The last free practice of the 2006 season was painted red in Brazil on Saturday morning, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher more than half a second clear of the opposition.
Honda’s Jenson Button and Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber) snatched third and fourth in the overcast and fairly cool conditions, while championship leader Fernando Alonso was more than a second off Schumacher’s pace, seventh.
Schumacher had to be content with second best after he made a small mistake on a hot lap.
Nico Rosberg, who turned his Williams around in the Ferradura corner, headed the list of incidents, but Schumacher – with a special helmet for his last ever grand prix – was also spotted stationary on the kerbs after a harmless spin.
The German’s bespoke helmet features the name of all of his record 91 wins, beginning with the 1992 Belgian GP. Teammate Massa is wearing special green and yellow overalls – designed by tobacco sponsor Phillip Morris – to mark his home race.
Sakon Yamamoto (Super Aguri) and Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) also had spins, as former world champions Mika Hakkinen and Emerson Fittipaldi watched on from the paddock.
GP Brasil: 3rd free practise
1 F. Massa Ferrari 1:11.443
2 M. Schumacher Ferrari 1:11.631
3 J. Button Honda 1:12.306
4 R. Kubica BMW 1:12.535
5 G. Fisichella Renault 1:12.567
6 R. Barrichello Honda 1:12.697
7 F. Alonso Renault 1:12.721
8 K. Räikkönen McLaren 1:12.723
9 P. de la Rosa McLaren 1:12.780
10 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:13.037
11 M. Webber Williams 1:13.205
12 N. Rosberg Williams 1:13.380
13 S. Speed Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:13.455
14 V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:13.530
15 R. Doornbos Red Bull 1:13.564
16 R. Schumacher Toyota 1:13.642
17 T. Sato Super Aguri 1:13.814
18 T. Monteiro Spyker MF1 1:13.832
19 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:13.944
20 J. Trulli Toyota 1:14.051
21 C. Albers Spyker MF1 1:14.108
22 S. Yamamoto Super Aguri 1:14.875