Brazilian Grand Prix: Hamilton tops final free practice

Final free practice at the Brazilian Grand Prix topped by Lewis Hamilton.

Morning glory for Lewis Hamilton after outpacing the pack in the final practice session at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Hamilton’s 1:12.070 was enough for the Briton to edge Rosberg by one tenth of a second and top his second session of the weekend.

Hamilton had opened the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend with the fastest time in the opening practice session but lost out to Rosberg come the Friday afternoon running. Saturday morning also did not start well for Lewis as he suffered an early gearbox issue and span at turn 11.

When the qualifying runs came around though, Hamilton set a triple purple lap to rocket clear of the field before Rosberg nestled into second with his strongest lap of the hour.

During the opening stages of the session, Manor’s men set the first times of the day to top the final free practice leaderboard before Felipe Nasr, who’s experiencing his first home Grand Prix, moved on top.

Plenty of other drivers joined Felipe, Alexander and Will on the leaderboard as the early benchmark began to fall on the medium tyres, with Raikkonen edging the 1:13 barrier. In first free practice, the fastest time over the 90 minutes came with Hamilton on a 1:13.543 who held a five tenth lead over Rosberg.

Raikkonen managed to end the day in fourth place with just his team-mate and the two Silver Arrows ahead of him. However Kimi still faced a second deficit to the man he edged for the title in Brazil back in 2007.

Kvyat one was of few drivers to continue to struggle with locking his tyres during FP3. But while he set about practicing for qualifying with the old-spec Renault engine, Ricciardo was looking towards tomorrow’s race knowing he will take a 10-place grid penalty for a change to the latest power unit Renault have to offer. The difference at the flag saw Ricciardo only finish two-tenths up on Kvyat for 11th.

Another new engine was also in Fernando Alonso’s McLaren after the Honda unit spluttered to a halt in FP2 yesterday when the Spaniard was the first driver to run the soft tyres. As he stopped on track with smoke coming from the rear of his car, the red flags waved leaving Bottas with a three-place grid pen for overtaking a slow moving Felipe Nasr.

Neither of Alonso or Bottas were able to show serious pace in FP3 with Valtteri only strong enough for fifth (1.2 seconds off the pace) and Fernando only able to take 14th (1.7 seconds off the pace).

Position Driver Gap
1 Hamilton 1:12.070
2 Rosberg 0.123
3 Vettel 0.690
4 Raikkonen 1.026
5 Bottas 1.265
6 Hulkenberg 1.275
7 Grosjean 1.367
8 Perez 1.436
9 Maldonado 1.464
10 Verstappen 1.478
11 Ricciardo 1.502
12 Massa 1.672
13 Kvyat 1.759
14 Alonso 1.780
15 Sainz 1.889
16 Ericsson 2.115
17 Nasr 2.218
18 Button 2.375
19 Stevens 4.601
20 Rossi 4.989