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United States GP 2014

OCTOBER 31, 2014

Practice 1 Report - The Class of 39

Lewis Hamilton, United States GP 2014
© Terry Griffin, The Cahier Archive

Lewis Hamilton was the only member of the class of 39 in Free Practice 1 for the United States Grand Prix as he was the only driver to get into the one minute and 39 second range of lap times. He clocked a 1:39.941. His Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg was second quickest with a 1:40.233.

With the Marussia and Caterham teams missing, 18 rather than the usual 22 drivers were taking part in the weekend.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was degrees 63 Fahrenheit (17 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Centigrade.)

Two reserve drivers were in the cars for FP1: Felipe Nasr replacing Valtteri Bottas in the Williams, and Max Verstappen driving Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso.

Force India teammates Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg were the first out on the on the 3.425‘mile (5.513-km) 20‘turn track for the 90-minute session.

Romain Grosjean tried out the new non-twin-tusk nose cone on the Lotus.

Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg posted the first times: 1:49.164 and 1:50.219 respectively.

Hamilton won the inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin in 2012 and he won the first ever Russian Grand Prix just two weeks ago.

"Crossing the line in Sochi was a really amazing moment," he said. "To win the very first Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix and help the team achieve the first Constructors' Championship for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish - it couldn't have got much better. When I went to the factories in Brackley and Brixworth the week afterwards, the atmosphere was just awesome. Everybody has worked so hard to achieve this title and they all deserve to savor the moment.

"Of course, we still have three races left to decide the Drivers' Championship - starting in Austin, which is one of the best weekends of the year. A lot of the American side of my family come to the race, plus I won the first ever Formula One Grand Prix at the circuit back in 2012, so it's a special one for me. I really enjoy going there and I'm looking forward to another great race - hopefully ending up with another Stetson hat on the top step of the podium!"

Adrian Sutil (Sauber) clocked a 1:52.050. 10 minutes into the session, only these three drivers had set lap times.

The drivers were using Pirelli's medium compound slicks with the white sidewalls for FP1.

15 minutes into the session, Rosberg lowered the bar to 1:46.317. That didn't last long as Jenson Button (McLaren) posted a 1:43.245 and Hamilton a 1:43.547.

17 minutes into the session, Button got down to a 1:41.772.

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) clocked his first lap 19 minutes into the session and moved into fourth. But that became fifth as Felipe Massa slotted his Williams into second place with a 1:42. 8655.

The track was getting busy now and only two drivers were in the pits. The lap times ‘headed by Button's 1:41.158 ‘ were falling. The McLarens were looking quick as Kevin Magnussen had his in second place with a 1:41.464.

26 minutes into the session, Magnussen moved in front with a 1:41.078. Fernando Alonso was on the move in his Ferrari and was now in third place.

At the 30-minute mark the top 10 were: Magnussen, Button, Alonso, Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Rosberg, Nasr, Daniel Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Massa and Ricciardo.

Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Pastor Maldonado (Lotus), Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Perez, Grosjean, Sutil and Hulkenberg rounded out the field of 18.

Button was the only driver not in the pits at this time, and he made use of the empty track to turn a 1:40.319.

40 minutes into the session, all the drivers were in their garages preparing for their next round of laps.

42 minutes into the session, Verstappen headed out on track. Several other drivers joined him.

Midway through FP1 the top 10 remained: Magnussen, Button, Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Nasr, Kvyat, Massa and Ricciardo.

48 minutes into the session, Vettel set a 1:41.955 to snatch fourth place, but then Kvyat beat that with a 1:41.696. Vettel reclaimed fourth with a 1:41.463.

55 minutes into the session, Kvyat grabbed second place with a 1:40.887 only to have Rosberg top that with a 1:40.675.

58 minutes into the session, Hamilton sliced his time down to a 1:40.106 to take over the top spot.

59 minutes into the session, Rosberg set a 1:40.233.

At the one hour mark the top 10 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Button, Kvyat, Magnussen, Alonso, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Verstappen and Raikkonen, while Sutil spun and continued at Turn 19.

With 28 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton improved to a 1:40.044, and then he got down to a 1:40.004.

With 20 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton lowered his time to a 1:39.941

Ricciardo couldn't get the speed out of his Red Bull and languished down in 17th place.

With the tires wearing out the lap times were slowing down, but Nasr did manage to sneak his Williams into eighth.

With 7 minutes remaining in the session, Raikkonen had a minor off at Turn 1.

With 2 minutes remaining in the session, Grosjean ran wide at Turn 19. Then Maldonado spun at Turn 6.

The top dozen at the end of FP1 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Button, Kvyat, Magnussen, Alonso, Vettel, Nasr Hulkenberg, Verstappen Massa and Raikkonen.

Maldonado, Sutil, Perez, Gutierrez, Ricciardo and Grosjean rounded out the 18.