- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Hamilton fastest in practice for Brazilian GP
SAO PAULO (AP) - Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the first day of practice for the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Friday, while Formula One leader Sebastian Vettel was second and title challenger Fernando Alonso was fifth.
Hamilton, in his last race with McLaren, had a lap of 1 minute, 14.026 seconds in the second practice session at Interlagos, .274 quicker than Vettel’s Red Bull. Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber was third in 1:14.523.
Alonso clocked 1:14.592 in his afternoon run, just behind Ferrari teammate and home-crowd favorite Felipe Massa.
He also can be the first to win three titles in a row since Michael Schumacher, who won five consecutive from 2000-2004. The only other driver with three straight championships is Juan Manuel Fangio, who lifted the trophy in consecutive seasons from 1954-1957.
Drivers from McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari dominated the first session, but Mercedes improved in the second with Schumacher in sixth place and Nico Rosberg seventh.
Hamilton barely avoided a collision near the end of the first practice after a Marussia car spun in front of him.
Kimi Raikkonen ran wide at Turn 1 with his Lotus early in the second session, becoming the first driver to test the expanded runoff area added at the end of the main straight.
Kamui Kobayashi, preparing for probably his last race with Sauber after the team announced that 21-year-old Mexican Esteban Gutierrez would be Nico Hulkenberg’s teammate next season, was 15th fastest in his second run.
HRT, possibly ending its spell in F1 because of financial difficulties, finished near the bottom of the timings with Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan.
Teams were given two sets of the prototype Pirelli tires that will be used next year, allowing them to get an idea of what to expect in their 2013 cars.
Drivers used the new tires during most of the morning session and part of the second, with Hamilton complaining of overheating at times. Sauber’s Sergio Perez _ who will be replacing the British driver at McLaren in 2013 _ said the new sets had more mid-corner grip.
It was a hot and sunny day, but rain was expected for Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race in Sao Paulo.
Red Bull has won the last three races in Brazil and Vettel finished second last year at Interlagos. The German driver has finished fourth or better in the last six races this year, and two-time champion Alonso hasn’t won since the German GP in July.
In addition to crowning the champion, the Brazilian GP marks the end of Schumacher’s career for the second time. F1’s most successful driver, Schumacher retired with Ferrari in 2006 and returned with Mercedes in 2010. But he’s managed nothing more than a podium finish this year.
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- CURL: The state of the Union worse than you thought
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.