Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton ended the second practice session for Sunday’s season opening Australian Grand Prix fastest. The triple world champion sat out the majority of the session as the weather conditions played havoc on track.
When he did emerge he set a benchmark time of 1m 38.841s ending just 0.467s ahead of the Sahara Force India of Nico Hulkenberg in second place while Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who ended his session 0.645s behind Hamilton. The Iceman certainly appears to have the SF16H to his liking.
Local favourite Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest for Red Bull Racing ending the afternoon just ahead of Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso who suffered a fuel system problem this morning.
McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button had a great session as the pair ended the day in sixth and seventh place respectively.
Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was eighth fastest just ahead of Sergio Perez in the Force India VJM09. Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top in the second Red Bull RB12.
It was an encouraging afternoon session for the Haas F1 Team who ended the day with Esteban Gutierrez in eleventh place while Romain Grosjean was 13th fastest with Manor Racing’s Pascal Werhlein splitting the VF16’s in 12th place.
Rio Haryanto in the second Manor ended the session in 14th place while Mercedes Nico Rosberg was forced to sit out most of the session after hitting the wall and breaking his front wing. The FIA requested that the German stop his car at the side of the track as he attempted to return to the pits.
Rosberg was the last driver to set a time of 1m 47.356s. Williams Martini Racing’s Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas did one lap each at the end of the session as the Grove based outfit decided that as it is expected to be dry tomorrow that they would not run during the wet session.