Bottas sets fastest Friday time to lead FP1, Perez tops FP2 in F1’s return to Austin

Hamilton and Verstappen came 2nd and 3rd in the morning with Norris coming in 2nd in the FP2

By Yuri Coghe
Bottas set the fastest lap of the day with a 1:34.874s lap time to lead the FP1 (Photo: Mercedes/Twitter)

The second drivers of F1’s two top teams led the way on Friday’s practise sessions in Austin.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap of the day with a 1:34.874s lap time to lead the FP1 from teammate Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Max Verstappen. Sergio Perez took Red Bull to the top of the timesheet in the afternoon.

Hamilton, who came third in the FP2, had a lap time deleted in the afternoon for exceeding track limits that would have been the fastest of the day if allowed. Lando Norris finished the afternoon session in third.

Daniel Ricciardo’s P5 FP2 performance added to McLaren’s hopes for a good weekend. But Ferrari’s showing saw Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. finish fourth and fifth in the morning session, respectively, adding to a tight battle for third in the constructor’s standings.

Bottas, who won the Turkish GP two weeks ago, will serve a five-place grid penalty on Sunday’s race for adding fresh components to his engine. The Finn had already added new parts to his power unit in Italy.

More engine penalties

Williams’ George Russell and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel will also serve an engine-related penalty. Both will start the first F1 race in Austin, Texas since 2019 from the last row.

Rivals even on Friday

Verstappen, who finished the FP2 in eighth place, had a race-like moment with championship rival Hamilton mid-session, complaining about the Briton on team radio. Watch the moment below.

Canadian Lance Stroll finished the FP2 in sixth, an improvement from his P13 performance in the first session. His countrymate Nicholas Latifi came 17th in the FP1 and 18th in the FP2.

Fernando Alonso had an eventful Friday. The Spaniard had to stop his Alpine mid-session in the FP1 due to an oil leak.

Just minutes shy of the checkered flag in the FP1, the 2005-06 back-to-back world champion lost control of his car and hit the barriers at turn 19. He managed to bring his car back to the pits with some damage. Alonso finished 15th and 13th in the FP1 and the FP2, respectively.

The United States Grand Prix is set for Sunday at 3 P.M. Eastern Time, with the qualifying session taking place on Saturday at 5 P.M. Eastern Time.

See the full FP1 results below:

See the full FP2 results below:

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