Button tops energetic final practice at Interlagos

Button tops energetic final practice at Interlagos

24 November 2012 – Jenson Button, now running a higher downforce setup, has topped the final practice session ahead of the title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix. As McLaren and Red Bull locked out the top four, the hour remained completely dry as Fernando Alonso finished eighth. Rain is expected later and could affect the last qualifying session of the year.

One word is on the lips of all in the F1 paddock: rain. Any dramatic twist in the conditions could have a massive bearing on the outcome of the championship, with Sebastian Vettel 13 points ahead of Alonso. For now, an overcast morning resulted in the track being some 13 degrees cooler than yesterday afternoon, which came as a pleasing feeling for the drivers. Third practice ran between 11 o’clock and noon.

Räikkönen pulled over with an oil pressure problem
Timo Glock started by crossing the white line when exiting the pits, which could result in a penalty from the stewards. There was more bad news for Kimi Räikkönen, whose engine expired in a large plume of white smoke because of an oil pressure problem; although this was his race unit, it can be changed without penalty as older powerplants remain. The Finn, who managed just three laps, set no time and found a plastic chair from which to spectate.

Seven kilometres slower on the straights but now finding time in the twisty infield section, thanks to his higher downforce configuration, Button led the way on the quicker Medium tyres. His best effort of 1:13.188 edged out Vettel by less than a tenth of a second and the German would comfortably clinch a third title if he manages that position tomorrow.

Alonso was half a second off the pace and would be on only the fourth row of the grid if he cannot improve this afternoon. He and team-mate Felipe Massa attempted to slipstream each other as they ran with more downforce than most, but this could play into Ferrari’s hands if the weather does take a turn for the worse.

Title challenger Fernando Alonso finished eighth
Second home favourite Bruno Senna was 11th, but there was a focussing moment for the Williams driver as he spun and was narrowly avoided by Michael Schumacher while heading up the hill towards the finish line. Now able to push harder thanks to the lower track temperatures – on what is still a scorching day in South America – a number of drivers were seen running off-track. Schumacher suffered a selection of lock-ups and championship leader Vettel ran wide at both the first and fourth corners.

McLaren and Red Bull have proven that they are the teams to beat in fully dry conditions, but the entire F1 community is now bracing itself for a massive thunderstorm; its exact time of arrival is unknown. Incidentally, the close lap times throughout the field - on what is one of the shorter circuits of the campaign - will dramatically punish any mistakes in qualifying.


Qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix starts at 2pm local time (GMT -2) and can also be tracked via the GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Wednesday 28 January 2015

  2. 17:03

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Feature: Ricciardo, Kvyat ready to lead Red Bull 16:07

    Feature: Ricciardo, Kvyat ready to lead Red Bull

    Red Bull was the team to beat between 2010 and 2013, enjoying four double title-winning seasons. But with the departure of...

    F1
  4. Video: Räikkönen gets seated in the SF15-T 13:43

    Video: Räikkönen gets seated in the SF15-T

    Ferrari has released a video of Kimi Räikkönen in the new SF15-T, which will be launched on Friday.

    F1
  5. 12:23

    Photos: Yamaha unveils new MotoGP bike

    MotoGP
  6. Yamaha presents 2015 bike in Madrid 12:20

    Yamaha presents 2015 bike in Madrid

    Yamaha became the first MotoGP team to unveil its 2015 bike in Madrid on Wednesday. Riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge...

    MotoGP
  7. Force India elects to skip Jerez test 11:16

    Force India elects to skip Jerez test

    Force India has opted against attending the first pre-season test at Jerez with its 2014 machine, and will instead focus its...

    F1
  8. Malja graduates to FR3.5 with Strakka 11:00

    Malja graduates to FR3.5 with Strakka

    Gustav Malja will make the step up to Formula Renault 3.5 with Strakka Racing for 2015. The Swede, 19, has spent the past...

    FR 3.5
  9. Williams signs Lynn as development driver 10:16

    Williams signs Lynn as development driver

    Williams has signed GP3 champion Alex Lynn as its development driver for the 2015 season. Lynn's primary role will be to...

    F1
  10. Kvyat out to emulate team-mate Ricciardo 10:01

    Kvyat out to emulate team-mate Ricciardo

    New Red Bull recruit Daniil Kvyat believes that he can emulate the achievements of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo after stepping...

    F1
  11. Renault makes 'fundamental' engine changes 09:54

    Renault makes 'fundamental' engine changes

    Renault says it has made "fundamental changes" to its Formula 1 engine over the winter period, as it bids to close in on...

    F1
  12. Ricciardo eyes 'proper title fight' in 2015 09:14

    Ricciardo eyes 'proper title fight' in 2015

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo hopes he can challenge Mercedes' dominance and enjoy a "proper title fight" during the 2015...

    F1
  13. Ferrari: Guidelines for new SF15-T simple 08:35

    Ferrari: Guidelines for new SF15-T simple

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison says the guidelines for the new SF15-T were clear as its predecessor was simply...

    F1
  14. Video of the Day: Hamilton talks fashion 05:06

    Video of the Day: Hamilton talks fashion

    World Champion Lewis Hamilton answers questions at the Mercedes-Benz Champions of Fashion film shoot.

    F1
  15. Tuesday 27 January 2015

  16. 20:17

    Photos: Red Bull drivers take to the slopes

    F1
  17. Horner: New Red Bull not ready yet 18:45

    Horner: New Red Bull not ready yet

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has revealed the outfit is yet to complete its new Formula 1 car, and that there is...

    F1
  18. Video: Allison on the new Ferrari SF15-T 17:32

    Video: Allison on the new Ferrari SF15-T

    Technical Director James Allison talks about the new Ferrari SF15-T, ahead of its official launch on Friday.

    F1
  19. Sauber confirms C34 launch date 16:03

    Sauber confirms C34 launch date

    Sauber has announced that it will unveil its new challenger, the C34, on January 30. The Ferrari-powered car will be...

    F1
  20. Sørensen signs with Carlin for 2015 15:13

    Sørensen signs with Carlin for 2015

    Lotus F1 Team junior driver Marco Sørensen will compete in GP2 this year with Carlin. The Dane, 24, who contested a part...

    GP2
  21. Video: Kubica survives massive Monte off 13:30

    Video: Kubica survives massive Monte off

    Former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica survives a massive off on day two of Rallye Monte Carlo. The Pole did not finish,...

    Misc
  22. McLaren fires up MP4-30 for first time 10:17

    McLaren fires up MP4-30 for first time

    McLaren fired up the MP4-30, its 2015 Formula 1 challenger, for the first time on Monday, as the team gears up for a new era...

    F1
  23. Lotus hopeful of return to form in 2015 09:28

    Lotus hopeful of return to form in 2015

    Lotus CEO Matthew Carter says the squad is ready to move back up the Formula 1 grid, having endured one of its worst...

    F1
  24. Video of the Day: Force India behind the scenes 05:06

    Video of the Day: Force India behind the scenes

    Go behind-the-scenes with Force India in their 'making of' video of the squad's 2015 launch in Mexico City

    F1
  25. Monday 26 January 2015

  26. 14:17

    Photos: Lotus unveils E23 Hybrid

    F1
  27. Lotus releases first images of E23 Hybrid 14:10

    Lotus releases first images of E23 Hybrid

    Lotus has revealed the first images of its Mercedes-powered E23 Hybrid, which the team hopes will propel it back up the...

    F1
  28. Palmer: Lotus reserve deal a 'no brainer' 13:25

    Palmer: Lotus reserve deal a 'no brainer'

    Reigning GP2 Champion Jolyon Palmer says joining Lotus as its reserve driver was a "no brainer", due to the amount of track...

    F1
  29. Ferrari reveals name of 2015 challenger 11:36

    Ferrari reveals name of 2015 challenger

    Ferrari has revealed the name of its 2015 challenger, ahead of its unveiling at the end of the week. The team will...

    F1
  30. Bottas to debut Williams FW37 at Jerez 08:53

    Bottas to debut Williams FW37 at Jerez

    Williams has confirmed that Valtteri Bottas will give the new Mercedes-powered FW37 its public debut on the first day of...

    F1
  31. Video of the Day: Rosberg's torture machine 05:08

    Video of the Day: Rosberg's torture machine

    Nico Rosberg demonstrates his 'torture chamber' as he trains for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign.

    F1
  32. Sunday 25 January 2015

  33. Renault targeting 'at least five wins' in 2015 16:36

    Renault targeting 'at least five wins' in 2015

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul expects the French manufacturer to halve its engine deficit to pacesetters...

    F1
  34. 'Evolutionary approach' for Force India's VJM08 13:22

    'Evolutionary approach' for Force India's VJM08

    Force India Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer says the squad's VJM08 is an evolution, with the car containing much of...

    F1
  35. Rosberg got over 2014 disappointment quickly 08:11

    Rosberg got over 2014 disappointment quickly

    Mercedes' Nico Rosberg says it took him just a few days to get over losing out on the 2014 title and is ready to fight again...

    F1
  36. Video of the Day: Inside the Abt garage 05:04

    Video of the Day: Inside the Abt garage

    Go behind the scenes in the Audi Sport Abt Formula E garage with driver Daniel Abt.

    FE
  37. Saturday 24 January 2015

  38. Streiff retracts comments following FIA threat 13:13

    Streiff retracts comments following FIA threat

    Philippe Streiff has retracted comments made about the FIA after President Jean Todt and Medical Commission boss Gérard...

    F1
  39. Arrivabene wants 'heavy metal band' sound in F1 07:39

    Arrivabene wants 'heavy metal band' sound in F1

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has backed calls by Mercedes' Niki Lauda to boost the spectacle of Formula 1 and...

    F1
  40. Video of the Day: McLaren P1 GTR approaches 05:17

    Video of the Day: McLaren P1 GTR approaches

    In just under two months, the McLaren P1 GTR will be officially presented at the Geneva Motor Show.

    F1
  41. Friday 23 January 2015

  42. Video: Vettel in Ferrari's 2015 challenger 17:23

    Video: Vettel in Ferrari's 2015 challenger

    Ferrari has released a short video of Sebastian Vettel sitting in the team's 2015 Formula 1 car.

    F1
  43. Vettel to complete first laps in new Ferrari 16:15

    Vettel to complete first laps in new Ferrari

    Sebastian Vettel will be the first to drive Ferrari's new Formula 1 car at next month's Jerez test, a spokesman for the...

    F1
  44. Exclusive interview with Pirelli's Paul Hembery 15:32

    Exclusive interview with Pirelli's Paul Hembery

    Formula 1 returns to action at the start of next month, when the majority of teams debut their new cars at Jerez. Ahead of...

    F1
  45. 15:09

    Photos: Construction work in Mexico City

    F1
  46. Red Bull offers £10,000 reward after robbery 14:43

    Red Bull offers £10,000 reward after robbery

    Red Bull has offered a £10,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of those who stole over 60 trophies from...

    F1
more news