GP USA, prove libere sabato–24/10/2015
US GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest in very wet final practice session
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton set the pace in a rain-hit final practice for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.
Heavy rain lashed Austin on Saturday casting doubt as to whether the session at the Circuit of the Americas would run on schedule.
But after sending the safety car out to assess conditions, officials deemed the track clear for use and practice began on time.
With second practice on Friday cancelled because of bad weather, there was plenty of running in the opening half off the session before the rain intensified.
With rivers running across the track and puddles forming in places, the teams were informed by race control that intermediates were could not be used.
Nico Rosberg was among the first drivers to get caught out by the conditions, spinning at Turn 3 and tapping the barrier, which broke his front wing.
His Mercedes team-mate Hamilton also had a moment, catching the rear-end as it stepped out at Turn 13 before continuing.
However, the reigning world champion managed to get a flying lap in shortly before conditions started to worsen, moving himself to the top of the order.
Sebastian Vettel had a messy session, spinning first at Turn 19 and then Turn 9 and then complaining about aquaplaning as conditions worsened in the final half of the session.
The Ferrari driver did manage to set the second fastest time of the session though, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr.
There were no improvements in the final 20 minutes, but several drivers headed out on track to perform practice starts, particularly as there’s a chance the start of Sunday’s race could be wet.
Daniil Kvyat was sixth with Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa completing the top 10.
Should qualifying not be able to take place at any point, the regulations suggest the grid will take the order in which they were classified in final practice.
Rain is expected to continue throughout Saturday, but even if qualifying is unable to be completed as scheduled, it could run on Sunday ahead of the race, as was the case for the Australian Grand Prix in 2013.
|3||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||2m00.496s||0.979s||12|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||2m00.687s||1.170s||11|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||2m00.694s||1.177s||12|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||2m01.008s||1.491s||12|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||2m02.660s||3.143s||12|
|20||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||2m09.994s||10.477s||7|
“Sorry for the spectators”
Kimi looks ahead after cancelled qualifying
Kimi Raikkonen: “It’s a shame that these two days went like this. This morning at least we could do more timed laps than yesterday, but we all are here to drive and the spectators have been sitting in the rain for five hours without seeing any of the cars. It’s an unfortunate thing but we cannot change the weather, there’s nothing that we can do. Tomorrow we’ll have qualifying and race in the same day, but I don’t think it will be so difficult. We have done it before, it will just be a bit more busy day. The main thing is that hopefully the weather will be better and we get both things done, the qualifying session and the Grand Prix. Then it would be nice for everybody.”