Valtteri Bottas headed Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes set an imposing tempo in first follow at the US Grand Prix.
Bottas, who has a five-place grid penalty following an engine change, was 0.045 seconds faster than Hamilton.
Hamilton’s title rival Max Verstappen was a large 0.932secs off the tempo in his Crimson Bull, forward of the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
Leclerc had an off on the high-speed Esses however escaped damaging his automotive.
Mercedes’ tempo bodes nicely for Hamilton because the seven-time champion seeks to overturn Verstappen’s six-point hole and reclaim the championship lead in Austin.
Nevertheless, whereas Mercedes had been anticipated to have a slight edge primarily based on latest efficiency, the dimensions of their benefit suggests there should be an off-set in engine mode or gas load at play within the occasions, because the hole appears too large to be consultant.
Mercedes have fitted Bottas’ automotive with a sixth inside combustion engine – solely three are permitted for the season – which implies a five-place penalty for the Finn.
Williams driver George Russell and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel even have engine penalties however they’ve taken extra parts – a turbo and MGU-H in addition to the ICE – and they’ll begin from the again of the grid in consequence.
Leclerc, who misplaced management on the exit of Flip 5 via the bumpy and demanding first sector, was 0.2secs faster than the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.
Each drivers of the purple automotive had been combating oversteer in high-speed corners, the reason for Leclerc’s incident.
Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly was sixth quickest forward of the Crimson Bull of Sergio Perez, McLaren’s Lando Norris, and the Alfa Romeos of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen, who had a spin at Flip 9 late within the session.
Ocon’s team-mate Fernando Alonso prompted an early purple flag when his Alpine stopped on monitor leaking fluid on his first lap out of the pits.
The Spanish two-time world champion did get again out on monitor and ended the session fifteenth.
Mick Schumacher had a late incident with Perez, when the Crimson Bull dived for the within at Flip 12 and the 2 collided, Schumacher’s Haas bouncing into the run-off space.