United States GP: Lewis Hamilton edges Nico Rosberg in FP1

Formula 1 title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg predictably set the pace for Mercedes in the first free practice session for the United States Grand Prix

United States GP: Lewis Hamilton edges Nico Rosberg in FP1

The absence of F1 minnows Caterham and Marussia meant just 18 cars took to the track for the first time since the 2005 Monaco GP, and points leader Hamilton was the only driver to lap in the 1m39s as he beat team-mate Rosberg to the top spot by just under three tenths of a second.

McLaren led the way for most of the session, despite technical problems enforcing radio silence between the pitwall and both drivers.

Jenson Button ran the Mercedes drivers close and ended the session less than a tenth slower than Rosberg.

Team-mate Kevin Magnussen also enjoyed a spell at the top of the times early on, but he slipped to fifth in the final classification, a tenth behind Daniil Kvyat's Toro Rosso.

Ferrari trialled experimental front and rear wings in this session, as well as checking driver visibility should it decide to raise the height of the top surface of the nose on next year's car.

Fernando Alonso rounded out the top six, 1.124s off the pace, while Kimi Raikkonen was 12th quickest in the sister car.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who is set to start from the pitlane on Sunday after breaching rules that limit the number of engines he is allowed to use across the season, set the seventh quickest time in his Red Bull-Renault.

Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo ran into engine problems of his own early on in the session, which restricted him to the 17th fastest time and meant he completed just five laps.

Romain Grosjean was the only driver to lap slower than Ricciardo, as he trialled an experimental non-twin-tusk nose on his Lotus E22.

Max Verstappen made his second free practice appearance of the season, taking over the Toro Rosso normally raced by Jean-Eric Vergne.

The Dutch teenager lapped nine tenths off Kvyat in rounding out the top 10, just behind Williams reserve Felipe Nasr - in Valtteri Bottas' car - and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.

Cars returned to the circuit at the end of the session to allow the FIA to trial a new yellow flag speed limit set to be implemented to improve safety following Jules Bianchi's Japanese GP crash.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m39.941s - 28
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.233s 0.292s 32
3 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 1m40.319s 0.378s 27
4 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m40.887s 0.946s 33
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m40.987s 1.046s 29
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m41.065s 1.124s 27
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 1m41.463s 1.522s 20
8 Felipe Nasr Williams/Mercedes 1m41.545s 1.604s 19
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m41.722s 1.781s 24
10 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m41.785s 1.844s 32
11 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m41.907s 1.966s 21
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m41.965s 2.024s 23
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1m42.329s 2.388s 28
14 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1m42.333s 2.392s 23
15 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m42.359s 2.418s 23
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1m42.516s 2.575s 24
17 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m42.598s 2.657s 5
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1m43.229s 3.288s 26


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