Lewis Hamilton was fastest in a rain-hit second free practice session for Sunday’s Australian grand prix.
Rain kept the drivers in their garages for more than an hour of the session and it was only in the last 15 minutes of the session where the Albert Park track in Melbourne was considered dry enough to set competitive lap times.
Hamilton swapped places with his McLaren team mate Jenson Button for top spot and eventually came out on top by more than a quarter of a second. Mark Webber (Red Bull) and Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) were just behind the two Brits after impressing with late runs.
Schumacher was faster than team mate Nico Rosberg, who could only manage the 10th fastest time of the session. Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were 15th and 17th respectively having missed out on the dry window.
Lotus came out on top in the battle of the new teams: Heikki Kovalainen managed the 18th fastest time of the session and was faster than Jaime Alguersuari in the Toro Rosso. The two Virgin drivers Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi both struggled with problems, while HRT’s Karun Chandhok managed only 200 yards before his session ended with a gearbox failure.
His team mate Bruno Senna didn’t turn a wheel.
In the day’s first session, Renault’s Robert Kubica set the fastest time ahead of Rosberg and Button.
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.8012. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.076 +0.2753. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:26.248 +0.4474. Schumacher Mercedes 1:26.511 +0.7105. Petrov Renault 1:26.732 +0.9316. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:26.832 +1.0317. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:26.834 +1.0338. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:26.835 +1.0349. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:26.904 +1.10310. Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.956 +1.15511. Kubica Renault 1:27.108 +1.30712. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.108 +1.30713. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.455 +1.65414. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:27.545 +1.74415. Alonso Ferrari 1:29.025 +3.22416. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:29.134 +3.333 17. Massa Ferrari 1:29.591 +3.79018. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:29.860 +4.05919. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.510 +4.70920. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:30.695 +4.89421. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:32.117 +6.316 22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth23. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth24. Senna HRT-Cosworth