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Daniil Kyat and Red Bull will face an awakening mid pack

Wet Weather Washes Away P2 At COTA

Drafting the Circuits

Formula 1 Report

United States Grand Prix Friday

By Steve Aibel/Drafting The Circuits/F1Racing Plus

@steveaibel

A boatload of rain impacted the opening day of Formula 1 practice for the United States Grand Prix. Practice 1 went off uninterrupted albeit in wet conditions, however P2 was cancelled due to severe weather.

Rain dominated Day 1 at COTA

Rain dominated Day 1 at COTA

Formula 1 has seen brilliant conditions for the previous 3 Grand Prix events at Circuit of the Americas, but the Texas skies opened up Friday, drenching the track and the fans who were hungry for Formula 1 action. P1 was run in wet, but drying, conditions with all teams running a mixture of wet and intermediate tires.

Nico Rosberg led the wet session but only chose to complete 7 laps. The Red Bulls of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo followed in second and third position while Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top 5.

Red Bull, wet behind with ears, is still without an engine for 2016

Red Bull, wet behind with ears, is still without an engine for 2016

Renault was set to provide an upgraded power unit to both Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, however, both teams passed on using the new units due to penalties they would have incurred taking on additional engines. Red Bull racing hit a milestone with the United States Grand Prix marking their 200th race start.

McLaren, on the other hand, did use a new power unit in Fernando Alonso’s car and found it to be 7 tenths faster than the original unit from teammate Jenson Button’s.

Alonso working out the upgraded Honda engine

Alonso working out the upgraded Honda engine

Manor Racing made quite an impact with the American flag proudly on the rear wing endplates of both cars and Manor flags, hats and tee shirts adorning fans. Alexander Rossi again finished ahead of his teammate Will Stevens with the crowd obviously finding favor with having the young American on the grid.

Crowd favorite Alexander Rossi

Crowd favorite Alexander Rossi

The second practice session was cancelled due to severe weather as rain and lightning prevented track workers and marshals from safely taking their positions on the track. An intense downpour, including lightning, brought forth conditions where running would have been unsafe for the drivers and the teams at Circuit of the Americas. The was the first cancellation of a Grand Prix session since 2004 in Japan. The forecast for Saturday looks much the same, or worse, so we should expect limited running once again.

Paddock news revolved around another 2016 race seat being decided. Lotus reserve driver, Jolyon Palmer will take the seat vacated by Romain Grosjean and will race alongside Pastor Maldonado. Grosjean is moving to Hass F1 Team in 2016.  Palmer won the GP2 championship in 2014 and ran significantly in FP1 throughout the year in place of Grosjean.

Weather is looking to play a factor again Saturday as many parking lots have been washed away and Circuit of the Americas staff will need to work hard to insure that the track remains safe for the drivers.

Drivers’ Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton 302
  2. Sebastian Vettel 236
  3. Nico Rosberg 229
  4. Kimi Raikkonen 123
  5. Valtteri Bottas 111
  6. Felipe Massa 109
  7. Daniil Kvyat 76
  8. Daniel Ricciardo 73
  9. Sergio Perez 54
  10. Romain Grosjean 44
  11. Nico Hulkenberg 38
  12. Max Verstappen 33
  13. Felipe Nasr 25
  14. Pastor Maldonado 22
  15. Carlos Sainz Jr. 12
  16. Fernando Alonso 11
  17. Marcus Ericsson 9
  18. Jenson Button 8

 

Constructors’ Championship

  1. Mercedes 531
  2. Ferrari 359
  3. Williams 220
  4. Red Bull 149
  5. Force India 92
  6. Lotus 66
  7. Toro Rosso 45
  8. Sauber 34
  9. McLaren 19
  10. Manor/Marussia 0

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