On Friday afternoon Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg led the way in the second practice for the 2016 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo was two-tenths of a second behind Rosberg while FP1 pacesetter Lewis Hamilton sat on third.
Friday afternoon’s sunny yet windy Circuit at The Americas saw Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took the fourth spot, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed the fifth spot in the race.
The opening stage of the race saw Vettel and Raikkonen set the pace with 1 minute 38.892 seconds and 1 minute 38.930 seconds on their super soft tyres. Soon after Verstappen on soft rubber took over with 1 minute 38.541 seconds before Rosberg overtook him with the same tyre with 1 minute 38.082 seconds.
FP1 pacesetter, Lewis Hamilton’s effort on this day fell short in comparison to his teammates as Hamilton went second in the early stages with 1 minute 36.675 seconds.
In the later stages of the race Mercedes and Red Bull were left alone as they both gave everything to take the centre stage. While the two were gunning for the top spot they offered a glimmer of hope that least two teams will be in line for victory this weekend.
The performance of Red Bull has impressed many. One of those many is F1 analyst Paul Di Resta, who believes that Red Bulls must take pride in their long run performance. In the races to come, they can tune in some more speed and are definitely capable of taking the fight to Mercedes.
Danielle Ricciardo, who previously led last year’s rain-hit COTA race, was buoyed by the pace of the RB12 said, “I think we can find a bit more but I’m sure Mercedes can too. But I’m pretty happy with that. If we had the pace we had today against Mercedes on Sunday it will be a fun race”.
Red Bull, after their decent performances in the previous races, has moved forwards after a quiet P1. Ferrari, on the other hand, has slipped backwards with Sebastian Vettel the quickest yet 0.8s off the ultimate pace.
The race on Sunday is likely to be a good one as both Mercedes and Red Bulls looks set to proclaim the prize. Their toggles in the past have produced spectacular moments and the race on Sunday promises not to disappoint.