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Raikkonen, Vettel cautious about Ferrari’s chances in Singapore

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Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel remain cautious about their chances in this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix despite battling with Mercedes and Red Bull at the front of the pack in Friday’s practice sessions.

Ferrari enters the Singapore weekend still lacking a race win in 2016, with last year’s race at Marina Bay being its most recent success.

Both Vettel and Raikkonen ran high up the order in practice, with the tight and twisting nature of the street circuit in Singapore suiting the SF16-H car more than other tracks.

Vettel led Ferrari’s charge in FP1 by finishing third, before Raikkonen went one better in FP2 and ended the session second behind Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg is braced for a three-way fight between Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull in Singapore, but Raikkonen remains cautious about the Italian marque’s chances.

“Today we had quite a good feeling, but for sure there is still something to improve,” Raikkonen said.

“It’s hard to say if we can be strong. It’s only Friday, but the feeling was positive.

“So far so good, but tomorrow is another day. We’ll see where everybody is and then we’ll go from there.

“We’ll give our best and hopefully we have the speed to challenge our rivals.”

Vettel struggled to match Raikkonen’s pace in FP2 amid difficulties with his setup, but the German is confident the issues can be resolved ahead of qualifying.

“Overall we had two decent sessions,” Vettel said.

“In the second one I was not entirely happy. I was struggling a little bit with the car balance, and therefore not really finding the rhythm but in general it has been a good day.

“It is very difficult to pass here. Obviously we’ll try to trim everything towards qualifying. Now we have a lot of stuff to look into before tomorrow comes – there will be another session and the opportunity to do a few more laps.

“If we get everything right we have a good chance tomorrow to position the car well.”

Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix is live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 9am ET on Saturday.

Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Formula One’s Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.

Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”

Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.

Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.