Lewis Hamilton has ended Friday practice at the Circuit of the Americas atop the timesheets once again, although this time his margin over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg was just a scant three-thousandths of a second.
While Hamilton had the edge on his teammate running both Pirelli tyre compounds, the pair didn’t have smooth sessions, however, with both reporting gearbox issues on their longer runs. Hamilton’s came from a loss of hydraulic pressure that saw his session end 15 minutes early, while Rosberg’s was down to driver error – the German dipped his clutch pedal after suffering a sudden itch in his foot!
Such was the Silver Arrows’ dominance of proceedings, Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari was third-fastest but over a second adrift of the pair. Daniel Ricciardo bounced back from his FP1 issues to go fourth-fastest in his Red Bull Racing entry, finishing ahead of Williams driver Felipe Massa and the Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen.
Daniil Kvyat was a promising seventh-fastest in his Toro Rosso; six spots and almost half a second clear of teammate Jean-Éric Vergne, having his first outing of the weekend after surrendering the cockpit of his car to Max Verstappen in FP1.
After running well up the timesheets in FP1, the McLarens of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button slipped down the order to eighth and ninth respectively.
Nico Hülkenberg rounded out the top ten positions in his Force India, edging out Williams’ Valtteri Bottas – the Finn was also back behind the wheel after reserve driver Felipe Nasr had an outing in FP1.
Romain Grosjean took his Lotus E22 to twelfth, ahead of Vergne, Force India’s Sergio Pérez and the sister Lotus of Pastor Maldonado. Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutiérrez completed the order in their Saubers, while Sebastian Vettel brought up the rear, completing limited running in his Red Bull.
The Milton Keynes squad confirmed that the four-time World Champion would start Sunday’s race from the pit lane as a result of having his entire Renault power unit replaced. Vettel will, however, take part in qualifying, contrary to earlier speculation.
The FIA has meanwhile confirmed that it will eliminate four cars apiece in the opening and second phases of qualifying – as opposed to the traditional six – as a result of the absence of the Marussia and Caterham F1 teams.
2014 United States Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:39.085||18|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:39.088||+ 0.003||34|
|3.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:40.189||+ 1.104||29|
|4.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:40.390||+ 1.305||30|
|5.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:40.457||+ 1.372||36|
|6.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:40.543||+ 1.458||32|
|7.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:40.631||+ 1.546||34|
|8.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:40.641||+ 1.556||38|
|9.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:40.698||+ 1.613||36|
|10.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:40.800||+ 1.715||25|
|11.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:40.828||+ 1.743||37|
|12.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:41.054||+ 1.969||31|
|13.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:41.110||+ 2.025||36|
|14.||Sergio Pérez||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:41.123||+ 2.038||35|
|15.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:41.158||+ 2.073||37|
|16.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:41.332||+ 2.247||33|
|17.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:41.420||+ 2.335||34|
|18.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:43.980||+ 4.895||19|
Images via XPB Images