Mercedes leads Ferrari in second practice

2015 Australian Grand Prix second practice

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Mercedes remained on top in second practice for the Australian Grand Prix, though not by as much as in the morning session.

Nico Rosberg was quickest for the second session in a row with Lewis Hamilton a tenth of a second behind. However Sebastian Vettel got within seven-tenths of a second of them in his Ferrari, with team mate Kimi Raikkonen backing him up in fourth place.

Fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas took fifth place for Williams, but over a second and a half slower than Rosberg’s Mercedes.

Once again only 16 cars participated. However this time both Saubers did join in the session. Felipe Nasr had a productive afternoon, managing 30 laps, but Marcus Ericsson’s run was disrupted by a left-rear suspension problem.

The Manor cars remained in their garages, as did Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Massa due to problems with their cars.

McLaren had another less than ideal session. Kevin Magnussen skidded into the barrier at turn six on his fifth lap. Though unhurt, the session had to be stopped while his car was moved.

Jenson Button had a more successful afternoon, covering 21 laps before reporting a loss of power and being told to pit shortly before the chequered flag came out.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’27.69729
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’27.7970.10025
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1’28.4120.71533
47Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’28.8421.14533
577Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’29.2651.56832
626Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’30.0162.31927
755Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’30.0712.37441
813Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’30.1042.40711
98Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’30.2052.50837
1027Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’30.4732.77630
1112Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’30.7553.05811
1211Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’30.9803.28332
1322Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’31.3873.69021
1433Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’31.3953.6986
159Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’32.3034.60614
1620Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Honda1’33.2895.5924
173Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault0
1819Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes0
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari0
2098Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari0

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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81 comments on “Mercedes leads Ferrari in second practice”

  1. So the Sauber cars haven’t been seized?

    1. From Twitter –
      @F1 case to resume tomorrow Saturday, @GvanderGarde @SauberF1Team at 9:30, Judge has urged parties to have very sensible discussions. (@SCVSupremeCourt)

      Van der Garde’s lawyer says there have been “constructive discussions” which are expected to continue this evening. (@lawrobarretto)

      1. Good to see there is some hope of this being settled in some kind of mutual agreement really. Shame it needed the courts to get them to sit down together for it.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          13th March 2015, 9:18

          @bascb – I suppose it depends what VDG is after. What does he consider a fair cost for having his sponsors let down, a year of his career wasted, damage to his image (would other teams want to employ someone who sued Sauber?) etc…

          There’s lots to it and very little time to come to an agreement! I can see Sauber running with 1 car this weekend.

          1. I don’t think anyone gains anything from running just one car this weekend @petebaldwin.

            But who knows, maybe by running both Ericsson and Nasr today Sauber might have fulfilled the contract with them and can now give VdGarde the seat for the rest of the weekend!

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            13th March 2015, 13:02

            @bascb – That’s true but it depends what the courts say. If VDG and Sauber come to an agreement, they’re fine but if there is no settlement and the courts say VDG legally should be in the car, what can Sauber do?

            I can’t imagine buying VDG out of his contract would be cheap considering he’s stuck without a drive now.

          3. I think that unless they agree on some form of having him drive, its unlikely that VdGarde will go with it @petebaldwin

  2. Only half the grid (11 cars) doing more than 20 laps… shows how much F1 is teetering on the brink.

    1. I was surprised that only Ferrari and Merc didn’t encounter any problems. Everybody else had glitches of one kind or another. As these cars are an evolution from last year I was expecting something close to bulletproof reliability. Except from McHonda ofcourse!

    2. I never fully appreciated Hamilton’s switch from McLaren until this season. God they are in a mess. And Vettel seems to have made a similarly timely jump too as Redbull look likely to be on the way down.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        13th March 2015, 9:25

        @blackmamba – Don’t forget, everyone (including his own father) told him not to move from McLaren to Mercedes but he clearly knew what he was doing. I seem to remember the general opinion on here being “he only went there for money” :D Similarly, Vettel apparently only left Red Bull because he was being beaten by Ricciardo and wasn’t good enough. :D

    3. @fastiesty

      Yes mate,

      Absolutely insane amounts of cash/credit being spent on cars and race fees etc that do very little running ?

      Can we go to a simulator championship?

      What’s a decent guess $$$ at what Honda has poured into this F1 vacuum ,

      Whats after an implosion ?
      Ferrari will continue to make nice road cars
      Red bull will continue selling drinks
      Mercedes same as Ferrari

      The rest ?

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        13th March 2015, 13:20

        @greg-c – The rest will enter and take part in whatever the number 1 open wheel category is at the time. If F1 disappeared off the map, I’d give it 12 months before a new open wheel category was started and Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull etc all joined in.

      2. @greg-c The rest: Do a Ligier, start a GP1, do Indycar, merge into Airbus, form an aviation company, be liquidated, organise a 2nd A1 GP, start an airle, merge and start a tuning/modification house, the possibilities are endless!

        Bernie, on the other hand………Oh, yeah – all of the above. He won’t go bankrupt.

        1. *start an airline

  3. Kimi very very impressive in the long runs, certainly going faster as the stint increased. Suggesting his tyre management is back to its absolute best. If Vettel suffers from worse tyre wear like last year he is gonna have a tough time putting distance btwn himself and Kimi. Certainly Seb could not make the Prime last, and in comparison to the Option of Kimi one would expect it to be the exact oposite.

    1. Certainly Seb could not make the Prime last

      Oh? I’d ask you what you base that on, but I already know its your own wishful thinking. Looking at their respective times on the two tyres what jumps out is how similar their times were.

      ​Kimi on softs:
      1. 1,32,7
      2. 1,32,4
      3. 1,32,6
      4. 1,32,6
      5. 1,32,4
      6. 1,32,5
      7. 1,32,5
      8. 1,32,5
      9. 1,32,1
      10. 1,32,3
      11. 1,32,1
      12. 1,31,9
      13. 1,31,8
      14. 1,32,1
      15. 1,32,0
      16. 1,32,5

      Vettel on mediums:
      1. 1,34,6
      2. 1,32,9
      3. 1,32,8
      4. 1,33,1
      5. 1,32,5
      6. 1,32,6
      7. 1,33,2
      8. 1,32,7
      9. 1,32,7
      10. 1,32,6
      11. 1,32,6
      12. 1,32,5
      13. 1,32,5
      14. 1,32,4
      15. 1,32,6
      16. 1,33,3
      17. 1,33,4

      1. @rm you have just proved my point. The prime is supposed to be a lot durable than the option but from those lap times you can see VET tailing off while Kimi is showing no drop-off at all but rather comparing admirably against the Mercs.

        1. No, you can’t see VET “falling off”. You can see that the medium is a slower tyre than the soft, which is what you’d expect. What’s interesting is that it’s actually not THAT much slower.

          Kimi is showing no drop-off at all but rather comparing admirably against the Mercs.

          I posted no data for the Mercs, and I’m 100& sure you don’t know what times they were doing.

        2. @blackmamba

          from those lap times you can see VET tailing off

          Not really. Or not conclusively. His last and second to last lap are as fast as his sixth lap and faster than the first. All other laps are very consistent. So I’m not sure if two laps at the end which are still in the envelope of the entire run can be considered as “tailing off”.

          1. could easy be cool-down laps.

    2. OK, that is impressive. I’m beginning to get more and more convinced that Ferrari’s pace is not just a light-fuel bluff (as they so often did in 2014), but rather genuine speed.

      1. @rm I’m on my mobile right now so I can’t give you the full rundown of long run lap times for the Mercs. But just 1 point, Rosberg’s fastest lap on his long run was a 1:31.7 and Kimi 1:31.8, and that was towards the end of his stint. As for the characteristics of the tyres, you should know that the Option is only faster on short runs but the longer the stint goes the more the advantage should fall to the Prime tyre. You should know this!

        1. We all know that VET is a very bad driver

          1. You ought to look at the lap time data from this same race last year, because what you’re saying is simply not true. Last year Kimi did a 24 lap stint on the Soft tyre and there was no drop off in performance.


          2. That reply was for Blackmamba, obviously.

    3. Ferrari’s long run is looking good. Actually better than I expected, their one lap gap to Merc is still gigantic though…

      1. @jcost indeed the Ferrari seems to have made the most gains and are perhaps closer than even Merc thought. It will be interesting to see what they can do with the next big upgrade for the European leg. At least now James Allison has proved that they need to throw their weight behind him instead of distracting themselves by pursuing the likes of Brawn and Newey.

        1. @blackmamba McLaren is still hard to measure but I’m starting to feel for Fernando…

          1. @jcost just think of his bank balance and all sympathy will soon evaporate guaranteed, haha! Seriously though it’s impossible for McLaren to come back from a 4-5 sec deficit. That’s more akin to Marussia pace and it really will be sad to see Alonso that far back when his intention was to challenge for a 3rd title. But realistically they were never going to win this year so they should take it on the chin and use this year as in-season testing for an assault on 2016.

          2. I’m feeling sorry for all of us if the pace of the McLaren doesn’t improve drastically as the season develops. Fernando is the one constant part we got during recent seasons when talking about wheel to wheel duels (with the RedBulls in Silverstone and Hockenheim in particular last year). Now we’ll see him shouting on the radio that the new guy has much to learn after crashing into him..

    4. @blackmamba Either that or the options are (as has previously been, albeit not often, seen) more reliable than one would usually expect?

      1. I should’ve said durable, not reliable @blackmamba.

  4. I was no expecting Manor to race on Sunday and maybe not even participate in Qaulifying, but did expected them to take to the track on Friday and pull a somewhat decent amount of laps (a bit like Force India). In particular since they are running same car and engine as last year I was expecting it to be straightforward. But they only assembled the cars on the “last minute” so I should have considered that…

    Now it seems they only showed up to “confirm” their entry on the 2015 season, but maybe they will only be able to fully participate in the GPs (Practice sessions included) for the European rounds…

    1. Well an article I saw earlier stated that they having issues with the engine software or something of the sort. Because as much as they are running the 2014 engine and upgraded chassis, the software is 2015 software. Which possibly could not jell well with the 2014 spec hardware.

      1. Indeed. With 2015 software it should much pretty muck like fresh start to them.
        Keith already published a new article saying they do not known when they will be able to race…

      2. @kwekuq @bakano Maybe they’re just transitioning to Systemd, and are starting this year to build things using LLVM instead of GCC. Sartup was awful and binaries won’t work? :p

        1. sudo apt-get install mercedes

          1. I love it when you speak Linux…

          2. @abbinator It’s called GNU :)

          3. Don’t forget you first must run: sudo apt-get update

    2. from what I understood in the interview of their Team Manager to sky during fp1 they’ll be trying qualy and possibly race, but since I was half asleep I may have misunderstood that

    3. The problem is they intended to sell off their server hardware as part of the auction, so it had to all be scubbed. The servers were withdrawn alongside the chassis, but everything had to be rebuilt.

      It’s surprising that Ferrari couldn’t/wouldn’t supply it in advance, but then everything has been so tight WRT the team set-up…

  5. Looked like Ferrari vastly imrpove in PU, Nasr also ahead of Perez and Button, I know its only practice but at least its more encouraging than last year.

    1. Yeah it does. Good on them. From the onboard it sounds very different to last years; much smoother and quiet. Sounds like they use more revs too, and not just relying on low down torque. Such a win if you are into naturally aspirated engines (like me :) )

  6. Merc looking good as always, however, Ferrari have made big strides. Should be a battle between them and Bottas for final podium. To early to assess where Massa or Red Bulls stand however, FP3 may clear that up.

  7. As Ricciardio has changed his engine, does it mean that he has only 3 engines left for the rest of the season?

    1. He said in an interview on sky f1 that he was fairly sure that they saved the engine.

        1. @optimaximal By reading this article RIC talks about a minor setback, which would certainly not be the case with only 3 engines left?

          1. @spoutnik

            AUTOSPORT understands that the V6 that failed in Ricciardo’s car in Melbourne on Friday cannot be repaired for re-use.

            Of course, this is just the ICE failure – The rest of the components can still be re-used.

            Don’t forget that the ‘engine’ is only 1/6 of the complete power unit these days – it’s perfectly feasible that towards the end of the season, he can have a 5th ICE (taking a penalty) and just move on.

  8. Sadly i missed p2. Does anyone know which tires the fastest laps were set on?

    1. Pirellis.

      1. @jules-winfield This made me laugh so hard!

    2. Everyone except Verstappen, Ericsson and Magnussen set their fastest time on the soft compound.

      1. Hah @Jules-winfield – you should take that show to the road.
        Thanks @kaiie

  9. Those times posted by Ferrari are too good to be true. I saw a post in AutoSport where RB asked Kvyat to keep 1:33 as a target time. Not sure if that is the time to pit or the time to target.

    Also an update about Ferrari asking Kimi to go into severe fuel save mode. If we could get Williams numbers along with RB, that might clarify a few things.

    Another reason to doubt the pace was Force India radio chat that they are close to Ferrari’s pace on long runs than short.

    If they have improved genuinely, then well done Ferrari. About time though :)

    1. @evered7

      Those times posted by Ferrari are too good to be true. I saw a post in AutoSport where RB asked Kvyat to keep 1:33 as a target time. Not sure if that is the time to pit or the time to target.

      They asked kvyat to do 33’s

      Also an update about Ferrari asking Kimi to go into severe fuel save mode. If we could get Williams numbers along with RB, that might clarify a few things.

      Didn’t heard it can you pass the link of that statement

      Another reason to doubt the pace was Force India radio chat that they are close to Ferrari’s pace on long runs than short.

      I too heard it but the next laps i think i saw a 34.X from Perez but a 32.X from Kimi so no where near close. Even Seb on Primes didn’t go down to 34’s apart from 1st lap.

      1. @harsha
        Search for the word ‘Severe’. It is not a radio chat update (like how Bottas was told to stop fuel save) but more of a reporting from AS.

        Ferrari have beaten RB if 1:33 was target time for Kvyat. Force India were probably encouraging their driver when they gave that update :)

        I don’t have access to the lap chart yet and hence couldn’t verify their claims.

        Thanks for the data about RB!

      2. “Also an update about Ferrari asking Kimi to go into severe fuel save mode”.

        The message’s been heard while Kimi was onscreen but it was from Rosberg’s race engineer not from Kimi’s.

  10. What happened to Max? Bit short of laps this arvo, otherwise looks a solid start for the young ‘uns at Toro Rosso. One of the few teams that’s come prepared.

    1. something in the car broke.

      1. He had to go home. Well past his bed time :)

        1. @blackmamba I’m not even 16 yet and having not got a bed time for years (though I do go to sleep….eventually) I doubt Max has :)

          (Yes, there’s a smiley at the end of your post and I know what that means. I still couldn’t help but respond more seriously thatn I should, though)

          1. @davidnotcoulthard Do your parents know you’re on the dangerous interwebs?

          2. @xtwl Define dangerous :)

          3. @davidnotcoulthard @xtwl

            I have a 15 year old at home, trust me, the interwebs should be the ones worried about dangerous teens ;)

  11. with only 4 engines allowed for the year, i would not be surprised if someteams run a very detuned engine map for evey practise session this year, and then turn the power up for quali and race. qualifying could show a different order and different margines then todays practise runs showed.

    1. Nice comment, I hadn;t thought of that… But not sure it would affect order. More likely the long-run pace will be the decider of the race (other than the first two places, that is).

  12. Please speed traps?

  13. Ferrari has surely improved. But I’d still prefer to wait for quail then the race which will reveal a clearer picture of the pecking order.

    1. @johnbt Sensible comment I have seen all day

    1. yeh it is disspapointing by renault, but it is the result of the stupid current engine regulations. mercedes have somehow aced it, but to see other engine manufactures, 3 of the most successful in F1 in history having troubles shows this sport is not going well. Redbull now have 3 engines and 1 broken one to last a whole season, that is not fair for such a champion team.

      1. Not sure I agree…
        I think that everyone had the same time to develop and Mercedes did a better job so they deserve what they are getting!
        BUT I also think all teams, including Mercedes, should be allowed to develop freely without the token system, maintaining equality for every team in terms of development.

        In respect of RB and Renault they aren’t the only team in bad situation, but they surely are the one that complain more.

        1. I think that everyone had the same time to develop and Mercedes did a better job so they deserve what they are getting!

          You could say that but Mercedes probably shifted their focus to 2014 much earlier.
          Also, the regs are probably playing a part in their dominance.

    2. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      13th March 2015, 13:16

      Amazing that Renault put up with them. Tell them to stop moaning or find another engine.

      1. @weeniebeenie

        RBR gave Renault 4x WCC and 4x WDC. And both VET and WEB were always very generous in their praise of Renault – I recall VET gave some big kudos in 2013 from the podium interviews quite a few times.

  14. Gosh these times are depressing. I am more looking forward to the Miami FE race this weekend.

  15. It was Renault that insist for this turbo engine change and threatened to leave F1.
    Now they are pitiful. Poor Renault I’m so sad for them.

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