Oscar Piastri, Daniel Ricciardo, Zandvoort, 2023

Ricciardo’s options were ‘hit the wall or hit Piastri’ in crash

2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo says he made a split-second decision to hit the barrier rather than Oscar Piastri after breaking his hand in a crash.

The AlphaTauri driver suffered a broken metacarpal in his left hand after he struck the turn three barriers in second practice. Ricciardo crashed moments after Piastri hit the barriers in a separate incident.

Ricciardo will miss at least this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix as a result of the injury – where he will be replaced by Liam Lawson – and likely next weekend’s round at Monza, if not more. The AlphaTauri driver said he was feeling confident in the car before the shunt.

“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.”

Ricciardo says he came across Piastri at turn three and made a split-second choice to try and avoid crashing directly into the stricken McLaren.

“I remember coming into turn three, I had already gotten into the corner and then saw Piastri, so it was either hit him or the wall,” Ricciardo explained.

“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.”

Having been brought into the team at the Hungarian Grand Prix to replace Nyck de Vries, Ricciardo says he will not try and rush back into the cockpit.

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“Obviously, 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 said. “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.”

Biography: Liam Lawson
AlphaTauri’s chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls says the team had looked competitive over the opening day of running at Zandvoort.

“We ran the hard compound tyre at the start of FP2, and Daniel was looking very competitive but, unfortunately, had to avoid Piastri, who crashed just ahead,” said Eddolls.

“In doing so, he also hit the barrier and, as a result, hurt his hand. Daniel was taken to the hospital for further checks, which confirmed he had broken a metacarpal on his left hand. The whole team wishes him a quick recovery. Yuki’s short run on the soft compound looked competitive, and we hope to be able to fight for a place towards the front of Q2 in tomorrow’s qualifying.”

Rookie Lawson, who drove a total of three practice sessions for AlphaTauri and Red Bull last season, will have just a single hour of practice before being thrust into his first F1 qualifying session.

“With Daniel recovering, we welcome Liam back to the team to drive his car, but this time in a much more competitive situation,” Eddolls said.

“It has all happened very quickly, but Liam has shown he is more than ready to step up to the challenge, and he has the whole team behind him.”

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2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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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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8 comments on “Ricciardo’s options were ‘hit the wall or hit Piastri’ in crash”

  1. A shame for Daniel, being seoncd party to an incident at such a critical time in his career. I hope he heals soon to rejoin the grid and continue his return to form, indicated by his progress in Practice 1.

  2. Quick thinking and brave, hope it’s a speedy recovery.

  3. Good thinking with the limited reaction time available at the time.
    In all likelihood, he’ll also have to sit out the Italian GP, as a week is usually too short for broken bones to wholly heal & Singapore GP, as three weeks can also get tight or even the Japanese GP a week after, not to mention the former circuit characteristics-climatic conditions combo mightn’t necessarily be the best choice for a comeback after broken bones & even Suzuka can be somewhat tricky in this regard.
    I predict he makes a return in Qatar at the very earliest, if at all, within the remaining season.

  4. MB (@muralibhats)
    26th August 2023, 8:26

    Second time Piastri meddling with Ricciardos career

    1. Yeah, what a coincidence.

  5. I thought Piastri’s car was actually just off the track. But I suppose it would’ve been close.

    1. Off the track is the preferred line around there though, also he couldn’t know the car wasn’t about to roll down the banking. Unusual circumstances

    2. As @moshambles mentions, the upper line they take there would go straight through the backend of Piastri’s car.

      I do think from the footage that Daniel already was a tad too far up the banking and carrying a tad too much speed to be able to slow down enough to dive below the car. Deciding at the last minute what to do seems to have led to him still having his hands on the steering wheel when he hit the wall.

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