Lewis Hamilton continued to set the pace at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas as he beat Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen top spot in second practice for the US Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver had registered the quickest time of the weekend’s opening session to beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by more than half a second and in the afternoon Hamilton again went quickest, eclipsing Verstappen by 0.397s with a lap of 1: 34.668s.
After an early phase on the soft Pirelli tyres, Hamilton made the switch to ultrasoft tyres, switched from traditional purple to pink in support of breast cancer charities this weekend, after some 35 minutes.
He immediately shot to the top of the timesheeets ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas who had already deposed early pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo who has used supersofts early on. Verstappen then upped his pace on the pink-banded tyres to go second with a lap of 1:35.065.
Vettel then stole into third place. The German, who had earlier suffered an off at the second last corner and recovered, put in his performance run as the session approached the half way mark. As in the morning session, Vettel’s time of 1:35.192 was again half a second off the pace of Hamilton. Vettel was unhappy with the feel of his car, however, and as Ferrari worked through cures he completed just 11 laps in the session.
Bottas’ run netted a time of 1:35.279, good enough for fourth place but 0.6s behind his team-mate. After his early exploits on the supersoft tyre, Ricciardo’s ultrasoft run saw him finish 0.795s off the pace and 0.398s behind team-mate Verstappen. Kimi Räikkönen was sixth quickest for Ferrari.
After putting in just four laps in the morning session after a hydraulic problem, Fernando Alonso recovered to seventh place in the afternoon, posting a time of 1:36.304 to finish 1.636s behind Hamilton. Felipe Massa was eighth for Williams ahead of the two Force Indias of Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon.
2017 United States Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.668 26
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:35.065 0.397 30
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:35.192 0.524 11
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:35.279 0.611 39
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:35.463 0.795 24
6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:35.514 0.846 29
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:36.304 1.636 28
8 Felipe Massa Williams 1:36.460 1.792 30
9 Sergio Perez Force India 1:36.481 1.813 28
10 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:36.490 1.822 34
11 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:36.529 1.861 30
12 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:36.534 1.866 18
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:36.761 2.093 40
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:37.285 2.617 17
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:37.463 2.795 31
16 Lance Stroll Williams 1:37.788 3.120 27
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:37.987 3.319 41
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:38.165 3.497 35
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:38.262 3.594 22
20 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:38.387 3.719 26