Rosberg and Mercedes fastest at free practices
There was a lot of excitement at Formula 1 season opening at Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne. Mercedes confirmed what was known – champion still has fastest cars, but the other teams are more or less well suited for the race on Sunday.
First free practice went smoothly. Nico Rosberg in Mercedes set the pace and finished it with the best lap time – 1:29.557. His team mate and champion Lewis Hamilton was just 0. 029 seconds slower but much more faster thah Valteri Bottas. Finn driver in Williams had thrd best time – 1:30.748.
Toro Rosso rookies impressed at first free practice. Against all the expectations, Carlos Sainz had fourth best time, while Max Verstappen had sixth time. Between them was Sebastian Vettel in Ferrari who recovered from a slide onto the dirth towards the end of the session.
Second 90 minutes session has begun with a little drama. Williams discovered water leak on Felipe Massa’s car, after first session and exit the Brazilian to repair his car. Local hero Daniel Ricciardo stayed in garage after Renault engine in his car needed changing.
Romain Grosjean spun his Lotus, possibly pushing too hard to make up for lost time after his problem with hydraulic leak in first free practice. His team mate Pastor Maldonado also had a problem, later complaining abotu loss of power.
Kevin Magnussen in his fourth lap had a crash after he had wrong approach at turn 6. The left-front suspension of his McLaren was damaged, and there was a seven minute delay as the stricken car was recovered.
Ferrari’s duo of Vettel and Raikonen set the pace in FP2 with Lewis Hamilton between them, while Rosberg complained about his DRS being inoperable. Turning point of this session was when both Mercedes’ switched from medium to soft tyres. Rosberg then again was fastest leaving Hamilton on second, while Vettel and Raikonen stayed behind them.
Besides Ricciardo and Massa, neither Marussia appeared at FP2 as their software match-up problems continued, but Sauber finally had both of their cars out as their legal problems ground on in the background.
Free Practice 2 full results:
- Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:27.697
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:27.797
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:28.412
- Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:28.842
- Valteri Bottas (Williams) 1:29.265
- Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull) 1:30: 016
- Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso) 1:30. 071
- Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) 1:3104
- Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 1:30.205
- Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) 1:30.473
- Felipe Nasr (Sauber) 1:30.755
- Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:30.980
- Jenson Button (McLaren) 1:31.387
- Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:31.395
- Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) 1:32.303
- Kevin Magnusen (McLaren) 1:33.289