Hamilton tops rain-hit Albert Park FP1

Lewis Hamilton led the way for the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team in the opening free practice session of the 2016 Formula 1 season around a rain-hit Albert Park circuit on Friday.

The reigning world champion set the pace with a lap of 1m29.725s in a small window of dry running before another rain shower saw a number of drivers caught out, including Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen.

The session began wet after overnight rain, with a dry line appearing towards the end of the session, with the occasional rain shower preventing any meaningful running for long spells of time.

Behind Hamilton came Red Bull Racing duo Daniil Kvyat and Ricciardo, 0.421s and 1.150s adrift respectively, with Nico Hulkenberg being one of only a handful of drivers to test the Soft Pirelli tyre during the session in finishing fourth for Sahara Force India.

Max Verstappen was fifth fastest for Scuderia Toro Rosso ahead of Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes, who did not get a representative lap time in when the track was at its driest, meaning the German ended 2.089s adrift of team-mate Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button ended seventh and eighth respectively for McLaren-Honda, while the top ten was completed by the second Force India of Sergio Perez and the Renault of Kevin Magnussen.

When the rain fell late in the session, Scuderia Ferrari driver Raikkonen was caught out on slick tyres and running briefly off track, but Ricciardo ended up beached in the gravel trap, while Verstappen also suffered a half-spin.

Two drivers failed to set a time during the session; Sebastian Vettel only completed eight installation laps in the second Ferrari, while Carlos Sainz Jr was restricted to just three installation laps in the second Toro Rosso having been forced to stop at the entry to the pit lane early in the session.

Albert Park Free Practice 1 Times

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m29.725s14
226Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Tag Heuer1m30.146s14
33Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Tag Heuer1m30.875s13
427Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m31.325s8
533Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m31.720s14
66Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m31.814s11
714Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m33.060s11
822Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m33.129s16
911Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m33.370s6
1020Kevin MagnussenDENRenault1m34.060s13
1177Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m34.550s6
1219Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m34.679s6
1312Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1m34.796s7
1430Jolyon PalmerGBRRenault1m35.477s12
159Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1m37.956s6
1694Pascal WehrleinGERManor-Mercedes1m40.401s6
177Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m40.754s10
1821Esteban GutierrezMEXHaas-Ferrari1m41.780s8
1988Rio HaryantoINOManor-Mercedes1m43.372s7
208Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas-Ferrari1m43.443s8
215Sebastian VettelGERFerrariNo Time8
2255Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-RenaultNo Time3