Lewis Hamilton still waits on outcome of investigation ahead of Interlagos race
Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in final practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix – as the Mercedes driver awaits to find out if he will be penalised for today’s sprint race.
The seven-time world champion is under investigation for an alleged technical breach, and could be dropped to the back of the grid if he is disqualified from Friday’s qualifying result.
That would promote Max Verstappen to top spot, and deal a huge blow to Hamilton’s championship chances.
However, Verstappen, 19 points ahead of Hamilton with just four rounds left, is also the centre of a stewards’ inquiry after he touched his rival’s rear wing following the conclusion of qualifying.
Both verdicts will be delivered before today’s 24-lap sprint race, which gets under way at 4.30pm local time (7.30pm GMT).
Hamilton’s rear wing – which it is claimed provided him with an illegal advantage in qualifying – is still impounded by the FIA and Mercedes had to obtain written permission to fit a replacement part for practice.
Hamilton ended the one-hour running at a sunny Interlagos 1.5 seconds off Fernando Alonso’s pace, with the double world champion leading the way for Alpine.
Verstappen took second, eighth-tenths of a second back, ahead of Valtteri Bottas with Alonso’s team-mate Esteban Ocon fourth. Sergio Perez was sixth in the other Red Bull.
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