SETTING THE PACEMercedes' Lewis Hamilton sets the pace ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg during the first practice session ahead of the 2016 United States GP. Image: AP / Tony Gutierrez
Texas - Defending champion Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest lap of Friday's first practice at the 2016 US Grand Prix as he seeks to make a late charge at Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg in the championship chase.
Hamilton's fastest lap was in 1min37.428 seconds. Rosberg was second, 0.315 seconds behind.
Hamilton trails Rosberg by 33 points in the points standings heading into the final four races. That almost puts Hamilton in a must-win situation if he wants to have a realistic chance of retaining his title.
As it happened: 2016 United States GP - 1st practice
Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third at 1min39.379
Rosberg started from the pole in Texas in each of the last two years only to see Hamilton win. Hamilton's 2015 victory clinched his second consecutive Formula 1 championship.
2016 United States Grand Prix: First practice
1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1min37.428
2. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1min37.743
3. Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull 1min39.379
4. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1min39.407
5. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India 1min39.712
6. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams 1min39.776
7. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull 1min39.963
8. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari 1min39.988
9. Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Toro Rosso 1min40.131
10. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Toro Rosso 1min40.140
11. Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams 1min40.191
12. Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber 1min40.287
13. Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren-Honda 1min40.362
14. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas 1min40.826
15. Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas 1min40.970
16. Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber 1min41.170
17. Alfonso Celis (MEX) Force India 1min41.422
18. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren-Honda 1min41.663
19. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault 1min41.942
20. Jordan King (GBR) Manor 1min42.012
21. Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault 1min42.332
22. Estban Ocon (FRA) Manor 1min43