Sebastian Vettel is confident Ferrari is “in the ballpark” to fight for victory at Interlagos on Sunday after a decent day of Formula 1 practice running ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Vettel finished second in FP1 and third in FP2 for Ferrari, but was less than one-tenth of a second off the fastest driver in both practice sessions.

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The 2017 Brazil race winner put in some impressive lap times during his long run towards the end of FP2, but said there was still work for Ferrari to do ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

“The car has been OK but not good yet, so there is still some work to do,” Vettel said.

“I think, especially come Sunday when it supposed to be hotter, it could be a tricky one for tyres. It was already tricky for us today.

“We are in the ballpark but we can still launch forward from where we are.”

The biggest issue from Vettel’s session came when a small screw dropped into the footwell of his car, forcing him to pit so Ferrari could check that a part had not come loose.

Vettel informed the team of the issue with a tongue-in-cheek joke about something dropping between his legs.

“ I said what I had to said but I thought maybe it came out wrong, so I made the joke,” Vettel said.

“I don’t know, I thought it was funny. But we found it in the end, it was a little screw."

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