Rosberg on top after wet FP1 at the US GP

First free practice for the US Grand Prix topped by Nico Rosberg.

High humidity and rainfall at the Circuit of The Americas left running to a minimum with drivers saving their tyres for the upcoming sessions. Nevertheless, on a weekend were Hamilton could clinch the title, Nico Rosberg topped the opening time sheet by over a second to the Red Bull’s as Renault power pushed Red Bull back towards the top.

Going into the US GP at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, Red Bull are still yet to commit their future to the sport while they are without a power unit for next season. But despite rejecting the new, upgraded Renault power unit, they were still able to prove strong competition in the wet in America with both the main, Red Bull team and the sister, Toro Rosso outfit.

One recent link that has been reported is that Red Bull are to use Honda power unit’s for next year as the Japanese outfit looks to improve its package for McLaren and potentially branch out into another team. The current project however only includes McLaren who split running with Alonso using the new engine he tested in Russia whereas Button stuck with the old unit. This difference saw Fernando finish the session in ninth while Jenson sat seven tents back in 13th.

As always Williams were off the pace in FP1 and more so with the wet track. Also off the pace was Lewis Hamilton and his current closest title-rival, Vettel, with neither able to finish inside the top four and within one and a half seconds of Rosberg.

Along with being off the pace, Vettel was also finding the track not to his liking with the surface far bumpier than in the past and claimed over radio “That bump is seriously bad, It’s like a jump”.

As for his team-mate, Raikkonen’s running was brought to an end early with the Ferrari team requesting he boxed early on and took it easy on the brakes. Grosjean also found issues with his brake pedal and reported vibrations whenever he hit the brakes. Both’s issues were not too serious however and were amongst the action for the remainder of the session.

Maldonado on the other hand had serious issues onboard his car and the team worked hard to strip the Lotus down to find and fix the cause of his gearbox issue that took him out of action very early on.

Position Driver Gap
1 Rosberg 1:53.989
2 Kvyat 1.235
3 Ricciardo 1.603
4 Sainz 1.678
5 Hamilton 1.704
6 Vettel 1.721
7 Verstappen 1.980
8 Raikkonen 2.337
9 Alonso 2.850
10 Bottas 2.877
11 Massa 3.092
12 Perez 3.150
13 Button 3.506
14 Hulkenberg 3.529
15 Grosjean 4.330
16 Marciello 5.442
17 Ericsson 5.754
18 Rossi 7.165
19 Stevens 7.918
20 Maldonado No time set