Free Practice 1
Under the searing Sao Paulo sun, the Red Bull pair of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber led the standings in the opening session of the weekend.
Indeed the young German setting a fastest time 0.482 of-a-second ahead of his Australian counterpart.
McLaren arrived at Interlagos with various aerodynamic pieces – Lewis Hamilton with a new front wing; while Jenson Button utilised an old front, but a new rear wing.
The British team also brought an updated floor to Interlagos – all these additions would help Hamilton and Button register the 3rd and 4th best times respectively.
Mercedes spent the morning testing a 2011-spec rear diffuser. The German team remained some distance behind Red Bull and McLaren in laps times, with Nico Rosberg (6th) 1.1 seconds slower than Vettel and Michael Schumacher 1.3 seconds adrift (8th).
Ferrari arrived in Brazil with a new blown diffuser, with both red cars using the session to work on race set-up. The opening 90 minute stint concluded with Fernando Alonso shutting off his engine just prior to its failure. Thankfully for the Spaniard, it was on its final session and due to be removed regardless.
With only a few minutes remaining, Renault’s Vitaly Petrov suffered a minor rear wing failure, pitching his yellow and black machine into the barriers at turn 7. The young Russian was 15th best time in the session, while Renault team leader, Robert Kubica achieved the 5th best time – a clear one second faster – only adding to the pressure on Petrov’s shoulders.
Moments later, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi suffered a left rear puncture at the same spot, sending him slightly further down the turn 7 run-off area. Kobayashi finished the morning in 11th, a mere 0.004 of-a-second slower than team mate Nick Heidfeld. Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari had more of a polite spin on the entry of turn 1. The Spaniard kept his Ferrari engine running and made his way back to his pit stall.
Lotus’ Jarno Trulli was the faster of the Lotus pair and indeed the fastest of the “new teams”, albeit 3.2 seconds off the leaders in 19th. Jerome D’Ambrosio again sat in for Lucas di Grassi at Virgin for the first practice session. There are growing rumours that D’Ambrosio will be occupying di Grassi’s seat for 2011 and sessions such as this are vital mileage for the young Belgian.
Christian Klien has replaced Sakon Yamamoto at Hispania Racing for the weekend and possibly Abu Dhabi. The former Red Bull runner clocked the 23rd fastest time and was a clear half-a-second ahead of Hispania regular, Bruno Senna. This will be the Brazilian’s first time to ever race at his home circuit, but it is highly unlikely that he will be garnering points.
Free Practice 2
The afternoon practice session saw the Red Bull’s continue their timesheet domination, headed once again by Sebastian Vettel. Again Mark Webber was next up, with the Ferrari’s of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa 3rd and 5th fastest respectively. The red duo squeezed Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren come the chequered flag.
As tyres began to fall off during the session, there were slight offs from Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus), Robert Kubica and Kamui Kobayashi and Massa – thankfully none of them suffered any damage. The session would only get worse for Massa. On his first run on the soft tyre later in the session, the Brazilian clattered the turn 3 kerbs heavily enough to shut down his gearbox, leaving the Ferrari man to sit out the the second half of the afternoon.
At the tail end of the session, an impatient Michael Schumacher launched a risky pass around the outside of a recovering Jaime Alguersuari on the approach of turn 1. The Spaniard had spun in the previous corner and the pair clattered eachother slightly, as the veteran shut the door hard on the Toro Rosso driver.
Lucas di Grassi found himself back in the driving seat at Virgin for the afternoon. The Brazilian driver registered the 21st quickest lap ahead of the Hispania pair and team mate Timo Glock.
Brazil, 2nd Free Practice (November 5th)
1 VETTEL Red Bull 1m11.968s
2 WEBBER Red Bull 1m12.072s
3 ALONSO Ferrari 1m12.328s
4 HAMILTON McLaren 1m12.656s
5 MASSA Ferrari 1m12.677s
6 KUBICA Renault 1m12.882s
7 BUTTON McLaren 1m13.206s
8 HEIDFELD Sauber 1m13.222s
9 ROSBERG Mercedes 1m13.333s
10 SCHUMACHER Mercedes 1m13.346s
11 BARRICHELLO Williams 1m13.520s
12 KOBAYASHI Sauber 1m13.610s
13 HULKENBERG Williams 1m13.725s
14 SUTIL Force India 1m13.741s
15 PETROV Renault 1m13.818s
16 LIUZZI Force India 1m14.045s
17 BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m14.304s
18 ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso 1m14.578s
19 TRULLI Lotus 1m14.984s
20 KOVALAINEN Lotus 1m15.101s
21 DI GRASSI Virgin 1m15.433s
22 SENNA HRT 1m16.070s
23 KLIEN HRT 1m16.082s
24 GLOCK Virgin 1m16.150s
Brazil, 1st Free Practice (November 5th)
1 VETTEL Red Bull 1m12.328s
2 WEBBER Red Bull 1m12.810s
3 HAMILTON McLaren 1m12.845s
4 BUTTON McLaren 1m13.267s
5 KUBICA Renault 1m13.370s
6 ROSBERG Mercedes 1m13.516s
7 BARRICHELLO Williams 1m13.546s
8 SCHUMACHER Mercedes 1m13.643s
9 SUTIL Force India 1m13.918s
10 HEIDFELD Sauber 1m14.000s
11 KOBAYASHI Sauber 1m14.004s
12 HULKENBERG Williams 1m14.155s
13 ALONSO Ferrari 1m14.246s
14 MASSA Ferrari 1m14.267s
15 PETROV Renault 1m14.370s
16 LIUZZI Force India 1m14.487s
17 ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso 1m14.618s
18 BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m14.734s
19 TRULLI Lotus 1m15.603s
20 GLOCK Virgin 1m15.860s
21 KOVALAINEN Lotus 1m16.057s
22 D’AMBROSIO Virgin 1m16.707s
23 KLIEN HRT 1m16.839s
24 SENNA HRT 1m17.360s