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Brazilian Grand Prix F1

Despite problems, Hamilton finishes fastest in final practice

Published 11/14/2015, 10:53 AM EST
Formula One – F1 – Brazilian Grand Prix 2015 – Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Sao Paulo, Brazil – 13/11/15 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Hoch Zwei Livepic


SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Triple Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes in final practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday despite gearbox problems and a spin.

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The Briton, who wrapped up the championship in Texas last month, lapped 0.123 of a second quicker than German team mate Nico Rosberg.

His best lap of one minute 12.070 was set on soft tyres in the final minutes.

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Earlier, with some 20 minutes gone, he had crawled to a halt on the track and told the team over the radio that he had lost gears.

An electronic problem was diagnosed, fixed in the garage and Hamilton returned to set a best time before he then spun off at turn 11.

“I don’t know what happened there, but the rear just gave up real quick,” he said.

Mercedes technical head Paddy Lowe confirmed there had been an electronics problem which affected the gearshift.

“I think that should be fine for the race,” he told Sky Sports F1.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth fastest, with the German 0.690 off Hamilton’s pace but still likely to pose a threat in the race.

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Finland’s Valtteri Bottas, who has a three place grid penalty, was fifth for Williams with Mercedes-powered cars filling seven of the top 10 places ahead of qualifying.

“It’s probably closer than it looks from that timesheet to Ferrari,” said Lowe.

Rosberg, last year’s winner at Interlagos, is chasing his fifth successive pole position while Hamilton can claim his career 50th.

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(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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