Hamilton Recovers From Missed Running To Lead Mercedes 1-2 In Second Practice

Lewis Hamilton recovered from his morning difficulties to take the top spot during the second Free Practice session ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

The Briton, who is favourite for the Championship, stopped after just four minutes in the morning session, with a problem that was later identified as a sensor failure. Despite the lost time, he threw in his challenge for pole position in the afternoon by grabbing the top time, 0.157 ahead of his team-mate, Nico Rosberg.

Fernando Alonso, who was the quickest man in the opening session, was the next man down the order, taking third for Ferrari. While Alonso’s day was pretty straight forward, Kimi Raikkonen in the sister car suffered a gearbox issue in the pitlane. The Finn was lining up in the pitlane to do a practice start with Alonso waiting behind him, however, the ’07 Champion simply couldn’t engage first gear. Ferrari mechanics ran up to him and rolled him back to the garage and he was back out on track after a fifteen minute stint in the garage. He finished the session in seventh.

Sebastian Vettel was fourth for Red Bull and seems to be in a much stronger position that they appeared to be in pre-season testing. Daniel Ricciardo, in the other RB10, was sixth at his home Grand Prix. “Friday was good – we got a lot of laps done,” Ricciardo said post-session. “The guys are happy. The performance doesn’t seem as slow as we thought”.

Jenson Button was in between the Red Bull’s and finished in fifth, looking like McLaren could be running with a much improved car. Valtteri Bottas was eighth for Williams, who finished surprisingly low as their pre-season pace suggested that they would be right behind, if not ahead of, Mercedes. Indeed, Felipe Massa finished a low 12th, in contrast to the third and fourth that Bottas and Massa secured in the opening session respectively.

Kevin Magnussen was ninth for McLaren and doing a good job with familiarising himself with the car, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg filling out the top ten. The German spun under braking with five minutes left on the clock and beached his VJM-07. At the same time, ironically, Romain Grosjean suffered some sort of brakes failure and spun into the gravel at turn six, and he too became beached in the gravel. He finished the day down in a miserable eighteenth.

Jean-Eric Vergne was eleventh for Toro Rosso and had a straight-forward day, especially in comparison to his rookie team-mate who spent more time acting as a rolling roadblock and not checking his mirrors – at one point forcing Hamilton to stand on the brakes as the Russian weaved in front of him on an off-lap. The Russian, 19, is the youngest driver on the grid and also the first man to go straight from GP3 to Formula One. He ended the day in sixteenth.

Sergio Perez was twelfth for Force India, followed by the Sauber duo of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez who finished a tenth apart in fourteenth and fifteenth respectively. Jules Bianchi finished seventeenth for Marussia and got a solid day running under his belt. Like Bianchi, his team-mate Max Chilton set 29 laps. In stark contrast, Marussia’s rivals, Caterham, failed to run a single lap: Marcus Ericsson discovered a hydraulics issue on his installation lap while Kamui Kobayashi’s car had its engine removed following a fuel issue in Free Practice 1. This leaves Ericsson’s lap total from today at two laps, with no laps for Kobayashi.

Pastor Maldonado was twenty-second, and last, as his technical issues from the morning session spilled over into the afternoon and left the Venezuelan watching his mechanics tinkering with his car.

Session results:

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Nico Rosberg
  3. Fernando Alonso
  4. Sebastian Vettel
  5. Jenson Button
  6. Daniel Ricciardo
  7. Kimi Raikkonen
  8. Valtteri Bottas
  9. Kevin Magnussen
  10. Nico Hulkenberg
  11. Jean-Eric Vergne
  12. Felipe Massa
  13. Sergio Perez
  14. Adrian Sutil
  15. Esteban Gutierrez
  16. Daniil Kvyat
  17. Jules Bianchi
  18. Romain Grosjean
  19. Max Chilton
  20. Marcus Ericsson (NT)
  21. Kamui Kobayashi (NT)
  22. Pastor Maldonado (NT)
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One response to “Hamilton Recovers From Missed Running To Lead Mercedes 1-2 In Second Practice

  1. Pingback: Red Bull ‘Very Happy’ Ahead Of Qualifying | Ben Sweeney's F1 Blog

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