Brazilian GP P3: Lewis Hamilton fastest from Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel
World champion pips team-mate by 0.123s with Vettel third fastest; Rosberg chasing fifth straight pole in qualifying
By Mike Wise
Last Updated: 14/11/15 5:40pm
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in final practice for the Brazilian GP at Interlagos ahead of Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.
The world champion lapped the 4.309km circuit in a time of 1:12.070s to go 0.123s faster than his team-mate, setting up the prospect of a nip-and-tuck battle in Saturday's later qualifying session, when Hamilton will hope to end Rosberg's run of four straight poles.
It wasn't all plain sailing for Hamilton during the hour, though. Making his first appearance on track about 20 minutes in, he stopped on track complaining of "lost gears".
That problem was soon rectified and Hamilton later had a spin at Turn 11. But he then set his time with about 10 minutes to go - Rosberg having earlier been quicker on the prime medium tyre.
Vettel said he had been disappointed by Ferrari's pace on Friday, when he admitted grip was a problem in the hot, muggy conditions.
The sun returned again on Saturday morning. But although heavy overnight rain might, in theory, have reduced grip again, times were faster as teams worked on qualifying set-ups with Vettel about 0.7s slower than Hamilton.
Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest with Valtteri Bottas next up ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Pastor Maldonado while Max Verstappen completed the top 10.
Red Bull pair Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat dropped down to 11th and 13th respectively, with Fernando Alonso's McLaren 14th and Jenson Button 18th.
Practice Three times:
1. L Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:12.070
2. N Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:12.193
3. S Vettel, Ferrari, 1:12.760
4. K Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:13.096
5. V Bottas, Williams, 1:13.335
6. N Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:13.345
7. R Grosjean, Lotus, 1:13.437
8. S Perez, Force India, 1:13.506
9. P Maldonado, Lotus, 1:13.534
10. M Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1:13.548
11. D Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:13.572
12. F Massa, Williams, 1:13.742
13. D Kvyat, Red Bull, 1:13.829
14. F Alonso, McLaren, 1:13.850
15. C Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1:13.959
16. M Ericsson, Sauber, 1:14.185
17. F Nasr, Sauber, 1:14.288
18. J Button, McLaren, 1:14.445
19. W Stevens, Manor, 1:16.671
20. A Rossi, Manor, 1:17.059
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