Hamilton inches away from Rosberg to top FP2 at COTA

Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton shaded Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg by just 0.003s in FP2 in the United States on Friday afternoon, although the Briton later suffered a hydraulic issue that brought his running in Austin to an early end.

Hamilton, who also complained of gear shift irregularities, lapped in 1m 39.085s to Rosberg’s 1m 39.088s. The German had also warned of gear shift problems, only to later admit they were of his own inadvertent making.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was the Silver Arrows’ closest challenger on 1m 40.189s, just over one second down on Hamilton.

Daniel Ricciardo had a better session relative to FP1 and captured fourth for B1TJTtbCUAA5zeaRed Bull on 1m 40.390s, while Felipe Massa wheeled his Williams round in 1m 40.457s. Kimi Raikkonen was sixth in the second Ferrari on 1m 40.543s, but also complained of clutch slip. Daniil Kvyat remained in striking distance with 1m 40.631s in the lead Toro Rosso, just ahead of the McLarens of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button on 1m 40.641s and 1m 40.698s respectively.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas were the last two drivers to break the 1m 41s barrier, posting 1m 40.800s and 1m 40.828s apiece.

Romain Grosjean was another to enjoy improved form in FP2, fighting back B1TFnmHCMAAaR1Mfrom an early high-speed half-spin at Turn 4 to put his Lotus 12th on 1m 41.054s. The Frenchman was chased by compatriot Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso on 1m 41.110s, Sergio Perez’s Force India on 1m 41.123s, Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus on 1m 41.158s, and the Saubers of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez on 1m 41.332s and 1m 41.420s. After losing time in the pits at the start of the session,

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel – who has claimed pole in the last two races in Austin – was 18th and last, with 1m 43.980s. However the German, who will start Sunday’s race from the pit lane after using his sixth power unit of the B1TH9_XCUAADcUFseason, appeared to concentrate on race simulation runs.

Aside from Grosjean, Maldonado provided drama with spins in Turns 1 and 19, while Massa lost the rear of his Williams at Turn 1.

 United States Grand Prix Second Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:39.085 Leader Leader 18
2 6 Nico Roseberg 1:39.088 -0.003 -0.003 34
3 14 Fernando Alonso 1:40.189 -1.104 -1.101 29
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:40.390 -1.305 -0.201 30
5 19 Felipe Massa 1:40.457 -1.372 -0.067 36
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:40.543 -1.458 -0.086 32
7 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:40.631 -1.546 -0.088 34
8 20 Kevin Magnussen 1:40.641 -1.556 -0.010 38
9 22 Jenson Button 1:40.698 -1.613 -0.057 36
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:40.800 -1.715 -0.102 25
11 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:40.828 -1.743 -0.028 37
12 8 Romain Grojean 1:41.054 -1.969 -0.226 31
13 25 Jean-Eric Vergne 1:41.110 -2.025 -0.056 36
14 11 Sergio Perez 1:41.123 -2.038 -0.013 35
15 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:41.158 -2.073 -0.035 37
16 99 Adrian Sutil 1:41.332 -2.247 -0.174 33
17 21 Esteban Gutierrez 1:41.420 -2.335 -0.088 34
18 1 Sebastian Vettel 1:43.980 -4.895 -2.560 19

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