Brazil practice 2: Hamilton again
ANOTHER DOMINANT DISPLAY: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton enters the pits garage during the second free practice session at Interlagos on Friday.
SAO PAULO, Brazil - Lewis Hamilton prepared to leave McLaren on a high by setting the fastest time in both practice sessions for the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Friday.
The Briton, who took his 2008 Formula 1 title at Interlagos and arrived in Brazil after winning the US Grand Prix in Texas last Sunday, lapped the anti-clockwise layout with a best time of 1min14.131seconds in sunny but hazy morning conditions.
The 27-year-old, who joins Mercedes next season, then lapped in 1min14.026 in the heat of the afternoon.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, the championship leader who is favourite to clinch his third successive title on Sunday, was second fastest in both.
He was just 0.009 off Hamilton's pace before lunch and 0.274 slower after the break.
However, the 25-year-old German set his morning time on this year's Pirelli tyres while Hamilton's came in a test of next year's prototype rubber.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, Vettel's only title rival but 13 points off the lead, was fifth on both timesheets - 0.261 and 0.566 slower respectively than the quickest McLaren.
Pirelli motorsport head Paul Hembery told BBC: "The 2013-spec tyres here are a bit of a hybrid. It is the hard compound but the structure is different, the tyres weigh 1kg more.
"It is a chance for the teams to gain some data because the cars are not adapted to this product. The information so far has been positive. The quickest times of the day have been on the prototype."
Australian Mark Webber was third in the morning and afternoon while McLaren's Jenson Button was fourth in the first session. Alonso's Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa was fourth after lunch.
Spaniard Alonso must finish on the podium on Sunday to have any hope of taking his third title while Vettel will be champion regardless of other results if he can secure fourth place or better.
Hamilton has raced for McLaren for all of his F1 career and could face a barren spell at Mercedes, a team that has been largely uncompetitive this year with its only highlight Nico Rosberg's win in China.
The Briton acknowledged after arriving in Brazil that Sunday's race will be emotional, possibly also his last chance in a while to stand on top of the podium. He intends to go flat out to get there.
Michael Schumacher, the seven-times world champion who is retiring for the second time on Sunday, lapped 11th fastest for Mercedes in the first session but was sixth in the second ahead of Rosberg with Button eighth.
The 43-year-old German had a special message for his fans on his helmet: "Life is about passions, thank you for sharing mine."
Second free practice times from the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos Circuit:
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1min14.026sec
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1min14.300
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 1min14.523
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1min14.553
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1min14.592
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1min14.654
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1min14.669
8 Jenson Button McLaren 1min14.863
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1min14.994
10 Paul Di Resta Force India 1min15.129
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1min15.131
12 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1min15.371
13 Bruno Senna Williams 1min15.432
14 Sergio Perez Sauber 1min15.542
15 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1min15.839
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1min15.902
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1min15.953
18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1min16.048
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1min16.126
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1min16.655
21 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1min17.244
22 Timo Glock Marussia 1min17.675
23 Charles Pic Marussia 1min18.127
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1min18.139
First free practice
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