Lawson to stand in for injured Ricciardo again at Italian Grand Prix

2023 Italian Grand Prix

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Liam Lawson will stand in for Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri for a second race in a row this weekend, the team have confirmed.

Ricciardo broke his left hand last Friday in a crash during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix. Lawson was called up at the last minute to take Ricciardo’s place for the rest of the weekend and make his Formula 1 race debut.

He got in the car for the first time in Saturday morning’s practice session and was 18th fastest, but then was slowest of all in qualifying a few hours later.

On Sunday he ran as high as 11th and finished 14th on-the-road, before a penalty for team mate Yuki Tsunoda promoted him to 13th ahead of him.

“We are delighted that Daniel’s surgery went well and that he is now on the road to recovery,” said the team in a statement.

“We hope to see him at the track again very soon, but until he is fully fit, we can confirm that Liam, who did a good job in difficult circumstances in Zandvoort, will continue to drive alongside Yuki, starting from our home race this weekend in Monza.”

Ricciardo’s surgery took place on Monday morning, and included the use of “metal work” to ensure that the bones are in the right position as they repair themselves while his hand in a cast. He commented that “this ain’t a setback, just all part of the comeback” to F1 that only began two races prior.

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Ricciardo “had several screws and a plate fitted” during his surgery.

“It went well, it was successful, because the bone was broken in multiple places. But it was a fairly straightforward procedure.

“So now it’s all about recovery. For a normal human being that would be a couple of months. For a grand prix driver it’s often much shorter.”

Horner said Lawson had driven well on his debut in difficult circumstances, having not driven the car until the rain-affected final practice session on Saturday.

“The poor guy, getting dropped in in a car he’s never driven. Wet, dry conditions, everything being thrown [at him]. I actually think he did pretty well.

“He actually overtook Max [Verstappen] on Max’s out-lap, as he changed onto the intermediate tyres at the end there. So to finish a race like that in itself with the lack of experience that he has, I thought in very difficult circumstances he applied himself very well”

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2023 Italian Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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21 comments on “Lawson to stand in for injured Ricciardo again at Italian Grand Prix”

  1. As expected & probably until the Japanese GP at the very latest.

    1. As expected & probably until the Japanese GP at the very latest.

      Earliest ??

      1. I meant Lawson until that GP at the latest, meaning Ricciardo back in Qatar at the earliest.

        1. Hi @jerejj! In English, we would write it like this:

          Lawson will substitute for Ricciardo until the Japanese GP at the very least.

          The similar spelling makes it a bit tricky. I hope this helps.

  2. Not many other options. A team can only have 4 different drivers a season. So either they bring back de Vries or keep Lawson.

    1. So, such a rule actually exists.
      No wonder I’ve seen that reference often recently or mostly today, having never heard or read before that a team can run, at max, four different drivers in races within a season.

      1. @jerejj The limit on drivers was something that was introduced after 1994 as Bernie in particular didn’t like how many drivers some of the smaller teams rotated through that year.

        It used to be that each car number in a team could only have 1 driver change in a season. If you go back to 2001 when Alesi switch to Jordan he took Trulli’s car number #12 with Trulli switching to #11 as Jordan found a loophole that a

        1. Posted before i finished so carrying on.

          …..Jordan found a loophole which allowed the drivers that started the season with the team to switch car numbers without it counting as a driver change.

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            28th August 2023, 23:07

            Great little factoid thank you.

        2. @gt-racer Good reference info

    2. Imre, you are right that there is a rule teams can only use four drivers, but there is also a clause which allows exceptions for force majeure, i.e. if you are dropping a driver due to poor performance, or poaching a driver from another team, you can only use a total of four, but if a driver is injured, like Ricciardo is, or when they were testing positive for covid, etc, then this rule can be waived, especially if they are putting in someone with little to no F1 experience.

  3. Yuki under pressure yet again despite being hyped all year long. Just goes to show how much of your perception is linked to your teammate. Same goes for Albon whose suddenly being linked to top drives, people need to realise maybe the Williams as bad as they think & a rookie Logan into their equation. People are easily swayed without wider context more so than ever it seems.

    1. Even Logan is driving faster in the car since the upgrades, but his driving hasn’t significantly improved yet (he was 20th in my mid season ranking).

    2. isthatglock21 – Indeed. People should always be careful with hyping drivers before considering relative comparison to given teammates or other factors that can make someone look better than they truly have been in the bigger picture.

    3. Yuki didn’t seem under pressure, he was fighting for points most of the race and only because the team took a gamble with not pitting him – Yuki didn’t get any. Having said that Liam did impress and I am curious what Monza will bring.

  4. Will be interesting to see what he can do with a full weekend and prep time!

  5. And will have TSU’s seat next season.

    1. Tough chance. He was either last or super slow all weekend. Not surprising given the race. Finishing ahead because your teammate got penalised means little

  6. This interchange was reported in the New Zealand press when Liam Lawson was interviewed.

    “Max has always been really, really good to me. I see him all the time and before the race he gave me some really nice advice as well: Just don’t over think it and try to enjoy it.”

    Sage advice indeed. Or as we would say “go with the flow”.

    1. @Gerrit:
      He actually gave him an interview ;-)

      1. Max coming out of his shell, seeing a true person at last.

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