Australian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Hamilton leads McLaren 1-2
The McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button topped the timesheets on the second session of Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix, but it was the weather that really dominated.
After the warm morning session, the afternoon was much cooler in Melbourne - and, with just seconds to go before the green light, the umbrellas started going up as the rain came down. A couple of cars made it out on dry tyres but within a lap the track was too wet to continue.
The first shower was brief and, as the tarmac duly dried out, cars were back out on slicks again after 20 minutes, only for the rain to return ten minutes later. This time the shower persisted, meaning the teams were limited to wet running until the dying moments.
Home favourite Mark Webber‚Äôs Red Bull took third place in the last few minutes, just ahead of Michael Schumacher who moved up to fourth on the drying line. The rest of the times were all set early on.
Vitaly Petrov was 5th, continuing Renault‚Äôs morning form, followed by Sebastien Buemi‚Äòs Toro Rosso and the Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi. Next came the Williams of Rubens Barrichello, Nico Rosberg‚Äôs Mercedes, morning pacesetter Robert Kubica‚Äôs Renault and the Saubers of Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi, enjoying better fortunes after their trials of the first session.
Following his decent morning‚Äôs work, it was back to difficulties for Karun Chandhok, who rode to a halt on the pit straight early in the session. Virgin‚Äôs problems also continued as they were still rebuilding Timo Glock‚Äôs car after a morning gearbox oil leak.
Among Sunday‚Äôs expected front-runners, the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa ended up down in 15th and 17th, sandwiching the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.
The picture will be very different tomorrow but these variable conditions will bring hope of a repeat later in the weekend to brighten up the racing after the much-criticised season-opener in Bahrain.