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Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of FP2 for the Australian Grand Prix as Mercedes showed impressive pace.

With a best time of 1:29.625, Hamilton was just 0.157s faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg and half a second clear of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso which had set the pace in the first practice session. Hamilton's time came despite him being blocked off badly by rookie Daniil Kvyat on his first run, with the Toro Rosso hesitating when trying to choose a side to let the Mercedes past at high speed.

Sebastian Vettel ensured the encouraging signs for Red Bull continued as he set the fourth fastest time and completed 41 laps. Vettel was also in robust mood, passing Esteban Gutierrez around the outside of Turn 1 when on a long run and then easing the Sauber wide at Turn 2 as Gutierrez declined to yield to the quicker Red Bull.

Jenson Button was fifth quickest for McLaren and showed solid pace over a longer run, while Daniel Ricciardo in sixth was the only other driver to set a time within a second of Hamilton.

It was another wretched session for Lotus, which looks set to have a very tough weekend. Pastor Maldonado didn't emerge at all after completing just two laps in FP1 and, although Romain Grosjean managed to take to the track, on his 12th lap the car snapped away from him under braking for Turn 6 and damaged the left rear against the wall before sliding in to the gravel.

Nico Hulkenberg also went off at the exact same time as Grosjean, spinning under braking for Turn 9 and being unable to recover the car out of the gravel.

Aside from his moment with Hamilton, Daniil Kvyat was involved in numerous other occasions where he had trouble allowing faster cars past, even running off at the exit of Turn 2 at one point as he tried to get out of the way of a Force India.

Things didn't get any better for Caterham in the afternoon session, with Kamui Kobayashi being ruled out of running before the session had even begun as he required an engine chance, while Marcus Ericsson again completed only one lap.

Full FP2 times HERE



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