Christian Horner says it’s a “great shame” Daniel Ricciardo’s comeback has been derailed by a hand injury with no timeframe as to when the Aussie could get back in the car.
Back on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ricciardo was intent on using his 12 races with AlphaTauri as an audition for a 2024 drive.
But two races and two practice sessions into his comeback, he’s found himself sidelined after breaking a metacarpal in an FP2 crash at the Dutch Grand Prix.
A ‘great shame’ for Daniel Ricciardo, says Christian Horner
Ricciardo followed his compatriot Oscar Piastri into the barrier at the banked Turn 3 at Zandvoort, the eight-time grand prix winner saying it was “either hit him or the wall.”
He opted for the wall but didn’t have enough time to take his hands off the steering wheel, thus the hand injury.
“No, he’s broken a bone in his hand,” Horner told Sky Sports when asked if there was any way Ricciardo could’ve continued. “Great shame for him because the session was going well for him. Just unlucky.
“Oscar, by the time he saw him it was very late and the whip-back from the steering wheel is what’s done the damage.
“Shame for him but good to see that he is okay and he’s still in good spirits.”
The Red Bull team boss says it’s too early to put a timeframe on Ricciardo’s return but cited Lance Stroll’s recovery from his pre-season cycling accident, in which he broke his wrists and a toe, as cause for optimism with the Canadian in the car 12 days after his crash.
“I think you’ve got to take it one day at a time,” Horner said, “and he’s got a good medical team that he’ll be working with and these guys recover incredibly quickly.
“We saw Lance earlier in the year with what was a worse multiple break than what Daniel has. He’s a tough Aussie and I’m sure he’ll be eager to get back in the car as quickly as he can.”
According to Autosport, Red Bull could get Doctor Xavier Mir involved with the renowned MotoGP surgeon having operated on Stroll.
Liam Lawson thrown into the ‘deep end’
Until then Yuki Tsunoda has yet another new teammate, his third of this season, with reserve driver Liam Lawson stepping up.
The Red Bull junior, who races in Super Formula, was already at the track to fulfil his reserve driver role and will be in action in FP3 with just one hour of running before qualifying and Sunday’s grand prix.
“That’s why he is here,” said Horner. “He’s the reserve driver for both teams for exactly a scenario like this .
“It’s in at the deep end in the final practice session in a car that I don’t think he’s driven before and then qualifying, and at one of the toughest tracks.
“That’s Formula 1, you get your chances, one person’s misfortune is another’s fortune but I’m sure he’ll be fine.”