Hamilton and Mercedes bury Ferrari in opening USGP practice

Lewis Hamilton watches as the other drivers flog around the circuit in vain
Lewis Hamilton watches as the other drivers flog around the circuit in vain

In a wet session that saw drivers run the entire session one just 1 set of intermediate tires due to the limited number available, Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas buried the competition in their Aldo Costa Mercedes that looked like it was on rails while the other drivers were out of shape on numerous occasions.

It's hard to tell who will be quick on Sunday, but in the wet conditions the Ferrari drivers are out to lunch, despite their new underbody that was supposed to generate more downforce. In fact the Mercedes car appears to be stretching their advantage over the field each and every race as Aldo Costa works his magic and the other designers scratch their head.

For the record the Red Bulls were 3rd and 4th (Verstappen over Ricciardo) and the Ferraris 5th and 6th (Vettel over Raikkonen) – all out to lunch vs. the Mercedes cars – 1.3 to 1.9 sec per lap slower.

How superior are the Mercedes? Hamilton and Bottas turned the least amount of laps in the session while the Ferraris turned three times as many laps and could get nowhere near the times of the Mercedes.

Practice 1 Results

POS NO DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:47.502 +0.000s 6
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:48.806 +1.304s 7
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Renault 1:48.847 +1.345s 9
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Renault 1:49.326 +1.824s 9
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:49.489 +1.987s 18
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:49.928 +2.426s 20
7 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:50.665 +3.163s 8
8 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:50.821 +3.319s 10
9 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:50.961 +3.459s 14
10 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:51.016 +3.514s 14
11 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:51.036 +3.534s 9
12 47 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:51.232 +3.730s 9
13 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:51.234 +3.732s 19
14 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:51.459 +3.957s 18
15 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:51.589 +4.087s 14
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:51.614 +4.112s 15
17 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:51.655 +4.153s 17
18 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:51.717 +4.215s 7
19 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:51.896 +4.394s 14
20 38 Sean Gelael Toro Rosso Honda 1:52.625 +5.123s 21

Leave a Reply