The Spanish veteran followed up his podium finishes at the first two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia with another eye-opening run
Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso during yesterday’s second practice session of the Australian Grand Prix. Pic/AFP
Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso topped the timesheets ahead of Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc in a rain-hit second practice at the Australian Grand Prix on Friday, but world champion Max Verstappen went fastest for the day. The Spanish veteran followed up his podium finishes at the first two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia with another eye-opening run.
He powered around the bumpy Albert Park circuit under darkening clouds before rain fell in a best time of one minute 18.887 seconds among his 13 laps, bettering his fourth place in the first one-hour session. “The afternoon was obviously impacted by the rain, so there is still some work to do tomorrow,” said Alonso.
“We need to learn more about the tyres and the long-run pace of the car because there was not much time for that today. So far though the car seems to behave well.” Leclerc, who won in Australia last year, came an encouraging second after Ferrari’s early season reliability and pace issues, nearly half a second adrift but ahead of Verstappen.
Also read: F1: Fernando Alonso keeps his third place
The Red Bull pilot, the early championship leader, clocked a 1:18.790 in the first practice when he had an out-of-character spin, which was better than Alonso’s second session best. But the Dutchman had no decent opportunity to improve on it on a wet track, saying it was slippery and he had low grip. “It was difficult to tell how the car felt as we never got a window where I thought we were on top of the tyres,” he said.
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