Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton topped the first free practice session of the 2012 Formula 1 season in Melbourne, while Michael Schumacher took his Mercedes GP to third place on the timing sheets. In the second session though, it was Schumacher, ably assisted by the rain that he seems to love driving in, who made it to the top of the timing sheets. Schumacher set his timing of 1m29.183s, ensuring that Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg was relegated to second place.
Heavy rains between the first and second sessions meant that the track was very wet and most teams took it easy, so that their cars wouldn't spin and land in rather sticky situations. The final 20 minutes of the session, however, did see drivers coming out to set the fastest laps they could. The McLaren duo who set the fastest timings during the first two practice sessions only slotted in fifteenth and sixteenth.
The return of the Iceman yielded decent results, although Team Lotus' Eric Boullier declared that Kimi Raikkonen was having a hard time adjusting to the new car. Raikkonen ended the first practice session 9th, while he was 18th in the second session.
Troubled outing for Narain Karthikeyan in the Hispania Racing car, though. While team-mate Pedro de la Rosa's car wasn't able to make it out of the pits, Karthikeyan's car overheated and ended his session on track.