Hamilton quickest in US Grand Prix practice

Lewis Hamilton was the quickest driver in both practice sessions for the US Grand Prix this weekend, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.

The opening session of the weekend got underway in damp conditions as the drivers took to the circuit on Intermediate tyres, with some finding the limits of grip. That included Daniel Ricciardo and Sean Geleal who both went for spins on their laps, although as the track started to dry just a couple of minutes into the session the drivers switched to Super Soft tyres.

That allowed Hamilton to set the quickest lap time of the session, with team mate Valtteri Bottas second quickest before Vettel was able to go just a couple of tenths quicker on his time. Verstappen was fourth fastest with Stoffel Vandoorne rounding out the top ten.

Hamilton again showed his dominant pace in the afternoon session by going nearly half a second quicker than Verstappen on the Ultra Soft runs, although the Mercedes driver did note that he had car temperature issues during his quick lap runs as well as engine derating.

Vettel finished third quickest ahead of Bottas although the Ferrari driver was lucky not to end his session early, when he had a moment at Turn 19 and spun into the gravel which forced him to pit for a new set of Super Soft tyres.

His session got interrupted again later on when he had to stop his long runs due to a front-end balance problem, which meant that he only managed to get 11 laps on the board.

Carlos Sainz was 10th quickest on his debut for Renault, continuing this form in the second practice session by finishing ahead of team mate Nico Hulkenberg by a tenth of a second – although the latter suffered from engine problems midway through the session which curtailed his running.

Brandon Hartley made his first appearance on an F1 weekend by finishing 14th quickest, only complaining about the buffeting over team radio during his quick lap runs.

Elsewhere Felipe Massa showed some encouraging pace for Williams by finishing in sixth fastest for the morning session, then eighth fastest on the Ultra Soft runs in the afternoon.

 

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