Daniel Ricciardo’s F1 comeback delayed as hand injury proves more complex than expecte. In a disappointing turn of events for Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo, his long-awaited return to racing after a hand injury looks set to be delayed further still due to the complexity of his condition.
The news comes as a blow to the driver, who was initially hopeful of a speedy recovery. Ricciardo’s injury saga began when he was involved in a crash during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. His AlphaTauri car collided with the wall of fellow Australian Oscar Piastri’s McLaren, resulting in a fractured metacarpal in his left hand.
Following the diagnosis, Ricciardo was immediately rushed to a hospital near the Dutch Grand Prix venue.
Specialist treatment with Stroll’s doctor
Hoping for a speedy rehabilitation, Ricciardo travelled to Barcelona for specialist treatment under the care of renowned orthopaedic surgeon Xavier Mir. Mir, who treated Lance Stroll’s fracture earlier this year, was keen to speed up Ricciardo’s recovery process.
Initially, there were hopes that Ricciardo could resume his racing duties for the AlphaTauri team in time for the Singapore Grand Prix, as announced by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. That would have meant a return to the sidelines for his replacement, Liam Lawson, who weathered a difficult weekend in Monza with resilience to finish 13th in the Dutch Grand Prix.
Ricciardo staying positive
In an attempt to keep his spirits up and connect with his fans, Ricciardo took to Instagram to share a snap from his hospital bed, playfully noting the addition of “metal work” to his body. He expressed his gratitude for the support he had received and noted that this episode was just part of his journey back to the track. The post underlined his determination to overcome this hurdle.
Reality hits hard
However, the latest medical assessment from Dr Mir did not match Ricciardo’s initial optimism. AlphaTauri’s CEO, Peter Bayer, announced that the operation had been successful, but the complexity of the fracture had exceeded their initial assessment. Ricciardo’s manager said the driver would remain in Barcelona for a few days to monitor the healing process.
Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko explained the intricacies of Ricciardo’s injury, revealing that the fracture was not a simple break but a more complicated condition.
Dr Helmut Marko said: “Unfortunately, it’s a complicated break. It’s not a straight break.
“We’ll get a confirmation from the doctor soon, but things are looking bad for the next two races.”
Big set back for Ricciardo
As the team awaits formal confirmation from medical experts, Marko’s statement alludes to the challenging road ahead for Ricciardo’s comeback.
The current prognosis puts Ricciardo’s return for the upcoming races in doubt. This includes Monza, where Lawson represented the team valiantly, and Singapore, which was originally thought to be Ricciardo’s potential return point. With these two races potentially out of Ricciardo’s reach, the focus shifts to the Japanese Grand Prix on 24 September.
As the Formula One community rallies behind Ricciardo, the focus has shifted to his recovery. The complexity of his injury and its impact on his racing schedule remains a source of concern for his fans, fellow drivers and the wider motorsport fraternity, Daniel is a popular driver.
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 28, 2023