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Sebastian Vettel feels Mercedes will "tough to beat" in this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix despite initial hopes Ferrari's Formula 1 vehicle would be stronger and able to take the fight to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas was second in both and ended up just 0.048 slower. "It will be great to finish the season with at least one more victory".

The Dutch 20-year-old has now won two of the last four races, after a run of poor reliability, while Red Bull have scored more points than second-placed Ferrari since the end of the August break.

"We'll see what we get tomorrow but I think we can fine-tune the balance which will help us".

Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth fastest, though is set to be handed a 10-place grid penalty after taking on a new MGU-H, his eighth of the campaign.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third, 0.433s off the pace with Kimi Raikkonen three tenths further back in fourth.

His 20-year-old Dutch team mate Max Verstappen, victor of two of the last four races, was fourth and fifth on the respective timesheets.

"This is not an opportunity for us to take our eye off the ball", added the Briton, who was planning on visiting the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru with friends in between the Latin American races. "Then I think it is very close between us and Red Bull". Hamilton and Mercedes have won the drivers' and constructors' title.

"The last four races we've had the quickest vehicle on a Sunday", said Red Bull boss Christian Horner after Max Verstappen won in Mexico and Hamilton finished ninth to take the title.

Renault and Toro Rosso, meanwhile had tougher days, including the latter barely posting a lap in the morning after Brendon Hartley suffered another STR-Renault engine failure and the team deciding to sit team-mate Pierre Gasly while it investigated.

"I have got these two races to go and I think this is a better time than ever to apply even more pressure, just because I can".

British driver George Russell, the 19-year-old GP3 champion, made his grand prix weekend debut with Force India and was an impressive 12th fastest at an unfamiliar circuit and in a vehicle he had not driven before.