Hamilton still fastest after beating his 2016 pole time

Lewis Hamilton continued to set the pace in the opening round of 2017 Formula 1 World Championship, but Sebastian Vettel managed to split two Mercedes drivers with a half a second gap to Hamilton in second place.

Hamilton beat his 2016 pole position time (1:23.8) comfortably on ultrasoft tyres despite more to come from his Mercedes W08 and track still being dirty. Briton said he is ‘99% happy’ with his progress so far while Vettel and Raikkonen felt there is much more to come from Ferrari SF70H after its balance was far from ideal.

Red Bulls were fifth and sixth with Ricciardo again faster than Verstappen who went of the track in his ultrasoft run and damaged the floor of his Red Bull RB13 with just eight laps completed.

Sainz was seventh fastest for Toro Rosso after Massa had gearbox issues while Grosjean and Hulkenberg were eight and ninth fastest, just like in first free practice. Kvyat rounded up top10 in front of Perez in Force India and Alonso in McLaren Honda.

AUSTRALIAN GP SECOND FREE PRACTICE

1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:23.620 34
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:24.167 0.547 35
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:24.176 0.556 34
4 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:24.525 0.905 30
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull TAG Heuer 1:24.650 1.030 27
6 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull TAG Heuer 1:25.013 1.393 8
7 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso Renault 1:25.084 1.464 34
8 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:25.436 1.816 29
9 27 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:25.478 1.858 36
10 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Renault 1:25.493 1.873 39
11 11 Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes 1:25.591 1.971 35
12 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:26.000 2.380 19
13 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:26.145 2.525 37
14 19 Felipe Massa WilliamsMercedes 1:26.331 2.711 6
15 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:26.498 2.878 29
16 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:26.525 2.905 27
17 2 S.Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:26.608 2.988 33
18 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:26.919 3.299 30
19 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:27.279 3.659 8
20 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:27.549 3.929 4

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