Vettel: Tough to beat Mercedes

Red Bull and Ferrari aim for a sting in the tail

Red Bull and Ferrari aim for a sting in the tail

Sebastian Vettel feels Mercedes will "tough to beat" in this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix despite initial hopes Ferrari's Formula 1 auto would be stronger and able to take the fight to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton's 1m09.202s would be enough to keep him top until the chequered flag, with the Mercedes duo focusing on super-soft long runs later in the session.

The drivers' championship is done and dusted for Lewis Hamilton, but team mate Valtteri Bottas still has a shot at finishing second. "Valtteri wants to get it on merit", he told the official F1 website.

"If the team asks me, then for sure!"

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Sebastian Vettel recovered from an early spin through the left-hander at Pinheirinho to place sixth, in front of Felipe Massa, preparing for his penultimate race in Formula 1, and last on home soil.

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

Hamilton has declined comment on his legal case.

"We've started off on the right foot", said Hamilton after practice at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.

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Hamilton isn't planning on letting up despite having the title in the bag.

Next time around, Hamilton had a cleaner lap on the same set of super-softs and promptly went quickest, his lap time just a quarter of a second quicker than his best on the softs.

"The difference is 15 points and 50 points are still available, but it requires some good races in the next two weekends".

Bottas was second, a fact that will frighten Vettel if the two drivers continue their scintillating form.

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With qualifying up ahead, and the race on Sunday, all eyes are on Mercedes and whether they can secure a one-two in the Drivers' Championship.

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