Hamilton tops damp first practice at Austin

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F1 Grand Prix, GP USA, Circuit of The Americasus

Lewis Hamilton was the fastest around Circuit of The Americas on Friday morning as running commenced in preparation for the USA Grand Prix. Damp and overcast conditions didn't change much at the front as Vettel came closest to Hamilton's pace, followed by Valtteri Bottas.

Vettel was however more than half a second down on the Championship leader. Max Verstappen in fourth was already more than a second behind, almost matched by Stoffel Vandoorne.

Felipe Massa followed in 6th while Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was 7th fastest. Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were 8th and 9th while Carlos Sainz, for the first time driving in a Renault, completed the top 10.

The session kicked off with light rain and saw Hamilton going fastest on the intermediate tyres. Verstappen and Ricciardo at the time were the closest challengers. It was only past halfway into the session that Verstappen managed to better Hamilton thanks to making use of the improved conditions. Still on intermediate tyres, it was clear that at some point in the session, slicks would become more appropriate.

It was his team mate at Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo, who first went fastest on slicks, using the supersoft tyre. It was only later than Hamilton improved on that, thanks to the now-pink ultrasofts tyres. Bottas momentarily went second fastest until Vettel improved by another tenth to leapfrog the Mercedes driver again for second place.

McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne slotted into fifth. The Belgian, who is set to take another grid penalty for taking on a new engine, was McLaren spearpoint in the morning as Fernando Alonso was unable to set a time due to technical issues.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:36.33518
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1:36.928+0.593s20
377Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:36.979+0.644s10
433Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:37.339+1.004s21
52Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Honda1:37.352+1.017s26
619Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:37.570+1.235s23
77Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:37.598+1.263s20
831Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:37.808+1.473s25
911Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:37.861+1.526s20
1055Carlos SainzRenault1:38.093+1.758s24
1120Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:38.408+2.073s16
1218Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:38.534+2.199s25
1327Nico HulkenbergRenault1:38.904+2.569s19
1439Brendon HartleyToro Rosso1:39.267+2.932s28
158Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:39.336+3.001s17
163Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:39.366+3.031s14
1738Sean GelaelToro Rosso1:40.406+4.071s25
189Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:40.448+4.113s19
1937Charles LeclercSauber Ferrari1:40.828+4.493s25
2014Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda--4