The weather forecast called for rain after a few minutes of the second free practice session of the Australian GP and the wait for the (slight) water was not disappointed, throwing off all the work plans that the teams had planned to prepare for the race with two long runs.
The drivers managed to lap in the first twenty minutes and the fastest was Fernando Alonso with the Aston Martin on the medium tyres: the Spaniard finished in 1’18″887, i.e. just over a tenth from the performance by Max Verstappen this morning with the soft If we consider that the compound jump in Melbourne is worth more than half a second, it is clear that there was a large margin for improvement.
In these conditions it is really difficult to make assessments, but we can tell you that Charles Leclerc with Ferrari has emerged behind the “verdona”. With the same yellow rubber, the Monegasque climbed to second place with a gap of 445 thousandths from the Asturian. Also in this session the redhead gave the sensation of immediately adapting to the characteristics of the track: both Charles and Sainz decided on the more advanced bottom with the curl on the trailing edge.
Seeing the SF-23 in front of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull suggests that this time in Maranello, perhaps, they understood something, and, at least, they didn’t seem in the ball, but let’s not delude ourselves. The Dutchman pays a couple of tenths to Ferrari with the same yellow tyre: Red Bull also seemed quite nervous in this second session, with the world champion not free from small mistakes that didn’t allow him to get ahead.
If Max worked on the yellows, Sergio Perez had to devote himself to the reds: the Mexican had to abort two attempts due to heavy traffic, so it shouldn’t be surprising that he only finished seventh. The session counts for little and all evaluations will be postponed to FP3, especially as qualifying and the race will be dry.
George Russell placed Mercedes in fourth position with a 1’19″672 one tenth behind the world champion’s Red Bull, keeping Carlos Sainz behind by only 23 thousandths with the second SF-23. The Spaniard seems to do a little more struggled to adapt to changing conditions with a more consistent red than one might have thought The two Prancing Horse riders preferred to give up running in the rain, saving engine mileage.
Lando Norris is eighth for McLaren, with Oscar Piastri fourteenth. The Australian took away the satisfaction of being the fastest with the intermediate tyres: the talent who races at home shot an encouraging 1’28″110, ahead of the Williams of Alexander Albon in the wet, which in the list of drivers with the best time figure 18th, penultimate.
His teammate, Logan Sargeant was watching colleagues as mechanics from the Grove team were unable to complete his FW45 after mechanical problems that stopped him in the morning.
Wanting to close the top 10 we indicate Nico Hulkenberg ninth with the Haas in front of Pierre Gasly with the Alpine. Yuki Tsunoda follows with the AlphaTauri who controlled Valtteri Bottas with the Alfa Romeo. The Finn must have smiled when he saw that Lewis Hamilton was behind with the W14: the seven-time world champion was working on the race with the hard tires and didn’t look for performance.
In short, the session didn’t help clarify any doubts: on the contrary, the drizzle complicated the plans of the teams who don’t have enough data to plan the match. Tomorrow we will see some good ones…
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