Hamilton Leads Bottas in Wet Opening Practice at Circuit of the Americas

by Paul Hensby
Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport - Circuit of the Americas

Lewis Hamilton headed the field in the opening free practice session at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday morning, 1.304 seconds ahead of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team-mate Valtteri Bottas, although running was limited due to inclement weather at the Texan track.

Hamilton only completed six laps as the weather played havoc with proceedings, but his fastest lap of 1:47.502 was comfortably clear of team-mate Bottas, while Aston Martin Red Bull Racing drivers finished third and fourth, Max Verstappen ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.

Sebastian Vettel was the only other driver within two seconds of Hamilton in fifth, with the Scuderia Ferrari team seemingly concentrating on longer runs.  Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Räikkönen was sixth, while Carlos Sainz Jr. was the best of the rest in seventh for the Renault Sport Formula One Team ahead of Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean.

Charles Leclerc was ninth fastest for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team despite being responsible for a mid-session red flag.  The Monegasque racer spun in the esses and drove through the gravel trap to rejoin the track, but in doing so covered the track with gravel that required the track to be cleaned.

The second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson completed the top ten ahead of the two McLaren F1 Team drivers, Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris, the latter in place of Stoffel Vandoorne for the session.

Pierre Gasly, who will start the race from the back of the grid on Sunday after taking new Honda engine components this weekend, ended thirteenth fastest for Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda ahead of Racing Point Force India F1 Team’s Sergio Pérez, Williams Martini Racing’s Sergey Sirotkin and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.

Esteban Ocon, who was not scheduled to run for Force India but replaced test driver Nicholas Latifi at the last moment, was seventeenth fastest ahead of Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg, while Williams’ Lance Stroll and Toro Rosso reserve driver Sean Gelael completed the field.

Circuit of the Americas Free Practice 1 Result

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport1:47.502
277Valtteri BottasFINMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport1:48.806
333Max VerstappenNEDAston Martin Red Bull Racing1:48.847
43Daniel RicciardoAUSAston Martin Red Bull Racing1:49.326
55Sebastian VettelDEUScuderia Ferrari1:49.489
67Kimi RaikkonenFINScuderia Ferrari1:49.928
755Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPRenault Sport Formula One Team1:50.665
88Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas F1 Team1:50.821
916Charles LeclercMONAlfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team1:50.961
109Marcus EricssonSWEAlfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team1:51.016
1114Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren F1 Team1:51.036
1247Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:51.232
1310Pierre GaslyFRARed Bull Toro Rosso Honda1:51.234
1411Sergio PerezMEXRacing Point Force India F1 Team1:51.459
1535Sergey SirotkinRUSWilliams Martini Racing1:51.589
1620Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1:51.614
1731Esteban OconFRARacing Point Force India F1 Team1:51.655
1827Nico HulkenbergDEURenault Sport Formula One Team1:51.717
1918Lance StrollCANWilliams Martini Racing1:51.896
2038Sean GelaelINORed Bull Toro Rosso Honda1:52.625

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