finally leaves the Ferrari garage, followed, a few moments later, by teammate Massa.
Another improvement from Heidfeld (34.338), who completed the most laps yesterday. Trulli goes third, ahead of Liuzzi, Schumacher and Sato.
At the first split, Raikkonen is already 0.147s up on Heidfeld, extending the gap to 0.725s at the second. At the line it's 1:33.480 as the Finn goes quickest. Elsewhere, Kubica goes third, to give BMW first and second.
Massa goes second, but Raikkonen is already on a hot lap. The Finn fails to improve, but his teammate is already 0.1136s up on him by the second split. Sure enough, the Brazilian crosses the line at 33.307 to go quickest.
Battle resumes, as Hamilton goes third (33.683), ahead of Coulthard. However, Alonso is also on track.
The Spaniard can only manage sixth (34.583), but there is still a long, long way to go.
Hamilton improves to second (33.456), as Rosberg and Wurz go eighth and ninth.
As the World Champion gets all crossed up, he's told to "box this lap, box this lap". Meanwhile, Rosberg improves to seventh.
With twenty-five minutes of the session gone, Webber is the only driver that hasn't posted a time.
Button goes thirteenth (35.495), as Webber finally leaves the pits. The Australian gets straight down to business, posting a 34.968 to go tenth. In the Honda garage Christian Klien watches the monitor, probably thankful that he's not actually racing for the Japanese team this year.
Coulthard goes wide, very wide, as he attempts to improve on fourth.
Despite having completed the most laps (13), Fisichella remains in nineteenth position, 2.755s off the pace. Then again, teammate Kovalainen is currently last, also having completed 13 laps. Let's hope that they are looking for reliability as opposed to pace.
Albers complains about his brake balance, the Dutchman currently ahead of Fisichella and the Renaults.
Coulthard is back on track on the harder compound. He almost loses it on the kerbs, the Red Bull sending sparks and dust into the desert air. The Scotsman is really pushing, not bad for an old man.
Massa is back on track, as are Hamilton and Heidfeld. The Englishman goes quickest in the second sector, taking 0.279s out of Raikkonen. At the line it's 32.928 as the McLaren driver goes quickest.
Moments later, Massa, who has gone quickest in the last two sectors, goes second, just 0.022s down on the McLaren.