Ahead of his penultimate race for Renault, Fernando Alonso emerged on top of the pile in Friday practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix as the Spaniard prevented Sebastien Buemi from securing a surprise quickly time.
Having earlier crashed out of the opening session of the day at Interlagos, Buemi looked well placed to take top spot for Toro Rosso as he led the way for much of the session only for Alonso to demote the Swiss driver to second in the closing stages.
Buemi had been at the front of the times throughout, only briefly being knocked off top spot before going quickest with a time of 1min 12.357secs. In the final moments of the session however, Alonso posted a time just 0.043secs quicker to head the field, which was covered by less than a second.
Behind Buemi, Rubens Barrichello was third quickest for Brawn while FP1 pace setter Mark Webber was fourth quickest for Red Bull. Webber was one of only two drivers not to improve on the times set earlier in the day, with Heikki Kovalainen down in 17th being the other.
Points leader and champion elect Jenson Button was fifth quickest in the second Brawn despite complaining over the radio of both understeer and oversteer on his car, while Jarno Trulli rounded out the top six for Toyota. Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil and Lewis Hamilton completed the top ten.
With Felipe Massa watching on from the sidelines, Ferrari endured a difficult afternoon, with Kimi Raikkonen down in 18th place and Giancarlo Fisichella propping up the timesheets in 20th.
The Italian suffered the embarrassment of stalling his car at the end of the pitlane while attempting a practice start and was forced to abandon the F60 before trudging back to the paddock.
For second free practice times, CLICK HERE
For combined Friday times, CLICK HERE