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Lewis Hamilton finishes fifth in final US practice

Lewis Hamilton finishes fifth in final US practice
© Reuters
The Briton only needs to finish eighth at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday to be certain of securing his sixth crown.

Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in the final practice session for Sunday's United States Grand Prix.

Champion-elect Hamilton trailed Max Verstappen by more than six tenths at Austin's Circuit of the Americas as the Dutchman set the pace in his Red Bull.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel came second in the final running before qualifying takes place later on Saturday, finishing 0.218 sec behind Verstappen, with McLaren's British rookie Lando Norris a surprise third.

Earlier, Charles Leclerc broke down following an engine failure. The young Monegasque was forced to pull off the course with smoke billowing from the back of his Ferrari.

Valtteri Bottas was fourth for Mercedes, six hundredths speedier than Hamilton. Red Bull driver Alex Albon finished sixth.

Hamilton, fastest in Friday's second practice session, needs to finish only eighth to be certain on securing his sixth world title in Austin on Sunday.

The 34-year-old Briton has won on five of his seven visits to America. Qualifying takes place at 4pm local time (9pm UK) on Saturday.

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Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver Lewis Hamilton (44) of Great Britain during practice for the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas on November 1, 2019
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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