Sebastian Vettel proved to the quickest driver at the Albert Park circuit on Friday, setting the pace in FP2.
The reigning World Champion was quickest in the first half of the session when the drivers used the medium tyres and returned to that position in the second half after everyone had swapped to the quicker supersoft rubber.
Vettel finished Friday's running with a 1:25.908, which was 0.264s up on his team-mate Mark Webber while Nico Rosberg was third. The Merc driver, though, did not see the end of the session as he parked his car a minute after his team-mate Lewis Hamilton crashed his.
Unlike in the first practice session, there was an immediate flurry of activity in FP2 with Kimi Raikkonen setting the early pace with a 1:29.012.
However, as his rivals ventured out the lap times tumbled with Lewis Hamilton hitting the front before he was overhauled by Sebastian Vettel. The reigning World Champion continued putting in the laps, lowering the benchmark to a 1:26.274 to lead the way after the first half an hour. Hamilton was second with Felipe Massa, who had a few moments, third.
Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas was the first driver to slap on the supersoft tyres and he shaved a full second off his best on the mediums, demonstrating the difference in pace between the two compounds.
Giedo van der Garde became the first casualty of the season as he lost control of his Caterham and beached the CT03 in the gravel at Turn 3. The marshals were quickly on hand to move the car out of danger's way.
Back in the action Fernando Alonso was the first of the big-name drivers to use the supersofts and went from being 1.8s behind Vettel to 0.4s down. He was, however, still down on the German who had set his P1 time on the medium tyres.
Others followed suite putting on the supersofts with Webber going quickest only to lose out to Vettel when, minutes later, he clocked a 1:25.908. Nico Rosberg climbed to third in the early running on the supersofts.
With 30 minutes to go some drivers opted for long runs on the supersofts, which put them about eight seconds short of their previous best after roughly nine laps, while others changed back to the medium compounds.
Hamilton's session ended six minutes early as he missed his braking point and hit the barriers at Turn 6 nose first. He was unhurt. A minute later his team-mate Rosberg pulled off onto the side of the track with a car issue.
The session ended with Vettel in the P1 slot, 0.264s up on Webber. Rosberg was third.
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:25.908 33 laps
2 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:26.172 0.264 31 laps
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.322 0.414 26 laps
4 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:26.361 0.453 38 laps
5 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:26.680 0.772 32 laps
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.748 0.840 35 laps
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.772 0.864 28 laps
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:26.855 0.947 32 laps
9 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:27.43 1.527 35 laps
10 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:28.187 2.279 34 laps
11 Jenson Button McLaren 1:28.294 2.386 30 laps
12 Paul di Resta Force India 1:28.311 2.403 37 laps
13 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:28.566 2.658 33 laps
14 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:28.627 2.719 31 laps
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:28.772 2.864 33 laps
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:28.852 2.944 36 laps
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:28.968 3.060 36 laps
18 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:29.386 3.478 39 laps
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:29.696 3.788 32 laps
20 Charles Pic Caterham 1:30.165 4.257 37 laps
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:30.600 4.692 36 laps
22 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:32.450 6.542 11 laps
Friday's pictures from Australia