Second practice for the Australian Grand Prix this Friday was marred by constant light showers of rain.

As the session was drawing to a close, down it came again and any last-minute charge turned into a rather slippery affair. In the end, Jenson Button won through with a time of 01:25.854 minutes.

The McLaren driver was around a second quicker than Mark Webber had been in first practice - but by now the track had improved considerably despite the rain.

Lewis Hamilton, who was 0.132 of a second adrift of his team-mate, made it a one-two for McLaren in this session, followed by Fernando Alonso, who had been firm favourite until then. The Ferrari driver just managed to stay ahead of world champion Sebastian Vettel, who had posted his best time at the end of a long stint.

Mark Webber too made another appearance amongst the leaders, but this time, instead of being at the front, he was fifth; 0.429 of a second down on Button and about three and a half tenths down on Vettel. Neither Ferrari nor Red Bull put in any really quick runs this Friday.

Michael Schumacher secured sixth place ahead of former team-mate Felipe Massa. Schumacher, driving a Mercedes, was three tenths down on Webber and more than seven tenths adrift of Button. Behind seventh-placed Massa came Sergio Perez, Rubens Barrichello and Nico Rosberg to complete the top ten.

Virgin Racing and Timo Glock didn't have a particularly good day: Timo and team-mate Jerome D 'Ambrosio almost fell foul of the 107 per cent rule that has been reintroduced this year for qualifying. But Virgin did a lot more than HRT. Tonio Liuzzi managed one installation lap only, as the team hadn't been able to get a car ready in time.