Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in Brazil FP1

Lewis Hamilton has denied allegations of tax avoidance following the release of the so-called Paradise Papers. AFP

Raikkonen got nearest to the silver cars, for Ferrari, with 1m 09.744s, but Verstappen was right with him on 1m 09.750s and Ricciardo and Vettel were close with 1m 09.828s and 1m 09.984s respectively.

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in second practice at the Brazilian Grand Prix as Mercedes dominated the first day at the penultimate race of the season.

After the Brazilian Grand Prix, the F1 season comes to an end in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton, who has a fourth star on his crash helmet this weekend to represent his latest world title triumph, arrived here in Sao Paulo in the spotlight following claims that he had avoided a £3.3million Value-Added Tax charge on his private jet.

Romain Grosjean spun during the session on route to 14th, ahead of Toro Rosso pair Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley, who are both set for hefty engine penalties this weekend after failures in FP1. McLaren has struggled at Brazil in its troubled time with Honda and the Interlagos circuit has provided two of the more iconic images of the partnership - Alonso relaxing in a deckchair in 2015 and then doubling up as a trackside cameraman a year ago, both after engine failures. "As a team we really want to finish one and two".

"Nothing has changed", Hamilton said, when asked if he would treat the rest of the season differently. "We're in a decent position but I think it could be quite close".

Lewis Hamilton may have won the Drivers' Championship, but he isn't out of the spotlight just yet.

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull is too far behind in fourth place to catch either. They were followed by Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.

The Ferrari driver is 15 points ahead of the Finn, however, it was Mercedes who had the pace at the Interlagos circuit on Friday.

His 20-year-old Dutch team mate Max Verstappen, victor of two of the last four races, was fourth and fifth on the respective timesheets.

"There are still two races to go".

Sergio Perez was 12th for Force India ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne, while Williams rookie Lance Stroll finished in 14th, though he will hope to cut the 0.7s deficit to teammate Massa in qualifying.



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