The AlphaTauri speedster, Daniel Ricciardo, won’t be burning rubber anytime soon, thanks to a busted metacarpal he suffered during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix last month. This inconvenient glitch led to him missing the Italian Grand Prix and flying to Barcelona for surgery.
Christian Horner, the shot-caller for the team that loaned Ricciardo to its sister crew, AlphaTauri, confirms that Ricciardo’s healing process is on track. However, he also notes that the upcoming back-to-back races in Singapore and Japan are probably a no-go for the 34-year-old Australian speed demon. “Don’t bank on seeing Ricciardo at Singapore. And let’s just say I wouldn’t bet the farm on him showing up in Japan either,” was Horner’s take when probed about a possible return date.
Ricciardo is currently in the “hand reboot” phase, focused on rehabilitation. Horner warns against rushing his comeback, drawing parallels with motorcyclists who’ve worsened their conditions by getting back on the bike too soon. “We don’t want a half-baked Ricciardo back in the cockpit. We want him at 100%, so there’s no rush,” he adds.
With Ricciardo out of the equation, Red Bull dipped into their junior pool and pulled up Liam Lawson to take the wheel from the third free practice session (FP3) in Zandvoort. At the Monza track, the 21-year-old Kiwi had his first taste of a full Grand Prix weekend, crossing the finish line at a respectable 11th place. This was despite running an unorthodox two-stop strategy, which even had Horner scratching his head.
Comparing Lawson to his teammate Yuki Tsunoda was out of the question, as Tsunoda couldn’t even start the race due to some power unit mischief. “Lawson held his own,” Horner remarked, “I need to delve deeper into the race analytics, but from what I’ve seen, he’s made a good account of himself.”
Filling Ricciardo’s racing boots midway through the Dutch GP was no small feat for Lawson. While he’s aware that the sinuous roads of Singapore will test his mettle, the Kiwi is no stranger to Suzuka, given his strong record in Japan’s Super Formula. “I imagine he’s champing at the bit to race in Suzuka, but let’s take it one day at a time,” Horner added.
As for Lawson’s thoughts on possibly upgrading from a Super Formula vehicle to an F1 speedster at Suzuka, he remained noncommittal. “If I get the green light, awesome. Until then, I’ll keep my game face on and train like always. We’ll see what the universe has in store,” he concluded.
Additional commentary by Adam Cooper.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Daniel Ricciardo Injury Update
When is Daniel Ricciardo expected to return to F1 racing?
Daniel Ricciardo is likely to make his F1 comeback at the Qatar Grand Prix. He is currently recovering from a metacarpal fracture that he sustained during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix.
Who is filling in for Daniel Ricciardo during his absence?
Red Bull’s junior driver, Liam Lawson, has been the stand-in for Ricciardo. Lawson debuted in the Italian Grand Prix and finished in 11th place.
How did Liam Lawson perform in his first full Grand Prix weekend?
Liam Lawson finished just outside the points at the 11th position during the Italian Grand Prix. Team manager Christian Horner mentioned that Lawson “held his own” and acquitted himself very well.
What does Christian Horner say about Ricciardo’s recovery timeline?
Christian Horner, the team manager, has stated that although Ricciardo’s recovery is progressing as planned, he is unlikely to be fit for the upcoming double-header races in Singapore and Japan.
What precautions is the team taking for Ricciardo’s recovery?
The team is being cautious with Ricciardo’s recovery to ensure he is fully fit before returning. They are wary of rushing his comeback, as doing so could result in further injuries.
What challenges does Liam Lawson face while deputizing for Ricciardo?
Lawson faces the challenge of filling in for a seasoned driver like Ricciardo and adapting to the F1 environment. He also has to navigate the tricky streets of Singapore, a race that is next on the calendar.
Is Liam Lawson familiar with the Suzuka Circuit in Japan?
Yes, Lawson is familiar with the Suzuka Circuit, as he is a frontrunner in Japan’s Super Formula. However, his participation in the F1 race there will depend on Ricciardo’s recovery timeline.
What was the reason for Yuki Tsunoda’s non-start at the Italian Grand Prix?
Yuki Tsunoda couldn’t start the race due to a power unit issue that occurred on the formation lap, making it impossible to compare his performance with Lawson’s.
More about Daniel Ricciardo Injury Update
- Daniel Ricciardo’s Career Highlights
- AlphaTauri Team News
- Christian Horner’s Latest Interviews
- Liam Lawson’s Racing Profile
- Formula 1 2023 Calendar
- Qatar Grand Prix Information
- Injury Updates in F1
- Dutch Grand Prix Recap
- Italian Grand Prix Results
- Singapore and Japan GP Preview
- Super Formula and Its Impact on F1
- Power Unit Issues in F1 Racing