Hamilton Leads The Way Down Under

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes photo)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes photo)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes photo)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes set the fastest lap of one minute and 29.625 seconds during the second Formula One practice of the season Friday afternoon at Albert Park.

Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg was just a tick behind at one minute and 29.782 seconds.

“It really was a day of two halves today,” Hamilton said. “While it was disappointing to not get any track time this morning, these little hiccups are going to happen with the new cars and we’ll have to get used to that.

“It felt like I was on the back foot from there but then we got up to pace quite quickly in P2 and found the balance relatively fast. I feel quite comfortable in the car so overall it’s a positive start but we need to look at the data now and understand where we are. We got a nice foundation for the weekend in the second session today so hopefully we can build on that in P3 tomorrow afternoon and then see where we are in qualifying.”

Sauber’s Adrian Sutil, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne, Williams’ Felipe Massa, teammate Valtteri Bottas, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Rosberg all had turns being fastest as teams ran the medium Pirelli tire, before Daniel Ricciardo redefined the ante for Red Bull on softs. He in turn was deposed by Rosberg before Hamilton pushed ahead.

Fernando Alonso, fastest in FP1, was third for Ferrari with a one minute and 30.132-second lap, while Sebastian Vettel was an encouraging fourth for Red Bull.
There was further encouragement, too, for McLaren as Jenson Button was fifth, ahead of Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari.