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.
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