Ricciardo edges towards Red Bull seat with test chance

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Red Bull will give Daniel Ricciardo a chance to drive their car in testing at Silverstone this week as the junior driver edges closer to a race seat with the team.

Ricciardo is one of three drivers under consideration for the drive including his Toro Rosso team mate Jean-Eric Vergne, who will not be driving the RB9. Kimi Raikkonen, whose contract with Lotus expires at the end of this year, is also in contention for a seat alongside Sebastian Vettel.

Ricciardo has impressed with two third-row starting positions in the last two races. He finished eighth at Silverstone having lost out during the final Safety Car period.

The Toro Rosso driver will get behind the wheel of the RB9 on Wednesday afternoon after Antonio Felix da Costa’s run in the morning. Da Costa will be back in the car on Thursday morning before handing over to Mark Webber – the driver whose impending departure has left Red Bull with a vacancy for 2014.

Carlos Sainz Jnr will take over the car on Friday morning and Sebastian Vettel will drive it in the afternoon.

Ricciardo and Vergne will also drive for Toro Rosso during the three days of running. Race drivers are allowed to participate in the Young Drivers’ Test in order to try the new tires Pirelli are bringing to the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Malcolm Stewart sidelined by knee surgery for ‘extended duration’

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The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.

“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.

“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”

Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.

He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.

The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.

“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.

“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”

Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.

A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.