Despite ruling out Red Bull's chances of victory on Thursday, Mexican Grand Prix victor Verstappen led the way on a 1m09.011s as he continued his run of impressive form having topped all three practice sessions at the last race.
To underline Ferrari's challenge, Vettel is the driver with the best current record in Brazil with three wins, including last year's race, and a determination to finish his season on a high.
Liberty are also keen to expand their portfolio in America by adding multiple races and remain hopeful of taking F1 to Miami within two seasons despite opposition from local groups.
Hamilton, who was gifted a win by Bottas in Russian Federation after the 29-year-old moved over at the request of his team, said he wouldn't do so because Bottas wouldn't want to win a race in such a manner, given it's not decisive for the championship. "It's quite close clearly between us at the front but I think there's more potential there so we have to try and squeeze it out".
'I am someone that really loves racing, but the season is long, it takes a big commitment from all of us, and it is a long time away from our families. "I haven't asked Valtteri, but I don't think he will want that".
"The seasons are getting longer, and the off-time is getting shorter, so from a competitor's point of view the turnaround is short".
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"All I can do is speak is for myself".
He said, however, that it was still tough to find time to switch off and recover.
The Sauber-bound Finn conceded that Ferrari are not in a strong position - they trail Mercedes by 55 points in the constructors' standings with two races to go - but made it clear they will not be giving up. The team will be focused on maximising their points but Hamilton dismissed suggestions he would gift Bottas a victory at Interlagos.
Even with these results, Ferrari only managed to outscore Mercedes by 11 points, so it will be extremely challenging for them to outscore them by at least 13 points in the Brazilian Grand Prix to take the constructor championship battle to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Raikkonen, who famously won the drivers' title for Ferrari in Brazil in 2007, said that Hamilton deserved to win this year's crown and rejected the idea that his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel had lost it through team and individual errors.
"I guess you all know what my goal will be for this weekend - but that's going to be up to me and I need to perform to be able to fight for the win". He's going to want to win in it in his own way. "I'd be proud if it was what you think it is, but it's not".