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HAMILTON STAYS ON TOP

Lewis Hamilton has continued his winning form by topping Free Practice 2 at Albert Park in Australia.

Hamilton dominated the Friday afternoon session, sitting on top of the sheets for most of the 90 minutes with a time of 1m23.620s.

Sebastian Vettel set the second fastest time in the Ferrari but just. The four-time World Champion foiled a Mercedes-Benz 1-2 by 0.009s, and any chance that there may have been a later challenge from Ferrari for overall fastest time was foiled by a Virtual Safety Car.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who bested teammate Max Verstappen by 0.36s. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) was seventh fastest ahead of Romain Grosjean, who continued his impressive form with eighth.

Felipe Massa’s first day after his return to Williams ended prematurely. He shut down his car out on the circuit and walked in, the team unsure as to what cause his mechanical failure.

Marcus Ercisson stopped the session with six minutes remaining when he went off at Turn 8, but even worse off was Jolyon Palmer, who a big shunt when he lost the rear of the Renault in the middle of the final corner. He stepped out of the car unhurt but was through after completing only four laps.