Hamilton nips Vettel in final USGP practice

Lewis Hamilton, the king of COTA
Lewis Hamilton, the king of COTA

Lewis Hamilton continues to dominate the USGP weekend at COTA by leading the final practice session for Mercedes with a lap of 1m34.478s. That lap was just 0.092sec faster than Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari who lapped at 1m34.570s.

Valtteri Bottas was 3rd fastest in the 2nd Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen 4th in the 2nd Ferrari. The top-4 were separated by just 0.28 sec.

Max Verstappen rounded out the top-5 for Red Bull 0.625 sec. behind Hamilton.

The time for Hamilton is a new track record and comes as an added boost to the four-time Circuit of The Americas race winner on a weekend that could see him be crowned world champion for a fourth time.

Valtteri Bottas was once again unable to match Hamilton's pace in the sister Mercedes, finishing third-fastest, two-tenths of a second adrift, while Kimi Raikkonen took fourth place for Ferrari.

Red Bull struggled to repeat its impressive Friday pace as Max Verstappen took fifth overall, six-tenths of a second behind Hamilton at the top, with teammate Daniel Ricciardo finishing down in ninth.

Williams' Felipe Massa was the leading midfield driver in sixth place, finishing ahead of the Renault pair of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr., while Sergio Perez of Force India followed in P10 behind Ricciardo.

The session went by without any major incidents, with the most notable moment being a spin for Romain Grosjean that saw him beach his anti-American Haas team car, bringing his session to an early end and triggering a Virtual Safety Car period.

Somehow the American Haas team run by anti-American Guenter Steiner won't hire any American drivers and the wankers they do have spin out and/or crash every weekend, sometimes every session.

Results

POS NO DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.478 +0.000s 15
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:34.570 +0.092s 19
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:34.692 +0.214s 17
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:34.755 +0.277s 17
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:35.103 +0.625s 14
6 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:35.346 +0.868s 11
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:35.608 +1.130s 21
8 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:35.650 +1.172s 16
9 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:35.723 +1.245s 17
10 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:35.802 +1.324s 16
11 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:35.965 +1.487s 17
12 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:36.118 +1.640s 12
13 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:36.239 +1.761s 15
14 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:36.599 +2.121s 14
15 39 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:36.818 +2.340s 26
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:37.271 +2.793s 16
17 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:37.319 +2.841s 17
18 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:37.807 +3.329s 15
19 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:37.891 +3.413s 9
20 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:38.500 +4.022s 6

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