ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Max Verstappen posted the fastest time Friday in the first practice for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver was about a half second quicker than teammate Daniel Ricciardo, with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas in third ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Bottas and Hamilton were about one second behind Verstappen, who has impressed with a win and four other podium finishes in the past six races.
Hamilton has already won his fifth world title and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel will finish behind him in second place for the second straight year. Vettel finished eighth in the first practice.
A second practice was scheduled for later Friday.
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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.
Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold
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