Hamilton edges Verstappen in Practice 2

Tom Howard

Friday 23rd March, 2018 - 5:39pm

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Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton continued his strong start to the Australian Grand Prix as he edged Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in Practice 2 at Albert Park.

The Mercedes driver was the only driver to dip into the 1:23s bracket but was pushed much harder by Red Bull and Ferrari in the second 90-minute session.

Verstappen showed the pace of the Red Bull RB14 by finishing 0.127s behind Hamilton with Valtteri Bottas in third.

Daniel Ricciardo could only manage the seventh fastest time in the sister Red Bull.

Hamilton jumped to the top of times early in the running and held the spot until Kimi Raikkonen eclipsed the time just after the half-hour mark.

Raikkonen’s benchmark was short-lived as Hamilton responded moments later with a 1:23.931s, set on ultrasoft tyres.

It was followed by a an impressive effort from Verstappen that was only 0.127s shy of Hamilton.

The laps arrived before a brief red flag period caused by debris on the Walker Straight which forced Daniel Ricciardo to abort a hot lap.

The top order remained unchanged in the final 30 minutes of the session as teams elected to conduct race runs.

Mercedes’ Bottas ended up third fastest only 0.228s behind Hamilton, while early pacesetter Raikkonen edged team-mate Sebastian Vettel to fourth.

Hass F1 continued as the best of the midfield team in sixth courtesy of Romain Grosjean, who pipped Ricciardo by 0.073s.

Ricciardo underwent a front suspension change which saw him spend time in the garage before completing a race run in the final third of practice.

The top 10 was completed by the McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne which sandwiched Kevin Magnussen (Haas F1).

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley finished 16th in the Toro Rosso Honda.

Practice 3 is scheduled for Saturday at 1400 ahead of the first qualifying session of the season at 1700 local time/AEDT.

Results: Practice 2

Pos Num Driver Car Fastest lap Split Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:23.931 35
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer 1:24.058 +0:00.127 34
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:24.159 +0:00.228 34
4 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:24.214 +0:00.283 39
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:24.451 +0:00.520 38
6 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:24.648 +0:00.717 34
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer 1:24.721 +0:00.790 28
8 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:25.200 +0:01.269 28
9 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:25.246 +0:01.315 30
10 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:25.285 +0:01.354 34
11 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:25.390 +0:01.459 35
12 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:25.413 +0:01.482 30
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:25.463 +0:01.532 35
14 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:25.543 +0:01.612 32
15 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:25.888 +0:01.957 33
16 28 Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:25.925 +0:01.994 41
17 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:25.945 +0:02.014 39
18 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:25.974 +0:02.043 37
19 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:26.814 +0:02.883 31
20 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:26.815 +0:02.884 35

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