United States GP: Max Verstappen fastest in practice as Lewis Hamilton shows upgraded Mercedes promise

Watch Qualifying tonight at 10pm for Sunday’s Grand Prix on Sky Sports F1, with build-up from 9pm, ahead of Sprint Saturday in Austin world champion Max Verstappen quickest in early running at Austin, but third-placed Lewis Hamilton in upgraded Mercedes also impresses

Last Updated: 20/10/23 7:47pm

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Oscar Piastri narrowly avoided the barrier in Practice 1 after he lost control of the McLaren at the United States Grand Prix

Oscar Piastri narrowly avoided the barrier in Practice 1 after he lost control of the McLaren at the United States Grand Prix

Max Verstappen set the pace from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the only practice session before Friday night’s qualifying at the United States GP, but Lewis Hamilton also gave Mercedes early encouragement for the weekend in their upgraded car.

At the start of the 2023 season’s fifth Sprint weekend out of six, Verstappen set the initial pace around the sweeping Circuit of Americas with a best lap of 1:35.912.

Leclerc was 0.156s back for Ferrari with Hamilton a further tenth of a second behind in third, but it would have been better for the latter had the seven-time champion not dropped time in the lap’s final sector by running wide at Turn 12 and then losing time behind a McLaren.

Mercedes ran a new floor on their car for the first time in what they have confirmed is their final “significant” upgrade this season.

Sergio Perez, who increasingly needs a strong weekend amid speculation about his future, was fourth in the second Red Bull.

American-owned Haas took encouraging fifth and ninth places, meanwhile, with their car carrying a rare sizeable upgrade this weekend at their home event.

Daniel Ricciardo was back on track for AlphaTauri for the first time in two months after recovering from a broken bone in his left hand. The Australian made a solid return in 14th place and completed 23 laps in the hour-long session without any apparent problems.

More to follow…

When to watch the US GP and F1 Academy finale live only on Sky Sports F1


  • 7.55pm: F1 Academy Practice Two
  • 9pm: US GP Qualifying build-up
  • 10pm: US GP Qualifying (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
  • 11.30pm: F1 Academy Qualifying
  • (Saturday) 12.30am: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook


  • 3.30pm: F1 Academy Race One
  • 6pm: US GP Sprint Shootout build-up
  • 6:30pm: US GP Sprint Shootout
  • 9.15pm: F1 Academy Race Two
  • 10pm: US GP Sprint build-up
  • 11pm: US GP SPRINT (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
  • (Sunday) 12.30am: Ted’s Sprint Notebook


  • 3.30pm: F1 Academy Race Three
  • 6.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: US GP build-up
  • 8pm: THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
  • 10pm: Chequered Flag: US GP reaction
  • 11pm: Ted’s Notebook

Watch Formula 1 return to Texas for the United States Grand Prix and another Sprint weekend live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW

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