Ferrari’s Sainz was 0.224s faster than newly-crowned two-time world champion Verstappen, who complained “there must be something wrong with the car because there is no front end in low speed.” 

Seven-time world champion Hamilton was third-quickest in his upgraded Mercedes, ending up 0.475s adrift of Sainz.

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Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was an impressive fourth, just 0.603s off the pace, ahead of Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, who will serve a grid drop in Austin for taking on a new internal combustion engine. 

Fernando Alonso was sixth for Alpine ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris’ McLaren and Sebastian Vettel, who ensured both Aston Martins featured inside the top 10 at his final United States Grand Prix before retiring. 

Robert Shwartzman finished as the top rookie in 16th driving Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari and was just over two seconds behind pacesetter Sainz. 

He finished nearly a second clear of fellow FP1 debutant and IndyCar driver Alex Palou, who jumped in Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren. 

F2 frontrunner Theo Pourchaire was 18th as he deputised in place of Valtteri Bottas at Alfa Romeo, while Logan Sargeant was 0.150s further back on his FP1 debut for Williams. 

Williams F1 team boss Jost Capito teased the prospect of the American being confirmed as their race driver for 2023 during the weekend. 

The F2 rookie is the favourite to replace Nicholas Latifi and partner Alex Albon at the Grove-based outfit next season.

Antonio Giovinazzi’s final FP1 outing for Haas lasted just a matter of minutes before he spun into the barriers at Turn 6. 

Although the Italian was able to escape the barriers and crawl back to the pits, an overheating clutch forced him to sit out the remainder of the session.