Practice two of Australian GP led by Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton after both of them dominated the one-two position.The session began under the threat of rain, which fortunately held off to enable all of the runners bar HRT, whose cars were still not ready, to run on both the hard and the soft Pirellis. There were plenty of off-track incidents, centring around Timo Glock, Sebastien Buemi, Vitaly Petrov, Heikki Kovalainen, Adrian Sutil and Rubens Barrichello, but nobody did any damage as they explored the limits.Read the full news by Simon Strang from Autosport below.
BUTTON TOPS SECOND AUSTRALIA PRACTICE
McLaren defied pre-season perceptions by dominating the times in the second practice session for the Australian Grand Prix as Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton proved the only men to break through the 1m25s barrier.
The session, which was run under race conditions for the last 30 minutes to test out the new overtaking zone, saw most of the fastest running take place, predictably, just before the hour mark when everyone tried the soft Pirelli ‘Option’ tyre.
It was during this period that first Hamilton posted a 1m25.854s, and then Button improved upon it to go 0.132s faster still. Whether or not McLaren’s pace is a true measure of the overall picture remains unclear however, for Red Bull’s drivers, who dominated session one, were instructed not to use their adjustable rear wings for much of the session.
In the end, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were unleashed, once they got on to the Option tyres, but neither could match Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari, which ended the session third.
Michael Schumacher improved to sixth fastest in the Mercedes, having been fastest of all for a while. Felipe Massa, one of several drivers to run off-track during the session, was seventh.
Mexican rookie Sergio Perez was an impressive eighth fastest on his first grand prix day for Sauber, outpacing the sport’s most experienced driver Rubens Barrichello, who was ninth for Williams – another to test the gravel run off at Turn 3.
Nico Rosberg completed the top ten for Mercedes ahead of Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso and Vitaly Petrov in the Renault.
Another rookie, Paul di Resta deserved credit for outpacing team-mate Adrian Sutil in 16th, while Pastor Maldonado was 18th on his first practice day for Williams.
It was not a stellar session for F1’s newest teams. Both Lotus cars were the best part of five seconds off the pace, while the Virgins reduced the deficit to front from more than eight seconds in the morning to seven seconds in the afternoon.
HRT, which announced early in the session that it intended to complete installation laps only, managed to get Tonio Liuzzi out on track with two minutes remaining.
The test of drag reduction systems in the last half an hour of practice provided little indication of what might be to come in the race, and eventually was brought to a premature conclusion when rain began to fall in the last 10 minutes.