Australian GP: Hamilton stays on top in FP2 as Rosberg crashes

Lewis Hamilton stayed on top of the times in a damp second practice for the Australian Grand Prix, as teammate Nico Rosberg crashed early on.

With poor track conditions due to the rain, Hamilton spent most of the session in the garage, but the world champion needed just one lap to post the best time of the session - 1m38.841s.

The world champion, quickest in the morning as well, finished nearly half a second clear of his closest rival despite completing just seven laps.

Mercedes teammate Rosberg, meanwhile, wound up near the bottom of the times after crashing against the wall in the tricky conditions early in the session.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg was second fastest, 0.467 seconds behind Hamilton, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in third.

In another session without too much running, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz completed the top five.

All the times were set with intermediate tyres.

Story of the session

The weather did not improve compared to the morning session, and the running kicked off on a wet track after heavy rain in between the two sessions.

It took nearly 20 minutes for a driver to leave the garage, Ricciardo the first man to hit the track in the intermediate-shod Red Bull.

The local hero was the first man to register a time before coming back to the pits

The action intensified quickly and several drivers took to the track at once, but it all came to a sudden stop when Rosberg lost control of his Mercedes under acceleration at Turn 7.

Rosberg's car hit the wall with the new, shorter nose Mercedes was trying for the first time and which wound up destroyed. The German had to stop on track to avoid causing more damage to the car as the front wing got stuck underneath the Mercedes.

The crash triggered a virtual safety car period.

Fernando Alonso set the pace when the action resumed, the McLaren driver running in the 1m39s to lead the field by over a second.

He was then outpaced first by compatriot Sainz and moments later by Raikkonen, who put the Ferrari on top, still running on intermediate tyres, after the halfway point.

Hamilton waited until the final 25 minutes before jumping onto the track, the Mercedes driver moving to the top of the times by over six tenths of a second despite running on used intermediates.

Hulkenberg closed the gap with less than 20 minutes to go, moving to second place in the Force India.

The rain hit the track again with 10 minutes to go, meaning not a single lap on slicks was seen in the 90 minutes of running.

Pos Driver  Team  Time  Gap   Laps 
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'38.841   7
Nico Hülkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1'39.308 0.467 8
Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1'39.486 0.645 7
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1'39.535 0.694 9
Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1'39.694 0.853 16
Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1'39.895 1.054 16
Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1'40.008 1.167 13
Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1'40.761 1.920 7
Sergio Pérez Force India/Mercedes 1'41.256 2.415 8
10  Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1'42.411 3.570 10
11  E.Gutiérrez Haas/Ferrari 1'42.891 4.050 10
12  Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1'43.401 4.560 25
13  Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1'43.731 4.890 8
14  Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1'44.304 5.463 22
15  Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1'47.356 8.515 4
Kevin Magnussen Renault   - 2
Jolyon Palmer Renault   - 5
Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes   - 2
Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes   - 2

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Australian GP
Sub-event Friday practice 2
Track Albert Park Circuit
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Article type Practice report