Rosberg tops Friday sessions in Australia

By on Friday, March 13, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Nico Rosberg edged out World Champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes dominated the opening day of practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

Rosberg posted a time of 1:27.697 to end the second practice session a tenth clear of Hamilton after the pair completed their runs on Option tyres, having also bested the Briton in the first session earlier in the day.

Ferrari built on its encouraging pre-season with Sebastian Vettel third – albeit seven-tenths down on Rosberg – with Kimi Räikkönen in fourth place.

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas was fifth, ahead of new Red Bull recruit Daniil Kvyat and his replacement at Toro Rosso, Carlos Sainz Jr, who had a spin at the penultimate corner.

Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean both had excursions in the Lotus E23 Hybrid on their way to eighth and ninth, with Nico Hülkenberg complaining about the instability of his Force India VJM08 as he rounded out the top 10.

Sauber missed the first practice session as the legal case with Giedo van der Garde rumbled on, but both Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr took to the track in the second session.

Nasr placed 11th while Ericsson’s session was interrupted when he suffered an apparent left rear suspension problem midway through running.

Sergio Pérez was 12th, ahead of former team-mate Jenson Button and Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, who spent a long time in the garage as his car suffered a battery failure.

McLaren's Kevin Magnussen, standing in for the absent Fernando Alonso, had a day to forget as issues truncated his first session before he put the car in the wall early in the second session.

Magnussen had a moment at Turn 6 and bounced across the gravel, before the MP4-30 came to a rest nudged into the barriers on the outside of the corner, with damage to the front left. The session was halted while Magnussen’s car was removed.

Felipe Massa set a competitive time in the first session but Williams discovered a water leak on his FW37, resulting in a power unit change and forcing the Brazilian out of the second session.

Daniel Ricciardo was another driver to miss out on FP2 after a difficult day for the home hero; he spun in the first session and complained of problems before the team had to change the power unit, thus confirming his absence from the second session.

Manor Marussia did not run in either session as the team continues to work around issues with its new car, leaving Will Stevens and rookie Roberto Merhi to watch from the side.

Second free practice results:

1Nico RosbergMercedes1:27.69729
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:27.79725
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1:28.41233
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1:28.84233
5Valtteri BottasWilliams1:29.26532
6Daniil KvyatRed Bull1:30.01627
7Carlos Sainz JrToro Rosso1:30.07141
8Pastor MaldonadoLotus1:30.10411
9Romain GrosjeanLotus1:30.20537
10Nico HulkenbergForce India1:30.47330
11Felipe NasrSauber1:30.75533
12Sergio PerezForce India1:30.98032
13Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:31.38721
14Max VerstappenToro Rosso1:31.3956
15Marcus EricssonSauber1:32.30314
16Kevin MagnussenMcLaren1:33.2894
17Daniel RicciardoRed BullNo time set0
18Felipe MassaWilliamsNo time set0
19Will StevensManorNo time set0
20Roberto MerhiManorNo time set 0

If you liked this post then share it with your friends on social media websites. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest F1 news.