Mercedes: Nico Rosberg grabs first in slippery Brazil practice

Nico Rosberg Mercedes Brazilian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg led a Mercedes one-two in a wet first practice at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton almost spinning out of the session.

Rosberg set his fastest lap time early and no-one got close to him as he sat out the final half of the 90-minute session.

Hamilton ended up 0.449 seconds adrift with a time set a few minutes later, but only after driving out of a half-spin going through Turn Three while Rosberg ran wide at Turn One early in the session.

World champion Sebastien Vettel also ran wide at the final corner in the closing minutes, while Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean and Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez were among those to survive wayward moments as their cars struggled for grip.

The rain meant that the teams were not able to do any serious running on a 2014 dry-weather test tyre that Pirelli have taken to Brazil.

Vettel, who took third place in first practice, had earlier tried out Pirelli’s slick 2014 development tyre.

The German completed a cautious lap with sensors on the car before being told by his race engineer that they had all the data they needed and to return to the pits.

McLaren’s Jenson Button claimed fourth ahead of Alonso and the second Red Bull of Mark Webber.

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