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GP Abu Dhabi, prove del venerdì–24/11/2017


Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Friday practice: Hamilton fastest for Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel to the fastest time in second practice for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver Hamilton clocked a 1m37.877s to finish 0.149 seconds clear of Vettel’s Ferrari with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo a tenth and a half further back in third.

Hamilton, who was pipped to the quickest time in first practice by Vettel, set the early benchmark with a 1m39.720s, with Ricciardo just 0.040s off in second.

The Briton continued with that run and improved again, with a 1m38.912s, to move 0.848s clear of Ricciardo as the sun set at Yas Marina.

Valtteri Bottas was the first driver to complete a qualifying simulation, clocking a 1m38.609s to go quickest in his Mercedes.

The Finn was usurped by Vettel before Hamilton became the first and only man to dip into the 1m37s.

With just over 40 minutes to go, attention turned to long-run data gathering, with Bottas and Hamilton focusing on the ultra-softs.

Hamilton then joined Vettel on running the super-softs for the final part of the 90-minute session, which provided conditions that would be similar to those in the race.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest, 0.475s off the pace, with Bottas two tenths further back in fifth.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was a second off the pace in seventh and 0.7s slower than team-mate Ricciardo.

Force India duo Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, who were separated by just 0.010s, were eighth and ninth respectively.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso completed the top 10.

Felipe Massa, contesting his last grand prix weekend, was the leading Williams in 11th, seven tenths ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll.

Romain Grosjean spent most of the session in the garage as his Haas team worked on fixing an electrical problem, and completed just 12 laps.

FP2 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.877s 39
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m38.026s 0.149s 37
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m38.180s 0.303s 34
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m38.352s 0.475s 35
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m38.537s 0.660s 33
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m38.894s 1.017s 34
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m39.323s 1.446s 33
8 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m39.333s 1.456s 36
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m39.529s 1.652s 41
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m39.559s 1.682s 28
11 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m39.635s 1.758s 36
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m39.671s 1.794s 31
13 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m40.201s 2.324s 38
14 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m40.329s 2.452s 30
15 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 1m40.694s 2.817s 39
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m41.128s 3.251s 31
17 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.270s 3.393s 43
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.302s 3.425s 40
19 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault 1m41.496s 3.619s 39
20 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m41.560s 3.683s 12

Da Autosport.com


Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel fastest in first Abu Dhabi GP practice

Sebastian Vettel beat Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time in first practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Ferrari driver Vettel clocked a 1m39.006s on the ultra-soft Pirelli tyres to end the 90-minute session 0.120 seconds clear of Hamilton at Yas Marina.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was only 0.028s further back in third place, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen fourth, half a second off the ultimate pace.

Hamilton was the early pacesetter, clocking a 1m41.135s on the soft tyres, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas focusing on the super-soft tyres.

Raikkonen, whose Ferrari featured a Red Bull-style diffuser as part of the team’s experiments for 2018, then went quickest on the ultra-softs.

The Finn improved again to a 1m39.741s, but was then demoted as Hamilton and Bottas fitted the ultra-soft tyres just before the halfway mark.

Bottas was the first to cross the line, moving to the top of the pile with a 1m39.741s, but Hamilton beat that by an impressive 0.615s.

Though Verstappen’s first effort on the ultra-softs was just a fraction off Hamilton’s pace, both were bumped down when Vettel did his ultra-soft run.

Bottas ended the session fifth quickest, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, who was 1.287s off the pace.

Fernando Alonso didn’t set a laptime until the second half of the session, with the McLaren driver slotting straight into the top 10 on the ultra-soft tyres.

He ended up seventh, 1.516s off the pace and just 0.037s ahead of McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne in eighth.

Felipe Massa, contesting his final F1 grand prix weekend, was ninth for Williams with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the top 10.

Mercedes protege George Russell borrowed Esteban Ocon’s Force India for first practice and ended up 11th fastest, eight tenths adrift of Perez.

Antonio Giovinazzi was the other non-race driver to take part in the session, running in place of Kevin Magnussen at Haas and going 18th quickest.

Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr and Nico Hulkenberg were down in 15th and 17th respectively, but they did not run the ultra-soft tyre. Hulkenberg also had a quick spin out of Turn 14 at the end of the complex that follows the track’s second long straight.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m39.006s 23
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m39.126s 0.120s 25
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m39.154s 0.148s 15
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m39.518s 0.512s 22
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m39.741s 0.735s 30
6 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m40.293s 1.287s 24
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m40.522s 1.516s 20
8 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m40.569s 1.563s 15
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m40.723s 1.717s 27
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m40.773s 1.767s 29
11 George Russell Force India/Mercedes 1m41.131s 2.125s 26
12 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m41.306s 2.300s 24
13 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m41.581s 2.575s 27
14 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 1m41.646s 2.640s 29
15 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m41.748s 2.742s 23
16 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.752s 2.746s 26
17 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m41.864s 2.858s 26
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Haas/Ferrari 1m42.065s 3.059s 21
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m42.344s 3.338s 28
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault 1m42.585s 3.579s 35

Da Autosport.com


GP Brasile, commenti post gara–12/11/2017


Q: Coming to another Finn, who had the hot breath of Lewis in his neck all the time. How tough were the closing laps, Kimi?

Kimi Raikkonen: Well, it wasn’t all the time, obviously, it was only in the end. I must admit I had a little bit tricky balance on the first set. It improved at the end of the first run. The second set was very good, the car handled very well and I could catch up with the guys, but it’s impossible to get past here if you have this close the speed of a few cars. Yeah, he [Hamilton] got close to me, also I got close to Sebastian and Valtteri, but I wasn’t too worried, I had a pretty good run out of the last corner, so it was OK.

Q: Kimi, for you obviously, the real talking point was the end. Hamilton was going past cars with sometimes 248km/h on the straight in the DRS. Talk about that and also, he had a couple of lock-ups. Do you think that’s where he lost the momentum that stopped him coming through on you?

KR: He did or I did? OK. Obviously, I don’t really look at what he’s doing. All the time I try to do my own stuff. I had a few lock-ups in the first corner, basically for no really good reason. I was checking a bit, obviously, this year it’s very hard to see from the mirrors where the other guy is, especially in the circuit where it goes a bit up and down: you lose the sight of them. I had very good last few corners so I could see it when we pulled out of the last corner that he was quite far away. I know that they’re very fast when they put full power and full energy and DRS, they catch up a lot by the end of the straight – but I was quite comfortable with a, let’s say, gap in the last three corners and I was surprised that he didn’t go closer to me. That’s why I wasn’t too worried – but then I locked a few times into Turn One because I think I was looking too much in the mirrors and not really braking so heavy and then just locked a bit. To be honest, my car was pretty good. Maybe the first part was a bit tricky. More, close to that first pitstop it got a bit better. The second, with the soft tyres, with the pitstop was very good. I took it very easy in the beginning and was still catching up with the guys in the front but I felt always I took care of my tyres but once I pushed, it’s nothing… you can get close but you cannot really do anything. The circuit, the cars this year, in this kind of place, it seems to be very difficult to pass anybody and it gets a bit boring, unfortunately. I felt that I had a lot of speed but I felt there’s nothing that I could have done. We all stayed the same distance. Yeah. It was a good end result but obviously I wanted more.

Da Formula1.com


GP Brasile, gara–12/11/2017


Brazilian GP: Vettel defeats Bottas as Hamilton charges to fourth

Sebastian Vettel secured his fifth victory of the 2017 Formula 1 season with an impressive drive to defeat Valtteri Bottas in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

Vettel passed pole-sitter Bottas on the inside into Turn 1 and had the pace to fend off an attack from his Mercedes rival to secure Ferrari’s first victory since Hungary in July.

Bottas crossed the line second, 2.7 seconds adrift, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen holding off a charging Lewis Hamilton, who had started from the pitlane, to finish third for the third race in succession.

Vettel made a great start from second on the grid and though Bottas gave him a squeeze into Turn 1, the Ferrari driver made the move stick.

Further down the field, Kevin Magnussen squeezed Stoffel Vandoorne towards Daniel Ricciardo exiting Turn 2.

Ricciardo was spun round, dropping him to the back of the field, but he continued while Vandoorne and Magnussen retired immediately.

That incident sparked a safety car and was not the only clash on the opening lap – Esteban Ocon suffered the first retirement of his F1 career after being tagged by Romain Grosjean, who lost control of his Haas at Turn 5.

Grosjean continued, but was handed a 10-second time penalty for causing the collision, and ultimately finished 15th.

At the restart, Vettel retained the lead from Bottas, Raikkonen and Max Verstappen, with Felipe Massa delighting his home crowd with a pass around the outside of Fernando Alonso into Turn 1 for fifth.

Hamilton, running on soft tyres, made good progress through the field and was up into the points by lap nine, passing Pierre Gasly for 10th.

Bottas was the first to pit for softs, with Vettel pitting a lap later and rejoining just ahead of the Mercedes driver, managing to hold him off into Turn 4.

As those who started the race on the super-softs pitted, Hamilton inherited the lead and pushed on until lap 43, when he pitted, rejoining 15th – 19 seconds behind Vettel.

The four-time world champion was the fastest driver on the track, catching and passing Verstappen around the outside on the run to Turn 4 with 12 laps to go.

He then rapidly caught Raikkonen but a lock-up into Turn 1 dropped him back and he could not attack the Ferrari before the race’s end.

Verstappen, who struggled with his tyres in the closing stages leading to a late stop for super-softs, was fifth ahead of Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo.

Massa held off Alonso to take seventh in his final Brazilian Grand Prix and penultimate race of his F1 career.

Sergio Perez took ninth, crossing the line right behind Alonso, with Nico Hulkenberg scoring Renault’s first point since Singapore with 10th.

Race result

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1h31m26.262s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 2.762s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 4.600s
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 5.468s
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 32.940s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 48.691s
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m08.882s
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m09.363s
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m09.500s
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1 Lap
11 Carlos Sainz Renault 1 Lap
12 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 2 Laps
16 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 2 Laps
Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault Retirement
Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda Collision
Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari Collision
Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes Collision

Drivers’ standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 345
2 Sebastian Vettel 302
3 Valtteri Bottas 280
4 Daniel Ricciardo 200
5 Kimi Raikkonen 193
6 Max Verstappen 158
7 Sergio Perez 94
8 Esteban Ocon 83
9 Carlos Sainz 54
10 Felipe Massa 42
11 Lance Stroll 40
12 Nico Hulkenberg 35
13 Romain Grosjean 28
14 Kevin Magnussen 19
15 Fernando Alonso 15
16 Stoffel Vandoorne 13
17 Jolyon Palmer 8
18 Pascal Wehrlein 5
19 Daniil Kvyat 5
20 Marcus Ericsson 0
21 Pierre Gasly 0
22 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
23 Brendon Hartley 0

Constructors’ standings

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 625
2 Ferrari 495
3 Red Bull/Renault 358
4 Force India/Mercedes 177
5 Williams/Mercedes 82
6 Toro Rosso/Renault 53
7 Renault 49
8 Haas/Ferrari 47
9 McLaren/Honda 28
10 Sauber/Ferrari 5

Da Autosport.com


GP Brasile, prove del sabato–11/11/2017


Brazilian GP: Bottas beats Vettel to pole after Hamilton crashes

Valtteri Bottas narrowly claimed pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix, as Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton crashed out in Q1.

Hamilton was one of the favourites for pole after leading Friday practice and trailing Mercedes F1 team-mate Bottas by just 0.003 seconds in FP3, but Hamilton crashed heavily at the high-speed Ferradura right-hander on his first flying lap in qualifying.

Hamilton lost the rear of the car suddenly mid-corner and slammed hard into the barriers rear first.

He apologised to his team on the radio before emerging unscathed, but took no further part in the session.

Hamilton’s first Q1 exit since the 2016 Belgian GP cleared the way for Bottas to battle the Ferraris single-handedly for pole.

Bottas was fastest in Q1, but trailed Sebastian Vettel in Q2 and after the first runs in Q3.

Vettel failed to improve on his final run in Q3, but Bottas found 0.120s to beat Vettel to top spot by just 0.038s, with a best lap of 1m08.322s.

The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest, just under two tenths slower than Vettel, while Max Verstappen’s Red Bull was the only other car to lap below 1m09s in fourth.

Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull was fifth, but he faces a 10-place grid penalty for an MGU-H change ahead of practice.

Sergio Perez’s Force India completed the top six, ahead of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda, the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr, and the Williams of Felipe Massa, who almost crashed after gesticulating at Sainz in Q3.

Esteban Ocon failed to make Q3 for the first time since September’s Singapore Grand Prix, missing the cut by less than a tenth to Sainz.

Romain Grosjean broke into the 1m09s for the first time this weekend and briefly occupied a provisional Q3 spot, but fell to 12th as others improved at the end of Q2.

Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren-Honda and Grosjean’s Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen ended up 13th and 14th, both paying the price for failing to break through the 1m10s barrier.

Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley was 15th, but he used Q2 to practice his start procedures rather than set a time, knowing he faces a 10-place grid penalty for an MGU-H change ahead of practice.

Hartley managed to drag himself narrowly into Q2 at the expense of Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein and Toro Rosso team-mate Pierre Gasly, who all lapped in 1m10.6s in Q1.

Wehrlein was gutted to miss the cut by just 0.053s. Gasly, who faces a 25-place grid penalty for a brace of MGU-H changes, missed it by 0.061s.

Hamilton’s crash gave Williams extra time to finish preparing Lance Stroll’s car after changing its engine and gearbox ahead of the session, but Stroll could only manage the 18th quickest time, less than a tenth slower than Gasly.

Stroll will take a five-place grid penalty for that gearbox swap.

Marcus Ericsson was another tenth further back in the second Sauber, beating only Hamilton’s Mercedes, which failed to set a time.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m08.322s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.038s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.216s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 0.603s
5 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1.276s
6 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1.295s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1.381s
8 Carlos Sainz Renault 1.483s
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1.519s
10 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1.508s
11 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1.557s
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1.794s
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1.832s
14 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 2.356s
15 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1.008s
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2.553s
17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 2.454s
18 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault
19 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 2.364s
20 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

Da Autosport.com


Brazilian GP: Bottas pips Hamilton in a tight FP3 session

Valtteri Bottas set the pace in a tight Formula 1 final practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix as the top four were separated by just a fraction of a second.

The Mercedes driver clocked a 1m09.281s to finish just 0.003s clear of team-mate Lewis Hamilton at Interlagos.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was 0.045s off the pace in third, with team-mate Sebastian Vettel only a further 0.013s adrift in fourth.

Cool and overcast conditions greeted the teams on Saturday, with Ferrari focusing on the super-soft tyres and Mercedes the softs early on.

Raikkonen led the way initially, 0.040s ahead of Vettel, with Hamilton able to get within a couple of tenths.

When attention turned to qualifying-simulations, it was Raikkonen who went quickest, but he was soon deposed by Bottas, who inched ahead.

Back came Raikkonen with another improvement, only for Vettel to move ahead by just 0.060s.

Raikkonen shaved another few hundredths to reclaim top spot, only for Bottas to pip him in the closing stages.

Just 0.058s separated the top four drivers, with the fastest sectors split between Hamilton, Vettel and Bottas.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was the closest challenger, leaving it until the final few minutes to pump in the fifth fastest time, 0.963s off the pace.

Fernando Alonso was an impressive sixth for McLaren, with Force India’s Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon separated by a 0.035s in sixth and seventh.

Max Verstappen survived a late spin late on, having taken too much of the exit kerb at the final corner, to finish ninth. Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top 10.

Felipe Massa, racing on home soil in F1 for the final time, was 11th quickest, but his last quick lap was scuppered because of Verstappen’s spin.

His Williams team-mate Lance Stroll failed to complete a timed lap after stopping out on track early in the session, reporting a loss of power.

Stroll needs a new gearbox, which will mean a five-place grid penalty, and an engine change but he will avoid a penalty for the latter by re-using an old engine.

FP3 times

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 1m09.281s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 0.003s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 0.045s
4 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 0.058s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 0.963s
6 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1.007s
7 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1.041s
8 Esteban Ocon Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1.076s
9 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1.214s
10 Carlos Sainz Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1.318s
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1.356s
12 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1.390s
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1.440s
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1.462s
15 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1.481s
16 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1.700s
17 Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1.804s
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1.845s
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 2.199s
20 Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes

Da Autosport.com


GP Brasile, conferenza stampa post qualifiche–11/11/2017


Q: Kimi, happy for today?

Kimi Raikkonen: So, so. I felt it could have been better but it was a bit tricky sometimes to get the tyres into the right window for the first two corners to be confident under braking. The last run was better but it wasn’t good enough.

Q: It seems to be key today with these cooler conditions. It’s just made it that little bit more difficult. But generally Ferrari are in good shape for the race I would guess?

KR: Yeah, I think we improved the car for today. Obviously the weather can change quickly here, so we have to wait and see what it brings tomorrow. It’s going to be a long race and we’ll do our best.

Q: And Kimi, two of you versus one Mercedes. Unusual situation, from a strategy point of view that gives you plenty to play with, ‘cos he can’t cover both of you. Thoughts about that and also your performance today.

KR: Obviously, we’ll see that tomorrow, what it will bring but today was a better day than yesterday, for sure. The feeling was pretty good on some laps but it was a bit tricky to have full confidence in the first corner to be sure that the tyres will work well and you don’t lock the wheel. That was really the most difficult. Some sets seemed to be more easy than others and the last set actually I had more grip than I expected. But yeah, not ideal but not too bad. I think the car is very good, position, the handling, so tomorrow is a race and it should be OK.

Da Formula1.com


GP Brasile, commenti post libere–10/11/2017


“It’s only a Friday”, said Kimi, “and as always, we keep trying different things to learn from them. The tires will play a key role here as usual, the performance will depend on how they work and how long they will last. I felt some vibrations at the beginning of my stint, but that’s quite normal to have sometimes in the car: usually it comes from tires and different sets. We don’t know what the temperatures will be over the rest of the weekend, but we cannot change them anyway and it will be the same for everybody”.

Da Ferrari.com


GP Brasile, prove libere venerdì–10/11/2017


Brazilian GP: Hamilton pips Bottas to top second practice

Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas to the fastest time in second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The four-time world champion clocked a 1m09.515s on the super-soft Pirelli tyres to finish 0.048 seconds clear of Bottas at Interlagos.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo offered the greatest threat to Mercedes, finishing 0.228s adrift in third with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel a further tenth back.

Hamilton led the way early in the session with the Briton clocking a 1m09.742s on the soft tyres, a tenth clear of team-mate Bottas.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, 0.433s off the pace with Kimi Raikkonen three tenths further back in fourth.

Raikkonen was the first driver to fit the super-softs for his qualifying simulation, but could only improve to third while team-mate Vettel’s attempt was still a tenth off Hamilton’s leading time on the softs.

Bottas moved to the top of the times with his first lap on the super-softs with Hamilton backing out of his first low-fuel run when he made an error in the middle sector.

Next time around, Hamilton had a cleaner lap on the same set of super-softs and promptly went quickest, his lap time just a quarter of a second quicker than his best on the softs.

Verstappen was fifth quickest, just over a tenth slower than team-mate Ricciardo, with Raikkonen sixth and Force India’s Esteban Ocon seventh.

Felipe Massa was eighth quickest on home soil, with Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso completing the top 10.

Alonso’s session was disrupted when he was recalled to the pits so Honda could investigate a problem it detected on the engine.

The Spaniard was able to get back out on track and do a low-fuel run before turning his attention to gathering long-run data for Sunday’s race.

His McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, who spun out of the Senna S before continuing, was 13th quickest, two tenths slower.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had a frustrating session, losing his car at the fast downhill left-hander at Pinheirinho, skidding across the run-off and tapping the barriers.

He recovered to the pits but took no further part in the session, ending up 19th quickest, a tenth slower than team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.

Antonio Giovinazzi borrowed Kevin Magnussen’s Haas for FP2 and was 20th and last.

FP2 times

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m09.515s 42
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.048s 45
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 0.228s 37
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.360s 48
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 0.371s 38
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.602s 45
7 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 0.791s 49
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 0.858s 42
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 0.881s 39
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1.140s 31
11 Carlos Sainz Renault 1.170s 42
12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1.180s 43
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1.387s 38
14 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1.549s 44
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1.785s 39
16 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 1.907s 44
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault 2.306s 54
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 2.342s 43
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2.474s 17
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Haas/Ferrari 2.902s 37

Da Autosport.com


Brazilian GP practice: Lewis Hamilton fastest for Mercedes in FP1

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton headed a comfortable Mercedes one-two in opening free practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s FP1-topping effort beat the Interlagos track record, surpassing the 1m09.822s by Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello in qualifying in 2004.

Hamilton, who clinched the 2017 drivers’ title two weeks ago in Mexico, headed team-mate Valtteri Bottas by a tenth in the opening 90-minute session.

Red Bull’s Mexican GP winner Max Verstappen was the only driver to set a laptime in the first 10 minutes – but his initial benchmark was quickly surpassed by the soft-shod Mercedes of Bottas, the Finn ending his first run on a 1m10.102s laptime.

This kept him top until he emerged for a second run on the same set of softs, and as Hamilton moved to within 0.072s of the benchmark, Bottas improved to 1m09.941s.

But the newly-crowned champion’s next effort, arriving at around the half-hour mark, then broke the circuit lap record – and he subsequently improved twice more to end up at 1m09.445s.

As the session passed its halfway point, Bottas ventured out on super-softs and briefly took the top spot from Hamilton, only for his team-mate to respond immediately.

Hamilton’s 1m09.202s would be enough to keep him top until the chequered flag, with the Mercedes duo focusing on super-soft long runs later in the session.

Kimi Raikkonen led Ferrari’s efforts in third, half a second behind Hamilton and just 0.006s clear of fourth-placed Verstappen.

Daniel Ricciardo edged Sebastian Vettel for fifth, the German’s FP1 run punctuated by an early spin at the Turn 9 left-hander.

Williams driver Felipe Massa, who recently announced his retirement from F1 at the end of the season, was seventh on home soil, and the last driver to lap within a second of Hamilton.

Stoffel Vandoorne, finally in possession of McLaren’s upgraded front wing, outpaced team-mate Fernando Alonso, with the pair – in eighth and 10th – split by Force India’s Esteban Ocon.

Lance Stroll was half a second off Williams team-mate Massa in 11th, with the Canadian’s former F3 rival George Russell – replacing Sergio Perez at Force India in FP1 for his grand prix weekend debut – taking 12th, six tenths behind Ocon.

Haas duo Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen followed in 13th and 14th, with Antonio Giovinazzi – who was originally slated to contest FP1 in the Dane’s Haas car – having his outing delayed until FP2.

Nico Hulkenberg, who annoyed Hamilton with a forceful move down the inside of the Juncao left-hander, trailed Renault team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr in 16th, while Sauber’s FP1 stand-in Charles Leclerc headed team regular Marcus Ericsson in 17th.

Toro Rosso was bottom of the standings in both laptime and mileage, managing little in the way of meaningful running.

While Pierre Gasly ended up 4.8s adrift with five laps to his name, team-mate Brendon Hartley, celebrating his 28th birthday, suffered yet another failure and had to leave his heavily-smoking STR12 at the side of the track without getting a single timed lap.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m09.202s 36
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.127s 43
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.542s 32
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 0.548s 31
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 0.626s 38
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.782s 32
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 0.900s 28
8 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1.200s 26
9 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1.252s 36
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1.274s 24
11 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1.430s 42
12 George Russell Force India/Mercedes 1.845s 29
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1.986s 29
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 2.261s 30
15 Carlos Sainz Renault 2.265s 32
16 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 2.406s 35
17 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 2.600s 32
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2.696s 28
19 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 4.832s 5
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault 2

Da Autosport.com