Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the wet first practice session for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. Hamilton was .4 of a second faster than the Red Bull of Daniil Kyvat and Daniel Ricciardo was third in the conditions.
The rain came on and off through-out the session causing many to go off track but Ricciardo was the only one to go off and get beached on track. He was 1.15 seconds off the pace of Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz were the only ones to not set a time
While there team-mates Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen along with Manor rookie Rio Haryanto all had accidents on track. McLaren appeared a lot stronger than this time last year.
Rosberg set the early pace on the intermediates before it was better by Hamilton and then Raikkonen. This sparked a number of cars to go out as the track improved Riccardo improved as did Kyvat as the conditions reached there best.
Haas’s first run of their debut came from Esteban Gutiérrez who set a 1:45.7 overcoming power issues only to be pushed down by his team-mate Romain Grosjean who set a 1:43.443 but the Mexican responded bettering his time to go 41.7.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was a the top in the 1:30’s before Hamilton broke into the 1:29’s but Hulkenberg couldn’t respond as the rain returned to Albert Park. This sent more people off into the gravel. Vettel failed to set a time.
Like for the past two seasons it appears Mercedes remain the team to beat on track. However they appear to not have the margin they had before.