Hamilton fastest as Mercedes sets the pace in Brazil

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas to the fastest time in practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The newly crowned four-time world champion topped both 90 minute sessions at Interlagos with his benchmark 1:09.202s arriving in opening practice on super-soft tyres.

The time eclipsed the circuit lap record of 1:09.822s set by Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello in qualifying in 2004.

Hamilton headed Bottas in both sessions as Mercedes showed their strength in the lead up to Sunday’s penultimate round of the season.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo offered the greatest threat to Mercedes, finishing 0.228s adrift in third with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel a further tenth back.

Max Verstappen was fifth quickest, just over a tenth slower than team-mate Ricciardo, with Kimi Raikkonen sixth and Force India’s Esteban Ocon seventh.

Felipe Massa (Williams) was eighth quickest on home soil, with Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) and Fernando Alonso (McLaren) completing the top 10.

Alonso’s second session was disrupted when he was recalled to the pits so Honda could investigate a problem it detected on the engine.

The Spaniard was able to get back out on track and do a low-fuel run before turning his attention to gathering long-run data for Sunday’s race.

His McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, who spun out of the Senna S before continuing, was 13th quickest, two tenths slower.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had a frustrating session, losing his car at the fast downhill left-hander at Pinheirinho, skidding across the run-off and tapping the barriers.

He recovered to the pits but took no further part in the session, ending up 19th quickest, a tenth slower than team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.

New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley finished 17th after failing to set a time in Practice 1 due to an engine failure on his Toro Rosso.

Antonio Giovinazzi borrowed Kevin Magnussen’s Haas for FP2 and was 20th and last.

Opening practice saw Brit George Russell impress on his F1 debut as he posted the 12th fastest time in the session, driving for Force India.

Result: Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix Practice 2

Position Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m09.515s 42
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.048s 45
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 0.228s 37
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.360s 48
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 0.371s 38
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.602s 45
7 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 0.791s 49
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 0.858s 42
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 0.881s 39
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1.140s 31
11 Carlos Sainz Renault 1.170s 42
12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1.180s 43
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1.387s 38
14 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1.549s 44
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1.785s 39
16 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 1.907s 44
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault 2.306s 54
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 2.342s 43
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2.474s 17
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Haas/Ferrari 2.902s 37

Result: Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix Practice 1 

Position Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m09.202s 36
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.127s 43
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.542s 32
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 0.548s 31
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 0.626s 38
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.782s 32
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 0.900s 28
8 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1.200s 26
9 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1.252s 36
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1.274s 24
11 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1.430s 42
12 George Russell Force India/Mercedes 1.845s 29
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1.986s 29
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 2.261s 30
15 Carlos Sainz Renault 2.265s 32
16 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 2.406s 35
17 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 2.600s 32
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2.696s 28
19 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 4.832s 5
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault 2

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