SEPTEMBER 5, 2023
Ricciardo likely to sit out two more F1 races
Daniel Ricciardo will definitely sit out a third consecutive grand prix next weekend - and probably another one after that.
That is the claim of Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, when asked about the status of Australian Ricciardo's recovery from a broken hand sustained in practice at the recent Dutch GP.
He was replaced at Red Bull's second team, Alpha Tauri, by rookie substitute Liam Lawson, at both Zandvoort and Monza last weekend.
Ricciardo, 33, had surgery in the days after the Dutch GP and his team boss Franz Tost said the Australian is still undergoing rehabilitation in Barcelona.
He is doing well in the circumstances, Alpha Tauri boss Tost told Sky Deutschland.
"I called him and he's getting physical therapy treatments there. We will see now how fast the healing process is, but I hope it's only a matter of weeks and not too many.
But for sure we are not going to see him in the car in the next two to three weeks. But we'll see.
Horner agrees with that assessment, meaning Ricciardo will certainly miss Singapore and probably also Suzuka after that.
The good news for Alpha Tauri is that New Zealander Lawson, 21, is already well acquainted with Suzuka given his full-time role this year in the Japanese series Super Formula.
I should think he's pretty keen to be in the car in Suzuka, but we'll just take it on a day-by-day basis and see how the recovery goes and how nature takes its course, Horner said.
Lawson admits he likes the idea of racing the Alpha Tauri at the fabled Japanese venue - if Ricciardo is still not fit.
If, exactly, he said. "If I get the chance.
At the moment I have no idea. I'll prepare as normal but we'll wait and see.
Horner admits that Singapore is definitely a no-go for Ricciardo.
Japan would also be optimistic, he said. "But the recovery is going well. He has regained some movement in the hand and is now undergoing rehabilitation.
We just want to make sure he has fully recovered before we put him at the wheel of a car again, as we've seen plenty of examples of motorbike racers trying to return too quickly and causing more damage, Horner added.
The next race after Suzuka takes place in Qatar in early October.