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F1: Lewis Hamilton relishes challenge from young drivers, still hungry for more wins

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SAO PAULO (AP) Five-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has a two-step plan for keeping the new generation of talented drivers behind him next season: match their youthful hunger and outwit them with the experience that comes with age.

The 33-year-old Hamilton wrapped up this year’s title at the Mexican Grand Prix two weeks ago and is already looking forward to the renewed challenge he will face in 2019 from a crop of young drivers who will only get better.

Hamilton, who became the youngest F1 champion when he won his first title at the age of 23 in 2008, says he sees a bit of himself in 21-year-old Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s 22-year-old Pierre Gasly.

“These are two young rising stars that are already showing incredible potential,” Hamilton said after he arrived in Sao Paulo for this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

He later added 21-year-old Red Bull driver Max Verstappen to the shortlist as well.

“I welcome the competition,” he said. “Naturally I do see a little bit of myself in them. At their age I had the same kind of eye of the tiger. Now it is a little different for me, I am one of the older drivers. But I feel like I still have that hunger they are coming in with.”

Hamilton also has the experience of spending a decade at the pinnacle of the sport, and he thinks that could help him stay at the top for a bit longer.

“Perhaps there are things that I will be able to bring to the table and that they won’t,” he said.

Interlagos will host the penultimate race of the F1 season this weekend. Hamilton called the Brazilian track “one of the trickiest of the season” and “an Achilles heel.”

Hamilton won the Brazilian race in 2016 and lifted his first F1 title in Sao Paulo 10 years ago, finishing fourth after a dramatic overtake on the last lap.

“The first year here was quite difficult, but it has been improving over time,” he said.

While Hamilton has already clinched the individual title, his Mercedes team is still fighting with Ferrari for the constructor’s championship – meaning the Briton will not be able to relax just yet.

“We still have two races to go and a championship at stake,” he said.

Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“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.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. 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. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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