Practice 2: Hamilton fastest of all on day one

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.

Lewis Hamilton ended the first day at Interlagos fastest of all in his McLaren MP4/26

Nov.25 (Reuters) McLaren‘s Lewis Hamilton followed up his Abu Dhabi victory by setting the practice pace at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Friday.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton happy in Brazil

The Briton, wearing a special helmet carrying the logo and colours of Brazil’s late triple champion Ayrton Senna that will be auctioned off after the weekend, lapped the anti-clockwise circuit with a best time of one minute 13.392 seconds in the afternoon.

Red Bull‘s double champion Sebastian Vettel, who wrapped up this year’s title with four races to spare, was second fastest at Interlagos with a lap 0.167 slower and just ahead of Australian team mate Mark Webber.

Webber, with one last chance to win a race in a year dominated by Vettel, had been fastest in the morning session in 1:13.811.

The Australian, whose victory at Interlagos in 2009 was overshadowed by Jenson Button winning the title, was a contender right to the end in 2010 but has not won since Hungary in August last year.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.

Sebastian Vettel was second fastest in the Red Bull Racing RB7

He has now gone 25 races without success during which time Vettel, who can take the outright record of 15 poles in a single season if he qualifies fastest on Saturday, has won two championships and 14 grands prix.

Button, who won his title with Brawn and is now chasing his fourth win of the year with McLaren, was second on a hot and clear morning but seventh after lunch.

Felipe Massa, twice a winner in front of his home crowd and celebrating his 100th start for Ferrari this weekend, was fifth and sixth respectively.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who won both of his titles with Renault at Interlagos, pulled over with an engine failure at the end of the first session and needed a replacement for the second.

Ferrari said he would not suffer any penalty because the replacement was a previously used engine and within his allocation for the season.

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 150 Italia.

Felipe Massa sporting a special helmet design on the occasion of his 100th grand prix with Ferrari

The positions in second practice from ninth place downwards went in pairs of team mates.

Czech driver Jan Charouz made his Friday debut with the HRT team in the morning and was last on the timing screens.

Charouz, who replaced Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi for the session, was one of a handful of drivers in action who will not take part in Sunday’s race.

Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg, who started last year’s race on pole for Williams and is now Force India reserve, was eighth fastest in the morning.

France’s Romain Grosjean, a favourite for a race seat next year now that Poland’s Robert Kubica will not be ready for the season’s start, was in the Renault while compatriot Jean-Eric Vergne had a run with Toro Rosso.

Brazilian Luiz Razia was on duty for Team Lotus.

Friday, 25 November – Free Practice 2

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:13.392 35
2 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:13.559 0.167 41
3 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:13.587 0.195 41
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:13.598 0.206 35
5 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:13.723 0.331 38
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:13.750 0.358 39
7 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:13.787 0.395 36
8 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:13.872 0.480 42
9 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:14.144 0.752 41
10 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:14.807 1.415 48
11 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:14.856 1.464 38
12 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1:14.931 1.539 37
13 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:14.970 1.578 32
14 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:15.019 1.627 45
15 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:15.264 1.872 44
16 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:15.388 1.996 41
17 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:15.679 2.287 43
18 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:15.903 2.511 40
19 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:16.298 2.906 36
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:16.338 2.946 48
21 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:18.031 4.639 39
22 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:18.051 4.659 45
23 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:18.367 4.975 42
24 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:18.476 5.084 42