On a damp and greasy circuit, Kimi Raikkonen made a strong start to his world championship title hopes by topping the first practice session at Interlagos by a full half a second from his team-mate Felipe Massa.
Unusually, Ferrari and McLaren did not lock out the top four spaces, with Heikki Kovalainen finishing the session in an impressive third place, just ahead of Nico Rosberg in his Williams.
Perhaps the McLarens are not willing to show their true pace here current championship leader Lewis Hamilton took it easy on his first bite of the track, putting in just 10 laps and finishing with the fifth fastest time overall. Fernando Alonso played his cards even closer to his chest, completing just one installation lap of the circuit without setting any lap times.
Ralf Schumacher looked strong on track before he span out. Fortunately, he did no damage to his car and was able to carry straight on, ending up with the sixth quickest time of the session. Adrian Sutil also had two minor off-track excursions at the Senna S and finished the session 15th overall.
Sebastien Vettel is once again showing his potential as he managed to take seventh for Toro Rosso, just ahead of the Red Bull of Mark Webber.
Kazuki Nakajima made his debut for the Williams team and finished a credible 16th, just ahead of Anthony Davidson in the Super Aguri, and Sakon Yamamoto in the Spyker.
At this stage, it is difficult to predict how the weekend will unfold. Although the Ferrari team look strong, the McLaren duo have yet to attempt any blistering times. Fisichella, Heidfeld and Kubica followed Alonso s lead by not putting in any times during the session, so it is hard to guess how the remainder of the weekend will pan out.
Brazilian Grand Prix: Practice Session 1 Results:
1. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m19.580s
2. MASSA Ferrari 1m20.062s
3. KOVALAINEN Renault 1m20.829s
4. ROSBERG Williams 1m21.064s
5. HAMILTON McLaren 1m21.121s
6. SCHUMACHER Toyota 1m21.243s
7. VETTEL Toro Rosso 1m21.598s
8. WEBBER Red Bull 1m22.104s
9. TRULLI Toyota 1m22.104s
10. LIUZZI Toro Rosso 1m22.250s
11. BARRICHELLO Honda 1m22.434s
12. BUTTON Honda 1m22.477s
13. COULTHARD Red Bull 1m22.667s
14. SATO Super Aguri 1m22.929s
15. SUTIL Spyker 1m23.248s
16. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m23.261s
17. DAVIDSON Super Aguri 1m23.551s
18. YAMAMOTO Spyker 1m24.366s
19. HEIDFELD BMW no time
20. KUBICA BMW no time
21. ALONSO McLaren no time
22. FISICHELLA Renault no time