Formula 1

Hamilton Leads Mercedes One-Two In Australia

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Lewis Hamilton - Australian Grand Prix
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Lewis Hamilton made it two from two at the Australian Grand Prix as he topped Free Practice 2 at Albert Park.

The defending champion, who topped the timing screens earlier on Friday, beat Mercedes-AMG Motorsport team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.048 of a second. The pair exchanged times at the top of the leaderboard throughout the session as they rarely looked troubled at the top.

The two Red Bull Racing cars came third and fourth with Max Verstappen ahead of new team-mate Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman complained about a lack of power as the session came to a close.

Sebastian Vettel was fifth ahead of ex-Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkónen but both drivers took trips over the grass on the exit of turn one while the two Renault F1 Team were next with home favourite Daniel Ricciardo behind Nico Hülkenberg. The Australian being the last driver to head out on track due to some seat difficulties at the very start of the 90 minutes.

Charles Leclerc was ninth quickest and ended his session facing the wrong way after spinning at turn four as he makes his Ferrari debut this weekend.

Romain Grosjean was the first driver out in the session in the Haas F1 Team and he rounded out the top ten ahead of Daniil Kvyat in the Scuderia Toro Rosso. His team-mate Alexander Albon had another spin in the afternoon but unlike the in the earlier session, avoided making contact with the wall as the Thailand driver finished seventeenth fastest.

The second Haas of Kevin Magnussen was twelfth with Lance Stroll thirteenth but ahead of Racing Point F1 Team-mate Sergio Pérez who was down in sixteenth.

The two McLaren F1 Team cars of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris struggled down in fourteenth and eighteenth with the second Alfa Romeo Racing of Antonio Giovinazzi in fifteenth but the Italian did have a spin at the penultimate corner during the session just like Albon had earlier.

Williams Racing’s worries after testing continue to be realised as they finished as the slowest runners once again with George Russell two tenths quicker than Robert Kubica but Mercedes dominate the opening day of the 2019 season and lay down the marker ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

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