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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2009 BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX - FRIDAY AFTERNOON PRACTICE
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Friday Afternoon Practice
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
16:45 Welcome back to AUTOSPORT Live as we continue to follow the opening day of practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Technical debriefs have been completed, and the teams are ready to go again for another 90 minutes of practice as they attempt to find more speed at Interlagos.

The Brazilian Grand Prix weekend has already opened up at a frantic pace and we are set for more twists and turns during the second session.

16:47 There have been further light, drizzly showers passing by from time to time during the break between sessions, but no prolonged rainfall. To the south-east of the circuit, however, it is a different story with much more in the way of rain.

Time will tell over the next 90 minutes whether the showers and light rain will continue to dodge around Interlagos. At the moment there are a few damp patches on the circuit but these are slowly drying out.

The maximum temperature will get up to 20 degrees this afternoon.

Later on today we will take a detailed look at the weekend weather prospects on the Brazilian Grand Prix Weather page.

Mark Webber16:49 First practice took place earlier today, and was filled with talking points from start to finish as the teams attempted to get down to business.

First of all Jenson Button got the ball rolling with a novel installation strategy, making use of two different specification front wings totaling four laps, rather than the usual single lap we see from most of the drivers.

Soon the light showers arrived to give everyone something to think about, but not before Red Bull and Brawn had established themselves at the top of the order.

The next action featured Romain Grosjean, who scored a direct hit with a braking marker exiting the downhill Mergulho left-hander. The polystyrene block was smashed to smithereens all over the circuit, bringing out the red flags.

Once restarted, the session wound up with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel vying for the quickest time, and a late surge from the Brawn pair. Rubens Barrichello split the Red Bulls to go second, with Kovalainen fourth, Hamilton fifth, Nakajima sixth and championship leader Jenson Button rounding out the top seven places.

Fans16:51 Motor racing enthusiasts love to debate and discuss the action on track, and the live forum at the bottom of the screen is your chance to let everyone know your thoughts on events as they unfold at the circuit.

• Will Romain Grosjean manage to keep his Renault on the black stuff this afternoon?

• Can Sebastien Buemi break free from his magnetic attraction to the barriers?

• Which team will gain the upper hand within the championship battle - Brawn or Red Bull?

Tell the world what you think.

Click the SHOW LIVE FORUM link in the red bar at the bottom of your browser window if you'd like to join the debate.

Wet tyres16:53 After a disrupted morning practice, the teams will be far from happy with the chance of another rain-affected session.

On a track with limited rubber on the surface due to the reduced running, there was little time to compare the two dry tyre compounds this morning. Several drivers reported graining, particularly on the rear tyres.

The track could be very empty for a while, if rain does fall again, as the teams will want to conserve their wet rubber for a potentially soggy weekend.

Unlike in Japan two weeks ago, when the prospects for qualifying and the race looked dry, the forecast points to more rain, meaning the drivers will not want to use up much of their allocated four sets of intermediate and three sets of full wet tyres.

The soft-compound wet rubber always performs best when new, with the sharp edges of the tread blocks clearing water better before they become rounded and worn with use.

16:55 Today's second practice session is now just five minutes away.

16:56 The track temperature is 24 Celsius under heavily overcast and threatening skies.

16:59 The crowd in the main grandstand is sparse today but in the general admission areas there are quite a few spectators at the circuit to enjoy the first day of track action.

16:59 Slick tyres are the likely choice for the start of the session and the teams will be happy to get some more dry running.

0 min: The practice session is underway.

0 min: Sebastian Vettel leads the charge out onto the circuit as the first spots of rain appear yet again.

1 min: Light spots of moisture continue. We expect the drivers to go on with it quite quickly here with rain threatening.

1 min: Fisichella, with slick tyres on his Ferrari, joins the scramble to start the afternoon.

2 min: Vettel crosses the start-finish line to begin the first timed lap. Liuzzi, Buemi, Rosberg, Kobayashi and Sutil are all out on quick laps.

3 min: Nick Heidfeld is setting some of the fastest sector times in this early running and he sets the first time at 1m16.961s.

3 min: Harder tyres for Vettel with team-mate Webber taking the super-soft option. Vettel posts a 1m15.425s lap.

3 min: Kamui Kobayashi goes quickest with 1m14.516s ahead of Vettel as the first laps are posted.

4 min: Sebastian Vettel is continuing on another hot lap and he retakes the quickest time with 1m14.064s.

4 min: Heidfeld flashes over the line again to slot in behind Kobayashi.

5 min: Buemi is now second with Mark Webber coming up into third position. Kobayashi is now demoted to fourth spot.

5 min: Kimi Raikkonen goes third with an early effort in his Ferrari.

5 min: Jarno Trulli pops up into third place with 1m14.219s.

5 min: Heikki Kovalainen tops them all with a 1m13.695s.

5 min: Webber takes the top spot with a time of 1m13.603s ahead of Kovalainen.

6 min: Nico Rosberg is up to third but on the road Vettel and Trulli are set to top the list. Trulli goes third with 1m13.720s.

7 min: Sebastian Vettel is once again at the head of the list on those harder tyres with a lap of 1m12.923s.

7 min: The Renault pair of Alonso and Grosjean are the only cars not on track and are yet to join this session.

8 min: Odd spots of moisture continue. Adrian Sutil pops up into fourth place behind Vettel, Buemi and Kovalainen.

9 min: The drivers are mainly on the harder tyre for a lengthy run of laps to try and get some data on the medium compound rubber.

9 min: Kovalainen continues to improve his time and is now just over a tenth off Vettel's benchmark.

10 min: Sebastian Vettel is back into the pits at the end of a run of five timed laps on the harder tyre. Team-mate Webber is still on the softs.

10 min: Sebastien Buemi lights up the timing monitor and posts 1m12.796s to go fastest in the Toro Rosso.

11 min: Fernando Alonso is finally getting in his Renault after a relaxed start to the session. The mechanics are just completing some work under the engine cover.

11 min: Jenson Button has moved up into fifth place with Brawn team-mate Barrichello taking things more slowly in these early moments (14th).

12 min: Lewis Hamilton has improved to sixth in his McLaren with a 1m13.157s before heading to the pits.

13 min: Jenson Button is up to fourth with a lap of 1m13.091s and Barrichello moves up to eighth with 1m13.499s. The Brawn pair are on the move.

14 min: Sebastien Buemi shaves a fraction off his benchmark time, lowering the target down to 1m12.710s. He is two-tenths clear of the field.

14 min: Romain Grosjean ends Renault's sit-out as the Frenchman joins the circuit.

15 min: Jarno Trulli posted two personal best sector times but was unable to make it count up the hill in the final portion of the lap. He remains in seventh place.

15 min: The Italian is using the harder tyre for this first run of laps in the afternoon session.

16 min: Trulli makes it work on the following lap and moves up from seventh to third in the standings with 1m13.016s.

17 min: Fernando Alonso is heading out for his first laps of the afternoon.

17 min: Light spots of moisture are still in the air as Nico Rosberg winds his way round the infield section. He is in 13th place currently.

19 min: Jenson Button has brought his first run to an end after nine timed laps. He is in fifth spot behind Buemi, Vettel, Trulli and Kovalainen.

21 min: Button's race engineer Andrew Shovelin mentioned on the team radio that he could cut this run short for set-up changes.

Jenson reported that understeer is a problem, but he also is experiencing oversteer - not a settled balance yet on the championship leader's car.

21 min: Fisichella is out for a super-soft tyre test in his Ferrari.

22 min: Sebastian Vettel has taken on a set of super-soft tyres and is pounding round the circuit ... he goes second to Buemi with 1m12.714s.

23 min: The Renault pair completed a single lap each before heading back for more time in the garage.

23 min: Tonio Liuzzi has spun at the Ferradura on his latest attempt at a quick lap in the Force India. The Italian recovers and has stayed out on this run. He is 13th at the moment.

24 min: The brief changes have helped Jenson Button. The Briton surges to the top of the tree with a lap of 1m12.696s.

24 min: The McLaren pair head out for runs on the harder tyres.

25 min: The top three drivers are covered by just 0.018s at the moment as this fascinating session continues. Button now leads the pack ahead of Buemi and Vettel.

25 min: Fisichella's efforts on the softer tyre have moved him up to 13th quickest.

26 min: Mark Webber has slipped down to ninth in the standings, but he improves to sixth spot with 1m13.075s.

26 min: The Renault pair are on track again and this time look to be attempting timed laps.

27 min: Alonso goes 18th with Grosjean 20th and slowest as Renault clock times with almost half an hour gone of this session.

28 min: Webber improves again in the Red Bull and moves up from sixth to the top with 1m12.604s. He is using the super-soft tyres.

28 min: Webber's spell at the top doesn't last long, as Jenson Button takes the quickest time away with 1m12.523s.

29 min: Further spots of moisture are falling in recent moments, and as that happens Jarno Trulli exits stage right at the first corner.

30 min: Trulli was able to recover back to the circuit from the outside run-off at the Senna S and has continued on this current run of laps.

30 min: Long runs continue as the teams battle to get some tyre evaluation work done before any more rain falls.

31 min: Jenson Button is back into the pits after that second run. He completed six timed laps and is quickest at the moment.

33 min: The runs on a fresh set of the harder rubber has put Kovlainen fifth and Hamilton seventh in the McLaren.

34 min: Kimi Raikkonen sets the fastest first sector of the session, making good use of his KERS on to the back straight.

35 min: The session has settled down just a bit in the last few minutes following that early flurry of activity. Button leads the way from Webber, Buemi and Vettel with 35 minutes gone.

37 min: As we have seen in so many practice sessions throughout the season, the spread of times is incredibly tight. The top 18 cars are covered by just 1.173s.

38 min: Jenson Button comes out for his third run of laps in the Brawn. He will be looking to lower his own benchmark of 1m12.523s.

38 min: Beyond the circuit, the heavy clouds are rolling back in and rain could be imminent.

38 min: Many of the drivers are in the pits at the moment, pondering any set-up changes before a comparison run on the other tyre compound.

40 min: Lewis Hamilton pits after setting a consistent pace in the low 1m13s while evaluating the harder tyre.

42 min: Robert Kubica springs up from 15th to 5th in his BMW.

42 min: Sebastien Buemi posts the fastest second time of all on his latest lap ... and yes, he retakes the top spot from Button with 1m12.512s.

42 min: Kubica is testing the super-soft Bridgestone tyres.

43 min: Buemi is using a set of super-soft tyres for this run of laps and he is carrying the speed on into another lap.

43 min: Buemi knocks another two-tenths of a second off his time and posts 1m12.357s.

45 min: Jarno Trulli moves up to fourth in the Toyota as Adrian Sutil goes fifth with the harder tyre - 1m12.714s.

45 min: Nick Heidfeld pits after a run on soft tyres. While team-mate Kubica has moved up to seventh on the same rubber, Heidfeld is down in 17th.

46 min: Up front, Sebastien Buemi leads the field with 1m12.357s. Jenson Button is second with Mark Webber third and Jarno Trulli in fourth.

47 min: Sebastian Vettel is now fifth in the other Red Bull, with Adrian Sutil down to sixth, Robert Kubica seventh and Heikki Kovalainen in eighth.

49 min: The busy early half of this session has led to something of a lull, with the threatening skies not yielding rain for the moment.

50 min: Nico Rosberg has just moved up to seventh in the standings with the super-soft tyre. He posts 1m12.859s - 0.5s down on the quickest time.

50 min: Kimi Raikkonen is back on track for a run on the softer tyres.

51 min: Nico Rosberg is still out there on the super-soft tyres, but is now encountering light spots of moisture once again.

52 min: Lewis Hamilton is out on soft tyres as light drizzle threatens to disrupt the running.

53 min: The sky is heavily overcast now with dark clouds rolling in. The track is bone dry and the drivers are hoping things stay this way.

53 min: Hamilton clocks a 1m12.871s for ninth with his first flyer on the softer rubber.

54 min: Rosberg managed a further improvement on the super-soft over the last couple of laps. He is now fifth with a 1m12.633s.

55 min: Rosberg then came back into the pits at the end of that reasonably successful run.

57 min: Fisichella remains down in 16th as he tests the harder tyre. Team-mate Raikkonen is currently 14th and on a lengthy run.

58 min: Sebastien Buemi exits the Toro Rosso garage to begin another run of laps. He heads the list with 1m12.357s with Button second.

59 min: On the pit wall, the teams are all glued to the Meteo France rainfall radar. It clearly shows that there will be a risk of rain before the end of the session.

60 min: The track is busy now as teams scramble to complete their tyre evaluations before rain arrives at the track.

61 min: Kamui Kobayashi moves up from 20th to 18th position with a best lap of 1m13.277s. Despite being 18th, he is less than a second off the pace!

61 min: Fernando Alonso sets his best lap of the session on softer tyres, but he remains down in 18th. Team-mate Grosjean has just gone 14th.

62 min: Kobayashi improves again and is now 10th in the Toyota, with his last lap being a 1m12.869s. The whole field is now covered by 1.1 seconds.

62 min: Alonso improves to 12th as he continues on the softer tyres.

63 min: Jenson Button is on super-soft tyres for his latest run of laps, as the light spots of moisture return once again over Interlagos.

65 min: The track has been declared wet, meaning intermediate and full wet rubber can now be deployed, but the rain remains very light and patchy.

66 min: Fisichella has stalled his Ferrari after a failed attempt at a practice start.

66 min: While Button is on the option tyre, Barrichello is out there using a set of the harder prime tyres. He is down in 19th place currently.

66 min: The Italian is stranded at the end of the pit exit road and is climbing out of the Ferrari.

67 min: Barrichello comes back into the pits to bring an end to that run. He is last-but-one, but only 0.781s off Buemi's benchmark time.

68 min: The marshals are now struggling to find a way to move Fisichella's car to safety as he is fenced in by barriers.

69 min: The recovery is eventually completed by a pair of marshals pushing the Ferrari off the track with Fisichella at the wheel.

71 min: The yellow flags - now cleared - and continuing drizzle have sent all cars but Vettel's Red Bull to the pits.

73 min: Sebastian Vettel comes into the pits leaving the track empty for the moment. His final lap on that run was three seconds off the pace.

73 min: The underside of Fernado Alonso's Renault is being attended to by his mechanics.

74 min: That last Vettel lap was finally the clear signal that dry times could no longer be set while this light drizzle continues.

74 min: Fisichella is trudging back to the pits in the continuing light rain.

76 min: As we can see from the Meteo France radar for the circuit, Interlagos is catching the edge of a shower that is pivoting just a mile or two to the west of the circuit.

77 min: Rubens Barrichello exits the pits with a set of super-soft dry tyres bolted on to the car. This first lap could prove interesting.

77 min: Fernando Alonso joins the move to test the slippery conditions.

78 min: Barrichello crosses the line to start a quick lap, as Buemi, Webber and Trulli come out.

79 min: Jaime Alguersuari is also out there as Barrichello posts a lap 2.5 seconds off the pace in the greasy but drying conditions.

81 min: Lewis Hamilton is among those out, with super-soft rubber on the McLaren.

81 min: Mark Webber is out there with super-soft tyres. He is running quickly but as yet unable to improve on third place.

82 min: Webber finds some time and improves to second place behind Buemi with a lap of 1m12.514s. Sebastien Buemi still leads the field.

84 min: Nick Heidfeld is one of the few drivers improving at the moment, going 12th in the BMW.

85 min: Rubens Barrichello was able to find some time on his last run. He is 11th now in the classification with 1m12.946s, 0.589s off the pace.

86 min: Track conditions remain far from ideal with just four minutes remaining in practice this afternoon.

86 min: All 19 drivers are on the circuit as we await any further improvements in the final three minutes of the session.

87 min: The classification is extremely tight, with just over nine-tenths of a second covering the entire field.

87 min: Sebastian Vettel is out there with a set of super-soft tyres for this last run. He is sixth in the standings but no doubt hoping to improve.

88 min: Fernando Alonso blasts to the top of the order with a 1m12.314s on super-soft tyres.

88 min: Rubens Barrichello has kept a low profile so far this afternoon but he is flying now. Two very quick sectors for the local hero. Now he drives for the line ... and moves into third with 1m12.459s.

89 min: Romain Grosjean also posts an improvement in his Renault, moving up to 13th.

89 min: Sebastian Vettel improves in time very slightly and is now seventh with 1m12.611s.

89 min: The Frenchman continues, setting the best first sector of the session.

90 min: The session has ended. Cars that have already started a lap may complete it.

18:30 Jenson Button does not improve on his final lap. He is fifth at the moment as the final laps continue.

18:31 Grosjean's middle and final sectors are not on the leading pace, leaving him 11th.

18:32 Team-mate Alonso was trying to complete another flying lap but caught heavy traffic and headed into the pits.

18:33 Kazuki Nakajima is the last to trail back into the pits, wrapping up Friday's action in Brazil.

18:33 Fernando Alonso ends the first day of track action at Interlagos as the fastest driver. The Spaniard clocked 1m12.314s in the dying moments.

18:34 Sebastien Buemi was second for Toro Rosso, with Rubens Barrichello third, Mark Webber fourth and Jenson Button in fifth place.

18:35 Amazingly, the whole field was covered by less than one second. Fisichella in last position posted a quickest time of 1m13.275s.

18:37 The second practice summary is now available:

Alonso leads second Interlagos practice

18:40 So Fernando Alonso produces another of his late efforts that are becoming a fixture of Friday afternoons in 2009, but the interest is below him with Red Bull and Brawn tightly packed between third and seventh.

Will either team gain an advantage tomorrow? Will McLaren rise to the top? And most importantly, will it stay dry? Join us for all the action from Interlagos starting with the final practice session on Saturday at 13:45 GMT.

  OVERVIEW PRACTICE TWO  
Session length: 90 minutes
  CURRENT WEATHER
Overcast High Temp: 20°C / 68°F
Track: Dry
  INFOBOX
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  LIVE COVERAGE NAVIGATOR
Monday 12 Oct Start GMT
 Brazilian Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 16 Oct
 Friday Morning Practice 12:45
 Friday Afternoon Practice 16:45
Saturday 17 Oct
 Saturday Morning Practice 13:45
 Qualifying 16:45
Sunday 18 Oct
 Race day at Interlagos 14:30
  ABOUT
Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are autosport.com's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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