FP3: Vettel puts himself in charge with new lap record!

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Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheet in Saturday's final free practice session, edging Lewis Hamilton by 0.217s in a session dominated by a Ferrari-Mercedes quartet.

Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen lined up behind their leaders while Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were unable to challenge their rivals.

2018 Brazilian Grand Prix Free Practice 3 times

1Sebastian VettelFerrari1:07.948s17
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:08.165s+ 0.217s15
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1:08.465s+ 0.517s23
4Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:08.490s+ 0.542s17
5Max VerstappenRed Bull1:08.733s+ 0.785s12
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1:08.788s+ 0.840s12
7Kevin MagnussenHaas1:09.146s+ 1.198s14
8Romain GrosjeanHaas1:09.257s+ 1.309s16
9Pierre GaslyToro Rosso1:09.402s+ 1.454s22
10Charles LeclercSauber1:09.448s+ 1.500s21
11Nico HülkenbergRenault1:09.461s+ 1.513s19
12Esteban OconForce India1:09.588s+ 1.640s18
13Marcus EricssonSauber1:09.808s+ 1.860s23
14Carlos SainzRenault1:09.864s+ 1.916s17
15Sergey SirotkinWilliams1:09.885s+ 1.937s14
16Brendon HartleyToro Rosso1:09.985s+ 2.037s18
17Lance StrollWilliams1:10.001s+ 2.053s17
18Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:10.020s+ 2.072s15
19Sergio PérezForce India1:10.116s+ 2.168s18
20Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1:10.289s+ 2.341s16

Wednesday at Interlagos dawned with typically Brazilian weather - warm and cloudy - and the usual threat of rain, but drivers made their way to a dry track for the final 60 minutes of free practice before this afternoon's crucial qualifying shootout.

Sauber's Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson were the first to head out but Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen punched in the first relevant time with a 1m09.424s on supersofts.

The Finn was quickly overhauled however by Sebastian Vettel who shaved 0.8s off his tea mate's time.

Worries erupted in the Mercedes camp when Hamilton was called back to the pits where a diagnosis eventually revealed a dislodged breather pipe. The issues was diligently dealt with by the Silver Arrows squad, the Brit rejoining the action after a 20-minute delay.

In the interim, Bottas was snapping at Vettel's but unable to put in a faster lap than the German.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo slotted himself into fourth before Hamilton took up the spot to complete a Ferrari/Mercedes quartet.

With 20 minutes of running time left, Vettel put his head time and clocked in with a 1m07.948s lap under his belt that represented a new lap record of Interlagos

A lull in track activity encouraged Hamilton to tempt a lap on the supersofts. The effort brought an improvement but the Mercedes driver was still two tenths down on Vettel.

The indication in FP3 pointed to a two-way fight between Ferrari and Mercedes as the pair appeared out of reach of Red Bull, with Max Verstappen - the faster of the bulls - outpaced by 0.785s by Vettel.

Behind the top-six, Kevin Magnussen concluded the session as best of the rest, edging Haas team mate Romain Grosjean, while Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly and Sauber's Charles Leclerc rounded off the top-ten.

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