Nico Rosberg saw off a late charge from Sebastian Vettel to make it a clean sweep for Mercedes on Friday at Interlagos, as the German topped the second practice session ahead of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Rosberg, who had been quickest early on in the session, snatched the top spot from Vettel with a laptime of 1:27.306 in the closing moments of Friday running, some two tenths faster than his fellow compatriot, who had to settle for second best, while Mark Webber followed up his Red Bull team-mate in third, on what will be his final Grand Prix weekend.
With the rain refusing to relent as the afternoon session got under way, the wet Pirelli’s were the order of the day, until a late flurry surge of activity saw the majority of the field switch to the intermediates in the final 15 minutes of the hour and a half long session.
Nico Rosberg topped the early part of the session, which saw very little running due to heavy rain, with all the teams keen to conserve their limited allocation of wet Pirelli tyres for Sunday’s race.
Vettel managed to displace the Mercedes man from the top spot momentarily once the switch had been made to the intermediates, but Rosberg struck back to displace the four time champion as the quickest man of the afternoon, seizing the honour of being fastest in both sessions on Friday with a laptime of 1:27.306 in the dying moments of the session.
Heikki Kovalainen ended Friday with fourth fastest for Lotus, on what is expected to be the Finn’s final weekend with the team, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who was eight tenths down on his team-mate in the second of the Mercedes.
Jean-Eric Vergne was an encouraging sixth for Toro Rosso, the Frenchman ahead of Felipe Massa’s Ferrari and Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber, while Daniel Ricciardo and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten.
Jules Bianchi was the quickest of the backmarkers, taking 18th for Marussia ahead of Giedo van der Garde in the Caterham.
Jenson Button propped up the timesheets in 22nd, with the McLaren man completing just six laps throughout the session.
Image courtesy of Pirelli Media