Rosberg top in wet first practice in Brazil

Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:29am EST
 
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By Tatiana Ramil

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg led a Mercedes one-two in a wet first practice for the season-ending Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at Interlagos on Friday.

The German lapped the anti-clockwise circuit with a best time of one minute 24.781 seconds, set early on before conditions became more treacherous, with team mate Lewis Hamilton second quickest in 1:25.230.

The times were largely meaningless, with Red Bull's quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel leaving it late in the 90 minute session to set a timed lap but ending up third on the timesheets.

All three had spins and off-track excursions during the course of the morning.

Vettel had earlier tried out Pirelli's slick 2014 development tire, completing a cautious lap with sensors on the car before being told by his race engineer that they had all the data they needed and to return to the pits.

The German can equal compatriot Michael Schumacher's 2004 record of 13 wins in a season as well as Italian Alberto Ascari's 60-year old record of nine wins in a row if he ends the season with a victory on Sunday.

Both the drivers' and constructors' titles have been won already by Vettel and Red Bull, with the main focus of the weekend the battle for second place between Mercedes and Ferrari as well as various farewells.

Mercedes are 15 points ahead of Ferrari with Lotus a further 18 behind.   Continued...

 
Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives during first free practice session ahead of the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo November 22, 2013. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker