Mercedes remains on top – FP2 Report

Australian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton once again topped free practice with the Mercedes pace looking strong for the rest of the weekend.

The fastest times from the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were set on the supersoft tyre, with Hamilton registering a 1:23.620 to enjoy a half-second advantage over his team-mate.

The Silver Arrows were split by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who set a time on the ultrasoft tyre to narrowly edge ahead of Bottas.

The other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was the only other driver to fall within one second of Hamilton’s best effort.

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen finished in fifth and sixth respectively. Verstappen’s day ended slightly early following an off on the exit of turn twelve, appearing to cause some floor damage.

Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Romain Grosjean (Haas), Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) ended the session in the top ten.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer crashed on the exit of the final corner part-way through the session. He spun mid-corner and smashed the rear of the car into the wall, bringing out the red flags.

Shortly after the session restarted, Felipe Massa stopped his Williams at turn ten after radioing the team with a gearbox problem.

Many drivers were pushing and making errors as they completed extended running of the ultra-soft tyre, with Romain Grosjean (Haas), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) all finding the limits of adhesion.

Marcus Ericsson ended his day in the gravel trap with little over five minutes of the session remaining. The Sauber driver spun on entry into turn six and beached the car, causing the virtual safety car to be used.

To view the results of the second free practice session, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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