Lewis Hamilton struggles in Australian GP practice as Leclerc sets pace

A fortnight on from the controversial Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Formula One is back at Melbourne’s Albert Park for the first time since the 2020 race was cancelled because of the pandemic. And Hamilton, who finished a lowly 10th in Jeddah, was again off the pace in his under-performing Mercedes. Hamilton finished a distant 1.5sec behind Leclerc, with world champion Max Verstappen second, 0.245sec adrift, and Carlos Sainz third in the other Ferrari. Neither Mercedes drivers made it into the top 10 on Friday afternoon after Hamilton’s teammate George Russell finished 11th, 1.2sec back. Hamilton finished second to former teammate Valterri Bottas in the last race staged here back in 2019.

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