Fernando Alonso has set the early pace as practice for the Circuit of the Americas’ second running of the United States Grand Prix. The Spaniard lapped quickest in Friday’s first practice session, which was delayed and shortened by heavy fog.
The start of the practice session was delayed by forty minutes, courtesy of a dense blanket of fog which eventually began to burn off. After fifteen minutes’ running, the session was suspended again – this time when officials discovered a mechanical problem with the medical helicopter.
Alonso quickly moved to the top of the timesheets – ahead of Jenson Button, while Valtteri Bottas took his Williams into the rather giddy heights of third-fastest, only four-hundredths of a second off the Spaniard’s leading pace.
Esteban Gutiérrez was an equally encouraging fourth-fastest in his Sauber, outpacing the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Mark Webber, Nico Hülkenberg and Pastor Maldonado rounded out the top ten positions on the timesheets.
Lotus ‘super sub’ Heikki Kovalainen finished the session thirteenth-fastest in his first outing for the team, lapping a quarter of a second slower than new teammate Romain Grosjean.
Having qualified for his FIA Super License last week, Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat was seventeenth-fastest in his first Friday practice outing for the team as he prepared for his full-time Formula 1 debut next year. The GP3 Series champion was just two-tenths slower than Daniel Ricciardo.
Sebastian Vettel’s quest for eight wins on the trot began in a low-key manner, with the German not posting a truly competitive time in the opening session en route to finishing 18th-fastest.
As usual, the final four positions comprised the Caterham-Marussia quartet, with Caterham’s test driver, Alexander Rossi, getting a rare outing behind the wheel of the CT03 in place of Giedo van der Garde. The Californian finished quickest of the foursome, while Marussia
pay reserve driver Rodolfo González once again brought up the rear, grinding to a halt with a technical issue late in the session.
2013 United States Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:
|1.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:38.343||16|
|2.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:38.371||+ 0.028||25|
|3.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Renault FW35||1:38.388||+ 0.045||17|
|4.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:38.532||+ 0.189||18|
|5.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:38.657||+ 0.314||21|
|6.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:38.979||+ 0.636||21|
|7.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:39.005||+ 0.662||17|
|8.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:39.083||+ 0.740||18|
|9.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:39.158||+ 0.815||18|
|10.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW35||1:39.200||+ 0.857||15|
|11.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:39.238||+ 0.895||13|
|12.||Sergio Pérez||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:39.256||+ 0.913||17|
|13.||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:39.487||+ 1.144||18|
|14.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:39.699||+ 1.356||15|
|15.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:39.836||+ 1.493||15|
|16.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:40.863||+ 1.520||19|
|17.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:40.065||+ 1.722||20|
|18.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:40.662||+ 2.319||21|
|19.||Alexander Rossi||Caterham Renault CT03||1:41.399||+ 3.056||21|
|20.||Max Chilton||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:41.605||+ 3.262||19|
|21.||Charles Pic||Caterham Renault CT03||1:42.054||+ 3.711||19|
|22.||Rodolfo González||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:43.716||+ 5.373||17|