Key practice points:
Rain-threatened Brazilian Grand Prix weekend begins under warm and clear skies at Interlagos, where tyre degradation looks set to play a fundamental role in Sunday’s race
Solid start for Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, who finishes fourth in FP2 after taking 10th in the morning. Sebastian Vettel bounces back from slow start to set the afternoon’s ninth fastest time
Another standout practice performance from Daniil Kvyat who sets the morning’s third fastest time, with Scuderia Toro Rosso reserve driver Max Verstappen just a tenth back in sixth
Pastor Maldonado maintains Lotus F1 Team’s upturn in form by ending FP1 seventh and FP2 11th
Rémi Taffin, Head of Track Operations:
‘A good day on the whole’
Today’s been pretty positive on the whole, with all three of our teams suggesting they could be contenders for a top-10 qualifying slot tomorrow.
The fight for row two looks to be very close, and Red Bull will certainly be in the hunt. If they can do that and then make a good start there’s a chance they’ll be able to put the Mercedes drivers under some pressure into Turn 1, where you often see passing moves on the opening lap. It’s therefore very important that we extract the maximum from the RBR’s qualifying package.
Toro Rosso again looked very strong in both practice sessions today, with Daniil third in the morning and Max right there with him. He was deputising for Jean-Eric, who unfortunately wasn’t able to complete any meaningful running in the afternoon session due to an ERS problem. Luckily Daniil racked up plenty of mileage in the warmer conditions, so we’ve got good data for the car’s cooling requirements should it stay dry.
It was great to see a more competitive Lotus package in Austin, and that form looks set to continue here at Interlagos. Both drivers are knocking on the door of the top-10 and I’d be delighted to see at least one of them contest Q3 tomorrow.