Lewis Hamilton was comfortably quickest in the opening practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix, outpacing Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by over half a second. Sebastian Vettel was third for Ferrari, six tenths adrift of Hamilton.
A largely incident-free session saw Hamilton and Rosberg trading P1 times throughout, with Rosberg initially setting the pace with a time of 1:15.940 before Hamilton raised the bar, though not by much, with the Briton lapping in 1:15.102, just 0.022 seconds quicker than his teammate.
The pair continued to trade blows as Hamilton broke into the 1 minute, 14 second bracket and Rosberg chased to within a tenth of his team-mate.
The Merecedes drivers didn’t have it all their own way in the session and both were supplanted at various times during this phase of the 90 minutes, with Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen both registering P1 times as they worked through their programmes on the medium compound Pirellis.
Raikkonen would test the limits too far, however, and with 15 minutes left on the clock, the Finn has a big moment at Turn 4, spinning through 360 degrees and clattering through the gravel trap. He was able to continue though and returned to the Ferrari garage.
That was after Hamilton had become the first man to break through the 1m14s barrier and he would remain so, his lap of 1:13.543 being untouchable.
Rosberg held onto P2 with his lap of 1:14.062, just over a tenth quicker than Vettel’s best of the morning.
Fourth place in the session went to Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was nine tenths off Hamilton’s time, while Raikkonen was sixth a full second behind the P1 mark and almost four tenths off Ferrari team-mate Vettel.
Daniil Kvyat was sixth in the second Red Bull, with Valtteri Bottas taking seventh with a time of 1:14.886. That was just over a tenth clear of eighth-placed Max Verstappen and the final two top 10 places were taken by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado.
2015 Brazilian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:13.543 282 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:14.062 +0.519 363 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:14.168 +0.625 274 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:14.449 +0.906 275 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:14.549 +1.006 206 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing 1:14.696 +1.153 257 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:14.886 +1.343 258 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:14.960 +1.417 389 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:15.174 +1.631 3310 Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team 1:15.192 +1.649 3111 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1:15.314 +1.771 3812 Jolyon Palmer Lotus F1 Team 1:15.352 +1.809 3313 Jenson Button McLaren 1:15.379 +1.836 2814 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:15.381 +1.838 2915 Sergio Perez Force India 1:15.408 +1.865 3216 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:15.413 +1.870 2917 Felipe Massa Williams 1:15.469 +1.926 2418 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:15.798 +2.255 3419 Alexander Rossi Manor 1:17.860 +4.317 2320 Will Stevens Manor 1:18.090 +4.547 22