Brazilian GP: Hamilton spins but goes fastest in FP3

Lewis Hamilton escaped a brief gearbox glitch and a spin to top the final practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

Hamilton beat Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by just over a tenth of a second, as Rosberg took a couple of attempts to nail a decent first corner on his soft-compound tyres.

Sebastian Vettel was third fastest for Ferrari, the only driver within a second of the Mercedes cars, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. 

Story of the session

Local hero Felipe Nasr set the early pace as the majority of the frontrunners did not venture out for several minutes.

Ferrari's Raikkonen set the early pace on the medium tyres on 1m14.373s then 1m14.098s. Teammate Vettel beat him with 1m14.062s.

Twenty minutes into the session, Hamilton stopped out on track just before the Bico do Pato right-hander. "Lost gears," he reported, before pulling away again and driving slowly back to the pits.

Teammate Rosberg had no such problems, and his first flyer of the session on mediums was 1m13.753s. Hamilton rejoined the track, being told "gears are normal" and he rocketed straight to the top on 1m13.647s.

Rosberg responded with 1m13.324s to retake the top time.

Hamilton set the fastest first sector but then spun as he upshifted through Turn 11, Mergulho. "I dunno what happened there; the rear just gave up real quick, just couldn't react to it."

Red Bull's Kvyat, who suffered a huge lock-up on the approach to Turn 1 that wrecked his mediums, was the first to run the softs today, turning a 1m13.829s, which was slower than both Mercedes on mediums. Teammate Daniel Ricciardo then split the Mercs on 1m13.572s for P2.

Hamilton's first lap on the softs was 1m12.070s for the fastest time of the weekend.

Rosberg almost matched him, after a couple of aborted efforts as he was caught out by a stiff breeze into Turn 1, on 1m12.193s, 0.123s down.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg went P3 with six minutes to go, 1.275s off in his Force India.

Raikkonen took that spot with 1m13.096s, then Vettel topped him on 1m12.760s, which was 0.69s off the Mercedes duo.

Valtteri Bottas was fifth in his Williams, 1.265s off the pace, ahead of Hulkenberg, Lotus's Romain Grosjean (who had a late high-speed off at Ferradura) and the second Force India of Sergio Perez.

Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) and Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) rounded out the top 10, from Ricciardo, Felipe Massa (Williams), Kvyat and Fernando Alonso's McLaren.

Carlos Sainz was down in 15th in his Toro Rosso, almost half a second off Verstappen, with Marcus Ericsson shading the Sauber battled over Felipe Nasr.

Jenson Button beat only the Manors in his McLaren, Will Stevens almost four tenths clear of Alexander Rossi.

PosDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1 Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 1:12.070   16
2 Nico Rosberg  Mercedes 1:12.193 +0.123 19
3 Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 1:12.760 +0.690 19
4 Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari 1:13.096 +1.026 20
5 Valtteri Bottas  Williams 1:13.335 +1.265 25
6 Nico Hulkenberg  Force India 1:13.345 +1.275 19
7 Romain Grosjean  Lotus F1 Team 1:13.437 +1.367 19
8 Sergio Perez  Force India 1:13.506 +1.436 18
9 Pastor Maldonado  Lotus F1 Team 1:13.534 +1.464 20
10 Max Verstappen  Toro Rosso 1:13.548 +1.478 21
11 Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing 1:13.572 +1.502 23
12 Felipe Massa  Williams 1:13.742 +1.672 24
13 Daniil Kvyat  Red Bull Racing 1:13.829 +1.759 17
14 Fernando Alonso  McLaren 1:13.850 +1.780 19
15 Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso 1:13.959 +1.889 23
16 Marcus Ericsson  Sauber 1:14.185 +2.115 23
17 Felipe Nasr  Sauber 1:14.288 +2.218 22
18 Jenson Button  McLaren 1:14.445 +2.375 17
19 Will Stevens  Manor 1:16.671 +4.601 15
20 Alexander Rossi  Manor 1:17.059 +4.989 15

 

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Track Interlagos
Article type Practice report