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F1: Sebastian Vettel ahead of Lewis Hamilton in final practice at Brazilian GP

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SAO PAULO (AP) Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel had the fastest time Saturday at the final practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The German went round in 1 minute, 7.948 seconds, with Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes 0.217 seconds behind.

Qualifying for Sunday’s race is later Saturday.

MORE: Would Lewis Hamilton really retire if F1 schedule hits 25 races?

Vettel finished behind Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in second practice on Friday.

This time Bottas was third, 0.517 seconds behind Vettel.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who led first practice on Friday.

The Brazilian race is the penultimate GP of the season. Mercedes leads Ferrari by 55 points in the constructors’ title.

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F1 races in Austin, Mexico City hitting financial rough patches

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AUSTIN, Texas — Two of Formula One’s three races in North America are facing financial issues that are raising concern about their future.

Organizers of the U.S. Grand Prix won’t get at least $20 million from the state of Texas for the 2018 race after missing a paperwork deadline set by state law. And new questions lurk about the future of the Mexican Grand Prix after the country’s new president suggested the government may not spend on the race like it has the last four years.

Both races have been popular with drivers and fans, and have enjoyed key dates on the F1 calendar. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clinched season championships in Texas in 2015 and in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018.

Officials in Formula One and at the Circuit of the Americas, host of the U.S. Grand Prix, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.