In an eventful FP2, Red Bull’s Perez claimed top spot with a 1m34.946s as Lewis Hamilton lost a faster lap time due to track limits and F1 world title rival Max Verstappen could only manage eighth place as his quick lap was disrupted by traffic.
One of Verstappen’s quick laps was held up by Hamilton, with the pair going wheel-to-wheel along the start/finish straight, which led to the Red Bull driver calling his rival a “stupid idiot” over the radio before raising his middle finger at the Mercedes driver.
Verstappen duly played down the incident after FP2 and said he didn’t understand what happened in the flashpoint.
With the title contenders off top spot, Perez led McLaren’s Lando Norris at the head of the FP2 times – but it was Bottas who claimed the outright fastest lap of the day, having topped FP1 with a 1m34.874s.
However, the Finn will head into US GP qualifying with a five-place grid penalty after taking on another new internal combustion engine.
That led Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to concede its ongoing reliability problems were “not trivial” as Bottas and two drivers from customer teams Aston Martin and Williams are also set to take grid penalties this weekend.
Wolff also dismissed speculation from Red Bull about a trick device it is using to increase its straightline speed.
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, with a special helmet design
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
What time does qualifying start for the United States Grand Prix?
Qualifying for the United States GP starts at 4pm local time (10pm BST), using the regular Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout session format.
Date: Saturday 23rd October 2021
Start time: 4pm local time – 10pm BST
How can I watch qualifying?
In the United Kingdom every F1 practice, qualifying and race is broadcast live on Sky Sports F1, with United States GP qualifying coverage starting at 9pm BST.
Autosport will be running a live text coverage of qualifying here.
In the United Kingdom Channel 4 is broadcasting highlights of qualifying for the United States GP at 8:30am BST on Sunday. The full programme will run for 60 minutes, covering both qualifying and wrapping up the major talking points of the race weekend so far.
For the entire 2021 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of every qualifying and race of each event. The highlights will also be available on Channel 4’s on demand catch up services.
Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2021 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC 5 Live Sports Extra or via the BBC Sport website.
Coverage of United States GP qualifying will start at 9:55pm BST on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds app.
What’s the weather forecast for qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas?
Dry and sunny weather is forecast for Saturday afternoon for the start of qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. Temperatures are set to be 29 degrees Celsius at the start of qualifying – nine degrees warmer than qualifying for the Turkish GP.
US Grand Prix FP2 Results
|1||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||24||1’34.946|
|6||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||25||1’35.561||0.615|
|8||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||23||1’35.824||0.878|
|9||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||24||1’35.919||0.973|
|10||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||26||1’36.138||1.192|
|14||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||25||1’36.558||1.612|
|15||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||30||1’36.718||1.772|
|View full results|
US Grand Prix FP1 Results
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||16||1’35.806||0.932|
|5||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||20||1’36.508||1.634|
|7||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||20||1’36.798||1.924|
|9||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||18||1’36.874||2.000|
|10||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||18||1’36.876||2.002|
|13||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||20||1’36.972||2.098|
|14||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||20||1’36.982||2.108|
|View full results|