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F1: Valtteri Bottas dominates season-opening Australian Grand Prix

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Though it may have been the Lewis Hamilton Show throughout Formula One practice and qualifying this weekend, it was Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who took the top spot on the podium after the Australian Grand Prix season opener Sunday.

The Mercedes driver started second and got off a great start, immediately racing to the inside of pole-sitter Hamilton on the run to the first corner to seize the lead of the race. He never looked back for the remainder of the race as his teammate, nor Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, could keep up.

“I don’t know what just happened,” Bottas said. “I don’t know what to say. It was definitely my best race ever. It felt so good and the car was so good”.

The win was the fourth of Bottas’ career and first since his victory in the season-finale Abu Dhabi GP in 2017.

Hamilton finished second in the Australian Grand Prix for the fourth consecutive season, holding off Max Verstappen, who took third and gave Honda its first podium since the 2008 British GP.

“I had to overtake [Vettel] to get the podium, which isn’t easy around here,” Verstappen said. “To start the season on the podium challenging Mercedes is very good for us”.

Rounding out the top five were Vettel in fourth, and teammate Charles Leclerc in fifth. Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen finished sixth, Nico Hulkenberg placed seventh in his Renault, and Kimi Raikkonen was eighth in his first GP driving for Alfa Romeo.

Lando Norris, 19, had a respectable finish of 12th in his first Grand Prix for McLaren.

Robert Kubica was the final driver to finish the race in 17th, three laps down. The Williams driver was making his first start since the 2010 season, having missed the last eight seasons because of a serious hand injury sustained in a rallying crash in 2011.

Of the three drivers to retire, the most notable was Perth, Australia, native Daniel Riccardo. The Aussie went into the grass off the start, losing his front wing. He pitted early to replace it but eventually retired on Lap 31 as a precaution.

Full results are below. The next race the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 31.

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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