Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2019

Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two, eight-tenths ahead

2019 Australian Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton stayed on top in the second practice session for the Australian Grand Prix as Mercedes extended its margin over its rivals.

The world champion narrowly outpaced his team mate and lapped Albert Park eight-tenths of a second quicker than Max Verstappen, who in turn had his team mate close behind.

The Red Bull pair and Sebastian Vettel’s fifth-placed Ferrari were all covered by less than a tenth of a second. But with the quickest midfield runners only fractionally slower, Ferrari seemed to be keeping some pace in reserve.

Charles Leclerc, who spun at turn four in the final minutes, ended the session ninth fastest. He was separated from Vettel by Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg – the Alfa Romeo leading the Renault by just two-thousandths of a second – and Daniel Ricciardo in the other RS19. Romain Grosjean completed the top 10.

Daniil Kvyat missed a place in the top 10 by a tenth of a second. Team mate Alexander Albon’s travails continued with a series of off-track moments, including a spin at turn 14. He ended up seven-tenths off his team mate.

Racing Point’s updated RP19 was 13th in the hands of Lance Stroll. Carlos Sainz Jnr was the first of the McLaren drivers, a tenth of a second slower.

But Williams’ difficult start to the season continued. George Russell ended second practice 1.7 seconds slower than McLaren’s Lando Norris, who did not appear to have a clean flying lap.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’22.60033
277Valtteri BottasMercedes1’22.6480.04833
333Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’23.4000.80033
410Pierre GaslyRed Bull-Honda1’23.4420.84231
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1’23.4730.87335
67Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’23.5720.97240
727Nico HulkenbergRenault1’23.5740.97437
83Daniel RicciardoRenault1’23.6441.04431
916Charles LeclercFerrari1’23.7541.15435
108Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’23.8141.21437
1126Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’23.9331.33336
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’23.9881.38827
1318Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’24.0111.41138
1455Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’24.1331.53326
1599Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’24.2931.69337
1611Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’24.4011.80134
1723Alexander AlbonToro Rosso-Honda1’24.6752.07540
184Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’24.7332.13326
1963George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’26.4533.85332
2088Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’26.6554.05533

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Second practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’22.600

+0.048 Valtteri Bottas – 1’22.648

+0.800 Max Verstappen – 1’23.400

+0.842 Pierre Gasly – 1’23.442

+0.873 Sebastian Vettel – 1’23.473

+0.972 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’23.572

+0.974 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’23.574

+1.044 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’23.644

+1.154 Charles Leclerc – 1’23.754

+1.214 Romain Grosjean – 1’23.814

+1.333 Daniil Kvyat – 1’23.933

+1.388 Kevin Magnussen – 1’23.988

+1.411 Lance Stroll – 1’24.011

+1.533 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’24.133

+1.693 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’24.293

+1.801 Sergio Perez – 1’24.401

+2.075 Alexander Albon – 1’24.675

+2.133 Lando Norris – 1’24.733

+3.853 George Russell – 1’26.453

+4.055 Robert Kubica – 1’26.655

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2019 Australian Grand Prix

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    Author information

    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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    70 comments on “Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two, eight-tenths ahead”

    1. hahahahahahahahahaha

      1. Indeed, if this is what the year will look like, man, we’re back in 2014.

        1. Well, apart from Williams position (though perhaps their times are like in 2014?)

        2. @bosyber, but the likelihood of that being the case seems low, because Ferrari seemed to be doing some strange things with their pace.

          For example, later on in the session, Vettel was on soft tyres and Leclerc on hard tyres, but Vettel was going no quicker than Leclerc was – which seems a little odd, given that the difference in compound should have meant Vettel was capable of lapping quicker.

          It also seems very unlikely that Kimi and the Alfa Romeo team are going to be that close in terms of performance to their parent team, and indeed in general it seems very unlikely that the midfield pack in general should suddenly be on Ferrari’s pace after being so far adrift last year. The same could be said for Red Bull, as they are only fractionally ahead of the midfield as well – again, an unlikely situation.

          When Red Bull and Ferrari were close to one and a half second clear of the midfield pack in 2018 in qualifying, it seems rather unlikely that the midfield pack will have made that much ground on Red Bull and Ferrari in just one year (even with a regulation change in between). What looks a lot more likely is that Mercedes ran a lap that was similar to qualifying format, whilst Ferrari and Red Bull didn’t.

          What that gap really tells me is that the midfield pack have probably only made up a small portion of the gap that existed in 2018 and that the midfield pack are probably still close to a second adrift of the big three this year – probably another season of “F1 and F1.5”, as some termed it, lies ahead.

          1. Yep, anon, Ferrari are doing a bit odd. Did see pić on Twitter of Vettel’s left front being quite damaged after his run; might be they are overheating the softer tyres, which might explain Leclerc on the hard being relatively close in race run. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

        3. Ferrari aren’t one tenth faster than Renault..Lol how do you guys get so worked up over a practice session?

    2. I am not even Williams team fan but just feel sad (especially for Kubica) how far off the pace they are. 2 seconds off the next fastest car. Unbelievable.

      1. Can someone please do the maths and give a rough estimate of what the 107% time is likely to be in Q1?

        1. @eurobrun

          Assuming an approx. 1:21.00 in Q1, then 7% cutoff is about a 1:26.50.

          For the 7% cutoff to get below 1:26.00, then Q1 top needs to be 1:20.30.

        2. FreddyVictor
          15th March 2019, 7:43

          I calc it to be a 1m 28.382s so Williams are comfortably inside that
          Really not much comfort for them tho’ ….

        3. How can you not be able to calcuate 107% of a certain time yourself?!

          1. UK edukayshun standards…

        4. Suffering Williams Fan
          15th March 2019, 8:24

          If the progression from P2 to Q3 is the same as last year, pole will be a late 1’19.9, putting the 107% rule at 1’25.5 relative to the Q3 time – I’m not sure what the Q1 times were, but on that basis I suspect Williams will be just about ok.

        5. Get a calculator, if it’s 1 minute 20 seconds, that is 80 seconds, so type 80 x 1.07 on your calculator, how hard is that….

        6. Come on @eurobrun, calculating this would take you less time than posting this question.

          But anyways, 107% is exactly 1:47.000 if the fastest Q1 time is 1:40.000 :P

        7. Fair play to all of you calling me out for being lazy. YES I WAS BEING LAZY and yes I should have actually used more context and maybe asked what kind of 107% time is anticipated, based on what we think the Q1 cut off time might? (all speculative).
          However Oople and Suffering Williams Fan were the most helpful and least judgmental :)

          1. @eurobrun
            “(..) yes I should have actually used more context and maybe asked what kind of 107% time is anticipated, based on what we think the Q1 cut off time might? (all speculative).” – Was pretty clear to me what you meant.

        8. @eurobrun another way to look at it is that in FP1 they posted a time 106% of the Hamilton’s and in FP2 it was 105%.

          Since both Merc and Williams are likely to improve this gives a rough guide of where they’re at.

    3. Bwaah-ha-ha! Fantastic. Go Lewis. Mercedes are such trolls. :D

    4. Sadly didn’t get a chance to see the practice session. But just looking at those times, Mercedes have stepped up. In the midfield, Alfa Romeo, Renault and Toro Rosso look good. Sucks that Williams are off the pace but at least Kubica is keeping up with Russell.

      1. Toro rosso is looking seriously impressive, no wonder Renault are sour over the progress of that team.

      2. For some reason Ferrari and Red Bull didn’t improve all that much from fp1, so sandbagging? let’s hope so.

    5. I shall be patient and wait until qualifying before I congratulate Lewis on his sixth championship.

      1. Lol. Awesome comment. Thanks

      2. I already congratulated him after testing…today was just a confirmation.

    6. The hulk vs. The honey badger… Ooo that’s gonna be a good fight me thinks

      1. I’m a Hulkenberg fan, but for all of my Fantasy F1 teams, I picked Ricciardo over him for the “beat teammate” bonus point, because of how Perez had a slight edge over Nico, especially in extracting shock results. I think I may have to re-evaluate my decision until Ricciardo properly settles into Renault.

    7. I don’t think this paints the picture quite well, we have to wait till qualifying to see where mercedes and ferrari stands.

    8. Ferrari are sandbagging big time, but seem to be plagued with some niggling issues; and if what we saw last year is anything to go by, they will get their reserve drivers on the simulators working overtime and fix them overnight.

    9. Being a Kimi Fan is hard you know- changes Teams, Vettel one tenth faster *again*

      1. It’s much more impressive when he’s only 1 tenth behind Vettel in a midfield car. I know it’s just practice but a man can dream. :)

        1. Come on, let’s get down to earth: if RAI was that good, Ferrari would have backed him for the WDC and never hired ALO or VET! Both ALO and VET dominated him… and that happened over a 5 years period.

          1. …and none of them won a championship …

        2. I saw all practice yesterday have to say Kimi looked extremely comfortable and relatively fast. Only saw one little twitch as he found the car’s limit (which he immediately gathered without issue). Impressive also how be maintained his relative pace while still appearing not to be overexerting himself or car. As issues, incidents, and bungles occur during the season I can see him lurking ready to claim a podium or three. Yes I admire him but wouldn’t class myself as a fan. (I have to be a danfan but will say straight out he didn’t look comfortable with the car or the track, but Kimi sure did!)

      2. I know it’s only practice, but it’s fun to think about Kimi mixing it up with Ferrari and Red Bull for podium spots this year (and maybe even a surprise win if the planets align themselves properly). As an Alfa driver myself (although my car is much, much slower than Kimi’s car… although at least I have air conditioning) I’m excited that they could have a good chance at being “best of the rest” this year.

        But it’s Australia, and we know it can be very different here compared to the next three races, even if things go very well on Saturday and Sunday.

    10. So, Hamilton was right, the Mercedes are lagging behind the quicker Ferraris!

    11. I know it’s speculation. But I can’t help but think what a difference Alonso’s extra few tenths could have made to McLaren in a midfield that tight

      1. Yeah but he rightly doesn’t want to be there and they got to get on with it on their own rather than rely on him.

        Ferrari had to and without him they did improve, partially because they had to.

      2. My emotion is slightly different; still utterly disappointed that McLaren can’t even get to the top of the midfield.
        Maybe they should hire Lowe ;)

        1. Maybe a new manufacturer/drinks company/tobacconist can just buy Mclaren and Williams for the price of one by midseason and have the a-b-team lineup already in place @coldfly ?

    12. These times are still a fair bit slower than last year’s pole time (which was 1:21.164). I suspect we’ll see Merc and Ferrari pull clear of the pack when they turn up the engines for qualifying; it’s going to be fascinating to see what progress Honda have made on their “Party Mode”.

      Finally, don’t forget that Merc out qualified everyone by over 0.6 seconds last year and many fans immediately started writing off the whole season. So don’t panic if something similar happens this year.

    13. Isn’t it ironic how everyone who refused to draw conclusions from testing are now drawing conclusions from free practice and now laughing at Mercedes being fastest

      1. Maybe we should wait until Mexico.

        1. @ruliemaulana Hey people were still arguing who was quickest last year after Abu Dhabi! Can say one thing for sure…. it ain’t Williams!!!

      2. It’s the strength of this site though; everybody commenting with full season conclusions after every ray of sunshine or drop of rain.

        1. @Coldfly Great comment mate

    14. Free practise 2, fastest times this year compared to last year. Williams nearly a second slower, while alfa over 3 seconds faster!
      Alfa -3.2s
      STR -2s
      Renault -1.8s
      RP -1.4s
      Mercedes -1.3s
      Haas -1.1s
      McLaren -1.0s
      Ferrari -0.7s
      Red Bull -0.6s
      Williams +0.9s

      1. This is what I wanted to know. How much slower will the cars be after aero regulations taking away performance?

        On average faster then not slower, 1.5 or so faster. Does that mean aero regs totally failed?

        1. New aero regs were to reduce the effects of dirty air when following another car closely, not to make the cars slower necessarily. So we’ll have to wait until racing to judge the new rules.

        2. Does that mean aero regs totally failed?

          Comparing against last year is ridiculous though. They’ve had a whole year of development since then which has brought seconds of laptime to the cars ( expect Williams I guess). Plus they are running 2019 engines not 2018 (more laptime there too).

          The only correct comparison for your statement to be correct would be against how fast the cars would have been had the rules not changed.

          1. Martin, as others have noted, the primary intention was not to slow the cars down anyway – it was just noted as a possible side effect, but for some reason there seem to be a lot of people wrongly focussing on that.

            Furthermore, weren’t the practise times of the top teams in 2018 slower than expected? In the 2018 FP2 session, Hamilton and Vettel set times that were 0.3s slower than their 2017 times, whilst Bottas basically matched his times from the previous year. Is it therefore necessarily a case of the cars being dramatically faster, or that the times from 2018 were probably unrepresentative in the first place?

    15. Cristiano Ferreira
      15th March 2019, 8:44

      Also i just noted that’s the second time Lance Stroll finished ahead of Perez. I wonder if they are giving the better parts to him, or are we seeing that Stroll is already better than Perez?

      1. Lol ‘the better parts.’ They only just brought their heavy revisions to Australia. How would they know what are ‘the better parts’? Already better than Perez? After two practice sessions?

        The only thing we can take from Racing Point for now is that indeed Stroll was limited by the Williams. Now that he is in a mid-field car he is performing as such. Drivers are coloured by their cars. Oh I guess there is one other thing we can take from this. If Stroll bests Perez it will only be because Daddy gives him better parts. Couldn’t possibly be that Stroll knows what he is doing.

        1. The only thing we can take from Racing Point for now is that indeed Stroll was limited by the Williams

          This was pretty obvious last year too. You dont get a front row start in a modern day Williams at a wet Monza by being “the worst driver ever to sit in an F1 car” Was only the Kubica fanboys who were crying out that the car was fine and it was all Stroll being crap. “Car wouldn’t be last if Kubica was driving”

          Wonder if they’ll blame the car this year for Kubica being last?

        2. Cristiano Ferreira
          15th March 2019, 15:47

          Well if he did beat Perez on merit i guess he deserves some credit. More credit than most people give to him. Am I right? After all we are talking about the most hated driver in the entire grid going against one that most people think are at least good enough for a top team seat.

      2. Stroll’s front row start and podium against other atrocious performances made it difficult to judge, but interesting to follow this season.

        Perez is already saying he has good car understanding, and without a doubt the car will be made to suit Stroll and not Perez, but to beat or even match an old fox like Perez will be undeniable.

    16. McLaren = still mediocre chassis. 0 chances their Renault engine is worse than works-spec engine by +1sec… not to mention +1.5sec.

      1. Engines are identical!

        1. +1.

          Just saying that, hypothetically speaking, even if their engine is not as good as the works Renault engine, still it can’t be +1sec worse. Now that RBR is using Honda engines and they’re still in TOP3, all those claims from McLaren’s side that their chassis was/is a top chassis, and with a ”proper” engine they could take the fight to the TOP3… was just daydreaming. It’s obvious now that their downfall wasn’t mostly engine-related, but team/chassis related. Just not as worse as Williams…

      2. @mg1982
        But wasn’t that clear already? Also, why do use +1(.5)s while SAI is less than 0.6s off?

        1. Yeah, for me it was clear it’s not Honda mostly at fault since their 2nd season together. Thing is we’re still getting proof it’s like we said, and not like McLaren said.

          I said the difference is 1.5sec because the comparison is not made towards Renault, but towards Mercedes/Ferrari/RBR. McLaren themselves said their chassis is great, top chassis, and with a top engine too they could fight the BIG3. Obviously… this year again… not the case at all.

    17. @Euro Brun
      You are asking two questions.
      1: Estimating what the fastest Q1 time will be.
      2: The 107% of that time.

      It is safe to assume the fastest times won’t be under 1:18(78s) more likely around the 1:20(80s) or 1:21(81s)mark.

      A 1:40(100s) lap 107% is 107 or 7.0s slower
      A 1:30 (90s) lap 107% is 96.3 or 6.3s slower
      A 1:20 (80s) lap 107% is 85.6 or 5.6s slower

      Williams can afford to be 5s slower based on our earlier assumption.

    18. Marinated Monolith (@)
      15th March 2019, 10:08

      Show of hands, how many of you still refer to the Alfa Romeos as Saubers?
      I did that like a dozen times today and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

      1. Duncan Snowden
        15th March 2019, 16:43

        Hey, I still refer to Toro Rosso as Minardi sometimes…

    19. My take away is how close Gasly is to Max. I expected 3 tenths at least. I hope Gasly can give Max something to think about this year.

      1. I doubt Gasly is at Max’s level as I think few are, but if that were to prove to be untrue and Gasly is that good that would sure add to the show and be a benefit to F1 overall. Max is up for any challenge and likely has the Mercs and Ferrari’s on his mind more than Gasly, although he will want them both to be advancing the RBR’s together at the same time as they try to beat each other and beat the leaders.

        Also so far the Mercedes are very close and this is supposed to be VB’s year to really shine and show us something different. If he is to take the gloves off and take it to LH then that will add bigtime to the show too. If SV and LH are close as things average out, VB must head LH starting now if he is to have any chance of not being ordered down so that he doesn’t take points away from LH if the sense is LH will need them again against SV.

    20. All of these people commenting thinking Mercedes are actually that far ahead, Ferrari aren’t 1 tenth faster than Renault..

      If you can’t figure out that Ferrari weren’t pushing that session then you haven’t watched F1 for long lol

    21. Hi Keith,

      Would it be possible for you to produce proper lap time analysis comparing long run pace of the teams. And also for qualifications runs. The table that you are presenting, without even indicating the tire or stint length from which it is taken, is very hard to ready into. Maybe you could bring F1 metrics guy to run his model every race-weekend. Apparently hi is doing his analysis completely for publicity bono so maybe he could be interested in wider exposure on your site.
      I certainly would love to see this happening.

    Comments are closed.