No letting up: Hamilton quickest in Brazilian GP practices

No letting up: Hamilton quickest in Brazilian GP practices

No letting up: Hamilton quickest in Brazilian GP practices

World Champion Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 during the opening practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

Red Bull's Mexican GP victor Max Verstappen was the only driver to set a laptime in the first 10 minutes - but his initial benchmark was quickly surpassed by the soft-shod Mercedes of Bottas, the Finn ending his first run on a 1m10.102s laptime.

"Unfortunately the tyres don't last very long so you only get one or two laps on the short runs".

But the 32-year-old Englishman put his off-track troubles firmly to one side to end both sessions at the summit of the order ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

"We'll see what we get tomorrow". Max Verstappen, who claimed his second win of the campaign in Mexico last time out, was fifth quickest ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

His 20-year-old Dutch team mate Max Verstappen, victor of two of the last four races, was fourth and fifth on the respective timesheets.

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"I think they (Renault) are really struggling to understand what are the root cause of these issues", said Horner.

"There are still two races to go".

Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas is third overall and only 15 points behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, a four-times victor this year, with Mercedes determined to finish one-two for the fourth season in a row. There was no rain and it made it a bit easier, but I think overall it's pretty straightforward: "Mercedes seems to be the quickest and then it's pretty close between Red Bull and us", Vettel said. Hamilton and Mercedes have won the drivers' and constructors' title.

Raikkonen got nearest to the silver cars, for Ferrari, with 1m 09.744s, but Verstappen was right with him on 1m 09.750s and Ricciardo and Vettel were close with 1m 09.828s and 1m 09.984s respectively.

Lance Stroll was 11th for Williams, ahead of Mercedes-backed GP3 champion George Russell, who received his first run out for Force India.

Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley took on new MGU-Hs prior to the session, meaning the duo will cop a 10-place grid drop each, and completed minimal running due to further problems.

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