Red Bull remain in the dark over the timeframe of Daniel Ricciardo’s return with Helmut Marko saying his broken hand was more “complicated” than initially thought.
Ricciardo broke a metacarpal in his left hand when he crashed in Friday’s second practice for the Dutch Grand Prix.
On track behind Oscar Piastri, the Aussie was quickly on the scene of the McLaren driver’s crash at the banked Turn 3 and revealed he could “either” hit Piastri or the wall, he chose the latter.
Daniel Ricciardo’s surgery ‘went well’ but it was ‘more complicated’ than expected
But in his split-second decision, Ricciardo didn’t have enough time to remove his hands from the steering thus resulting in a broken metacarpal.
He was withdrawn from the rest of the Dutch Grand Prix weekend and flew to Spain where renowned MotoGP surgeon Xavier Mir is reported to have operated on his hand.
At this moment there is no timeframe for his return with Marko revealing the break was more complex than initially thought.
“Unfortunately, the break is complicated. It’s not a straight break,” he told Sky Deutschland, adding that “things are looking bad for the next two races.”
Whether he meant Zandvoort and Monza or Monza and Singapore is uncertain.
AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer added: “I just spoke to his manager. The surgery went well, even if the fracture was more complicated than expected. He’s staying in Barcelona for a few days for observation.
“We wish him all the best.”
But while for most people a broken metacarpal involves a six to eight-week recovery, Christian Horner reiterated his belief that Ricciardo will be back on the track sooner than that.
“He had an operation earlier,” he told Speedcafe. “He’s had several screws and a plate fitted.
“It went well, it was successful. The bone was broken in multiple places but it was a fairly straightforward procedure.
“So now it’s all about recovery. For a normal human being, that would be a couple of months. For a grand prix driver, it’s often much shorter.”
“We need to see how that recovery process goes but certainly not Italy,” he added.
As for Ricciardo, the Aussie posted a photograph on Instagram after his surgery with a plaster cast around his left hand that was supported by a sling.
In a message, he wrote: “Hey everyone. Had surgery this morning, and got my first bit of metal work so that’s pretty cool. Big thanks to everyone who reached out and kept my spirits up.
“This ain’t a setback, just all part of the comeback.”
Red Bull junior Liam Lawson replaced Ricciardo at the Zandvoort race, finishing P13 on his debut.