Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Nashville demo run, 2023

Ricciardo ready to return from injury on track that “does beat you up”

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Daniel Ricciardo will make his return from injury at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, a track he admits “does beat you up.”

The AlphaTauri driver broke a metacarpal in his left hand in a crash during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix in August. He missed that raced and the next four, while AlphaTauri called up Liam Lawson as his replacement.

Ricciardo made his paddock return four weeks after the crash at the Singapore Grand Prix, at which point the team said getting him back in the cockpit was still “a while away”. A comeback was considered for the Qatar Grand Prix two weeks ago after Ricciardo successfully spent time in a Formula 1 simulator, but was deemed too risky.

Following a successful demonstration run for Red Bull in Nashville last Sunday, including some one-handed donuts using his left hand, Ricciardo’s return to action at the Circuit of the Americas has been officially confirmed.

“It’s good to be back,” he said. “My hand is much better, and the simulator was a useful way of assessing it.

“I tried it out in the week before Qatar, but I didn’t feel it was at full potential, so I spent the rest of that week in the UK, spending more time in the sim, and got to a point where I felt ready to go.”

However he said the Austin track will be a challenging venue to make his return. “I’ve always enjoyed Austin,” he said. “It’s very unique for a modern-day circuit, and the undulations and bumps mean it’s physical. It does beat you up, but I think I like that. I like the challenge.”

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He admitted “it was definitely frustrating watching the past few races, especially as I’d gotten myself to a place where I was so ready to go again and race, and then I did two events and had to hit pause again.”

During that time Ricciardo’s place on the 2024 F1 grid was confirmed. Red Bull will keep their former driver at AlphaTauri as rumours persist he is being lined up as a future replacement for Sergio Perez at the senior team.

Before his injury, Ricciardo’s best start and finishing position for AlphaTauri this year was 13th. He hopes more will be possible on his return.

“The current car has moved on a bit since I last drove it, but the sim was useful to get an idea of what the changes and updates have delivered,” added Ricciardo.

“I was there in Singapore when they tried it the first time, and it was interesting to hear the feedback and comments, which were mostly positive. So, I’m excited to see what it’s like first-hand.”

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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...

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14 comments on “Ricciardo ready to return from injury on track that “does beat you up””

  1. So, I’m excited to see what it’s like first-hand.”

    Somewhere in there there is a hand(y) joke but my imagination is too fractured to come up with something that isn’t second hand or approaching territory where i’d get a slap on the wrist by the admins for twisted humor.

    1. Coventry Climax
      18th October 2023, 18:12

      You’ve got to hand it to him, he really sounds enthusiastic about getting some hands-on experience again, but I doubt Tsunoda will give him a helping hand.

    2. Hope his comeback goes hand in hand with a grip on a seat upgrade in the future. Until then, he can just show his detractors the finger, ( that was injured).

      1. Hope his comeback goes hand in hand with a grip on a seat upgrade in the future.

        Considering all the time Dan has spent in the Red Bull family, you’d expect Dan and Alpha to have a hand in glove working relationship. Dan’s lucky his seat back before the end of the season, and I don’t see him letting this opportunity slip through his fingers. He’s just got to knuckle down and get this seat under his thumb.

        1. I don’t see him letting this opportunity slip through his fingers.

          Well, on one hand he’s still recovering
          On the other hand, he’s had the best of treatment
          and on the other hand you have the weirdness that is Marko.

          Yes, before you ask.

          1. Excellent jokes, all prepared well beforehand.

    3. Hands down the best comment handed in so far.

  2. Tost has been saying he’s struggled with his wrist to complete full races in the simulator, but there’s no adrenaline helping you in the sim.

    1. I think your wrong with that statement the hydromatic system they used is capped for 1 G breaking corning ect. it generate some adrenaline and in my case even a lot of sweat with it for Daniel it would be much less (certain the sweat part)

      That is why Daniel had some problems doing full races in that machine but that was a while back and the reason Lawson could drive Quatar but he should be alright for Texas.

  3. Do they simulate donuts?

    1. Coventry Climax
      19th October 2023, 14:12

      No, they’ll probably do muffins or chocolate chip cookies for Austin. And maybe the odd coffee break.

  4. Just think of that big tasty steak on the BBQ and all is fine.

    1. Coventry Climax
      19th October 2023, 14:13

      Except for the cow that provided the steak.

  5. How bad was Daniel’s injury compared to Stroll’s?

    Welcome back Daniel!

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