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Australia 2011 - Free Practice 2 highlights - Rain affects running, but a ninety minute session is completed

Published by Mr. C

Mark Webber makes himself at home
Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The second of Friday's allotted track time got off to a damp start as a rain shower passed over the circuit. That didn't stop teams getting on with a busy 90 minutes of preparations though.

Gone were the Friday drivers of the morning session, and out came the yellow branded option tyres. There were plenty of off-track excursions as the times began to tumble, before a late shower wiped the pace from the track and the day's action drew to quiet conclusion.

Relive it all minute by minute with the second Factbyte Factbox stream of this brand new F1 season.

As it happened: 2011 Australia - Free Practice 2

  • 05:23

    Welcome to Free Practice 2 in Australia

  • 05:24

    Your usual host for all things Factbyte Factboxy is fast asleep, so Mr C is manning the pumps this morning.

  • 05:26

    As usual, Sidepodcast has a live commenting thread for session discussion:

  • 05:26

    The fantastic dashboard allows you to comment, follow Twitter updates and see the FBFB too:

  • 05:27

    The video feed has begun and spots of rain can be seen. This could be a quiet session, phew!

  • 05:29

    Official live timing is available here:

  • 05:30

    Nico Rosberg makes himself comfortable in his cockpit.

  • 05:30

    Green flag Session started.

  • 05:31

    Sergio Pérez is the first man on track in this session.

  • 05:32

    Pérez is quickly followed by Jaime Alguersuari, it's his first time driving the 2011 Toro Rosso in Melbourne.

  • 05:34

    Interview with Christian Horner: "Surprised with the tyre wear, had one issue with debris, so far it looks promising."

  • 05:35

    9 cars now circulating the track as the first two runners put in a time.

  • 05:37

    QuoteComment from Paul at the circuit: "My stand is packed."

  • 05:37

    RadioTeam radio to Timo Glock: "No more rain forecast."

  • 05:39

    After experiencing troubles during FP1, the official F1 timing app tweets with good news: @f1timingapp: We're live. Cars are moving. Sorry for issues in P1. Please give the app time to connect - it will get there.

  • 05:42

    Pastor Maldonado gets it wrong in the Williams, replays show him taking a little too much kerb, kicking up stones and debris as he makes his way back to the racing line.

  • 05:43

    RadioTeam radio to Lewis Hamilton: "You are the fastest car on track - middle sector could still be improved a little."

  • 05:45



    Wind speed4.3mps
  • 05:47

    5Live report that HRT might manage an installation lap today, but nothing more.

  • 05:49

    Hamilton currently sits at the top of the timesheets with a 1:26.961. He's back in the pits now.

  • 05:50

    Jarno Trulli mimicked Pastor's earlier mistake and then turned it up to eleven. He just managed to keep it out of the barriers, but will need to return to the pits for a dusting down.

  • 05:56

    Tweet@OfficialLRPG: "Apparently there is more rain on the radar. Won't be heavy but could hit us soon."

  • 06:01

    Only a handful of cars continue to circulate, the fastest of which is Jenson Button in 3rd place, while Felipe Massa closes in with a 4th pace time.

  • 06:03

    Ian Phillips: "We've got to be very aware of the 107% rule at Virgin."

  • 06:04

    JB puts in a purple first sector and goes top with a 1:26.706.

  • 06:06

    That was Jenson's last timed lap. Schumacher puts in a fast S1 and hauls himself from 7th up to the top of the table with a 1.26:590.

  • 06:07
    Inter-Team Battle
    Rubens Barrichello4th
    Pastor Maldonado14th
  • 06:11
    Mid-Field Positions
    10HeidfeldRenault GP
    11AlguersuariToro Rosso
    13BuemiToro Rosso
    14KobayashiSauber F1
  • 06:12

    Maldonado managed to lose a place while Barrichello retains his 4th position. A chasm of difference between old-hand and rookie.

  • 06:16

    Plenty more pace to come from the track as Hamilton puts in two purple sectors on that last lap. Petrov manages two personal bests in S1 and S3 also, although he finds himself back in 9th.

  • 06:17

    Interview with Daniel Ricciardo: "The first session goes fast, the track was not the cleanest. I wanted a bit more time down there., but all in all I was pretty happy with it.".

  • 06:18

    Buemi gets it wrong in the braking zone and replays show him taking a trip across the gravel. No damage done.

  • 06:19

    QuoteComment from Nathan: "Buemi is on yellow tyres.. softs.. didn't even notice at first.."

  • 06:20

    Looks like more teams are selecting the yellow Pirelli option tyres as Massa and Button both try them on for size.

  • 06:21

    QuoteComment from Steve Roy: "I hate that they call them options. It's compulsory to run them. There is no option."

  • 06:22

    Vitaly Petrov is another driver to lock up in the braking zone and tip-toe across the gravel trap. Petrov was not running option tyres at the time.

  • 06:24
    Top Speeds
    Sector 1Button286kph
    Sector 2Rosberg301kph
    Sector 3Schumacher305kph
    Speed trapKobayashi314kph
  • 06:25

    Button and Vettel are currently trading fastest first sector top speeds, while the Mercedes drivers appear to have the second and third sector speeds all to themselves.

  • 06:27

    TweetTweet from @MikeGascoyne: Fuel pressure problem problem for Jarno and engine misfire for Heikki, both now fixed, tough day at the office today

  • 06:29

    A quick look at the top of the table. Button leads, Hamilton and Alonso. Hamilton has completed 19 laps, Button 18 while Vettel has put in just 15.

  • 06:34

    The F1 timing app offers additional data over the usual FOM feed. Sector speeds for all drivers. I can tell you for example that on his last lap on track, Rosberg managed the following speeds:

    S1: 281kph, S2: 301kph, S3: 303kph

    Look out for new graphs and charts based on this information during the weekend.

  • 06:37

    TweetTweet from BadgerGP: the retro style numbers on the Williams look great, why can't all teams have such clear numbers!?

  • 06:40

    Rob and Felipe Given Christine is missing this session, here's a gratuitous shot of Rob Smedley talking to Felipe Massa.

  • 06:43

    Liuzzi hasn't given up on this session yet, he waits patiently in the back of the garage. Although time is running out for the Hispania team to put in an appearance.

  • 06:45

    Hamilton briefly locks up all four tyres, as he attempts to turn in under a cloud of smoke. Spectacular to watch, but a slow way of tackling a lap.

  • 06:46

    QuoteComment from Sebastian: It looks fairly obvious that the seven out in Q1 will be Maldonado and the six from the newest teams.

  • 06:48

    Hispania rear Hispania fire up the engine in their garage (via @AlbaSaiz)

  • 06:49

    Paul at the circuit notes he can feel more spots of rain.

  • 06:50

    Only four cars remain in the garage now, two Hispania's, Buemi and Jerome.

  • 06:51

    It looks like rain might stop play.

  • 06:51

    Only 9 minutes of the session remain, but we've almost certainly seen the best of conditions now.

  • 06:52

    Maldonado crosses more grass, sideways, and ever so slightly out of control. Tough conditions to make your F1 debut.

  • 06:54

    It's clear from listening to radio commentary that nobody has the faintest idea about the exact rules regarding the drag reduction system. Nearly three hours of on/off discussion and we're still none the wiser.

  • 06:55



    Wind speed6.1mps

    Track temperature has dropped significantly from the earlier high of 21°C, wind speed has picked up.

  • 06:56

    3 minutes remain, will we see a HRT break cover today?

  • 06:57

    Race control: DRS is disabled.

  • 06:57

    The drag reduction system has been disabled by race control due to the weather.

  • 06:58

    Liuzzi takes to the track. The car has an engine! Well done to all at Hispania.

  • 06:59

    Less than 60 seconds of the session remain. A few cars continue to circulate.

  • 07:00

    Liuzzi returns to the pitlane without crossing the line.

  • 07:00

    Chequered flagSession complete.

  • 07:02

    Jenson Button tops the timesheets in a much improved McLaren, that looked decided like mid-field runner during testing earlier this month.

  • 07:02

    Narain Karthikeyan was the only man not to make it onto the track during FP2.

  • 07:05
    Free Practice 2 Results
    1J ButtonMcLaren
    2L HamiltonMcLaren
    3F AlonsoFerrari
    4S VettelRed Bull Racing
    5M Webber
    Red Bull Racing
  • 07:10
    Gap to P1
  • 07:11

    Jenson Button Friday's child, Button lays down the marker for everyone to beat tomorrow.

  • 07:13

    Both Red Bull and McLaren managed to keep their drivers within range of one and other, while Massa struggled to keep pace with Alonso. Schumacher also put some distance between himself and Rosberg in session two.

  • 07:15

    In the mid-field it's clear Williams are a one car team, at least for the time being. Renault have yet to show any of their early testing pace, while di Resta did well to outpace his vastly more experienced team mate.

  • 07:17

    This afternoon's session, masked much of the Pirelli option tyres fragility. Almost as soon as cracks began to appear, so did the rain. Drivers and teams will likely be hoping for less rain overnight in order to ensure reasonable conditions for qualifying tomorrow.

  • 07:19

    It will be interesting to see how many teams we happy with their days running. Lotus seemed to make life unnecessarily hard for themselves, while Virgin appear short of pace right now.

  • 07:22

    I have no idea what anyone else made of the adjustable wing, but I'm more confused than ever. Why anyone would introduce an aero device that is unsafe to run in changeable conditions is beyond me.

  • 07:22

    Race control enabling and disabling movable parts on cars running at 300+kph also sounds like a recipe for disaster.

  • 07:24

    That wraps up the Factbyte Factbox coverage for Friday in Melbourne, please join us again tomorrow for Free Practice 3 starting at 03:00 GMT.

All content in the series Australia 2011