F1: Hamilton tops the timesheets in Texas

via Getty Images/Clive Mason

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) was fastest in the first free practice session for Sunday’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

The track was damp in the early stages and resulted in the drivers going out on the intermediate tyres, with the Mercedes and Red Bull’s setting the early pace.

Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Ferrari) was the first to set a time on the dry tyres, posting a 1:45.960 on super softs to go quickest.

However, it wasn’t until Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) went out on the same compound that the track started to rubber in and saw the drivers rush out to see how fast they could really go.

Unsurprisingly, Hamilton ended the session on top with a 1:36.335 on the super softs.

Title rival Vettel was six tenths down in second place, ahead of Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) was the fastest of the few drivers who used the ultra-soft tyre, pipping Felipe Massa (Williams) to fifth.

Kimi Rӓikkӧnen (Scuderia Ferrari) was in seventh, six tenths slowly than his team-mate ahead of the Force India pairing of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez, who were the only drivers to set their fastest time on the soft tyres.

Carlos Sainz Jr. did well to go faster than his new Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in tenth and the German not too far behind in thirteenth.

Brendon Hartley (Scuderia Toro Rosso) had his first experience of an F1 car and finished the session in a respectable fourteenth, despite experiencing his helmet coming loose twenty minutes from the end.

In the sister car, Sean Gelael struggled after spinning on numerous and was classified seventeenth, with the Sauber’s of Marcus Ericsson and the newly crowned Formula Two Champion Charles Leclerc eighteenth and nineteenth respectively.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was the only driver not to set a time due to a hydraulic leak but managed to complete a sighting lap in the final ten minutes.

2017 United States Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 Official Classification:

Pos. Driver (Nationality), Team Time/Tyre Compound
1 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG Petronas 1:36.335/Super Soft
2 Sebastian Vettel (DEU), Scuderia Ferrari 1:36.928/Super Soft
3 Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes AMG Petronas 1:36.979/Super Soft
4 Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing TAG-Heuer 1:37.339/Super Soft
5 Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL), McLaren-Honda 1:37.532/Ultra Soft
6 Felipe Massa (BRA), Williams-Mercedes 1:37.570/Ultra Soft
7 Kimi Rӓikkӧnen (FIN), Scuderia Ferrari 1:37.598/Super Soft
8 Esteban Ocon (FRA), Force India-Mercedes 1:37.808/Soft
9 Sergio Perez (MEX), Force India-Mercedes 1:37.861/Soft
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP), Renault 1:38.093/Super Soft
11 Kevin Magnussen (DEN), Haas-Ferrari 1:38.408/Super Soft
12 Lance Stroll (CAN), Williams-Mercedes 1:38.534/Ultra Soft
13 Nico Hulkenberg (DEU), Renault 1:38.904/Super Soft
14 Brendon Hartley (NZL), Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault 1:39.267/Ultra Soft
15 Romain Grosjean (FRA), Haas-Ferrari 1:39.336/Super Soft
16 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Red Bull Racing TAG-Heuer 1:39.366/Super Soft
17 Sean Gelael (IDN), Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault 1:40.406/Ultra Soft
18 Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Sauber-Ferrari 1:40.448/Super Soft
19 Charles Leclerc (MCO), Sauber-Ferrari 1:40.828/Super Soft
20 Fernando Alonso (ESP), McLaren-Honda No Time Set