US GP: Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg in first practice

Lewis Hamilton edged Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg in first practice ahead of the United States Grand Prix as Mercedes started the weekend well clear of its rivals

US GP: Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg in first practice

Hamilton finished 0.315s clear of Rosberg at Austin, posting a lap of 1m37.428s, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen third quickest, but a further 1.6s adrift, albeit on the medium compound.

The leading times from Hamilton and Rosberg were set on Pirelli's soft compound tyres, beating their early times on the super-soft as the track improved during the first 90 minutes of F1 running.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen set the early pace on soft tyres with a 1m42.738s before being deposed by Rosberg by 2.1s, with the championship leader the first to try the super-softs at the time.

Rosberg remained top for only a handful of minutes as Hamilton became the first to dip below the 1m40s mark with his first run on super-softs.

While Hamilton continued to lower the benchmark, just before the hour mark Rosberg then reclaimed top spot with a 1m37.743s on softs, but Hamilton produced a lap soon after that remained unbeaten.

Raikkonen finished fourth quickest, improving to a 1m39.407s ahead of Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, who recently confirmed he is Renault bound in 2017.

Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo were sixth and seventh best, the latter finishing 2.535s adrift on used mediums, with Sebastian Vettel down in seventh on softs.

At one stage Vettel ran wide at the penultimate corner, his Ferrari rattling over the rumble strips resulting in a piece of bodywork shaking loose, colliding with his right wing mirror in the process and dislodging it.

For the lap that followed Vettel drove with one hand as he used his left to stop the wing mirror from falling off.

Toro Rosso duo Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat completed the top 10, both 2.7s down and separated by just nine thousandths of a second on the super-soft compound, with the latter complaining of understeer.

On home soil for their team, Haas pair Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez finished 14th and 15th, 3.5s off the pace.

Their session ended in unusual fashion as both had to be wheeled back into the garage from the end of the pitlane where they had come to a stop.

There was an outing for two reserve drivers, with Force India's Alfonso Celis Jr - in for Sergio Perez - four seconds down in 17th.

Manor's Jordan King, in his maiden practice outing and replacing Pascal Wehrlein, was 20th, 4.584s adrift.

FP1 RESULT

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.428s - 25
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m37.743s 0.315s 27
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m39.379s 1.951s 28
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m39.407s 1.979s 21
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m39.712s 2.284s 27
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m39.776s 2.348s 30
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m39.963s 2.535s 26
8 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m39.988s 2.560s 15
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m40.131s 2.703s 16
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m40.140s 2.712s 26
11 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m40.191s 2.763s 27
12 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m40.287s 2.859s 16
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m40.362s 2.934s 26
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m40.826s 3.398s 15
15 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m40.970s 3.542s 15
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.170s 3.742s 17
17 Alfonso Celis Force India/Mercedes 1m41.422s 3.994s 27
18 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m41.663s 4.235s 21
19 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m41.942s 4.514s 22
20 Jordan King Manor/Mercedes 1m42.012s 4.584s 29
21 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m42.332s 4.904s 31
22 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1m43.874s 6.446s 27

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