Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has ruled out the possibility of Daniel Ricciardo returning to race at the next round in Singapore.
Ricciardo had surgery on his injured hand and Horner initially suggested he could return to the cockpit at Singapore in two weeks’ time. However speaking after today’s Italian Grand Prix he now doubts Ricciardo may even be back for the following race a week later in Japan.
“I think certainly Singapore, I don’t think there’s any chance he’ll be ready for then,” said Horner. “And I think it would be optimistic for Japan.”
However Ricciardo’s recovery “is going well,” said Horner.
“He’s got obviously mobility in the hand, he’s into rehabilitation now. But we’ve seen with motorcyclists that rushing comebacks can sometimes do more damage. So I think that we just want to make sure he’s fully fit before he gets back in the car.”
“I should think he’s pretty keen to be in the car in Suzuka,” Horner added. “So we’ll just take it on a day-by-day basis and see how the recovery and nature takes its course.”
Since his crash Ricciardo’s place at the team has been taken by Liam Lawson. The 21-year-old rookie “did a solid job” in his first complete grand prix weekend, said Horner.
“I haven’t followed his race that closely. They went for a two-stop which was unconventional on today’s strategy, so I’ll have to have a look at the analysis after the race. But I think he’s acquitted himself very well.”
Earlier this week AlphaTauri said Lawson will continue to substitute for Ricciardo “until he is fully fit”.
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