Brazilian GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

Webber fastest in Interlagos first session

Mark Webber, Brazilian GP 2011

Mark Webber, Brazilian GP 2011 

 © Active Pictures

Mark Webber, still chasing his first 2011 win, topped the first session of free practice for Sunday's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

Webber won here in 2009 and the Australian's Red Bull lapped the Interlagos circuit in 1:13.811, to head Jenson Button's McLaren (1:13.825) by a hundredth of a second.

Lewis Hamilton's McLaren (1:13.961) was fourth quickest, ahead of Sebastian Vettel (1:14.025), who will tomorrow attempt to break Nigel Mansell's record 14 pole positions in one season, from 1992.

Home hero Felipe Massa (1:14.507) was fifth quickest, just four hundredths in front of Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso (1:14.541), who pulled off in the Senna Esses five minutes before the end of the session with an engine failure.

There was then half a second's gap before Michael Schumacher's Mercedes (1:15.162) pipped Nico Hulkenberg's Force India (1:15.178), the sister car of Paul Di Resta (1:15.341) and Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (1:15.321).

There were no other incidents of note in the session but no less than five driver changes from the normal roster enjoyed Friday sessions with their respective teams.

Nico Hulkenberg, who is expected to have a Force India race seat next year, proved evenly matched with Di Resta, while Romain Grosjean (1:15.547) was twelfth quickest in the first of the Renault R31s, but stopped out on the circuit before the end of the session. Bruno Senna (1:15.732) was a couple of tenths slower and two slots further back with the second Renault.

At Toro Rosso, Jean-Eric Vergne (1:16.057) was 18th quickest, which compared with the 1:15.478 set by Jaime Alguersuari en route to 11th quickest time with the other STR06.

Luiz Razia was given Jarno Trulli's Lotus for the first session and lapped in 1:17.595, just over a second shy of regular Heikki Kovalainen in the second car.

At HRT, Jan Charouz (1:19.577) stepped in for Tonio Liuzzi and lapped 0.62s slower than Daniel Ricciardo.

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