Daniel Ricciardo handed massive injury blow as comeback delayed

Liam Lawson will be unable to race in the Mexican GP, and it's not yet clear who will take his seat at AlphaTauri.

Daniel Ricciardo’s return from injury has reportedly been delayed once again, with sources of Grandpx.news believing that the Aussie has been told to focus on a comeback at the Mexican Grand Prix.

Ricciardo fractured a metacarpal in his left hand during Free Practice 2 at the Dutch Grand Prix, marking a woeful way to return from the summer break.

A dodgy crash saw Ricciardo take avoiding action to not drive directly into an already crashed Oscar Piastri, resulting in the AlphaTauri driver putting his own car into the barrier.

Due to there being no runoff at Turn 3, Ricciardo didn’t have time to take his hand of the steering wheel, resulting in it being smashed.

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He flew to Barcelona for surgery, where he was operated on by the same doctor who has worked with Lance Stroll and MotoGP’s Marc Marquez.

The surgery was a success, although his fracture turned out to be more complicated than originally thought.

Ricciardo did recently return to the paddock, although simply to be amongst the team, rather than for PR duties.

Given that he already has a contract with AlphaTauri for 2024, Red Bull and Faenza-based team are in “no big rush” to get him back before he’s fully fit and healed, something AlphaTauri’s head of trackside engineering has stressed the importance of.

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“The simulator is a very good representation of the car – all of the loads and all of that,” said Eddolls, as reported by Grandpx.news.

“I think the final decision is more than likely going to come from him rather than from us,” he added. “He will know better than anyone how to assess the pain, the recovery.

“But we’re not putting him under pressure to come back. We’ve got a pool of three good drivers at the moment. There’s no big rush.”

Since Ricciardo broke his hand, he’s been replaced by Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson.

The Kiwi has done an exceptional job since replacing Ricciardo and even featured in Q3 and finished in the points at the Singapore Grand Prix.

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Lawson is widely expected to race in Qatar next weekend, whilst him featuring at the United States Grand Prix is even an option.

However, he won’t be able to race in Mexico as it clashes with the Super Formula season finale, a championship he could still win.

With that in mind, Ricciardo not returning until Sergio Perez’s home race does make a lot of sense.