Rosberg leads Ricciardo and Hamilton in FP2

© XPB 

Nico Rosberg set the pace in second practice for the United States Grand Prix as he led Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton in Austin.

The championship leader responded to Hamilton setting the fastest time in the opening practice session by posting a 1:37.358 in FP2 as all of the front runners used the supersoft tyre. With Red Bull having only used the medium compound on Friday morning, Ricciardo was much more competitive on low fuel as he set a time just 0.194s slower than Rosberg, edging out Hamilton by 0.097s.

Sebastian Vettel was some 0.8s adrift in fourth place, with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen limited to tenth - 1.5s off the pace - having gone off at Turn 19 on his best supersoft tyre lap. Raikkonen was forced wide as the rear stepped out on him under braking, using up the best of the supersoft's performance.

Max Verstappen was fifth, less than 0.1s slower than Vettel and a quarter of a second clear of the Force India pair of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Both McLarens were also in the top ten with Jenson Button just ahead of Fernando Alonso.

It was a disjointed session which saw a number of errors, with a red flag required after 50 minutes due to debris on the track. While the Virtual Safety Car was used to remove debris in FP1, the red flag was brought out after Romain Grosjean lost another piece of bodywork at Turn 6, with the rear wing of his Haas to blame following a similar issue in the opening session.

The stoppage was only a short one, but interrupted long runs at Circuit of the Americas which could cloud the true picture when it comes to tyre behaviour.

Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz both spun off at Turn 18 - the latter right at the end of the session - while Jolyon Palmer was again struggling as he spun at Turn 8. Palmer's spin was less orthodox, as he overcorrected some oversteer exiting the corner and swapped ends on the outside of the track, running across some gravel and onto grass. Fortunately the Renault wasn't damaged and Palmer was able to continue, but ended the session in 17th, five places behind team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

As is often the case, the two Williams cars were off the pace in FP2, with Valtteri Bottas 14th and Felipe Massa 16th, roughly half a second adrift of the Force Indias in the battle for fourth place in the constructors' championship.

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Pos Driver Team Time Laps
01 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:37.358 33
02 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:37.552 33
03 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.649 32
04 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:38.178 35
05 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:38.258 27
06 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:38.508 32
07 Sergio Perez Force India 1:38.568 31
08 Jenson Button McLaren 1:38.713 29
09 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:38.801 30
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:38.865 31
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:38.971 31
12 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:39.159 23
13 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:39.189 28
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:39.197 34
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:39.202 36
16 Felipe Massa Williams 1:39.281 30
17 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:39.455 34
18 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:39.554 24
19 Esteban Ocon Manor 1:40.086 27
20 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:40.114 26
21 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:40.219 28
22 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:41.131 31