Melbourne:McLaren's Lewis Hamilton claimed the fastest lap time in the second practice session on Friday ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Hamilton sizzled around the Albert Park street circuit in a best of one minute 26.559 seconds ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber (1:27.473) and Ferrari's Felipe Massa (1:27.640) in sweltering heat.
World champion Kimi Raikkonen was sixth in the second session (1:28.208) but recorded the day's fastest time, in opening practice of 1:26.461.
Webber, racing in his home GP, held top spot for most of the afternoon practice, before Hamilton, the championship runner-up behind Raikkonen last season, trumped him on his 31st lap.
The consistent fast times by constructors' champions Ferrari and fierce rivals McLaren point to a dominant showing in Sunday's opening race, where the two leading teams have won nine of the 12 GPs held in Melbourne since 1996.
In the morning practice, Raikkonen reeled off successive fastest laps late in the session to be the quickest on the 24th of his 25 laps.
Up to the final minutes of the opening practice Hamilton held the best time.
But the young Briton's 1:26.948 proved almost half a second (0.487) down on Raikkonen's flying lap.
Raikkonen's Ferrari teammate Massa was third fastest with 1:26.958 ahead of McLaren's number two Heikki Kovalainen (1:27.114).
Webber nudged out Renault's dual world champion Fernando Alonso for fifth fastest with 1:28.263.
Alonso, who came off the track during the session, posted a best time of 1:28.360, almost 1.9 seconds slower than Raikkonen.
Poland's Robert Kubica, in a BMW Sauber, put in the seventh fastest time of 1:28.579.