Lewis Hamilton: Why Valtteri Bottas missed Mercedes team-mate's F1 title celebrations

Ferrari was the last team to use a V12 engine In F1 back in 1995

Ferrari was the last team to use a V12 engine In F1 back in 1995

That remark was a reference to the implosion of Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel's title challenge in the last few races, from leading it after the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August, to losing it just six races later with two still to go.

Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen was third, 0.542s behind Hamilton, as he in turn finished a mere 0.006s clear of Red Bull rival Max Verstappen.

"Hopefully Brazil can be a good track for us and why not in Abu Dhabi?"

Verstappen excelled in the wet at Sao Paulo's atmospheric Interlagos circuit past year, when his performance in racing from 16th to third in 15 laps drew comparisons with some of the greats.

"I'm not expecting anyone to completely ruin his race for me, so as I said it all depends on the situation".

"We'll see what we get tomorrow but I think we can fine-tune the balance which will help us".

Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo, also a victor this season in Azerbaijan, was hopeful even though the circuit is not one of his favourites.

Vettel came sixth in FP1 - behind both Mercedes drivers, his teammate and both Red Bulls - which was followed by a P4 finish in FP2 as he trailed Hamilton, Bottas and Ricciardo.

Verstappen, who has been their closest rival in recent races having won two of the last four grands prix, was complaining about a lack of grip.

"It is the best time ever to apply even more pressure - just because I can".

Retirement-bound local hero Brazilian Felipe Massa was seventh in his final home event with Williams ahead of Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren-Honda.

Past year he made an emotional exit only to return when Bottas moved to Mercedes from Williams to replace the retired 2016 champion Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton has stamped his authority on the weekend so far, fastest in both sessions and also marginally quickest on the race-simulation runs later in the afternoon when the team practice for the race.

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