Hamilton on top in Australian Friday Practice

Hamilton on top in Australian Friday Practice


Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of second practice for the Australian Grand Prix, beating Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with the defending champion team followed by the drivers of Red Bull and Ferrari. 

Hamilton claimed the top spot on the yellow-banded C2 medium compound on offer from Pirelli this weekend. The lap arrived midway through the 90-minute session and eventually left the five-time champion 0.048s clear of Bottas. 

Behind the Mercedes duo, Max Verstappen was third fastest for Honda-powered Red Bull, though the Dutchman was 0.8s slower than Hamilton, after delaying his performance run until the late stages of the session.

Verstappen’s time of 1:23.400 put him four hundredths of a second clear of new team-mate Pierre Gasly. 

Ferrari, who saw Sebastian Vettel take P2 in the morning with a deficit of less than four hundredths of a second to Hamilton, had a more difficult second session both drivers complaining of handling issues. 

Vettel bolted on a set of red banded C3 Pirellis, the softest on offer at Albert Park later in the session and clawed his way to fifth place 0.873s off Hamilton. Team-mate Charles Leclerc finished the session in ninth place 0.281s behind Vettel. The Monegasque driver also had a spin during the session, losing control at the exit of Turn 4. The incident was a minor one, however, and he was able to continue on his way.

As in the morning session, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was best-of-the-rest in sixth place, 0.972 behind Hamilton and just two thousands of a second clear of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg. The German driver ended the session 0.070s ahead of his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. 

The top 10 order was completed by Haas’ Romain Grosjean who finished 1.214 off the P1 pace. 

2019 Formula One Australian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 33 1:22.600 
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 33 1:22.648 0.048
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 33 1:23.400 0.800
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 31 1:23.442 0.842
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 35 1:23.473 0.873
6 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 40 1:23.572 0.972
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 37 1:23.574 0.974
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 31 1:23.644 1.044
9 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 35 1:23.754 1.154
10 Romain Grosjean Haas 37 1:23.814 1.214
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 36 1:23.933 1.333
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 27 1:23.988 1.388
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point 38 1:24.011 1.411
14 Carlos Sainz McLaren 26 1:24.133 1.533
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 37 1:24.293 1.693
16 Sergio Perez Racing Point 34 1:24.401 1.801
17 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 40 1:24.675 2.075
18 Lando Norris McLaren 26 1:24.733 2.133
19 George Russell Williams 32 1:26.453 3.853
20 Robert Kubica Williams 33 1:26.655 4.055


The 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship got underway in Melbourne with defending champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes narrowly claiming top spot ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the opening practice session for the Australian Grand Prix. 

Ferrari looked to have an advantage over Mercedes in pre-season testing but in Melbourne, Hamilton continued where he left off last season, powering around the Albert Park circuit to the top of the time sheet with a lap of 1:23.599s. 

The Briton was pushed hard though by pre-season testing’s fastest man, Vettel, with the German’s new team-mate Charles Leclerc only 0.074s behind. 

Fourth place in the session went to Max Verstappen. The Dutchman’s best lap was under two tenths of a second off Hamilton’s pace, confirming the team’s quiet confidence from testing in its new Honda-powered package.  

There was a quieter start for Verstappen’s new team-mate Pierre Gasly. The French drivers finished the session in P8, 1.3s off the pace.

Valtteri Bottas finished in fifth place in the session and behind him Kimi Räikkönen took best-of-the-rest honours for Alfa Romeo with a time of 1:24.816. The lap left the Finn 1.217s off the pace. 

F1 returnee Daniil Kvyat ended up in seventh, just over 1500ths of a second behind Räikkönen.

With Gasly eighth, the final top 10 positions were taken by Haas’ Kevin Magnussen with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg 10th. 

Behind 11thplaced Antonio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo Haas’ Romain Grosjean rookie Alexander Albon ended in P13 on his grand prix weekend debut for Toro Rosso. However, the Thai driver brought out the red flags when he hit the barriers at the exit of Turn 1 towards the end of the session. 

2019 Formula One Australian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 26 1:23.599 
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 18 1:23.637 0.038
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 18 1:23.673 0.074
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 22 1:23.792 0.193
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Mercedes 30 1:23.866 0.267
6 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 18 1:24.816 1.217
7 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 30 1:24.832 1.233
8 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 23 1:24.932 1.333
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas 24 1:24.934 1.335
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 11 1:25.015 1.416
11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 23 1:25.166 1.567
12 Romain Grosjean Haas 18 1:25.224 1.625
13 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 21 1:25.230 1.631
14 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 19 1:25.285 1.686
15 Lance Stroll Racing Point 26 1:25.288 1.689
16 Sergio Perez Racing Point 21 1:25.498 1.899
17 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 16 1:25.634 2.035
18 Lando Norris McLaren 31 1:25.966 2.367
|19 Robert Kubica Williams 25 1:27.914 4.315
20 George Russell Williams 25 1:28.740 5.141