Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets this afternoon in the second free practice at Interlagos, followed by his teammate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
At first, drivers opted to go out onto the 53-degree track on soft tyres, with the Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel initially setting the fastest times.
After completing only five laps, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was back in the garage with what was at first thought to be a leak, however, this was not the case. Luckily for the Spaniard, this was not the end of the session, as shortly he was back on track.
Some cars seemed to be struggling with grip, which was shown by several spins and lock-ups, most significantly Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, who went sideways into the barriers at Mugello. Fortunately, the Swede was able to get going again with seemingly little damage to his car.
McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne also had a hairy moment through the Senna Esses and spun onto the grass, as did Haas’ Romain Grosjean, who had a problem with front locking. “Tyres are ok,” he reported afterwards.
With around 40 minutes to go, the cars began to opt for longer runs on a mixture of soft and supersoft tyres, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo reporting little difference between the two.
In a session where rain was expected but did not materialise, a report from Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley’s pitwall spoke of “very light drops of rain in the pitlane.” However, this did not affect running during the session.
The Brazilian Grand Prix weekend continues tomorrow with the final free practice and Qualifying.