Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2015

Two stoppages can’t keep Hamilton from top spot

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix third practice

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Lewis Hamilton ended practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix with the fastest lap time of the weekend so far despite coming to a stop twice during the session.

The Mercedes driver was halted briefly at Bico de Pato early in the session after being unable to select a gear. He was later able to get his car into first and made his way back to the pits.

A few minutes later he was in trouble of his own making just one corner later. The W06 snapped sideways as he turned into Mergulho, spinning to a stop in the run-off area.

“I don’t really know what just happened there,” said Hamilton afterwards “the rear just gave up real quick”. Looks like the rear just spun up,” agreed race engineer Peter Bonnington.

A clean first lap on the soft tyres saw Hamilton end the session on top. Team mate Nico Rosberg locked up on his first flying run, and his second left him just over a tenth of a second off his team mate’s pace.

Sebastian Vettel was the only driver to get within a second of the Mercedes, followed by his Ferrari team mate. Valtteri Bottas put his Williams in the top five but team mate Felipe Massa was well down in 12th, albeit just four-tenths of a second slower than his team mate.

Massa was the only Mercedes-powered driver to end the session outside the top ten as both Force Indias and Lotuses looked capable of reaching Q3. Max Verstappen was Renault’s only representative in the top ten.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’12.07016
26Nico RosbergMercedes1’12.1930.12319
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1’12.7600.69019
47Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’13.0961.02620
577Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’13.3351.26525
627Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’13.3451.27519
78Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’13.4371.36719
811Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’13.5061.43618
913Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’13.5341.46420
1033Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’13.5481.47821
113Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’13.5721.50223
1219Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’13.7421.67224
1326Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’13.8291.75917
1414Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’13.8501.78019
1555Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’13.9591.88923
169Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’14.1852.11523
1712Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’14.2882.21822
1822Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’14.4452.37517
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’16.6714.60115
2053Alexander RossiManor-Ferrari1’17.0594.98915

Third practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’12.070

+0.123 Nico Rosberg – 1’12.193

+0.690 Sebastian Vettel – 1’12.760

+1.026 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’13.096

+1.265 Valtteri Bottas – 1’13.335

+1.275 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’13.345

+1.367 Romain Grosjean – 1’13.437

+1.436 Sergio Perez – 1’13.506

+1.464 Pastor Maldonado – 1’13.534

+1.478 Max Verstappen – 1’13.548

+1.502 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’13.572

+1.672 Felipe Massa – 1’13.742

+1.759 Daniil Kvyat – 1’13.829

+1.780 Fernando Alonso – 1’13.850

+1.889 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’13.959

+2.115 Marcus Ericsson – 1’14.185

+2.218 Felipe Nasr – 1’14.288

+2.375 Jenson Button – 1’14.445

+4.601 Will Stevens – 1’16.671

+4.989 Alexander Rossi – 1’17.059

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’13.5431’12.8431’12.070-0.77383
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’14.0621’12.3851’12.193-0.19297
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1’14.1681’13.3451’12.760-0.58587
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’14.5491’13.5001’13.096-0.40483
5Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’14.8861’13.6031’13.335-0.26887
6Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’15.1741’13.7101’13.345-0.36595
7Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’13.6341’13.437-0.19764
8Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’15.4081’14.0561’13.506-0.5584
9Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’15.1921’14.1241’13.534-0.5993
10Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’14.9601’14.2261’13.548-0.67894
11Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’14.4491’13.5851’13.572-0.01389
12Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’15.4691’13.8701’13.742-0.12890
13Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’14.6961’13.8481’13.829-0.01982
14Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’15.4131’15.1291’13.850-1.27958
15Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’15.3141’14.3261’13.959-0.367106
16Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’15.3811’14.1341’14.288+0.15495
17Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’15.7981’14.7721’14.185-0.58795
18Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’15.3791’14.6441’14.445-0.19982
19Jolyon PalmerLotus-Mercedes1’15.35233
20Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’18.0901’16.5011’16.671+0.1772
21Alexander RossiManor-Ferrari1’17.8601’16.7871’17.059+0.27273

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “Two stoppages can’t keep Hamilton from top spot”

  1. Really hoping Lewis gets this win. Although he has nothing else to prove this season, having already won the Drivers Championship, I do believe this win is very dear to his heart. Good luck Lewis.

  2. I’m looking forward to having a season where there are 3 teams closely matched at the top. Where pole is decided between 6 drivers, not 2…
    last time we had something similar to that was 2010 (red bull, ferrari, mclaren)? 2008 (ferrari, mclaren, BMW)?

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      14th November 2015, 14:22

      2012? Pretty much every team had a chance at pole.

    2. Some of the qualifying sessions in the first half of 2012 were incredible. After Q2, you normally have a pretty good idea of who will be on pole. At Monaco 2012 however, it was completely open. Anyone out of Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus, Ferrari, and Williams looked to have a viable shot.

      1. 2012 – the Pirelli Chamionship bought to you by Bernie!

        Honestly can people really fall for such blatant manipulation just because it looked ‘citing’

        It was completely contrived but no worries – Formula Pirelli are back next year with the cliff face exploding three pit stop tyres…

        Ridiculous…

        1. No worse than Michelin who shamed themselves when last in F1.

        2. 2012 lottery theory is one of the biggest myths of current F1. After banning of EBD at the end of the previous year, the teams were much closer in performance. Fluactuating in form because of track temperature were always happening but when the field was more spread out it was not evident. For example in 2011 when McLaren had not gotten in the sweet spot whey fell from challenging RB to trailing Ferrari, 2nd to 3rd. In the same situation next year they went from fighting for the win to fighting for the minor points. No lottery. The best drivers and teams were always on top. Williams was quick in Valencia and Abu Dhabi three races from the end. It is not Pirelli’s fault that Maldonado threw away so many results and Senna was poor, making Barcelona a one-off top result. Sauber was always kind to his tyres, especially Perez since his debut. Lotus was known to be better in hot as shown in Europe and Hungary and struggle more in cold (Monaco).

  3. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    14th November 2015, 14:22

    Looks like a Merc snoozefest like last year.

  4. I fully expect one of the Mercedes cars to fail in the race. I hope it’s Hamilton, to keep the luck even.

    1. What does it matter equal reliability and Ros still loses both.

    2. Better Rosberg just beats Hamilton for pace like the last race so he can build momentum for next year.

    3. @kingshark Ehmmm…… I really dont think Lewis needs any more ‘luck’ this season. Or am I missing something?

      1. @stubbornswiss
        I meant that Nico has had more bad luck this season, so if a Mercedes does fail, it’d only be fair if it was Lewis’ Mercedes.

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