Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in a rain-hit second practice session at the Australian Grand Prix. The two-times Formula 1 champion caught everyone off guard with his first run on the medium tyres, putting him at the top of the timesheets with a time of 1m18.887s which was unbeatable for the rest of the session. Max Verstappen held P1 briefly while running on the medium tyres but Alonso managed to blank out question marks over his fitness and win hard yards with Alpine‘s new car A521.
Approaching the 20-minute mark, light rain began to fall and several off-track incidents took place. Lando Norris skidded off at turn 1, Lance Stroll tapped the wall before turn 9, and George Russell almost spun his Williams. Soon after, other drivers returned to the pits as the track conditions worsened.
At the midway point, the Ferrari drivers emerged on soft tyres and Russell on intermediate tyres, but they all pitted after one lap due to the track conditions. Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Ocon also tried out the intermediates but didn’t set any times. The session later resumed with the drivers doing practice starts at the end of the pit lane, anticipating similar weather conditions on race day.
In terms of the final standings, it was Alonso who stayed at the top, followed by Charles Leclerc and Verstappen. Russell was fourth, while Carlos Sainz came in fifth. Sergio Perez would also have been among the top runners, but he abandoned his fast lap after encountering traffic, which saw him come seventh in the end. Lando Norris, Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10.
Logan Sargeant did not participate in the second session because Williams was still investigating an electrical issue that stopped him during first practice. The weather is expected to continue into the weekend as the drivers prepare for Sunday’s race, with the possibility of intermittent rain or drizzle on race day.