COTA, FP1: Sainz quickest in opening practice

Verstappen 2nd, Hamilton 3rd


By Franck Drui

21 October 2022 - 22:14
COTA, FP1: Sainz quickest in opening

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz went quickest in the opening practice session for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, beating Red Bull Racing’s World Champion elect Max Verstappen by two tenths of a second as third place went to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon led the way early in the session on C3 medium compound tyres before Sainz jumped to the top of the order on C4 soft tyres. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez then took top spot before the session was halted after seven minutes when Antonio Giovinazzi, deputising for Kevin Magnussen at Haas, crashed in the snaking first sector. The Italian was able to get back on track and limped back to the pits but there his session ended.

When the action resumed Verstappen emerged and the Dutch driver vaulted to the top of the order with a lap of 1:38.272 set on soft tyres. Sainz then lowered the benchmark to 1:37.462s at the halfway point but Verstappen bypassed the Spaniard once more.

Hamilton then popped up with a good time in a revised Mercedes W13 to get to within twio tenths of Verstappen. But with a quarter of the session remaining, Sainz jumped ahead of both rivals with a lap of 1:36.867 to top the session by two tenths over Verstappen, with Hamilton ending on a 1m37.332s.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll too fourth place ahead of Pérez with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in sixth place ahead of the second Mercedes of George Russell. Pierre Gasly was eight for AlphaTauri with McLaren’s Lando Lando Norris in ninth place ahead of the second Aston of Sebastian Vettel.

The session was notable for the presence of a number of rookie drivers with Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman, taking 16th ahead of 2022 IndyCar champion Alex Palou who was in for Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren. Theo Pourchaire finished 18thy ahead of US driver Logan Sargeant who replaced Nicholas Latifi at Williams.

01 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:36.857 19
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:37.081 15
03 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:37.332 20
04 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:37.460 23
05 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:37.515 19
06 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:37.713 25
07 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:37.802 23
08 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:37.810 24
09 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:37.856 23
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:38.041 25
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:38.102 24
12 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:38.276 21
13 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:38.422 21
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:38.898 23
15 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:38.922 20
16 Robert Shwartzman Ferrari F1-75 1:38.951 21
17 Alex Palou McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:39.911 21
18 Théo Pourchaire Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:40.175 19
19 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes FW44 1:40.325 23
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:43.063 4

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