Some may wonder whimsically whether Sergio Perez has a stash of voodoo dolls in his motorhome particularly given we saw two Italian Australians in the same wall in Zandvoort at turn 3 within seconds of each other.
Perez who is under HIUGE pressure to perform over the final ten races of this season to retain his seat had recently been reminded he was expendable as Red Bull promoted their eight time Grand Prix winner Ricciardo into the ALphaTauri seat vacated by Nyck de Vries.
Piastri admits driving “too hot”
Oscar Piastri lost his McLaren MCL60 arriving “too hot” – by his own admission – at turn three and put the papaya liveried F1 car into the barrier. The ALphaTauri team were too slow in warning Ricciardo of the blocked track ahead and he arrived on the scene with no where to go.
Ricciardo admitted he had a split second choice to make which was either crash into Piastri or into the tech pro barriers.
The Australian was unlucky because the glancing blow he struck the barrier with caused more damage than had he hit the defensive structure head on. Further, he would probably have suffered a smaller injury had he chosen to hit the McLaren car instead of the wall.
Liam Lawson will now get his full F1 debut as he steps up to replace the stricken Aussie who revealed his disappointment late last evening following his visit to hospital.
Ricciardo choses barrier over Piastri
“I was very excited to be back after the break. The day was going pretty well,” Ricciardo said.
“We made some changes for FP2 and the few laps I did on the hard tyre before the crash felt good; we were building up and improving. At that time, we were pretty competitive, and I was feeling positive.
“I remember coming into Turn 3. I had already gotten into the corner and then saw Piastri, so it was either hit him or the wall.
“When I hit the wall, I didn’t have enough time to take my hands off the steering wheel, so the wheel came and hit my hand. It’s really unfortunate and frustrating, but I’ll try to recover as quickly as I can.”
Surgery unlikely despite Tost comments
The 34 year old has a broken metacarpal bone in his finger which is the bone that protrudes from the knuckle into the digit. It is usual that these fractures are allowed to heal themselves without surgical intervention although team boss Franz Tost suggests this is still a possibility.
“He was laughing, but not much,” said Tost. “He’s in a lot of pain because it’s a serious injury. “I hope he can sleep tonight and he will probably see another doctor tomorrow. They will decide how to proceed.”
“We’ll see how it goes next week in Monza,” Tost added. “Maybe he needs surgery. The doctors will decide on that in the coming days.”
Ricciardo will not race in Monza next weekend as the recuperation period for a light fracture of the metacarpal is around 3-4 weeks. Even at 34 years of age, the healing process is significantly slower than were Ricciardo 10 years younger and the Aussie appears philosophical and will take the proper precautions to ensure his return sees him fit and well to drive.
Ricciardo to miss 3 Grand Prix
“I’d love to get back soon, but I also want to ensure we do things the right way, so I come back strong and competitive,” he added.
“I wish the team well, and I’m sorry for the change in plans again. It’s a chance for Liam to have a go, and I wish him and the team a strong weekend.”
Daniel’s best hope is for a return is at the street circuit race in Singapore three weeks from now. Yet the extreme nature of this most twisty of all F1 circuits may see the Aussie advised to wait util the F1 circus lands in Japan the following week.
Liam Lawson will be hoping he can emulate the efforts of Nick de Vries from almost exactly one year ago. Alex Albon was stricken with appendicitis on the Friday evening in Monza and unable to race his Williams car for the rest of the weekend.
Opportunity for Lawson to shine
Up stepped de Vries qualifying the Williams just outside the top ten and followed this up with a Stella racing display coming home in ninth to score two points on his maiden F1 outing.
The battle on track in the dunes along the norther coast of the Netherlands will resume later today for qualifying.
McLaren look to be in great form as Lando Norris topped the time sheets in free practice two. The new upgrade for the car is expected to work extremely well at this circuit and challenge the Mercedes dual of Hamilton and Russell to be the best placed team behind the RB19 of Max Verstappen.
Verstappen set to SMASH another F1 record
Max Verstapen is set to topple another F1 record in this incredible season should he win the Grand Prix on Sunday. He currently sits with 8 consecutive victories and a win in front of his own crowd will see him match Sebastian Vettel’s all time record of nine in a row, set by the German during his dominant 2013 season.
Incredibly the seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton only ever claimed five Grand Prix victories in a row and his co-record world title holder Michael Schumacher had a best of just seven.
As one of the shortest circuits on the calendar, traffic is always a potential stumbling block at Zandvoort! 😅
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 25, 2023