Published on 16th March 2012 10:25
The first free practice session at the Albert Park circuit marked the official start to the Formula 1 World Championship, after a winter break of just over three months. Fastest in the opening session were the McLarens of Jenson Button (1.27.560) and Lewis Hamilton (1.27.805.) Third was the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher (1.28.235) followed by Fernando Alonso in the F2012, fourth in 1.28.360. In the other Ferrari, Felipe Massa was 18th in 1.30.743, after getting stuck in a gravel run off area not long before the end.
At first, the Scuderia Ferrari drivers were out on the very damp track with intermediate tyres at the street circuit first used for the Australian GP back in 1996. Fernando then did a short test of the soft tyres before he and his team-mate ended the session on Mediums.