US GP: Lewis Hamilton pips F1 title rival Nico Rosberg in practice

Lewis Hamilton outpaced Formula 1 title rival and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by three thousandths of a second in Friday afternoon practice for the United States Grand Prix

US GP: Lewis Hamilton pips F1 title rival Nico Rosberg in practice

Rosberg initially had the advantage after both had set their first flying laps following their switch to the soft-compound Pirellis, but Hamilton found time on his second lap to jump ahead of his Mercedes team-mate.

Although Rosberg did set the fastest sector time of all in the middle sector on his second quick lap, he was unable to improve overall so had to settle for second place.

The Mercedes drivers completely dominated the session, outpacing McLaren pairing Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button in the early stages on the slower medium-compound Pirellis by over 1.5s.

Their advantage over the rest of field was trimmed to 1.104s once everyone had completed performance runs on the softs, with Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso best-of-the-rest after leaving his switch to the faster rubber later than most.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest for Red Bull, while Felipe Massa jumped up to fifth shortly after the halfway mark in the session despite having suffered a minor lock-up on his quick lap and spun his Williams at the first corner early on.

The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, with the Finn struggling to find a set-up on his car that gave him the necessary feel to extract more pace.

One of the stars of the session was Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat, who continued his impressive form of the morning to set the seventh-fastest time of the day.

Behind him were the two McLarens of Magnussen and Button, who were unable to be as competitive in relative terms on the softs as they had been on the mediums.

Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10, even though he did make an error on his quick lap, just beating Valtteri Bottas to the position.

Romain Grosjean recovered from a dramatic high-speed spin in the fast Turn 5/6 to set 12th fastest time, almost two seconds off the pace, ahead of Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez.

Like Lotus team-mate Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado also struggled with the tricky-to-drive Lotus, spinning on what should have been his quickest lap and ending up 15th ahead of the two Saubers of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.

Sebastian Vettel was slowest of the depleted, 18-car field, almost five seconds off the pace.

The German is focusing entirely on preparations for the race given he will start from the pits irrespective of where he qualifies, but made a late start to the session because of a gearbox change.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m39.085s - 18
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m39.088s 0.003s 34
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m40.189s 1.104s 29
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m40.390s 1.305s 30
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m40.457s 1.372s 36
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m40.543s 1.458s 32
7 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m40.631s 1.546s 34
8 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m40.641s 1.556s 38
9 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 1m40.698s 1.613s 36
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m40.800s 1.715s 25
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m40.828s 1.743s 37
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1m41.054s 1.969s 31
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault 1m41.110s 2.025s 36
14 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m41.123s 2.038s 35
15 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1m41.158s 2.073s 37
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.332s 2.247s 33
17 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.420s 2.335s 34
18 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 1m43.980s 4.895s 19

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