Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2014

Hamilton leads the way for Mercedes in first practice

2014 United States Grand Prix first practice

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2014It was business as usual for Mercedes in the first practice session at the Circuit of the Americas.

The constructors’ champions took up their usual spots at the top of the times sheets, with Lewis Hamilton the only driver to get under the 100-second mark in the first session. Nico Rosberg was just under three-tenths of a second slower, but both drivers seemed to have more time in hand in the final sector of the lap.

The last two corners caught a couple of drivers out, notably Adrian Sutil who spun his Sauber at the exit of turn 19 without hitting anything.

Fernando Alonso also had trouble getting the power down in his Ferrari at the end of one of his quick laps. He ended the session in sixth while team mate Kimi Raikkonen was twelfth having begun the session running a large aero rig on the front of his car.

Jenson Button got closest to the pace set by the two Mercedes, ending the session less than a tenth of a second off Rosberg.

With the Caterhams and Marussias absent, Romain Grosjean ended the session slowest having a new nose on the Lotus similar to that used by Mercedes and Ferrari. He also suffered a tyre delamination and at the end of the session reported a failure at the rear-right. At the same time the other Lotus of Pastor Maldonado ended his session with a spin.

Daniel Ricciardo only set five laps before being sidelined with an ERS problem. Both Red Bull’s hit trouble as Sebastian Vettel was told to pit with a gearbox problem at the end of the session.

After the session concluded a test of the new Virtual Safety Car was conducted under which drivers had to stick to a restricted speed.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’39.94128
26Nico RosbergMercedes1’40.2330.29232
322Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.3190.37827
426Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’40.8870.94633
520Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.9871.04629
614Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’41.0651.12427
71Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’41.4631.52220
840Felipe NasrWilliams-Mercedes1’41.5451.60419
927Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’41.7221.78124
1038Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’41.7851.84432
1119Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’41.9071.96621
127Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’41.9652.02423
1313Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’42.3292.38828
1499Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’42.3332.39223
1511Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’42.3592.41823
1621Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’42.5162.57524
173Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’42.5982.6575
188Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’43.2293.28826

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “Hamilton leads the way for Mercedes in first practice”

  1. My thoughts on FP1:

    –The Lotus with the 2015 nose looks amazing.
    –The McLaren on YELLOW soft tyres with YELLOW coloured SAP sponsorship stickers would look amazing.
    –Lastly, I really want Jenson on the podium.


  2. Hamilton had good race pace compared to Rosberg. Now we have to see what Bottas can do.

  3. Button with good single lap pace isn’t something we’ve seen for a while. Will be amazing if he can keep that up through the weekend and actually challenge Merc

    1. Driving for his job. Worth a couple tenths.

    2. It seems unlikely that these times are representative, but if they are, Ferrari may need to be looking over their shoulders, since their 45 point lead over McLaren in the Constructors’ championship is definitely not enough to guarantee them fourth.

  4. For some reason I can scroll from the first to last driver much quicker.

    1. quite subtle ;)

    2. I was at Will Buxton’s Big Time Bash last night and Alexander Rossi was there along with Marcus Ericsson and it was sad to see them there with no chance to participate because of the greed of Bernie and company.
      On a lighter note, Mario Andretti told a hilarious story about when he and Bobby Unser managed to set a rental car on fire and when an engineer from Ford stopped to help, they stole his car and left him with the burning rental. And somehow it was all Unser’s fault so the next day at Qualifying, Mario faked an emergency phone call to Unser on an in-field phone booth. And when Unser went in to answer it, they taped around the phone booth and trapped him inside….and made him miss his Qualifying spot.

  5. I know it’s only practice but interesting to see the two Felipes in the Williams and their respective performance. O.k. so if I’m being completely honest I’m not a fan of Massa (as a driver, or the individual presented on coverage) so I’m fairly glad to see him down on Nasr!

    1. i am pretty sad that Massa and Bottas don’t share equally their practice times for younger drivers. Is it 6:th time already Bottas had to skip first practice? I am sure it will hurt his weekend

      1. Pretty sure the same can be said for when Bottas took most of Bruno Senna’s practice sessions are couple of years ago. Not nice when the shoe is on the other foot…

      2. @alipappa Massa is the one that brings the cash, so… (also, it allows a direct Nasr/Massa comparison – if Nasr is beating Massa every time, then that’s something to think about).

  6. Could the yellow SAP logo be a hint at mclaren reverting back to its original livery colour scheme next year!?
    Didnt the silver come in only because of mercedes!?

    1. The silver originally came in as part of West’s old sponsorship, but when West left McLaren, Mercedes wanted to keep the silver on the McLaren F1 cars as part of their continued partnership. With Mercedes not being associated with McLaren in any way next year, I expect to see the biggest change to McLaren’s livery since 1997!

      1. Interesting. It won’t be orange-red chevrons again, obviously. (Cigarette ads don’t need to come back, but that Marlboro red/white livery would be so cool.) I don’t think it will be McLaren Orange, their traditional test color (if that’s what color people are suggesting the yellow SAP logo is.) Maybe they could go all in with the rocket red, though on TV it may look too much like Rossa Corsa. Hopefully, Honda doesn’t get any smart ideas and insist on some hideous Earth Dreams nonsense or the like. Of course the main factor will be the identity of a title sponsor, the lack of which I’m sure is playing a big part in why Button has not got a response from Ron yet.

        1. @dmw Come on, the 2008 Earthdreams livery was great! If only it had a decent predecessor (and a decent car to wrap!)

        2. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Honda livery back in F1… I’m thinking 60’s white/red, which also has a similarity to the classic 80s McLaren look, or the white/black as used in the movie GP (the movie sponsored the team). There are plenty of McLaren liveries from that period, but Ron may only be interested in ones from his era.

          1. @nemo87, @ultimateuzair, @dmw There’s a mock-up on the interwebs of an all-orange McLaren :P

  7. Same headline as always…. Yawn….

  8. You know, if Sauber need a paying option to drive for them in 2015…why not try and work out a deal to bring Nasr in?

    1. @rjoconnell Ericsson is probably the biggest fish in the pond now, hence his being number 1 choice. After that, probably a fight out between Gutierrez and Van der Garde, with Sirotkin picking up the scraps.

  9. That peek-a-boo picture of Hamilton is kind of weird. It’s like your view just before you black out from G-loading.

  10. Did Alonso run a new Ferrari front wing in FP1? I had just gotten home, and my dog made sure I didn’t pay any attention to F1, but I kind of heard Ted talking something along the lines! If Alonso is on his way out, how does he get to test the development parts for next season?

  11. I missed the session, can anyone spread some light on how Kvyat got 4th? Was he on a light fuel load or on the softer tyre, or was it just an incredible lap?

  12. I think that the most boring thing in F1, since I started watching in 1957, is people complaining about (whatever F1 thing) being boring. They should be watching figure-8 racing (which I admit is fun).

  13. ColdFly F1 (@)
    1st November 2014, 0:29

    @KeithCollantine, can you explain how the new Virtual Safety Car works?
    Is it like the pit speed limiter or forcing a minimum time for each section which I read somewhere else (and how does that then work)?

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