Bottas set the quickest time of the day in FP1, which was fractionally faster than Red Bull’s Sergio Perez managed when he topped FP2 later in the afternoon.
US Grand Prix FP1 results: Bottas fastest from Hamilton
What happened in Free Practice 1?
Following an early red flag for Fernando Alonso’s Alpine grinding to a halt at the end of the back straight, Lewis Hamilton set the early pace for Mercedes at 1m36.812s on the soft tyre, 0.043s quicker than Lando Norris (McLaren) with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a couple of tenths further back.
Perez briefly went fastest by 0.014s on the hard tyre before Hamilton improved again – still running his first set of softs – to 1m36.381s.
Verstappen took over at the top with 1m36.049s before Hamilton produced 1m35.096s and then Bottas set the quickest lap of the session of 1m34.874s. Hamilton improved to within 0.045s of Bottas’s time, while Verstappen also went faster but was still 0.9s off the Mercedes pace.
Charles Leclerc spun his Ferrari at high speed at the Esses but kept it out of the wall. He recovered to finish fourth fastest, 1.46s off the pace, ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz Jr.
Kimi Raikkonen spun his Alfa Romeo in the closing moments at Turn 9.
US Grand Prix FP2 results: Perez fastest from Norris
What happened in Free Practice 2?
In FP2, Perez set the initial pace on medium tyres, 0.004s ahead of Bottas, Verstappen and Hamilton.
While Bottas and Perez swapped the fastest time between them, Verstappen and Hamilton raced side by side around the final corner and along the start/finish straight. “Stupid idiot,” said Verstappen on team radio, and gave his title rival the middle finger gesture.
Teams then switched to soft tyre running, with Hamilton lapping in 1m34.842s – which would have been the quickest of the day – but his time was deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 19.
Perez then produced 1m34.946s to top the session, a quarter of a second ahead of Norris. Hamilton was only able to lap third quickest on his second run, while Verstappen repeatedly got caught in traffic and angrily bailed out completely on his qualifying simulation.
Bottas was fourth in this session, 0.414s off the pace, ahead of Ricciardo.
Alonso suffered a late spin at Turn 19 and tapped the wall.