Bottas set the fastest time of the day in FP1, which was slightly faster than Red Bull’s Sergio Perez when he dominated FP2 later in the afternoon.
FP1 United States Grand Prix results: Hamilton’s fastest Bottas
What happened during Free Practice 1?
After an early red flag for Fernando Alonso’s Alpine which stopped at the end of the back straight, Lewis Hamilton set the early pace for Mercedes at 1m36.812s on the soft tire, 0.043s faster than Lando Norris (McLaren) with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a few tenths behind.
Perez was the fastest 0.014sec on the hard tire briefly before Hamilton improved again – still performing his first set of soft tires – at 1m36.381s.
Verstappen took the lead at 1m36.049s before Hamilton produced 1m35.096s, then Bottas set the fastest lap of the session at 1m34.874s. Hamilton improved within 0.045s of Bottas ‘time, while Verstappen also went faster but was still 0.9s off Mercedes’ pace.
Charles Leclerc spun his Ferrari at high speed at the Esses but kept it out of the wall. He recovered to finish fourth, 1.46 seconds off pace, ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz Jr.
Kimi Raikkonen turned his Alfa Romeo around in the dying moments of Turn 9.
FP2 United States Grand Prix results: Norris’ fastest Perez
What happened during Free Practice 2?
In FP2, Perez set the initial pace on medium tires, 0.004s ahead of Bottas, Verstappen and Hamilton.
While Bottas and Perez traded the fastest time between them, Verstappen and Hamilton raced side by side in the last corner and along the start / finish straight. “Stupid fool,” Verstappen said on team radio, and gave his rival the title the middle finger.
The teams then moved on to the race on soft tires, with a Hamilton lap in 1m34.842s – which would have been the fastest of the day – but his time was removed for overshooting the limits of the track at Turn 19 .
Perez then produced 1m34.946 to dominate the session, a quarter of a second ahead of Norris. Hamilton only managed to achieve the third fastest time in his second run, while Verstappen repeatedly found himself caught in traffic jams and completely bailed out his qualifying simulation.
Bottas is fourth in this session, 0.414s from the pace, ahead of Ricciardo.
Alonso suffered a late spin on turn 19 and hit the wall.