Hamilton fastest in 1st practice at US Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton has started his United States Grand Prix weekend as he means to go on by topping the timesheets in first free practice at Circuit of the Americas.
The Mercedes driver, who comes into the weekend needing to make headway into Nico Rosberg's 33 point lead at the head of the standings, enjoyed a troublefree morning to go quickest with a 1min 37.428secs lap.
Good enough to put him three tenths clear of Rosberg in second, he was also almost two seconds faster than leading Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in third position, with Kimi Raikkonen following up for Ferrari in fourth.
Behind them, Force India and Williams showed well with Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas – running the Halo at the start of the session for the first time - up in fifth and sixth positions, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel.
Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz rounded out the top ten in ninth and tenth respectively for Toro Rosso, ahead of Felipe Massa and Felipe Nasr, the Brazilian overcoming a brief issue to show well for Sauber in 12th.
Elsewhere, Alfonso Celis returned to FP1 duties for Force India to go 17th quickest, while GP2 race winner Jordan King made his F1 race weekend bow for Manor Racing, the British driver 20th, ahead of Jolyon Palmer and Esteban Ocon.
Force India an option but STR still ‘priority’ for Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat admits Force India could provide a tempting proposition for the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship, even though he insists his priority is to retain his seat at Toro Rosso.
With Nico Hulkenberg switching to Renault for 2017, Force India is lining up a number of drivers as potential candidates to join Sergio Perez in the podium winning team, including Kvyat.
As it stands, Toro Rosso is also yet to decide who will partner Carlos Sainz next season, though Kvyat is expected to come under pressure from GP2 title contender and Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly for the remaining seat.