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Lewis Hamilton has topped first free practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix as he successfully put a disrupted build-up to the weekend firmly behind him.
With illness and a minor car accident – which he attributed to 'partying' too much – hampering him ahead of this weekend's race at Interlagos, Hamilton put the publicity firmly behind him with a rapid turn of pace around the Sao Paulo venue.
Despite two off-track moments at turn one as he – along with other drivers – struggled with low grip, Hamilton's best time of 1min 13.543secs would nonetheless see him emerge a full half-second faster than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, though the German's deficit can in part be explained by traffic on his best lap.
Sebastian Vettel led the challenge against the 'Silver Arrows' in third position, a tenth adrift of Rosberg, with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen fifth fastest despite a spin and a trip across the gravel trap at turn four with ten minutes of the session remaining.
Getting his first taste of the much anticipated upgraded Renault power until in FP1, Daniel Ricciardo was an eye-catching fourth fastest for Red Bull, with team-mate Daniil Kvyat – using the existing specification engine – two tenths behind in sixth.
Valtteri Bottas led the Williams challenge in seventh position, though team-mate and local hero Felipe Massa would endure a tough start to his home grand prix, the 2008 runner-up well down the order in 17th and complaining about a lack of grip.
Sampling the iconic Interlagos circuit for the first time, Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen completed 38 laps – and suffered a spin - en route to eighth fastest, ahead of leading Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg and top Lotus man Pastor Maldonado.
Further back, 2016 Lotus race driver Jolyon Palmer was 12th fastest, ahead of Jenson Button in the best of the McLaren-Hondas and Brazilian Grand Prix newcomer Felipe Nasr in the Sauber.