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Update: Nico, Lewis top Friday sessions

2014-11-07 17:30

FIRST FASTEST: Mercedes' Nico Rosberg posted the top time in first practice in Brazil, followed by team mate Lewis Hamilton Image: AF{

  • Rosberg fastest in both sessions
  • Mercedes one-two at InterlagoS
  • Alonso's Ferrari catches fire


SAO PAULO, Brazil - Nico Rosberg took the fight to championship-leading Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton with fastest laps in both Brazilian Forrmula 1 GP practice sessions on Friday.

Fernando Alonso's Ferrari was shot down in flames – he even had to play fireman instead of the slow-to-react marshals..

Rosberg started the day with a best time of 1min12.764 on a cloudy morning at the Interlagos circuit and finished the afternoon with an effort of 1min12.123.


Hamilton, who has won the previous five grands prix and is chasing his 11th victory in 18 races, was a close second in both sessions on a day overshadowed by news of the Marussia team's demise after being under administration for some days.

Rosberg desperately needs to win on Sunday, even if the championship cannot be decided before Abu Dhabi at the end of the month when double points are on offer, since Hamilton forged to 24 points clear in the championship. He said afterwards:

"That was a good day - we are very quick again at this circuit. The track has a new surface, which made it quite tricky. It's smooth and not quite so bumpy as before but the tyres were blistering because of the high temperatures and the new asphalt.

"That was a bit worrying but we are expecting it to be a bit cooler over the weekend."

Rain is in fact forecast for the race; track temperature on Friday was around 50C


Hamilton said he had not managed to put a good lap together but was otherwise unconcerned. He said:  “It's different every time we come here and you never know what the weather is going to do but that's what makes this such an exciting race.”

Russian Daniil Kvyat, who will move from junior team Toro Rosso up to Red Bull in 2015, was third fastest but nearly a second slower than Rosberg in the morning while Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen filled that spot after lunch.

Raikkonen's team mate Fernando Alonso was one of three drivers to bring out red flags in the afternoon session when he pulled over with flames billowing from behind the cockpit. He had been fourth-fastest in the first session The Spaniard jumped out and ran to get an extinguisher before returning to put out the blaze.

"We knew the power unit had reached the end of its cycle so there was a risk we wouldn't finish the second session, but it was part of the programme we have been on for a few races now.”

He was fourth in the first session and will not be penalized for the engine replacement.


Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) also halted the action when each stopped on the track.

Brazil's sole representative, Felipe Massa (Williams), was fifth and sixth respectively in the two practices; Dutch teenager Max Verstappen continued to impress ahead of his race debut scheduled for 2015 with the sixth-fastest lap for Toro Rosso in morning practice before handing the car back to Vergne.

McLaren's Jenson Button, winner in Brazil in 2012, failed to set a time in the first session after suffering electrical problems in a miserable start to his weekend and was 16th in the afternoon.

Spaniard Daniel Juncadella, replacing Mexican Sergio Perez at Force India for the morning session, brought out the first red flags of the day when he crashed into a barrier with considerable damage to the car. Perez was unable to set a lap in the afternoon as the team worked on repairs.

Brazil first free-practice times

1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min12.764
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min12.985
3 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min13.723
4 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min13.742
5 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min13.811
6 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min13.827
7 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault 1min14.034
8 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min14.114
9 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min14.136
10 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - Renault 1min14.902
15 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 1mult 1min14.197
11 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari 1min14.434
12 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min14.522
13 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1min14.678
14 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - Renain15.109
16 Daniel Juncadella (Spain) Force India - Mercedes 1min16.030
17 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren
18 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari

Second free practice times

1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min12.123
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min12.336
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min12.696
4 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - Renault 1min12.956
5 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min13.035
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min13.099
7 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min13.122
8 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min13.254
9 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - Renault 1min13.333
10 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min13.479
11 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault 1min13.497
12 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 1min13.714
13 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1min13.882
14 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1min13.902
15 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari 1min14.204
16 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min14.209
17 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min17.171
18 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes No times

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Brazilian F1 GP weekend.


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