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As it happened: Friday Practice
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
11:30 Hello and welcome to Live, for the decisive final round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship - the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

Today on Live we will be bring you text commentary and updates from the Friday practice sessions. The schedule (GMT) looks like this:

11:30 - 12:00 Setting the scene to ease you into the Formula One weekend.
12:00 - 13:30 Live commentary and updates from the first practice session.
13:30 - 16:00 Continuing track and weather updates and any breaking news from the circuit during the interval.
16:00 - 17:30 Live commentary and updates from the second practice session of the day.
17:30 - 18:00 End of day reaction and round-up, where we go from here, and what to look out for on Saturday.
18:00 Live commentary ends for today.

11:32 You can join in the fun by chatting live with other forum members.

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.

11:35 Rain hit the Interlagos circuit on Thursday evening, but the first practice session this morning is expected to take place in dry conditions, with mainly cloudy skies.

Later this afternoon, cloud will build and there is a threat of light showers, especially towards the end of the second practice session. A sting in the tail remains a concern for everyone with significant rainfall still predicted for Sunday.

Today's maximum temperature will struggle to reach 20 degrees Celsius, a factor that will be significant for the relative performance of the cars on Bridgestone's choice of the Medium and Soft tyre compounds.

Massa's Ferrari11:40 The stage is set for a two-man battle for the drivers' championship as Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa take the series to the wire for the 25th time in the championship's 59-season history.

Lewis arrives at Interlagos with a seven point lead in the series and, for the second year in succession, is on the brink of becoming the youngest ever world champion and the first McLaren driver to take the title since Mika Hakkinen's triumph in 1999. Hamilton needs a fifth-place finish to clinch the championship, while Felipe Massa must come first or second to have any chance of being the first Brazilian champion since Ayrton Senna's final title in 1991.

Lewis Hamilton will be all too aware of his disastrous conclusion to last year's championship, where a poor opening lap and gearbox troubles dropped him down to a seventh-place finish and gave eventual race winner Kimi Raikkonen the chance to gain the eight-point swing he needed to take the championship for Ferrari.

Felipe Massa's task is relatively simple. He must try to repeat his impressive 2006 win in front of the fervent Brazilian crowd. Anything less than second is not good enough for the Ferrari driver, even if Hamilton fails to score. With inclement weather expected, the outcome is far from predictable as we build up to Sunday's showdown.

Away from the drivers' battle, the constructors' championship is also up for grabs and Ferrari have the advantage with an 11 point lead over McLaren. BMW Sauber are third and now out of contention for the series win, but they could snatch second from McLaren if there is a surprise result on Sunday.

Renault are now secure in fourth place, leaving the best mid-table battle at the final race between Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Williams over sixth.

TV11:45 Television viewers around the world will notice a huge difference in the coverage this weekend. For many years, Brazilian national broadcaster TV Globo have hosted the outside broadcast duties for this event.

However, this year sees a change as Formula One Management's impressive 'F1 Communications' operation takes on the role of covering the championship finale. As you can imagine, the camera angles are very different from what has gone before, creating an altogether different vista of the circuit vicinity. FOM's team have covered 16 of the races this season, with only the Monaco and Japaenese Grands Prix remaining in the hands of local TV outfits.

Around the Interlagos circuit there are several minor changes - mainly affecting the run-off areas. The Senna S now has the familiar green painted asphalt on the outside that we see at other circuits on the calendar. Notable also, at the end of the back straight, and also the exit of Mergulho, the run-off zones are painted sky blue in deference to one of the circuit sponsor logos.

Away from the painted areas, the track is mainly unchanged from last year's thrilling title finale. Resurfacing before the 2007 event created a much smoother surface and it will be interesting to see if some of the notorious bumps have re-appeared with the asphalt surface settling over the past year.

Robert Kubica11:50 Robert Kubica is now out of contention for the drivers' championship following a difficult weekend in China where he struggled to get the BMW handling to his liking around the Shanghai circuit. The Pole, winner of the Canadian Grand Prix, has demonstrated impressive and consistent form throughout the 2008 season and spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon on his expectations for the final round.

"We can say finally, last race," said Kubica. "The season was very long but it has been a good season. Brazil is always good atmosphere so it's a good place to finish the season and let's hope we finish in a good mood."

With his chance of winning the title now gone, Robert remains focused on retaining his current third place in the standings. His rival for the position is Kimi Raikkonen, who will be pushing for a good result to help Ferrari take the constructors' title.

"I don't realise different approach, I don't realise different situation," he said. "Of course the goal is to keep up third position in the drivers' championship so we will try our best to do it. I'm in a bit better position because I have six points gap so, in normal conditions, I think I can keep up this gap but, of course, it depends how strong Ferrari will be and where Kimi will finish. I'm not expecting us to play front rows but still maybe for some good points."

Tyre choice and weather will again be critical factors in the balance of power and the outcome on Sunday. A cool weekend is expected, along with a significant chance of rain.

"I dunno how will be this track," he said. "Also weather is so-so - might be some raining condition so everything can change. Last year we have the softest tyres, now this year we have one step harder so it should be better for graining and, yeah, we will have to see how will be the conditions. We will see, we will try."

Asked to talk about the title battle, Kubica said: "I think Lewis has much better chances. Seven points gap is a very big gap but, of course, everything can happen in racing, in sport, in motorsport, so we have to see. I mean, until they cross the chequred flag, anything could happen."

11:52 Looking around the circuit, conditions are fairly overcast but the track is dry for the start of practice. It is a chilly day in the pits, with team-branded jackets out in force.

11:55 There are five minutes to go until the championship-deciding weekend of action begins at Interlagos.

11:57 David Coulthard puts on his helmet as he prepares to begin his final Formula One weekend. He has a white race suit to match the special Wings for Life livery of his Red Bull machine.

11:59 At Renault, both Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet are ready, sitting in their cars anticipating the start of the first practice session.

0 min: The practice session is underway.

0 min: Giancarlo Fisichella is once again the first driver to take to the circuit this morning.

1 min: As we mentioned earlier, FOM are hosting the coverage this weekend and the team are deploying their latest tool today - a helmet camera being worn by David Coulthard.

2 min: Installation laps are underway. The drivers will come out for one lap around the Interlagos circuit to check over their cars, making sure that all systems are functioning correctly.

4 min: Most of the cars are now wrapping up their installation laps, with only Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Mark Webber yet to take to the track.

5 min: Mark Webber now joins the track for a tour of the circuit, leaving only the Ferraris on their traditional wait-out of the early running.

6 min: Aside from the changes to David Coulthard's Red Bull livery this weekend, Rubens Barrichello is running with a changed colour scheme to his crash helmet this weekend.

The striking red and yellow design will be very easy to spot as the Brazilian takes part in what could be his final race on home soil.

7 min: The track falls silent as Mark Webber comes back to the pits in the Red Bull. The mechanics are now checking over the cars before the serious running gets underway.

7 min: Official weather forecast: 20 percent chance of rain during first practice session. No rain expected during next 25 minutes.

9 min: Most of the drivers have completed their installation lap, and are out of their cars while the team mechanics check the data to make sure everything on the cars is ok.

Nico Rosberg is sitting on pit wall watching the monitors, while down at McLaren Heikki Kovalainen is chatting with his race engineer Mark Slade.

9 min: Nick Heidfeld breaks the silence as he heads out on to the circuit in the BMW Sauber.

11 min: Heidfeld continues over the start-finish line and begins a timed lap of the 2.677 mile Interlagos circuit. The German is out there using the harder tyre.

12 min: Heidfeld pitted his car, leaving teammate Kubica as the only car on circuit.

14 min: Robert Kubica crosses start-finish to begin a timed lap. Recently we have seen Honda and Williams choose to take two laps around the circuit to check over their machinery.

14 min: Kubica also comes back into the pits, leaving the circuit empty.

16 min: Kimi Raikkonen has now arrived in the Ferrari garage and is getting seated in the No.1 car as he prepares to go out for the first time today.

16 min: Jarno Trulli is sitting in his Toyota, watching the monitors, as everyone waits for everyone else to go out and clean the racing line, ahead of more serious running.

18 min: Lewis Hamilton is out of his car, standing to the side of the McLaren garage talking to his race engineer Phil Prew. Clearly the discussion lacks the tension that will become evident as the weekend progresses.

20 min: The brinkmanship continues at Interlagos as the teams wait for each other to go out first and begin the process of cleaning up and laying rubber on the track surface.

20 min: Kazuki Nakajima waves to the watching world as the cameras focus on him sitting in his car, looking quite relaxed in the Williams.

22 min: Nelson Piquet breaks the silence and heads out onto the circuit, with hard tyres on the Renault. Sebastien Bourdais also joins the racetrack in the Toro Rosso.

Piquet practices a start at the end of the pit lane, where it blends back on to the track.

22 min: Piquet continues round and over the start-finish line to begin possibly the first timed lap of the weekend.

23 min: Piquet indeed completes that first timed effort and posts a 1:16.510.

24 min: Bourdais crosses the line in 1:16.922, as Piquet goes on for a second timed lap.

25 min: Nelson Piquet improves his time to 1:15.064 in the Renault. Sebastien Bourdais follows that with 1:15.735 on his second timed lap.

25 min: There are odd spots of moisture in the air as the early runners continue to get their programmes underway.

26 min: Nelson Piquet is continuing to whittle down the benchmark time in the Renault, and on his third lap posts a 1:14.458.

27 min: Sebastien Bourdais improves by a tenth of a second on his third lap, breaking the beam with 1:15.601.

27 min: Timo Glock and Sebastian Vettel have also joined the circuit.

28 min: Piquet and Bourdais both improve on their fourth timed laps, lowering their times to 1:14.296 and 1:14.347 respectively.

Piquet pits following a four-lap run in the Renault.

29 min: The Williams drivers of Rosberg and Nakajima are the next cars to head out for their first laps of the day.

30 min: Timo Glock locks up entering the tight hairpin at the Bico do Pato. The replay of the lock-up brings a smile to the face of Toyota team boss John Howett.

Glock continues on this run of laps and is currently fastest, with his latest effort being a 1:14.270. Nelson Piquet is second and Sebastien Bourdais remains third so far.

30 min: Title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa remain out of their cars in the garage and are both waiting for improved track conditions before getting their work started to prepare for the decisive race on Sunday.

32 min: Sebastian Vettel crosses the line and is fourth with a time of 1:14.662. His latest lap features a wild moment at the rise at the Ferradura corner.

32 min: Sebastien Bourdais is now the fastest man as the track begins to slowly improve in grip levels. A 1:13.839 is currently the time to beat.

34 min: Nico Rosberg is now third with 1:14.213, and improving again on his next lap around the circuit. Timo Glock is currently fourth.

35 min: Felipe Massa climbs aboard the Ferrari as he readies himself for running in the remainder of the session. A huge scrum of photographers are massed in front of the garage.

35 min: Rosberg improves by a tenth of a second, down to 1:14.112 in the Williams. He remains third, behind the two Toro Rossos, with Timo Glock fourth, Nelson Piquet fifth and Kazuki Nakajima in sixth place.

36 min: Kimi Raikkonen is now on track for Ferrari, with Lewis Hamilton joining him out on the circuit.

36 min: Sebastian Vettel has lowered his time down to 1:13.885, but remains second to his teammate Sebastien Bourdais.

37 min: Raikkonen is on to his first timed lap as odd spots of rain again fall on the circuit.

38 min: As the world focus now switches to the main protagonists in the title battle, both Honda drivers (Button and Barrichello), Vettel, Glock, Nakajima and Nico Rosberg continue to circulate on their first runs of the weekend.

38 min: Lewis Hamilton clocks a 1:14.166 as his first effort of the day, putting him seventh quickest at the moment.

39 min: Meanwhile, Hekki Kovalainen has been out a little longer than his teammate and his latest lap is the best of the session so far - a 1:13.194.

40 min: Felipe Massa heads out to the cheers of the partisan crowd. Lewis Hamilton surges past the Brazilian as the McLaren continues his timed laps.

41 min: Lewis Hamilton goes quickest so far with a 1:12.731, despite having to pass Massa's Ferrari as it emerged from the pits.

42 min: Light drops of moisture remain in the air, and Fernando Alonso's race engineer informs him about this as the Spaniard laps the circuit.

Race control have now declared the track as 'wet', although quick times continue to be posted.

42 min: Hamilton continues to lap, shaving a chunk of his best time to improve the benchmark to 1:12.495.

44 min: Felipe Massa responds as he feels out the grip in the Ferrari. It's a 1:12.688 for the Brazilian, just under two tenths slower than Hamilton's current best.

46 min: Massa improves his time to a 1:12.557, now just fractions behind Hamilton's benchmark.

46 min: The spots of moisture are slowly beginning to increase in frequency around the circuit. The track condition is still good for fast lap times at the moment however.

48 min: The air temperature this morning remains quite low at 17 degrees Celsius, with the track temperature 22 degrees currently.

48 min: Robert Kubica jumps up to third in the order as he sets a 1:12.874 in the BMW.

50 min: Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari remains in the pits after a two-lap run earlier in the session.

Massa and Hamilton have now pitted after their initial runs.

52 min: The pair of Force India cars, Fisichella and Sutil, are now getting their work underway after an uncharacteristic wait-out of the first part of practice.

54 min: Giancarlo Fisichella runs slightly wide and over the kerb at the exit of the downhill right hander at Mergulho. The Italian continues to lap the circuit.

55 min: Many of the cars are in the pits at the moment as they ponder the data gathered during the first runs. The odd spits of rain continue to fall from time to time, but they are doing little to impact the track conditions.

56 min: Fernando Alonso runs very wide at the Ferradura right hander, over the kerbs and on to the extra tarmac area. The Renault driver remains on track and is currently seventh fastest overal.

58 min: Championship leader Lewis Hamilton is back on track for his second run of laps.

His first timed lap of the run is a 1:12.956.

59 min: Hamilton continues, lapping within two tenths of his best time, suggesting the spots of rain are doing little to trouble the grip levels.

59 min: Hamilton is quickest so far in the first session after an hour with a time of 1:12.495. His championship rival Felipe Massa is second, less than one tenth of a second behind the Briton. Robert Kubica is third, Heikki Kovalainen fourth, Mark Webber fifth and Nick Heidfeld sixth in the BMW Sauber.

61 min: Kimi Raikkonen is on to a timed lap after a lengthy spell in the garage. There was little activity around his Ferrari, suggesting the Finn was simply waiting before continuing his programme.

62 min: Felipe Massa shaves another fraction from his best time, moving to 47 thousandths off Hamilton's time, but a bit more rain is now falling.

62 min: Giancarlo Fisichella exits the Senna S on a quick lap, and the rear end of the Force India snaps sideways violently as the Italian applies the power, aiming for a good exit on to the back straight.

Fisichella keeps everything under control - just - but comes into the pits at the end of the lap.

63 min: In the last couple of minutes the odd spots of rain have intensified and light rain is now falling on the circuit.

64 min: Kimi Raikkonen has spun the Ferrari in the Senna S as the rain begins to make the grip levels a challenge on the dry tyres. He upset the car over the painted kerb and looped his machine around on to the run off.

Raikkonen continues without damage to the Ferrari.

66 min: Kimi Raikkonen completes a lap in 1:15.073 with the rain slowing his progress on the harder, dry tyre.

67 min: Mark Webber, Nelson Piquet and Fernando Alonso are all inside the top ten and all three are out for another run on the greasy Interlagos circuit.

Webber returns to the pits in the Red Bull.

68 min: Raikkonen improves to a 1:13.006, despite the continuing light rain. He is now fifth quickest overall.

69 min: Kimi clearly still has plenty of grip in these greasy conditions as he slots in second, fractions behind Hamilton's earlier lap and just ahead of teammate massa.

71 min: Anxious moments of course for the drivers at this time, as they continue at speed around the circuit, while light spots of rain hit their visors. Difficult conditions to work in, as they arrive especially in the Senna S not knowing fully how much grip there will be in the acceleration zone on their next lap.

The commitment of the drivers as the rain spots continue is impressive to watch.

74 min: Sebastian Vettel runs slightly wide at the Descida do Lago (turn four) as he continues to push for a fast time. Vettel and his teammate Sebastien Bourdais have slipped down the order, after setting the early pace in the session.

The Toro Rosso duo are 14th and 15th respectively.

74 min: Nick Heidfeld has the intermediate tyre on his BMW as he tries an alternative choice of rubber for the drizzly conditions.

75 min: Felipe Massa joins the few cars on track, remaining on the harder, dry-weather tyre.

76 min: The track is only slightly greasy at the moment, and of course Heidfeld's run will provide all the teams in the pit lane crucial information regarding how appropriate intermediate tyres are in this type of track condition - should it rain on Sunday, as forecast.

78 min: Felipe Massa clocks a 1:12.738 on his first flying lap of the run, despite a few twitchy moments on the slippery surface.

He struggles to a 1:16.561 on the next tour.

79 min: David Coulthard stands in the Red Bull garage, totally focused on the monitors looking for as much information as possible on the current track conditions.

79 min: Lewis Hamilton is now on track, with the harder dry tyre on the McLaren. He is advised of the continuing drizzle over the team radio.

81 min: Felipe Massa improves to a 1:12.509 for second quickest, now 14 thousandths off Hamilton's long-term benchmark.

83 min: Felipe Massa finally puts his Ferrari quickest of all as he clocks a 1:12.305.

83 min: The light rain has reduced in the last couple of minutes. Spots of moisture continue to hang in the air and remain a nuisance to the drivers as they seek quick lap times.

85 min: With just under five minutes left in the first session, almost all the drivers have come out on to the circuit for one final run of laps.

86 min: Lewis Hamilton locks up heavily in to turn ten, causing flat-spot damage to his left-front tyre.

He pits the McLaren.

88 min: Both Hamilton and Massa roll out of the pits for a brief final run as the session enters its final minute.

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

13:30 Lewis Hamilton did beat the flag and is trying for a final flying lap of the session.

13:30 Kazuki Nakajima improves to 16th fastest in the Williams on his latest lap, with a time of 1:13.806, well over one second shy of the leading pace of the front-runners.

13:31 Kimi Raikkonen clocks a late 1:12.507 for third quickest as Hamilton fails to improve after another lock up - this time at Laranja.

13:32 The cars now head around on to the grid to practice starts.

13:34 The test launches from the grid wrap up and the cars head back to the pits.

13:35 Felipe Massa is a shade faster than title rival Lewis Hamilton in the opening session of practice in Interlagos. Massa's time is 1:12.305 and just under two tenths of a second ahead of the McLaren driver.

Kimi Raikkonen will relinquish his world title on Sunday, the Finn was third in the second Ferrari, with Robert Kubica fourth, Heikki Kovalainen fifth and Fernando Alonso in sixth place.

13:37 The session report is now available:

Massa edges Hamilton in first practice

13:44 There is no scheduled support race running on track before the second session of Formula One practice gets underway at 16:00 GMT.

14:12 Weather conditions above the circuit remain overcast during the break between the two practice sessions.

The layer of cloud shows no sign of clearing, with the skies expected to continue like this through much of the afternoon. The light rain has abated, however, and the track surface is completely dry once again.

The light, drizzly rain is becoming more widespread across the south east portion of Brazil, and light spots are again possible for the second session of practice.

Interlagos15:00 The sound of the samba and the beat of the drum await the three drivers as they step out onto the podium at Interlagos on Sunday - just one recent tradition at a circuit whose history is rich and dates back to the early Brazilian motor races of the 1930s.

Rio de Janeiro would see the first races held at Gavea - a mountainous road-racing circuit which was challenging, twisty and over 11 kilometres in length. Competition between the rapidly growing cities of Rio and Sao Paulo soon mounted, with the latter holding their own street race, in a bid to rival the now successful Grande Premio Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo would run its own version of the Grand Prix in 1936, but resulted in disaster on the final lap, when French lady driver Helle Nice crashed whilst in a battle for fourth place approaching the line, scattering debris into the crowd, killing a number of spectators.

Prior to these city road races, a plan to build a large residential area and a permanent racing circuit in Sao Paulo, on a site between two man-made lakes, had been approved but never came to fruition. The plans were first submitted in 1926, but the project was canned in 1929 due to growing economic and political pressures. Seven years later, the Sao Paulo Grand Prix disaster reignited the need to hold races in a safer environment. Interlagos would become a reality.

Interlagos officially opens

Two further attempts to open the circuit were also delayed: in 1939, owing to construction work being behind schedule in the summer, and then later in the year following heavy rainstorms. Finally on the 12th May, 1940 the 'Autodromo de Interlagos' was officially opened with two races: the first race was for motorcycles and later in the afternoon that year's version of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix was held.

Local and national races would continue there for several years, and as the reputation of the circuit grew, eventually Interlagos was able to lure some of the international Grand Prix drivers there in 1947, with famed Italian Achille Varzi taking victory in the second 'Grande Premio de Interlagos' in an Alfa Romeo 308. Over the next few years, internationally renowned stars such as Luigi Villoresi, Alberto Ascari, Froilian Gonzalez and not least Juan Manuel Fangio competed against the best of the Brazilian drivers, such as Chico Landi, enhancing Interlagos' reputation still further.

As the FIA world championship for drivers got going in the fifties and sixties, with the sport taking root in Europe, Interlagos slipped off the radar. That was, until the late 1960s. In 1967 the circuit was closed for a series of improvements and renovations, that took place slowly, lasting four years - all in the pursuit of bringing the Formula One World Championship to Sao Paulo for the first time.

The work paid off. In 1971 and 1972 non-championship Grands Prix were held for Formula One cars. The 1972 event saw 12 drivers from the series taking part. Local hero Emerson Fittipaldi - who would go on to clinch his first of two drivers' titles later that season - led the race for many laps, but to the dismay of the large partisan crowd he retired due to rear suspension failure just four laps from the flag. Carlos Reutemann went on to win the 37 lap race in a Brabham BT34 ahead of Ronnie Peterson and Emerson's brother, Wilson Fittipaldi, in third.

Ronnie Peterson, Interlagos The success of the events led to full world championship status in 1973, and JPS Lotus arrived at Interlagos as the team to beat. After 40 laps of racing round the five mile monster as it was then, Fittipaldi surged to victory at home and sent the crowd into a frenzy, leaving world champion Jackie Stewart 14 seconds behind.

1975 was another red letter day for the local crowd as another home hero - Carlos Pace - brought his Brabham home to seal a memorable win. The Brazilian Grand Prix would continue at Interlagos until the 1977 race, with Carlos Reutemann again taking victory - this time for Ferrari, but beneath the exterior of the good racing and a fantastic circuit, lay problems.

The increasingly exclusive and elite Grand Prix circus were ill at ease with the nearby favellas which dominated some areas close to the circuit, where day-to-day life is a world away from Formula One. Rio de Janeiro was suddenly the place to be again and the Grand Prix moved to Jacarapagua for 1978, but there were problems there too of the financial variety. Meanwhile, Sao Paulo had received a much-needed cash boost. More work was carried out around the circuit to make it more friendly for the Formula One personnel. Again, the work yielded desired results and Interlagos got the race back in 1979.

The old five mile Interlagos circuit would host its last Brazilian Grand Prix on January 27th 1980, after another weekend of turmoil with the drivers extremely unhappy about the state of the bumps. Over time the track had become quite bumpy, with various patches being resurfaced from time to time.

World Champion Jody Scheckter led efforts to stop the race and there was some support for this move, but ultimately the race went ahead. Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Rene Arnoux demonstrated turbocharged power to the maximum, easily picking off their rivals out of the slower corners and down the long straights in their Renault RE20s. Jabouille retired with turbo failure, promoting Arnoux into a lead he was never to lose. The race was entertaining, especially in its early stages, but the huge problems with the bumps, allied to the popularity of Rio's rising star Nelson Piquet, meant that the race moved to Jacarapagua on a more permanent basis in 1981.

The modern Interlagos

Interlagos continued to hold small scale events throughout the eighties, with the circuit being renamed the 'Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace' in 1985. Towards the late eighties, as Sao Paulo's favourite son Ayrton Senna moved to the front in Formula One, a $15m upgrade brought the Grand Prix back to Interlagos in 1990, where it has remained ever since.

The old track was a marvelous ribbon of tarmac: Five miles combining extreme speed with the slow infield section. Much of the circuit is still used or can be seen to this day. The start-finish straight was the same in contour and layout as it is now, but back then turn one was much more exciting. Whereas now we have the 'S do Senna' as the opening complex of corners, back in the 1970s there were two high-speed, slightly banked left-handers leading onto the back straight. Turns one and two were very reminiscent of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and dared the driver to take it flat in an era before ground effect, where the cars used to slide much more than we see in the modern era.

The old and new circuits follow a similar line until we reach the 'Ferradura' (turn six). The 1970s layout would turn to the left and double back round one of the two lakes that are within the confines of the circuit. That loop has now gone, and the old and new again follow similar lines with minor changes towards the end of the lap and back to start-finish. At 2.677 miles, the new layout could be maintained more easily, and was more acceptable to the Formula One trend of the time - moving to shorter circuits.

Despite some minor issues with the organisation, the new Interlagos circuit has successfully held the Brazilian Grand Prix for the last 18 years, and remains a favourite of many on the calendar.

15:33 Conditions above the circuit have improved slightly in the last hour, with the layer of cloud thinning out for a time. Overall though, the sky remains overcast.

Light rain remains a possibility during the second session, with the chance of precipitation now estimated by local media to be 20 percent.

15:45 Light spots of moisture are once again falling over the circuit. The sky has become darker again and looks very similar in terms of contrast and shade as we saw towards the end of the first practice session.

The track remains dry for the moment, but any increase in the rain spots will gradually change that.

15:50 Despite the continuing moisture in the air, the teams have a lot of work to do in the upcoming session and they will be hoping the rain holds off.

Practice two is all about checking out the performance of both available compounds of dry-weather tyre over a series of laps with race levels of fuel in the car. There was no use of the softer tyre during the first session, leaving the drivers with two sets of that rubber to evaluate during this second session of the day.

Full details of the tyre allocation for the event, and the status of each driver's multi-race engines and gearboxes can be found in the Infobox on the right-hand column of the screen.

15:55 There are now just five minutes to go before the second practice session in Brazil, with the spotting of moisture having eased off again.

15:58 Normally the early minutes of the second session are busier than in the morning - with the need to check over the cars now removed following 90 minutes of practice earlier.

An early rash of laps is to be expected as the teams send their drivers out to check the track conditions.

15:59 Official weather forecast: 20 percent chance of rain during second practice.

0 min: The practice session is underway.

0 min: Sebastian Vettel is the first to leave the pit lane, followed by his Toro Rosso teammate Sebastien Bourdais and Nick Heidfeld.

1 min: More than half the field have taken to the track as Vettel crosses the start-finish line to begin the first timed lap of the afternoon session.

2 min: Vettel completes the first lap of the session and the time is 1:14.999.

3 min: Nick Heidfeld top Sebastian Vettel's early mark with 1:14.258 in the BMW Sauber.

4 min: Temperatures remain very cold with a 17 Celsius ambient and 23 degree track temperature.

A stiff breeze is also blowing, clocked at five metres per second.

5 min: As expected the early rush of laps is well underway, with the timing monitor changing quickly as each lap sets a new benchmark.

Robert Kubica is now fastest with a 1:13.805, but Jarno Trulli completes his second timed lap and beats the pole with 1:13.478.

Fernando Alonso is third and Sebastian Vettel is fourth in the early stages.

6 min: David Coulthard is on track in his white-liveried Red Bull and continues to wear a unique helmet camera as he prepares for his final Grand Prix.

7 min: Mark Webber goes second in the Red Bull Renault, posting a 1:13.733, as Sebastien Bourdais runs straight on entering the first corner at the Senna S. The Frenchman continues.

9 min: Heikki Kovalainen is the only one of the McLaren and Ferrari cars to emerge in the opening minutes of this session. His best lap so far is a 1:13.627, fourth quickest overall.

9 min: Jarno Trulli has come into the pits following a run of four laps in the Toyota.

His teammate Timo Glock now goes top with a lap time of 1:13.301, with Trulli second, Mark Webber third and Heikki Kovalainen in fourth place so far.

9 min: Felipe Massa has joined the circuit and is starting a run on the harder tyre.

10 min: Mark Webber runs very wide exiting the curva do Sol - turn three. He kicks up the dirt and continues on his run of laps.

Moments later, further down the road Timo Glock is committed entering turn four at the Descida de Lago but runs wide on to the extra tarmac area. Glock continues.

11 min: Massa takes third quickest with his first effort of the run - a 1:13.322 - as once again some light spots of rain fall at the circuit.

11 min: Prior to Glock's incident, the German driver impressively equalled his quickest time to the thousandth of a second - two consecutive laps of 1:13.201.

12 min: Massa continues, ever warming his tyres and feeling out the grip levels. He clocks a 1:13.077 to set the benchmark after 12 minutes of the session.

13 min: Jarno Trulli is out for his second run of the afternoon, and using the harder tyre the Italian beats Felipe Massa's time, setting a 1:12.999.

Jarno is going on for a second timed lap and looks quick again ...

13 min: Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton are heading out to get their afternoon's work underway.

14 min: Trulli's second sector was also quick, but not a personal best. A slow last sector puts paid to any improvement in lap time, losing three tenths of a second between Juncao and the timing beam.

15 min: Felipe Massa continues to lap at just a fraction over 1:13 as Hamilton sets his first time of the session - a 1:13.284 for sixth quickest at the moment.

15 min: Jarno Trulli still heads the list, and has pitted after a second short run in the Toyota.

17 min: Nico Rosberg takes soft tyres and uses them to great effect, shooting straight to the top of the classification in the Williams after posting a 1:12.879.

Felipe Massa is now second, having briefly taken the top position away from Jarno Trulli.

19 min: Lewis Hamilton remains seventh at the moment continues to repeat a sizable lock-up at the Bico de Pato.

20 min: The rain spots are now increasing again as these pulses of moisture move across the circuit from time to time.

The track is still good for quick lap times currently, with no change in the actual track condition as yet.

22 min: Jarno Trulli takes soft tyres and the Italian moves to the top of the standings ahead of Nico Rosberg, with a lap of 1:12.670 as the pace continues to hot up.

23 min: David Coulthard now completes a run on soft tyres and goes third behind Trulli and Rosberg with 1:12.896.

23 min: Sebastien Bourdais has spun his Toro Rosso on the run off area of the Senna S, having locked up on approach to the first turn. He gets underway again with little trouble.

24 min: Coulthard goes on for a second timed lap and sets a time of 1:13.523 - just over six tenths of a second drop-off from his first lap on those tyres.

25 min: Lewis Hamilton blasts past the Renault of Nelson Piquet on the pit straight, having been stuck behind the Brazilian.

27 min: Heikki Kovalainen is trying the softer tyre on his McLaren, taking eighth with a 1:13.221 after he also locked the right front wheel at the Bico de Pato.

28 min: Sebastian Vettel rounds the Bico de Pato and finds himself scrabbling for grip under acceleration as the moisture continues to hang in the air around Interlagos.

The young German is currently 12th in the classification and is back in the pits.

28 min: Felipe Massa is back on track with what appears to be a brand new set of the harder Bridgestone tyre.

29 min: The order at the top has remained static in the last few minutes with Jarno Trulli continuing to top the times with 1:12.670, ahead of Nico Rosberg, David Coulthard, Felipe Massa and Timo Glock in fifth place.

30 min: Massa takes the quickest time of the session with a 1:12.569 before pitting the Ferrari.

31 min: Kazuki Nakajima is the next driver to try out the soft tyres. The Japanese is very quick in the first sector of the lap but his pace drops off a little in sectors two and three.

Nevertheless he moves up to fourth position with a time of 1:12.888.

33 min: Both BMW drivers are trying the softer tyre, with Nick Heidfeld improving to sixth quickest but Kubica remaining down in 15th.

33 min: Meanwhile at the front, Jarno Trulli has taken the top time on the softer tyres with a 1:12.435 for the Toyota.

34 min: Mark Webber is off the track and recovering to the prepared surface at the Descida de Lago.

In replay we see that Mark was coming down the quick back straight, and as soon as he touched the brakes the rear end of the Red Bull Renault stepped out and he was unable to catch it.

He slid wide on to the extra tarmac but regained the circuit without any visible damage.

34 min: Kimi Raikkonen improves his time, moving up to sixth quickest with a 1:12.984.

36 min: Fernando Alonso is down the order in 14th position in the Renault, and so far is not tempted to go with the hares up front who have tried some runs on the soft tyres.

Alonso continues with the harder rubber and is about to start a quick lap after backing off due to traffic on his previous effort.

37 min: Felipe Massa now has the softer tyres on his Ferrari.

37 min: Sebastian Vettel is another to run with the soft tyres and the German moves up from 13th to third in the classification, posting a 1:12.687, just a quarter of a second shy of the benchmark set by Jarno Trulli.

38 min: Massa clocks a 1:12.353 to top the order once again and is now likely to go into a long run of laps on this set of the softer tyres.

39 min: Massa follows up his benchmark time with a 1:13.550, quite a significant drop in pace from his first lap.

40 min: The Force India pair of drian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella are down in 19th and 20th positions.

Sutil is running with the harder tyre and he runs wide at the Ferradura without any sign of damage to the car.

41 min: Nico Rosberg comes out for another run with the softer tyre. As he circulates his race engineer talls him on the team radio that they expect rain in a couple of laps, and advises his driver to stay out there on this set of tyres until the rain comes.

42 min: Lewis Hamilton puts starts a run on the softer tyre, with the first flying lap being a 1:13.049, improving the McLaren to tenth as rain continues to fall.

44 min: Hamilton is told on the radio to continue his lap but if the rain gets heavier, they will abandon the run. This light rain has arrived at a very inconvenient time for the teams, just as they are evaluating the longer runs of laps.

46 min: Many of the cars continue to lap on dry tyres but there is a lack of improvement through the field as the light rain makes conditions tricky once again.

47 min: Overhead the sky is now much darker as this light shower moves in and over the circuit.

49 min: Sebastien Bourdais completes the hat-trick and slides straight on at the first corner for the third time in the practice session, as he continues to explore the best braking point for the difficult downhill left-hander.

Sebastien spin-turns the Toro Rosso and recovers back to the circuit, and has continued on this current run of laps.

52 min: Rubens Barrichello improves his lap time on soft tyres in the Honda, moving up to 13th position in the classification with a time of 1:13.221 - exactly the same time as Heikki Kovalainen in the McLaren (12th).

52 min: The light rain has eased in the last couple of minutes, although there is plenty of threatening cloud surrounding the circuit.

54 min: The championship contenders remain in the pits at the moment as they wait for the track conditions to improve.

Heikki Kovalainen is now out on track, with the softer tyre on his McLaren.

55 min: Kovalainen does improve his time with a 1:13.213 but remains only 11th overall.

57 min: Lewis Hamilton heads out on the softer tyre as Felipe Massa begins to run again on the harder rubber.

57 min: Having posted some quick times earlier in the session on soft tyres and a short burst of laps, Mark Webber is now running with the harder tyre, quite possibly with a fuel load in preparation for the race.

His pace is now much slower on the circuit compared to the front-running pace, and the Australian makes an error at the Bico de Pato, sliding wide and onto the extra tarmac area. Webber continues on this run of laps.

59 min: Lewis Hamilton yet again locks his right front wheel on the approach to Bico de Pato, a problem the championship leader has been struggling with all day.

61 min: Felipe Massa leads the way with less than 30 minutes remaining of the second practice session, with a time of 1:12.253. Jarno Trulli remains in second place, with Sebastian Vettel third, Nico Rosberg fourth. Rosberg's Williams teammate Kazuki Nakajima is in fifth place and David Coulthard is sixth in the Red Bull Renault.

61 min: Felipe Massa sets the quickest final sector of the session en route to an impressive time of 1:12.813 as Massa continues a long run on the harder tyre.

63 min: Kimi Raikkonen now has the softer rubber on his Ferrari and he uses it to get his best time of the session - a 1:12.838 for fifth quickest.

64 min: Jarno Trulli spins at the Juncao. The Toyota driver was rounding the left-hander which leads into the long uphill drag to the start-finish line, and lost the rear end of the TF108 as he atempted to accelerate out of the corner.

Trulli has stayed out on the circuit and remains in second place, behind Felipe Massa.

66 min: Robert Kubica is attacking a lap with the softer tyre on his BMW. The time of 1:12.971 moves him up from 16th to ninth.

68 min: Felipe Massa ends a lengthy run of laps on the harder tyre, with the Brazilian setting a consistent pace just over 1:13.

69 min: Timo Glock is 11th in the standings in the Toyota, and is on track with the harder tyre. Pushing hard to gain as much tyre data as possible for the team, he loops the car at the Descida de Lago.

Toyota team boss may have smiled earlier in the first session reacting to his car facing the wrong way, but was definitely less enthused by this particular spin.

Glock continues, brining the car back on to the track, but has pitted to bring this run to an end.

71 min: Sebastian Vettel comes back out on to the circuit with soft tyres on the Toro Rosso. He aborts his first lap on the new rubber, and will now go again for a time.

72 min: Many cars are in the pits at the moment with the race engineers pondering how to get the best out of the selection of tyres on this very cool day at Interlagos.

73 min: Lewis Hamilton is back on track after a lengthy spell in the garage. He starts a flying lap on the softer tyre.

74 min: Impressively, the top 15 drivers in the classification are covered by less than one second.

The short time differential indicates the various programmes of work that the teams have been running throughout the session, with short and long runs, and a combination of hard and soft tyres mixing up the order - all in changing track conditions with the moisture that has played a part in the sessions today.

75 min: Lewis does get his car through Bico de Pato without locking a wheel and improves to fifth as he goes over the line in a time of 1:12.827.

77 min: Hamilton's pace falls off to 1:13.479 and he smokes the tyre slightly into turn one in his characteristic style.

79 min: A 1:14.200 followed by a 1:20.606 is hardly a stunning pace from Hamilton's McLaren as he runs on the softer tyre.

79 min: Fernando Alonso has been notable by his absence at the top of the classification during the second session. The Spaniard has been quietly going about his strategy of runs, remaining down the order in 14th for most of the time.

Fernando has completed a healthy 37 laps of the 2.677 mile circuit in this session alone.

It is possible that we may see him return to the pits soon, ahead of a final run on the soft tyre. Time will tell what Renault's strategy is for the final moments of the Friday practice sessions.

80 min: Felipe Massa is now out to test the softer tyre and his time is 1:12.373 - just two hundredths slower than his earlier time, which is still the quickest of the session.

81 min: In the BMW garage, the mechanics are fettling Robert Kubica's car ahead of his final run of the day. On the team radio Kubica's race engineer tells him that they will indeed go out for another run soon, but he also advises Robert there there could be some more rain towards the end of the session.

82 min: Fernando Alonso returns to the pits at the conclusion of his latest run of laps in the Renault.

82 min: Odd spots of rain are once again falling at Interlagos.

83 min: Adrian Sutil uses the softer tyre to improve from 20th to 17th in the Force India.

85 min: Kimi Raikkonen has a flying lap underway on the softer tyre.

87 min: Mark Webber is out on track for his final run of the day in the Red Bull Renault, and set for an improvement in lap time. Down in 13th, the Australian sets a personal best time in sector one, and follows that up with another personal best in the second section of circuit.

He crosses the line and leaps up to fourth position with 1:12.650.

87 min: Raikkonen takes third quickest on the soft rubber with a 1:12.650 effort in the Ferrari.

87 min: Lewis Hamilton is heading out for a late run on the harder tyre.

89 min: Webber's time was set with the softer tyre.

Fernando Alonso is now out on those soft tyres at the end of the session as forecast, and he moves up from 18th ... to the top of the list! - 1:12.296.

Less than one minute remains in the session.

89 min: Lewis Hamilton locks up heavily into the Senna S and he abandons his lap.

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

17:31 Hamilton has a sizable flat-spot on his left front wheel after that smoky moment in the first corner. He pits the McLaren and is wheeled back into the garage, ending the session only ninth quickest.

17:34 A Bridgestone engineer quickly takes away the tyre destroyed by Lewis, putting tape over the worst of the damage to hide the secrets within.

17:35 Fernando Alonso tops the second practice session thanks to a very late lap on soft tyres in the Renault. His time of 1:12.296 pips Felipe Massa by just 0.057 seconds. Jarno Trulli was third for Toyota after a strong set of short runs and soft tyres, with Kimi Raikkonen fourth, Mar Webber fifth and Sebastian Vettel in sixth place.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton ended the day in ninth position, just over half-a-second shy of Alonso's pace.

17:37 The report and classification is now available after a busy second session of practice in Brazil:

Alonso tops times in second practice

17:40 Replays at the end of the session have shown Lewis Hamilton apparently less than pleased with his afternoon's work. The Briton seemed to be agitated, throwing his gloves off as his McLaren was wheeled back into the McLaren garage at the end of the session. The championship leader locked up heavily on his last run of the day and ended the second session only ninth quickest.

Be sure to keep up with all the post-session news after an interesting day at Interlagos here on

17:48 With the first day of practice now complete, the run of form so far looks to favour Felipe Massa, who topped the first session and set impressive times on his race-preparation runs.

McLaren have yet to demonstrate anything like the pace they clearly had throughout the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, and there will be plenty work going on in their garage tonight to improve the speed of the car around Interlagos.

17:55 The weather is set to be changeable throughout this decisive event and Live will soon take a detailed look at the prospects for tomorrow.

Look out for the Saturday forecast being published in the next few hours.

Weather Forecasts and Reports

18:00 Interlagos provided the setting and the skies provided the moisture as the 20 drivers settled down to three hours of practice ahead of Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

The day began slowly, as always, with the teams and drivers checking over their cars for a time, before serious lap times were set.

Felipe Massa drew first blood over his championship rival Lewis Hamilton by posting the fastest time in an entertaining morning session. The Brazilian's time of 1:12.305 shaded Hamilton by just under two tenths of a second. Lewis was second, with Kimi Raikkonen third and Robert Kubica fourth fastest for BMW.

Weather conditions remained the same for the second 90-minute session in the afternoon, with light drizzle over the circuit from time to time.

The early rush of laps were interesting, but with concerns about rain, some teams then decided to use the softer tyres for several runs, resulting in the classification changing often in the first 60 minutes.

Gradually, the teams focused on race preparations with minimal changes to the order. That was, until the final few minutes of the session, when the final runs occurred. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber put in impressive times towards the end, but it was Fernando Alonso who vaulted up the standings from 18th to first with one minute to go, setting a 1:12.296 that would end the day quickest of all.

Felipe Massa was second, posting 1:12.353, but Lewis Hamilton had an awful final run in the McLaren, with heavy traffic on the circuit and a big lock-up of the unloaded right front tyre entering the Senna S. The British driver wound up ninth on the list - just under 0.5 seconds away from Massa's best time.

Tomorrow the battle for the championship moves up a gear with the final practice session in the morning, followed by the all-important qualifying session in the afternoon. Our extensive coverage here on Live begins on Saturday at 12:30 GMT. Please join us then.

Session Length: 90 Minutes
 View official live timing
Overcast High Temp: 20°C / 68°F
Track: Dry
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Monday 27 Oct Start GMT
 Brazilian Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 31 Oct
 Friday Practice 11:30
Saturday 01 Nov
 Final Practice and Qualifying 12:30
Sunday 02 Nov
 Showdown at Interlagos 13:00
Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are'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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