• Interlagos, Friday: Ross “Both sessions ran well and we achieved the work that we had planned.”

Preparations for the final race of the 2011 Formula One season began today with Michael and Nico completing the first two practice sessions for the Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo.

The pair completed a total of 137 laps during practice today, just five laps short of two race distances. The second session concluded with six Mercedes-Benz powered cars in the top ten, as did the last race in Abu Dhabi.

The historical probability of the Safety Car being used in Sunday's race stands at 70%, equal to that in Montreal.

“We had two very good practice sessions today on the last Friday of the 2011 season” said Ross. “Both sessions ran well and we achieved the work that we had planned. As always, there is still progress to be made tomorrow ahead of qualifying. A positive day with good work from Michael, Nico and the team.”

For Norbert: “We made quite a positive start to the weekend and saw a second practice session where the lap times appeared close between P1 and P8. Our long runs during race simulations on heavy fuel loads were not perfect today and there is more work to be done on the set-up of our cars. The forecast predicts rain for tomorrow and for race day, so perhaps this 2011 season finale will have some surprises in store.”