Formula 1

Hamilton Continues at the Top in Second Wet Session at CotA

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Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport - Circuit of the Americas
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Lewis Hamilton continued to lead the way at the Circuit of the Americas as the weather continued to blight the weekend, with the champion-elect ending just over a second clear of Pierre Gasly.

However, the restriction in wet tyre allocations meant the time drivers spent on track was limited, with the first car – Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda’s Brendon Hartley – came out in the second half of the session.

Drivers have just four sets of Intermediate and three sets of full wet tyres allocated to them for Friday practice and the rest of the weekend, but with the track completely wet and first practice earlier in the day also being held in the same conditions, drivers were reluctant to use their tyres too much just in case they are needed for the rest of the weekend.

As case in point, Hamilton completed only three laps of the Circuit of the Americas but the quick lap in the middle ensured the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver topped the session, his time of 1:48.716 demoting Gasly in the second Toro Rosso to second.

Gasly was one of a few drivers to get a new set of Intermediates for the session, but it would be less of an issue for the Frenchman as he knows he will be starting at the back of the grid on Sunday thanks to further engine updates from Honda being applied to his STR13.

Max Verstappen finished third fastest for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing ahead of McLaren F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso, with the latter only coming on track for the first time in the final five minutes of the ninety-minute session.

Nico Hülkenberg was fifth fastest for Renault Sport Formula One Team ahead of Hartley’s Toro Rosso, with the New Zealander completing the most laps of any driver in the session with nineteen, which was more to make up for him missing the first session in order to allow test driver Sean Gelael the opportunity to run.

Marcus Ericsson put his Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team C37-Ferrari into seventh ahead of the second McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne, while Scuderia Ferrari drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel completed the top ten, although the latter’s best time was set on tyres considerably past their best.

Charles Leclerc just missed out on the top ten in the second Sauber in eleventh, with Williams Martini Racing’s Lance Stroll twelfth ahead of Racing Point Force India F1 Team duo Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon, while Sergey Sirotkin ended up fifteenth, the slowest of all the drivers to set a time.  The Russian was the first driver to test the track on Intermediate tyres.

Carlos Sainz Jr. ventured out for just two laps but did not set a time, whilst Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean and Valtteri Bottas did not take to the track at all.

Circuit of the Americas Free Practice 2 Result

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