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Rosberg sets searing pace in sweltering Sao Paulo

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Rosberg sets searing pace in sweltering Sao Paulo
Nov 7, 2014, 6:53 PM

Nico Rosberg set a blistering pace in second free practice session ahead of Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos as Mercedes once again d...

Nico Rosberg set a blistering pace in second free practice session ahead of Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos as Mercedes once again dominated the time sheets.

On a sweltering day in Sao Paolo, on which track temperatures reached as high as 57 degrees Celsius, Rosberg got his preparation for Sunday's must-win penultimate race of the year with a time on Pirelli soft tyres that was ultimately just over two tenths of a second faster than team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

However, Rosberg's soft tyres suffered from significant blistering on the newly laid Interlagos track surface, especially the right front (below)

Pirelli F1 tyre

Hamilton's first soft tyre run was hampered by running wide at turn 11 but he regrouped and managed to improve on a later run on a day when most drivers found little or no improvement on their second fast lap on the tyres.

Kimi Raikkonen provided much of the entertainment throughout both practice sessions, the 2007 world champion enduring two off-track excursions in first practice followed by a sensational third-fastest time in the afternoon before another spin demonstrated just how hard he was trying.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Sao Paulo, Brazil

He wasn't the only driver to suffer a wayward moment or two on the new track surface and many others were caught out as they attempted to marry speed with consistency.

Elsewhere, just over two tenths of a second behind Raikkonen was Daniel Ricciardo whose Red Bull ended the day fourth, just over eight tenths slower than Rosberg. Valtteri Bottas was the quicker of the two Williams cars, just six hundredths of a second faster than two-time Brazilian Grand Prix winner Felipe Massa.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Fernando Alonso was a disgruntled seventh, his soft run pace issues compounded when he stopped off track with an engine fire during his long run. According to Ferrari the incident will not force him into an area where he incurs power unit element penalties.

Daniel Kvyat was a fine eighth in the afternoon which, added to his third fastest time in the morning, indicates that Toro Rosso have begun their Brazilian Grand Prix from as good baseline.

By contrast, reigning world champion and last year's Interlagos race winner Sebastian Vettel was a subdued ninth, just under four tenths of a second slower than team-mate Ricciardo.

The McLaren squad endured a difficult Friday with Kevin Magnussen the quicker of the two in 10th place, 1.3s off the Mercedes pace and eight tenths faster than team-mate Jenson Button.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Pastor Maldonado's confident run at Lotus continues as he finished the day 11th one position and just over two tenths faster than team mate Romain Grosjean, the latter again very active on his radio to explain his various braking issues.

Nico Hulkenberg was the sole Force India in action in the afternoon, the German driver marginally slower than Grosjean and just two hundredths of a second faster than the Sauber of Esteban Guttierez who stopped on track and in the pits several times in both sessions as the team struggled to fix a problem with the energy recovery system.

However, he finished the day three tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Adrian Sutil, with Jenson Button 16th fastest in the second McLaren having missed almost all the first session.

At the back Jean-Eric Vergne managed a paltry five laps all day and ended up 17th. After watching Max Verstappen in his Toro Rosso during the first session, the Frenchman stopped at the exit of turn four with what looked like a power unit failure early in the afternoon.

Sergio Perez failed to get any track time at all following test driver Daniel Juncadella's hefty contact with the Turn 8 barrier in Free Practice One. The resultant damage to Perez's Mercedes engine meant that the Mexican missed all of Friday, especially frustrating given the seven place grid penalty he'll be carrying into Sunday.

2014 Brazilian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:12.123 36

2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:12.336 0.213 36

3 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:12.696 0.573 32

4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:12.956 0.833 24

5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:13.035 0.912 31

6 Felipe Massa Williams 1:13.099 0.976 27

7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:13.122 0.999 20

8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:13.254 1.131 35

9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:13.333 1.210 28

10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:13.479 1.356 33

11 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:13.497 1.374 33

12 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:13.714 1.591 37

13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:13.882 1.759 32

14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:13.902 1.779 25

15 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:14.204 2.081 36

16 Jenson Button McLaren 1:14.209 2.086

17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:17.171 5.048 31

18 Sergio Perez Force India No time 5
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