Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2013

Soggy start to practice is led by Mercedes

2013 Brazilian Grand Prix first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2013The Mercedes drivers led the first practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix but lap times were ten seconds off the dry pace in a rain-hit session.

Nico Rosberg set the quickest time early in the session using intermediate tyres on a damp track. Team mate Lewis Hamilton was almost half a second off him pace.

The track never got dry enough for slicks to be a serious option but Red Bull made a point of doing back-to-back runs on the current hard tyres and prototype 2014 compounds on Sebastian Vettel’s car to collect aero data when the track conditions improved.

He returned to the track later in the session to set a 1’25.387 which put him third behind the two Mercedes.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2013The conditions caught out many drivers including the three quickest runners. Rosberg went wide at turn one, Hamilton briefly spun to a stop at turn three and Vettel explored the run-off at Juncao, all without incurring damage.

Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso completed the top five. Daniil Kvyat was a strong eighth for Toro Rosso in his second appearance for the team, taking over from Daniel Ricciardo for this session only.

Heikki Kovalainen was nine-quickest as he began his second weekend for Lotus, four tenths of a second quicker than Romain Grosjean. His team mate was frustrated by being held up by Giedo van der Garde during the session when the Caterham driver abruptly slowed with a gearbox problem. He managed to bring his car back into the pits from where he was able to continue his running.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’24.781 14
2 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’25.230 0.449 13
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’25.387 0.606 17
4 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’25.391 0.610 25
5 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’25.593 0.812 13
6 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’25.797 1.016 17
7 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’25.946 1.165 15
8 19 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.064 1.283 17
9 7 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’26.133 1.352 31
10 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.232 1.451 17
11 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’26.248 1.467 15
12 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.326 1.545 28
13 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’26.570 1.789 28
14 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.593 1.812 22
15 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’27.115 2.334 25
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’27.269 2.488 23
17 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’27.358 2.577 23
18 14 James Calado Force India-Mercedes 1’27.436 2.655 9
19 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’28.107 3.326 18
20 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’28.199 3.418 17
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’30.004 5.223 24
22 23 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1’32.646 7.865 19

2013 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Image ?é?® Daimler/Hoch Zwei