Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2012

Late effort puts Schumacher on top in second practice

2012 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2012
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2012
Michael Schumacher ended the second practice session in Melbourne fastest for Mercedes.

Practice started in wet conditions once again – though this time they were even wetter than had been seen in first practice.

This led some teams to do their initial running on wet weather tyres, while others hung back in the pits waiting for conditions to improve.

The soaked track caught out several drivers including Daniel Ricciardo, who had a high-speed spin in his Toro Rosso.

Mark Webber was one of several drivers to cut across the run-off at the first corner. Sergio Perez went into the gravel trap at turn 14 but was able to drag his Sauber out of it and get back to the pits.

Fernando Alonso was one of the first drivers to use intermediates, hustling his Ferrari around the Albert Park track to set the fastest time.

His place at the top of the times was later taken by Michael Schumacher. But a trip off the track caused front wing damage to his Mercedes.

The final quarter of an hour saw a flurry of laps as the drivers got the most out of a precious window of opportunity to do laps on slick tyres.

Felipe Massa and Paul di Resta swapped the fastest times to being with before Schumacher returned to the top of the times with a 1’30.643.

Nico Hulkenberg was the first man to lap in under 90 seconds and looked set to hold onto the top spot as he continued to improve his time on soft tyres.

He and Schumacher traded times but the Mercedes driver was the last to set his final lap and was quicker by a tenth of a second.

Perez was third-fastest for Sauber. Team mate Kamui Kobayashi lost control of his car at the end of the session and skidded sideways down the start/finish straight.

Heikki Kovalainen was eighth-fastest for Caterham but also has a scare when he went off at the first corner and rejoined the track as two other cars were passing by.

The was more woe for HRT. Pedro de la Rosa did a single installation lap in his HRT, the team struggling with a combination of front wing and hydraulic problems.

Narain Karthikeyan was able to run during the session but came to a stop shortly before the chequered flag came out.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’29.183 16
2 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’29.292 0.109 19
3 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’30.199 1.016 23
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’30.341 1.158 13
5 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’30.709 1.526 14
6 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’31.466 2.283 13
7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’31.505 2.322 14
8 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’31.932 2.749 16
9 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’32.184 3.001 17
10 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’32.194 3.011 19
11 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’32.296 3.113 20
12 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’32.632 3.449 17
13 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’32.767 3.584 15
14 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’32.822 3.639 11
15 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’33.039 3.856 18
16 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’33.252 4.069 11
17 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’34.108 4.925 21
18 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’34.275 5.092 7
19 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’34.312 5.129 17
20 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’34.485 5.302 29
21 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’34.604 5.421 31
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’34.770 5.587 13
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’42.627 13.444 16
24 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth No time 1

2012 Australian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Mercedes