Nico Rosberg has topped his first session of the weekend, narrowly edging out team mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.093 seconds.

The session began with a damp circuit as rain fell over the Interlagos circuit this morning, which saw Hamilton take to the circuit with a set of full wets, quickly commenting that the track was dry enough for slicks.

Both Mercedes drivers focussed on long runs for the first half of the session while Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen led Sebastian Vettel on the soft compound by half a second.

Daniel Ricciardo briefly jumped to the top of the table having registered a 1:12.287 on the softs, but was beaten by his team mate Max Verstappen by two-tenths of a second before both Mercedes took the top two positions.

Rosberg was first across the line on a new set of soft compound and posted a 1:11.740, to which Hamilton was quick to respond but was just under a tenth of a second off the pace.

Vettel improved on his time to dip under the 1:12s but remained in third position ahead of team mate Raikkonen, while Verstappen out-paced Ricciardo in fifth position.

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas ended the session in seventh position and two places higher than Felipe Massa, who was four tenths slower than his team mate. Renault’s Jolyon Palmer made a surprise top 10 appearance to split the Williams pair in eighth.

Completing the top 10 was Fernando Alonso, who again ran into more troubles with his McLaren. The Spaniard spent a large portion of the session in the garage as the team worked to fix a gearbox issue plaguing his car. Alonso managed to avoid a change in gearbox and return to the track but was limited to 12 laps.

Both Force Indias fell off the pace as Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez finished the final practice session in 11th and 12th position respectively, seeing off Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz who were both a tenth off their lap time.

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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