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2017 Brazil GP Friday Practice Round Up: Mercedes Dominate the Day

Mercedes dominated the Friday Practice sessions for the Brazil Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. Fresh off winning the championship Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in both practice sessions showing no signs of easing off now that he’s won the championship.

Free Practice 1

Hamilton eventually set the fastest time of the session over team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the other Mercedes. Hamilton’s 1:09.202 came courtesy of the super soft compound tyres. Bottas was not that far off with a session best time of 1:09.329. The two Mercedes drivers duelled for most of the session for the fastest time but it was Hamilton who eventually prevailed.

With just a touch over half a second off the pace was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in 3rd fastest for the Maranello based team. Raikkonen’s best time of 1.09.744 was 0.542s off the pace.

Splitting the Ferrari’s were the two Red Bull’s of Max Verstappen and Danieel Ricciardo in 4th and 5th fastest respectively. Verstappen’s time was just a whisker off Raikkonen’s with the Dutchman crossing the line 0.006s slower than the Finn.

Sebastian Vettel in the other Ferrari was 6th fastest more than 0.7s down on Hamilton’s benchmark.

In his second final home race, Felipe Massa ended the session 7th fastest just a touch over one second off the pace.

McLaren got both their cars in the top 10 with Vandoorne 8th fastest and Alonso 10th. The McLaren’s were split by Esteban Ocon’s Force India.

It was not the best of sessions for Toro Rosso after Brendon Hartley suffered from an engine problem. This was an engine where they had just replaced his MGU-H. Pierre Gasly managed to only complete 7 laps for the session.

Making his F1 debut was George Russel in the Force India. He did an impressive job to finish 12th fastest.


Free Practice 2

Hamilton picked up right where he left off and set the fastest time in FP2. His time of 1:09.515 was slower than the morning sessions time but was enough to get him the top spot.

The session was much closer than FP1 with the top 5 covered by 0.5s.

Mercedes looked incredibly strong out on track in the long runs and over one lap. Bottas and Hamilton traded fastest lap times but once again it was Hamilton that emerged fastest with Bottas 0.048s off.

Daniel Ricciardo took the third fastest spot of the session after a relatively late run on the super softs.

Splitting the Red Bull’s this time was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in 4th with Max Verstappen in 5th ahead of 6th place man, Kimi Raikkonen.

Esteban Ocon once again featured in the top 10 and places 7th fastest beating the Williams of Felipe Massa in 8th.

Nico Hulkenberg got his Renault into to 9th place with McLaren’s Alonso rounding it out for the top 10.

There were a few problems for Alonso earlier in the session after he reported deployment problems. The McLaren was back in the garage for a short while before he was back on track.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson cut down his track time after a spin at Turn 11 shunted him into the barrier. He made it back to the pits after the impact and it seems there was no damage to the Sauber.

Haas’ Romain Grosjean also spun at T4. He was able to carry on but complained of vibrations from the rear of his car. He was eventually called into the pits.


About Ritesh K Bhana

Ritesh likes to think he is a true Tifosi, but he still remains fair to other teams. He supports two other teams which are not Red Bull and McLaren. Follow Ritesh on twitter @Humanshield_1

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