Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel fought a terrific duel last weekend in Austin, Texas and the fight continued in Sao Paulo where the two were separated by just 0.009s at the end of the first practice session at Interlagos. Mark Webber was third and Jenson Button fourth, all four covered by a less than a tenth of a second. There was a two-tenths gap back to Fernando Alonso, with his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa next, but the World Championship challenger did not look very competitive.
Seventh fastest was Romain Grosjean, followed by Paul di Resta, Pastor Maldonado, Nico Hulkenberg, Michael Schumacher, Kobayashi, Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas, the Finn getting another Friday morning session, despite this being Bruno Senna’s home race.
Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen, Jean-Eric Vergne and Nico Rosberg followed. Caterham tester Giedo Van der Garde was next, ahead of Timo Glock, Vitaly Petrov and Charles Pic, with the two HRT men at the back as is normal.