Lewis Hamilton has finished both Friday practice sessions fastest as he registered a lap time of 1:12.271 to clear team mate Nico Rosberg by 0.030 seconds.

Having spent the first practice session right on the tail of the Mercedes, Red Bull Racing dropped off the pace as both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen fell over half a second behind the Silver Arrows’ benchmark.

They were bested by both Williams drivers as Valtteri Bottas was the closest Mercedes challenger in third while Felipe Massa was close behind in fourth position.

The majority of the field opted to run the medium compound early on in the session before making the switch to the softs, with Hamilton besting Rosberg’s efforts on both compounds.

Ferrari struggled for pace as both drivers were seven-tenths of a second off the pace, with Sebastian Vettel in seventh while Kimi Raikkonen was eighth. The Finn landed himself into hot water as he cut across Carlos Sainz’s Toro Rosso during the session into the pits. The Stewards looked into the incident but concluded that it was a “misunderstanding”.

McLaren endured another mixed session with Jenson Button rounding out the top 10 behind Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, with the Briton’s session ending early with just the 19 laps completed.

His team mate Fernando Alonso’s session also ended prematurely, as an ERS issue forced him to pull off the track at Turn 4. Instead of heading back to the garage, Alonso took control over one of the FOM cameras trackside with one of his shots being broadcasted on the international feed.

Force India-bound Esteban Ocon was one of the busiest drivers in the session, completing 46 laps around the Interlagos circuit and finishing over half a second quicker than Manor team mate Pascal Wehrlein.

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

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Josh Kruse

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