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McLarens on Top, Ferraris Near Bottom, in Melbourne’s Second Free Practice

Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari in Melbourne - he managed only 15th in FP2

The McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button topped the time sheets in Friday’s second free practice session in Melbourne.  The session was punctuated by spells of intermittent rain, which created narrow windows of optimal track conditions, and made the session’s final times somewhat inconclusive. Ferrari, for example, finished the session well down the roster, largely due to the fact that they set their best times on a damp track.

The most experienced drivers, who were already familiar with the track layout, spent much of the session parked in the garage, while the rookies tried to take advantage of available track time as much as possible, regardless of conditions.

The McLarens set their times in the early part of the session, and they remained unmatched, although Mark Webber (Red Bull) and Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) came close to the Woking duo in the late stages of the day, when the track had become fairly dry.

This session saw newbie teams struggle again, with both HRT cars suffering from mechanical gremlins which kept them from completing any timed laps.  And while Timo Glock managed a handful of laps in his Virgin car, his team mate Lucas di Grassi was able to complete no more than an installation lap, with no official time.

In a related story, Virgin have admitted that they’ll need to fit their cars with larger fuel tanks in order to complete some of the races on the 2010 calendar.  Fuel tank capacity would seem to be a fairly fundamental design spec, and revising it at this stage could prove costly if it involves any significant alteration of the chassis. The revision would be subject to the same homologation process as the original chassis.

Image by f1photo.org, licensed through Creative Commons.

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.472 13
2 Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.076 + 0.275 16
3 Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:26.248 + 0.447 22
4 Schumacher Mercedes 1:26.511 + 0.710 16
5 Petrov Renault 1:26.732 + 0.931 26
6 Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:26.832 + 1.031 29
7 Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:26.834 + 1.033 22
8 Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:26.835 + 1.034 17
9 Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:26.904 + 1.103 25
10 Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.956 + 1.155 22
11 Kubica Renault 1:27.108 + 1.307 28
12 de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.108 + 1.307 25
13 Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.455 + 1.654 23
14 Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:27.545 + 1.744 25
15 Alonso Ferrari 1:29.025 + 3.224 20
16 Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:29.134 + 3.333 19
17 Massa Ferrari 1:29.591 + 3.790 21
18 Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:29.860 + 4.059 15
19 Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.510 + 4.709 43
20 Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:30.695 + 4.894 17
21 Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:32.117 + 6.316 9
22 di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 0:00.00 2
23 Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 0:00.00 1
24 Senna HRT-Cosworth 0:00.00 0
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