Second free practice results are in! Here are the takeaways:
• Hamilton Still On Top:
Hamilton has backed up a successful free practice 1 with a stellar performance in his second showing. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest at this point that Free Practice 1 wasn’t a fluke (not that many would think it was), and Mercedes are in a strong position to dominate the weekend.
• Verstappen Splits the Mercedes:
There is a shining light of the second practice for the neutral fan, and its in the form of Max Verstappen. Verstappen confirmed a time which was within 2-tenths of a second from Hamilton. If Red Bull can find another gear when qualifying is in session tomorrow to match Mercedes, we may be in for an excellent scrap for pole position.
• Grid Penalty for Ricciardo:
Daniel Ricciardo received a 3-place grid penalty for failing to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU under a red flag, meaning the best starting position he can hope for this weekend is from the second row. Ricciardo can’t seem to catch a break in Melbourne.
• Williams Appear Off the Pace
Williams do not appear to have sorted out their slump from the middle-end of the 2017 season. With many off-season rumblings about who will partner Stroll, practice results suggest that their fortunes have not turned around on-track.
– Raikkonen to report to stewards for unnecessarily impeding another driver.
– Bottas to report ro stewards for unnecessarily impeding another driver.
– Ricciardo grid penalty for failing to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU under a red flag.