MEXICO CITY (AP) Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo went 1-2 to top the first practice session Friday at the Mexican Grand Prix, where Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton can secure the season championship this weekend.
The Red Bull cars figure to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari for the win Sunday. Verstappen is the defending race champion and timed his best lap of 1 minute, 16.656 seconds at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Ricciardo was 0.483 seconds back. Hamilton can win his fifth career title if he finishes no lower than seventh. He was fifth in the opening practice.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who must win if he hopes to push the championship to the next race in Brazil, was seventh.
Friday’s sunny skies might be the best weather of the weekend as forecasts show potential for rain and thunderstorms in the area.
“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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