Lewis Hamilton has made a powerful start to the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend by posting the quickest time of the opening practice session, finishing half a second quicker than Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel followed closely behind in third position and finished four-tenths quicker than his team-mate Kimi Räikkönen, while Daniel Ricciardo split the two Ferrari drivers by slotting into fourth position in his Red Bull Racing Renault and within a second of Hamilton’s benchmark.

Rosberg set the quickest time early in the session with the extra set of medium tyres, although Hamilton was quick to demote his team-mate to second place. Rosberg responded to Hamilton’s time by equalling the 1:14.451 posted by the world champion, until Vettel cleared both the Mercedes drivers by two-tenths of a second in the second half of the session.

His stint at the top of the table didn’t last long however, as Rosberg hit back registering a 1:14.090 to reclaim first position. Vettel improved on his time shortly after to get within a tenth of a second although it wasn’t good enough to pip the Mercedes-powered Rosberg.

Hamilton returned to the track to re-join the action, although possibly a bit too eagerly. On his first flying lap he braked too late into Turn 1 and locked up his brakes, sending him straight on into the run-off area. The brief interruption didn’t deter the Briton as his next lap around was good enough to top the session by half a second.

Daniil Kvyat finished in sixth position in the sister Red Bull ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen. Bottas had significantly beaten his teammate Felipe Massa who was down in 17th position after struggling to find grip with his FW37.

Verstappen and his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr clocked up the most laps of the session with 38 laps each in their Toro Rossos. Verstappen had been one of the first drivers out on the green circuit and was the first to lose traction and spin at the exit of Turn 3.

Raikkonen also experienced a heavy spin when he locked up his rear brakes heading into Turn 4, flat spotting his tyres and putting his Ferrari through the gravel before re-joining the track. The Finn had limited running earlier in the session due to large aero equipment being fitted to his car for testing purposes.

Friday’s second practice session at Interlagos begins at 14:00 local time (GMT -2).

Formula 1 Grande Prêmio Petrobras do Brasil 2015 – Free Practice 1 Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:13.543 28
2. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:14.062 + 0.519 36
3. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:14.168 + 0.625 27
4. Daniel Ricciardo au Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:14.449 + 0.906 27
5. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:14.549 + 1.006 20
6. Daniil Kvyat ru Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:14.696 + 1.153 25
7. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:14.886 + 1.343 25
8. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:14.960 + 1.417 38
9. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:15.174 + 1.631 33
10. Pastor Maldonado ve Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:15.192 + 1.649 31
11. Carlos Sainz es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:15.314 + 1.771 38
12. Jolyon Palmer uk Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:15.352 + 1.809 33
13. Jenson Button uk McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:15.379 + 1.836 28
14. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:15.381 + 1.838 29
15. Sergio Pérez mx Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:15.408 + 1.865 32
16. Fernando Alonso es McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:15.413 + 1.870 29
17. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:15.469 + 1.926 24
18. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:15.798 + 2.255 34
19. Alexander Rossi us Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 1:17.860 + 4.317 23
20. Will Stevens uk Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 1:18.090 + 4.547 22

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

The following two tabs change content below.

Josh Kruse

Latest posts by Josh Kruse (see all)