Lewis Hamilton Feeling the Force Takes Both Practice Sessions In Melbourne
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News March 18, 2016
The Australian Grand Prix got underway in wet conditions on Friday as defending world champion, Lewis Hamilton was quickest in both of the first day’s practice sessions for Mercedes. The “Jedi Knight of F1” first set his sights on the Red Bulls of Danil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo in the early afternoon, then later Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Hamilton put down a time of 1min 29.725 sec as the track dried in the first session, compared to the 1:26.327 that won him pole position in 2015. However, rain in the second session meant he could only clock 1:38.841.
Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo were second and third fastest in FP1. Ferrari got off to a poor start, with Sebastian Vettel failing to set a time and Kimi Raikkonen going off track finishing 17th.
Many F1 pundits are interested to know what the 2016 season will bring, and Hamilton’s performance could very well be an indication.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen summed things up for most of the drivers.
“It was a bit of a tricky day today: we didn’t complete many laps and the weather conditions were constantly changing… when we went out on slick tyres it would start to rain and when we went out on intermediates, the track would be drying up. It was nice to be back in the car again, and hopefully tomorrow we can spend more time out on track.”
But for Aussie fans, Daniel Ricciardo is optimistic he will bring a good result at his home race.
“Today was the definition of Melbourne. Four seasons in one day, that’s what everyone says and we got that today. It’s a shame we didn’t do that much constant running, but I’m not too frustrated with the position we’re in. The laps we did, I was pretty happy with and the car is in a decent place. It’s just nice to be back in the car again to be honest and I was very happy to put the helmet back on. I think tomorrow will be a little bit of a mixed bag for everyone. We did get enough running to feel all conditions and if it is variable throughout the weekend then we’re prepared for that. I took a little trip to the gravel this morning, but I noticed there were a lot of fans at Turn 12 and I wanted to say hello to them.”
If “the force” is strong with Hamilton in qualifying, it will be his 50th pole position which will put him just 15 poles away from Ayrton Senna’s 65.