Lewis Hamilton’s love affair with the United States Grand Prix continued during practice at the Circuit of The Americas on Saturday in Austin as he completed a clean sweep of the practice sessions in FP3.
The F1 world championship leader finished some eight-tenths of a second clear of championship rival and teammate Nico Rosberg at the top of the timesheets, and he will be hoping to carry this form over into qualifying later today.
You can watch qualifying for the United States Grand Prix live on NBC from 2p ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.
Hamilton’s record in the United States is a very impressive one, having claimed victory at both Indianapolis in 2007 and the inaugural COTA event in 2012. Should he clinch a third win on American soil this Sunday, his championship lead will be at least 24 points – a very healthy margin to boast with just two races remaining.
Just behind the Silver Arrows, a number of drivers are jostling for position in the race to complete the podium. Red Bull, Williams and Ferrari all seem to be in good form in Austin, creating a close fight in the points-paying positions.
As F1 continues to press on in the United States, qualifying today should be a very close affair indeed.
You can watch qualifying for the United States Grand Prix live on NBC and Live Extra from 2p ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.
NBC/NBCSN SCHEDULE FROM UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX
Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.
“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”
Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.
The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.
Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.
Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.
Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.
Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.
Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”