Brazilian GP, Practice One: Lewis Hamilton leads dominant Mercedes one-two
Hamilton sets new lap record; Mercedes half a second clear of rest; Vettel spins and only sixth fastest; Toro Rosso suffer engine problems on both cars
By Jonathan Green
Last Updated: 16/11/17 10:31am
Lewis Hamilton set a new lap record as he led a dominant Mercedes one-two in Practice One at the Brazilian GP.
The world champion topped the timesheet with a 1:09.202 - eclipsing the previous Interlagos record of 1:09.822 set back in 2004 - to finish a tenth clear of team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
It was an ominous early marker from the two Mercedes, with Kimi Raikkonen third for Ferrari but half a second down on Hamilton's benchmark.
The Finn was just ahead of the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, with Sebastian Vettel only sixth and seven tenths off the pace.
The German's running was also disrupted by a spin onto the grass at Turn Nine during his opening stint.
"Mercedes always look good in FP1 and then it tends to concertina a bit and we were running very, very safely in that session," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Sky F1.
"I think come Sunday we will be able to give them a harder time."
But it was another disastrous session for Toro Rosso. After suffering multiple engine failures last time out in Mexico, both Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly were hit by fresh engine problems.
Hartley was unable to set a time after being forced to stop his car in a cloud of smoke on his opening lap, while Gasly was limited to just one timed lap before his session was halted by an MGU-H problem.
Both drivers, along with Ricciardo, were already facing a 10-place grid penalty for taking on new MGU-Hs.
On his debut run in a Grand Prix weekend, 19-year-old Briton George Russell impressed in the Force India and posted the 12th fastest time.
The GP3 champion improved by over 1.2 seconds over the course of the session and was within six tenths of regular driver Esteban Ocon.
"I thought he did extremely well. He kept going out and getting faster. I think he'll get out of the car feeling very satisfied," said Sky F1's Martin Brundle.
Felipe Massa showed good pace in the Williams in his final home Grand Prix, posting the seventh fastest time and was only a tenth off Vettel.
Stoffel Vandoorne, Ocon and Fernando Alonso completed the top 10.
Renault suffered a difficult session with Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg 15th and 16th respectively, Hulkenberg also angered Hamilton after pushing the Mercedes onto the grass as he made a move up the inside while on a fast lap.
"That was very dangerous," complained Hamilton over team radio.
Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc also did well in his latest run in the Sauber, finishing just ahead of regular driver Marcus Ericsson.
The session also marked the first time ever the current Formula 1 champion (Hamilton), Formula 2 champion (Leclerc), GP3 champion (Russell) and World Endurance Championship champion (Hartley) had taken part in a F1 session at the same time.
|Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.548|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||+0.626|
|Esteban Ocon||Force India||+1.252|
|George Russell||Force India||+1.845|
|Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||+4.832|
|Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||No time set|
|All times set on supersoft tyre except for Gasly on softs|