Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Zandvoort, 2023

Ricciardo return ‘not in Singapore, Japan would be optimistic’ – Horner

2023 Italian Grand Prix

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has ruled out the possibility of Daniel Ricciardo returning to race at the next round in Singapore.

Ricciardo broke a bone in his hand in a crash during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix nine days ago. It forced him to stand down from the AlphaTauri seat he took over two races before the summer break.

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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14 comments on “Ricciardo return ‘not in Singapore, Japan would be optimistic’ – Horner”

  1. I think the better Lawson does in each race he gets, the longer Ricciardo is going to be allowed to recover.

    1. Haha! I was thinking exactly the same!

  2. Lawson seems to be doing well. Why would they put Ricciardo back in the car?

  3. As was wholly expected, & therefore, my estimation about Qatar GP as the earliest is getting more & more plausible, although at this rate, I’d prefer them to keep Lawson for all remaining events except for the Mexico City, where Ricciardo could effectively substitute for him, with Lawson eventually replacing him as a full-time driver for next season.

    1. As was wholly expected, & therefore, my estimation about Qatar GP as the earliest

      Sorry @Jerejj, but your stated predictions on this site have been all over the place.
      Initially you even mentioned Italy as a return date to later refer to Singapore and Japan ‘at the latest’.
      It’s better to say that you don’t know, and not refer to your ‘estimations’ :p

      1. Well said, notagrumpyfan 👍

      2. notagrumpyfan – No, I never thought he could make a comeback in Italy – very clear from the get-go that he couldn’t wholly heal in a week.
        Even Singapore & Japan, especially the former, were only theoretical rather than realistic thoughts, so Qatar has been my only truly realistic expectation, with even sitting out the entire remaining season being a little thought as an extreme scenario.

        1. notagrumpyfan
          4th September 2023, 8:26

          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.

          I predict he makes a return in Qatar at the very earliest, if at all, within the remaining season.

          Singapore GP at the very least, maybe even Japanese GP

          If you refer in your many comments to almost every upcoming round as a possible return date, then it’s easy to claim afterwards that you ‘expected’ it.
          But maybe it’s not that interesting what you ‘predicted’ or if you ‘were right’. TBH it sounds too much like a person in need of constant validation.
          Based on many of your other comments you seem to know a thing or two about F1, and could share that with us. From me at least you would get more respect, rather than a feel of pity for a person who is constantly patting him/herself on the back.

          1. While in this case of the predictions I checked and you seem to be right, as in it’s easy to get a prediction right if you predict several different outcomes, I feel like this is kinda irrelevant and basically nitpicking: apart from simon, who’s quite expected by now, you’re the only person on the website who had an issue with this; for one I don’t even notice these things.

  4. Has Tost taken an early leave? Why is another team principal commenting on this?

    Anyway, Lawson is doing a good job. There is no reason to rush someone in who needs to prioritise his health and recovery, especially when there is little sign he’d do better. This might well turn out to be the way Ricciardo bows out.

    1. It seems that recently Horner is the “go-to” about all things AlphaTauri, sometimes Marko as well…

      Only thing I can think of is that Franz Tost has decided to / been told to reduce media commitments?

    2. Ricciardo is a Red Bull driver on loan to Alpha Tauri. Marko and Horner have a big say in who drives at both teams and Tost opinion has pretty much been ignored.

    3. The media isn’t interested in Tost, the name Horner gets way more clicks on internet forums.

  5. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Ricciardo “needs” to recover until Mexican GP, that is when Lawson has his final race in SF.
    I mean RB knows everything they need to know about Daniel, but Lawson is still unknown and regarding next year there is no better way test him out.

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