First free practice at the USGP topped by Lewis Hamilton.
Formula One’s time in Texas kicked off with Hamilton bettering Rosberg to set the pace. Hamilton from the off had the better of his championship-leading team-mate, covering Rosberg’s times across the 90-minutes and lead the way ahead of Red Bull.
The early benchmark at the United States Grand Prix was initially lowered by Kimi Raikkonen as the Ferrari became the first front runner to set a flying lap time around the Circuit of the Americas.
Raikkonen’s time was then pushed down the order by Rosberg, as the Silver Arrows came out early on with the supersoft tyres. Ferrari was among the majority in running on the yellow-walled softs.
Hamilton, while on supersofts as well, bettered Rosberg’s first flying run to go top. Creating a one second lead over his stable-mate. Rosberg later replied following the mid-session lull, switching onto the softs to go top.
Nico’s best time of the session showed an improvement of over a second as the track temperature rose by more than eight degrees. However, Hamilton too found time to go back into P1 by three-tenths of a second.
Rosberg’s lap saw the German post new purple sectors across the track. Before Hamilton found time in the first and, later, in the last as he improved on his second run.
Nico Rosberg also started his United States Grand Prix weekend with a host of new power unit components. With Mercedes handing the championship leader a new Internal Combustion Engine, Turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K. Massa, Bottas, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Perez and Wehrlein also ran with new power unit elements in FP1.
For Bottas, he was the first man out when the light went green – with Valtteri also running with a ‘halo’ variant on. The variant ran by Bottas was the first painted version to be used. With his painted in white to match the car and make the concept device slightly more appealing to look at.
Jordan King also ran in FP1, sitting in for Pascal Wehrlein. With King making his Grand Prix weekend debut and posted the first time of the session with a 1:47.1. Jordan has previously tested for the Manor team, with his most recent outing at Silverstone in July.
Issues struck in FP1 for Marcus Ericsson, Jenson Button and both of the Haas drivers. With Ericsson’s Sauber becoming stuck in first gear, while Button and the Haas duo retired late.
The deficit between the Red Bulls on the timesheet came with Ricciardo and Verstappen running contrasting power unit modes.
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||28||1’39.379||1.951||1.636|
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||27||1’39.712||2.284||0.305|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||26||1’39.963||2.535||0.187|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||16||1’40.131||2.703||0.143|
|10||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso||26||1’40.140||2.712||0.009|
|17||Alfonso Celis Jr.||Force India||27||1’41.422||3.994||0.252|