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.
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.