After Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of opening practice in Austin, championship leader Nico Rosberg fought back in the afternoon to head the timesheet in second practice for the United States Grand Prix, finishing just under two tenths clear of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and a further tenth ahead of third-placed Hamilton.
Championship leader Rosberg’s performance run in FP2 resulted in a best time of 1:37.358, which was good enough to move 0.291 ahead of Hamilton.
After a quiet FP1, in which he finished with the seventh fastest time after only using the medium tyre, Ricciardo enjoyed a much more profitable second session when he bolted on the supersoft.
The Australian powered to a best lap of 1:37.552 which allowed him to split the Mercedes and saw him finish just 0.194 behind Rosberg.
Fourth place in the session went to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, with the 2013 US Grand Prix winner finishing 0.626 behind Ricciardo’s Red Bull, the car Ferrari will most likely be racing for a podium finish this weekend.
Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished back in 10th position, with his best lap on supersofts being compromised by an off at Turn 19.
Behind Vettel, Max Verstappen was fifth in the second Red Bull, less than 0.1s slower than the Ferrari driver. After finishing ahead of close rivals Williams in FP1, Force India was again top the fore in the second session with Nico Hulkenberg seventh and Sergio Perez eighth.
In the opening session Hulkenberg finished fifth less than 0.1s ahead of Williams’ Valterri Bottas but in the afternoon’s performance runs the lead Force India was over six tenths of a second clear of the highest placed Williams of Bottas who finished in 14th place.
Behind the Force Indias, the final top 10 places were taken by McLaren, with Jenson Button just ahead of Fernando Alonso.
2014 United States Grand Prix – Free Practice 21 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:37.358 332 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:37.552 333 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.649 324 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:38.178 355 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:38.258 276 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:38.508 327 Sergio Perez Force India 1:38.568 318 Jenson Button McLaren 1:38.713 299 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:38.801 3010 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:38.865 3111 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:38.971 3112 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:39.159 2313 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:39.189 2814 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:39.197 3415 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:39.202 3616 Felipe Massa Williams 1:39.281 3017 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:39.455 3418 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:39.554 2419 Esteban Ocon Manor 1:40.086 2720 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:40.114 2621 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:40.219 2822 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:41.131 31