Champ in cruise con­trol

Sunday Herald Sun - - SPORT -

LEWIS Hamilton, with four world cham­pi­onship stars now painted on his race hel­met, smashed the In­ter­la­gos track record as Mercedes dom­i­nated the open­ing Brazilian Grand Prix prac­tice ses­sion yes­ter­day.

Show­ing no sign of let­ting up, de­spite clinch­ing his fourth world ti­tle in Mex­ico, Hamilton lapped the anti-clock­wise track with a best time of 1min 9.202sec.

Hamilton edged out team­mate Valt­teri Bot­tas by just five hun­dredths of a sec­ond on a strong day for Mercedes.

“There are two races to go. It is a bet­ter time than ever to ap­ply even more pres­sure, just be­cause you can,” Hamilton said.

Aus­tralia’s Daniel Ric­cia­rdo was fifth but faces a grid penalty.

The Red Bull driver will have a drop of at least 10 grid places due to power unit changes.

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