The teams were out on the track for practice today at, the Circuit of the Americas. Taking the helm during practice was the Mercedes AMG team, the 2014 constructors’ champions, with Lewis Hamilton slightly ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg. Both drivers experienced slight mechanical problems with Hamilton’s car, having the more significant of them. This left fans wondering, will the last three races come down to, reliability problems?
The top five after FP2 were Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso, Ricciardo, and Massa. Four-time champion and winner of the 2013 USGP Sebastian Vettel, was the slowest of the field and will start at the back of the grid in 18th, due to a gearbox change penalty. Daniel Ricciardo is the only driver who is still within striking distance of the driver’s championship, and was only 1.3 seconds behind leader, Lewis Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas with Williams-Martini did not go out in FP1, which allowed Williams test driver Felipe Nasr to make a run. Bottas finished 11th, but have not forgotten that this is the track where he gained his first championship points in 2013.
Fans did not seem bothered by the absence of Caterham F1 and the Marussia teams. Both teams were placed under administration recently and only Marussia seems to have a ray of hope, for new buyers. This leaves a field of 18-cars for Sundays race. As several of the independent teams continue to struggle, some team principals are looking for changes to be made that will control cost and include more consideration for independent teams.
The 18-car dilemma caused the format for qualifying to be altered. In a recent meeting, the stewards decided that the slowest 4-cars in Q1 will not take part in the session, and the slowest 4-cars in Q2 will be eliminated from taking part in Q3. If you are confused, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you think, they should have done.
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