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Lewis Hamilton dominates Sebastian Vettel in United States Grand Prix practice

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton continued his record-breaking form when he reeled off a ‘double top’ in practice for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix. As his title rival Sebastian Vettel struggled through a difficult second session in which he spun off in his Ferrari, Hamilton smashed the lap record at the Circuit of the Americas.

other sports Updated: Oct 21, 2017 16:34 IST
AFP, Austin
Lewis Hamilton,Sebastian Vettel,‪United States Grand Prix
Formula One title favourite Lewis Hamilton shattered the Circuit of the Americas track record on Friday as he dominated the United States Grand Prix practice that could bring him his fourth world championship. (AFP )

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton completed a comfortable “double top” for Mercedes in Friday’s practice for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, the Briton topping both sessions as his title rival Sebastian Vettel struggled to keep pace for Ferrari.

The 32-year-old Briton, who can clinch his fourth world championship in Sunday’s race if he wins and Vettel is outside the top five, dominated the day, winding up nearly four-tenths quicker than Dutchman Max Verstappen of Red Bull in the second session.

Vettel spun off into the gravel in his Ferrari early in the afternoon session, but managed to keep his engine running and drive back to the pits before winding up third.

Hamilton clocked a best time of one minute and 34.668 seconds in the second session, outpacing Verstappen, who had earlier confirmed he was extending his Red Bull contract to 2020, by 0.391 seconds and Vettel by 0.524 seconds.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was fourth ahead of Australian Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull and 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari.

Two-time champion Fernando Alonso was seventh fastest ahead of Felipe Massa of Williams and the two Force India cars of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

Debutant Brendon Hartley, the first New Zealander to race in Formula One for 33 years, was 17th on his first run with Toro Rosso.

First Published: Oct 21, 2017 09:19 IST