Hamilton sets pace in second practice

By on Friday, March 14, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton set the pace for Mercedes during second practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

The Brit's time of 1:29.625 was 0.157s was faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton had endured a difficult first practice session after his car stopped on track on the out-lap but he enjoyed a more productive second session.

As in 2013, the first half of the session was largely spent on short run pace while during the latter part of the 90 minute session the focus shifted to long runs.

Fernando Alonso, who initially set the pace, was third fastest for Ferrari.

Reigning world champions Red Bull put their pre-season woes behind them as Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and sixth respectively, split by the McLaren of Jenson Button.

Kimi Raikkonen was seventh for Ferrari despite a minor gear selection issue when he tried to leave the pit lane.

Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top 10. The German's session ended in the gravel with four minutes remaining after he put a wheel on the grass and spun at turn nine, beaching the Force India.

Jean-Eric Vergne survived a trip to the gravel trap to set the 11th fastest time, ahead of Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and the Sauber duo of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.

Daniil Kvyat was 16th for Toro Rosso, ahead of Jules Bianchi, Romain Grosjean and Max Chilton. Kvyat did not enjoy the smoothest of sessions as the Russian got in the way of rivals several times and also ran through the gravel.

Lotus endured a troublesome day as mechanical gremlins affected Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. The Frenchman managed to get out on track after sitting out the first session and struggled with the handling of his Lotus E22 in the second session. His session ended prematurely when the E22 snapped sideways under braking for turn six, making contact with the barriers.

Team-mate Pastor Maldonado did not run in the second session after stopping on his installation lap in the first session.

It was a dismal day for Caterham as both drivers suffered problems. Electrical problems struck Marcus Ericsson's CT05 while Kamui Kobayashi suffered a fuel systems issue, which resulted in the car requiring to be rebuilt. He missed the second practice session as a result, meaning he managed just an installation lap across the two practice sessions. Ericsson too sat out the session as Caterham worked on his car.

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