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Lewis Hamilton hopes Jenson Button returns to F1 for Monaco GP

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Lewis Hamilton wants to see 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button return to the sport with McLaren next month in place of the Indianapolis 500-bound Fernando Alonso for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Alonso announced on Wednesday that he would miss F1’s crown jewel race in Monaco on May 28 so he could enter the Indy 500 with a McLaren-Honda-Andretti entry.

The news led to speculation about who would take his McLaren-Honda seat for Monaco, with Button the obvious option given his role as the team’s reserve driver.

Button raced for McLaren between 2010 and 2016, making his final appearance in Abu Dhabi last year before stepping back into a reserve role, with the Briton thought to have made his last grand prix start.

Speaking on Thursday in Bahrain, Hamilton said he hopes Button – who he raced alongside for three years at McLaren – would return for Monaco.

“I hope Jenson comes back. I think it would be good for the sport to have Jenson in it,” Hamilton said.

“I like Jenson and I think he’s still one of the best drivers. His caliber and experience is still higher than any other driver that is able to take that spot.”

McLaren said following Wednesday’s announcement that it would decide on Alonso’s replacement for Monaco in due course, with confirmation due before the end of the month.

Button is yet to speak out on the matter officially, only posting a cheeky tweet on Wednesday evening.

2016 Knoxville Nationals champ Jason Johnson succumbs to injuries from sprint car crash

Photo courtesy Jason Johnson Racing official Facebook page
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Former Knoxville Nationals champion sprint car driver Jason Johnson has died from injuries suffered in a crash Saturday night in a World of Outlaws race at Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Raceway).

Known as the “Ragin’ Cajun” for his aggressive style of racing, Johnson, 41, passed away this morning, according to an announcement by WoO. He was one of the most respected and well-liked drivers on the circuit by both fellow competitors and fans.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Johnson, a Eunice, Louisiana resident, was racing for the lead in the main event on the one-third-mile clay track with eventual race winner Daryn Pitman, when Johnson crashed on Lap 18 shortly after a restart.

Johnson’s car left the track surface in Turn 3 and flew through at least one billboard adjacent to the racetrack, according to media and witness reports.

It took rescue workers several minutes to extricate Johnson, who was taken by ambulance to a local hospital before being airlifted to Aurora Summit Hospital in Summit, Wisconsin, according to the Journal Sentinel report.

How many will remember Johnson:

Johnson, who won the 2016 Knoxville Nationals – the sport’s biggest race – in Iowa in storybook fashion, had been a primarily part-time racer on various sprint car circuits from 1998 until he went full-time on the Outlaws series, capturing Rookie of the Year honors in 2015.

MORE: Knoxville win should be big boost to Jason Johnson’s season, career

Johnson had 12 wins on the Outlaws circuit, including two victories this season.

The Journal Sentinel also posted a statement from SLS Promotions, which promoted Saturday’s race:

“Everyone at SLS Promotions offers our deepest, most sincere thoughts, prayers and condolences to Bobbi Johnson (Jason’s wife), Jaxx Johnson (the couple’s son) and the entire Johnson family and JJR Racing team.

“Jason was a great competitor and true ambassador for the sport. It was an honor and a privilege to work with him during his time on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series trail. Jason will never be forgotten”

Other notables also commented on his death on social media:

According to the Journal Sentinel, Johnson is the second driver in four years to die at the small track northwest of Milwaukee. In September 2014, Scott Semmelann, 47, was killed there while practicing for an Interstate Racing Association event.

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