Dani Ricciardo, an Australian race car driver, endured a severe crash during the Hungarian Grand Prix of 2023 that landed him in the hospital. The incident occurred as Ricciardo was closely trailing behind Oscar Piastri and went into the banked Turn 3 too hard, leading to a significant collision. Subsequent X-ray results indicated a break in the metacarpal of his left hand.
The crash came as Ricciardo held onto the steering wheel while it snapped violently after the car hit the outside barrier. The driver, who had his front tyres locked through the corner, shared his experience of that moment.
“I remember coming into Turn 3. I had already gotten into the corner and then saw Piastri, so it was either hit him or the wall,” Ricciardo recalled. When the impact came, he was unable to get his hands off the wheel in time, causing the wheel to hit his hand.
The unfortunate incident means that Ricciardo won’t be participating in the rest of the Dutch Grand Prix. Taking his place will be Liam Lawson, current Japanese Super Formula runner-up and the reserve driver for Red Bull.
The timeline for Ricciardo’s return to racing hasn’t been clearly defined, especially considering the upcoming pressure-packed schedule. Post the Dutch Grand Prix, Formula 1 heads straight for the Italian Grand Prix, followed by a brief pause before racing commences in Singapore and Japan.
Red Bull has expressed interest in involving renowned MotoGP surgeon Doctor Xavier Mir for Ricciardo’s recovery. Mir previously operated on Lance Stroll, the Aston Martin driver who had a cycling accident just before pre-season testing in Bahrain. Stroll managed to compete in the season opener just a week post-operation.
Expressing disappointment over the situation, Ricciardo emphasized on prioritizing the correct recovery process. “It’s really unfortunate and frustrating, but I’ll try to recover as quickly as I can,” he said. While eager to return to racing, he also wants to ensure a proper recovery to regain his competitiveness. And while he regrets the sudden change of plans, he extended his wishes to substitute Lawson and the team for a strong weekend.
Jonathan Eddolls, the chief race engineer at AlphaTauri, expressed confidence in Lawson’s capability to rise to the occasion despite the sudden call to action. He confirmed that the entire team will be rallying behind their new driver.