Hamilton leads Bottas during first practice in Brazil
Brazil Grand Prix - Free Practice 1

Hamilton leads Bottas during first practice in Brazil

Mercedes led the way in the opening practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix, with newly-crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton 0.127s faster than teammate Valtteri Bottas at the top of the timesheets.

Hamilton's time of 1:09.202 was 0.62s faster than the existing Interlagos track record held by Rubens Barrichello since qualifying for the 2004 grand prix. Such a step in speed underlines the impressive performance of this year's cars, with significantly quicker lap times expected as the weekend progresses.

It also underlined the impressive performance of the Mercedes on a track where Ferrari and Red Bull are expected to perform well. Hamilton held a 0.542s advantage over the fastest Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who just beat Red Bull's Max Verstappen to third place by 0.006s.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest, but will face a ten-place penalty from wherever he qualifies on Saturday after his team was forced to fit an eighth MGU-H unit to his car ahead of the start of the session. He finished 0.156s up on Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, who spun at low speed early in the session and failed to hook up a clean lap over the 90 minutes.

Felipe Massa got his final Brazilian Grand Prix off to a strong start, with the seventh fastest time in the Williams. Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso also featured in the top ten for McLaren and were split by the Force India of Esteban Ocon in ninth.

Lance Stroll was 0.530s off his Williams teammate in 11th ahead of Mercedes junior driver George Russell, who made his race weekend debut during a first practice outing in Sergio Perez's Force India. It was Russell's second F1 experience after a two-day test with Mercedes in Hungary earlier this year, and he impressed with a time 0.593s off teammate Ocon.

The Haas drivers of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were 13th and 14th, with Magnussen due to hand over his car to Ferrari-backed Antonio Giovinazzi for the afternoon session. Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg were 15th and 16th for Renault ahead of the two Saubers after Charles Leclerc substituted in for Pascal Wehrlein in the morning session.

Both Toro Rossos hit trouble, with Brendon Hartley's Renault power unit expiring early in the session and Pierre Gasly completing a total of just four laps. The problems follow three power unit failures on Hartley's car at the Mexican Grand Prix and will result in grid penalties for both cars ahead of Sunday's race.

Related news

Bottas beats Hamilton to victory in Abu Dhabi

Bottas beats Hamilton to victory in Abu Dhabi

Valtteri Bottas withstood race-long pressure from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to end the season with a victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to Abu Dhabi pole

Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to Abu Dhabi pole

Valtteri Bottas secured pole position ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton at the final race of the season as the Mercedes drivers locked out the front row of the grid in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton stays on top to lead Mercedes one-two in Abu Dhabi final practice

Lewis Hamilton stays on top to lead Mercedes one-two in Abu Dhabi final practice

Lewis Hamilton topped the final practice session ahead of qualifying for Formula One's season finale in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2

Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2

Lewis Hamilton swapped places with Sebastian Vettel at the top of the order as Mercedes and Ferrari remained close during Friday evening practice at Yas Marina.

Sebastian Vettel leads Hamilton in first Abu Dhabi practice

Sebastian Vettel leads Hamilton in first Abu Dhabi practice

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel set the pace in opening practice for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday with Lewis Hamilton second fastest for Formula One champions Mercedes.

Neuville wins as Latvala throws away second

Neuville wins as Latvala throws away second

Thierry Neuville won the final round of the 2017 World Rally Championship as his closest challenger, Jari-Matti Latvala, crashed out of second place on Rally Australia's Power Stage.

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to win in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to win in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel claimed his fifth win of the season after beating Valtteri Bottas to victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Marquez takes fourth MotoGP title in five years

Marquez takes fourth MotoGP title in five years

Honda's Marc Marquez won his fourth MotoGP world championship in five years on Sunday after his only rival Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of the season-ending race in Valencia.

Bottas takes pole after Hamilton crashes out

Bottas takes pole after Hamilton crashes out

Valtteri Bottas beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to pole position with a last-gasp effort in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, after newly-crowned Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton crashed out in the first session.

RELATED NEWS

Bottas beats Hamilton to victory in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Bottas beats Hamilton to victory in Abu Dhabi

Valtteri Bottas withstood race-long pressure from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to end the season with a victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to Abu Dhabi pole
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to Abu Dhabi pole

Valtteri Bottas secured pole position ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton at the final race of the season as the Mercedes drivers locked out the front row of the grid in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton stays on top to lead Mercedes one-two in Abu Dhabi final practice
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP3

Lewis Hamilton stays on top to lead Mercedes one-two in Abu Dhabi final practice

Lewis Hamilton topped the final practice session ahead of qualifying for Formula One's season finale in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP2

Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2

Lewis Hamilton swapped places with Sebastian Vettel at the top of the order as Mercedes and Ferrari remained close during Friday evening practice at Yas Marina.

Sebastian Vettel leads Hamilton in first Abu Dhabi practice
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP1

Sebastian Vettel leads Hamilton in first Abu Dhabi practice

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel set the pace in opening practice for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday with Lewis Hamilton second fastest for Formula One champions Mercedes.

Neuville wins as Latvala throws away second
WRC Rally Australia

Neuville wins as Latvala throws away second

Thierry Neuville won the final round of the 2017 World Rally Championship as his closest challenger, Jari-Matti Latvala, crashed out of second place on Rally Australia's Power Stage.

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to win in Brazil
Brazil Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to win in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel claimed his fifth win of the season after beating Valtteri Bottas to victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Marquez takes fourth MotoGP title in five years
Valencia Grand Prix

Marquez takes fourth MotoGP title in five years

Honda's Marc Marquez won his fourth MotoGP world championship in five years on Sunday after his only rival Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of the season-ending race in Valencia.

Bottas takes pole after Hamilton crashes out
Brazil Grand Prix - Qualifying

Bottas takes pole after Hamilton crashes out

Valtteri Bottas beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to pole position with a last-gasp effort in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, after newly-crowned Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton crashed out in the first session.