Brazilian GP: Hamilton leads from Rosberg in FP1

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in opening practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Briton outpacing his closest rival by over half a second.

Hamilton posted a best time of 1:13.543 as he emerged as the only driver to lap the Interlagos circuit in the 1:13s range in the 90 minutes of running.

Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg finished second, 0.519s behind the world champion, with Sebastian Vettel a close third in the quickest Ferrari.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was fourth ahead of Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who was a full second slower than Hamilton.

Daniil Kvyat wound up sixth in the second Red Bull, with Williams' Valtteri Bottas in seventh ahead of Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado in the Lotus completed the top 10.

The session began with several cars sporting sensors of all kind, the most visible the ones on the McLaren and the Ferrari, which went out with significant aero rakes.

Verstappen was the first man to get his name in the timesheets after the 10-minute mark, the Dutchman joined by Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz moments later.

Rosberg went quickest 15 minutes in, posting the first time in the 1:15s, before Verstappen triggered a yellow-flag period as he spun at Turn 3.

Although Rosberg improved his best, Hamilton hit the front just seconds later with a 1:15.102, just 0.022 seconds quicker than his teammate.

The Briton set a new benchmark by diving into the 1:14s, increasing the gap to Rosberg to nearly three tenths before the German improved and got to within less than half a tenth.

First Verstappen and later Raikkonen went quicker to join the Mercedes duo as the only men in the 1:14s, with Vettel the first driver in the 1:15s.

Vettel jumped to P1 with 36 minutes to go, the Ferrari driver posting a 1:14.233 lap, but he did not stay there for long, as Rosberg went even quicker.

But with 30 minutes left, Hamilton regained the top spot with the first lap under 74 seconds, the Briton's 1:13.543 quickest by over half a second at that point.

Raikkonen's session was came close to ending early when he lost control of his car under braking at Turn 3, the Finn spinning intro the gravel but somehow managing to return to the pits, although he would not go out again.

All the laps in the session were completed with Pirelli's medium tyres.

1 Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 1:13.543   28
2 Nico Rosberg  Mercedes 1:14.062 +0.519 36
3 Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 1:14.168 +0.625 27
4 Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing 1:14.449 +0.906 27
5 Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari 1:14.549 +1.006 20
6 Daniil Kvyat  Red Bull Racing 1:14.696 +1.153 25
7 Valtteri Bottas  Williams 1:14.886 +1.343 25
8 Max Verstappen  Toro Rosso 1:14.960 +1.417 38
9 Nico Hulkenberg  Force India 1:15.174 +1.631 33
10 Pastor Maldonado  Lotus F1 Team 1:15.192 +1.649 31
11 Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso 1:15.314 +1.771 38
12 Jolyon Palmer  Lotus F1 Team 1:15.352 +1.809 33
13 Jenson Button  McLaren 1:15.379 +1.836 28
14 Felipe Nasr  Sauber 1:15.381 +1.838 29
15 Sergio Perez  Force India 1:15.408 +1.865 32
16 Fernando Alonso  McLaren 1:15.413 +1.870 29
17 Felipe Massa  Williams 1:15.469 +1.926 24
18 Marcus Ericsson  Sauber 1:15.798 +2.255 34
19 Alexander Rossi  Manor 1:17.860 +4.317 23
20 Will Stevens  Manor 1:18.090 +4.547 22
Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Track Autódromo José Carlos Pace
Article type Practice report