Sebastian Vettel calls for 'common sense' after grid penalty

Formula One World Championship

Why there's no reason to expect a Ferrari fightback - F1

Lewis Hamilton may be on the brink of beating Sebastian Vettel to this year's Formula One title, but insists he is still expecting a Ferrari fightback in the remaining four races.

Lewis Hamilton's hopes of clinching his fifth Formula One world championship at the US Grand Prix were boosted on Friday when Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel was handed a three-place grid penalty for a practice infringement.

"So I am just focusing on driving the best that I've driven all year long and that we get the auto where we need to get it".

The pole was a record-extending 81st for Hamilton, his third in a row in Austin and ninth of the season and he did it with a time of one minute 32.237 seconds - a track record.

The German was slower only than Hamilton in a nail-biting qualifying session, but he will be demoted to fifth after incurring a grid penalty for his failure to slow sufficiently under red flags in Friday's practice.

"I think in wet conditions, when a red flag comes out, it's also potentially risky to slam on the brakes", said Hartley.

Esteban Ocon (Force India), Nico Huelkenberg (Renault), Romain Grosjean (Haas), Charles Leclerc (Sauber) and Sergio Perez (Force India) completed the top 10.

"The approach, I know what it takes, I know what to do, so in that regard it's fairly similar, but for sure we know that we need to take probably here or there a bit more risk because we are not in a position to manage the gap in the championship, because we don't have a gap". But I'm pretty happy with the laps I had.

Raikkonen said: "It's been a pretty positive day".

Mercedes did not appear to have the pace to beat Ferrari following the early phases at a cold and blustery Circuit of the Americas. On Thursday in Austin he admitted he will start taking an even more aggressive approach as part of an all-or-nothing attempt to close the gap to Hamilton.

He was more than a second faster than anyone else in the second session as well, with Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly making the most of the treacherous conditions to take second place on the timesheets.

But he will start the race with a three-place grid penalty following a controversial stewards' ruling for speeding under red flags in opening practice. I think you have to be aggressive to win, and of course you need to find the right balance.

"Beautiful work", Mercedes told Hamilton, who will have Raikkonen alongside him at the start.

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