Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets in both FP1 and 2 at the Interlagos circuit in Brazil on Friday as he prepares to continue taking the fight to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg for the 2016 Formula One World crown.
Despite the talk of rain here this weekend, dry and warm conditions greeted the drivers at Interlagos and they were able to give their all. That said however, it’s not yet clear just what the conditions will be for the remainder of the weekend. Wet weather is forecast for both qualifying day and race day meaning that today’s conditions may not turn out to be as representative as originally thought.
Even th0ough Lewis topped the times, he was closely matched on an evolving track, with Williams driver Felipe Massa also having a spell at the head of the FP2 classification during his final home grand prix. He eventually finished fourth overall.
“It's been a good day,” Lewis said. “We got through all of our run programmes and the car is feeling really good. It's pretty tough out here physically right now with the heat as high as it is. Not just in the car but for the guys in the garage too. Finding the right balance isn't easy either in these conditions as the tyres are getting really hot. But our long run pace seems to be strong so we can be happy with the start we've made today.”
Track temperatures peaked at 50 degrees centigrade by the finish of FP2, as the teams ended the session concentrating on longer runs with varying fuel loads.
Nico Rosberg finished hot on the heels of his teammate with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas third.
1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes, 1:12.271
2. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes, 1:12.301
3. Valtteri Bottas - Williams, 1:12.761
4. Felipe Massa - Williams, 1:12.789
5. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull, 1:12.828
6. Max Verstappen - Red Bull, 1:12.928
7. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari, 1:13.002
8. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari, 1:13.002
9. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India, 1:13.299
10. Jenson Button - McLaren, 1:13.440
11. Fernando Alonso - McLaren, 1:13.572
12. Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso, 1:13.689
13. Carlos Sainz - Toro Rosso, 1:13.801
14. Sergio Perez - Force India, 1:13.918
15. Romain Grosjean - Haas, 1:14.074
16. Kevin Magnussen - Renault, 1:14.109
17. Felipe Nasr - Sauber, 1:14.309
18. Esteban Ocon - Manor, 1:14.317
19. Jolyon Palmer - Renault, 1:14.436
20. Esteban Gutierrez - Haas, 1:14.558
21. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber, 1:14.695
22. Pascal Wehrlein - Manor, 1:14.958
(Times courtesy of Sky Sports)