After a collision during the second practice at Zandvoort, Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo finds himself sidelined due to an injury only three rounds into his F1 comeback. The Australian driver went into the banked Turn 3 with locked front wheels, causing a violent crash into the barrier which resulted in a broken metacarpal in his left hand due to the drastic movement of the steering wheel.
In Ricciardo’s absence, Red Bull reserve Liam Lawson filled in. Despite being the current Japanese Super Formula runner-up, Lawson managed an impressive 19th to 13th advancement during his first ever F1 race. Meanwhile, Ricciardo headed to Barcelona to undergo surgery.
With a Sunday morning operation, Ricciardo updated his fans via social media, stating on Instagram, “Hey everyone. Had surgery this morning, got my first bit of metal work so that’s pretty cool.”. He also thanked his supporters by saying, “Big thanks to everyone who reached out and kept my spirits up. This ain’t a setback, just all part of the comeback.”
Doctor Xavier Mir is reported to be the leading physician for Ricciardo’s treatment. Mir previously operated on Lance Stroll, the Aston Martin driver who had a cycling accident which led him to miss pre-season testing in Bahrain.
Ricciardo’s recovery indicates a possible absence from the Italian GP at Monza this weekend, a race he won in 2021. AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost shared with F1 Initiative, “For me, it looks like Liam will do Monza because I don’t think that Daniel will be ready to race in Monza.” He went on to add that Lawson is getting ready through a simulator this week for the race.
Christian Horner, Red Bull team boss, doesn’t see Ricciardo returning until the Singapore GP happening from 15-17 September. Speaking to Sky Sports, Horner said, “He’s just taken a bunch of time off, just getting his mojo back, getting back into it and now he’s on the bench again. That was, I think, his frustration.” He also commented on the potential challenges of returning via a demanding circuit like Singapore, stating, “But nature will take its course,” and again on the recovery process, remarking, “It’s quite a clean break and then, of course, it’s all about the recuperation and how long that takes. Any normal human being would probably be about 10 to 12 weeks, but we know that these guys aren’t normal.” Speculations on the exact recovery time remain uncertain with Horner, saying, “So, it will all be about the recovery process – how long that will take, is it going to be three weeks, a month, is it six weeks? Nobody really knows.”