Brazil F1 GP Auto Racing
Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc dominated free practice at Interlagos on Friday (Saturday AEDT) for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Vettel clocked the fastest lap of the day in the afternoon session, and Leclerc was only 0.021 seconds behind.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas had the third and fourth quickest laps.
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes finished the day fifth, 0.223 seconds behind Vettel.
The Ferrari team vigorously celebrated its drivers after practice.
The first day of racing at Interlagos marked somewhat of a recovery for the Italian team after a poor United States GP this month, when Leclerc finished almost a minute behind race winner Bottas and Vettel retired early.
The encouraging practices at Interlagos also helped Ferrari to answer Verstappen's accusation that they were "cheating" in the making of its engine.
The Red Bull driver suggested on Dutch TV that Ferrari's performance dipped in the U.S. because of a FIA directive on fuel flow systems.
Vettel called Verstappen's comments "not professional" and "not mature".
"We have a different opinion," Vettel said.
"For us, the best way to answer is to go back to normal."
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said the directive had no impact on the team's engine.
Thai driver Alexander Albon was the fastest in the morning practice in the rain - his Red Bull was half a second ahead of Bottas until he crashed on the final corner and the session was suspended. Albon was unharmed.
The Brazilian GP on Sunday is the penultimate race of the season. Hamilton secured the season title, his sixth, in the previous race in the U.S.