F1 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix: Rosberg faster than Hamilton at Interlagos
PUBLISHED: 20:07 07 November 2014 | UPDATED: 20:07 07 November 2014
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was slower than Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg in the first two practice sessions ahead of the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit.
The Silver Arrows pair set the pace on the opening day at Interlagos, with Rosberg narrowly leading team-mate Hamilton in the opening practice sessions for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Rosberg finished both the morning and afternoon sessions just two-tenths clear of Lewis at the top of the timesheets, the 29-year-old Hertfordshire-born F1 racer clocking 1m 12.985s in P1 and 1m 12.336s in second practice.
World championship leader Hamilton said: “The car felt good today. There are a few improvements we can make but I just didn’t manage to put a lap together out there.
“That’s not a big issue, though. It’s just practice, so that’s what we’re out there trying to do.”
Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace – the stats you need
* Race distance: 71 laps (305.909km/190.092 miles)
* Start time: 14:00 (local)/16:00 (GMT)
* Circuit length: 4.309km/2.677 miles
* 2013 winner: Sebastian Vettel
* 2013 pole: Sebastian Vettel
* Lap record: Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams FW26) 1m11.473s (217.038km/h)
* First race: 1973
Multiple red flag stoppages during the afternoon session led to reduced running time, but both cars ran trouble-free throughout each session.
Hamilton added: “I’m not sure how many laps we’ll get out of the tyres as there were quite a few red flags at the end, so we didn’t get the best opportunity for long runs but that’s the same for everyone.
“It’s hard to tell where the tyres are compared to 2013 with the different compounds as we didn’t have any dry running until the race last year.
“Otherwise the circuit felt good. It’s nice and smooth and the grip is good.
“It’s different every time we come here and you never know what the weather is going to do. But that’s what makes this such an exciting race.”
Ahead of qualifying on Saturday, Rosberg said: “That was a good day and we are very quick again at this circuit. The track has a new surface which made it quite tricky.
“It’s smooth and not quite so bumpy as it has been in the past – but the tyres were blistering because of the high temperatures and the new asphalt.
“That was a bit worrying, but we are expecting it to be a bit cooler over the weekend. I’m looking forward to tomorrow [Saturday] – it should be a great battle.”
Both Mercedes drivers ran the medium compound Pirelli tyres only in the morning session, and the medium and soft in the afternoon.
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport chief Toto Wolff said: “It looked like a pretty normal day in terms of performance, with Nico and Lewis trading fastest times during the two sessions, but the temperatures were much higher than we are expecting for the rest of the weekend.
“So we will have to anticipate how to develop the set-up in the right way.
“It was also an interrupted day, with several red flags, which made it a challenge for the boys to get into their rhythm.”
Technical director Paddy Lowe added: “We managed to follow our normal programme today, running two sets of prime tyres in the first session on low and high fuel, followed by the prime and option in second practice, also on low and high fuel loads.
“Mechanically, it was a trouble-free day and the newly-resurfaced circuit proved much quicker than expected and, although the tarmac was dirty early in the day, it soon cleaned up.
“The tyre behaviour shifted during the day: in the early runs, they were not really in their working window, while towards the end of the afternoon, when we saw some of the highest track temperatures of the season so far, we saw some heavy blistering.
“The major difficulty now will be that the weather predicted for tomorrow [Saturday] and Sunday is much cooler than what we saw today, so our long runs will not have been particularly representative.
“That will make it all the more important to anticipate the evolution in conditions and make the correct set-up decisions this evening.”
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