United States GP 2016

OCTOBER 21, 2016

Practice 2 Report - Canceled


By Dan Knutson in Austin

Last year at the Circuit of The Americas, rain, lightning and murky conditions caused officials to cancel Free Practice 2 after waiting nearly an hour to see if conditions would improve. It had rained during the break between the sessions, and there was a 100 percent chance of rain during FP2. There was also lightning in the area, so the session was delayed indefinitely because the corner workers were unable to be at their posts.

This year the weather conditions were perfect. There were sunny skies and a light breeze plus a zero percent chance of rain. The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degrees Centigrade.)

While the nasty weather "won" in FP2 last year, the honors this year went to Nico Rosberg who topped the times in his Mercedes.

The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes “ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Ferrari “ Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Williams Mercedes “ Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull TAG Heuer “ Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. Force India Mercedes “ Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Renault “ Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer. Toro Rosso Ferrari “ Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz. Sauber Ferrari “ Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. McLaren Honda “ Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Manor Mercedes “ Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon. Haas Ferrari “ Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.

Wehrlein and Gutierrez were the first drivers on track. Vettel set the early pace with a lap in 1:38.892. Then, 11 minutes into the session, Verstappen used the soft Pirelli compound tires to turn a 1:38.541 only to have Rosberg, also on the softs, beat that with a 1:38.082. Hamilton, on the mediums, then slotted into 1:38.394.

It was team by team 15 minutes into FP2 with the Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari drivers lining up in that order. Kvyat, Massa, Button and Perez rounded out the top 10.

Thirty minutes into FP1 the drivers started doing runs on the super soft Pirellis. Rosberg set a 1:37.358 and Ricciardo moved into second with a 1:37.552 with Hamilton third with a 1:37.649. Vettel, Verstappen, Hulkenberg and Raikkonen rounded out the top seven.

As others made their super soft runs, Hulkenberg moved into seventh place ahead of Perez, Button, Alonso and Raikkonen.

Now, with just under half the session complete, the drivers and teams began doing their long-run race simulations.

The action was halted by red flags 54 minutes into the session so that marshals could remove debris from the track. Five minutes later the session was restarted.

With 20 minutes to go, every driver but Wehrlein was out doing laps.

The top 10 at the end of FP2 which took place under sunny skies were: Rosberg, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Perez, Button, Alonso and Raikkonen.