Daniel Ricciardo is making significant strides in his recovery from a broken hand, with the Australian driver expressing optimism about a possible return to the AlphaTauri cockpit.
Despite the impressive performance of stand-in driver Liam Lawson, both AlphaTauri’s engineering boss Jonathan Eddols and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner are preparing to evaluate Ricciardo’s readiness for a comeback.
Speaking about Ricciardo’s potential return, Christian Horner stated, “I know he’s got his sights fixed on Qatar.
“He’ll be in the simulator next week, and then we’ll make some decisions based on that.”
However, Horner also acknowledged that a return for the 33-year-old at the Qatar Grand Prix may not be likely, emphasising the importance of Ricciardo’s recovery for the full 2024 season.
Horner explained, “His recovery is going well, but he’s fixed in the seat for next year.
Does he need to rush a return for Qatar, where maybe another couple of weeks for Austin, a very bumpy circuit, might be better?”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding his return, Daniel Ricciardo is eager to get back behind the wheel and is pleased with the progress of his hand injury.
He noted, “I can feel it getting better and better.
“The test in the simulator will show where I really stand.
“I really want to get back into the car now, but we’ll know more next week.”
Ricciardo also expressed his excitement about securing his place on the grid for the full 2024 season, emphasising the clarity he now has about his goals.
He stated, “It’s exciting to have a place on the grid for the next world championship.
“A year ago, I didn’t know what I wanted.
“Now I do.”