United States GP Practice Two: Lewis Hamilton leads the way
Title-chasing Hamilton sets the quickest time of Friday, with Leclerc in second and Verstappen third; Watch Qualifying at 9pm on Saturday on Sky F1
By James Galloway in Austin
Last Updated: 02/11/19 7:11pm
Lewis Hamilton has made the ideal start to his potentially-historic United States GP weekend by setting an impressive pace in Practice Two in Austin.
Hamilton, who requires a maximum of four points to be crowned world champion for the sixth time in Sunday's race, finished three tenths of a second ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Red Bull's Max Verstappen on a circuit he has won at five times.
When's the US Grand Prix on Sky?
The United States GP will be exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend as Lewis Hamilton seeks to win a sixth world championship.
Although Hamilton did benefit from a clear 'tow' in the middle sector of his quickest 1:33.232 lap, which may have flattered his advantage, the Mercedes' race pace was also impressive.
"I think it was worth about a tenth or two," reckoned Sky F1's Karun Chandhok of the slipstream behind other cars.
However, it was the Mercedes' race pace on heavier fuel which also caught the eye.
"I can't do that," said Leclerc when told of Hamilton's times on the soft tyre.
Verstappen was close behind Leclerc in third place and his race simulations were actually the quickest of the leading three drivers.
The trio's respective team-mates were further adrift, however.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Alex Albon finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
Vettel spun off the circuit during his race simulation, although was able to continue and complete the session.
Pierre Gasly was the fastest midfield driver for Toro Rosso, the Frenchman maintaining his impressive form since returning to Toro Rosso to finish seventh. The ever-consistent Carlos Sainz was eighth for McLaren, with Racing Point's Lance Stroll doubling up with Friday top-10s in ninth.
But P2 proved a near write-off for Romain Grosjean, who lost control of his Haas car and hit the barriers.
United States GP Practice Two Timesheet
|1. Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1:33.232|
|2. Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+0.301|
|3. Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.315|
|4. Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+0.658|
|5. Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+0.813|
|6. Alexander Albon||Red Bull||+1.202|
|7. Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||+1.277|
|8. Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+1.435|
|9. Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+1.512|
|10. Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+1.607|
|11. Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+1.692|
|12. Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||+1.743|
|13. Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||+1.756|
|14. Lando Norris||McLaren||+1.793|
|15. Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+1.877|
|16. Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+2.155|
|17. Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+2.210|
|18. Romain Grosjean||Haas||+2.557|
|19. George Russell||Williams||+3.517|
|20. Robert Kubica||Williams||+4.051|