Brazilian GP: Nico Rosberg extends F1 pole streak at Interlagos
Nico Rosberg claimed his fifth Formula 1 pole position in a row by narrowly defeating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Rosberg was faster than Hamilton throughout the crucial final segment of the session, eventually claiming the 21st pole of his F1 career by just 0.078 seconds.
Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari was third fastest, half a second shy of the top spot, while the Williams of Valtteri Bottas split Vettel from Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by finding slightly more time on his second run than his fellow Finn.
Bottas will take a three-place grid penalty, however, for overtaking under red flags during Friday’s second practice session.
Nico Hulkenberg impressively rounded out the top six in his Force India, narrowly faster than Daniil Kvyat in the best of the Red Bulls.
Felipe Massa’s Williams, the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo (running the updated Renault engine here), and Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso completed the top 10.
Ricciardo will drop to a provisional 19th when the penalty for his earlier engine change is applied.
Massa and Verstappen hauled themselves into the top-10 shootout with late improvements in Q2, which meant Felipe Nasr’s impressive lap for Sauber was only good enough for 11th on the timesheet.
Carlos Sainz Jr complained of problems with the dash and data in his Toro Rosso as the Spaniard ended up only 12th fastest, ahead of the second Force India of Sergio Perez, who was a massive 0.662s slower than team-mate Hulkenberg in Q2.
Marcus Ericsson was 14th fastest in the second Sauber, followed by the Lotus of Romain Grosjean, who spun at Ferradura on his crucial lap and then had insufficient tyre life left to get anywhere near making the top 10 on his subsequent effort.
The second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado and Jenson Button’s McLaren were next, narrowly missing out on making the Q2 cut in a tight battle during the first segment of qualifying.
Maldonado was just 0.039s slower than Ericsson’s Sauber in placing 16th, while Button reckoned McLaren went "a little bit too far with the front wing" as he ended up 17th, just 0.040s further back.
Team-mate Fernando Alonso failed to set a time after his McLaren-Honda broke down with "no power" early on in the session.
The double world champion was therefore classified last, behind the Manor Marussias of Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens, who were separated by just over a tenth of a second.
PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.265s||0.983s|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.322s||1.040s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m12.739s||1.457s|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.045s||–|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.147s||–|
|19||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.417s||–|
Brazilian F1 GP: Lewis Hamilton tops practice despite incidents
Lewis Hamilton had the final say over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg during a complicated third Brazilian Grand Prix practice session for the 2015 Formula 1 champion.
Hamilton endured a gear-selection problem and was later involved in a spin during the hour-long run at Interlagos before eventually posting the fastest time so far.
The 30-year-old set a lap of 1m12.070s, beating Rosberg by 0.123 seconds in the soft-tyre blast that closed the session.
The duo were head and shoulders clear of Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, with the former 0.690s off the pace, and the latter a full second down.
In the medium-tyre runs that dominated the opening 45 minutes, Rosberg, who did not take to the track until 22 minutes into the session, surged his way to the top on only his fourth lap, deposing Vettel by three tenths of a second.
The German then traded fastest laps with Hamilton, who had earlier prompted yellow flags momentarily when he radioed in to say he had "lost gears", bringing him to a halt on track.
Hamilton managed to get going and returned immediately to the pits, and following a quick check was back out again, with his first flying lap shaving a tenth off Rosberg’s time.
Rosberg, however, swiftly responded as moments later he again returned to the top, improving on Hamilton’s lap by almost a third of a second.
Hamilton was then poised to reclaim top spot, setting the fastest time in the first sector by three tenths of a second, only to spin into Mergulho.
Attempting to explain over the radio, Hamilton said: "Don’t know what happened there. The rear gave up real quick and I couldn’t really react to it," to which engineer Pete Bonnington replied: "Looks like the rear just spun up".
That had followed a message from Rosberg in which he also claimed the "rear grip dropped away quite a lot" on one of his runs.
After switching to the softs, Hamilton’s flier was done on his first run, and although Rosberg set the quickest time in the first sector soon after, he was unable to maintain the momentum, missing out by just over a tenth.
Behind the Ferraris were Williams’s Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India, followed by Lotus pair Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado in seventh and ninth respectively, either side of Hulkenberg’s team-mate Sergio Perez.
Max Verstappen completed the top 10 for Toro Rosso, but almost 1.5s down.
Red Bull pair Daniel Ricciardo and Kvyat – who had been third at the end of the medium-tyre runs – wound up 11th and 13th, with Felipe Massa in between.
McLaren duo Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were a lowly 14th and 18th, the latter 2.375s off the pace.
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.345s||1.275s||19|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.506s||1.436s||18|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.548s||1.478s||21|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.572s||1.502s||23|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.829s||1.759s||17|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.959s||1.889s||23|
Brazilian GP: Nico Rosberg heads Lewis Hamilton in F1 practice two
Nico Rosberg headed Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton in second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
The German clocked a 1m12.385s on the soft Pirelli compound, 0.458 seconds clear of Hamilton, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel half-a-second further back.
Spits of rain fell throughout the session and though the track was slippery in parts, the warm conditions meant it was not damp enough for intermediates.
There was a flurry of activity at first, with everyone heading out promptly in case the rain intensified.
Hamilton, fastest in first practice, set the pace early on when the medium compound was in use, 0.136s clear of Rosberg.
Valtteri Bottas was the first to switch to the softs and went quickest by 0.031s, Pirelli suggesting there is around a one-second difference between the two compounds.
A number of other drivers headed out on the softs but had to abort their runs when the session was red-flagged to recover Fernando Alonso’s stricken McLaren-Honda.
The double world champion spun at the Descida do Lago left-hander and then pulled off track a few corners later with smoke pouring from the rear of his car.
The session restarted 10 minutes later, with Rosberg pumping in his pacesetting time on a single-lap outing.
Attention then turned to long runs ahead of Sunday’s race.
Hamilton and Rosberg were closely matched on their long run on the softs, before swapping to the mediums for the final 10 minutes.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest for Ferrari, 1.115s off the pace, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who is running Renault’s latest spec engine and will take a 10-place grid penalty due to the resultant component changes.
Bottas was sixth, having had a spin at Pinheirinho during a long run on the mediums, ahead of Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg.
Daniil Kvyat, running the old-spec Renault power unit in his Red Bull, and Felipe Massa completed the top 10.
Sergio Perez was three tenths slower than Force India team-mate Hulkenberg in 11th, ahead of Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Nasr.
The Toro Rossos of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz were 14th and 15th, followed by Jenson Button, who was 2.259s off the pace in the second McLaren.
Marcus Ericsson, Alonso and the Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi completed the timesheet.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.585s||1.200s||39|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.710s||1.325s||43|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.848s||1.463s||40|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m14.056s||1.671s||34|
|14||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m14.226s||1.841s||35|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m14.326s||1.941s||45|
Brazilian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads opening Friday F1 practice
Lewis Hamilton began his bid for a first Brazilian Grand Prix victory by leading the way in the opening Formula 1 practice session at Interlagos.
The three-time champion, in the headlines over the past 24 hours following a road car accident in Monaco earlier this week he put down to "heavy partying", shrugged aside the incident to comfortably outpace Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
The German swept practice and claimed pole position en route to victory a year ago, and came into this weekend fresh from his recent triumph over Hamilton in the last race in Mexico.
But it was Hamilton, who has also been struggling with a fever this week, who set the pace with a 1m13.543s on Pirelli’s medium-compound rubber.
The 30-year-old ended the 90-minute session, run in warm, dry conditions, just over half a second clear of Rosberg, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel a further tenth of a second adrift in third.
Hamilton had also led after the first half-hour with the additional set of tyres, just 0.021s clear of Rosberg at that point, with Vettel almost six tenths of a second further back.
It was not until the session was 55 minutes old that Vettel jumped to the top, moving just over two tenths clear of Hamilton, only to be swiftly deposed by Rosberg.
Five minutes later Hamilton then swept the board through the sectors in posting his leading lap, although a couple of minutes either side of that he endured lock ups into the Senna S, running wide on both occasions.
With 22 minutes remaining Hamilton then complained of a "weird" feeling and vibrations in the clutch as he left the garage on another run, leading to a swift return, although he did emerge later on for a longer stint.
Daniel Ricciardo, running Renault’s upgraded power unit this weekend for which he will be hit with a 10-place grid penalty, was fourth quickest in his Red Bull, and the only other driver to finish within a second of Hamilton.
Team-mate Daniil Kvyat was two tenths behind Ricciardo in sixth, with Kimi Raikkonen splitting the duo in his Ferrari, finishing 1.006s off the pace, although with the Finn spinning into the gravel with 10 minutes remaining.
Valtteri Bottas was 1.343s down in his seventh, followed by Max Verstappen, who survived his own early spin through the sweeping Turn 3 left-hander, to eventually finish eighth quickest.
Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado completed the top 10.
The Venezuelan’s team-mate for next year Jolyon Palmer, again replacing the Haas-bound Romain Grosjean for first practice, finished 12th and just 0.160s behind Maldonado.
McLaren duo Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso were split by a mere 0.034s in 13th and 16th, while in his last race of his short spell for Manor, Alexander Rossi got the better of Will Stevens, albeit with the duo both over four seconds down at the rear of the field.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m14.449s||0.906s||27|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m14.696s||1.153s||25|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m14.960s||1.417s||38|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m15.174s||1.631s||33|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m15.314s||1.771s||38|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m15.408s||1.865s||32|
Mexican GP: Nico Rosberg beats F1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole
Nico Rosberg claimed his fourth straight pole position in Formula 1 in qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix.
The German beat Mercedes F1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the top spot by 0.188 seconds.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was 0.370s adrift of Rosberg in third, claiming over team radio he "tried everything" to take the fight to the two silver cars.
Red Bull lost pace to its rivals in qualifying compared to practice on Friday, both cars ending up nearly a second adrift of pole.
Daniil Kvyat beat team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by just 0.001s as the RB11s placed fourth and fifth on the timesheet.
Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top six, just ahead of Williams team-mate Felipe Massa and the Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen.
Home hero Sergio Perez out-qualified team-mate Nico Hulkenberg by less than a tenth of a second as the two Force Indias completed the top 10.
Late improvements by Verstappen and Massa in Q2 meant Carlos Sainz Jr missed out on making the top-10 shootout by just 0.007s in the second Toro Rosso.
Romain Grosjean was 12th quickest, 0.223s faster than Lotus team-mate Pastor Maldonado and just over a tenth away from making Q3 himself.
Marcus Ericsson couldn’t replicate the pace that put his Sauber 10th quickest in Q1, so he wound up 14th overall, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
The Finn complained of a problem with his brake pedal in Q1, where he ended up outside the top 10 in the times.
He then stopped midway through Q2 after spinning at Turn 1.
The 2007 world champion will incur a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change following the breakdown he suffered with his SF15-T in final practice.
Fellow world champion Fernando Alonso squeaked ahead of the second Sauber of Felipe Nasr by 0.009s with his final flying lap, but the McLaren failed to escape Q1, along with the two Manor Marussias and his team-mate Jenson Button, who failed to take part in qualifying following engine problems in final practice.
Both McLarens will start at the back on account of incurring grid penalties for multiple engine changes earlier in the weekend.
MEXICAN GP GRID
|4||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m20.398s||0.918s|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m20.399s||0.919s|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m20.710s||1.230s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.716s||1.236s|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.788s||1.308s|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m20.942s||1.462s|
Nico Rosberg edges Lewis Hamilton in F1 Mexican GP final practice
Nico Rosberg pipped Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in final practice for the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix.
The German clocked a 1m21.083s, 0.014s ahead of newly-crowned world champion Hamilton with Daniel Ricciardo less than half a tenth adrift in third for Red Bull.
Overnight rain meant the track lost a lot of the rubber that was laid down during Friday practice, creating slippery conditions early in FP3.
Felipe Massa set the early pace with a 1m22.729s on the mediums, with several drivers struggling with tyre warm-up and subsequently suffering for grip.
But the track gradually improved and after 30 minutes, Sebastian Vettel was the first to fit the soft-compound Pirelli tyres to his Ferrari and promptly went fastest on a 1m21.871s.
The German was four tenths up on his next lap after two sectors but he made a mistake and backed out of it before returning to the pits.
Mercedes focused on running the medium tyre for the majority of the session, only switching to the softs with 10 minutes to go.
Rosberg promptly went fastest with a 1m21.205s, while Hamilton lost one of his attempts with a big lock-up at Turn 1.
The German went 0.122s quicker on his second, with Hamilton complaining on the radio that Rosberg was backing up into him only to be told by his engineer that there was plenty of space behind.
Hamilton regrouped and was much closer to Rosberg on his next flier, but a lock-up in the stadium section cost him and he ended the session 0.014s adrift.
Vettel completed another soft tyre run late in the session to finish fourth quickest, with just under a second separating the top 12.
Daniil Kvyat was fifth, having had a spin at Turn 6, ahead of home favourite Sergio Perez, who waved to the fans that had turned out in force for a second day running during his slow down lap at the end of the session.
Valtteri Bottas was the best placed Williams in seventh, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr with Massa and Nico Hulkenberg completing the top 10.
Kimi Raikkonen had a disappointing session, peeling off the circuit with smoke pouring from the rear of his Ferrari having managed just four laps. He was 17th quickest.
Jenson Button’s difficult weekend continued as he reported vibrations from the engine at low revs and spent most of the session in the garage.
The 2009 world champion, who will take a hefty grid penalty for engine changes, was 20th and last, one place behind Manor’s Alexander Rossi who also completed limited running after being told to be careful on the brake and pit after eight laps.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.201s||0.118s||21|
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.530s||0.447s||27|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m21.603s||0.520s||27|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m21.775s||0.692s||28|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m22.010s||0.927s||25|
|11||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m22.039s||0.956s||31|
Mexican GP: Nico Rosberg leads the Red Bulls in F1 practice two
Nico Rosberg finished Friday practice for Formula 1’s first Mexican Grand Prix in 23 years by comfortably topping the times.
On a soft-tyre run in the second session at the Mexico City track, Mercedes driver Rosberg was quickest with a lap of 1m21.531s.
Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo were second and third on a circuit that appears to suit Red Bull, finishing 0.245 seconds and 0.337s adrift respectively.
Newly-crowned three-time champion Lewis Hamilton could only manage fourth, 0.430s behind team-mate Rosberg, although his attempts to set quicker laps were often thwarted by traffic.
As per the first session, the opening half-hour was dominated by a number of spins and incidents.
After leading the way in first practice – albeit controversially so – Max Verstappen’s second practice was over inside five minutes, with the 17-year-old sliding into a barrier out of the exit of Turn 16, one of the slower sections of the track.
It brought out the red flags while his Toro Rosso was recovered and started a series of spins and slides for a number of drivers on the very slippery asphalt.
Poor weather conditions in recent months in Mexico City delayed the laying of the top layer of the circuit, and with it still being so new and with oils forcing their way to the surface, it resulted in plenty of action.
After a seven-minute delay under the red flags, Valtteri Bottas was the next to suffer as he lost his Williams under braking at high speed into Turn 1, with the Finn fortunate to only escape with losing his front wing after clipping a barrier.
Turn 1 proved to be particularly troublesome, with Carlos Sainz Jr, home hero Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado all going off track at that point.
Sebastian Vettel only just held onto his Ferrari on entry to the pitlane at one stage, while Hamilton spun out of the sharp-left Turn 4, resulting in him facing the wrong way.
With 28 minutes remaining Romain Grosjean became the second retiree of the session, pulling his Lotus off on to the grass at Turn 10 due to a clutch problem, resulting in a second red-flag period as he helped the marshals push his car behind a barrier.
Vettel ended the session fifth overall, a fraction of second behind Hamilton, with his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen the only other driver to finish within a second of Rosberg, 0.868s adrift.
Bottas, who also took out the bollard late on that separates the pitlane entry point from the track, was seventh, just over a second back, followed by McLaren duo Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
Button spent the opening 45 minutes in the garage due to a deployment issue in the wake of a planned second Honda engine change that means he is hit with a 50-place grid penalty for Sunday.
Felipe Massa completed the top 10, 1.758s down, before a late sprinkling of rain that added to the slippery conditions led to a run on intermediate rubber for a number of drivers to close out the session.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.776s||0.245s||27|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.868s||0.337s||28|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m23.290s||1.759s||34|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m23.364s||1.833s||41|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m23.597s||2.066s||33|
|–||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||–||2|
Mexican GP: Max Verstappen quickest in practice one for Toro Rosso
Max Verstappen set the pace for Toro Rosso in practice one as Formula 1 began its first Mexican Grand Prix weekend in 23 years.
The teenager clocked a 1m25.990s late in the session as the track conditions improved to finish 0.305 seconds clear of Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen third.
Verstappen’s time raised eyebrows in the pitlane as he had gone off course in the esses section on the way to setting the fastest time, cutting across the run-off area at the second part of the corner after a mistake on the way in.
Drivers started the session on the intermediates after overnight rain in Mexico City left the circuit damp in places.
Conditions were tricky due to the combination of a wet track and freshly laid asphalt, with Sebastian Vettel reporting it was "ridiculously slippery".
Valtteri Bottas set the early pace for Williams, clocking a 1m31.868s, before the field started to make the switch to the medium tyres after half an hour.
Despite the track drying out, the circuit remained tricky – with several drivers running off, particularly at Turns 8 and 10.
Nico Rosberg moved into first place, but then skated off track at the entrance to the stadium with smoke pouring from the rear wheels and flames around his brakes.
The German recovered to the pits, where Mercedes worked on a fix to aid cooling and got him out for the final minutes of the session.
The Mexico City track is located 2220 metres above sea level, which means the air is thinner and in turn puts pressure on brake and engine cooling.
Rosberg was eventually demoted to sixth, behind Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, and ahead of Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Driving on home soil, Sergio Perez drew huge cheers from a decent crowd on Friday and finished ninth, with Felipe Massa completing the top 10.
Newly-crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton clocked up 27 laps, 10 fewer than Sainz who completed the most, but set his best time early in the session. That left him 11th.
Jolyon Palmer, who will contest all the remaining Friday morning practice sessions this season ahead of his race debut with Lotus next year, was 15th, two tenths slower than team-mate Pastor Maldonado.
Jenson Button completed just nine laps before parking his McLaren in the garage so the team could complete a scheduled engine change, his second of the weekend and one that will cause him to take a 50-place grid penalty.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|1||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m25.990s||–||38|
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.295s||0.305s||27|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.185s||1.195s||28|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.410s||1.420s||37|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.581s||1.591s||19|
|16||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.099s||3.109s||17|
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.”
“Chances of an odd race”
“It can go for or against you”
Kimi Raikkonen: “We cannot take very much from today’s free practice. This morning, we only did three timed laps because we wanted to save intermediate tires for the second session. We don’t have many sets of tires for the rain conditions and if we still expect more rain it’s better to keep them. It’s a difficult situation but it’s the same for everybody. At the moment we are just guessing, tomorrow we’ll see how it is and then what comes after that if we can’t drive. With this weather conditions there’s more gamble and more chances for odd races, it can go all for you or against you. It’s a shame for everybody, the spectators can’t see anything and we can’t drive because of the conditions. Hopefully we get the proper conditions at least on Sunday and we can do qualifying and race. We’ll try to make the right decisions. I’m sure we have the speed to recover at the start.”
US F1 Grand Prix: Second practice cancelled due to extreme weather
The FIA was forced to cancel the second practice session for Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix at Austin due to extreme weather conditions.
Around 20 minutes prior to the start of the session the heavy rain forecast to hit the Austin area began to fall, turning into a deluge shortly after.
With nine minutes to go race control announced the "start of P2 will be delayed indefinitely, marshals unable to work due to the proximity of lightning".
As the rain became torrential and thunder boomed overhead on occasion, the drivers and team personnel became spectators in the garages.
The likes of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat amused themselves by taking over the cameras of the F1 photographers and snapping away.
As the rain persisted, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, race director Charlie Whiting and deputy Herbie Blash were seen in conversation in race control, likely mulling over the session’s prospects.
At 2.56pm local time, 56 minutes after the session should have started, the decision was taken to abandon running for the day, with the times from morning practice the only ones posted.
An FIA message read: "P2 is cancelled. No medical helicopter operations for the next two hours."
With the heavy rain forecast to continue through into Saturday, it raises doubts as to the possibility of practice three and qualifying taking place.
It is the first time an F1 practice session has been competely called off since the 2004 Japanese GP, when all the Saturday sessions were lost due to the Ma-On typhoon.
US F1 Grand Prix: Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg tops damp first practice
Nico Rosberg emerged comfortably fastest for Formula 1’s champion team Mercedes in the opening practice session ahead of Sunday’s United States Grand Prix at Austin.
As had been the case in the last two events at Suzuka and Sochi, wet conditions dominated early proceedings as a heavy downpour soaked the Circuit of the Americas just over an hour before the session began.
Fortunately the rain relented with 45 minutes to the start, and although it stayed away for the 90 minutes of on-track action that followed, it ensured the circuit was at best damp throughout.
After the initial installation lap was conducted on Pirelli’s full wet tyres, the field switched to the intermediates to carry out more meaningful running thereafter.
Unlike many opening practice sessions when the cars sit in the garage on the basis of drier weather being forecast as the event progresses, on this occasion with rain set for most of the weekend, the teams opted to churn out the laps.
Come the conclusion it was Rosberg that was quickest, with the Mercedes driver setting a time of 1m53.989s, finishing 1.235 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, with the latter’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo a further four tenths adrift.
Although Renault has an updated power unit available for Red Bull to use from this weekend, for first practice the team continued to use its old-spec engine, which it is expected to retain for the remainder of the weekend.
The system is also available to Toro Rosso, however, Carlos Sainz Jr confirmed on Thursday the team will not run with it at all for the remainder of the campaign.
It was the Spaniard who finished fourth on the timesheet, 1.678s down, and just 0.026s ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who can clinch his third world title this weekend.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen were sixth and eighth, the duo separated by six tenths of a second and either side of the second Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen.
Ferrari is running an updated power unit this weekend that will result in 10-place grid penalties for both drivers as it is the fifth system the Scuderia is using this year.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was ninth, 2.850s back, with the double world champion using Honda’s ‘phase four’ power unit that will form the bedrock of its 2016 system.
Alonso, who has so far expressed positivity about the new engine, finished seven tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Jenson Button, still running the older unit as he will not be handed the latest version until next weekend’s race in Mexico.
Button finished 13th, with Williams’s Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, along with Force India’s Sergio Perez all ahead of him in 10th, 11th and 12th respectively.
Manor duo Alexander Rossi, on home soil, and Will Stevens naturally brought up the rear in terms of times set in 18th and 19th, the latter almost eight seconds back.
Due to a gearbox problem Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado failed to set a time, only managing a single installation lap.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m55.224s||1.235s||6|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m55.592s||1.603s||10|
|4||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m55.667s||1.678s||8|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m55.969s||1.980s||7|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m57.139s||3.150s||4|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m57.518s||3.529s||4|