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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01Nico RosbergMercedes1:37.35833
02Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1:37.55233
03Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:37.64932
04Sebastian VettelFerrari1:38.17835
05Max VerstappenRed Bull1:38.25827
06Nico HulkenbergForce India1:38.50832
07Sergio PerezForce India1:38.56831
08Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:38.71329
09Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:38.80130
10Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1:38.86531
11Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:38.97131
12Kevin MagnussenRenault1:39.15923
13Felipe NasrSauber1:39.18928
14Valtteri BottasWilliams1:39.19734
15Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1:39.20236
16Felipe MassaWilliams1:39.28130
17Jolyon PalmerRenault1:39.45534
18Romain GrosjeanHaas1:39.55424
19Esteban OconManor1:40.08627
20Esteban GutierrezHaas1:40.11426
21Marcus EricssonSauber1:40.21928
22Pascal WehrleinManor1:41.13131