Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of securing pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix were dealt a boost after he finished fastest in final practice.
The world champion was only fifth here at Interlagos on Friday, but he returned to set the pace in the concluding running before the fight for pole.
Hamilton saw off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by just 0.026 seconds with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who will serve a 10-place grid penalty following an engine change, in third.
Sebastian Vettel finished fourth ahead of Red Bull’s Alex Albon and the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, who was sixth, almost a full second slower than his team-mate.
Hamilton wrapped up his sixth title in Texas a fortnight ago, but the Briton will want to end his season with a flourish.
And the 34-year-old appears to have the package underneath him to claim his fourth pole in Brazil.
The top four drivers were covered by only a third of a second to set up a tantalising qualifying session at the penultimate round of the campaign.
British teenager Lando Norris, who finished a disappointing 18th on Friday, but was ninth fastest, one place ahead of his McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz. George Russell was 19th of the 20 runners.