McLaren on top in Australia FP2

McLaren overthrew Red Bull off the top of the leaderboards in Friday Practice 2 in Melbourne, as Jenson Button led Lewis Hamilton by one tenth of a second.

Fernando Alonso was one hundreth of a second behind Hamilton. The Red Bulls lay 4th and 5th, with Vettel leading Webber.

Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa both had off-track moments, but they both survived to finish 6th and 7th respectively. Sergio Perez beat his team-mate Kobayashi by an entire second on his way to 8th.

Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld were 12th and 13th for Renault, with Petrov making a mistake and running into the gravel during the day. The Force Indias were 16th and 17th, with Paul di Resta leading Adrian Sutil.

Pastor Maldonado struggled in 18th, 3.5 seconds off the pace. Both Lotus cars got out of the garage in FP2, albeit 5 seconds off the pace. The Virgin cars were equally matched, with Jerome D’Ambrosio beating Timo Glock by 0.029 seconds.

Hispania just got Vitantonio Liuzzi out of the garage with 3 minutes to go. The Italian made one installation lap before entering the pits again as the session ended. F1 fans with good memory will remember the exact same situation with the team in Bahrain last year.

Despite defying the odds with an underpowered car in testing, Button has said that he and the team will not get carried away with this result:

"Today showed that, first of all, we’ve got reliability – which is great. That’s
something we’ve not had all winter, so to have a car that runs for as many laps
as we want it to is very satisfying. It also means we can get stuck into our set-
up work and improve the car.

I don’t think there’s much to be gained from looking at today’s times though, so
I’m not going to get too carried away.

Still, it’s been a positive day because we’ve been able to do so much running and
get a good feeling for the car on different fuel loads.

The new exhaust has definitely brought performance to the car – it feels much
better, makes the handling more complete."

Times from Australia FP2:

Pos  Driver         Team                   Time      Gap     Laps
 1.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1.25.854           32
 2.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes      1.25.986   0.132   31
 3.  Alonso         Ferrari               1.26.001   0.147   28
 4.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault      1.26.014   0.160   35
 5.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault      1.26.283   0.429   33
 6.  Schumacher     Mercedes              1.26.590   0.736   31
 7.  Massa          Ferrari               1.26.789   0.935   34
 8.  Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1.27.101   1.247   39
 9.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth     1.27.280   1.426   34
10.  Rosberg        Mercedes              1.27.448   1.594   23
11.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1.27.525   1.671   31
12.  Petrov         Renault               1.27.528   1.674   29
13.  Heidfeld       Renault               1.27.536   1.682   22
14.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1.27.697   1.843   30
15.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari        1.28.095   2.241   35
16.  di Resta       Force India-Mercedes  1.28.376   2.522   33
17.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes  1.28.583   2.729   31
18.  Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth     1.29.386   3.532   29
19.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault         1.30.829   4.975   22
20.  Trulli         Lotus-Renault         1.30.912   5.058   23
21.  D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth       1.32.106   6.252   36
22.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth       1.32.135   6.281   30
23.  Liuzzi         HRT-Cosworth          N/A                1
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