Lewis Hamilton fastest in Melbourne practice, Nico Rosberg crashes

Lewis Hamilton set the pace while Nico Rosberg started his 2016 Formula 1 campaign in ignominious fashion as the weather put a dampener on Australian Grand Prix Friday practice

Lewis Hamilton fastest in Melbourne practice, Nico Rosberg crashes

A heavy downpour soaked the Melbourne track between sessions, and added to the cool 17-degree air temperature it meant intermediate tyre running only in practice two.

A further shower 15 minutes from the end, at a time when the track was drying and the teams may have been considering slicks, ensured the times stayed considerably off the pace of the morning, which Hamilton had topped in 1m29.725s.

A number of drivers did venture out when the conditions were poor early in the session, but it went wrong for Rosberg half an hour in.

The German aquaplaned out of Turn 6 and lost control of his Mercedes, sending him into a wall and wrecking the new-for-2016 nose that was trialled during the second pre-season test.

Rosberg was able to continue, but with the wing lodged underneath his car, he was told by the pitwall to stop and pull over given the debris being created.

Rosberg apologises for crash

Mercedes at least confirmed it has spares available to ensure Rosberg runs with the new-spec nose over the weekend.

While Rosberg was left watching from the pits, Hamilton again topped the timesheet but, indicative of the conditions, his lap of 1m38.841s was nine seconds down on his earlier benchmark.

Force India's Sergio Perez was poised to go quickest at one point as he set new bests in the first two sectors, only to lose time in the final sector as the late shower hit.

The Mexican stayed ninth, 2.415s behind Hamilton and two seconds down on team-mate Nico Hulkenberg who finished closest to the Briton, 0.467s adrift.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, home hero Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull, and Carlos Sainz Jr for Toro Rosso all finished within a second of Hamilton as they filled the top five.

The McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were sixth and seventh, just over a second down, followed by Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari and then Perez.

Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10, but 3.5s adrift, followed by the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez, with the Mexican four seconds off the pace.

Manor's rookie duo of Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto were 12th and 14th, albeit completing the most laps with 24 and 22 respectively, sandwiching Romain Grosjean's Haas.

Rosberg finished last of those that set a time as Renault pair Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer, and Williams team-mates Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas only completed exploratory installation laps.

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, along with Max Verstappen, failed to leave the garage at all.

PRACTICE TWO TIMES

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m38.841s - 7
2 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m39.308s 0.467s 8
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m39.486s 0.645s 7
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m39.535s 0.694s 9
5 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m39.694s 0.853s 16
6 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m39.895s 1.054s 16
7 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m40.008s 1.167s 13
8 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m40.761s 1.920s 7
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m41.256s 2.415s 8
10 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m42.411s 3.570s 10
11 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m42.891s 4.050s 10
12 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m43.401s 4.560s 25
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m43.731s 4.890s 8
14 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m44.304s 5.463s 22
15 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m47.356s 8.515s 4
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault - - 2
17 Jolyon Palmer Renault - - 5
18 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes - - 2
19 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes - - 2


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Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Rosberg , Lewis Hamilton
Author Ian Parkes
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