Australian GP

Hamilton in league of one in second free practice

Lewis Hamilton maintained his advantage at the head of the field during the second free practice session for the 2017 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The British three time World Champion ended the session half a second faster than the rest of the field, with Mercedes not having it all their own way. Despite Hamilton setting a 1:23.6 on the ultrasoft tyre, Ferrari were back on the pace splitting the two Mercedes, ahead of Bottas by just nine thousandths of a second. Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth, but was another four tenths back in the second Ferrari.

After impressing in the first session, predictably Red Bull fell back from the leaders. Daniel Ricciardo was a tenth behind Raikkonen in fifth, but Verstappen was one of a number of drivers to have an off track excursion to finish in sixth, and was three and a half tenths back on his teammate.

Once again there was a tight battle in the midfield pack, this time with Carlos Sainz leading that group and just a tenth behind the sister Red Bull team. The new Toro Rosso benefitting from the same Renault engine as the Red Bull team, with teammate Daniil Kvyat also rounding out the top ten. They were sandwiching the same two drivers in the top ten as the first session – the Haas of Romain Grosjean, and Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.

McLaren were the surprise of the session, Fernando Alonso finishing the session in 12th – a similar place to what he was used to last season in the Honda powered car, with new teammate Stoffel Vandoorne also putting in the mileage in 17th.

A number of drivers hit problems though, quite literally in the case of Jolyon Palmer who caused a red flag when crashing at the final corner in his Renault. After impressing in the first practice session, Felipe Massa had gear selection problems and Kevin Magnussen had a water pressure problem. Marcus Ericsson also found himself in the gravel, ending his session early.

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 1m23.620s 34
2 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 1m24.167s 0.547s 35
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 1m24.176s 0.556s 34
4 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 1m24.525s 0.905s 30
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1m24.650s 1.030s 27
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1m25.013s 1.393s 8
7 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1m25.084s 1.464s 34
8 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1m25.436s 1.816s 29
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1m25.478s 1.858s 36
10 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1m25.493s 1.873s 39
11 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1m25.591s 1.971s 35
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1m26.000s 2.380s 19
13 Esteban Ocon Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1m26.145s 2.525s 37
14 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1m26.331s 2.711s 6
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1m26.498s 2.878s 29
16 Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1m26.525s 2.905s 27
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1m26.608s 2.988s 33
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1m26.919s 3.299s 30
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1m27.279s 3.659s 8
20 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1m27.549s 3.929s 4

About the author

Ashley Quint

Ashley founded the Purple Sector website back in 2012, later renamed to SpeedMajor which now covers both Formula 1 and Formula E. As well as writing on Formula 1, Ashley also works within the world of luxury travel and was a finalist in the Aspire Travel Trade Writer of the Year competition in 2013.

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