Us GP: Lewis Hamilton dominates free practice sessions
Photo: Clive Rose / Getty Images / Agence France-Presse
Hamilton is in search of a fourth world champion title and a third for 2014.
Lewis Hamilton was true to himself on the circuit of the Americas, where it has already signed up four victories.
The driver of Mercedes and current leader in the championship has made the best lap of Friday free practice for the Grand Prix of United States Formula 1. Hamilton had dominated the session on a dry track by signing a time of 1 min 34 s 668, thus adding to the pressure on the shoulders of its main rival in the title race, Sebastian Vettel.
The pilot of Red Bull Max Verstappen has finished second, 397 milliseconds. Vettel, who hopes to reduce the gap of 59 points that he blamed on Hamilton, took the third rank in 524 milliseconds.
Vettel will likely have to win or finish ahead of Hamilton on Sunday if he wants to prolong the suspense in the race for the drivers championship.
Hamilton triumphed at the last three events presented on the circuit of the Americas, a circuit which promotes the power of Mercedes engines. The English driver was pulled away from Vettel winning five of the last seven races.
“He has reached another level,” said the boss at Mercedes, Toto Wolff. It is very satisfying to see. “
Valtteri Bottas, the team-mate of Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen, in order, are the only other drivers to have rolled under the bar of 1 min and 36 sec
The young Canadian Lance Stroll has passed the 16th clock (1 min 37 s 788), but he can hope to do better on this circuit because his team-mate Felipe Massa was offered the eighth time.
“We have had some trouble here and there — my headrest is detached from the track at a certain time, so I had to enter the well of emergency. But hey, we are preparing for [Saturday], said Stroll. The car is competitive, and it will just have to put all the components together. “
Hamilton is in search of a fourth world title and his third since 2014.