Button tops final practice in Brazil

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Brazil, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagosbr

Jenson Button kept McLaren on top at Brazil as he set the fastest lap during the final free practice session at Interlagos, Sao Paulo. The Red Bull drivers, Vettel and Webber were second and third fastest while Lewis Hamilton was fourth.

15 minutes into the session, Raikkonen's practice is already over as his Renault engine blew up on the back straight between turns 3 and 4. It is the first time this year that an engine blew up like this, but it's not yet sure if Raikkonen will take a new engine, including a 10-place grid penalty, or another engine used in other previous events.

One minute later, Jenson Button crossed the finish line and went fastest, little more than a tenth quicker than his teammate who topped the times in the early part of the session. Another minute later, Hamilton takes back the top spot, only to see it reclaimed by Button seconds after that. The McLarens are easily increasing their pace while Webber and both Ferrari's have not set a time in the first 20 minutes of the session.

20 minutes later, Schumacher is the first man to go out on the white medium tyres. Half a lap later, he's first class witness going wide on the exit of turn 12. Senna spun and nearly crossed the track, only just leaving a gap for Schumacher to pass on the inside of turn 13.

Apart from Schumacher, it took most other drivers until about 7 minutes from the end to fit medium tyres. With so many on track trying to put in a good lap, this resulted in frustration from, amongst others, Vitaly Petrov, while Sebastian Vettel clearly excused himself for blocking someone.

In the end, nothing much changed. While Raikkonen was watching from a stewards' chair along the track, Button's time remained unchallenged. Lewis Hamilton improved in the closing seconds but was unable to move up the timesheet because of that. Alonso by then was already watching from the pitlane, having stopped a few minutes earlier after setting a lap that is half a second off of Button's pace.

Results

Pos.NoDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
13Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:13.188-22
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:13.2450.05721
32Mark WebberRed Bull Racing-Renault1:13.3850.19725
44Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1:13.3890.20117
510Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:13.4200.23224
611Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1:13.4860.29821
712Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:13.6020.41422
85Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:13.6910.50315
918Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1:13.7000.51220
106Felipe MassaFerrari1:13.7120.52417
1119Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1:13.9480.76020
128Nico RosbergMercedes AMG1:14.1260.93825
1315Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1:14.1901.00226
1414Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1:14.1921.00421
157Michael SchumacherMercedes AMG1:14.3471.15924
1616Daniel RicciardoSTR-Ferrari1:14.6871.49921
1717Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Ferrari1:14.9721.78419
1821Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1:15.1591.97122
1920Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1:15.7072.51921
2024Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1:15.7632.57524
2125Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1:16.0592.87121
2222Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1:16.1983.01015
2323Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1:16.7933.60518
249Kimi RäikkönenLotus-RenaultNo time-3


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News on 24 November 2012