Hamilton quickest in Brazilian Grand Prix practice

Newly crowned four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was the quickest man in Sao Paulo ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas, after breaking the lap record within 30 minutes of the start.

Hamilton’s 1m09.202s was nearly two seconds quicker than the lap record set by Juan Pablo Montoya 14 years ago, with the Mercedes driver going just a few tenths slower in the afternoon session but maintaining his pace early on before the teams settled into their long run programmes.

Both Ferrari’s were not far off the pace set by Hamilton in the morning and afternoon, despite a spin from Sebastian Vettel during the opening stages of the morning session he eventually finished sixth fastest while team mate Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest. In the afternoon Vettel had a much better session finishing fourth fastest but still behind the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo was testing some aggressive engine modes in the latter stages of the afternoon practice session, after being one of the drivers to set his fastest lap time earlier in the session on the Soft tyre. Mexico GP race winner Max Verstappen rounded out the top five in both sessions, with Esteban Ocon the best of the rest in the Force India.

Felipe Massa finished eighth fastest on his final Friday practice session at his home race, after announcing that he will be retiring earlier in the week. Fernando Alonso was 10th quickest in the McLaren in both sessions, although suffered from ERS deployment problems during his long runs which hampered his progress towards the end of the day.

Further down the George Russell was in place for Sergio Perez in the morning session, managing a best position of 12th place on his F1 practice debut. Meanwhile Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly both suffered engine problems during the morning session, which forced them to sit out on the sidelines until the afternoon when they were finally able to get some laps under their belt.

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