Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of second practice for the Australian Grand Prix, beating Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with the defending champion team followed by the drivers of Red Bull and Ferrari.
Hamilton claimed the top spot on the yellow-banded C2 medium compound on offer from Pirelli this weekend. The lap arrived midway through the 90-minute session and eventually left the five-time champion 0.048s clear of Bottas.
Behind the Mercedes duo, Max Verstappen was third fastest for Honda-powered Red Bull, though the Dutchman was 0.8s slower than Hamilton, after delaying his performance run until the late stages of the session.
Verstappen’s time of 1:23.400 put him four hundredths of a second clear of new team-mate Pierre Gasly.
Ferrari, who saw Sebastian Vettel take P2 in the morning with a deficit of less than four hundredths of a second to Hamilton, had a more difficult second session both drivers complaining of handling issues.
Vettel bolted on a set of red banded C3 Pirellis, the softest on offer at Albert Park later in the session and clawed his way to fifth place 0.873s off Hamilton. Team-mate Charles Leclerc finished the session in ninth place 0.281s behind Vettel. The Monegasque driver also had a spin during the session, losing control at the exit of Turn 4. The incident was a minor one, however, and he was able to continue on his way.
As in the morning session, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was best-of-the-rest in sixth place, 0.972 behind Hamilton and just two thousands of a second clear of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg. The German driver ended the session 0.070s ahead of his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
The top 10 order was completed by Haas’ Romain Grosjean who finished 1.214 off the P1 pace.
2019 Formula One Australian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 33 1:22.600
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 33 1:22.648 0.048
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 33 1:23.400 0.800
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 31 1:23.442 0.842
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 35 1:23.473 0.873
6 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 40 1:23.572 0.972
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 37 1:23.574 0.974
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 31 1:23.644 1.044
9 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 35 1:23.754 1.154
10 Romain Grosjean Haas 37 1:23.814 1.214
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 36 1:23.933 1.333
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 27 1:23.988 1.388
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point 38 1:24.011 1.411
14 Carlos Sainz McLaren 26 1:24.133 1.533
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 37 1:24.293 1.693
16 Sergio Perez Racing Point 34 1:24.401 1.801
17 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 40 1:24.675 2.075
18 Lando Norris McLaren 26 1:24.733 2.133
19 George Russell Williams 32 1:26.453 3.853
20 Robert Kubica Williams 33 1:26.655 4.055