Rosberg fastest again in second practice for Australian GP

B_9braXU0AIWgK1Nico Rosberg pipped team-mate Lewis Hamilton to set the pace in Friday practice as Mercedes dominated at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The German was 0.1 seconds quicker than Hamilton and 0.715secs clear of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel in third.

Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, ahead of Williams’s Valtteri Bottas and Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull.

McLaren’s Jenson Button was 12th, 3.69secs off the pace, while team-mate Kevin Magnussen crashed.

The Dane, replacing Fernando Alonso this weekend and perilously short of mileage after completing just 39 laps in pre-season testing, lost control at Turn Six early in the session and broke the car’s front suspension against the barriers.

He said he “lost the rear” after the car “took him by surprise”.

The Manor Marussia team, who only just made it to the first race after an 11th-hour rescue by a new investor, did not do any laps.

Neither did Williams’s Felipe Massa, whose Mercedes engine had a water leak, and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who needed his Renault engine changed.

Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado and Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen also had troubled sessions as a result of reliability problems.

After two sessions in glorious Australian sunshine, Mercedes appeared to have an advantage of in the region of at least 0.8secs whether in low-fuel qualifying trim or high-fuel race trim.

Ferrari and Williams appear to be next in line with perhaps a small advantage over Red Bull, although Ricciardo’s absence from the session meant judging the pace of the former world champions was difficult.

The Sauber cars missed the first session as their court dispute with Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde continued, but both Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson ran in the second, with the Brazilian 11th fastest and the Swede 15th.

Sauber and Van Der Garde, who won his case claiming he has a valid contract with the team for this season, are now in negotiations to try to settle the case out of court.

Australian Grand Prix Second Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap
1 6 Nico Roseberg 1:27.697 Leader Leader
2 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:27.797 -0.100 -0.100
3 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:28.412 -0.715 -0.615
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:28.842 -1.145 -0.430
5 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:29.265 -1.568 -0.423
6 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:30.016 -2.319 -0.751
7 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:30.071 -2.374 -0.055
8 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:30.104 -2.407 -0.033
9 8 Romain Grojean 1:30.205 -2.508 -0.101
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:30.473 -2.776 -0.268
11 12 Felipe Nasr 1:30.755 -3.058 -0.282
12 11 Sergio Perez 1:30.980 -3.283 -0.225
13 22 Jenson Button 1:31.387 -3.690 -0.407
14 33 Max Verstappen 1:31.395 -3.698 -0.008
15 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:32.303 -4.606 -0.908
16 20 Kevin Magnussen 1:33.289 -5.592 -0.986
17 3 Daniel Ricciardo 0:00.000 87.697 93.289
17 19 Felipe Massa 0:00.000 87.697 0.000
17 28 Will Stevens 0:00.000 87.697 0.000
17 98 Roberto Merhi 0:00.000 87.697 0.000



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