Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the first practice for the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Friday, while Formula One leader Sebastian Vettel was second.
He said : “We are strong, just as we have been in the three or four races. It would be the best Saturday to get a pole position”.
“I’ve won the world championship here in Brazil and I love it here. The track has not always been too kind to me, but hopefully I can change that. Sebastian had several attempts to match my time and he couldn’t so that’s a positive for us and we seemed to be quicker than Red Bull.”
Fernando Alonso, the only driver fighting Vettel for the title, was fifth.
Hamilton had a lap of 1 minute, 14.131 seconds with McLaren at Interlagos, edging Vettel’s Red Bull. Vettel teammate Mark Webber was third in 1:14.198 and Jenson Button of McLaren was fourth in 1:14.217.
Alonso, who tested different wings, clocked 1:14.392.
Vettel has a 13-point lead over Alonso and needs to finish fourth or better to become F1’s youngest three-time champion at age 25. He can also be the first to win three in a row since Michael Schumacher in 2004. Schumacher plans to retire after the race.