Australian F1 Grand Prix 2019 Qualifying: Results, Times from Friday's Practice

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2019

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 15: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 on track during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 15, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets in both practice sessions ahead of the 2019 Australian Formula One Grand Prix on Friday. 

The Mercedes driver finished narrowly ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the first session of the new season at Albert Park, with the pair split by just 0.038 seconds.

In the second, Hamilton's closest rival was team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who was 0.048 seconds behind the Englishman's time of 1:22.600.

                             

FP1 Recap

Here's the classification from the first free practice session in Melbourne:

Bottas was the first driver to set a time, and he led proceedings at the halfway point.

The second half of the session went less well for the Finn, as he spun in sector three and found his time beaten by Hamilton, Ferrari duo Vettel and Charles Leclerc and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

He wasn't the only one to go for a spin, as rookie Alexander Albon—in his first F1 practice session—took a trip into the barriers and ended his session prematurely:

Meanwhile, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg managed to complete just 11 laps, having had to spend more than an hour in the pits dealing with electrical issues following his installation lap.

Despite that, he managed to set the 10th quickest time.

                            

FP2 Recap

Here's the classification from FP2:

Bottas once again reached the halfway stage with the quickest time, but on this occasion only his team-mate was able to go quicker in the closing period.

At Renault, this time it was Daniel Ricciardo's turn to spend some time in the pits, but he managed to complete 31 laps.

Vettel managed 35 in his Ferrari, but his complaints to his team about an unknown issue and a trip to the garage midway through the session offer some insight as to why he wasn't able to challenge Hamilton on the timesheet. 

As for Albon, after an eventful first session, he continued to struggle a little at Albert Park:

He'll have been relieved that he was far from the only driver to go for a spin, though, as Kimi Raikkonen and Leclerc also spent time on the grass.

While the first session hinted Ferrari could give Mercedes a close run this season, the second was a reminder that it's early days and there are issues still to resolve. 

Saturday's final practice and qualifying will give us a better idea of what to expect from the race on Sunday.

Related

    Why 'Dubs Don't Need KD' Narrative Is Wrong

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Why 'Dubs Don't Need KD' Narrative Is Wrong

    Will Gottlieb
    via Bleacher Report

    Ranking Every NBA Team's Best Player 🔢

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Ranking Every NBA Team's Best Player 🔢

    Grant Hughes
    via Bleacher Report

    Devin Haney Could Be the Next Floyd

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Devin Haney Could Be the Next Floyd

    Jonathan Snowden
    via Bleacher Report

    Is Money All the NFL Cares About?

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Is Money All the NFL Cares About?

    Mike Freeman
    via Bleacher Report