AlphaTauri make decision on Daniel Ricciardo as Liam Lawson learns Qatar GP fate

Thomas Maher
Daniel Ricciardo alongside AlphaTauri replacement Liam Lawson. F1 news

A split screen of Daniel Ricciardo alongside AlphaTauri replacement Liam Lawson.

Daniel Ricciardo’s return has been mooted for the Qatar Grand Prix since he picked up his injury, and AlphaTauri have now made their final decision.

AlphaTauri will field Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda at this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix at the Lusail Circuit, with Daniel Ricciardo’s comeback delayed for the moment.

The Australian driver, sidelined due to a metacarpal fracture he picked up in a crash at the Dutch Grand Prix, had been a possibility for a return this weekend, but he and the team have decided against rushing back to the cockpit unnecessarily.

Daniel Ricciardo to sit out Qatar Grand Prix

With Lawson showing up for each weekend on a race-by-race basis, knowing that Ricciardo could resume the cockpit of the AT04 at any moment, the Kiwi will have another opportunity to impress this weekend at Lusail.

Ricciardo’s return had been speculative for Qatar, with good progress on his recovery following the fracture he picked up by hitting the wall at Zandvoort while trying to avoid hitting the crashed McLaren of Oscar Piastri.

But, while Ricciardo had only just secured an F1 comeback with AlphaTauri, completing two races for the team before the summer break, the pressure to return to the cockpit was alleviated by the fact he and Tsunoda have secured their places with the team for 2024.

As a result, there is simply no need to rush the comeback – as Red Bull team boss Christian Horner detailed last week when he said Ricciardo’s participation in Qatar was “less likely than likely”.

Lawson, who has committed to a reserve role with Red Bull and AlphaTauri next season, will thus have at least one more race weekend in which to impress and try to add to his points tally, having scored his first F1 points at last month’s Singapore Grand Prix.

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