Practice Two - McLaren lead rain-hit session 26 Mar 2010
Friday afternoons second practice session for this weekend's Australian Grand Prix nearly only lasted half an hour, even though the clocks were running for three times that. The problem was that one of the forecast showers arrived a third of the way through, and left the track so slick that it was not until the last 10 minutes that anybody went any faster.
McLarens Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button set the pace early on with 1m 25.801s and 1m 26.076s respectively, and after the rain the closest anyone got to them was Mark Webber who vaulted up to third place for Red Bull with 1m 26.248s.
That displaced Michael Schumacher, who had been the first man to get going once the track had dried out again. The German whistled his Mercedes round in 1m 26.511s, ahead of the impressive Vitaly Petrov who recorded 1m 26.732s for Renault. It was the first time that Schumacher has been ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg this season.
Toro Rossos Sebastien Buemi, Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi were separated by three-thousandths of a second in sixth to eighth places, the German leapfrogging his Force India team mate by a thousandth in the dying moments. Williams Rubens Barrichello and Mercedess Nico Rosberg completed the runners below 1m 27s, with 1m 26.904s and 1m 26.956s respectively.
Robert Kubica was 11th for Renault on 1m 27.108s, a time matched by Pedro de la Rosa as BMW Sauber enjoyed a more trouble-free session. The Spaniard got in Buttons way right at the end, however, which did not please the world champion. Kamui Kobayashi was 13th with 1m 27.455s, and managed not to lose a wing this time.
Behind them, Nico Hulkenberg lapped his Williams in 1m 27.545s, and then came Fernando Alonso in the first of the Ferraris on 1m 29.025s ahead of Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel on 1m 29.134s. The German spun in Turn Five in his efforts to go faster. Ferraris Felipe Massa was 17th on 1m 29.591s, while Heikki Kovalainen encouraged Lotus no end with 1m 29.860s for 18th.
Toro Rossos Jaime Alguersuari was 19th on 1m 30.510s and Jarno Trulli was further behind his Lotus team mate this time, with 1m 30.695s. Virgins Timo Glock was the final runner with a time of 1m 32.117s in the Virgin. His partner Lucas di Grassi did not get a timed lap, and neither did the two HRT drivers, Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna. Chandhok at one stage came to a halt while exiting the pits.