Nico Rosberg was the quickest man in the first Practice session today, in what was sodden racetrack conditions in Austin.
The Mercedes driver was 1.2 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and a further four tenths ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, after the pair failed to improve their lap times in the closing stages on a new set of Intermediate tyres. Rosberg meanwhile initially set the pace on a 1:55.102, before the drying track allowed him to go two tenths faster in the closing stages.
Hamilton meanwhile set his quickest lap in the mid-point of the session, which was good enough for fifth fastest overall. We didn’t see much of him or indeed sixth place man Sebastien Vettel in the final 30 minutes, largely due to the drying track chewing up the Intermediate tyres that both wanted to save for the rest of the weekend.
That allowed Carlos Sainz to improve to fourth fastest on a 1:55.667 and new Inters, whilst Alonso managed ninth place in his new McHonda engine. Ahead of him was Kimi Raikkonen who was curtailed most of the session with brake problems. Once the Ferrari mechanics fixed them, he ventured out on a set of Inters in the final 20 minutes to set a lap time good enough for P8.
Homeboy Alexander Rossi beat Will Stevens to P18, posting a time of 2:01.682 initially before going four tenths faster on his next lap.