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Lewis Hamilton leads way in final practice at Brazilian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton leads way in final practice at Brazilian Grand Prix
© Reuters
Hamilton saw off Red Bull's Max Verstappen by just 0.026 seconds.

Lewis Hamilton's hopes of securing pole position for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix were dealt a boost after he finished fastest in final practice.

The world champion was only fifth here at Interlagos on Friday, but he returned to set the pace in the concluding running before the fight for pole.

Hamilton saw off Red Bull's Max Verstappen by just 0.026 seconds with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who will serve a 10-place grid penalty following an engine change, in third.

Sebastian Vettel finished fourth ahead of Red Bull's Alex Albon and the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, who was sixth, almost a full second slower than his team-mate.

Hamilton wrapped up his sixth title in Texas a fortnight ago, but the Briton will want to end his season with a flourish.

And the 34-year-old appears to have the package underneath him to claim his fourth pole in Brazil.

Verstappen was just adrift of Hamilton
Verstappen was just adrift of Hamilton (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)

The top four drivers were covered by only a third of a second to set up a tantalising qualifying session at the penultimate round of the campaign.

British teenager Lando Norris, who finished a disappointing 18th on Friday, but was ninth fastest, one place ahead of his McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz. George Russell was 19th of the 20 runners.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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