• Brazilian Grand Prix - FP2

Hamilton tops Friday practice ahead of Vettel

ESPN Staff
November 23, 2012

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in second practice after McLaren made a strong start to the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.

Hamilton was 0.274s faster than championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who did not improve on his morning practice time on the hard tyres. Mark Webber was third fastest, 0.497s off the pace, while Felipe Massa led Fernando Alonso as the Ferraris ended up fourth and fifth, roughly half a second off Hamilton.

The Mercedes pair of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were sixth and seventh, showing an improvement in pace from the first practice session. Jenson Button was eighth fastest, 0.837s off his team-mate.

Long run pace is likely to prove insignificant with rain predicted throughout Sunday, but Hamilton was again the strongest, with Ferrari and Lotus close behind, while Red Bull was surprisingly slightly off the pace.

Following a morning session that saw teams testing 2013 tyres, FP2 took on its usual form of running on both tyre compounds before finishing with long runs on high fuel. On the medium tyre it was Hamilton who went half a second clear of the field and even Vettel could do no more than half that gap on his own lap.

The Force India pair of Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg continued to look strong, finishing the afternoon in 10th and 11th places respectively.

There was an interesting incident early in the session as Vettel got blocked by Alonso in the middle sector, raising a hand to his championship rival when he was allowed through. Track conditions were difficult for all the drivers as the high temperatures saw the tyres overheating and cars sliding around, with lock-ups common on the longer runs.

The only substantial yellow flag period was caused by Charles Pic, who was forced to pull off the track with 20 minutes of the session remaining with an alternator failure in his Marussia.

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