Valtteri Bottas claims top spot in final practice by three thousandths of a second

Valtteri Bottas claims top spot in final practice by three thousandths of a second

World champion Lewis Hamilton was denied a practice hat-trick by Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas ahead of tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who was fastest in both sessions at Interalgos yesterday, was beaten to top spot by just three thousandths of a second in final practice.

The 32-year-old trailed Bottas's best effort of one minute and 09.281 seconds with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen just 0.045 sec adrift of his Finnish countryman. Sebastian Vettel was fourth.

Hamilton has vowed not to take his foot off the accelerator as he bids to end his championship-winning season on a high, but he has faced a stern test from Bottas here so far this weekend.

The Finn kept Hamilton honest for much of Friday, and he was marginally faster than his team-mate in the last session before qualifying here at Interlagos later.

Bottas is 15 points adrift of Vettel in the battle for second place in this year's championship and will be heartened to have finished ahead of the Ferrari driver in all three practice sessions.

Darks clouds lingered over the 2.7-mile track for the one-hour session, but while the threat of rain never materialised, it could yet play a part in qualifying later.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth in the order ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

Max Verstappen, a winner last time out, finished ninth following a trip across the grass after he lost control of his Red Bull at Turn 13.

More in this Section

Timo Werner treble helps five-star RB Leipzig maul MainzTimo Werner treble helps five-star RB Leipzig maul Mainz

Lockdown left Lewis Hamilton questioning his Formula One futureLockdown left Lewis Hamilton questioning his Formula One future

Cork postman Declan delivers on Everest endurance featCork postman Declan delivers on Everest endurance feat

Ciarán O'Lionaird hits comeback trail to 'repay debt' to himself and CorkCiarán O'Lionaird hits comeback trail to 'repay debt' to himself and Cork


Lifestyle

Last week, I wrote about 'small is beautiful' as a key to an improved environment for all living things after this Covid crisis is finally over. As I wrote, I saw, in the mind's eye, the village where I live in west Cork and from which my wife and I are temporarily exiled.Damien Enright: Community spirit can ensure we pull through - together

Fifty years ago, a fox was spotted in Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The unfortunate animal was chased by local ‘gurriers’. It took refuge in a tree but was promptly stoned to death.Richard Collins: Wildlife taking back the streets of our cities

The north pier on Cape Clear has been eerily quiet these last few months as no visitors disembark. The ferry is not unloading boatloads of tourists from Baltimore, 45 minutes away, or from Schull, as it would normally.The Islands of Ireland: Cape Clear tells its side of the story

If the Donegal postman and amateur weather forecaster has it right, we could be in for water shortages in the coming months. Michael Gallagher, who predicted the scorching summer of 2018 and the 2010 freeze-up, says we’ll have a ‘lovely’ summer.Donal Hickey: Demand for water to soar

More From The Irish Examiner