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Summary

  1. Hamilton fastest in both practice sessions, Ferrari appear to be hiding pace
  2. F1 race director Charlie Whiting died on Thursday
  3. Final practice and qualifying on 5 Live Sports Extra, Saturday from 02:55 GMT

Live Reporting

By Niamh Lewis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to bed we go

    We will be back for final practice tomorrow morning at the eye-watering time of 02:30 GMT, with our commentary team of Jack Nicholls, Jolyon Palmer and Jennie Gow on the BBC Radio 5 live sports extra airwaves from 02:55 GMT.

    See you tomorrow.

    Leclerc Binotto
  2. What happened this morning?

    Those two sessions were quite uneventful. Kimi Raikkonen, Alex Albon, and Charles Leclerc all took field trips to check out the Aussie grass; but Albon was the only one to collect some damage as he rear ended in the first session, with only minor injuries for the Toro Rosso.

    It's difficult to get an idea of pace at this stage of the weekend, but the times are fairly close - particularly between the Mercedes, and the Red Bulls. The lap times in the top six have been set on the softs and medium tyres too, which means so far the mediums are looking like a good tyre option.

    After Mercedes and Red Bull, Kimi Raikkonen is looking particularly strong, but on the flip side, Williams are looking painfully weak crawling around at the bottom of today's times.

    It's difficult to tell who is sandbagging still, and we won't find out the answer to that question until all is revealed in qualifying at 06:00 GMT tomorrow.

    Charles Leclerc Melbourne
  3. Mercedes quickest in Friday practice

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer in Melbourne

    Lewis Hamilton headed a Mercedes one-two in second practice at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

    Hamilton beat Valtteri Bottas by 0.048 seconds but the two were 0.8secs clear of the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly.

    Ferrari, who appeared to have the quickest car in pre-season testing, were fourth with Sebastian Vettel.

    The suspicion is that the Italian team were hiding their true pace ahead of qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

    Vettel was 0.8secs slower than the Mercedes on both short, qualifying-style runs and longer race-style runs, which is completely contradictory to their form in testing, when all their rivals felt Ferrari were ahead.

    Read the report.

  4. Final FP2 leaderboard

    1. Hamilton
    2. Bottas
    3. Verstappen
    4. Gasly
    5. Vettel
    6. Raikkonen
    7. Hulkenberg
    8. Ricciardo
    9. Leclerc
    10. Grosjean
    11. Kvyat
    12. Magnussen
    13. Stroll
    14. Sainz
    15. Giovinazzi
    16. Perez
    17. Albon
    18. Norris
    19. Russell
    20. Kubica
  5. Get Involved

    #bbcf1

    Hamish Hatrick: Will Mercedes reveal a 'party mode' for qualifying like it did last year in Australia?

    Rachel T: I don’t care that they are not V10 engines, they sound sweet to me! Formula One, how I have missed you!

    Richard Browne: Sandbagging ; It achieves your competition not being able to react Jack. Or do you seriously think Ferrari are one second off?

    Swizzle: I agree @JennieGow I also think they're protecting the engine. Why not when they're confident of the pace? (...and hopefully also going for the "looking cool tomorrow" thing !)

    tweet
  6. That's it for FP2

    Mercedes were quickest with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas leading our second practice session.

    Lewis Hamilton
  7. Leclerc is on the grass

    Charles Leclerc had a moment on that sausage kerb there. Over-steered coming out of the corner and ran wide over the sausage kerb, losing the balance of the car and spun into the grass.

  8. Post update

    Interestingly, those times below were set on a mixture of medium and soft tyres.

    We have the C2, C3, and C4s here in Melbourne, but the times there are close, considering the mix of compound.

  9. Our latest times

    1. Hamilton 1:22.600
    2. Bottas + 0.048
    3. Verstappen + 0.800
    4. Gasly + 0.842
    5. Vettel + 0.873
    6. Raikkonen +0.972
    7. Hulkenberg +0.974
    8. Ricciardo +1.044
    9. Leclerc + 1.154
    10. Grosjean + 1.214
    Max Verstappen
  10. Post update

    Jack Nicholls

    BBC Radio 5 Live F1 commentator

    Why sandbag? Just so you can look cooler tomorrow? What does that achieve?

  11. Who is sandbagging?

    We're going to have to wait until qualifying at this time tomorrow morning to find out the real answer to that.

  12. Alexander Alboff...

    Albon is off in the grass. He went off at Turn 16 to wide and caught the edge of the grass. No damage, but he spins around and gets back on the tarmac.

    Alex Albon
  13. Post update

    There's cars going around the track.

    Hamilton is quickest with a 1:22.600, followed by Bottas +0.048.

  14. Francesco Cigarini is back!

    What happened since Abu Dhabi 2018?

    Remember back to Bahrain last year, when one of the Ferrari mechanics broke his leg during a pitstop? He's full recovered and back in the garage this year.

    View more on instagram
  15. Get Involved

    #bbcf1

    Jeroen: Oh lookie, Russell and Williams are within six tenths of Norris’ McLaren. Progress!

    S Nasir: Hamilton will probably top all 3 practice sessions, start on pole, and still lose the race like he's done in the past couple of years

    Chris Doherty: Only two things I like getting up early for travelling and F1. Its good to hear the engines again

    Valtteri Bottas
  16. Post update

    The lap times are close. Valtteri Bottas is following closely behind Hamilton four hundredths of a second behind.

  17. Ferrari got themselves some new management

    What's happened since the last race in Abu Dhabi?

    Turn the clock back to post-summer break 2018, when Ferrari's year truly began to unravel. First, the President Sergio Marchionne, passed away in July, and at their home grand prix in Monza, Vettel made a right meal of things, then things just got worse.

    The team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, took one for the team - by getting the sack - and was replaced by Mattia Binotto.

    So far so good.

    Ferrari
  18. Kimi Raikkonen's Alfa is fast

    He wipes the floor with Hamilton's middle sector two tenths quicker. And he slots in fifth.

    1. Hamilton
    2. Bottas
    3. Gasly
    4. Vettel
    5. Raikkonen
    Kimi Raikkonen
  19. Post update

    What's happened since the last race in Abu Dhabi 2018?

    We've started to get used to seeing Daniel Ricciardo in yellow.

    Daniel Ricciardo