AlphaTauri have confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will be back in the Formula 1 paddock this weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix, purely for engineering purposes.
Ricciardo wasn’t in the paddock at the Italian Grand Prix due to recovering from his crash during Free Practice 2 at the Dutch Grand Prix, which left the fan favourite with a broken metacarpal.
He missed the remainder of the Dutch GP and was replaced by Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson, who will remain in the cockpit until Ricciardo can return to racing.
Ricciardo flew to Barcelona to receive surgery on his broken left hand, which experienced complications.
Following a successful surgery and rehabilitation period though, he is able to at least be back in the paddock at the Marina Bay Circuit, although he won’t be carrying out any media or PR duties.
Lawson will remain in Ricciardo’s AT04 this weekend, in what is one of the most physically demanding events of the season, due to Singapore’s immense heat and humidity.
Seeing Ricciardo back in the paddock will at least allow him to continue working with AlphaTauri, and perhaps give Lawson advice.
The 34-year-old isn’t expected to actually return to the grid until the Qatar Grand Prix next month, with next weekend’s trip to Suzuka reportedly coming too soon for the Australian.
He does at least have a very impressive scar to remember the surgery by, with him having shown it off on social media.
“This ain’t a setback, just all part of the comeback,” Ricciardo wrote on Instagram.
The crash occurred at Turn 3 at Zandvoort, with the AlphaTauri driver having been left with no choice but to purposefully put his car into the wall.
When he approached the car, he discovered at the last-minute that Oscar Piastri had crashed on the racing line, leaving Ricciardo with no option but to crash his own car to avoid directly hitting his fellow native.
Given that he only returned to the sport at the Hungarian Grand Prix, it’s an unfortunate setback for the eight-time race winner, with many believing that it’s ruined any chance of him replacing Sergio Perez at Red Bull next season.
It’s been rumoured that a full season at AlphaTauri could be on the cards for Ricciardo next season, although nothing is yet confirmed.