Sun, Nov 09, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Rosberg fastest at practice for Brazilian Grand Prix

Reuters, SAO PAULO, Brazil

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas participates in a training session at the Jose Carlos Pace race track in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Friday.

Photo: EPA

Nico Rosberg took the fight to championship-leading Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton with the fastest laps in both Brazilian Grand Prix practice sessions on Friday.

The German started off the day with a best time of 1 minute, 12.764 seconds on a cloudy morning at the Interlagos circuit and finished the afternoon with a 1:12.123.

Hamilton, who has won the past five Grand Prix and is chasing his 11th victory in 18 races, was a close second in both sessions on a day overshadowed by news of the Marussia team’s demise after they had previously gone into administration.

Rosberg desperately needs to win today, even if the championship cannot be decided before Abu Dhabi at the end of the month, when double points are on offer, after Hamilton forged 24 points clear in the drivers’ standings.

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, who is to move to Red Bull next season, was third fastest, but nearly a second slower than Rosberg in the morning, while Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen filled that spot after lunch.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was one of three drivers to bring out the red flags in the afternoon when he pulled over with flames shooting out of the back of his car.

The Spaniard, who had been fourth fastest in the first session, jumped out of the car and ran to get an extinguisher before returning to put out the blaze.

Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, in a Toro Rosso, and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez in a Sauber, also halted the session when they both stopped on track.

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