F1: Hamilton sets pace in rain-hit Australian GP practice

    Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets in rain-interrupted practice sessions as the 2016 Formula 1 season got under way with the Australian Grand Prix.

    Published On Mar 18, 2016 12:39:00 PM

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    F1: Hamilton sets pace in rain-hit Australian GP practice

    Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets in rain-interrupted practice sessions as the 2016 Formula 1 season got under way with the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne's Albert Park.

    In practice one, the reigning world champion clocked a 1m29s.725s for Mercedes, 0.421 seconds quicker than Red Bull's Danill Kvyat with Daniel Ricciardo seven tenths adrift in third.

    Rain earlier in the morning soaked the track and though a dry line appeared, the session was disjointed as showers fell intermittently throughout.

    Drivers were limited to a 15-minute window towards the end of the a 90-minute session to get some representative dry running in.

    A heavy shower hit with a few minutes to go, catching out Kimi Raikkonen and Ricciardo, with the Red Bull getting stuck deep in the gravel.

    Things weren't much better in practice two, as a heavy downpour soaked the Melbourne track between sessions, and added to the cool 17-degree air temperature it meant intermediate tyre running only in practice two.

    A further shower 15 minutes from the end, at a time when the track was drying and the teams may have been considering slicks, ensured the times stayed considerably off the pace of the morning.

    A number of drivers did venture out when the conditions were poor early in the session, but it went wrong for Rosberg half an hour in.

    The German aquaplaned out of Turn 6 and lost control of his Mercedes, sending him into a wall and wrecking the new-for-2016 nose that was trialled during the second pre-season test.

    Rosberg was able to continue, but with the wing lodged underneath his car, he was told by the pitwall to stop and pull over given the debris being created.

    Mercedes at least confirmed it has spares available to ensure Rosberg runs with the new-spec nose over the weekend.

    While Rosberg was left watching from the pits, Hamilton again topped the timesheet but, indicative of the conditions, his lap of 1m38.841s was nine seconds down on his earlier benchmark.

    FREE PRACTICE 2
    Australian Grand Prix 

    PosDriverCarTimeGapLaps
    1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m38.841s-7
    2Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1m39.308s0.467s8
    3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1m39.486s0.645s7
    4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/TAG Heuer1m39.535s0.694s9
    5Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Ferrari1m39.694s0.853s16
    6Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda1m39.895s1.054s16
    7Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Honda1m40.008s1.167s13
    8Sebastian VettelFerrari1m40.761s1.920s7
    9Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1m41.256s2.415s8
    10Daniil KvyatRed Bull/TAG Heuer1m42.411s3.570s10
    11Esteban GutierrezHaas/Ferrari1m42.891s4.050s10
    12Pascal WehrleinManor/Mercedes1m43.401s4.560s25
    13Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1m43.731s4.890s8
    14Rio HaryantoManor/Mercedes1m44.304s5.463s22
    15Nico RosbergMercedes1m47.356s8.515s4
    -Kevin MagnussenRenault--2
    -Jolyon PalmerRenault--5
    -Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes--2
    -Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes--2


     

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