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United States GP: Hamilton tops FP2 from Leclerc

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United States GP: Hamilton tops FP2 from Leclerc
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Nov 1, 2019, 9:36 PM

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the second Formula 1 free practice session ahead of the United States Grand Prix, outpacing Charles Leclerc by 0.301s.

Ferrari driver Leclerc was quickest in the early running - which was interrupted by a red flag caused by Romain Grosjean crashing his Haas after losing it in Turn 5 and nosing into the barrier - with a time of 1m34.434s using medium Pirellis.

That put Leclerc 0.158s quicker than Hamilton, who used the hard compound to set his time.

But Hamilton hit back once the drivers started to switch on to the soft Pirellis, setting a time of 1m33.232s to secure top spot.

This was despite lagging 0.317s behind Leclerc at the end of the first sector, with a significant tow from Robert Kubica's Williams in the middle sector allowing him to take half a second out of Leclerc.

Hamilton ended up with a time 0.301s quicker than Leclerc having eked out a little more time in the final sector.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was the last of the frontrunners to set a time on mediums, lapping 0.315s off the pace and 0.343s ahead of fourth-placed Sebastian Vettel.

This was still good enough to put Vettel, who had a spin late in the session while running hard Pirellis coming through the Turn 14 right-hander, well clear of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas questioned where he had lost time over the radio, and he was informed was down to a combination of not having a Hamilton-lie tow and time lost on the straights – which he was also told was down to "something else probably".

He subsequently made a small improvement to his time, but was still 0.813s off the pace.

Alex Albon completed the top six in the second Red Bull, 1.202s down and just three quarters of a tenth ahead of the man he replaced, Pierre Gasly.

Gasly declared "that's a good lap" after he jumped up to seventh place with a time good enough to keep him well-clear of eighth fastest Carlos Sainz's McLaren.

Racing Point driver Lance Stroll was one of the last to set a time on softs, jumping into the top 10 with a lap of 1m34.744s with 37 minutes remaining and ending up ninth.

Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the top 10 for Alfa Romeo having been shuffled from seventh after his quick lap down to 10th place, 1.607s off the pace.

Giovinazzi survived a spin earlier in the session when the rear stepped out coming through the Turn 6 right-hander, with his initial correction firing the car in the opposite direction to the original moment.

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo was 11th fastest despite a wide moment exiting Turn 9 on his lap, half-a-tenth quicker than the second Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.

Nico Hulkenberg put the second Renault 13th ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris with Sergio Perez 15th.

Kimi Raikkonen was 16th fastest with a lap 2.155s off the pace, just ahead of the first driver to set a time on softs – Haas's Kevin Magnussen.

Grosjean's pace on the mediums before going off and bringing his afternoon to a premature end on his fourth lap was good enough to secure 18th place, with the two Williams drivers 19th and 20th.

Russell was the quicker of the pair, lapping just over half-a-second faster than Kubica.

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 34 01'33.232  
2 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 33 01'33.533 00.301
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 28 01'33.547 00.315
4 Germany Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 35 01'33.890 00.658
5 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 34 01'34.045 00.813
6 Thailand Alex Albon Red Bull 32 01'34.434 01.202
7 France Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 31 01'34.509 01.277
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 34 01'34.667 01.435
9 Canada Lance Stroll Racing Point 29 01'34.744 01.512
10 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 29 01'34.839 01.607
11 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Renault 29 01'34.924 01.692
12 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 36 01'34.975 01.743
13 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Renault 32 01'34.988 01.756
14 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 30 01'35.025 01.793
15 Mexico Sergio Perez Racing Point 26 01'35.109 01.877
16 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 34 01'35.387 02.155
17 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 28 01'35.442 02.210
18 France Romain Grosjean Haas 4 01'35.789 02.557
19 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 37 01'36.749 03.517
20 Poland Robert Kubica Williams 33 01'37.283 04.051
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event United States GP
Sub-event FP2
Author Edd Straw