Sainz is fastest and puts Ferrari in the lead in FP1 of the US GP

Carlos Sainz was the one who placed Ferrari as the fastest in the first free practice of the F1 US GP. This Friday afternoon (21), the Spaniard appeared in the final minutes of the session to be the fastest on the grid.

In the first few minutes, activity on the Circuit of the Americas had to be interrupted by a red flag. However, without much delay, the track was soon cleared and no further interruption was required until the checkered flag.

A few different names passed through the top position of the table. However, it was with a lap of 1min36s857 that the Spaniard was the best time in FP1. At 0s224 from the pointer, Max Verstappen closed the session in second place.

Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll and Sergio Pérez completed the activity among the five fastest. For the second practice of the day, the drivers will have an extra 30 minutes for testing with the new Pirelli tyres.

Find out about free practice 1 of the F1 US GP:

F1 officially begins its American leg. The first stop takes place at the Circuit of the Americas for the US GP and this Friday, in addition to the traditional free practice, FP2 will have an extra half hour for Pirelli tire testing.

For the first session of the day, five reserve riders, four rookies, took to the track. In addition to Antonio Giovinazzi at Haas, Logan Sargeant at Williams, Alex Palou at McLaren, Robert Shwartzman at Ferrari and Théo Pourchaire at Alfa Romeo.

Still in the first minutes of the session and a red flag was already necessary. The culprit was Giovinazzi who escaped the track after losing the rear end and hitting the protective wall. The driver managed to leave the scene alone and took the car to the pits, but it needed repairs.

Session resumed and riders back on track. In tire choice, Red Bull, Ferrari and Haas were the teams with the soft tyres, while all the other teams opted for a mix between medium and hard.

Sergio Pérez started the day in first place, but it didn’t take long for Max Verstappen to overtake his teammate. The Dutchman clocked 1min37s462 to jump to the tip of the times.

During training, the news came that two pilots should lose positions due to engine components replacement. The Red Bull Mexican and Guanyu Zhou have made changes to the ICE, or internal combustion engine, which causes them to lose five positions.

With just over 30 minutes to go in the session, Verstappen was first followed by Pérez, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon completing the top five.

In the second half of practice, Sebastian and Palou switched to red tyres. In fact, the rookie currently competing in Indycar even told the engineers on the radio that “this car is insane”.

For the first practice at COTA, George Russell was using a new front wing. However, more than data for this year, Mercedes was looking to find solutions for the 2023 season.

The order at the moment was Verstappen, still in first place, just 0s183 behind Lewis Hamilton, in second. Fernando Alonso, Vettel and Ocon completed the top five, separated by 0s8.

Then, surprisingly, Lance Stroll jumped to the end of the table. The Aston Martin driver made 1min37s460 and crashed in just 0s002 Max, but was soon beaten by Carlos Sainz who lowered the mark in 0s6.

Among the newcomers to the track, the best placed was Palou in 16th place. Then came Shwartzman in 17th, Pourchaire in 18th and Sargeant in 19th.

Many laps launched as qualifying practice were being completed in Austin. Lando Norris completed his and placed ninth at 0s999, or rounding up to 1s, from Sainz, the pointer.

In the final minutes of the activity, the overwhelming majority of competitors were already on soft tyres. The only two who strayed from the trend were Pourchaire and Sargeant, who wore the medium compound.

Training ended and Sainz had the best time of the session.

1) Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari) 1’36.857, 19
2) Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1’37.081, 15
3) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1’37.332, 20
4) Lance Stroll (Aston Martin/Mercedes) 1’37.460, 23
5) Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 1’37.515, 19
6) Fernando Alonso (Alpine/Renault) 1’37.713, 25
7) George Russell (Mercedes) 1’37.802, 23
8) Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri/Red Bull) 1’37.810, 24
9) Lando Norris (McLaren/Mercedes) 1’37.856, 23
10) Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin/Mercedes) 1’38.041, 25
11) Esteban Ocon (Alpine/Renault) 1’38.102, 24
12) Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo/Ferrari) 1’38.276, 21
13) Alexander Albon (Williams/Mercedes) 1’38.422, 21
14) Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri/Red Bull) 1’38.898, 23
15) Mick Schumacher (Haas/Ferrari) 1’38.922, 20
16) R.Shwartzman (Ferrari) 1’38.951, 21
17) Alex Palou (McLaren/Mercedes) 1’39,911, 21
18) Theo Pourchaire (Alfa Romeo/Ferrari) 1’40.175, 19
19) Logan Sargeant (Williams/Mercedes) 1’40.325, 23
20) A.Giovinazzi (Haas/Ferrari) 1’43.063, 4

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