The Formula One drivers are back in the United States this weekend, as they will run the U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday in Texas. On Friday, the drivers took to the Circuit of the Americas road course just south of Austin for two practice sessions in preparation for this weekend’s race. In the opening session, Lewis Hamilton led the way as he turned a lap of 1:37.428-seconds in his No. 44 Mercedes this morning.
Despite Hamilton winning three of the four trips to COTA, seeing him on top of the speed charts is a tad surprising. Yes, he absolutely needs to win this weekend to stay in the championship hunt, but Hamilton has yet to win a pole in Texas. Being quickest out of the gates is a strong indicator that he could be the one to beat not just for the pole, but for the win on Sunday as well.
His teammate and current points leader Nico Rosberg was second on the speed charts with a lap of 1:37.743-seconds in his No. 6 Mercedes. The duo were nearly two seconds quicker than everyone else as Max Verstappen took his No. 33 Red Bull entry to third fastest on the speed chart with a lap of 1:39.379-seconds.
Kimi Raikkonen (1:39.407-seconds) and Nico Hulkenberg (1:39.712-seconds) rounded out the top five in being fourth and fifth respectively. Daniel Ricciardo (1:39.963-seconds) and Sebastien Vettel (1:39.998-seconds) were seventh and eighth respectively themselves.
In the final session of the day, Rosberg was on top this time as he turned a lap of 1:37.358-seconds. That lap was the quickest of the afternoon.
Ricciardo jumped from seventh in the opening session to second in the final practice as he turned a lap of 1:37.552-seconds in his No. 3 Red Bull entry. Hamilton, was third overall with a lap of 1:37.649-seconds, while Sebastian Vettel (1:38.178-seconds) and Verstappen (1:38.258-seconds) rounded out the top five.