Lewis Hamilton has again topped the timesheets in another rain-hit practice session, finishing just under half a second to Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg. By contrast, the session was a disaster for Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg, who crashed out of the session.
Kimi Räikkönen posted a 1:39.486 to finish in third position, six-tenths of a second off Hamilton’s pace.
Thirty minutes into the session and the track was still very wet when Rosberg exited Turn 8 and skated into the wall, smashing nose first into the barriers which knocked the front wing off. The German tried to crawl back to the pits with the nose somehow still attached, but Mercedes advised that he park the car to avoid risking further damage.
There was a brief Virtual Safety Car period while Rosberg’s stricken Mercedes was retrieved from the side of the circuit, then the session resumed with Carlos Sainz Jr sitting in P1 over 1.6 seconds faster than Daniil Kvyat.
Rosberg’s accident exhibited the reason why there was no track action for the first 15 minutes of the session, as no team wants to risk having a shunt when the rest of the weekend’s conditions appear to be dry.
Fernando Alonso finished a strong session sixth for McLaren, while teammate Jenson Button was a position behind in seventh. The pair had a trouble free session completing a combined 32 laps, with Alonso briefly holding the fastest time of the session until Räikkönen demoted him.
Several drivers spent more than half of the session in the garage as there was little to be learned on the wet track. Hamilton was among the six drivers to not set a time until the last 30 minutes of the session.
Those not bothering to set a time at all included the two Williams drivers of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson, and Max Verstappen from Toro Rosso. The latter didn’t venture out onto the circuit during the entire session.
Both Red Bull Racing drivers finished the second practice session in the top ten, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth and leading his teammate Kvyat in tenth.
|2016 FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE 2 RESULTS|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Result||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid||1:38.841||6|
|2.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09||+ 0.467||8|
|3.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H||+ 0.645||7|
|4.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12||+ 0.694||9|
|5.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11||+ 0.853||16|
|6.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren-Honda MP4-31||+ 1.054||16|
|7.||Jenson Button||McLaren-Honda MP4-31||+ 1.167||13|
|8.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H||+ 1.920||7|
|9.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09||+ 2.415||8|
|10.||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12||+ 3.570||10|
|11.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16||+ 4.050||10|
|12.||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5||+ 4.560||24|
|13.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16||+ 4.890||8|
|14.||Rio Haryanto||Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5||+ 5.463||22|
|15.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid||+ 8.515||4|
|16.||Kevin Magnussen||Renault Sport F1 Team RS16||no time||2|
|17.||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team RS16||no time||5|
|18.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38||no time||2|
|19.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38||no time||2|
|20.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35||no time||0|
|21.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35||no time||0|
|22.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11||no time||0|
Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1
Image via George Hitchens Photography