United States GP | Lewis Hamilton tops opening practice

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.

Pos Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25 1’37.428
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 27 1’37.743 0.315 0.315
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 28 1’39.379 1.951 1.636
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 21 1’39.407 1.979 0.028
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 27 1’39.712 2.284 0.305
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 30 1’39.776 2.348 0.064
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 26 1’39.963 2.535 0.187
8 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 15 1’39.988 2.56 0.025
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
11 Felipe Massa Williams 27 1’40.191 2.763 0.051
12 Felipe Nasr Sauber 16 1’40.287 2.859 0.096
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren 26 1’40.362 2.934 0.075
14 Romain Grosjean Haas 15 1’40.826 3.398 0.464
15 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 15 1’40.970 3.542 0.144
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 17 1’41.170 3.742 0.2
17 Alfonso Celis Jr. Force India 27 1’41.422 3.994 0.252
18 Jenson Button McLaren 21 1’41.663 4.235 0.241
19 Kevin Magnussen Renault 22 1’41.942 4.514 0.279
20 Jordan King Manor 29 1’42.012 4.584 0.07
21 Jolyon Palmer Renault 31 1’42.332 4.904 0.32
22 Esteban Ocon Manor 27 1’43.874 6.446 1.542