Melbourne, FP2: Hamilton heads Mercedes 1-2 in second practice

Verstappen 3rd and Gasly 4th


By Olivier Ferret

15 March 2019 - 07:33
Melbourne, FP2: Hamilton heads (...)

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of second practice for the Australian Grand Prix, beating Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with the defending champion team followed by the drivers of Red Bull and Ferrari.

Hamilton claimed the top spot on the yellow-banded C2 medium compound on offer from Pirelli this weekend. The lap arrived midway through the 90-minute session and eventually left the five-time champion 0.048s clear of Bottas.

Behind the Mercedes duo, Max Verstappen was third fastest for Honda-powered Red Bull, though the Dutchman was 0.8s slower than Hamilton, after delaying his performance run until the late stages of the session.

Verstappen’s time of 1:23.400 put him four hundredths of a second clear of new team-mate Pierre Gasly.

Ferrari, who saw Sebastian Vettel take P2 in the morning with a deficit of less than four hundredths of a second to Hamilton, had a more difficult second session both drivers complaining of handling issues.

Vettel bolted on a set of red banded C3 Pirellis, the softest on offer at Albert Park later in the session and clawed his way to fifth place 0.873s off Hamilton. Team-mate Charles Leclerc finished the session in ninth place 0.281s behind Vettel. The Monegasque driver also had a spin during the session, losing control at the exit of Turn 4. The incident was a minor one, however, and he was able to continue on his way.

As in the morning session, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was best-of-the-rest in sixth place, 0.972 behind Hamilton and just two thousands of a second clear of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg. The German driver ended the session 0.070s ahead of his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

The top 10 order was completed by Haas’ Romain Grosjean who finished 1.214 off the P1 pace.

01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W10 1:22.600 33
02 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W10 1:22.648 33
03 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB15 1:23.400 33
04 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Honda RB15 1:23.442 31
05 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF90 1:23.473 35
06 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:23.572 40
07 Nico Hülkenberg Renault RS19 1:23.574 37
08 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS19 1:23.644 31
09 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 1:23.754 35
10 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:23.814 37
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:23.933 36
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:23.988 27
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:24.011 38
14 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL34 1:24.133 26
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:24.293 37
16 Sergio Pérez Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:24.401 34
17 Alex Albon Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:24.675 40
18 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL34 1:24.733 26
19 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW42 1:26.453 32
20 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes FW42 1:26.655 33

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