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Australian GP 2012

MARCH 16, 2012

Practice 2 Report - Schumacher quickest in rain-afflicted FP2

Michael Schumacher, Australian GP 2012
© The Cahier Archive

The opening day of the new F1 season in Melbourne proved even more inconclusive than might have been predicted after heavy rain saw the second session of free practice held on a wet but drying track with slick tyres used only for the final minutes.

Michael Schumacher (1:29.183) recorded the quickest time, set right at the end on a set of Pirelli's medium compound (prime) tyres, which put him a tenth clear of countryman Nico Hulkenberg's Force India (1:29.292).

Sergio Perez (1:30.199) set third fastest time for Sauber, the Mexican and team mate Kamui Kobayashi (1:30.709) sandwiching Fernando Alonso's Ferrari (1:30.341). The Japanese finished the session with a spectacular spin out of the final corner.

Briton Paul Di Resta (1:31.466) put the second Force India into the top six, ahead of Felipe Massa's Ferrari (1:31.505), Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham (1:31.932), Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (1:32.184) and the Red Bull RB8s of world champion Sebastian Vettel (1:32.194) and Mark Webber (1:32.296).

Timo Glock (1:32.632) set a promising 12th fastest lap with the new Marussia, which missed out on pre-season testing after problems with the mandatory crash test.

The first session quick men, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, finished up 15th and 16th with McLaren's MP4-27, neither attempting to set a quick lap.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh explained: "Jenson went out earlier in order to do an aero run, but that wasn't on Lewis's programme, so there was no point risking the car if you aren't going to learn anything. We don't anticipate a wet race and so we were waiting for the circuit to dry.

"As to where we are, I'm cautiously optimistic. We're not in bad shape but we don't really know where we are, and probably won't until the end of Q3."