Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has identified the race at which he thinks Daniel Ricciardo will be aiming to return from his hand injury.
The Australian driver is sidelined following a hand injury he picked up during second practice in Zandvoort. Attempting to avoid the already crashed car of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri at the Hugenholtz corner, Ricciardo hit the barriers and picked up a broken metacarpal as a result.
Having just returned to F1 after being promoted in place of the underperforming Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri before the summer break, Ricciardo is now facing several weeks of recovery out of the car – meaning Kiwi driver Liam Lawson has been put in the AT04 for Ricciardo’s absence.
Christian Horner offers update on Daniel Ricciardo’s injury
With Ricciardo understood to be coming under the care of esteemed medical doctor Xavier Mir – famed for his work with MotoGP riders and, earlier this year, operating on Lance Stroll’s fractured wrists – Horner revealed that the Australian driver has left the Netherlands already in order to begin his recuperation.
“These guys… you know, you see it in MotoGP,” Horner told Sky F1 when asked about Ricciardo’s condition.
“They bounce back pretty quickly. So he’s headed off today to Barcelona. They may even have a little operation on him tomorrow to just tidy up where that break is – it’s quite a clean break.
“Then, of course, it’s all about the recuperation and how long that takes. Any normal human being will probably be about 10 to 12 weeks, but we know that these guys aren’t normal.
“So then it’ll all be about the recovery process. How long that will take, you know, is it going to be three weeks? Is it a month? Is it six weeks? Nobody really knows.”
What race might Daniel Ricciardo be aiming for F1 return?
With Ricciardo aiming to rebuild his F1 career with Red Bull after getting the AlphaTauri seat, following six months on the sidelines following his McLaren tenure, the injury is a serious blow to the Australian driver’s momentum heading into the second half of the season.
Having spent the summer break concentrating on his fitness with the intent of a more straightforward run of races, Horner revealed how Ricciardo had been left particularly frustrated by the incident.
“That’s the thing he was most frustrated about,” he said.
“Talking with him last night was that, he had just taken about a bunch of time off, just got his mojo back, getting back into it, and now he’s on the bench again. So that was his frustration.
“I think he felt that the car… they’ve started to make some progress and yeah, it’s a shame for him.”
With Ricciardo certain to miss Monza, Horner hazarded a guess at when Ricciardo might be able to return to F1 – pinpointing a race in mid-September as a possible venue.
“I’m sure at the back of his mind, he’s probably got Singapore as a target,” he said – Singapore scheduled for September 17th.
“But, then again, Singapore is probably one of the most physical circuits on the calendar but nature will take its course!”