Nico Rosberg responded to the pace shown by Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in FP1 by topping the timesheets in the second free practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Friday afternoon.
Rosberg finished half a second adrift of Hamilton in the first session, but managed to redress the balance by finishing 0.458 seconds clear in FP2 with a fastest lap time of 1:12.385.
It was far from being a trouble-free session for Rosberg as he reported a number of issues, with one causing him to go off-track and take a trip over the grass in the final stages of his running.
Rain had been expected to hit Interlagos on Friday afternoon, but it never grew heavier than a light mist surrounding the track, allowing the teams to complete the session on the medium and soft dry compounds.
Ferrari posed the most serious challenge to Mercedes’ supremacy once again as Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished third and fourth, edging out Daniel Ricciardo in fifth.
Valtteri Bottas led Williams’ charge to finish sixth ahead of Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg, while Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten.
Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado followed Massa in 11th and 12th, leaving local favorite Felipe Nasr to finish 13th. Max Verstappen ended FP2 in P14 ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr, Jenson Button and Marcus Ericsson.
All drivers managed to complete extensive running with the exception of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who was sidelined early on after an engine fire developed on his car. The Spaniard was forced to park up before trudging back to the pits on foot, ending the session 18th.
The Manor duo of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi once again propped up the timesheets as both continued to get to grips with their first F1 running at Interlagos.
Rosberg and Hamilton will renew their fight for supremacy in FP3 and qualifying on Saturday, the latter of which you can watch live on CNBC from 11am ET. For further broadcast details, click here.