Formula 1 Racing

What we learned from Friday practice action at F1’s 2022 US GP

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Ferrari swept the board in practice for Formula 1’s 2022 US Grand Prix on Friday, but unusual circumstances for both sessions meant they provided little insight for form prediction regarding Sunday’s race.

They did, however, give F1 a glimpse of the young talent competing in other categories and also offer the teams a chance to understand a critical factor for the coming 2023 campaign.

Here is what we learned from the opening practice running at Austin.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The story of the day:

Carlos Sainz was quickest in FP1 – prevailing in an exchange of fastest times with Red Bull’s newly-crowned 2022 world champion Max Verstappen after the one-hour session had been halted early-on due to Antonio Giovinazzi crashing.

The Italian was running at Haas in place of Kevin Magnussen, as the American squad assess him as a potential replacement for Mick Schumacher for 2023. He was joined by four F1 rookies – Logan Sargeant at Williams, Robert Shwartzman at Ferrari, Alex Palou at McLaren and Theo Pourchaire at Alfa Romeo – sent out by those squads to as part of the requirement for all teams to twice run up-and-coming drivers or those lacking F1 experience as part of the new rules for 2022 practice sessions.

Giovinazzi lost the rear end of Magnussen’s car running through the long Turn 5 right hander in the middle of Austin’s thrilling sector one Esses complex, caught out by a gust of wind when not on a push lap.

Although he was able to get going after being initially caught side-on against the barriers, which meant FP1 was red-flagged for four minutes, Giovinazzi could not then remerge from the pits as his car’s clutch had overheated and Haas feared the gearbox was also damaged.

After this, Verstappen forged ahead before Sainz deposed him – with the Red Bull not getting back ahead despite completing two late charges on the soft tyres. Lewis Hamilton slotted the updated Mercedes W13 into third – the team feeling its 2023-focused upgrade produced results that “looks in line with expectations”, per team director of trackside engineering, Andrew Shovlin.

Although the full quota of 2022 F1 drivers took part in FP2 – with Magnussen, Nicholas Latifi, Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas back aboard their usual rides – that session was even more unusual.

This was because it was essentially dedicated to 2023 Pirelli tyre testing on unmarked compounds from the…

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