Alonso quickest in disrupted first practice session

By on Friday, November 15, 2013

Alonso SuzukaFernando Alonso topped a disrupted first practice session ahead of this weekend's United States Grand Prix.

Alonso was 0.029s faster than the McLaren of Jenson Button, with Williams's Valtteri Bottas in third.

Esteban Gutierrez was fourth, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

Felipe Massa, Mark Webber, Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado rounded out the top 10.

The start of the session was delayed due to fog that lingered over the Circuit of the Americas. The medical helicopter was unable to fly in the conditions, meaning that no running was permitted.

The session started 40 minutes late and was truncated to just one hour, rather than the usual hour and a half.

There was just 15 minutes of running until the red flag was flown again due to 'problems with the medical helicopter'. With the session having to finish two hours prior to this afternoon's second practice session, the clock began ticking down. Once a replacement helicopter was found, the session resumed with 30 minutes remaining.

Romain Grosjean set the 11th fastest time, ahead of Sergio Perez and returnee Heikki Kovalainen.

Adrian Sutil narrowly beat Paul di Resta, while Daniel Ricciardo edged out 2014 Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, who made his practice debut for the team.

World champion Sebastian Vettel was eighteenth.

Alexander Rossi became the first American to drive at the Circuit of the Americas on a Grand Prix weekend and set the nineteenth quickest time, ahead of Charles Pic and Max Chilton.

Rodolfo Gonzalez took part in the session in place of Jules Bianchi but he ended his session on the side lines after his Marussia began smoking with a couple of minutes remaining.

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