Brazilian GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report
Red Bull sets Interlagos pace
Sebastian Vettel (1:12.328) comfortably topped the first free session of free practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, from Red Bull Racing team mate Mark Webber (1:12.810).
Lewis Hamilton (1:12.845) was just three hundredths down on Webber and four tenths clear of McLaren Mercedes team mate Jenson Button (1:13.267). Interlagos, despite regularly having resurfacing work carried out, is bumpy in nature and despite that not being a strength of this year's McLaren, it is thought that if Hamilton and Button can run at similar race pace to the Red Bull they may have a strong race car with its optimised F-duct and the long drag into Turn 1, the track's recognised overtaking spot.
Robert Kubica's Renault (1:13.370) was fifth quickest, ahead of Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (1:13.516), Rubens Barrichello's Williams-Cosworth (1:13.546) and Michael Schumacher (1:13.643). The top 10 was rounded out by Adrian Sutil's Force India (1:13.918) and Nick Heidfeld's Sauber (1:14.000).
The Ferraris, which often take a different approach to FP1, again did not set representative lap times, with Fernando Alonso (1:14.246) and Felipe Massa (1:14.267) finishing the session 13th and 14th respectively. More worryingly for the team, Alonso pulled his car off the circuit just before the end of the session. The cause has yet to be established but the season has reached the point where engine mileages are crucial and could play a decisive part in the title run-in. The other notable incident was a heavy Turn 6 crash for Russian Vitaly Petrov, under pressure to perform at Renault.