Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Zandvoort, 2023

Ricciardo out of Dutch GP with broken hand – Lawson to make F1 debut

2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo will miss the Dutch Grand Prix after suffering a broken hand in a crash during practice today.

AlphaTauri have confirmed that reserve driver Liam Lawson will make his Formula 1 debut in place of Ricciardo after their race driver broke a metacarpal in his hand as a result of the crash.

Ricciardo, who returned to F1 just two races ago, crashed his AlphaTauri at the banked corner of turn three during Friday’s second practice session. He speared into the barriers moments after Oscar Piastri crashed at the same corner.

The impact caused the car’s steering wheel to jerk violently, with Ricciardo sustaining a breakage in his arm in the collision. While he climbed out of the car unaided, Ricciardo was later seen holding his left hand and arm in visible pain as he was attended to by marshals.

Ricciardo attended the circuit medical centre before being transported to hospital for further checks, which confirmed his injuries were too severe for him to continue this weekend.

Since returning to F1 Ricciardo has been paired with Yuki Tsunoda. His team mate said he hopes Ricciardo recovers quickly. “I just heard now and I think he’s taken now to a hospital,” Tsunoda said. “I hope he’s okay.

“I didn’t see, I was not really looking properly on what has happened there. So I didn’t know it was like that big. But I hope he’s okay, he was doing well in FP2.

“We have to pray, hopefully he’s in okay shape at least and see how it goes. But obviously safety and his health is our priority.”

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A statement by AlphaTauri confirmed Ricciardo’s hand had been broken in the crash.

“After today’s incident during free practice two in Zandvoort, in which Daniel Ricciardo hit the barrier at turn three, he was brought to the local hospital and further examinations were carried out,” the statement read.

Biography: Liam Lawson
“An X-ray confirmed he sustained a break to a metacarpal on his left hand, and this injury will not allow him to continue his duties, so he will be replaced by the team’s reserve driver Liam Lawson for the remainder of this weekend. The team wishes him all the best for the quickest possible recovery.”

Lawson will compete the rest of the weekend in Ricciardo’s place, making his F1 debut in doing so. He participated in Friday practice runs for both AlphaTauri and Red Bull in 2022 and has shared reserve driver responsibilities for Red Bull’s two teams for the first half of this season with Ricciardo.

At 21 years old, Lawson will become the first New Zealand driver to race in F1 since Brendon Hartley in 2018 – also for the team now known as AlphaTauri.

A long-time member of Red Bull’s Junior Team, Lawson took third in last year’s Formula 2 championship standings in his second season in the series. The previous year, Lawson missed out on the DTM title in a controversial end to the championship.

Lawson is currently competing in the Japanese Super Formula series with Team Mugen. He sits second in the championship standings with two races remaining after taking three race wins from the opening seven rounds.

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2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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40 comments on “Ricciardo out of Dutch GP with broken hand – Lawson to make F1 debut”

  1. Sorry to hear for Ricciardo.

    Personally, I would’ve preferred to see de Vries back in the car.
    He has more experience (in general, and in this car), stellar at late call-ups, and (IMO) deserves a proper good-bye in front of his home crowd.

    1. Agree!
      Missed opportunity.

    2. He already had his chance & reserve driver role exists for a reason.

      1. Reserve driver position means almost nothing in F1 today… It should be called a simulator driver position instead.

        1. It’s never meant anything as a role other than a driver to call on when needed to support your primary drivers. Its not a guarantee to have first refusal. Historically big teams have hired drivers to use the role as a testing and simulator resource and have done for 30+ years at least.

    3. As much as I think De Vries deserved more races, I doubt racing in Zandvoort under these circumstances would have done De Vries any good and it wouldn’t have given him a nice or satisfying good-bye. Lawson will have a huge mountain to climb (or dune) in Zandvoort but it might set him up for a proper chance in Monza and beyond? Depending on Ricciardo’s injury and recovery he might be in the car for quite some races.

  2. Have to wonder if that’s it for Ricciardo in F1. Not sure he’ll race again this season and even if he does, he’ll likely not be near 100%, and having struggled with confidence at McLaren and saying he felt like he didn’t trust himself in the car towards the end, having an incident that breaks his arm/wrist in only his 3rd event back probably isn’t going to do much for him other than cause questions.

    1. If Lance can come back from a broken wrist, Ricciardo should too

    2. He should be able to recovery in time to participate in later rounds at the very latest, if not by the Italian GP, considering the relatively short lead time or Singapore GP at the latest.

      1. I don’t think coming back for Singapore of all places (given how much turns and twists you have there) with a still hurting hand will do much good for Ricciardo @jerejj. The comparison with Lance is not really equal, because we all know that if Lance weren’t the son of the team owner, they would have probably replaced him already.

        I think it is a valid question. Just think about it. IF Lawson can do halfway decent in Zandvoort, shows some promise at Monza and in Singapore, why wouldn’t Red Bull want to keep him in the car? Now that it seems Perez has found his mojo again and is close enough behind Verstappen to secure their place in the standings, they don’t need to replace him next season and can give Lawson the chance to show himself until then. By mid season next year he would have a year behind him, which is clearly enough for Red Bull to decide whether to promote or ditch him.

        1. @bascb Valid points & indeed somewhat incomparable to Stroll’s situation because, iirc he didn’t have broken bones & healing from broken bones can take surprisingly long, depending on severity.
          The second paragraph is also wholly valid, although in the worst-case scenario, i.e., Ricciard forced to sit out the entire remaining season, Lawson could participate in all remaining events bar the Mexico City GP unless he voluntarily sacrificed a championship chance in Super Formula.

        2. This might indeed be a precarious situation for Ricciardo. I also immediately wondered if this would create a situation where AlphaTauri explores several options (like a couple of years back) and will give some of it’s juniors or other talents a try, like Iwasa or maybe someone like Palou?

          1. @streydt Doubtful & Iwasa doesn’t hold a super license yet, but will once the F2 campaign is over in all likelihood.

    3. Depending on the type of break he is likely to be out anywhere from 4-8 weeks. That being said, F1 drivers are extremely fit and have access to a lot of tools to speed up healing so depending which metatarsal is broken he may be able to manage sooner with extra support and painkillers. Looks to be his downshift hand too so it needs to work right for him to drive.

      1. Exactly. If it’s a stress fracture he could be back really quickly. The original racefans.net post said ‘broken arm’ which is obviously false.

  3. Bummer. Heal up soon!

  4. Coventry Climax
    25th August 2023, 18:39

    Isn’t ‘let go of the steering wheel on impact’ lesson one in open wheel racing?
    Silly accident and despite the above, I do feel sorry for him.
    Makes me wonder: Were the flags late? Didn’t he notice? Was he distracted by something on the steering wheel?

    The above suggestion, to replace him with de Vries instead of Lawson, certainly has my sympathy! But I’m not sure if de Vries himself would want to take the invitation, even if it were given.

    1. Yes, but in his defense, he didn’t have much time to let go off the wheel before impact.

    2. I’m sure it is pretty much ‘lesson one’, but it was the kind of incident where the driver is trying to avoid or minimise the impact right up until the point of contact. Obviously Daniel didn’t get his hands off the wheel in time, but easy mistake to make. It was similar to Alonso’s crash in Australia last year where he also sustained an injury to his hands which he carried for several more races. Very unfortunate for Daniel and hope he has a swift recovery.

      1. Alonso also had more time to react yet still injured his hand

  5. I could anticipate such an outcome, but unfortunate, nevertheless.

    1. I could’ve added the first time, but should his recovery time prove relatively long, Lawson could substitute for him uninterruptedly until the US GP, as the final SF round occurs on the Mexico City GP weekend.

  6. very brave by Daniel. He had to crash to avoid T-boning Piastri.

    1. He had to crash to avoid a crash?

      There were double waved yellows. His mistake.

      1. If you watch the onboard, he had a single lightboard switch to double yellows as he was hitting the turn-in point for the turn (and barely in his line of sight before he passed it). Given that the camera has a wider angle than the driver, it’s not even clear he’d have been able to see it. Given that Piastri’s car was essentially across the racing line, he didn’t have the grip to slow down and turn in further, so his best option was to hit the wall before the car.

        1. I only watched the TV broadcast. But now I watched the replay and have to say there was not much he could’ve done differently.

  7. Thankfully it wasn’t Perez crashing and breaking his wrist. Just imagine the barrage of absolutely abhorrent comments with racist undertones, like you can read under every article since Ricciardo has been confirmed as a third driver at Red Bull.

    1. Racist? I guess you could say that if you are trying to convince people to not argue with you. But it isn’t really substantiated by the facts, at least in the English media. Don’t know what you’re reading though.

    2. That’s a stupid comment. Give it a rest.

  8. That’s unfortunate.

    With regards to his replacement; having a new guy have a go at F1 is always good, and they probably couldn’t even call on De Vries anyway given how abruptly they terminated his contract. And that’s not even going into whether De Vries would want to do so.

  9. Could’ve driven with a broken hand, back when men were men, points were points and a multi-function steering wheel meant it turned right as well as left.

    1. Also back in a time when people didn’t sue you for sneezing. Different times and standards.

    2. back when men were men,

      and sheep were scared😆

  10. Crash Derby Lawson … on a tight track, this could expensive for some teams.

    1. Lol, that lap 1 collision last Sunday wasn’t even his fault.

  11. This looks like this is turning into a very interesting Grand prix. I hope Liam finishes on the podium, although that is unlikely.

    1. Seems downright impossible, this year’s alpha tauri is bad enough that going into the points is already an achievement.

  12. Really interesting scenario if Lawson puts together a good performance.

  13. Very unfortunate for Daniel. I hope he can make it back without too much delay. Sports people usually recover much quicker than expected. I expect he might miss 3 races.

    I don’t see why he would be out the rest of the season.

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