Bad news for Daniel Ricciardo’s fans

Liam Lawson is set to be in the AlphaTauri driving seat for a little while longer, as he continues to fill in for Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo.

AlphaTauri’s Australian driver, Daniel Ricciardo, faces an extended period on the sidelines following a crash at the Dutch Grand Prix that left him with a fractured metacarpal bone in his left hand. 

The unexpected turn of events has prompted Red Bull to rely on their reserve drivers, with 21-year-old Liam Lawson stepping up to the challenge.

In his debut outings in Formula 1 machinery, Lawson has showcased his talent and adaptability. 

He navigated challenging conditions at the Dutch GP with finesse and came tantalisingly close to scoring points at Monza, thanks to his impressive qualifying performances.

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Regarding Ricciardo’s recovery, Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, expressed his skepticism about the driver’s return in the near future. 

Horner stated, “I think certainly Singapore, I don’t think there’s any chance he’ll be ready for then.

“It would be optimistic for Japan, but his recovery is going well. 

“He’s got mobility of the hand and is into rehabilitation now. 

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“We’ve seen with motorcyclists rushing comebacks they can sometimes do more damage. 

“So we just want to make sure he’s fully fit before we get back in the car.”

With Ricciardo ruled out for the physically demanding Singapore Grand Prix, Lawson seizes another opportunity to make his mark and solidify his position within the Red Bull team. 

Horner acknowledged Lawson’s eagerness to compete at Suzuka, stating, “I should think he’s pretty keen to be in the car in Suzuka. 

“We’ll just take it on a day-by-day basis and see how the recovery and nature take their course. 

“I think he did a solid job today.”

Lawson’s connection to Suzuka is rooted in his involvement in the Super Formula series, which exclusively takes place on Japanese tracks, including the iconic Suzuka circuit. 

The young New Zealander has made waves in the series, outperforming his two-time champion teammate, Tomoki Nojiri, in his debut season and launching a championship bid against Ritomo Miyata heading into the season finale.

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However, Lawson might have to give up his bid for the Super Formula title if Riccairdo is still out of action in October, as the final race of the season at the Suzuka International Racing Course takes place on the same weekend as the Mexican Grand Prix.

Currently, Lawson is just eight points behind Miyata and only two points ahead of Tomoki Nojiri in a tightly fought championship race.

With two races in the final round, it’s all to play for between the New Zealander and his Japanese rivals.