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Summary

  1. Hamilton dominates both practice sessions
  2. Palmer crashes out, Massa breaks down
  3. Get involved: #bbcf1 - your greatest car liveries
  4. Hamilton more than a second ahead of top Ferrari in first practice

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

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Right. That's it from me. If you decided to skip practice in favour of sleep, then read Andrew Benson's report on how things unfolded here.

I'll be back at the delightful hour of 02:30 GMT tomorrow for final practice and then qualifying. Hope to have you along for company.

Cheerio.

It wasn't smooth sailing for everyone, though, with Jolyon Palmer, Felipe Massa and Marcus Ericsson all seeing their running cut short earlier than expected.

Palmer out
AP
Massa out
Rex Features
Ericcson out
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Too early to write off the season just yet, Marcus, although it does look rather ominous. 

That was smooth sailing for Lewis Hamilton, who looked streets ahead of his rivals.

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Dan Franks: Hamilton clearly was taking it easy in testing   

Marcus P Knight: Oh dear. Looks likely we're in for a dull season. Hope I'm wrong.  

Dominant stuff from Lewis Hamilton as he finishes half a second clear of the rest. 

The Briton has been bigging up Ferrari all year, but it looks like he is indeed going to be the man to beat.

Hamilton
Rex Features

FP2 - the rest

11) Sergio Perez 12) Fernando Alonso 13) Esteban Ocon 14) Felipe Massa 15) Marcus Ericsson 16) Lance Stroll 17) Stoffel Vandoorne 18) Pascal Wehrlein 19) Kevin Magnussen 20) Jolyon Palmer

FP2 top 10

1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Sebastian Vettel 3) Valtteri Bottas 4) Kimi Raikkonen 5) Daniel Ricciardo 6) Max Verstappen 7) Carlos Sainz 8) Romain Grosjean 9) Nico Hulkenberg 10) Daniil Kvyat

Chequered flag

That's that!

Lewis Hamilton finishes fastest in second practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

We've got a minute to go but it looks like pretty much everyone is opting to call it a day there. Most drivers are back in the pits.

Virtual safety car

The virtual safety car is deployed as Marcus Ericsson climbs out of his Sauber, which has smoke coming off its brakes. 

Replays show Ericsson spinning after losing the rear end and ending up facing the opposite direction on the gravel.

Marcus Ericsson is in the gravel
Getty Images

Yellow flag

And another wave of the yellow flags because Marcus Ericsson is into the gravel at Turn Six.

Yellow flag

The yellow flags are being waved because a bollard has rolled onto the track. 

After his gravel trap sojourn, Max Verstappen is in the Red Bull garage as mechanics repair the floor on his car.

Into the final 10 minutes of second practice.

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Benjamin Stewart: Gary, who was fastest last year in Friday practice in Oz? Hamilton? How much faster are they this year?  

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in Friday practice last year with 1:29.725. He's around six second quicker this year and two tenths of a second quicker than his pole-winning lap.

Same story in these race runs as it was in the qualifying runs with Lewis Hamilton lapping quicker than Valtteri Bottas. 

Ferrari, meanwhile, are mixing things up again with Sebastian Vettel on the supersofts and Kimi Raikkonen on ultrasofts.

Hamilton
AP

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Favourite liveries

Mike Crawshaw: Greatest car liveries: 7up Jordan 1991,  

Kenny Stoltz: Gulf Racing LeMana, Marlboro McLaren, John Player Lotus, Shadow, maybe Jordan 7up 

We're very much into long runs territory now so not a great deal to report from on the track until we see a few lap times.

For now, let's all just sit back and admire this chap's hair.

Magnificent.

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F1.com

Sebastian Vettel is onto the supersofts as we head into the long run phase of this session.

Vettel in action
AP

Fernando Alonso, currently P12, is on the ultrasofts now so we should get to see what the McLaren's pace looks like heading into the final half hour of the session.

FP2 latest

1) Lewis Hamilton 1:23.620

2) Sebastian Vettel 1:24.167

3) Valtteri Bottas 1:24.176

4) Kimi Raikkonen 1:24.525

5) Daniel Ricciardo 1:24.650

6) Max Verstappen 1:25.015

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Favourite liveries

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Lookingspiffy: Some fave liveries: '76 Martini Brabham, '91 Ferrari, '94 Pacific, 2010 Renault. There are more but it's 5am & I can't brain.   

Now the Red Bulls have bolted on the ultrasofts but they are nowhere near the Mercedes. 

Daniel Ricciardo goes fifth fastest, a second slower than Lewis Hamilton before Max Vertstappen has a right old moment at Turn 12, flying into the gravel trap but he shows off his racecraft by keeping it together. Could have been much worse. 

Better from Kimi Raikkonen as he does a 1:24.601 to move into fourth, 0.9s down on Lewis Hamilton. We are still waiting to see what the Red Bulls can do on the ultrasofts.

Scruffy lap by Kimi Raikkonen as he runs wide at Turn One, ending up through the grass. He's currently fifth fastest.

Valtteri Bottas goes quickest with a 1:24.176 but once again Lewis Hamilton finds half a second more than his team-mate. Hamilton is really putting down a marker. He's in no mood to play second fiddle to anyone this season.

Bottas
Getty Images

Impressive stuff from Max Verstappen! He rattles off a 1:25.013 to go P2, 0.087s slower than Sebastian Vettel but the Dutch teenager is on supersofts while Vettel is on ultrasofts.

Verstappen
Getty Images

Hugely frustrating for those drivers, which included Lewis Hamilton, who were on a quick lap before the yellow flags were waved.

Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean again finds himself running wide, this time at the exit of Turn Three as he skips across the gravel.

Yellow flag

Yellow flags as Felipe Massa comes to a stop on an exit road at Turn 10. He climbs out of the Williams as some marshals scurry over to wheel it off the track. It appears he had a gearbox problem.

Massa at the side of the track
Rex Features

Go! Go! Go!

We're back under way with a touch under one hour left on the clock. Max Verstappen is straight out on the track.

Several drivers have made the switch to ultrasofts, including Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa. Qualifying runs coming up.

Verstappen
Getty Images

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Marc Shotton: In Cairns diving on the great barrier reef and following practice inbetween dives!  

Tough life, Marc, tough life.