Hamilton sets early pace in F1 season-ending race in Brazil

    Lewis Hamilton powers his McLaren around the Interlagos circuit in Brazil

    Story highlights

    • Lewis Hamilton sets fastest time in practice for Brazilian Grand Prix
    • World champion Sebastian Vettel second best with teammate Mark Webber third
    • Hamilton bidding for back-to-back wins after victory in Abu Dhabi
    • Seven-time champion Michael Schumacher fifth fastest for Mercedes
    Lewis Hamilton set the pace in Friday's practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos as he bids for back-to-back wins.
    The McLaren star was third best in morning practice, but on soft tires in the afternoon session recorded a time of one minute 13.92 seconds.
    Recently crowned double world champion Sebastian Vettel was 0.167 off the pace, just ahead of Red Bull teammate Mark Webber, who had topped the timesheets in the first session.
    Two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, who retired from the morning runs after an engine failure, was fourth best in the afternoon with seven-time champion Michael Schumacher fifth fastest for Mercedes.
    Home hope Felipe Massa was sixth in the second Ferrari ahead of 2009 champion Jenson Button in the second McLaren.
    Germany's Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes and Force India drivers Adrian Sutil and Scot Paul Di Resta rounded out the top 10 times ahead of Saturday's crucial qualifying.
    2008 champion Hamilton, who has endured a largely disappointing season, dominated the penultimate round in Abu Dhabi after Vettel crashed out following a puncture.
    But he knows Vettel and Webber will be dangerous over the race weekend.
    "I think the Red Bulls will still be quicker in race pace," he told AFP.
    "I might be wrong, but I'm just thinking about how you usually see it. I might be surprised. The car feels really, really good on low fuel and high fuel," added.