Lewis Hamilton topped both Friday practice sessions in Australia, ahead of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
In Free Practice 1 it was last year’s champion Lewis Hamilton who had the fastest lap. Putting in a 1:23.599, Hamilton was ahead of Sebastian Vettel by 0.038. His teammate Valtteri Bottas was 5th on the timing sheet, behind by 0.267. Charles Leclerc was in third place, behind by 0.074s.
During the session there was a red flag put out due to Alexander Albon spinning out in sector one. The car collided with a barrier, making the front wing of the car fall off. Valtteri Bottas spun in sector three but avoided making contact with any walls.
The two Williams cars placed last in the timing sheet, both being more than four seconds behind the best lap. George Russell stopped his car on pit lane at one point in the session and had his car pushed back to his box.
Kimi Raikkonen was the highest placing driver in this session who isn’t in a 2018 top three team, as he joined the Alfa Romeo squad this year.
In the second practice session Lewis Hamilton found himself improving his FP1 lap time, clocking in a 1:22.600 lap to get first place. Fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was behind him by 0.048s. The Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly took third and fourth with Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari taking fifth. Gasly reported a loss of power in the car with only a few minutes left in the session.
Alexander Albon’s troubles continued into the second practice session as he went off track in sector 3, losing control by hitting grass beside the track.
Kimi Raikkonen continued to be the highest placing driver who wasn’t from Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull. Renault placed 7th and 8th after Ricciardo was in 17th in FP1.
Williams continued to struggle in the second practice session, nearly being a second slower than everyone on the grid.
The final practice session will be held tomorrow at 11 PM EST with the qualifying held at 2 AM EST. The Formula 1 season will officially commence on Sunday when the Australian Grand Prix takes place at 1 AM EST.