FP1 & FP2 - US GP report: Renault Sport F1
Key practice points:
— Sunny and clear skies for FP1 and FP2 at Circuit of The Americas ahead of Sunday’s United States Grand Prix
— Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo bounces back to finish fourth in the second session, while a delay hinders Sebastian Vettel’s progress after finishing seventh in FP1
— Another impressive showing from Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who sets the fourth and seventh fastest times. 2015 signing Max Verstappen ends his second FP1 outing 10th, with team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne taking 13th in the afternoon
— Positive signs for Lotus F1 Team, which also trials a new conventional nose for the first time in 2014
— Caterham F1 Team misses weekend
Rémi Taffin, Head of Track Operations:
Today went reasonably well even if we had a few problems to contend with. Getting enough mileage under your belt is really important for validating the pre-GP simulation data, so having both Red Bull drivers miss chunks of FP1 and FP2 wasn’t ideal. In the morning we elected to change Daniel Ricciardo’s MGU-K with one eye on the afternoon, and that certainly proved the correct decision. Not only did he rack up plenty of laps but he was also quick. Sebastian Vettel is using his sixth PU here and will start Sunday’s race from the pit-lane. He’d therefore chosen to focus on race strategy but was compromised by a gearbox problem. We have work to do overnight, but Daniel’s data will certainly help a lot.
Toro Rosso again look in good shape this weekend and had no problems at all with their PUs. That meant they could complete plenty of laps and optimise their set-up. Daniil Kvyat repeated his Sochi practice form by getting into the top-10 in both sessions, which is important here as a number of big names could go out in the first part of a revised qualifying format.
There were also encouraging signs for Lotus, with Romain Grosjean finishing FP2 12th and just a couple of seconds off the overall pace. If one or both of those cars makes it into Q2 tomorrow I think they’ll have done a decent job.