Friday, 31 October 2014

First strike to Hamilton and Mercedes in Free Practice in Austin as Button shows good pace for McLarenfor

(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)

Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team's Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the opening practice session of the weekend on Friday morning in Free Practice 1 with a time of 1m 39.941s ending the session just 0.292s ahead of team mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg. 

McLaren Mercedes Jenson Button was third fastest for the Woking based outfit on a great morning for the team. Button ended the session just 0.378s behind former team mate Hamilton. Dannil Kvyat put in a fantastic job for the Toro Rosso team as he set the fourth fastest time. McLaren's Kevin Magnussen was fifth fastest in the second MP4-29.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest finishing just ahead of reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull RB10. 

Williams Martini Racing Team's test and reserve driver Felipe Nasr did a fantastic job for the Grove based outfit driving in place of Valtteri Bottas as the Brazilian finished the session ahead of regular driver Felipe Massa. Nasr finished the session in eight place in the FW36.

Sahara Force India's Nico Hulkenberg was in 9th place while Max Verstappen who was making his second outing for the team as he prepares for his debut season in Formula One finished the session in 10th place. 

Felipe Massa finished the session in eleventh place just ahead of ex Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen. 

The Lotus F1 Team's Pastor Maldonado was 14th fastest for the Enstone outfit finishing the session in 13th place just ahead of the Sauber F1 Team's Adrian Sutil. Sergio Perez was 14th fastest in the second Force India.

Esteban Gutierrez was 16th fastest in the second Sauber just ahead of Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo who suffered an Energy Recovery System failure on his RB10 early in the session. The Australian finished the session just ahead of Romain Grosjean in the second Lotus who trialed the team's new experimental 2015 spec front wing. 

The second session gets underway at 7PM LIVE on Sky Sports F1 HD.

© Ben Johnston 2014

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