Lewis Hamilton has bounced back from failing to turn a lap in the opening practice session at Albert Park to lead a Mercedes 1-2 in Friday’s second practice session for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The Englishman clocked a fastest time of 1:29.625 to edge out teammate Nico Rosberg by 0.157 seconds, with the opening session’s pace-setter, Fernando Alonso, half a second adrift in third.

Rosberg headed the timesheets early on and remained in that position after briefly switching from the Medium to the Soft Pirelli compound tyres on offer. A longer run later in the session saw his lap times consistently hover around the 1m33s range – with Hamilton showing similar long run pace after managing a fractionally quicker hot lap than his teammate.

The analysis of the longer tyre runs in this session proved interesting. The best Alonso managed was a 1:34.630 during this phase, while teammate Kimi Räikkönen was a further 1.3 seconds down on the Spaniard over a similar length run. Both Red Bull drivers hovered in the mid-1m34s range, with their fastest times in the session ensuring they rounded out the top six, sandwiching Jenson Button’s McLaren, which was fifth-fastest and did not run on the Soft compound tyres at all.

Nico Hulkenberg showed good pace over long runs

Nico Hulkenberg showed good pace over long runs

Williams gained time on the stopwatch but lost positions on the timesheets. Valtteri Bottas ran an 18-lap stint in the 1m34s bracket, while Felipe Massa (twelfth-fastest overall) did a single twenty-lap burst in the 1m35s range.

Kevin Magnussen finished as the best-placed rookie in ninth, while Nico Hülkenberg rounded out the top ten in his Force India, although he had a spin into the Turn 9 gravel in the final five minutes of play.

The Toro Rosso duo of  Jean-Éric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat again provided most of the off-track moments as their braking issues continued, while Sergio Pérez and the two Saubers of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutiérrez also had their own moments – the latter was lucky to avoid a collision with Sebastian Vettel after an appalling piece of driving with the German through Turns 1 and 2.

The Marussia duo of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton put a race distance between them, while Lotus’ Romain Grosjean put in his first laps of the day after missing FP1, although his day was brought to a close when he crashed the evil-handling E22 at Turn 6 after an apparent brake issue turned him into the braking markers approaching the corner.

His teammate Pastor Maldonado didn’t manage any running in what was a hugely frustrating day for the team, and both Caterham drivers suffered a similar fate: Marcus Ericsson managed a single installation lap (taking his tally for the day to two tours) before being his with an hydraulics failure, while teammate Kamui Kobayashi didn’t leave the garage after a fuel system issue was detected on his CT05.

Saturday’s final practice session gets underway at 2:00pm local time (GMT +11) before qualifying kicks off at 5:00pm.

2014 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Results:

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:29.625 37
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:29.782 + 0.157 31
3. Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:30.381 + 0.507 28
4. Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:30.510 + 0.756 41
5. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:30.538 + 0.885 33
6. Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:30.538 + 0.913 38
7. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:30.898 + 1.273 32
8. Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:30.920 + 1.295 38
9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:31.031 + 1.406 34
10. Nico Hülkenberg Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:31.054 + 1.429 33
11. Jean-Éric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:31.060 + 1.435 35
12. Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:31.119 + 1.494 31
13. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:31.283 + 1.658 36
14. Adrian Sutil Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:32.355 + 2.730 36
15. Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:32.468 + 2.843 26
16. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:32.495 + 2.870 36
17. Jules Bianchi Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:33.486 + 3.861 29
18. Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:33.646 + 4.021 12
19. Max Chilton Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:34.757 + 5.132 29
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 no time 1
21. Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 no time 0
22. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 no time 0

Images via FOM and Sutton Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.