The penultimate round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo as teams prepared for the Brazilian Grand Prix Sunday.
Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – on the 4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn track were run under mostly sunny and warm conditions, with Antonio Giovinazzi joining Haas F1 Team’s regular drivers, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, in FP2.
With FP1 potentially being the only session of the day without the threat of rain, the decision was made to switch Giovinazzi’s planned FP1 stint to FP2, affording Magnussen valuable dry track time while ensuring Giovinazzi would get his sixth planned practice outing with Haas F1 Team.
Grosjean and Magnussen subsequently attacked the undulating circuit, logging 29 and 30 laps, respectively, in FP1. The duo ran an identical program, beginning the session on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire before switching to the grippier Red supersoft compound.
Grosjean set the 13th quickest time in FP1 with a 1:11.188 on his 14th lap. Magnussen followed in 14th with a 1:11.463, also earned on his 14th lap. Both drivers set their quick times utilizing Red supersofts.
Fastest in FP1 was the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton earned the top spot with a lap of 1:09.202, which was .127 of a second faster than Bottas and .620 of a second better than the previous track record – a 1:09.822 set by Rubens Barrichello in a Ferrari during qualifying for the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Giovinazzi, the third driver for Scuderia Ferrari, took the wheel of the Haas VF-17 in FP2. The 23-year-old from Martina Franca, Italy, ran a total of 37 laps, the best being a 1:12.417 on his 17th lap that put him 20th overall. Giovinazzi ran exclusively on the Yellow soft tire.
Grosjean ran 39 laps in FP2 with a quick time of 1:11.300 on his 24th tour that placed him 15th. Grosjean began FP2 on the Yellow soft tire and switched to Red supersofts after 18 laps. He then returned to the softs for an eight-lap drive at the end of the session.
Hamilton and Bottas continued to lead the way in FP2. Hamilton’s fast lap of 1:09.515 was .048 of a second better than second-best Bottas.
Between the two sessions, Haas F1 Team ran a total of 135 laps – 68 by Grosjean, 30 by Magnussen and 37 by Giovinazzi.