Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were almost a second clear during the opening practice session ahead of Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix.
> Mercedes almost one second ahead
> Perez and Schumacher involved in bizarre collision
> Leclerc, Raikkonen and Mazepin spin
> Alonso stops on track early on
Bottas, who will take a five-place grid penalty for taking a sixth Mercedes engine this weekend, set a 1m34.874s to top the session at the circuit where he claimed victory in 2019.
His team-mate Hamilton was just 0.045s slower than Bottas as he looks to reclaim the F1 championship lead he lost to Max Verstappen in Turkey.
Verstappen was third quickest but some 0.932s slower than Bottas’s benchmark in his Red Bull.
In the dying moments of the session Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez collided with Mick Schumacher while trying to overtake the Haas driver at the end of the straight. Both continued with Perez fuming “what an idiot” after the collision.
Fernando Alonso’s Alpine ground to a halt just moments into first practice with fluid leaking out of the bottom of his stricken car that red-flagged the session for just under 10 minutes.
Not a good start to the session for Fernando Alonso, his Alpine comes to a halt
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 22, 2021
When the session resumed, Charles Leclerc spun his Ferrari through the esses and through the gravel, but he was able to re-join the session to set the fourth fastest lap.
His team-mate Carlos Sainz ensured there were two Ferraris in the top five, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in sixth place.
Perez set the seventh fastest time on the hard tyres while the rest of the top 10 set their laps on the soft tyres.
Lando Norris and the Alfa Romeos of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen, who survived a late spin on the exit of the Turn 9 left-hander, showed strong pace to complete the top 10.
Alonso got back on track to set the 15th fastest time behind Sebastian Vettel, who along with Bottas and George Russell, will take a grid penalty this weekend.
Nikita Mazepin was another driver to be caught out by the green circuit as he lost control of his Haas through the penultimate corner and spun. He ended up 20th and slowest, over seconds off the pace.
Practice 1 Results
|Pos||Name||Car||Best Time||Gap Leader|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-Honda||1m35.806s||+0.932s|
|5||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1m36.508s||+1.634s|
|7||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull-Honda||1m36.798s||+1.924s|
|9||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m36.874s||+2s|
|10||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m36.876s||+2.002s|
|13||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m36.972s||+2.098s|
|14||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m36.982s||+2.108s|