Hamilton edges Rosberg to lead FP2 at Interlagos

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Lewis Hamilton continued his impressive start to the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend by leading the second Formula 1 practice session at Interlagos on Friday afternoon.

Hamilton topped FP1 in the morning ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, leaving Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg to settle for third place in the final timesheets.

Hamilton and Rosberg went head-to-head in FP2, exchanging fastest laps on the soft tire through the mid-part of the session before switching their focus to race runs.

Rosberg dropped a lap of 1:12.301 to sit P1 before Hamilton went 0.03 seconds faster, giving the Briton P1 once again ahead of final practice and qualifying on Saturday in Brazil.

The session saw Williams emerge from the midfield to finish as the second-fastest team, with Valtteri Bottas ending FP2 third ahead of teammate and local favorite Felipe Massa.

Red Bull and Ferrari slipped back to third and fourth in the pecking order respectively, although both are expected to respond later in the weekend amid varying priorities for FP2 running.

Daniel Ricciardo led Red Bull’s charge in fifth ahead of teammate Max Verstappen, while Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen followed in seventh and eighth respectively for Ferrari. Nico Hulkenberg was ninth for Force India, leaving McLaren’s Jenson Button to round out the top 10.

Fernando Alonso ended up 11th in the sister McLaren, but not without an issue that forced him to park up at Turn 3 in the second half of the session, immediately sparking much chatter about a repeat of #PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe from 2015 on social media. The Spaniard was a good sport, grabbing a deckchair off a nearby cameraman to watch the end of the session – although his camera skills left much to be desired…

The only other incident of note came early on when Kimi Raikkonen chopped across Carlos Sainz Jr. when diving into the pits. Although there was no contact, the stewards confirmed they would be investigating the incident after the session.

Coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix continues with FP3 on the NBC Sports app from 8am ET on Saturday, followed by qualifying at 11am ET on NBCSN.