Friday, Mar 15 07:36pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Lewis Hamilton quickest again in FP2 for Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG have ended day one of the Australian Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.


Hamilton clocked a 1:22.600 on the soft compound tyre. Both he and Bottas completed 33 laps of the Albert Park circuit. It’s an encouraging start for Hamilton who is vying for his sixth consecutive pole position in Melbourne, though he has only won it once from pole in 2015. His only other win at the circuit came in 2008 in his second season at McLaren.


Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Peirre Gasly were third and fourth in the order, but nearly a second adrift of Mercedes. Eight tenths separated Hamilton and lead Red Bull driver Verstappen, which will perhaps be a worry for the trailing teams.


Having been second quickest and only a few hundredths off Hamilton in Free Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel was only fourth in Free Practice 2. However, whether Red Bull or Ferrari have decided to sandbag the opening day of the weekend remains to be seen.


Kimi Räikkönen was once again on the fringe of the top five with the sixth fastest time. After issues in the first practice session, Renault duo Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo managed to set times good enough for seventh and eighth.


Chales Leclerc ended the session in ninth at his new home Ferrari. His session was punctuated by a spin with to minutes to go at Turn 4. Romain Grosjean rounded out the top 10 for Haas.


Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Free Practice 2
Pos   Driver Team Laps   Time Diff
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 33 1'22.600    
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes 33 1'22.648 0.048
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull 33 1'23.400 0.800
4 France Pierre Gasly  Red Bull 31 1'23.442 0.842
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 35 1'23.473 0.873
6 Finland Kimi Raikkonen  Alfa Romeo 40 1'23.572 0.972
7 Germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault 37 1'23.574 0.974
8 Australia Daniel Ricciardo  Renault 31 1'23.644 1.044
9 Monaco Charles Leclerc  Ferrari 35 1'23.754 1.154
10 France Romain Grosjean  Haas 37 1'23.814 1.214
11 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat  Toro Rosso 36 1'23.933 1.333
12 Denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas 27 1'23.988 1.388
13 Canada Lance Stroll  Racing Point   38 1'24.011 1.411
14 Spain Carlos Sainz McLaren 26 1'24.133 1.533
15 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi    Alfa Romeo 37 1'24.293 1.693
16 Mexico Sergio Perez  Racing Point 34 1'24.401 1.801
17 Thailand Alex Albon  Toro Rosso 40 1'24.675 2.075
18 United Kingdom Lando Norris  McLaren 26 1'24.733 2.133
19 United Kingdom George Russell  Williams 32 1'26.453 3.853
20 Poland Robert Kubica  Williams 33 1'26.655 4.055