Daniel Ricciardo issues injury update ahead of second comeback race

Michelle Foster
AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo waves to the fans after qualifying.

Daniel Ricciardo waves to the crowd.

Between a loss of wrist strength and needing to lift his pinky off the wheel in some corners, Daniel Ricciardo says the hand he broke is much better but not yet 100 percent.

Breaking his hand at the Dutch Grand Prix when he crashed in second practice, Ricciardo had a two-month injury lay-out before returning to action at the United States Grand Prix.

Although he failed to score a point, finishing the Grand Prix down in 15th place, that was more to do with damage to the front end of his AlphaTauri than his hand.

Daniel Ricciardo: This weekend it’s not even an issue anymore

Now after four days of rest, the Honey Badger is back in action for the Mexican Grand Prix, which marks the second race in Formula 1’s final triple-header for the season.

The Aussie says while his hand has healed well, he did notice in Austin that he protected his pinky at times, that being the finger that was broken, while he had also lost some wrist strength.

“Fortunately, the pinky, I don’t use too much,” Ricciardo told the media in Mexico.

“I watched some onboard from the weekend and I’m even lifting the pinky in some corners. You can kind of get away with pushing the wheel, so it’s not too bad.

“It was actually, I think it’s really just because I haven’t done a whole of strength stuff obviously since it’s been broken, it’s more just like a little bit of wrist strength.

“Even though the rest is fine you just lost a bit of wrist strength, so that was a little bit more tired at the end of the race – but nothing actually cramped up, nothing stopped me.”

He’s adamant that wasn’t an excuse for his result in Austin nor will it be one in Mexico.

“There were no excuses last weekend, but before this weekend it’s not even an issue anymore,” he said. “Of course, the team asked me last week if everything was OK and of course, I said yes. And it was, but now they don’t ask me at all.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

All the mid-season driver swaps Red Bull have made in their F1 history

F1 2024 driver line-up: Who is confirmed for next season’s grid?

Looking ahead to this weekend’s race at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Ricciardo says scoring his first points for AlphaTauri is the target.

“I’m positive we could be aiming for points in the remaining races, starting this weekend in Mexico,” he said.

“The track itself is another unique one. The grip here is so low because of the altitude, and it’s normally a track where you’re never going to have a perfect car. It’s never going to feel grippy and awesome, so you’ve really just got to make do with what it is and navigate that with some patience.

“I do like it as a venue and as a circuit, because, a bit like Austin, it provides unique challenges, and when you get it right around there, you can make up a lot of time.

“The first sector is very fast, but when you get into the next part, even the first few corners and the chicane, you’ve got to take the kerbs.

“If you take too much, it can kill your lap time, and if you don’t take enough, then you leave time on the table so that section is really tricky. Even though it’s low-speed in third gear, it’s really quite hard to get right, lap after lap.”

Read next: F1 live: The latest breaking F1 news and announcements as they happen