Nico Rosberg made sure that Mercedes stayed on top in Australia by lapping the Albert Park Circuit in 1:29.375. His teammate Lewis Hamilton could have ensured a Mercedes 1-2 had he not ran wide at turn 9 on his second flying lap. He finished the session in fourth place.
The Mercedes duo were separated by McLaren’s Jenson Button and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso - both ending the session with a time that was nearly 1.5 seconds slower than Rosberg’s benchmark. However, further down the timesheets, lap times were extremely close.
Daniel Ricciardo occupied an encouraging fifth place in the timesheets ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg who was the first to go out on soft tyres. Kimi Raikkonen was seventh fastest in the second Ferrari ahead of McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen and the man he replaced at the Woking outfit, Sergio Perez.
Williams didn’t have a particularly good practice session with Felipe Massa brushing the walls twice and ending up ninth fastest. His teammate Valtteri Bottas couldn't complete a single lap after a gearbox problem preventing him from putting any mileage around the street circuit. The team will be fitting a new gearbox in his car, which will subsequently result in a five place grid penalty.
Meanwhile, the Toro Rosso pair of Daniil Kvyat and Jean Eric Vergne were 11th and 13th fastest, with a half a second replacing the two drivers. Sebastian Vettel was sandwiched between the Red Bull junior team after setting a laptime of 1:32.255.
Lotus troubles continued on Saturday with Romain Grosjean complaining about engine misfiring and Pastor Maldonado stopping on track, less than a minute before the chequered flag.
Several drivers went off on track, particularly at turn 9 as they get used to brake-by-wire system and lower front end downforce. Many drivers also complained about tyre wear, particularly session leader Nico Rosberg who pitted after just eight laps, saying his tyres were finished.