Hamilton heads Friday running in Australia

By on Friday, March 18, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton topped both Friday practice sessions for Mercedes as rain affected running at the Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton set a time of 1:29.725 to finish four-tenths clear of Daniil Kvyat during the first session, as the rain cleared sufficiently for a spell on the slick tyres.

The rain returned for the second session in which dry tyres were unable to be used, as Hamilton also ended on top, albeit with a time nine seconds slower than his best from earlier in the day.

Daniel Ricciardo was third quickest but ended the first session in the gravel after going off at the fast Turn 11 complex.

Nico Hülkenberg and Max Verstappen were fourth and fifth, while Nico Rosberg had a difficult day for Mercedes, placing sixth overall before crashing out.

Rosberg, trialling Mercedes’ short nose complex, lost control exiting Turn 7 and hit the wall on the outside of the corner.

Rosberg tried to limp back around to the pits but was told to park his W07 Hybrid in the final sector, ending his session an hour prematurely.

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were seventh and eighth for McLaren, as Sergio Pérez and Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10.

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were 11th and 12th for Williams, despite only completing a handful of laps across the course of the day, ahead of Felipe Nasr, Jolyon Palmer and Marcus Ericsson.

Both Ferrari drivers set their quickest times in the second session, having missed the dry window during the opening running, with Kimi Räikkönen placing third in practice two, behind Force India’s Hülkenberg.

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