AUSTRALIA: The second practice session for the Australian Grand Prix saw just 20 minutes of dry running, with Fernando Alonso topping the timesheets ahead of Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen.
Alonso set his fastest lap on the medium tyres, clocking in at 1:18.887, 0.4s ahead of Leclerc.
The session got off to a chaotic start as rain loomed on the horizon, prompting a mad dash to get out of the pits.
Lando Norris had a tank-slapper as he exited the McLaren garage, while Logan Sargeant missed out on vital track time due to earlier electric problems with his Williams.
As with FP1, Carlos Sainz set the opening benchmark before Alonso smashed his time by eight-tenths of a second. Despite the overcast conditions and the impending rain, most drivers could put in a few laps before the deluge arrived.
Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen both went off track, with Verstappen later commenting on how sensitive the car was, commenting on how “you quickly lose the rear.”
Traffic was again a problem in the second free practice session, with Sergio Perez, Sainz and Norris having to back off due to being held up.
The rain intensified, leading most drivers to return to the pits. George Russell stayed out, setting the second-fastest time on intermediate tyres, while Alonso and a few others joined in the action.
As the track conditions worsened, most drivers ventured out for a few laps on intermediate tyres, while Nyck de Vries opted to stay in the pits.
Lance Stroll lost grip of his AMR23 and nearly hit the wall, while Norris ended up in the gravel.
The session ended with Alonso on top, followed by Leclerc and Verstappen. Sargeant missed out on valuable track time due to his earlier problems.
The weather forecast for the rest of the weekend is mixed, which could make for an unpredictable race.
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