Lewis Hamilton was fastest in a wet second practice for this weekends United States Grand Prix. The four times world champion once again showed his great form in mixed conditions going almost a second and a half faster than Pierre Gasly.
The world champion elect sat out most of the session before heading out on wet tyres in the closing moments of the session. In the final moments he went fastest, before the Frenchman switched to the inters to narrow the gap to just over a second.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third fastest, the dutchman out paced the McLaren of Fernando Alonso. The wet session however cannot be the most representative session as many of the top runners limited the running to save tyres.
Hamilton’s title rival Sebastian Vettel was only tenth, behind his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren and the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson in seventh. Vettel will be on the backfoot going into qualifying after an three place penalty for impeding in FP1.
Mercedes have been quicker than Ferrari in the wet so far this season. If Vettel qualifies third, he will start the race sixth, and his chances of finishing second will be small. Ferrari will be hoping that the aero upgrade this weekend will move them closer to Mercedes keeping a slim title hopes alive.
Nico Hulkenberg was fifth fastest the Renault driver completed the most laps of any driver. That put him ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Stoffel Vandoorne. The Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was seventh ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
The Scuderia has struggled in the wet all season, Vettel crashed out while leading at Hockenheim in the wet. Ferrari were five seconds off the out right pace of Mercedes.
Long run pace wasn’t the order of the afternoon as the weather saw not many not going out. Wet weather is forecast for FP3 and qualifying on Saturday afternoon, which is why many elected to save tyres. The race however is expected to be dry.
Ferrari bound Charles Leclerc was eleventh fastest going ahead of Williams driver Lance Stroll and Force India duo Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon. Sergey Sirotkin was the last of the drivers to set a lap time, but it was seven seconds slower than Hamilton’s benchmark.
Five drivers elected not to set a time, they were Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas and the Haas drivers of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.