Brazilian GP practice results: Follow the results from practice
The Brazilian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday afternoon as the race for the constructors title goes to the wire.
Mercedes are in control and can retain it this weekend in the penultimate race if things go their way.
Ferrari trail their rivals by 55 points, meaning Mercedes just need 31 points to secure the title, so the likelihood is that it goes to the final race.
Lewis Hamilton however has already clinched his fifth world title, but is keen to keep concentration to see his employers pick up another gong.
Mercedes have won the title the last four years in a row, while Ferrari have not won it since 2008.
Red Bull ace Verstappen was fastest in FP1 ahead of Vettel.
The Dutchman lapped the anti-clockwise Interlagos circuit with a best time of one minute 09.011 seconds.
Vettel meanwhile as second with a time of 1:09.060.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, his fifth Formula One championship won in Mexico City last month and reflected in the five stars on his helmet, was third on an overcast morning.
The top three, all on super-soft tyres, were separated by less than a tenth of a second, however.
Brazilian GP Practice two results LIVE
Brazilian Grand Prix – Latest news
Daniel Ricciardo handed grid penalty
Daniel Ricciardo has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the Brazilian Grand Prix after Red Bull replaced the turbocharger on his car’s power unit.
Stewards said the sixth new turbocharger exceeded the driver’s permitted allocation, triggering the automatic drop.
Team principal Christian Horner told Sky Sports television that the problem was a consequence of Ricciardo’s retirement at the previous race in Mexico and the local marshals’ use of a fire extinguisher.
“You can’t really blame them, the car was obviously smoking,” he said.
“But they shot foam up the exhaust and as it solidifies in the turbo, it’s terminated it.
“He’ll take a five place penalty but hopefully on a track like this it’s not actually that big a penalty.”
Ricciardo was first out of the garages in practice at Interlagos on Friday, waiting for several minutes at the end of the pits for the session to start.
Under Formula One rules, grid penalties are applied according to the order in which the offences are committed, as registered by the car’s transponder leaving the pitlane.
That means anyone else who picks up a penalty will have it applied after Ricciardo’s.
The Australian, who is joining Renault for next season, started the previous race in Mexico on pole position before suffering his eighth retirement of the season, twice as many as team mate Max Verstappen.
A disappointed Ricciardo said afterwards that he did not see the point in doing the last two races but soon changed his mind.
Brazilian GP Practice Two: Daniel Ricciardo has been handed a grid penalty
“I was angry and upset. At the time I felt like I meant it but deep down I didn’t,” he told Sky Sports.
“It was a good way to express how I felt.
“Fortunately, I tend to wake up Monday morning and it’s like a new day and I can forget pretty quickly the Sunday.”
Sunday’s race has no bearing on the constructors’ championship for Red Bull, who cannot overtake Ferrari for second place or lose out on third.
The drivers’ title has already been won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton for the fifth time.
Lewis Hamilton ‘not the special one’
Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insists he is not motor racing’s “Special One”, despite being on the verge of leading his team to another world championship.
After Hamilton, 33, wrapped up the individual honours at the last round in Mexico a fortnight ago, Mercedes will become only the second team in Formula One history to win five consecutive constructors’ titles – if Ferrari fail to outscore them by 13 points at Sunday’s penultimate round of the season in Brazil.
As team principal, Wolff, 46, has been a permanent fixture in Mercedes’ almost unprecedented run of success, while Hamilton has also flourished under the Austrian’s relaxed style of leadership.
In their pomp, McLaren and Red Bull both won four team titles on the trot, but only the combination of Michael Schumacher and his Ferrari boss Jean Todt claiming six on the spin will have won more in a row than the Silver Arrows.
Brazilian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton in action in Brazil
Mercedes have not always possessed the fastest machinery this year, but, when under pressure, have cracked fewer times than their rivals in red.
Quite rightly, Hamilton, in probably his finest campaign, has taken the plaudits, but does Wolff feel he is worthy of the same acclaim?
“The downfall of any leader in a sport’s team is when he gets carried away with his own ego,” Wolff told Press Association Sport.
“You have seen in football that if you start to think you are the ‘Special One’, or that you are better than the others, that is the moment when you will be beaten.
“Humility is a super-important factor in all of our lives, and I try to remind myself every that evening in front of the mirror, just calm down.”