Lewis Hamilton was pleased with Mercedes' start to the United States Grand Prix race weekend after topping both Formula 1 practice sessions on Friday, but expects Red Bull to run the German marque close over long runs.

Four-time Circuit of The Americas winner Hamilton swept Friday's running ahead of the United States GP, finishing four-tenths of a second clear of Red Bull's Max Verstappen in FP2.

"It was a good day," Hamilton said. "It obviously started out wet which was not expected. We went out and did a couple of laps, and felt good in the rain already on the wet track, and then once it dried up got to do quite a lot of running in FP1 and also FP2.

"Generally we’ve started on the right foot. Everyone’s struggling on the tyres because they’re a bit different from FP1 to FP2, at times they feel different and the temperatures are different."

Hamilton can wrap up his fourth F1 world title in Austin this weekend should results fall his way, and his hopes were given a boost when Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel completed just 11 laps in FP2 due to an issue on his car.

With Red Bull taking up the mantle to pose the closest challenge to Mercedes, Hamilton admitted he was wary of its pace, but is refusing to read too much into Vettel's performance yet.

"It’s difficult to say because Sebastian hasn’t really finished, he didn’t really get much running I don’t think. But the Red Bulls do look quick," Hamilton said.

"I’ve really not thought about it, but I think the Red Bulls at the moment are the ones who look quickest.

"We didn’t really do a huge long run to be honest. We had a problem, so that’s why we had to stop halfway through.

"But the little bit that we did, it looked like we were relatively close to the Red Bulls."


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