Nico Rosberg ahead before the thunderstorm!

The Hurricane Patricia will hit the south of Texas this weekend. That means this 4th visit in Austin will be very rainy and windly. The rain stopped before the FP1 but the track was damp at 10am. It was drying more and more from 10:33am (not enough wet for the inter tyres but not enough dry for the slicks). Nico Rosberg leads in front of the Bulls. The conditions risk to be worse in FP2 but especially on tomorrow. It’s not very encouraging!

Weather report: cloudy, T. air: 25-26°C ; T. track: 26°C ; humidity rate: 89-95% and wind speed: 4,5 m.s (north)

Data about the COTA: 56 laps, 5,516 km, 20 turns (11 at left and 9 at right), the F1 cars run anticlockwise here, 2 DRS aeras (the start/finish straight line and between the turns 11 and 12).

Nico Rosberg signed the best time in 1’53’’989 at 10:41am (inter tyres). In 2014, the P1 belonged to Lewis Hamilton (1’39’’941 ; nice weather). Mercedes wanted to test some new components for Mexico but they had to change their plans. Daniil Kvyat has been second (+1’’235s). Daniel Ricciardo, third, was the first to put the inters at 10:07am. Carlos Sainz Jr has been classified fourth. Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Bernie Ecclestone will have a meeting in the paddock from Austin to find a solution for 2016. The negociations with Renault aren’t over and a rumour told that they’d be close to an agreement with Honda. Regarding the end of the season, Renault used 11 of its 12 tokens to develop their engine. The evolutions are available here but the Bulls will wait for SP to use them. The WDC leader has occupied the fifth row. This is his GP column: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/features/34585047 Sebastian Vettel, sixth, will have a grid penalty like Kimi Räikkönen (P+10 – 5th PU with the spec from Monza). Max Verstappen, seventh, has been inserted between both Red Devils (brake issues for Kimi at 10:23am). Fernando Alonso, who has got the new V6 Honda (Jenson Button will use it in Mexico), has appeared in ninth position. Valtteri Bottas has been at the end of the top 10. Felipe Massa has been at the eleventh place. Sergio Perez, twelfth, has been followed by Jenson Button. Nico Hülkenberg, fourteenth, was elected “Driver of the year” by the ADAC. Romain Grosjean, fifteenth, will take part in the ROC in London. Haas will announce their second driver (Esteban Gutierrez) very soon. According to the Danish press, Kevin Magnussen could become the team-mate of Pastor Maldonado at Lotus in 2016 thanks to the financial support of Saxo Bank. Sauber will celebrate its 400th GP in F1 this weekend. Raffaele Marciello, sixteenth, completed 19 laps (record, average=10). Felipe Nasr will be back from this afternoon. Marcus Ericsson, seventeenth, set the first benchmark of the session (2’01’’702 at 10:11am – inter tyres). He has outstripped both Manor boys (advantage for Alexander Rossi). The FIA confirmed that Will Stevens will have a grid penalty here (P+20). Pastor Maldonado has been the good last one (1 lap completed only because of some gearbox issues at 10:06am ; Lotus had tp change his gearbox during the session).

(credit pic: newscom.com)

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