Force India owner heaps praise on Sergio Perez after Singapore fightback

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Force India team owner Vijay Mallya has heaped praise upon Sergio Perez after the Mexican driver produced a scintillating fightback on Sunday to finish the Singapore Grand Prix in seventh place.

Both Perez and teammate Nico Hulkenberg had struggled in qualifying on Saturday, with the small points-paying positions the target for the team heading into the race on Sunday.

Perez was running well until he had a run-in with Sauber’s Adrian Sutil on track, with the German driver failing to see the car behind in his mirrors. This left Perez with a broken front wing and debris strewn across the track, sparking the first and only safety car period during yesterday’s race.

Perez rallied though, fighting back in the dying stages of the grand prix to finish an excellent seventh. Nico Hulkenberg also impressed in the sister car, taking the flag in ninth for two points.

With McLaren scoring just one point through Kevin Magnussen in tenth, Force India moved back ahead of the British team in the constructors’ championship. This haul of points also means that the team has surpassed its previous best-ever season, 2012, which yielded 109 points.

After the race, Mallya took to Twitter to congratulate the team and his drivers for their efforts in Singapore.

Perez was also delighted with his own fightback, and said that he was proud of the team’s efforts to make this its best season ever.

With five races remaining, Force India will be looking to hold on and secure a quite famous result by finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship ahead of the ailing McLaren team.

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.