If anyone is in any doubt as to the basic form of the teams at present, they need look no further than the combined times from the opening three sessions here in Sepang, as Mercedes heads Ferrari, Williams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
Sauber and Lotus look pretty evenly matched at this stage whilst Force India admits that following its late launch it will be mid-season before we begin to see real progress.
McLaren is where it is, but it's good to see that Fernando Alonso, in particular, is wringing all he can out of the car.
Manor, which will no doubt have to rely on the benevolence of the stewards - assuming it doesn't qualify within 107% - must await the arrival of its 2015... if there is such a thing.
The two main talking points - other than Bernie Ecclestone suggestions for ways to 'improve' the sport - are the heat and tyres, and both are intrinsically linked.
Due to the high temperatures degradation is high, particularly on the softer rubber, and consequently drivers are struggling for grip with (front) lock-ups and even braking an issue for many.
As in Melbourne, Ferrari looks good on the longer runs and if the Italian team can ensure that all four wheels are correctly fitted during tomorrow's numerous pit stops the Maranello outfit could mount a decent challenge.
Whilst Williams was hoping to pick up where it left off in 2014 it hasn't, the team missing vital straight-line speed, a situation not helped by Ferrari's improvements.
The Renault engines appear to be performing better here, but the RB11 still looks as though it will lose out come the race.
As we saw yesterday, the Mercedes is not bullet-proof and other than this, at this point in the season, the one thing rivals can hope for if they are to halt the silver steamroller is the weather, always a major factor here.
While the temperatures here are breaking records we know from experience that a rain burst can appear from nowhere, and we will be lucky (?) not to see the inters or wets make an appearance at some stage this weekend.
The tyres available this weekend are the hard (prime) and medium (option), which Pirelli claim, contrary to original expectations have a performance gap of around a second however, it was less than this this morning. There are two DRS zones, one on the start/finish straight and the other on the final straight.
Ahead of the start of Q1, the air temperature is 32 degrees C, whilst the track temperature is 52 degrees. Whilst heavy clouds have moved in and are getting visibly darker, the wind has also picked up.
The lights go green and a couple of minutes later Mehri heads down the pitlane to get things underway.
Hulkenberg is advised that there is rain a few miles from the circuit. It's a message his rivals have also received for in no time at all there are a lot more drivers on track including the Mercedes duo, both of whom are on options. The Williams duo is on primes.
Soon all are on track bar Raikkonen and Stevens, the Manor driver suffering a fuel system problem.
Despite a massive lock-up before his flying lap, Verstappen posts a 41.550 to go quickest, ahead of Alonso and Perez as lighting is visible in the distance.
Sainz posts 40.843 but this is soon beaten by Rosberg (39.374) and then Hamilton (39.269).
Bottas (prime) posts 40.249 to go third as Raikkonen finally leaves the pits, no doubt spurred by that lightning.
Vettel, appearing to struggle with the Ferrari, and on primes, goes third (39.814) as Alonso seeks to improve on thirteenth.
A 40.415 sees Raikkonen (prime) go fifth, ahead of Sainz and Massa who posts 40.905.
Watched by Ron Dennis, Alonso and Button are currently in sixteenth and seventeenth positions.
Grosjean goes tenth with a 41.376 as Kvyat improves (?) to sixteenth, thereby demoting the McLaren duo. With 5:45 remaining, the Russian is in the drop zone along with the Woking duo and the Manors.
Against a black sky, Kvyat improves from 41.677 to 40.546 which puts him sixth and drops Perez into 'the zone'.