McLaren pair fastest in Australian GP practice

McLaren pair Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button set the fastest times in today's rain-affected second practice session for Formula One's Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton's time of one minute, 26.801 seconds put him a quarter of a second ahead of teammate and British compatriot Button around the Albert Park circuit.



Red Bull's Mark Webber was third fastest, ahead of Mercedes' Michael Schumacher and Renault's Vitaly Petrov.



The best times were set in dry conditions at the start of the session, with some passing light showers preventing any improvement.



Hamilton had said yesterday that McLaren would use practice to learn how to set up the car for qualifying rather than the race, believing that the grid position would be the key to winning Sunday's race.



That explained the big gap from the McLaren times to some of its rivals. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were 15th and 17th on the time sheets, more than three seconds off the pace, as they instead concentrated on their race set-up.



"It's only practice and I'm sure we're running less fuel than the Ferraris and Red Bulls, but we'll see tomorrow," Button said. "At the moment we've just got to focus on how the car feels, and it feels pretty good.



"As soon as I jumped into the car here I was reasonably happy with the balance and it's just got better throughout the day."



Schumacher outperformed Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg for the first time in any practice, qualifying session or race this season, with the fellow German coming 10th.



"As often on Fridays, the performance is difficult to judge as everybody seemed to be on different programs," Schumacher said. "Having said that, I am quite happy with today's sessions, even if we did not run too much overall."



Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi was sixth quickest after he and teammate Jaime Alguersuari completed the most practice laps of any drivers.



Force India pair Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi were seventh and eighth respectively on the time sheets.



Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel lost control and slid off the track late in the second session, illustrating the dangers of pushing slick tires on a track marginally affected by rain. Intermittent spells of wet weather were forecast for both Saturday qualifying and Sunday's race.



Teething problems persisted for the new teams, with neither Hispania driver setting a time in the second session. Karun Chandhok's car came to a halt 100 meters after he exited the pits for his installation lap, while Bruno Senna never made it out of the garage because of a fuel pressure problem.



Virgin's Timo Glock suffered a gearbox malfunction that restricted him to nine laps, while teammate Lucas di Grassi did not set a time due a telemetry failure.



Despite the rain, the times in the second practice session outdid those of the early session, when Renault's Robert Kubica set the fastest time.



Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi had the most eventful first session. First he snapped off a front wing when he hit a cone positioned to prevent corner cutting, then later the replacement wing fell off under heavy breaking, spearing him across a gravel trap.



F1 rookie Petrov had a good day in terms of times, but not so good for his bank balance after being fined $7000 for speeding in the pit lane. The speed limit for practice is 60 kph rather than 100 kph usually in place for qualifying and race. A decision was taken Friday to keep the 60 kph limit for Saturday and Sunday after a request by the safety delegate.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment