Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg has topped the second practice session for the United States Grand Prix, narrowly edging out Daniel Ricciardo by under two-tenths of a second.
The German driver jumped to the top of the table early in the session as his team mate Lewis Hamilton ran the medium tyre before swapping to the super softs.
Rosberg, who started the session on the soft compound, registered a 1:38.082 to go quickest in the session. The championship leader then improved once he bolted on a set of the super soft compound to an unassailable 1:37.358.
Red Bull Racing remain competitive so far this weekend as Ricciardo’s best time set on the super softs was good enough to split the Mercedes duo, as Hamilton finished third with a time just under three-tenths off the pace.
Sebastian Vettel was over half a second down on Hamilton’s time as the Ferrari driver beat Max Verstappen to fifth position, while the Force India pair of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez finished sixth and seventh respectively.
The session was briefly interrupted by a red flag due to a piece of bodywork falling off the rear wing of Romain Grosjean’s Haas, which landed in the middle of the Esses on the racing line.
Practice resumed with 30 minutes left on the clock and the field slowly began turning their attention to their race simulations.
Turn 18 continued to catch drivers out as Jolyon Palmer again found himself facing in the wrong direction, while Esteban Ocon had a high-speed spin into the gravel at the start of the session. Fortunately for the Frenchman, he was able to get his Manor out of the gravel quickly and continue on with his session.
Both McLaren drivers improved on their first practice session and finished inside the top ten, as Jenson Button beat team mate Fernando Alonso to eighth position while Kimi Raikkonen was a fraction behind in 10th position.
Both Williams drivers again found themselves down the order after Friday practice, with Valtteri Bottas finishing in 14th while Felipe Massa was 16th behind Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso. All three drivers were bested by Kevin Magnussen’s Renault in 12th as well as Felipe Nasr’s Sauber in 13th.
Image via XPB Images