US Grand Prix: Nico Rosberg tops first practice before storm cancels FP2
The second free practice session for the US Grand Prix was cancelled after torrential rain and lightening storms meant the medical helicopter could...
The second free practice session for the US Grand Prix was cancelled after torrential rain and lightening storms meant the medical helicopter could not take off.
As the rain began to fall around 20 minutes before the session was supposed to get underway, messages on boards around the Circuit of the Americas warned fans to take shelter from the weather and marshals were collected from their posts around the track.
That meant FP2 was delayed by almost an hour before the decision to cancel the session was taken.
Before the announcement was made, the drivers were spotted chatting with their mechanics, taking photographs and sheltering from the rain in the paddock.
Earlier in the day, Nico Rosberg had topped FP1, which took place in wet, but drivable, conditions. The Mercedes driver beat the Red Bull pair of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Riccardo to the top spot.
Carlos Sainz was fourth ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, with his Toro Rosso teammate, Max Verstappen in seventh.
Kimi Raikkonen was eighth for Ferrari, ahead of Fernando Alonso, who was running an updated Honda power unit, and Valtteri Bottas in tenth.
Felipe Massa was 11th in the second Williams with Sergio Perez 12th, ahead of Jenson Button, Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean.
Joylon Palmer was supposed to run in the Frenchman’s Lotus but due to the weather predicted for FP2, the team opted to switch its plans.
Raffaele Marciello did enjoy 19 laps in Felipe Nasr’s Sauber, and the Italian ended FP1 over 0.3s faster than the squad’s other regular driver, Marcus Ericsson.
Alexander Rossi beat his Manor teammate, Will Stevens, to 18th at his home Grand Prix, where he will become the first American to take part in an F1 race in the US since Scott Speed in 2007.
Pastor Maldonado did not set a time in FP1 as his Lotus was struck down by a gearbox problem after one lap.
There remains a danger that FP3 and qualifying could be delayed or cancelled, as the weather is not expected to improve on Saturday.
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m53.989s
2 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull +1.235s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +1.603s
4 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso +1.678s
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1.704s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +1.721s
7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso +1.980s
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +2.337s
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren +2.850s
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams +2.877s
11 Felipe Massa Williams +3.092s
12 Sergio Perez Force India +3.150s
13 Jenson Button McLaren +3.506s
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India +3.529s
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus +4.330s
16 Raffaele Marciello Sauber +5.442s
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber +5.754s
18 Alexander Rossi Marussia +7.165s
19 Will Stevens Marussia +7.918s20 Pastor Maldonado Lotus -
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