Hamilton maintains advantage in FP2 at Austin

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F1 Grand Prix, GP USA, Circuit of The Americasus

While the second practice session saw lots of drivers going wide and spin off it was still Lewis Hamilton who emerged fastest. Hamilton, who changed helmets in between FP1 and FP2 kept 4 tenths in hand over Verstappen and another extra tenth to Sebastian Vettel.

The first man out on track was Daniil Kvyat. The Russian was eager to get back to business after sitting out two races and the first practice session this morning. Kvyat is surely out to prove himself, as they is still no certainty for him when it comes to a race seat for 2018. Branden Hartley, his team mate this weekend at Toro Rosso was rapid to join him.

Just three minutes into the session, Grosjean became the first spinner of the session, losing control of his car at Turn 11. Hardly two minutes later, Kevin Magnussen lost it at Turn 19, but for him as well there was no damage to the car.

A lot of drivers seemed eager to put some early times in, with Ricciardo topping the times 15 minutes into the session. Verstappen, Hamilton and Raikkonen were up next in the rankings at the time.

Following a spin from Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel joined the party and went off at Turn 19, kindly reporting on the radio "OK, I think you saw that". The German returned to the pits not to be seen for another 15 minutes. Others meanwhile started putting on the ultra soft rubber, incidentally leading into the fastest lap ever at COTA as Lewis Hamilton wen,t fastest, taking P1 by over 9 tenths.

Verstappen reduced that advantage to 4 tenths a few minutes later, while Vettel got to within 5 tenths. The Ferrari driver also ended the session with that time, as later on he sat out some time in the garage as he asked his team to check out his car's front axle. Vettel reported "there is something jelly about the front", clarifying that straight steering felt a bit off.

While most drivers switched to longer runs for the final 30 minutes, Renault were off a bit, as they sent out Sainz for his flying laps at the same time. Nico Hulkenberg meanwhile was sitting in the garage due to technical issues while his team were removing the floor off of his Renault R.S.17. Hulkenberg returned 15 minutes later to record a time just 0.005s shy of team mate Sainz.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:34.668-26
233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:35.065+0.397s30
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1:35.192+0.524s11
477Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:35.279+0.611s39
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:35.463+0.795s24
67Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:35.514+0.846s29
714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda1:36.304+1.636s28
819Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:36.460+1.792s30
911Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:36.481+1.813s28
1031Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:36.490+1.822s34
1155Carlos SainzRenault1:36.529+1.861s30
1227Nico HulkenbergRenault1:36.534+1.866s18
1326Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1:36.761+2.093s40
1420Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:37.285+2.617s17
152Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Honda1:37.463+2.795s31
1618Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:37.788+3.120s27
1739Brendon HartleyToro Rosso1:37.987+3.319s41
1894Pascal WehrleinSauber Ferrari1:38.165+3.497s35
199Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:38.262+3.594s22
208Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:38.387+3.719s26