Helmut Marko hails ‘top replacement’ as he makes Daniel Ricciardo injury revelation

AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo is at the Singapore GP this weekend but won't complete any media duties.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has revealed that Daniel Ricciardo’s crash at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix resulted in “seven fractures”, something which made his surgery in Barcelona “complicated”.

Ricciardo crashed during Free Practice 2 at Zandvoort after taking avoiding action to miss hitting Oscar Piastri, who crashed ahead of him on the racing line.

Given how quickly it all unfolded, Ricciardo didn’t have time to take his hand off the steering wheel, which smashed his left hand as a result.

Ricciardo was quickly ruled out of the remainder of the Dutch GP and replaced by Red Bull junior Liam Lawson.

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The Australian flew straight to Barcelona for surgery, which was thankfully a success.

Having not been in the paddock at the Italian Grand Prix due to his rehabilitation, the AlphaTauri driver is back in the paddock this weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix, but “only for engineering purposes”.

AlphaTauri added in a statement: “He won’t be available for any media and-or PR activities,” the Red Bull-owned team added.

When the eight-time race winner is back on the grid is somewhat unknown, given the condition that his hand was in.

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Red Bull are expecting Ricciardo to miss six weeks from when the accident happened, meaning a return next weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix is also highly unlikely.

Next month’s Qatar Grand Prix is a more realistic return date, although nothing is yet to be confirmed.

Lawson will continue to replace the 34-year-old until he’s fit to return.

Marko has stressed that no “risks” are being taken with Ricciardo, due to the fact his hand injury was “complicated”.

“It’s complicated,” Marko told Servus TV.

“There are seven fractures,” he revealed. “The same doctor who operated on Marc Marquez is taking care of him.

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“We are expecting a six-week break and have brought in a top replacement in Liam Lawson. We don’t want to take any risks.”

The doctor that completed Ricciardo’s surgery was the same one that operated on Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll during pre-season, following the Canadian’s cycling crash.

MotoGP star Marc Marquez has also received several successful operations from Dr Mir in Barcelona.