Ricciardo plans simulator run “next week” to decide how soon he can return

Formula 1

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Daniel Ricciardo says he will have a run in AlphaTauri’s simulator next week as he aims to return to racing after breaking his hand.

It will be his first time in the simulator since sustaining his injury during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Ricciardo has missed the last four races since he was injured. Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson has stood in for him during that time.

The injury occurred when Ricciardo spun into a barrier in turn three at Zandvoort while avoiding the McLaren of Oscar Piastri, who had crashed in front of him. Ricciardo, who was making his third appearance for AlphaTauri since replacing Nyck de Vries in their line-up, broke a metacarpal in his left hand and underwent an operation on it shortly afterwards.

He told Perth Now his recovery is “coming along” and his simulator run early next week will help decide how soon he can return.

“That’s kind of my first test really to see where I’m at and simply make a call from there,” said Ricciardo.

“I definitely want to be out there in – call it the next few weeks, that’s the plan. Probably early next week I should know.”

The next F1 round will take place at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit from October 6th-8th. After that there is a two-week break until the following round at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. That is the first of five races in a six-week run which will conclude the 2023 season.

Despite Ricciardo’s enforced absence, AlphaTauri has confirmed he will continue to drive for them next year alongside Yuki Tsunoda.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Ricciardo plans simulator run “next week” to decide how soon he can return”

  1. Hoping that Lawson gets to race in the Qatar weekend too.

  2. I still think Liam is AlphaTauri’s best driver, but I am biased.

    1. Biassed? How so? It just a matter of unbiassed observation to conclude Lawson has done a very decent job sofar, with a debut that’s been more impressive than Ricciardo’s return.
      Time will tell when Ricciardo gets back behind the wheel, but unfortunately the next excuse is already laid out for him, with the hand injury he sustained.

      1. Don’t worry, Ricciardo has never been short of excuses – nor very biased fans.

        1. He’s been very open about his struggles during the McLaren drive… Go and watch the highlights from the 2016 & 2017 & 2018, 2019 and 2020… Dan is a brilliant driver whose wins have all come in a car that was far from the best on the grid. He struggled in the McLaren and is paying for it, I don’t know many people personally that would be able to stand up to the rigours of being in the position he was at McLaren and be able to drag themselves back into the mindset that it takes to be an F1 driver. Haters are just as bad as fanboys.

        2. Fans are biased by definition…

      2. Coventry Climax, whilst Lawson has put in some promising performances, the picture is somewhat blurred by the fact that his arrival at Alpha Tauri has coincided with the AT04 receiving a series of major updates.

        The Singapore GP saw the team introduce their biggest upgrade package of the season, particularly for the diffuser and floor of the car (as well as fairly large changes to the bodywork package), whilst the FIA’s own official records show that AlphaTauri has been introducing the largest number of upgrades since the summer break (i.e. from the Dutch GP until now).

        I expect that this will just be dismissed as “biased opinion” or accusations of being a “Ricciardo fanboy”, even though I am not saying that Lawson is only doing better because of those upgrades. I do think that Lawson has shown that he is a competitive driver and deserving of a seat for 2024 – just that, with Tsunoda’s form also improving after the latest upgrade package, there does need to be some factoring in of the improvement in the competitiveness of the AT04 in recent races in the assessment of Lawson’s performances.

        1. Coventry Climax
          1st October 2023, 2:09

          Anon, you have a decent point there, but still, Lawson drove Ricciardo’s car in Zandvoort, under very trying circumstances, and he did a more than decent job.
          If I remember correctly, Alpha Tauri planned to bring a series of six upgrades, mainly focused on the floor. I think some of those were brought before Zandvoort even. Not sure if the Zandvoort weekend itself was where an upgrade was introduced and if it was introduced on both cars.
          But anyway, I judge Lawson’s performance in relation to what Tsunoda shows, just like was the plan for Ricciardo.

    2. I think you are right but we can’t really tell from the three races how he performs in comparison to Tsunoda. Who will RB let go? I suspect Perez will spend the remainder of the season proving he isn’t worthy of the seat and RB’s common problem of too many drivers will be solved. I am also biased. Perez in the Willams 2024 with a contract paid by RB a la Piastri / Alpine.

      1. While Williams does seem to be the only team with an open seat, hopefully F1 can do better than have a third team with two Red Bull-backed drivers.

  3. It is a mystery why Lawson hasn’t got the drive. Unless he is being lined up to replace Perez sometime soon.

    1. RB wants Ricciardo to prove he is ready to go back to Red Bull and replace Perez. They can’t do that while Lawson proves Tsunoda isn’t RB driver material. First things first. That’s for next year. I suspect next year Perez will not be driving for either Red Bull team regardless of whether he is in fact North American.

      1. RB wants Ricciardo to prove he is ready to go back to Red Bull and replace Perez. They can’t do that while Lawson proves Tsunoda isn’t RB driver material.

        I think the twin teams issue is that Lawson is currently proving he is more AT/RBR material than either Tsunoda or Ricciardo.
        What that means for their collective future is probably fairly irrelevant, with much more depending on what mood Marko is in.

      2. I suspect the same. If you look at Perez profile they had in mind – which he didn’t live up to – then Ricciardo might be better fulfilling this role. What they ideally need is someone that pushes Max just a little, but never seriously (so an aged driver that knows where he stands) and that brings home the car 2nd more consistently or inherits race wins when something happens to Max/Max car. A youngster is not fitted in that role, as he will either be ruining the team spirit or get ruined himself for the rest of his career (Gasly, Albon) – they will need to resort to it someday, but that’s only when the moment comes close to replace Verstappen, so not on short term. I don’t think Ricciardo still has it, but I do think he will be more consistent than Perez and therefore is the better choice at the moment.

        1. Adding (couldn’t find the edit button…) Basically the Bottas that Lewis had for years. A loyal dog following you around that won’t take wins from you but does takes wins for the team in case somethings off with nr1. It’s a proven concept that racks up records.

        2. At the moment Perez is doing what he is supposed to do. Being second in the Drivers’ championship and not posing a threat to Verstappen. If this is the situation at the end of the season I don´t see any reason to replace him with Ricciardo or Lawson

    2. There were some rumours in the press that Red Bull would have preferred to have Ricciardo and Lawson at AlphaTauri, but Honda’s financial backing and support for further engine development gave them enough influence over the team to insist that Tsunoda kept his seat.

    3. Why would RBR put him in his Perez place when on 4 attempts he is yet to beat Yuki on pace. 3 attempts if we take his debut as he did not have enough time to prepare. He is 0.2-0.3secs slower to Yuki

  4. Shame for Lawson who is a rare rookie like Piastri in recent times to set the standard of how it should be. Sadly poltics/money rule in F1. Yuki stays cause of Honda (despite them leaving we all know it’s bs & they’re playing huge part still until 2026) & Ricciardo is merely a PR merchant rolled out for sponsors as they pivot to renaming to Hugo Boss.

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