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Brazilian Grand Prix: Rosberg pips Hamilton in final practice

The German, who can clinch his first ever world championship this weekend, was quicker than his Mercedes team-mate ahead of qualifying.

Nico Rosberg en Brasil.

Nico Rosberg bounced back to top the times ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Saturday's third and final practice for this weekend's potentially decisive Brazilian Grand Prix.

The world championship leader clocked a best time of one minute and 11.740 seconds on a damp morning at Interlagos to finish the session just 0.093 seconds ahead of the defending champion Hamilton, who was fastest in both sessions on Friday.

Rosberg steers his car during the third practice session.
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Rosberg steers his car during the third practice session.MIGUEL SCHINCARIOLAFP

Rosberg can lift first world title on Sunday

Rosberg, who holds a 19-point lead on the Briton with two races remaining, will win his maiden title if he completes a hat-trick of successive wins at the Brazilian event in Sunday's race.

Hamilton has never won in Brazil - one of only two venues on the current calendar that have not provided him with victory - but he also is seeking a hat-trick of three consecutive wins following triumphs in the United States and Mexico last month.

The weather conditions in Sao Paulo were significantly different on Saturday to the heatwave on Friday.

The cooler air, coupled with intermittent drizzle, created a very different set of challenges and little or no consistency with the lap times as the drivers and teams went through their final preparations ahead of qualifying later Saturday.

Ferrari bounce back from Friday difficulties

After struggling on Friday, Ferrari battled through the night to find improvements and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel was third-fastest, ahead of his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Dutch teenager Max Verstappen was fifth ahead of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, Finn Valtteri Bottas of Williams and Jolyon Palmer for Renault.

Spain's Alonso in tenth place

Local hero Felipe Massa was ninth in the second Williams ahead of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso of McLaren, the Spaniard returning to action after a problematic Friday that saw him suffer a car failure.


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