Verstappen turns up the heat on Hamilton in P2

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Lewis Hamilton continued to lead the field in the second free practice session of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, but the competition did turn up the heat. Max Verstappen ended up little more than a tenth off the Brit, with Bottas and Raikkonen both at 2 tenths.

Just like in the first session, Romain Grosjean performed admireably in his Haas F1 car, this time even edging out Daniel Ricciardo for 6th.

Behind them, at was Fernando Alonso who claimed 8th, just like in the morning, with Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne putting the second McLaren in 10th. Kevin Magnussen was sandwished in between the McLarens, this time enjoyed a much more productive 90 minutes compared to his P1 running.

With both Haas up into the top 10, this meant both Renault were now out of the better half of the grid. Sainz proved marginally quicker than his team mate yet again while Sergio Perez was the fastest of the Force India drivers in 12th position.

Lance Stroll returned the favour on Sirotkin, by going faster than his rookie team mate this time around. The Russian Williams driver was only just faster than the Alfa Romeo Sauber duo, who were yet again the slowest of the pack.

During the session, Finnish duo Bottas and Verstappen were called to the stewards, as the Ferrari drive was alleged to have impeded Bottas on a quick lap, sending the latter out for a trip through the gravel at Turn 3. No penalties were handed, but the incident showed that tension was already high as teams and drivers tried to do some benchmarking on the ultra soft tyre, which is set to be used for qualifying on Saturday.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:23.931-35
233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:24.058+0.127s34
377Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:24.159+0.228s34
47Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:24.214+0.283s39
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1:24.451+0.520s38
68Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:24.648+0.717s34
73Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:24.721+0.790s28
814Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Renault1:25.200+1.269s28
920Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:25.246+1.315s30
102Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Renault1:25.285+1.354s34
1155Carlos SainzRenault1:25.390+1.459s35
1211Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:25.413+1.482s30
1327Nico HulkenbergRenault1:25.463+1.532s35
1418Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:25.543+1.612s32
1531Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:25.888+1.957s33
1628Brendon HartleyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:25.925+1.994s41
1710Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:25.945+2.014s39
1835Sergey SirotkinWilliams Mercedes1:25.974+2.043s37
199Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:26.814+2.883s31
2016Charles LeclercSauber Ferrari1:26.815+2.884s35