(Motorsports news) The Australian driver of AlphaTauri missed the Italian Grand Prix one week later while recovering from surgery in Barcelona after suffering a metacarpal fracture in practice for the Dutch Grand Prix last month. Ricciardo’s recovery is proceeding according to plan, according to Horner, whose team has leased third driver Ricciardo to sister team AlphaTauri, but he thinks the 34-year-old will be too unprepared for the upcoming doubleheader in Singapore and Japan.
“Certainly Singapore, I don’t believe there is any possibility that he will be prepared for that. When asked for an estimated time frame for Ricciardo’s return, Horner responded, “I think it would be optimistic for Japan. But despite the fact that his hand is plainly immobile and he is currently in therapy, I believe his recuperation is doing nicely.
“We’ve seen with motorcyclists that rushing comebacks can sometimes do more damage, so I think that we just want to make sure he’s fully fit before he gets back in the car.” From FP3 forward, Red Bull asked Liam Lawson, a junior driver, to take Ricciardo’s spot at Zandvoort. The 21-year-old New Zealander finished 11th in Monza, barely outside the points, after completing his first full grand prix weekend.
His performance could not be compared to that of teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who was unable to start the race because of a power unit malfunction during the formation lap. “I haven’t really kept up with his race. In contrast to today’s plan, they chose to make two stops. I’ll have to look at the analysis after the race, but I believe he performed admirably.
The treacherous streets of Singapore will be as challenging for Lawson, who had to fill in for the entire Dutch Grand Prix weekend, but the Kiwi is familiar with Suzuka from his time competing in Super Formula in Japan. We’ll just take it day by day and see how the rehabilitation and nature take their course, Horner continued. “I should think he’s pretty keen to be in the car in Suzuka,” Horner said.