Monday 25 March 2019
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business-standard - 10 days ago

Hamilton on top as Ferrari struggle in season s first exchanges

Lewis Hamilton made a mockery of his claim that Ferrari would be half-a-second quicker at the Australian Grand Prix by easily clocking the fastest times in the season s opening practice runs Friday. The Briton led a Mercedes one-two in the second session as he powered round Melbourne s Albert Park circuit under clear skies with a best of one minute 22.600 seconds. It bettered his pace-setting 1:23.599 in the opening practice as he kick-started his bid for a sixth world title. Valtteri Bottas was second (1:22.648) with Red Bull s Max Verstappen third (1:23.400), marginally ahead of impressive new teammate Pierre Gasly, who was promoted this year from Toro Rosso. Sebastian Vettel, who has won in Melbourne for the past two years, could only manage fifth, nearly a second adrift of arch-rival Hamilton, while Ferrari partner Charles Leclerc struggled to ninth, straddling the kerb and spinning as he pushed hard late in the day. The man Leclerc replaced, Finnish former world champion Kimi ...

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