Nico Rosberg led a Mercedes 1-2 in the opening practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix

Practice at the Brazilian Grand Prix saw another 1-2 on the timesheets, although for once it wasn’t the usual suspects of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber claiming the honours for Red Bull Racing.

Instead, it was the Mercedes pairing of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton who topped the timesheets in a session disrupted by a continuous drizzle of rain.

Vettel was still up there, rounding out the top three some six-tenths of a second off Rosberg, while his teammate Mark Webber was further down in sixth place, a second off the German’s pace.

Pirelli had brought along two sets of its prototype 2014-spec medium compound tyres for the teams to test in Friday practice, but the conditions meant that running was extremely limited. Vettel was the first driver to test the new rubber on the damp track, but he only managed two laps out before the rain grew heavier.

The teams’ focus throughout FP1 was to learn as much as they can from the wet Interlagos track, as rain threatens the whole weekend, which probably comes as a relief from most F1 fans hoping for a little variety in the results.

Having a wet session meant that it was important to get drivers on track and see what times were being posted on the intermediate tyres. This, however, wasn’t the case for James Calado, who was sitting in for Paul di Resta. at Force India.

The team decided to be cautious and give the young Brit limited running, as they didn’t want to risk any damage to di Resta’s car. The Scot needs to deliver an impressive performance, as it could be his last outing for the team, or possibly in Formula One altogether.

Toro Rosso sign-up Daniil Kvyat was another young driver participating in FP1, this time at the expense of Daniel Ricciardo. His much talked about pace was proven during the session as he put the Ferrari-powered STR8 in eighth position, six places ahead of his 2014 teammate Jean-Éric Vergne.

At the rear of the field it was business as usual, with Williams, Caterham and Marussia claiming the final six spots on the timesheets. Valtteri Bottas finished ahead of Pastor Maldonado; the Caterhams were evenly matched with Giedo van der Garde just edging out Charles Pic by under a tenth of a second; and Jules Bianchi once again trounced Marussia reserve driver Rodolfo González by 2.6 seconds – the Venezuelan was sitting in for Max Chilton.

2013 Brazilian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:24.781   14
2. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:25.230 + 0.449 13
3. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:25.387 + 0.606 17
4. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:25.391 + 0.610 25
5. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:25.593 + 0.812 13
6. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:25.797 + 1.016 17
7. Sergio Pérez MEX McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:25.946 + 1.165 15
8. Daniil Kvyat RUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:26.064 + 1.283 17
9. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:26.133 + 1.352 31
10. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Sauber Ferrari C32 1:26.232 + 1.451 17
11. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:26.248 + 1.467 15
12. Esteban Gutiérrez MEX Sauber Ferrari C32 1:26.326 + 1.545 28
13. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:26.570 + 1.789 28
14. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:26.593 + 1.812 22
15. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:27.115 + 2.334 25
16. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams Renault FW35 1:27.269 + 2.488 23
17. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW35 1:27.358 + 2.577 23
18. James Calado GBR Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:27.436 + 2.655 9
19. Giedo van der Garde NED Caterham Renault CT03 1:28.107 + 3.326 18
20. Charles Pic FRA Caterham Renault CT03 1:28.199 + 3.418 17
21. Jules Bianchi FRA Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:30.004 + 5.223 24
22. Rodolfo González VEN Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:32.646 + 7.865 19

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.