Formula 1

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

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

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

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