Hamilton leads, Rosberg crashes in second Australian GP practice


Lewis Hamilton continued to lead the way for Mercedes AMG Petronas in practice for the Australian Grand Prix by topping the second session on Friday evening in Melbourne.

Just as in FP1, FP2 was blighted by changing weather conditions throughout the session, starting in the damp after rain fell during the afternoon.

Although the track did dry to some extent in the session, it never become clear enough to allow for slick running.

A late shower forced drivers stop remain on the intermediate tire, sending them into Saturday with very little dry running completed.

Hamilton managed to lead the way once again for Mercedes, making the most of the drier conditions on the intermediate tire to post a lap time of 1:38.841, handing him P1 for the second session in a row.

It proved to be a practice to forget for Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg. The German driver lost control of his car under acceleration at Turn 5, spearing into the wall and breaking the new front wing on his car that had only been attached to his car ahead of FP2.

Rosberg tried to return to the pits, but was forced to stop at the side of the track following a request by the FIA, leaving him 15th come the end of the session and with plenty of track time to make up on Saturday.

Nico Hulkenberg continued Force India’s strong start to the race weekend by finishing second ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. After failing to set a time in FP1, Sebastian Vettel managed to get out on track in the second Ferrari, but ultimately finished eighth-fastest.

Daniel Ricciardo ended the session fourth for Red Bull, leading Toro Rosso youngster Carlos Sainz Jr. After leading early on, Fernando Alonso eventually faded to P6 ahead of teammate Jenson Button. Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10.

Once again, Haas enjoyed a quiet but solid session as Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean continued to get to grips with the VF-16 car. Gutierrez finished the session 11th, while Grosjean split the Manor duo of Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto in 13th.