Brazilian GP practice as it happened

Text and video highlights of practice for the title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton is fastest.

23 November 2012 Last updated at 18:24 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1745: 

    That's just about it from me. Thanks, as always, for your company and contributions. I'll be back tomorrow at 1200 GMT to begin building up for third and final practice which will be live on the red button and online. Qualifying then kicks off at 1600, with the Jake, EJ and DC hitting your screens at 1500 on BBC One. Until then, it's good evening from me.

  2. 1743: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's second practice report, plus video highlights from the first session. There's also a selection of Classic F1 races for you to enjoy, including the 1996 Brazilian GP where Jos Verstappen, Eddie Irvine and Martin Brundle collide to spark a spectacular crash.


    Ferrari on Twitter: "Very good pace on the long run for both drivers."

  4. 1741: 

    So the Ferraris are looking closer to the pace of Red Bull and McLaren than in recent races, which is encouraging for the title fight. It also looksl like Lewis Hamilton will have a big say in where the championship trophy goes. Still a long way to go, though, especially with the wet weather that is predicted for the race.

  5. 1738: 

    Replays have highlighted Lewis Hamilton telling his team over the radio that a man - who looked like a marshal as he was in blue and wearing a bib - dangerously positioned on the track side of the barriers in the braking zone of Turn one.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "I don't think we have seen it as close as it will be tomorrow. I think the Red Bulls will pull it out as they always seem to do. Lewis Hamilton looked pretty consistent but I think it will be closer in qualifying and then of course there is rain forecast on Sunday and anything can happen."

  7. 1736: 

    And here's 13-24:

    13) Senna 14) Perez 15) Kobayashi 16) Ricciardo 17) Maldonado 18) Vergne 19) Petrov 20) Kovalainen 21) De la Rosa 22) Glock 23) Pic 24) Karthikeyan

  8. 1734: 

    1) Hamilton 2) Vettel 3) Webber 4) Massa 5) Alonso 6) Schumacher 7) Rosberg 8) Button 9) Grosjean 10) Di Resta 11) Hulkenberg 12) Raikkonen

  9. 1733: 

    Another impressive performance from Lewis Hamilton and McLaren, then. The 2008 world champion looks like he's got the measure of his rivals in his final race for the team. Here's how they finished...

  10. 1732: 



    John Watson on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "Lewis Hamilton has been consistently the fastest car with whatever fuel load he has here. What better way would it be for him to leave his team than pole and victory. In these conditions you have to say that McLaren are looking stronger than Red Bull. "

  12. 1730: 

    The chequered flag is out, but there are still a fair few drivers out there on hot laps...

  13. 1726: 

    Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso are splitting the testing, with Massa using the medium tyre and Alonso the harder tyre, so the team can glean as much information as possible for the rest of the weekend.


    John Watson on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "The lap times will come down in these fuel runs. Interesting to see that Felipe Massa is running faster than Fernando Alonso, so I don't think they are running the same fuel loads."

  15. 1722: 

    The yellow flags are no more and drivers are free to push all the way round the circuit. All drivers apart from the HRTs and obviously Charles Pic are out on track to take advantage of the final minutes.

  16. 1720: 

    If you're in any doubt as to the title maths for the Brazilian GP between Vettel and Alonso, here's the various permutations...

    Alonso must finish on the podium to stand a chance of snatching the title from Vettel (even if Vettel retires).

    Victory for Alonso would give him the title if Vettel finishes lower than fourth.

    Second place for the Spaniard would mean he would only win the title if Vettel failed to make the top seven.

    Third spot for Alonso would require Vettel to finish lower than ninth.

  17. 1718: 

    Teams have switched their attention to long runs as we approach the final 10 minutes of the session. Felipe Massa is still pushing, though, in his Ferrari and runs wide kicking up a huge plume of dust before he rejoins the track.

  18. 1716: 

    Don't forget, final practice tomorrow is live on the Red Button and 5 live sports extra at 1255 GMT. Qualifying is live on BBC One tomorrow from 1500 GMT and on 5 live sports extra from 1625. The race on Sunday is on BBC One from 1500 and Radio 5 live sports extra from 1545. There's TV highlights of the race on BBC Three at 1900.

  19. 1713: 

    BBC Radio 5 live pit lane reporter Jennie Gow tells us that it's an alternator failure for Marussia on Charles Pic's Cosworth-powered car.

  20. 1712: 

    The yellow flags are out as marshals try to recover the stricken Marussia down at Turn Nine. Don't expect any quick laps in the next few minutes...

  21. 1710: 

    Charles Pic's final race for Marussia takes a turn for the worse as he pulls off the track. There's no obvious damage but it looks like his session is over as he pulls off his gloves and climbs out of the car.

  22. 1706: 

    Kamui Kobayashi bounces his Sauber aggressively over the kerbs at the Senna S as he tries to improve on his best time which is good enough for 15th, one place behind team-mate Sergio Perez.

  23. 1705: 

    There are two Brazilians on the grid - Felipe Massa and Bruno Senna - this weekend. Massa is looking quick and is currently running fourth. Senna, who is making his second appearance at Interlagos, is 13th, four places and half a second quicker than Williams team-mate Pastor Maldonado.

  24. 1703: 

    No, no he can't. Vettel sets personal bests in the second and third sectors, but they're not a match for Lewis Hamilton who retains a 0.274 second gap over his German rival.

  25. 1701: 

    Sebastian Vettel is a man on a mission out there. The German is flying, carving his way round this 4.309km and has set the fastest first sector of all. Can he take P1 off McLaren's Lewis Hamilton?

  26. 1659: 

    With just over 30 minutes remaining, Lewis Hamilton leads Mark Webber, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Romain Grosjean, Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg.

  27. 1655: 

    Mark Webber can't quite match the pace set by Lewis Hamilton, and instead slots into second, nearly half a second off the pace.


    Karla on Twitter: "Incredible to think Schumacher started out racing against Senna, Prost & Mansell & leaves racing Hamilton & Vettel."

  29. 1651: 

    The McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, who is the latest driver to switch to the softer medium compound tyre, is absolutely flying. He throws his silver machine around this short 15-turn track in bold fashion and gets his reward. It's a 1:14.026, half a second quicker than anyone else.

  30. 1648: 

    Nico Rosberg snatches top spot with a tidy lap in the Mercedes, but his joy is shortlived as Felipe Massa sets the fastest middle sector of all to go quicker by two tenths of a second.


    OwainKelly on Twitter:‏ "Alonso looks like he's wringing the neck of that Ferrari so far today. He's not giving this up without a fight."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Everybody was complaining about the tyres being hard in Austin and the circuit had no grip. Here the circuit is very aggressive and the hard tyres coming in now are really being worked hard. The smaller teams get the benefit of the aggressive circuit because it gives your grip. Look at Vitaly Petrov, he is only 1.2 seconds off what Romain Grosjean had done when he was fastest. He was three seconds off the pace in Austin, so this aggressive surface definitely brings the cars together."

  33. 1645: 

    Sebastian Vettel has been busy in this session, clocking up 21 laps - more than anyone else. Fernando Alonso has only done 14, while Lewis Hamilton, who set the pace in first practice, is in the pits having completed 12 laps.


    James Holman on Twitter: "You shouldn't forget Schumacher's first win at Spa. Went off in the wet then made the perfectly timed change to slicks and beat Mansell."

  35. 1642: 

    Romain Grosjean has bolted on a set of the softer compound tyres - the mediums for this race - and he promptly goes quickest of all in the Lotus. The Frenchman has a huge lock-up coming into Turn Eight but keeps the car on line to limit the damage and head the field by 0.156 seconds.

  36. 1638: 

    Boom, Fernando Alonso goes quickest with a 1:15.150. The Spaniard has a couple of lock-ups on his flying lap, but the pushing pays off as he deposes Sebastian Vettel at the top of the charts. The Ferrari driver is 0.076 seconds quicker than his title rival.


    Mennem on Twitter: "Can't believe it has only rained once this year and Alonso won that one. Rain forecast for sat and sun in Brazi - excited."

  38. 1635: 

    Fernando Alonso weaves aggressively as he cuts across the pit exit - which is on the racing line - and races into the start-finish straight ready to start a new lap. Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, is catching the Spaniard and can't quite seem to decide whether to overtake or hold back. In the end, he finally backs off into Turn One, which effectively wastes this lap.

  39. 1633: 

    Huge lock-up from Felipe Massa as he battles to slow his Ferrari down heading into Turn One. The Brazilian is really pushing to impress in front of his home crowd and finish the season on a high.


    Conor Fitzpatrick on Twitter: "Gotta feel for #HRT in the F1, no money to even send the car out for P2."

  41. 1629: 

    Mark Webber joins the top four party, getting to within one tenth of a second of Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel. The Australian, who has won here in two of the last three years, was quickest in the middle sector by two tenths.


    John Watson on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "Interestingly both Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari are considerably slower than Jenson Button down the back straight but more significantly they are slower than Sebastian Vettel in a car not traditionally quick down the straight line."

  43. 1626: 

    Jean-Eric Vergne is the first man to try the softer compound tyre, with Caterham-bound Charles Pic following suit.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "There is an interesting pattern in the lap times so far. Jenson Button is quickest in sectors one and three and has a high top speed, which suggests he's running low-ish downforce. Fernando Alonso, by contrast, is fastest of all in the middle sector (the twisty bit) but relatively slow on the straights. Which suggests Ferrari are going for higher downforce - which would be an advantage in the expected wet conditions on Sunday. Sebastian Vettel is in the middle."

  45. 1624: 

    Still no sign of title contenders Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel since their early flurry of laps. Both McLarens and Felipe Massa look content to stay in the garage, too. But Red Bull's Mark Webber is just being lowered down off the jacks ready for another run...

  46. 1622: 

    Renault are using version three - the latest edition - of their alternator on all their customer teams at Interlagos: Red Bull, Lotus, Williams and Caterham. Caterham and Romain Grosjean used it in Austin, but Red Bull stuck with the second version - and had a failure on Mark Webber's car. As a result, the team have put the new one on both cars.

  47. 1618: 

    Romain Grosjean and Vitaly Petrov have the track to themselves at the moment, with everyone else parked up in their garages. Sebastian Vettel leads the way from Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg. Those eight drivers are covered by 0.450 seconds.

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow

    "Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus sounded terrible in the first session, they worked out it was a coil problem and by end of the session it was working fine. You can sense a little frustration though because they were not able to make the most of that session, so fingers crossed this one goes smoother."

  49. 1615: 

    As was the case in the first session, no sign of the HRTs at the moment. Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa are the only two drivers not to have a set a timed lap - and it doesn't look like they're going anywhere soon. Both cars are up on the jacks without tyres on. The team is struggling to find a buyer and may not exist come 2013.

  50. 1612: 

    The quick times are coming through thick and fast now with Sebastian Vettel now the quickest with a 1:15.226. The Red Bull driver heads Jenson Button by 0.030 seconds with championship rival Fernando Alonso just 0.018 further back.


    Force India's Nico Hulkenberg on team radio: "The rears are cooking, no grip at all."


    Pirelli on Twitter: "In FP2 the teams still have the orange prototype tyre at their disposal, they only need to be returned before FP3."

  53. 1609: 

    There's a bit of tension out on track as championship contenders Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel get a little too close for comfort as they squabble for track position. Vettel squeezes past at Mergulho to gain the psychological edge.

  54. 1606: 

    Lewis Hamilton is the first man into the 1m16s, but he is soon eclipsed by the Ferrari of Felipe Massa - a two-time winner at this track - who takes top spot with a 1:15.43. Mark Webber a tenth back in second ahead of Fernando Alonso.

  55. 1603: 

    Looks like the teams are quite keen to get down to business nice and early with 22 of the 24 cars out on track already. Meanwhile, in the paddock, local favourite and ex-F1 driver Rubens Barrichello watches on.

  56. 1600: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    Romain Grosjean is the first man out as second practice gets under way...

  57. 1557: 

    James Allen is up and running in the commentary box with Jennie Gow and Gary Anderson patrolling the pit lane. You can listen to their dulcet tones by watching the video at the top of this page or via BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  58. 1555: 

    Over at Ferrari, it looks like Felipe Massa will be doing the bulk of the testing in this session as he climbs into his scarlet machine while his team-mate relaxes in his comfy chair at the back of the garage.

  59. 1553: 

    Michael Schumacher signs a few pieces of memorabilia at the back of the garage before putting his ear pieces in, pulling on his balaclava and helmet and climbing into his Mercedes to get down to business.

  60. 1550: 

    Sao Paulo is looking resplendent in the glorious afternoon sunshine. The fans are sensibly diving for the shelter of the trees to escape the sun. Not long to go until the session starts, just 10 minutes in fact.


    Richie in Surrey, via text on 81111: "Best win for Schumacher, European GP 1995. Forty seconds down on Alesi at half distance with 2 stops to make, Alesi just one. Schumi turned it on the way only he can and won with great pass around the outside when he didn't need to win...Amazing!"

  62. 1546: 

    A little title trivia for you. Sebastian Vettel has won five races and scored five other podiums. His rival Fernando Alonso has won three times but scored nine other podiums. In terms of retirements, Both driver have suffered two retirements.


    Paul Ashwood on Twitter: "My prediction for the Brazilian GP will be Vettel or Hamilton for the win and Alonso maybe 3rd. Championship to Vettel."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "Engineers confirmed the impression from first practice that the new 2013-spec tyre that is available for testing here on is a little quicker than the 2012 tyre. Data collection on next year's tyre, which has softer sidewalls and provides more grip because more of the contact patch stays in contact with the track, will continue into this second session. 'Things always change,' said McLaren sporting director Sam Michael, 'that's why we take the measurements. It doesn't really matter if it's a bit different as long as we know what the differences are.'"

  65. 1540: 

    In a race of goodbyes, Lewis Hamilton will of course fly the nest after Brazil, leaving McLaren - the team who has supported him since he was 13 - in Woking for Mercedes over in Brackley. The 2008 world champion welled up in an interview to be screened on BBC One this weekend and has emblazoned the words "Thank you McLaren" on his helmet. I think they'll be a fair few tears in the silver garage come Sunday...

  66. 1536: 

    Not long to go until second practice - just 24 minutes in fact. The 90-minute session will be a chance for the teams to work on their long run pace for Sunday's race.


    Finlay Donaldson on Twitter: "Alonso just astonishing this year with his consistency in a car so off the pace. Praying for rain or a Vettel engine failure!! Vamos!"

    Tenesha Anderson on Twitter: "Lewis Hamilton has defiantly impressed me the most this season, it I'd a shame about his reliability woes."

  68. 1533: 

    ...So in honour of the great man departing, I want to know which won of his 91 race wins was his greatest. For me, it's easy. Spain 1996. The man danced that ogre of a Ferrari around in the rain while everyone else struggled to see where they were going. Remarkable. Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only)

  69. 1528: 

    Of course while everyone is talking about the title decider, it's easy to forget that this is Michael Schumacher's final F1 race of his career. The German, who returned to the sport in 2010, has failed to resurrect the form which saw him win seven titles in his first career with Benetton and Ferrari but has shown glimpses of form like in Monaco and Valencia this year...


    Williams F1 on Twitter: "Bruno has only a 10 minute window to eat lunch as he's busy at appearances and events. A popular man at his home race!"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "The sun is high in a big, blue virtually cloudless sky as second practice approaches and the track temperature is up to a steamy 51C - it's 32C ambient. The teams will be going through their normal processes in this session, testing new parts and set-up initially, then a low-fuel qualifying-type run, followed by a race-simulation in the closing minutes. But it may all be pointless. The weather forecast looks like heavy rain on Sunday. Of course, weather forecasts can always be wrong, but McLaren sporting director Sam Michael said: 'Sometimes the forecast can build up so much that it's starting to look like it's going to happen and it's starting to look like that.'"


    Lawrence Burden on Twitter: "Re 1504. Lewis Hamilton has been awesome this year, if it wasn't for McLaren's mistakes he could of been world champion this weekend."

  73. 1523: 

    Brazilian football legend Ronaldo has backed Fernando Alonso to beat Sebastian Vettel and become the youngest ever three-time world champion, adding that he hopes his countrymen and friends Felipe Massa and Bruno Senna will be in contention for victory.

  74. 1519: 

    Alonso must finish on the podium to have a chance of the title. Third will be enough if Vettel doesn't score.

  75. 1516: 

    Vettel will win his third successive world title if he finishes fourth or higher. He'll also claim the championship if he finishes seventh or higher and Alonso doesn't win. Ninth place will be enough if Alonso is no higher than third.

  76. 1513: 

    So Sunday's race is all about two men - Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Vettel leads Alonso by 13 points in the championship with 25 remaining. Here's a look at the title permutations...

  77. 1509: 

    Well Tahir, your wish looks likely to come true if our weather forecast holds true. There's rain - and plenty of it - around the region on Sunday, with a slight chance of a few drops on Saturday. Here's the full BBC weather forecast.


    Tahir Akram on Twitter: "Please please please let there be rain on Sunday.. then we'll see who's the best when there's a level playing field!"

  79. 1504: 

    Yep, I want to know who has impressed you most this season? How do you rate Felipe Massa's fight back at Ferrari? Or perhaps Kimi Raikkonen's remarkable consistency in his first year back? What about Sergio Perez's performances in the Sauber?

    Don't be shy. Get your tweets in using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those messages.

  80. 1500: 

    Hello, I knew you would be back. Second free practice at Interlagos gets under way in 60 minutes but before that we've got plenty to discuss and I want to open the floor to you guys and gals...

  81. 1350: 

    Right, I'm off too refuel. Thanks for your company so far - I hope you'll be back to join me for Brazilian Grand Prix second practice. Catch you in a bit.

  82. 1347: 

    Chief F1 writer Andrew Benson compares Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel as they prepare to do battle for the title on Sunday. Meanwhile, if you're in any doubt about the title permutations, this story will set you right.

  83. 1346: 

    Have you ever wondered how F1 teams get so speedy at doing their pitstops? Well we've spoken to McLaren, who hold the record for the world's fastest F1 pit stop during the German Grand Prix with a stationary time of 2.31 seconds, and Marussia to get you the answers. You can see the video on the BBC News pages.

  84. 1344: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's practice report which will catch up you up on the action. There will also be a snappy video highlights package up on the site soon. Time for you to recharge your batteries before we go again at 1600 GMT for second practice. I'll be back at 1500 to begin build up to the action. But in the meantime, here are a few bits to keep you entertained.

  85. 1341: 

    So unsurprisingly McLaren and Red Bull look like the dominant teams in Interlagos with Ferrari just about hanging on to their coattails. Can the scarlet machine bounce back in second practice? You'll have to join me to find out.

  86. 1338: 

    And here's 13-24: 13) Perez 14) Bottas 15) Ricciardo 16) Raikkonen 17) Vergne 18) Rosberg 19) Van der Garde 20) Glock 21) Petrov 22) Pic 23) De la Rosa 24) Karthikeyan


    John Watson on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "We have the usual cars in the top six. This session was slightly skewed by Pirelli introducing this new tyre to test but ultimately it is going to be the same teams at the front."

  88. 1336: 

    Here's how they finished 1-12: 1) Hamilton 2) Vettel 3) Webber 4) Button 5) Alonso 6) Massa 7) Grosjean 8) Di Resta 9) Maldonado 10) Hulkenberg 11) Schumacher 12) Kobayashi


    Carl Heath on Twitter: "Anyone else think McLaren should of gone for Hulkenberg rather than Perez? A much more consistent driver."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Obviously the fastest time was done on the new tyre - Lewis Hamilton with 1:14.131s. Sebastian Vettel did his fastest on this year's tyre so not a big difference with the tyres to be honest. It is still early days in the development but the Red Bull can go out on either tyre and do more or less the same time so I don't think there will be too much head scratching with the new tyres. Very close lap times here so we should be in for another great weekend."

  91. 1334: 

    So Lewis Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber with Jenson Button fourth. Those four are separated by just 0.086 seconds. Interestingly, though, the Red Bulls set their quickest times on this year's tyres while the McLarens did their best on the 2013-spec tyres.

  92. 1332: 


  93. 1330: 

    Michael Schumacher bolts on a set of the 2013-spec tyres and immediately pumps in a lap which sees him leap up from 18th to 11th. Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, makes an improvement on his time but stays fifth, 0.284 seconds off the pace.

  94. 1329: 

    Looks like Lewis Hamilton will end this session on top of the pile as we approach the final minutes of the session. Meanwhile, Timo Glock has a strange moment when he turns in and the car just spins round on him. The Marussia driver collects it and continues on his way.

  95. 1327: 

    OK, the Brazilian Grand Prixis live across the BBC this weekend. All of the coverage, that's TV, radio and live text commentary is, as always, available here online - let's just get that clear…

    Second practice is live on the Red Button and 5 live Sports Extra today at 1555 GMT. Final practice tomorrow is also live on the Red Button and 5 live Sports Extra at 1255. Qualifying is live on BBC One tomorrow from 1500. The race on Sunday is on BBC One from 1500 and Radio 5 live Sports Extra from 1545. There's also TV highlights of the race on BBC Three at 1900.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "I'm at the Ferrari garage where both cars are in and visibly the noses are the same. The only slight difference I can potentially see is the inlets on the endplate. On one nose it does look like the inlets are little bigger than the other one, but it difficult to see. They are doing a set up change and trying to get the tyre temperature more stable across the car. That is just a bit of fine tuning and they will be back out for another run."

  97. 1325: 

    Paul di Resta and Kamui Kobayashi are having a bit of a tussle out there. Kobayashi closes on the Force India in his Sauber, but the Scot refuses to jump out of the way. Kobayashi gets frustrated with getting held up and tries an audious pass, but Di Resta closes the door and the Japanese is forced to lock his front wheels to avoid making contact.

  98. 1323: 

    Felipe Massa finds himself facing the wrong direction after he gets it all wrong at Turn nine. The Ferrari driver gets a little off line on entry and the back end of his scarlet machine steps out and swings round. The Brazilian burns some rubber to spin his car round before continuing on his way. No harm done.

  99. 1321: 

    Michael Schumacher having a miserable time of it at the moment. The German is lapping more than two seconds of the pace and finds himself battling with Toro Rossos and Caterhams on the timesheets. Probably not the way he would have hoped to end his career.

  100. 1319: 

    Kimi Raikkonen is back out on track in his Lotus which is sounding a bit better than it was earlier. The Finn encounters a bit of traffic in the form of Lewis Hamilton, though, and lap is only good enough for 16th.


    McLaren on Twitter: "For all those asking: no, Sunday isn't Lewis's 'last day in the office'. He has a few appearances and will go to MTC to thank everyone too."

  102. 1317: 

    Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel remains in the pits, but his title rival Fernando Alonso has headed out on track as we approach the final 10 minutes of the session.


    Bradley Stait on Twitter: "Next year's McLaren will be so soft on its tyres with Perez and JB at the wheel."

  104. 1316: 

    More from Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: "The tyre will heat up quicker, that could lead to more degradation. The teams have been good at reducing that this season so we need to give the teams a challenge again. There is a real mixed bag of comments all the way down the pit lane. It really is a first look and it will take a little getting used to."

  105. 1315: 

    Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery: "The 2013-spec tyres here are a bit of a hybrid. It is the hard compound but the structure is different, the tyres weigh 1kg more. It is a chance for the teams to gain some data because the cars are not adapted to this product. The information so far has been positive. The quickest times of the day have been on the prototype."


    McLaren on Twitter: "Lewis has been very reflective and thoughtful. This weekend is when it all comes to an end - it will be emotional, for sure."

  107. 1312: 

    Just in case you were wondering, the HRTs have some times. Pedro de la Rosa has clocked 1:17.755, which is only 3.6 seconds off the pace. His team-mate Narain Karthikeyan is a tenth further back in 24th.

  108. 1309: 

    Nice touch from Michael Schumacher who has emblazoned his helmet with the words: "Life is about passions, thank you for sharing mine" to celebrate his final race in Formula 1.

  109. 1306: 

    There are more overheating issues for Lewis Hamilton, who tells his team that his tyres were struggling after the first flying lap. The McLaren driver remains fastest, ahead of Vettel, Webber, Button and Alonso.

  110. 1303: 

    Last year's race winner Mark Webber has popped his Red Bull into third place, 0.067 seconds off the pace set by Lewis Hamilton. Just 0.086 seconds cover Hamilton, Vettel, Webber and Button. The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa are four tenths further back.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "In the old days you would put a bit of spit on the finger and touch the exhaust pipe and see which one was not working. It is all bit more technical these days with computer technology, but that has not found anything in Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus, so they are having to go back to the old days and take a look inside and see what is and is not working."

  112. 1258: 

    Lotus inform Kimi Raikkonen that there's still a problem with the engine and he pulls back into the pits. A tough morning for the Finn who is on a run of 16 consecutive results in the points.


    Hamilton fastest, Vettel second. Raikkonen suffering engine problems. Tyres getting hot on a number of cars. 1 Hamilton 2 Vettel 3 Button 4 Alonso 5 Massa 6 Grosjean 7 Webber 8 Di Resta 9 Hulkenberg 10 Maldonado

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "It did not sound great [as Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus left the garage]. I spoke with the the team and they said they could not find anything. It is internal and obviously he will come back into the pits and if they can't find anything, that will be the day done I'd imagine."

  115. 1256: 

    Kimi Raikkonen finally heads out after that mystery problem with his Lotus, but he struggles to pull away from the garage and the engine sounded pretty sick as he strolls down the pit lane.


    John Watson on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "Kamui Kobayashi is great entertainment but one might ask has he progressed to his full potential? It is a tough world and I don't know where he could slot in. Force India and Williams, he has never been mentioned in connection with them two, and it looks to be like he does not have a natural berth to slot into."

  117. 1253: 

    Sebastian Vettel is looking super comfortable out there. Let's not forget he won here in 2010, and finished second behind Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber last year. The reigning world champion sets the fastest first sector of anyone, but can't quite overhaul Lewis Hamilton and stays second, 0.009 seconds behind.

  118. 1249: 

    Esteban Gutierrez on getting a Sauber seat for the 2013 season: "Formula 1 is different from GP2 and of course it is always a process to adapt. The good thing is I have been with the team for three years now so from a different perspective I have been able to adapt to the team and work understand how it is to work in F1. Now I will see how it is from a first person point of view. I know Nico Hulkenburg because he had a very similar career to me. It is something very positive. He is a very strong driver and I think all-in-all we can be a very strong team."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "Lewis Hamilton's eyes welled up and voice choked in a BBC interview with Lee McKenzie on Thursday when discussing what will be his final race with McLaren, a team he has been with since he was 13 years old. He didn't want to cry on camera, he said as he composed himself. He admits it will be a 'very tough' weekend. Had he got a plan for his farewell weekend, he was asked. He said he wanted to sign off 'with a win'."

  120. 1245: 

    Both HRTs went out on track to complete and installation lap, but we've not seen either Narain Karthikeyan or Pedro de la Rosa since. The Spanish team are facing an uncertain future after being put up for sale.

  121. 1243: 

    Lewis Hamilton says his tyres are overheating again as he tries to beat his previous best which he set earlier in this session. Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, does improve, moving up once place to fourth, 0.474 seconds off the pace.


    Pirelli on Twitter: "Most running now are on the orange prototype to give them as much data for next year's cars as possible."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Lewis Hamilton is not getting to grips with this year's tyre at the minute. I'll have a look at the tyres when they come in. The 2013 tyres look like they were worked pretty hard, we don't know if these ones are being worked as hard or not, so I'll keep an eye out when Lewis comes in."

  124. 1240: 

    Fernando Alonso keeps plugging away in his Ferrari and improves to fifth fastest, 0.6 seconds off the pace with Hamilton, Vettel, Button and Massa all ahead of him.


    John Watson on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "I would imagine Fernando Alonso is going to focus on trying to get all the performance out of the car and let Felipe Massa do the testing. Fernando has looked very assured and relaxed and it is an important attitude to adopt - to be relaxed and not react to the pressure he has to deal with."

  126. 1237: 

    While Felipe Massa is out on the experimental 2013-spec tyres, his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso is using the more conventional 2012-spec hard tyre. His first time lap is a 1:18.029 which is good enough for 18th.

  127. 1236: 

    Jenson Button is out there, too. The 2009 world champion has a great first sector and keeps it tidy in the next two to go third quickest, just 0.086 seconds behind his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Felipe Massa is really pushing hard out there, his Ferrari attacking the kerbs. The Brazilian, whose last victory came here on home soil in 2008, has been in great form of late and could play a crucial role in his team-mate Fernando Alonso's title challenge on Sunday.

  128. 1233: 

    Sebastian Vettel is starting to dial himself into this tricky Interlagos track. The championship leader improves once more to close to within 0.034 seconds of leader Lewis Hamilton. Meanwhile, his title rival Fernando Alonso has suited up and climbed into his Ferrari. Expect to see the double world champion shortly.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "It could be a broken exhaust pipe [on Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus]. I would doubt that though because it would be pretty negligible for that to happen this early in the session, but they are having a good look at the right-hand side at the moment."


    Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen over team radio: "The engine sounds a bit funny." Race engineer: "No, there's definitely something not right."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "It was interesting to hear Lewis Hamilton's comment about the tyres overheating, especially after the timed lap he set. When I looked yesterday, the track was pretty clean and pretty aggressive. Looking at these new tyres, they are worked pretty hard. We will see what this year's tyres do in a minute or two."

  132. 1228: 

    Vettel immediately improves on his next lap, clocking a 1:14.443 to go second quickest, three tenths of a second off the pace. His title Alonso remains in his garage, relaxing in his red leather chair and keeping an eye on the track action.

  133. 1226: 

    No sign of the championship contenders Fernando Alonso as yet. But Sebastian Vettel has just completed his first flyer, and it's a decent effort. The German clocked 1:15.909 which is good enough for third, 1.7 seconds off the pace.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "The altitude here reduces everything - the density of air going into engines, so you use less fuel and there is less downforce because there is less drag. It is sort of invisible except to the driver. It is a different deal, trying to work out fuel consumption - it makes it a different type of circuit."

  135. 1222: 

    While Schumacher was fighting his Mercedes, Hamilton looks super comfortable in his McLaren. There are lots of smooth turn ins, with few corrections needed - and it pays of as the 2008 world champion goes quickest with a 1:14.131. After six laps, he reports that the 2013-spec rubber is "overheating".

  136. 1220: 

    Lewis Hamilton is out on track, sporting another adapted helmet design. The Briton has placed a Brazil flag on the top, which perfectly complements his yellow lid, plus a message which says "Thank you McLaren".


    Kayleigh Gray on Twitter: "Alonso for the win this weekend.. I may not have any fingernails left by the end of the race! It's going to be a good one."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "Sergio Perez's form has been under the spotlight recently - the Mexican Sauber driver has not scored a point since his move to McLaren for 2013 was announced and has been making a series of silly mistakes. Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: 'The connection supposedly between the announcement and his performances is for me not there. I think it is a coincidence. I know for sure he wants to do very well for the team, for himself because a lot of attention is put on him from his new team and also from where we end our championship position because we can still move on ahead. He wants to do the best he can and maybe he has been pushing it too much. It's possible he's putting so much pressure on himself to really deliver the best results he can that he's really pushing it beyond the line but it is definitely the intention that he really wants to do well.'"

  139. 1217: 

    Schumacher is really fighting his Mercedes out there - that's not the first time I've said that this season - with his silver machine slithering through the Senna S at the start of the lap. The German has to make lots of tiny corrections as he makes his way round the 4.309km track, but he clocks a respectable 1:17.437 to go second quickest.

  140. 1215: 

    Perez gets his braking right at the first corner on his next tour, and it pays huge dividends. The Mexican slices 1.3 seconds off his previous best to extend his lead at the top of the charts.

  141. 1214: 

    BBC Radio 5 live's Jennie Gow has found Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali. Here's what he has to say: "We know that it is very difficult this weekend but we have nothing to lose. Anything is possible.

    "In normal conditions I would say it is very, very difficult [for Fernando Alonso to win] but we are here and believe in what we are doing. We will see when the chequered flag is out what the final outcome will be, but it is great that we are here fighting for the championship in the last race."

  142. 1212: 

    Bottas is the first man to set a time, but it's an unspectacular 1:21.218. Perez, who is competing in his final race for Sauber, locks his front left into sloping Turn 1, sending plumes of smoke up into the air. The Mexican keeps the rest of the lap nice and tidy, though and goes quickest with a 1:17.121.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "The idea behind the new Pirelli tyre that is being trialled this morning is that the teams are running the current tyres at very low pressures for extra grip, which means the wear is not evenly distributed across the contact patch. The 2013 tyre has a softer tyre wall which should mean the teams can run higher tyre pressures and ensure the tyre has a bigger contact patch."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "While the performance of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull is what puts the German in pole position to win the title, its questionable reliability is what could cost him it. Red Bull had their retirement due to a third alternator failure in Austin last weekend when Mark Webber's car ground to a halt and the team have had a series of technical issues recently. Red Bull will be using a new specification of alternator for this race, one that the other teams with Renault engines have been using for a number of races without problem, and Vettel said he was not too concerned. 'We know (Webber's failure happened),' he said. 'We're not proud of it, but confidence for this race is as high as it can be. The cars are built on the limit and we have had this problem a couple of times this year but we don't expect it.'"

  145. 1208: 

    Renault have made a bold decision to supply all its teams with a new specification alternator for this weekend's race. Mark Webber retired last time out in Austin when his device failed. Both Caterhams and Lotus's Romain Grosjean ran the new-spec in America with no problems, so Renault believe the safest option is to use the latest version.


    Alex Withington on Twitter: "Re 1126. Race of the season - Valencia. Seeing Alonso scythe from P11, helped by VET retirement. An amazing drive and the crowd went nuts!"

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "There are all sorts of stuff on the cars here. Jenson Button has something which looks like a torpedo mounted on the front. It is probably to measure the air flow coming off the front wing and tyre, while Mark Webber has something on the back measuring air flow to the diffuser."

  148. 1205: 

    A couple of seat swaps to update you on. Giedo van der Garde has commandeered Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham at a sun-kissed Interlagos. Bruno Senna has had to make way once more for the team's reserve driver Valtteri Bottas.

  149. 1203: 

    It looks like the majority of the drivers have chosen the new orange side-walled 2013-spec tyres for their installation laps.

  150. 1201: 

    Paul di Resta is the first man out on track in his Force India, closely followed by the two Toro Rossos.

  151. 1200: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The last first practice of 2012 is go, go, go!

  152. 1156: 

    Commentator Ben Edwards and analyst John Watson are up and running on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra as we count down to the start of practice. You can listen to their dulcet tones by hitting play on our live coverage, which is nice.

  153. 1153: 

    The grandstands are filling up nicely, with plenty of banners fluttering in the wind. Many of those are for Michael Schumacher, the German seven-time world champion, who is competing in his final race before he heads back into retirement.


    Fernando Alonso on Twitter: "We cannot turn back, we better fight than be dishonored by not doing it. #samurai"

  155. 1148: 

    Anyone remember Abu Dhabi 2010? Sebastian Vettel arrived at Yas Marina trailing Fernando Alonso by 15 points and yet he left the circuit as world champion. This time, Alonso trails Vettel by 13 points. No wonder the Spaniard is refusing to give up...


    Emma M on Twitter: "Re 1126. Abu Dhabi had to be the race of the season for me. I could barely watch the last 20 laps with Alonso catching Kimi I was so nervous."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "While there is a race and a championship to be won here in Brazil this weekend, thoughts are already turning to 2013. Pirelli has given every driver two sets of a 2013-spec tyre to run throughout Friday, and it's vital homework for everyone, even if it's a distraction Red Bull and Ferrari could probably do without. The tyre, which can be spotted by the orange letters and markings on the sidewall, will be next year's 'hard', and it has a softer sidewall construction than this year's tyres. The hope is to reduce the inner-shoulder wear that has troubled teams on several occasions this year."

  158. 1145: 

    Today's two practice sessions will take on extra importance as it will be the team's first chance to get their hands on the 2013-spec Pirelli tyres. The Italian manufacturer has said that next season's tyres will be very different from this year's so any data collected will be key, especially as they won't get another chance until pre-season testing begins in February.

  159. 1142: 

    Many of the F1 fraternity stayed in Austin for a few extra days or headed to LA or New York for a few days before flying down to Sao Paulo. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen chose LA, and seemed to enjoy it a little too much. He missed his media briefings on Thursday because he was "delayed" and didn't arrive in the country until this morning.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "Michael Schumacher is taking part in the final race of his illustrious career here in Brazil this weekend but he was strangely unwilling to address the issue in a news conference on Thursday. He was asked for his feelings a few times by journalists keen to write 'farewell' pieces, but gave short, unhelpful answers, simply saying he was 'rather relaxed' about the situation. It's widely known that Schumacher did not want to leave F1 yet and was effectively forced into retirement for a second time by Mercedes' decision to sign Lewis Hamilton, which was at least partly precipitated by Schumacher's vacillation on his own future."


    Leanne Court on Twitter: "Schumacher's last race this weekend - sad times."

  162. 1137: 

    Schumacher's career has been remarkable and no driver in the history of the sport comes close to matching his statistics. The German won seven titles, two more than the next successful driver Juan Manuel Fangio. He has the most wins (91), most pole positions (68), most fastest laps (77) and most podium finishes (155). Admittedly, his "second career" didn't live up to expectations - it yielded just one podium in three years - but the statistics remain...

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "Eagle-eyed viewers will spot that the Mercedes cars in this first session - and indeed all this weekend - will be running without their McLaren/Ferrari-style downforce-producing exhausts. Mercedes have been late to a technology known as 'Coanda', where the exhaust gases are directed down to the area where the rear floor meets the rear wheels to improve downforce. Basically, they have not been able to make it work effectively and it also makes the car's already fundamental problem of excessive rear tyre wear even worse. Mercedes say that because Pirelli have supplied some 2013-spec tyres for assessment here on Friday they wanted to assess them without the exhaust queering the picture."

  164. 1133: 

    Michael Schumacher's hopes of a triumphant - or simply just respectable - end to his career look all but over after the team confirmed that both Mercedes will run without their Coanda-effect exhaust as they continue the battle to understand their tyre issues. Nico Rosberg was well off the pace when the team ran without it in Austin, finishing 13th after qualifying 17th. Our man Andrew Benson has more...

  165. 1130: 

    The Brazilian Grand Prix is a firm favourite with drivers and teams alike. The grandstands are always rammed with boisterous fans singing, dancing and generally having a great time. Caterham driver Heikki Kovalainen says drivers can feel the stands "bouncing" when their on the grid while Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi simply loves everything about the country: "I like Brazil! I like the Brazilians and I like the Churrascarias (Brazilian steakhouses)," he said.

  166. 1126: 

    As I said previously, it's been quite a season but I'm interested to know which race has stood out for you. Was it the rain-hit Malaysian Grand Prix when Fernando Alonso mastered the conditions to triumph? Was it Kimi Raikkonen's brilliant drive to victory - his first since his return - in Abu Dhabi? Or was it Pastor Maldonado's shock victory for Williams in Spain?

    Get involved. I want to hear from you. Tweet us #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those texts or they'll never see the light of day I'm afraid. Super.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "There is finally some movement in the driver market this weekend and the number of seats still available is reducing all the time. The biggest vacancy remains the second Lotus, but it is regarded as only a matter of time until Romain Grosjean is announced as Kimi Raikkonen's team-mate again. Neither Force India driver has been confirmed, but Paul di Resta is expected to stay on and may be partnered by any one of Bruno Senna, who's also in the frame at Caterham, Adrian Sutil, Jaime Alguersuari or Sebastien Buemi. The two big losers could well be Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, who was on the podium in Japan five races ago, and Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen, who won a race for McLaren in 2008. Kovalainen is trying to put a brave face on it. 'I'm not too stressed about it,' the Finn said. 'It is what it is. If it's the last race it's a shame, but the situation is quite tricky for me and there is not much more than I can do.'"

  168. 1122: 

    And here's a quick word from new Sauber recruit Esteban Gutiérrez: "After three years working with Sauber I feel very grateful for all the attention I have received from everyone in the team and for all their input, which has allowed me to develop into a Formula 1 driver in a very progressive way," he said. "Now, after experiencing other categories of racing as an introduction to Formula 1, this is the start of the real challenge to succeed at the pinnacle of motor sport."

  169. 1120: 

    Here's what Charles Pic had to say at the announcement of his move to Caterham. "I am very excited about starting my second year in F1 with a team that has so much potential," he said. "Caterham has everything in place to help it move into a position to fight with a number of teams ahead. I know how determined the team is to keep progressing and I am looking forward to playing my part in helping them move up the grid."


    BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson on Twitter: "Only 25% chance showers for quali but torrential downpours later Sat eve into Sun AM; conditions by race could still be dire."

  171. 1118: 

    There's been a lot of pre-race chat about wet weather hitting Interlagos this weekend. The venue is notorious for its unpredictable weather so what better place to host the title decider eh? Here's the latest from BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson....

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Sao Paulo

    "And so it comes down to this. After the longest season in Formula 1 history, two of the three best drivers in the world are disputing the chance to become a three-time world champion at one of the sport's most atmospheric and iconic venues. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is the strong favourite to prevail, with a 13-point advantage over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. But the Spaniard is one of the great fighters and will be pushing right to the end in a place where unpredictability - particularly in terms of weather - is the norm. 'The facts are that Sebastian has a better car but they are both fantastic drivers,' McLaren's Lewis Hamilton says. 'Fernando struggled in the last race with their car but perhaps they'll be quick here. They've always been quick here, Ferrari.' The relative competitiveness of the cars will first start to become clear as Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton and the rest head out on to the track for first practice."

  173. 1114: 

    Crikey, it's all kicking off in Interlagos and practice hasn't even started yet. Talking of which, we've got two practice sessions - both 90 minutes long - coming up with the first beginning at 1200 GMT and the second at 1600. We've also got live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live with Ben Edwards in the box and Jennie Gow in the pits. Coverage begins at 1155.

  174. 1110: 

    And like London buses, here's another bit of breaking news for you. Charles Pic has decided to switch his black and red Marussia overalls for the green and yellow of Caterham next season.

    In what looks like a sideways step from one back-of-the-grid team to another, the 22-year-old Frenchman, who has done a decent job alongside the experienced Timo Glock in his debut season, has decided he needs a change.

    This is good news for British fans, of course, as it means Max Chilton, Marussia's reserve driver, is in pole position to get promoted into the race seat and make it four Brits on the grid next year.

  175. 1109: 

    This just in. I've got bad news for Kamui Kobayashi fans, I'm afraid. In perhaps the worst kept secret in F1, the Japanese driver has been given the boot from Sauber with Esteban Gutierrez getting promoted from his reserve driver role to a race seat alongside Nico Hulkenberg for next season.

  176. 1106: 

    We've seen 19 extraordinary races across five continents and 18 countries and it all comes down to one race at the spectacular, if a little rough around the edges, Interlagos circuit just outside Sao Paulo in Brazil. Fernando Alonso, who has claimed both his titles in the South American country, is the underdog, 13 points behind Sebastian Vettel with 25 remaining. His Ferrari has been off the pace all season and yet he's still in the title hunt. This fight is far from over.

  177. 1103: 

    This is it folks - the start of the final race weekend of the season. Welcome to Sao Paulo. Welcome to Interlagos. Welcome to the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.

  178. 1100: 

    As one glittering career ends, another continues on its relentless march into the record books. Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher will hang his helmet up for the second time this weekend in Sao Paulo, bringing to an end a challenge which never got out of first gear. His fellow German, Sebastian Vettel - 18 years his junior - meanwhile is on the cusp of something great. Finish fourth or higher at Interlagos and he'll become the youngest ever triple world champion. A brave Spaniard, by the name of Fernando Alonso, though, might have something to say about that...

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FIA Formula 1 World Championsh 2015

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 43
2 Germany S Vettel Ferrari 40
3 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 33
4 Brazil F Massa Williams 20
5 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 12
6 Brazil F Nasr Sauber 10
7 Finland V Bottas Williams 10
8 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 9
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 6
10 M Verstappen Toro Rosso 6
11 C Sainz Toro Rosso 6
12 Sweden M Ericsson Sauber 4
13 Russia D Kvyat Red Bull 2
14 Mexico S Perez Force India 1
15 France R Grosjean Lotus 0
16 Great Britain J Button McLaren 0
17 R Merhi Manor Marussia F1 0
18 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Spain F Alonso McLaren 0
21 W Stevens Manor Marussia F1 0


After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham