Hamilton struggling with Mercedes car in the wet

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Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he is disappointed with fifth place during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix as he struggled to get to grips with the Mercedes W04 car in the wet conditions that graced Interlagos.

Hamilton’s best time in Q3 was almost 1.2 seconds slower than that of pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel and six-tenths down on teammate Nico Rosberg. Therefore, the Briton believes that the front row was well within his reach.

“Naturally I’m a little disappointed with fifth place as Nico’s position shows there was clearly potential for more today,” Hamilton said. “Wet sessions haven’t been too good for me this year and, although we made some changes going into qualifying, I’m struggling to get to grips with how the car works in these conditions. It’s getting better but there is still so much to learn.”

Nevertheless, Hamilton is confident that he can bounce back in the race tomorrow as Mercedes go head-to-head with Ferrari for second place in the constructors’ championship.

“We’ve got everything to play for in the race tomorrow and I hope to have a good fight out there and make some progress forward. Our aim of course is to finish ahead of the Ferraris and hopefully score enough points to secure our second place finish.”

Mercedes currently lead Ferrari by fifteen points in the constructors’ standings, meaning that a 28-point haul would be enough to secure the German marque second place regardless of their rival’s result.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.