Hamilton quickest in first practice for United States GP

hamiltonfp1cotaLewis Hamilton made a promising start to this weekend’s race in the United States, topping the timesheet in FP1 on Friday, a quarter of a second ahead of Mercedes team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg.

The Englishman, who leads the world championship by 17 points, set the pace initially, had a spell when Jenson Button was quickest in the fast-improving McLaren, then took back the initiative with a lap of 1m 39.941s. Rosberg’s response was 1m 40.223s, as Button stayed a very respectable third on 1m 40.319s.

There was then a bit of a gap back to fourth-placed Daniil Kvyat in the Toro B1STHLfCcAIRJuTRosso on 1m 40.887s, the Russian just ahead of Kevin Magnussen, who confirmed McLaren’s recent upturn in performance with 1m 40.987s.

Fernando Alonso was sixth for Ferrari with 1m 41.065s, ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the lead Red Bull on 1m 41.463s. The world champion will use an entirely new power unit this weekend – his sixth of the season – and is therefore likely to start Sunday’s race from the pit lane, once a penalty is applied.

Behind Vettel, Felipe Nasr did a good job for Williams, going eighth-fastest with 1m 41.545s, as Nico Hulkenberg took his Force India round in 1m 41.722s B1SdimJCUAEahtWto pip Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen on 1m 41.785s. Felipe Massa recorded 1m 41.907s in the other Williams, whilst Kimi Raikkonen lapped in 1m 41.965s to take 12th in the second Ferrari.

Pastor Maldonado had a slightly wild half spin at the end in his Lotus but was 13th on 1m 42.329s ahead of another spinner – Adrian Sutil, who took his Sauber round in 1m 42.333s.

Sergio Perez was 15th fastest for Force India on 1m 42.459s, just ahead of fellow Mexican Esteban Gutierrez who lapped in 1m 42.516s in the second B1Sf31OCYAAFxleSauber. The final two spots on the timesheet went to Daniel Ricciardo, who struggled to 1m 42.598s before encountering technical problems with his Red Bull, and Romain Grosjean who lapped in 1m 43.229s, but looked uncomfortable in his Lotus throughout.

Overall, it was a relatively undramatic 90 minutes, as the teams focused on tyre evaluation.

 United States Grand Prix First Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:39.941 Leader Leader 28
2 6 Nico Roseberg 1:40.233 -0.292 -0.292 32
3 22 Jenson Button 1:40.319 -0.378 -0.086 27
4 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:40.887 -0.946 -0.568 33
5 20 Kevin Magnussen 1:40.987 -1.046 -0.100 29
6 14 Fernando Alonso 1:41.065 -1.124 -0.078 27
7 1 Sebastian Vettel 1:41.463 -1.522 -0.398 20
8 40 Felipe Nasr 1:41.545 -1.604 -0.082 19
9 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:41.722 -1.781 -0.177 24
10 38 Max Verstappen 1:41.785 -1.844 -0.063 32
11 19 Felipe Massa 1:41.907 -1.966 -0.122 21
12 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:41.965 -2.024 -0.058 23
13 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:41.329 -2.388 -0.364 28
14 99 Adrian Sutil 1:42.333 -2.392 -0.004 23
15 11 Sergio Perez 1:42.359 -2.418 -0.026 23
16 21 Esteban Gutierrez 1:42.516 -2.575 -0.157 24
17 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:42.598 -2.657 -0.082 5
18 8 Romain Grojean 1:43.229 -3.288 -0.631 26







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