United States GP: Verstappen heads Vettel in FP1, Hamilton eighth

Max Verstappen set the fastest time in the opening Formula 1 practice session for the United States Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton was only eighth in the lead Mercedes.

United States GP: Verstappen heads Vettel in FP1, Hamilton eighth

Verstappen was 0.169s faster than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the first 90-minute session on Friday, with Alex Albon backing up his Red Bull teammate in third.

Red Bull showed table-topping pace throughout, with Albon quickest at the halfway stage on a 1m35.282s before times tumbled as the track improved and teams switched to the soft tyre.

After dropping Pirelli's development 2020 tyres for a set of mediums and then softs, Verstappen posted a 1m34.057s.

Vettel's own soft-tyre run yielded a 1m34.236s, with Albon ending up on a 1m34.336s.

As neither Mercedes driver or Charles Leclerc's Ferrari set a representative time, Pierre Gasly ended the session fourth, just under a second slower than Verstappen.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Renault, a shade faster than Romain Grosjean's Haas, with Leclerc only seventh, 1.3s off the pace.

Hamilton, who has regular race engineer Peter Bonnington back alongside him at Austin, ended up a few hundredths shy of Leclerc.

He vaulted into the top 10 with a late soft-tyre run after threatening to end the session 18th.

Lance Stroll was ninth for Racing Point, and Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10 in the second Haas.

Valtteri Bottas was down in 17th in the second Mercedes. He did complete a lengthy stint on softs but spent the rest of his session on development tyres and mediums.

Several drivers complained about bumps around the track and a jump at Turn 9, where there has been a mix of resurfacing and other parts being left alone and deteriorating.

Television replays even showed small parts being thrown off by at least one Haas over the bumps.

Carlos Sainz suffered a major spin through the Esses after losing his McLaren on the bumpy entry to the corner, while many others ran wide and had lap times deleted for track limits.

Williams FP1 stand-in Nicholas Latifi stopped briefly on-track and only completed seven laps after returning to the garage.

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 26 01'34.057
2 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari 30 01'34.226 00.169
3 Thailand Alex Albon
Red Bull 28 01'34.316 00.259
4 France Pierre Gasly
Toro Rosso 32 01'35.008 00.951
5 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Renault 29 01'35.263 01.206
6 France Romain Grosjean
Haas 24 01'35.356 01.299
7 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 23 01'35.380 01.323
8 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 32 01'35.439 01.382
9 Canada Lance Stroll
Racing Point 31 01'35.586 01.529
10 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Haas 23 01'35.659 01.602
11 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Toro Rosso 31 01'35.661 01.604
12 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren 26 01'35.723 01.666
13 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 22 01'35.854 01.797
14 Mexico Sergio Perez
Racing Point 29 01'35.971 01.914
15 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 26 01'36.037 01.980
16 Germany Nico Hulkenberg
Renault 24 01'36.124 02.067
17 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 40 01'36.159 02.102
18 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 23 01'36.263 02.206
19 Poland Robert Kubica
Williams 28 01'37.948 03.891
20 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 7 01'41.112 07.055
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