Hamil­ton fastest in prac­tice in Austin

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Austin, US - Lewis Hamil­ton sig­nalled his in­tent to win his sixth driv­ers' ti­tle in style on Fri­day when he com­fort­ably topped the times in sec­ond prac­tice at the United States Grand Prix - but it was not enough to im­press Max Ver­stap­pen.

Hamil­ton, of Mercedes, who needs only to fin­ish in the topeight on Sun­day to re­tain his crown, wound up three-tenths of a sec­ond clear of near­est ri­val Charles Le­clerc of Fer­rari while Ver­stap­pen was third fastest af­ter top­ping the times in the morn­ing in his Red Bull.

Hamil­ton en­joyed as­sis­tance from Williams' Robert Ku­bica, gain­ing 'a tow' be­hind him down the straight in the mid­dle sec­tor of his lap at the Cir­cuit of the Amer­i­cas. His ad­van­tage ahead of Le­clerc may have been en­larged, but the Mone­gasque driver told Fer­rari he could not match the Bri­ton's pace on a sin­gle lap.

The 34 year old Mercedes driver clocked a best lap in one minute 33.232 to out­pace Le­clerc of Fer­rari by three-tenths of a sec­ond.

Hav­ing spent the morn­ing's open­ing ses­sion work­ing on setup vari­a­tions, Hamil­ton proved he was back on form with a suc­ces­sion of quick laps in his race sim­u­la­tion run to give him­self a great chance of claim­ing the 2019 ti­tle with a sixth vic­tory in eight races at the Cir­cuit of the Amer­i­cas.

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