1 Nov 2008

Massa pips Hamilton in first Brazil practice

5:53 am on 1 November 2008

The Ferrari motor racing driver Felipe Massa has made a perfect start to his Formula One title showdown with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton after lapping fastest in opening practice at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

The home town hero is seven points behind Hamilton in the championship and edged the Briton on the Interlagos track.

Ferrari's outgoing champion Kimi Raikkonen was third despite a spin.

Hamilton needs only finish fifth this weekend to be crowned the 2008 champion.