Nico Rosberg turned the tables on world champion Lewis Hamilton to go fastest with a very similar time during the second practice session for this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes duo was separated by .4 of a second which Rosberg said was because of a setup error by Hamilton according to the German. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third almost a second slower than the Mercedes with his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen fourth and former Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo fifth.
Williams’s Valtteri Bottas was sixth fastest ahead of the Lotus of Romain Grosjean.
Hamilton is determined to win this race at the home of his hero Ayrton Senna for the first time. Normally the field is very close at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, but the Mercedes team appear to be in a class of their own but the gap will close tomorrow morning.
Ricciardo’s strong running will be a strong hint about the direction that Red Bull’s engine partner Renault is going in the right direction for next season. But it will become clearer through-out Saturday and Sunday.
McLaren’s dismal season continued after Fernando Alonso’s session came to first a smoky and then a fire ended his afternoon stopping the Spaniard’s session before he managed to do a qualifying simulation run on the soft tyre. That brought the red flag out and his third engine issue in three races.
After the red flag was out the Fin Valtteri Bottas was put under investigation for overtaking the Sauber of Felipe Nasr.
While completing the top ten were Lotus’s Romain Grosjean, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Williams’ Felipe Massa.