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2010 Brazilian Grand Prix (Interlagos, Round 18, November 5th)

November 5, 2010

Interlagos track layout. © FIA

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

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