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Brazilian GP Practice Two: Mercedes just ahead of Ferrari

Hulkenberg crashes out; Verstappen hit by car trouble; Sunday’s race underway at 5.10pm, simulcast on Sky Sports F1 and Sky One

Last Updated: 09/11/18 8:35pm

Mercedes set the pace in Practice Two for the Brazilian GP, with Valtteri Bottas fractionally quicker than world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

On what promises to be a closely-fought weekend at Interlagos, the two Mercedes cars were split by just 0.003 seconds while Sebastian Vettel was within a tenth of Bottas’ benchmark.

Vettel told Sky F1 afterwards: “The car has been ok, we are in the ball-park but we can launch forward from here.”

Vettel: What’s this between my legs?
The Ferrari driver was hampered by a piece of stray debris landing in his Ferrari cockpit, prompting this rather unusual team radio message…

Listen to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel over team radio, as he describes an issue he’s having…

Listen to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel over team radio, as he describes an issue he’s having…

Red Bull had a mixed day but showed enough to suggest they will be in the fight for victory on Sunday.

But after setting the pace in Practice One, a crack in his oil tank meant Max Verstappen had to sit out the first 50 minutes of P2.

Out of sync with the rest of the field when he set his qualifying-simulation run, the Dutchman finished just fifth.

“I had my traffic on my super-soft run but I don’t think we will be in the fight for pole position anyway,” Verstappen told Sky F1. “On the long runs we have a things to fix but I am confident we can.”

When’s the Brazilian GP on Sky F1?
Practice Two results in full

When’s the Brazilian GP?

The TV times and full schedule for Interlagos…

In a more substantial blow to the Red Bull outfit, Daniel Ricciardo, on pole two weeks ago in Mexico, will take a five-place grid penalty due to an unscheduled turbo change.

“We have a decent car but are three tenths off,” Ricciardo reflected. “And Mercedes and Ferrari will probably turn up the power tomorrow.”

Mercedes will wrap up the Constructors’ Championship this weekend if Ferrari fail to out-score the Silver Arrows by 13 points or more.

The Silver Arrows struggled to match Ferrari and Red Bull’s pace in the last two events, Mexico and USA, but Bottas’ flier of 1:08.846 indicated they are back in the groove in Brazil.

Hamilton made a small mistake in the second sector on his flying lap and later complained about his car’s balance during his long run.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg crashed out at the penultimate corner after running wide, triggering a red-flag stoppage.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg crashes out in Practice Two ahead of the Brazilian GP.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg crashes out in Practice Two ahead of the Brazilian GP.

The German was unhurt in the incident but the same couldn’t be reported of his car and Hulkenberg sat out the remainder of the session.

Behind Kimi Raikkonen and Verstappen Haas pair Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top ten alongside

Brazilian GP Practice Two Timesheet

Driver Team Time
1) Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:08.846
2) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.003
3) Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 0.073
4) Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull + 0.318
5) Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.493
6) Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari + 0.566
7) Romain Grosjean Haas + 0.923
8) Charles Leclerc Sauber + 1.097
9) Kevin Magnussen Haas + 1.161
10) Esteban Ocon Force India + 1.313
11) Sergio Perez Force India + 1.474
12) Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso + 1.484
13) Fernando Alonso McLaren + 1.486
14) Carlos Sainz Renault + + 1.612
15) Marcus Ericsson Sauber + 1.686
16) Sergey Sirotkin Williams + 1.723
17) Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren + 1.750
18) Lance Stroll Williams + 1.816
19) Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso + 1.888
20) Nico Hulkenberg Renault + 2.828

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