US Grand Prix Free Practice 1 Wrap-up: Mercedes Claims Top SpotsOctober 22, 2021
Valtteri Bottas edged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the first practice session at the US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen followed nearly one second behind for the third position. Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc and Carlos Sainz rounded out top five.
POSITION DRIVER / TEAM TIME
1 Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes 1:34.874
2 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.045s
3 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.932s
4 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +1.460s
5 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +1.634s
Mercedes’ strong showing in the opening practice was of no surprise. Mercedes has taken the pole position at every event at the Circuit of the America since 2014. What was surprising was Verstappen’s tepid showing at +0.932 off the pace.
It was revealed during the practice that Bottas will be penalized five grid-positions for his sixth power unit of the season. George Russell and Sebastian Vettel will also receive grid penalties for power unit replacements.
Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly recorded the six best time of the morning. Segio Perez (Red Bull) claimed P7, finishing just ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norriss. Alfa Romeo teammates Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top ten.