Rosberg edges Hamilton in practice

Published: Friday 7th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Nico Rosberg managed to get the initial upper hand over Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in opening practice ahead of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Rosberg heads into the final two races at Interlagos and in Abu Dhabi on November 23 conceding he now needs a stroke of good fortune if he is to be crowned Formula One world champion this year.

Five successive victories have propelled Hamilton into a 24-point lead over Rosberg, who knows that even if he won both of the closing events it might not be enough to secure him the title.

Around one of the world’s most famous circuits, Rosberg clocked a lap of one minute 12.764secs to finish almost a quarter of a second clear of his remaining championship rival.

The personal battle between the two has been the dominant story of the current campaign, with the remainder of the field forced to fight for scraps.

Come the conclusion to the opening 90-minute session, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat underlined his emergence as a growing talent with the third quickest time, finishing just under a second off Rosberg.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was the only other driver who managed to get within a second of Rosberg with a time of 1:13.742secs.

A former team-mate in Williams’ Felipe Massa was fifth quickest, with the Brazilian on home soil ending up 1.047secs adrift.

A fast-rising star in 17-year-old Max Verstappen, on his latest practice outing for Toro Rosso ahead of his debut campaign next year, was an impressive sixth on the timesheet, 1.063secs down.

Pastor Maldonado, who has endured a wretched campaign for Lotus this year, was surprisingly next up ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in his Ferrari and McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo completed the top 10, with the Australian almost 1.5secs off the pace.

Williams’ reserve Felipe Nasr, this week confirmed as a Sauber driver for next year, was 12th in replacing Valtteri Bottas, finishing 0.7secs behind compatriot Massa.

Force India gave an outing to their reserve Daniel Juncadella, with the Spaniard 16th and last of those who set a time, finishing 3.2secs back.

Jenson Button suffered a complete failure of his ERS (energy recovery system) at the end of what proved to be his one-and-only installation lap very early in the session.

Despite frantic efforts by his mechanics to get him back on track, they proved in vain, similarly with Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez.

The Mexican also suffered electrical issues and, despite completing six installation laps, like Button he failed to set a time.

Published: Friday 7th November 2014 by The News Editor

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