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F1: Hamilton sets Brazil pace, Vettel edges Alonso

Published on Nov 24, 2012 6:13 AM
McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain is seen at the garage after the second free practice session of the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo on Nov 23, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SAO PAULO (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton continued at Interlagos on Friday where he left off in Texas last Sunday by setting the pace in opening free practice for this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix title showdown.

On a day of soaring heat and rising tension, the 27-year-old Briton clocked a best lap time in one minute and 14.026 seconds to outpace defending champion German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.

Vettel, who leads the title race by 13 points ahead of Sunday's finale, only needs to finish in the top four to become the youngest triple world champion in Formula One history.

His only rival for the title, two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, was fifth fastest, separated from the front pair by Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Australian Mark Webber and his own in-form Ferrari team-mate and local hero Felipe Massa.

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