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.