Schumacher fastest for Mercedes in FP2

By on Friday, March 16, 2012
Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher

During the break between FP1 and FP2, the Albert Park circuit was doused in a tropical storm as heavy rain lashed down on the track. This caused a very wet start to proceedings in FP2, as the Sauber’s and Toro Rosso’s braved the wet weather on the Pirelli full Cinturato wets.

It was the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne who set the first timed lap of the session, with a 01:52.220 which was quickly beaten by his team-mate, Ricciardo, with a 01:48.874. The Toro Rosso’s continued where they left off in FP1 and began swapping fastest laps atop the timing sheets as the track slowly began to dry. Kamui Kobayashi had a rough ride through the gravel and grass as the Japanese driver ran wide at turn 1.

As the times began to tumble, Nico Hulkenberg went fastest with a 01:46.779, which was beaten by Kamui Kobayashi with a 01:46.098. As the track began to dry out, intermediates became to tyre of choice as Fernando Alonso braved the still treacherous conditions and became the first driver to set a lap with the intermediates.

The Spaniard immediately went top, with a 01:44.912, as his fellow countryman Pedro De La Rosa finally made his 2012 track debut for HRT. Further up the field, however, Felipe Massa set to righting his wrongdoings of FP1 by going quickest with a 01:41.976. Times were still tumbling as both Maldonado, Button and Schumacher all shared the top spot as the track gradually dried out after the afternoons deluge of rain.

As drivers’ got to grips with the drying track, both Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen pushed a little too hard and ran wide at turn 1. Paul Di Resta then went quickest with a 01:31.639, which was bettered by a whole second by Michael Schumacher who set a 01:30.643 as drivers’ began to opt for the dry Pirelli tyres.

As the session came to a close, Nico Hulkenberg went fastest with a 01:29.808, which he improved on as the drivers’ began pushing to the limits on a track which was still slightly damp in places. This was evident when Heikki Kovalainen ran extremely wide at turn 1 and cut through the gravel and extremely wet grass, the Finn lucky to rejoin unscathed.

As the checkered flag waved, the session came to dramatic end as Michael Schumacher went fastest with a 01:29.183 and Kamui Kobayashi completed a 360 degree spin after loosing his Sauber on the kerb of the final corner. Narain Karthikeyan ended the session stopping out on track as HRT’s misery continues.

Tomorrow, the teams will be hoping the weather forecast is correct and that dry running can be completed prior to qualifying later in the day.

 Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1m29.183s            16
 2.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    1m29.292s  +  0.109  19
 3.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari          1m30.199s  +  1.016  23
 4.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1m30.341s  +  1.158  13
 5.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1m30.709s  +  1.526  14
 6.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1m31.466s  +  2.283  13
 7.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1m31.505s  +  2.322  14
 8.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault        1m31.932s  +  2.749  16
 9.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1m32.184s  +  3.001  17
10.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1m32.194s  +  3.011  19
11.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1m32.296s  +  3.113  20
12.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth       1m32.632s  +  3.449  17
13.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault        1m32.767s  +  3.584  15
14.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault           1m32.822s  +  3.639  11
15.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1m33.039s  +  3.856  18
16.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1m33.252s  +  4.069  11
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault        1m34.108s  +  4.925  21
18.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault           1m34.275s  +  5.092   7
19.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault        1m34.312s  +  5.129  17
20.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1m34.485s  +  5.302  29
21.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1m34.604s  +  5.421  31
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth       1m34.770s  +  5.587  13
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth            1m42.627s  +  13.444 16
24.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth                                  1

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