Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton kept himself ahead in FP2 of F1 Australian GP at Albert Park from teammate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.
It was a more sedate second free practice session in a sunny Melbourne with the teams getting valuable laps under their belt to prepare for the Australian GP qualifying and race with Hamilton (1m22.600s) keeping himself ahead of pack.
The British driver ended up only 0.048s ahead of teammate Bottas (1m22.648s) with the Finn showcasing an improved performance from FP1. A different programme saw Red Bull’s Verstappen (1m23.400s) with a late lap to third.
The Dutchman was held up initially by Alfa Romeo Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi which cost him his first quick lap in the qualifying trim but he still managed to pip teammate Pierre Gasly (1m23.442s), who focused hugely on the race run.
The Ferrari drivers seemed to be holding back with Sebastian Vettel (1m23.473s) in fifth and Charles Leclerc (1m23.754s) only ninth in the order – the duo not going hugely quick in their qualifying trim but Leclerc had a scare towards the end with a 360 spin.
Continuing on from FP1, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen (1m23.572s) was sixth with the Renault duo Nico Hulkenberg (1m23.574s) and Daniel Ricciardo (1m23.644s) in seventh and eighth, while Haas’ Romain Grosjean (1m23.814s) rounded out the Top 10.
The Australian got into the groove after a low-key FP1. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat (1m23.933s) was 11th which included an off-moment at Turn 15, the same corner which caught out teammate Alexander Albon and even Giovinazzi.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (1m23.988s) slotted in 12th with Racing Point’s Lance Stroll (1m24.011s) doing a good job to be 13th ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz (1m24.133s) and Giovinazzi (1m24.293s) in Top 15.
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez (1m24.401s) ended up behind on his teammate in 16th with Albon (1m24.675s) 17th ahead of his F2 rivals McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m24.733s) and Williams’ George Russell (1m26.453s) with Robert Kubica (1m25.655s) rounding the field.
Here’s what happened in FP1