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Hamilton tops US F1 GP practice sessions as Ferrari challenge fades

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Hamilton tops US F1 GP practice sessions as Ferrari challenge fades
Oct 20, 2017, 9:47 PM

Lewis Hamilton led the second free practice session of the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix, ahead of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton led the second free practice session of the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix, ahead of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton also led a damp FP1 session, with the fastest time of 1m35.335s, putting him 0.593 seconds clear of runner-up Vettel.

In FP2, Hamilton led Red Bull's Verstappen – who signed a new contract lasting until 2020 on Friday – by 0.397s, with Vettel third.

Vettel spun on the bumpy and fast-paced penultimate corner and spent 20 minutes in the pits having completed just two laps before that. He emerged on super-softs and jumped to third, having set a fastest lap of 1m35.192s.

The Ferrari frontrunner retreated to the pits citing a front axle issue, complaining, “the front of the car feels like jelly.”

At the start of the session, the majority left the pits on super-softs and it was Kimi Raikkonen who went fastest early on with a time of 1m36.667s.

Raikkonen's fastest time on ultra-softs was a 1m35.514s, 0.846s off the top, and he ended the session sixth.

Leapfrogging the Ferrari was Max Verstappen who set a time of 1m36.116s, two tenths ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, 15 minutes into the session.

The Mercedes pair equipped ultra-softs 20 minutes later and shot to the top of the table through Hamilton's time of 1m34.668s. Bottas filed in six tenths down, ending up in fourth place.

Long-runs were performed with the ultra-softs, with teams anticipating a one-stop race on Sunday, though the session ended with drivers on a mix of ultra-softs, super-softs and softs. Red Bull and Mercedes were closely matched on their race simulations.

Though he had to pit with damage, Fernando Alonso ended the session seventh, but 1.636s off the top. Felipe Messa's fastest time was 0.156s slower than Alonso's, but the Williams veteran finished ahead of the Force Indias who rounded out the top 10, with Sergio Perez ninth.

Romain Grosjean, who was incensed by Daniil Kvyat and team-mate Kevin Magnussen's presence in front of him early on, ended the session 20th having foregone an ultra-soft run.

Haas counterpart Magnussen (14th) completed a dicey lunge on the Frenchman 10 minutes into the session, after both Haas cars spun separately at low speeds in sector three.

Toro Rosso stand-in Brendon Hartley completed the most laps with 41, and Daniil Kvyat completed one fewer, though Kvyat ended up 13th and Hartley 17th.

Vettel completed the fewest amount of laps, with 11 under his belt. 

Will Hamilton end up on top in Sunday's race? Have your say in the comment section below.

Results, FP2:

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR

TIME

GAP

LAPS

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1m34.668s

-

26

2

Max Verstappen

Red Bull/Renault

1m35.065s

0.397s

30

3

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1m35.192s

0.524s

11

4

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

1m35.279s

0.611s

39

5

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull/Renault

1m35.463s

0.795s

24

6

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

1m35.514s

0.846s

29

7

Fernando Alonso

McLaren/Honda

1m36.304s

1.636s

28

8

Felipe Massa

Williams/Mercedes

1m36.460s

1.792s

30

9

Sergio Perez

Force India/Mercedes

1m36.481s

1.813s

28

10

Esteban Ocon

Force India/Mercedes

1m36.490s

1.822s

34

11

Carlos Sainz Jr

Renault

1m36.529s

1.861s

30

12

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault

1m36.534s

1.866s

18

13

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso/Renault

1m36.761s

2.093s

40

14

Kevin Magnussen

Haas/Ferrari

1m37.285s

2.617s

17

15

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren/Honda

1m37.463s

2.795s

31

16

Lance Stroll

Williams/Mercedes

1m37.788s

3.120s

27

17

Brendon Hartley

Toro Rosso/Renault

1m37.987s

3.319s

41

18

Pascal Wehrlein

Sauber/Ferrari

1m38.165s

3.497s

35

19

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber/Ferrari

1m38.262s

3.594s

22

20

Romain Grosjean

Haas/Ferrari

1m38.387s

3.719s

26

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton Shop Now