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FP1 Report: Bottas leads first practice with Hamilton 2nd

AUSTIN, TEXAS – OCTOBER 22: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 22, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The first session of the weekend at Circuit of The Americas saw Valtteri Bottas top the standings, with teammate Lewis Hamilton in second and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third.

The Austin-based circuit had made some modifications to the track as the FIA showed concern regarding some bumps which had affected the MotoGP races.

Sergio Pérez was the first car to go out in the session – however, it was quickly red-flagged as Fernando Alonso suffered technical issues with his Alpine, and was told by his engineer to stop the car on track, which needed to be recovered.

The session was back under green conditions with 49 minutes to go, as cars lined up down the pit lane to go out. The first timed lap was set by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, with a time of 1:37.853 – but was quickly deleted for track limits. Red Bull’s Pérez then took the top spot with a 1:37.624.

News flash: Vettell, Russell and Bottas get grid penalties

Both Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), George Russell (Williams), and Valtteri Bottas will receive grid penalties for the United States Grand Prix due to engine changes.

Charles Leclerc spun through the backend of the esses and went to the gravel, just avoiding the barriers as he stopped. He was able to get it back going on his own and into the pits, with his medium tires suffering from the incident.

Nikita Mazepin spun down at turn 19 and narrowly avoided the barriers as he went through the gravel. He was able to continue by himself.

At the closing stages of the session, Mick Schumacher had an incident with Pérez. The Mexican hit him from behind as the German closed in through a corner, causing minor damage.

In the end, it was Valtteri Bottas who topped the practice session, with his teammate Lewis Hamilton in second and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third.

1Valtteri BottasMercedes1:34.874
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.045
3Max VerstappenRed Bull+0.932
4Charles LeclercFerrari+1.460
5Carlos SainzFerrari+1.634
6Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+1.737
7Sergio PérezRed Bull+1.924
8Lando NorrisMcLaren+1.981
9Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo+2.000
10Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo+2.002
11George Russell Williams+2.092
12Esteban OconAlpine+2.096
13Lance StrollAston Martin+2.098
14Sebastian VettelAston Martin+2.108
15Fernando AlonsoAlpine+2.194
16Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+2.584
17Nicholas LatifiWilliams+2.589
18Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri+3.080
19Mick SchumacherHaas+3.992
20Nikita MazepinHaas+7.365

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