Hamilton tops Friday practice for US Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has topped both of Friday’s Formula 1 practice sessions ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

Fastest in the morning session, the world championship leader outpaced Red Bull driver Max Verstappen by 0.397s to secure top spot with a best lap of 1m34.668s.

Hamilton was only third fastest after the early runs. During that phase, Daniel Ricciardo used super-softs to set the pace ahead of Verstappen, who like Hamilton used softs early on.

Hamilton had a brief off-track moment at the penultimate corner during that run, but made no mistake when he returned to the track on ultra-softs as he went quickest after 35 minutes.

By that stage, Valtteri Bottas had already knocked Ricciardo off top spot, but Mercedes driver Bottas ultimately had to settle for fourth fastest, just under a tenth slower than Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel survived a spin into the gravel shortly before the 20-minute mark, when the rear snapped away on turn-in to the penultimate corner.

Vettel was able to dig himself out and recover to the pits, before returning for his performance run shortly before the halfway mark of the 90-minute session.

He later complained of a potential problem with the front axle, which he described as feeling “a bit like jelly”, contributing to him completing only 11 laps.

Red Bull’s Ricciardo improved his first-run time by almost seven-tenths after switching to the ultra-softs, but it was only good enough for fifth, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda was best-of-the-rest in seventh, having briefly been as high as fourth thanks to putting in his quick lap in earlier than most.

Williams driver Felipe Massa was eighth, with Force India pairing Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon rounding out the top 10 – with the trio separated by just three-hundredths of a second.

Renault debutant Carlos Sainz Jr was the penultimate driver to complete his performance run on ultra-softs, taking 11th shortly before the one-hour mark.

The last driver to do so was team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, who suffered an engine glitch that kept him in the garage after his first run and only posted his time just inside the final 20 minutes.

Daniil Kvyat, who sat out the first session to allow Sean Gelael some mileage despite this being the Russian’s first time in the Toro Rosso since September’s Singapore Grand Prix, was 13th fastest.

Kevin Magnussen, who had a high-speed spin early in the session, was the best of the Haas-Ferraris in 14th.

Stoffel Vandoorne and Lance Stroll were 15th and 16th, ahead of F1 debutant Brendon Hartley, who improved several times on his ultra-softs to end his first day in grand prix racing 17th fastest.

Pascal Wehrlein missed the first session, with Charles Leclerc taking his Sauber seat, but recovered well to post the 18th-fastest time, ahead of team-mate Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean’s Haas.

Result: Formula 1 United States Grand Prix Practice 2

Position Driver Car    Time  Gap  Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.668s 26
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m35.065s 0.397s 30
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m35.192s 0.524s 11
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m35.279s 0.611s 39
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m35.463s 0.795s 24
6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1m35.514s 0.846s 29
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m36.304s 1.636s 28
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m36.460s 1.792s 30
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m36.481s 1.813s 28
10 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m36.490s 1.822s 34
11 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m36.529s 1.861s 30
12 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1m36.534s 1.866s 18
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m36.761s 2.093s 40
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m37.285s 2.617s 17
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m37.463s 2.795s 31
16 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m37.788s 3.120s 27
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault 1m37.987s 3.319s 41
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m38.165s 3.497s 35
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m38.262s 3.594s 22
20 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m38.387s 3.719s 26

Result: Formula 1 United States Grand Prix Practice 1

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m36.335s 18
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m36.928s 0.593s 20
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m36.979s 0.644s 10
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renaut 1m37.339s 1.004s 21
5 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m37.352s 1.017s 26
6 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m37.570s 1.235s 23
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m37.598s 1.263s 20
8 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m37.808s 1.473s 25
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m37.861s 1.526s 20
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1m38.093s 1.758s 24
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m38.408s 2.073s 16
12 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m38.534s 2.199s 25
13 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m38.904s 2.569s 19
14 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault 1m39.267s 2.932s 28
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m39.336s 3.001s 17
16 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renaut 1m39.366s 3.031s 14
17 Sean Gelael Toro Rosso/Renault 1m40.406s 4.071s 25
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m40.448s 4.113s 19
19 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m40.828s 4.493s 25
20 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 4

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