Home OPEN WHEEL FORMULA 1 FP2 – Hamilton maintains his early advantage

FP2 – Hamilton maintains his early advantage

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Mercedes continued to enjoy the upper hand in Friday afternoon’s second practice session in Australia, as Lewis Hamilton lapped more than half a second faster than Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to top the timesheet once more.

PRACTICE TWO RESULTS

1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:23.620 34
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:24.167 +0.547s 35
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:24.176 +0.556s 34
4 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:24.525 +0.905s 30
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:24.650 +1.030s 27
6 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:25.013 +1.393s 8
7 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 1:25.084 +1.464s 34
8 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:25.436 +1.816s 29
9 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:25.478 +1.858s 36
10 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO 1:25.493 +1.873s 39
11 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:25.591 +1.971s 35
12 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 1:26.000 +2.380s 19
13 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:26.145 +2.525s 37
14 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:26.331 +2.711s 6
15 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:26.498 +2.878s 29
16 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:26.525 +2.905s 27
17 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 1:26.608 +2.988s 33
18 94 Pascal Wehrlein SAUBER FERRARI 1:26.919 +3.299s 30
19 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:27.279 +3.659s 8
20 30 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 1:27.549 +3.929s 4

Having looked mighty quick on the soft tyres, Hamilton slashed 0.6s off his FP1 best when the field switched to ultrasofts, smashing his 2016 pole position time in the process. Vettel couldn’t match the Mercedes driver in dipping below 1m 24s, but managed to split the Silver Arrows after edging Valtteri Bottas by 0.009s.

Kimi Raikkonen looked a little scruffier than his team mate in the second SF70H, but was the only other driver to get within a second of Hamilton’s marker.

Red Bull lost ground from FP1 as they slipped to fifth and sixth. Home favourite Daniel Ricciardo finished just ahead of Max Verstappen, the Dutchman one of several drivers to survive an off-track moment when he ran very wide over the grass and gravel at Turn 12 but kept his RB13 out of the barriers.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was less lucky, losing the rear of his Renault at the final corner just before the end of the first half hour and bringing out the red flags as hit the wall and rebounded back onto the track.

When running resumed, Felipe Massa’s Williams soon ground to a halt at Turn 10 with gear selection problems, the Brazilian having earlier shown impressive pace on the supersofts. Kevin Magnussen also hit technical trouble with his Haas developing an apparent water pressure issue, while Marcus Ericsson’s session came to a premature end when he oversteered off the road and into the gravel at Turn 6 in the latter stages.

Behind the expected front three teams, the upper midfield was as close as predicted, with Carlos Sainz an excellent seventh for Toro Rosso, ahead of Haas’s Romain Grosjean, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Sainz’s team mate Daniil Kvyat. Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon struggled a little in their newly liveried Force Indias, sandwiching Fernando Alonso’s McLaren, which ran reliably to P12 and was not as bad as the pessimists had expected.

Williams rookie Lance Stroll kept out of trouble and amassed mileage in the wake of his team mate’s demise, while Stoffel Vandoorne bagged a similarly valuable haul of laps in the second McLaren.

Right now the advantage appears to lie with Mercedes – or at least with Hamilton – but it remains to be seen whether Ferrari have anything left in their locker as far as qualifying is concerned.

Source: F1.com

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David Martin-Janiak Motorsports has always been a passion for me, I've raced in Karting and now I have my own Motorsports news website, so i can help other racers convey their passion to the world!

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