FP1 - Mercedes make dominant start to Brazil weekend

Nov 11, 2017, 00:24
FP1 - Mercedes make dominant start to Brazil weekend

The Briton, who clinched his crown last time out in Mexico, edged Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in each 90-minute session in Sao Paulo, with Ferrari and Red Bull again taking the chief supporting roles.

Red Bull's Mexican GP victor Max Verstappen was the only driver to set a laptime in the first 10 minutes - but his initial benchmark was quickly surpassed by the soft-shod Mercedes of Bottas, the Finn ending his first run on a 1m10.102s laptime.

"It's been a good day", said Hamilton, who arrived at Interlagos on Thursday nursing a cold and will be chasing his 10th win of the season on Sunday.

"Obviously, both cars have got bits that they (the engineers) are having a look at for future events", said Horner. "It will be great to finish the season with at least one more victory".

"I had messages from so many people", he added.

"As you would expect I'm hoping for another damp race weekend as I don't think we can be as competitive there in the dry, especially with the elevation changes on the straight", said Verstappen.

The Finn had been closest to the Mercedes duo in the first session but Australian Daniel Ricciardo filled that position later on for Red Bull.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was fifth ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

"I'm not expecting anyone to completely ruin his race for me, so as I said it all depends on the situation".

Gasly managed just one timed lap, and five in total, before he was sidelined by another MGU-H issue, while Hartley suffered an on-track engine failure during the early stages of the session. Hamilton and Mercedes have won the drivers' and constructors' title.

New Zealander Brendon Hartley, who won the world endurance championship for the second time last weekend, failed to set a time on the morning of his 28th birthday thanks to an engine blowup while French rookie Pierre Gasly also stopped early on.

"I have got these two races to go and I think this is a better time than ever to apply even more pressure, just because I can".

Lance Stroll was 11th for Williams, ahead of Mercedes-backed GP3 champion George Russell, who received his first run out for Force India.