Lewis has a special relationship with the Circuit of the Americas and was unstoppable even in the rain.
- Friday morning at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, was cool and wet.
- Lewis and Valtteri were not fazed by the conditions and booked first and second place in this weekend’s first practice session.
- Lewis posted six laps on the wet circuit and was 1.3 seconds up on Valtteri after setting a time of 1:47.502 minutes on intermediates.
- Our fast Finn completed seven laps of the circuit (also on intermediates) and finished in second place on the timesheet ahead of Red Bull’s two drivers, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.
- Conditions for second practice in the afternoon were even worse than this morning’s, so drivers spent a long time in the pits before going out for a couple of laps on the wet track.
- Lewis posted three laps on intermediates in the closing stages of the session and again finished at the top of the timesheet with a 1:48.716 on his fastest lap.
- Valtteri stayed in the pits because of the weather and track conditions and did not turn a wheel.
What Did We Learn?
"There really isn't a huge amount to say about today as the weather cut short any ambitions to look at the dry tyres and to prepare for the race that we hope will be dry and the qualifying that we hope will at least be dry-ish," said Technical Director James Allison.
"From the limited look that both drivers had at the car in FP1 and the brief outing that Lewis did in FP2 the car seems alright. However, I don't think that doing well in today's conditions is going to have a lot to do with winning the race on Sunday."
What We're Saying
"It's not really been an eventful day - which is a shame because a lot of people came out today," said Lewis.
"The weather was miserable this morning; it looked like it was going to dry up going into FP2 but then all of a sudden the heavens opened again."
"In FP1 I only did a few laps because we need the tyres to last until FP3 and there's very little to learn in the rain."
"In FP2 I waited to the end before I went out to see if the track had changed or the tyres had dropped off a little bit for the next run from my previous laps. The car still felt good, but the track seemed a bit bumpier than in the past."
"The Intermediate tyres provided pretty good grip for the wet conditions, but I don't think they will last very long."
"You can actually drive with quite a lot of standing water on the Inters, so finding the cross-over between the Extreme Wets and the Inters is going to be crucial as you can lose a lot if you get it wrong."
"Overall, I still enjoyed it - I love driving this track and it's great in the wet as well, so I got a little bit of excitement today."
"It was a pretty boring day, just waiting for the rain to go away," said Valtteri.
"The more tyres we use today, the less tyres we have for a potentially wet Qualifying session; so we'd rather run tomorrow than today given the tyre allocation that we have. But even in the limited running that I was able to do this morning the car felt really good, despite the poor conditions."
"It seems to be a strong car in both the wet and the dry. The set-up for tomorrow and Sunday will be tricky given that no one was able to run the dry tyres yet, but I guess that's when we will see how good our simulations are as our entire set-up will have to be based on simulations and all the hard work back at the factory, but not on on-track running."
"We have different tyres compared to last year, the asphalt changed as well, so there are many question marks that will make finding the right race set-up and strategy difficult."
"So even if we get a good qualifying, there are no guarantees for Sunday - which makes the weekend really interesting."