Hamilton ends Australian GP second practice on top for Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton bounced back from his failure on Friday morning to top the afternoon practice session in Melbourne, ending the day as fastest of all, a tenth of a second quicker than his team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton, who stopped out on track after just five minutes running this morning as a result of a sensor problem, topped the afternoon session with a best lap of 1:29.625, set on a set of the soft Pirelli tyres late in the 90 minute long practice.

His team-mate Rosberg ended the session just a tenth shy of the 2008 champion, with Fernando Alonso the closest challenger to the Mercedes duo in third, albeit half a second adrift of Hamilton’s best time.

Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull continued their positive start to the weekend, with the German fourth overall, while his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo ended the day in sixth.

Jenson Button split the two Red Bulls in fifth, in the McLaren, despite struggling with understeer throughout the session, on what was an otherwise impressive day for McLaren.

A gearbox issue restricted Kimi Raikkonen to seventh in the second Ferrari, his time of 1:30.898 just four hundredths quicker than Valtteri Bottas, in the first of the Williams cars in eighth.

Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten, the latter having an off at turn nine late in the session.

Toro Rosso’s struggles with its brake-by-wire system continued, with both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat making off-track excursions, the Russian having a particularly scrappy opening day on his first visit to Melbourne.

Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, who failed to get out on track in FP1, completed 12 laps in the afternoon, before an off at turn nine brought a premature end to his session.

His team-mate Pastor Maldonado failed to complete a lap, an ERS issue causing the Venezuelan’s E22 to grind to a halt in the pitlane.

Caterham’s troubles continued in the afternoon, with neither Marcus Ericsson or Kamui Kobayashi managing to set a time in the CT05, the Swede completing just a single installation lap before a hydraulics issue forced him back to the pits.

Kobayashi was confined to the garage throughout the 90 minute session as a result of a “power unit-related fuel system issue”.

Free Practice Two – Classification

1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:29.625 – 37 laps

2.  Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:29.782  +0.157s – 31 laps

3.  Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 1:30.132  +0.507s – 28 laps

4.  Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault – 1:30.381  +0.756s – 41 laps

5.  Jenson Button – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:30.510  +0.885s – 33 laps

6.  Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull-Renault – 1:30.538  +0.913s – 38 laps

7.  Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:30.898s  +1.273 – 32 laps

8.  Valtteri Bottas – Williams-Mercedes – 1:30.920  +1.295s – 38 laps

9.  Kevin Magnussen – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:31.031  +1.406s – 34 laps

10.  Nico Hulkenberg – Force India-Mercedes – 1:31.054  +1.429s – 33 laps

11.  Jean-Eric Vergne – Toro Rosso-Renault – 1:31.060  +1.435s – 35 laps

12.  Felipe Massa – Williams-Mercedes – 1:31.119  +1.494s – 31 laps

13.  Sergio Perez – Force India-Mercedes – 1:31.283  +1.658s – 36 laps

14.  Adrian Sutil – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:32.355  +2.730s – 36 laps

15.  Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:32.468  +2.843s – 26 laps

16.  Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso-Renault – 1:32.495  +2.870s – 36 laps

17.  Jules Bianchi – Marussia-Ferrari – 1:33.486  +3.861s – 29 laps

18.  Romain Grosjean – Lotus-Renault – 1:33.646  +4.021s – 12 laps

19.  Max Chilton – Marussia-Ferrari – 1:34.757  +5.132s – 29 laps

20.  Marcus Ericsson – Caterham-Renault – No time set – 1 lap

21.  Pastor Maldonado – Lotus-Renault – No time set – No laps completed

22.  Kamui Kobayashi – Caterham-Renault – No time set – No laps completed

Image courtesy of Daimler

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