F1 Brazil: Bottas Just Ahead of Hamilton & Ferraris in Final Practice

Credit: Steve Etherington

Valtteri Bottas was quickest in the final practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix, but just 0.058 seconds separated him, Lewis Hamilton and the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers.

Throughout the hour Bottas, Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen traded fastest laps, with both the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari drivers very close to each other in terms of times. Hamilton was fastest in the two practice sessions on Friday.

While on the track the fastest laps were close, tensions have heated up off track between Scuderia Toro Rosso and Renault Sport Formula 1 Team in regards to engine issues, with Helmut Marko and Cyril Abiteboul in a heated discussion just before the session started.

Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley have both been hit with grid drops due to having to change parts from their car. While they finished sixteenth and seventeenth respectively, in between them during the final practice session they completed 62 laps.

The gap from Vettel in fourth and Daniel Ricciardo in fifth was 0.905 seconds by the end of the session, with Ricciardo just beating the time set by Fernando Alonso late on. Both Ricciardo and his Red Bull Racing team-mate Max Verstappen, who won the last Formula 1 race two weeks ago in Mexico City, sat out of most of the session to save their engines.

The Sahara Force India F1 Team drivers found themselves seventh and eighth, with Sergio Perez edging out Esteban Ocon by less than a tenth, with Verstappen behind them in ninth.

Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded off the top ten for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team just ahead of McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team‘s Stoffel Vandoorne, with Felipe Massa for Williams Martini Racing in twelfth in his final Brazilian Grand Prix weekend before retirement.

His team-mate at Williams, Lance Stroll, didn’t set a time in the session as in the first ten minutes of the session he stopped in the second sector with something in his car audibly giving away.

The only other drama in the session involved Verstappen, who span at turn 13 in the final five minutes of the session after using too much of the curb, but he was able to quickly get going again.

177Valtteri BottasFINMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:09.28124
244Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:09.284+0.003s26
37Kimi RaikkonenFINScuderia Ferrari1:09.326+0.045s20
45Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari1:09.339+0.058s21
53Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull Racing1:10.244+0.963s14
614Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren Honda Formula 1 Team1:10.288+1.007s15
711Sergio PerezMEXSahara Force India F1 Team1:10.322+1.041s21
831Esteban OconFRASahara Force India F1 Team1:10.357+1.076s23
933Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1:10.495+1.214s9
1055Carlos Sainz JrESPRenault Sport Formula 1 Team1:10.599+1.318s23
112Stoffel VandoorneBELMcLaren Honda Formula 1 Team1:10.637+1.356s21
1219Felipe MassaBRZWilliams Martini Racing1:10.671+1.390s14
1320Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1:10.721+1.440s19
1427Nico HulkenbergGERRenault Sport Formula 1 Team1:10.743+1.462s18
158Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas F1 Team1:10.762+1.481s20
1610Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia Toro Rosso1:10.981+1.700s32
1728Brendon HartleyNZLScuderia Toro Rosso1:11.085+1.804s30
1894Pascal WehrleinGERSauber F1 Team1:11.126+1.845s25
199Marcus EricssonSWESauber F1 Team1:11.480+2.199s27
2018Lance StrollCANWilliams Martini RacingNo Time1