AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest lap in Friday’s rain-soaked first practice for the U.S. Grand Prix as he chases a fifth career championship this weekend.
Hamilton’s quickest lap at the Circuit of the Americas was 1 minute, 47.502 seconds. Teammate Valtteri Bottas was 1.3 seconds behind.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who must win Sunday or finish within seven points of Hamilton to extend the championship to next week in Mexico City, was fifth in the morning session.
Wet weather is likely to impact the rest of practice and qualifying ahead of Sunday’s race with rain expected through Saturday. The forecast calls for a dry race Sunday.
The slippery conditions caused plenty of early-session spinouts. Vettel ran through the circuit’s hairpin turn and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc spun into the grass.
Leclerc’s tires dragged gravel onto the track when he returned, forcing the session to be halted for several minutes for cleanup.
“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”
With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.
Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.
Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.
Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.
“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.
Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold
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