Raikkonen recovers from ‘disaster’ start to finish P3 in Mexico

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Kimi Raikkonen recovered from a “disaster” opening lap to finish Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix in third place, racking up his second straight Formula 1 podium finish for Ferrari.

Raikkonen started fifth at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday and looked poised to enter the fight at the front after title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel dropped back after contact.

Raikkonen could not capitalize, instead picking the wrong line and losing places of Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, leaving him sixth in the opening stages.

The Finn passed Perez on-track before leapfrogging Ocon after pitting under the Virtual Safety Car, which combined with Hulkenberg’s retirement saw him rise up to third.

“The initial start wasn’t too bad,” Raikkonen explained. “All the guys behind me got a massive tow. I was left alone.

“The people behind me mananged to go past. It was a disaster.

“But then we had enough speed to improve. Obviously a lot happened.”

Raikkonen finished the race third for Ferrari ahead of teammate Vettel, who saw his hopes of a fifth F1 title end in Mexico despite fighting back from the opening lap contact.

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.