Daniel Ricciardo is set to miss the upcoming Formula 1 races in Singapore and Japan as he continues his recovery from a broken hand.
The Australian broke a metacarpal during a crash in practice for the Dutch Grand Prix, and underwent surgery 10 days ago in Barcelona to pin the injury. While the Singapore Grand Prix had been initially suggested as a potential target race for a return, RACER understands it has since become clear that it is not a realistic timeframe for his hand to be at a level for him to be able to compete.
Ricciardo is now unlikely to return before the Qatar Grand Prix on October 8 at the earliest. Having impressed Red Bull and AlphaTauri during his comeback races to date, the 34-year-old is not rushing his comeback, and unlike Singapore and Japan, Losail is a slightly more forgiving circuit with extensive run-off areas.
That is likely to mean another two outings for reserve driver Liam Lawson, who was drafted in at late notice in Zandvoort and finished 11th after qualifying 12th at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had already suggested it was unlikely Ricciardo would be back in the car for the upcoming races given the recovery required after his break.
“I think certainly Singapore, I don’t think there’s any chance he’ll be ready for then,” Horner said. “It would be optimistic for Japan, but his recovery is going well. He’s got mobility of the hand and is into rehabilitation now. We’ve seen with motorcyclists rushing comebacks they can sometimes do more damage. So we just want to make sure he’s fully fit before he gets back in the car.”