FP2: Rosberg closes Friday on top in Austin

Nico Rosberg topped Friday’s final practice session of the United States Grand Prix on the Circuit of the Americas with a swift time of 1:37.358, while Daniel Ricciardo pipped Lewis Hamilton for P2.

Tasting COTA for the first time this year, Sergio Perez and Pascal Wehrlein returned to the line-up after sitting out the first practice session.

Hamilton topped the opening session of the day but couldn’t quite match the pace of his team-mate on supersofts, while also being slower than Red Bull driver Ricciardo.

Rosberg dominated the session straight out the blocks, although his countryman Sebastian Vettel, who placed fourth, did manage to be the session leader for a brief period before being outdone by Ferrari’s competitors.

Despite it being one of the more uneventful practice rounds of the season, the session was still red flagged after mysterious debris made its way onto the track.

After placing in a promising fourth during FP1, Scuderia ace Kimi Raikkonen only managed a disappointing P10 during the second free practice, finishing behind the two McLaren-Honda’s Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, who finished P8 and P9 respectively.

Force India duo Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez looked quite quick during Friday’s proceedings as they finished comfortably in the top ten, placing P6 and P7 respectively.

Supersoft compounds were definitely the star of the tyre show in Austin as most of the drivers completed the majority of the session on the red-lined tyre. However, they didn’t seem to last too long, while the soft tyre lapped similar times to the supersofts, but got more laps out of the track.

Only a couple of incident occurred during the second session, with Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz, Raikkonen and Jolyon Palmer all missing their mark and going off the track, nothing too serious though.

During their home race, Haas won’t be too pleased after Romain Grosjean placed 18th and Esteban Gutierrez finished 20th.

1. N. Rosberg  Mercedes 1'37.358 33 laps         

2. D. Ricciardo  Red Bull 0.194 33 laps  

3. L. Hamilton Mercedes 0.291 32 laps  

4. S. Vettel Ferrari 0.820 35 laps  

5. M. Verstappen Red Bull 0.900 27 laps  

6. N. Hulkenberg Force India 1.150 32 laps  

7. S. Perez Force India 1.210 31 laps  

8. J. Button McLaren 1.355 29 laps  

9. F. Alonso  McLaren 1.443 30 laps  

10. K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1.507 31 laps  

11. C. Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1.613 31 laps  

12. K. Magnussen Renault 1.801 23 laps  

13. F. Nasr Sauber 1.831 28 laps  

14. V. Bottas Williams 1.839 34 laps  

15. D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1.844 36 laps  

16. F. Massa Williams 1.923 30 laps  

17. J. Palmer Renault 2.097 34 laps  

18. R. Grosjean Haas 2.196 24 laps  

19. E. Ocon  Manor 2.728 27 laps  

20. E. Gutierrez Haas 2.756 26 laps  

21. M. Ericsson Sauber 2.861 28  laps  

22. P. Wehrlein Manor 3.773 31 laps  

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