SAO PAULO (AP) — Red Bull driver Max Verstappen clocked the fastest lap of the first practice at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Verstappen was 0.049 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
Newly crowned champion Lewis Hamilton was third, 0.096 seconds behind at Interlagos.
Practice was run under cloudy weather. Rain is expected during qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth, and will want to be as high as possible in qualifying because he faces a five-place grid drop after replacing his turbocharger for the sixth time this season.
The Australian, who started from pole position in Mexico two weeks ago, also started from the back in Italy and Russia because of penalties.
“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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