Recovery from a hand injury sees Australian Formula One driver, Daniel Ricciardo‘s awaited return to the starting grid further delayed, according to his AlphaTauri team. The seasoned motorist, who has had to sit out four of his races, has had talks of making a comeback in the approaching Qatar event next month.
35-year-old Ricciardo, who notably missed the recent Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, has seen ongoing discussions concerning his recovery and possible return. AlphaTauri‘s chief race engineer, Jonathan Eddolls, however, highlighted that there was no rush for him to rejoin the track. A temporary replacement has been found in the form of New Zealander, Liam Lawson.
“We all saw him [Ricciardo] in Singapore. He’s still going through that recovery phase. I’d say we’re still talking a while away,” Eddolls communicated to the press. He expressed concern about the rush to get Ricciardo back in the driver’s seat, emphasizing the importance of a full recovery.
“I wouldn’t want to put a target on it. The recovery is going well. We’ve got some simulator work planned before a return. And I think from our side and his side, there’s no rush to get him back too early. The worst thing would be to come back before it’s properly healed and cause any issues,” Eddolls added.
Looking ahead, a series of five races await in the Americas following the Qatar event. These lead up to the concluding round in Abu Dhabi. Eddolls noted that they’ve factored simulator work into Ricciardo’s recovery plan, which would provide a good fitness test.
Endowing Ricciardo the leading role in making his return decision, Eddolls stated, “I think the final decision is more than likely going to come from him rather than from us. He will know better than anyone how’s the pain, how’s the recovery.”
Eddolls reiterated the importance of Ricciardo’s full comeback. He stressed, “The focus is on him making a full recovery so that when he comes back, it’s not a point that’s even talked about.”