Hamilton recovers to take top spot in second practice

Mercedes driver shakes off morning stoppage to head timesheet in FP2, ahead of team-mate Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton recovered from a disastrous opening session in Melbourne to record the fastest lap of second practice ahead of this weekend’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver stopped on track just five minutes into the first session with a sensor problem and prior to the start of the second session had not set a timed lap.

That changed though and the 2008 champion eventually managed 37 laps in the afternoon, donning soft tyres in the second half of the session to post a time of 1:29.625. That was good enough to move ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg by 0.157s as the German marque continued the good form shown in testing.

Behind the Mercedes duo Ferrari's Fernando Alonso ended the day in third position, half-a-second off Hamilton.

It was a positive second session too for Red Bull Racing. In the opening session, the team had posted 36 laps in total and the team more doubled that tally in late afternoon with Sebastian Vettel posting 41 laps on his way to fourth place on the timesheet and Daniel Ricciardo adding 38 laps to his total. The Australian ended the day in sixth place, behind McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Kimi Raikkonen ended the day in seventh place, although the Finn’s running was interrupted by a gearbox problem as preparing for a practice start at the end of the pit lane.

While Red Bull Racing had a solid outing, other Renault-powered teams were not so fortunate. Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi was sidelined in the first session by a fuel system problem and that persisted through session two leaving him stranded in the garage for the entire day. Marcus Ericsson did manage to take to the circuit but a hydraulics problem forced him back to the garage for the remainder of the session.

Lotus, too, had a bad day. After failing to record a timed lap in the opening session the team had a similarly tough second period. Pastor Maldonado was sent out but didn’t make it out of the pit lane before he was halted by a suspected ERS problem. Romain Grosjean did get out on track and managed to get in some timed laps, though his best was a 1:33.646, four seconds off the pace. He then had an off late in the session to round out a difficult day for the team.

2014 Australian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.625 37
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:29.782 +0.157 31
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:30.132 +0.507 28
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:30.381 +0.756 41
5 Jenson Button McLaren 1:30.510 +0.885 33
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:30.538 +0.913 38
7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:30.898 +1.273 32
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:30.920 +1.295 38
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:31.031 +1.406 34
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:31.054 +1.429 33
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:31.060 +1.435 35
12 Felipe Massa Williams 1:31.119 +1.494 31
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1:31.283 +1.658 36
14 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:32.355 +2.730 36
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:32.468 +2.843 26
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:32.495 +2.870 36
17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:33.486 +3.861 29
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:33.646 +4.021 12
19 Max Chilton Marussia 1:34.757 +5.132 29
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham No time 1
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham No time 0
22 Pastor Maldonado Lotus No time 0