Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton prompted title leader and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg that he will not give up his next title without a battle following ruling Friday practice at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Rosberg can claim his first F1 title if he wins on Sunday Brazilian GP, which would deprive Hamilton of a chance for his fourth driver’s title.
Hamilton, 19 points behind the Rosberg, with two races remaining, was fastest in both sessions at a sunny Interlagos with his best lap of one minute 11.895 seconds set on soft compound tires in the morning.
F1 young sensation Max Verstappen was second in the opening practice session but sixth in the evening, the Williams pair improving, Valtteri Bottas and home hero Felipe Massa were Mercedes’ closest rivals.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo fifth, Sebastian Vettel made seventh one place ahead of his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso provided some laughs when his McLaren suffered an energy recovery problem and stopped trackside. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Jenson Button made up the top ten in the evening session time sheet.