Rosberg fastest on first day of practice

Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:09pm EST
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By Marcelo Teixeira

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg turned the tables on Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton with the fastest lap in Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix practice on Friday.

After triple world champion Hamilton had set the pace in the morning with a lap more than half a second faster than the German, Rosberg ended the afternoon 0.458 quicker than the Briton with a lap of one minute 12.385 seconds on soft tyres.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third fastest in both sessions.

With both titles already decided, Hamilton having won his third world crown in Texas last month, teams used the morning session to work on developments for 2016 with aerodynamic sensors prominent on bodywork.

"Times in the afternoon were not showing the real picture as Lewis drove in different engine modes to me," said Rosberg, last year's winner at Interlagos who will be chasing his fifth successive pole on Saturday.

"He was also very quick today and it looks like we will have a great battle again this weekend," Rosberg told reporters.

Fernando Alonso brought out red flags early in the afternoon, in what looks like being another difficult weekend for the Spaniard, when his McLaren stopped on the track with smoke coming from the engine.

Hamilton, who had delayed his arrival in Brazil due to a fever and following a car accident in Monaco in the early hours of Tuesday morning, has never triumphed in Brazil in eight attempts but is hoping to break that run.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany walks to his garage ahead of the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix in Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker