GP Australia, prove libere venerdì–13/03/2015
Australian GP: Nico Rosberg on top again for Mercedes in practice
Nico Rosberg pipped Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the top of the timesheets in the second free practice session for the Australian Grand Prix.
Rosberg ended up exactly one tenth of a second quicker than his team-mate once both had completed their quick runs after switching to the soft-compound Pirellis.
The German had slipped to third overall based on his pace on the mediums thanks to Ferrari pairing Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen bolting on the softs and temporarily taking first and second places.
But at around the halfway point of the session, Rosberg set his fastest time on softs, beating Vettel by 0.715s.
Hamilton then attempted to hit back, but despite setting the fastest time of the session in the middle sector of the Albert Park circuit, could not overhaul his team-mate.
Vettel and Raikkonen held on to third and fourth places, with Raikkonen just over four tenths slower than his team-mate but admitting over the radio that it was "not a very good lap".
Valtteri Bottas was fifth fastest for Williams, 1.568s off the pace, but team-mate Felipe Massa was unable to run thanks to a water leak that was detected ahead of the session.
Red Bull also had only one car running thanks to the need for an engine change on Daniel Ricciardo’s machine.
But team-mate Daniil Kvyat was sixth fastest, albeit 2.319s off the pace and only just ahead of Carlos Sainz, who was the fastest of Red Bull’s ‘B-team’ drivers at Toro Rosso.
Sainz, who also showed well in the first session, again had a strong run, but did suffer a brief spin on the entry to the Turn 15 left-hander with 26 minutes remaining.
Lotus pairing Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean were eighth and ninth fastest, although both endured brief off-track moments early in the session.
Maldonado ran wide onto the grass exiting Turn 15, while Grosjean slid through the gravel at Turn 3.
Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10 in the lead Force India, 2.776s off Rosberg’s fastest time.
The Sauber team made its first appearance of the weekend after sitting out the opening session amid its court case with Giedo van der Garde.
Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson were the first two drivers to head out onto the circuit, with the former ending up 11th quickest ahead of the second Force India of Sergio Perez.
But Ericsson had a more troubled session thanks to a problem with the left-rear corner cropping up as he exited the final corner.
Ericsson suspected a suspension problem, with the team saying that the wheel was rubbing on some bodywork, and he was unable to return to the track.
After a troubled first session, during which both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen faced restricted running thanks to an air intake problem, McLaren again struggled.
The Dane, filling in for Fernando Alonso, crashed at Turn 6 on his fifth lap after losing the rear end and being spat into the gravel while attempting to recover.
Magnussen was uninjured, but his crash brought out the red flag for seven minutes while his car was recovered.
Button ended the session 13th, 3.690s off the pace, and one place ahead of the second Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen, whose running was limited to just six laps because of a battery problem.
Only 16 drivers were able to set a time thanks to the problems for Massa and Ricciardo, with Manor pairing Robert Merhi and Will Stevens also not participating.
The Manor team is continuing to work to reinstall software needed to operate the car, a consequence of all of its hard drives being wiped prior to the planned auction of the teams assets that was cancelled once an investor was found.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m30.016s||2.319s||27|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m30.071s||2.374s||41|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m30.473s||2.776s||30|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m30.980s||3.283s||32|
|14||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m31.395s||3.698s||6|
Australian GP: Nico Rosberg pips Lewis Hamilton in practice one
Nico Rosberg edged Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top the first free practice session of the new Formula 1 season by less than half a tenth of a second.
Rosberg’s first serious effort as the teams began their preparations for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix proved enough to top the session.
His best lap of 1m29.557s fell less than two tenths shy of the fastest lap of the entire weekend at last year’s Albert Park race.
Reigning F1 world champion Hamilton languished in the lower half of the top 10 for the first part of the session, before clocking a 1m29.586s best to leap up to second.
No one else could get within a second of the Mercedes duo, but Williams driver Valtteri Bottas got closest, lapping 1.191s slower than Rosberg to finish the session third fastest.
Toro Rosso rookies Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen were fourth and fifth (separated by just 0.053s) for much of the session, before Ferrari new boy Sebastian Vettel split them with a late improvement.
His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was eighth quickest, just behind the second Williams of Felipe Massa.
Pastor Maldonado began the new Mercedes-powered era at Lotus by setting the ninth fastest time, but team-mate Romain Grosjean failed to record a timed lap after his E23 required a change of its floor.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo recovered from an early hydraulic problem and a brief spin to round out the top 10.
He complained of "aggressive" throttle response from the RB11’s Renault engine, while team-mate Daniil Kvyat was concerned by a lack of assistance from the power unit in slowing the car down under braking.
Kvyat finished the session just a fraction of a second clear of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, who are both making up for a late start to pre-season testing for Force India.
Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen completed a combined 13 laps for McLaren-Honda, which curtailed its running early once the team discovered an engine problem.
Both McLarens lapped more than two seconds slower than the Force Indias and roughly five adrift of the pacesetting Mercedes.
Amid an ongoing legal wrangle with its former reserve driver Giedo van der Garde, Sauber did not run either of its cars in this session.
The team refused to comment on the exact reason for Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson missing the session when contacted by AUTOSPORT.
Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens also skipped the first practice session of the new season for the revived Manor GP/Marussia squad.
After its 2014 computer hard-drives were ‘wiped’ (ready to be auctioned off when the team was in administration), it was unable to update its software in time for its revised ’14 cars to run.
The team hopes to be ready in time to run in practice two later on Friday.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|4||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m31.014s||1.457s||32|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m31.067s||1.510s||31|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m31.570s||2.013s||9|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m32.073s||2.516s||18|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m32.247s||2.690s||22|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m32.261s||2.704s||19|