GP USA, prove venerdì–31/10/2014
United States GP: Lewis Hamilton edges Nico Rosberg in FP1
Formula 1 title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg predictably set the pace for Mercedes in the first free practice session for the United States Grand Prix.
The absence of F1 minnows Caterham and Marussia meant just 18 cars took to the track for the first time since the 2005 Monaco GP, and points leader Hamilton was the only driver to lap in the 1m39s as he beat team-mate Rosberg to the top spot by just under three tenths of a second.
McLaren led the way for most of the session, despite technical problems enforcing radio silence between the pitwall and both drivers.
Jenson Button ran the Mercedes drivers close and ended the session less than a tenth slower than Rosberg.
Team-mate Kevin Magnussen also enjoyed a spell at the top of the times early on, but he slipped to fifth in the final classification, a tenth behind Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso.
Ferrari trialled experimental front and rear wings in this session, as well as checking driver visibility should it decide to raise the height of the top surface of the nose on next year’s car.
Fernando Alonso rounded out the top six, 1.124s off the pace, while Kimi Raikkonen was 12th quickest in the sister car.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who is set to start from the pitlane on Sunday after breaching rules that limit the number of engines he is allowed to use across the season, set the seventh quickest time in his Red Bull-Renault.
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo ran into engine problems of his own early on in the session, which restricted him to the 17th fastest time and meant he completed just five laps.
Romain Grosjean was the only driver to lap slower than Ricciardo, as he trialled an experimental non-twin-tusk nose on his Lotus E22.
Max Verstappen made his second free practice appearance of the season, taking over the Toro Rosso normally raced by Jean-Eric Vergne.
The Dutch teenager lapped nine tenths off Kvyat in rounding out the top 10, just behind Williams reserve Felipe Nasr – in Valtteri Bottas’ car – and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.
Cars returned to the circuit at the end of the session to allow the FIA to trial a new yellow flag speed limit set to be implemented to improve safety following Jules Bianchi’s Japanese GP crash.
|4||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.887s||0.946s||33|
|7||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.463s||1.522s||20|
|8||Luiz Felipe Nasr||Williams/Mercedes||1m41.545s||1.604s||19|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m41.722s||1.781s||24|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.785s||1.844s||32|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.359s||2.418s||23|
|17||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.598s||2.657s||5|
US GP: Lewis Hamilton pips F1 title rival Nico Rosberg in practice
Lewis Hamilton outpaced Formula 1 title rival and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by three thousandths of a second in Friday afternoon practice for the United States Grand Prix.
Rosberg initially had the advantage after both had set their first flying laps following their switch to the soft-compound Pirellis, but Hamilton found time on his second lap to jump ahead of his Mercedes team-mate.
Although Rosberg did set the fastest sector time of all in the middle sector on his second quick lap, he was unable to improve overall so had to settle for second place.
The Mercedes drivers completely dominated the session, outpacing McLaren pairing Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button in the early stages on the slower medium-compound Pirellis by over 1.5s.
Their advantage over the rest of field was trimmed to 1.104s once everyone had completed performance runs on the softs, with Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso best-of-the-rest after leaving his switch to the faster rubber later than most.
Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest for Red Bull, while Felipe Massa jumped up to fifth shortly after the halfway mark in the session despite having suffered a minor lock-up on his quick lap and spun his Williams at the first corner early on.
The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, with the Finn struggling to find a set-up on his car that gave him the necessary feel to extract more pace.
One of the stars of the session was Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who continued his impressive form of the morning to set the seventh-fastest time of the day.
Behind him were the two McLarens of Magnussen and Button, who were unable to be as competitive in relative terms on the softs as they had been on the mediums.
Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10, even though he did make an error on his quick lap, just beating Valtteri Bottas to the position.
Romain Grosjean recovered from a dramatic high-speed spin in the fast Turn 5/6 to set 12th fastest time, almost two seconds off the pace, ahead of Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez.
Like Lotus team-mate Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado also struggled with the tricky-to-drive Lotus, spinning on what should have been his quickest lap and ending up 15th ahead of the two Saubers of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.
Sebastian Vettel was slowest of the depleted, 18-car field, almost five seconds off the pace.
The German is focusing entirely on preparations for the race given he will start from the pits irrespective of where he qualifies, but made a late start to the session because of a gearbox change.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.390s||1.305s||30|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.631s||1.546s||34|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.800s||1.715s||25|
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.110s||2.025s||36|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m41.123s||2.038s||35|
|18||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m44.437s||5.352s||19|