AlphaTauri F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo was diagnosed with a broken hand following a crash in the second practice session at Zandvoort, Netherlands on Friday.
Ricciardo immediately recognized the discomfort in his left hand after the crash and kept it static as he extricated himself from the car.
The injury opens a door for reserve driver Liam Lawson, who joined Red Bull’s junior program prior to the 2019 season and has been a strong competitor throughout his single-seater career.
Daniel Ricciardo will miss the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday after sustaining a fractured hand during an accident in second practice on Friday.
Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri’s reserve driver, has been called on to replace Ricciardo for the remainder of the weekend to make his Formula 1 debut.
Ricciardo crashed through the banked Turn 3 at Zandvoort moments after McLaren driver Oscar Piastri had gone off further around the tricky corner.
While the accident was relatively innocuous, with the AlphaTauri AT04 suffering only minor damage, Ricciardo had held onto the steering wheel during the impact and suffered from kickback. Ricciardo immediately recognized the discomfort in his left hand and kept it static as he extricated himself from the car.
Ricciardo went to Zandvoort’s medical center before being driven by road to a local hospital for X-rays and further checks. It was confirmed that Ricciardo had sustained a fracture to the metacarpal on his left hand in the accident and consequently has been ruled out of competition.
The accident comes in only the third planned event of Ricciardo’s return to Formula 1 with AlphaTauri.
He returned to the grid for the remainder of the 2023 season after Red Bull opted to drop full-time rookie Nyck de Vries prior to last month’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo has regularly emphasized that his priority is to return to Red Bull, the team he left in 2018, and sees this AlphaTauri stint as his audition for Sergio Perez’s seat come 2025.
A timeframe for Ricciardo’s return to the cockpit has not yet been outlined.
Formula 1 has a busy schedule coming up with the next round taking place in Italy next weekend (September 3), ahead of trips to Singapore (September 17) and Japan (September 24).
Who is Liam Lawson?
Lawson joined Red Bull’s junior scheme prior to the 2019 season and has been a front-runner throughout his single-seater career.
He finished third in last year’s Formula 2 championship, with four victories, but was overlooked for an AlphaTauri seat when the operation opted to bring in de Vries. Lawson was instead placed with the Honda-affiliated Team Mugen in Japan’s Super Formula championship, and has had a strong campaign.
Lawson has won three races in seven starts, including in his debut, and is second in the championship with only a doubleheader race at Suzuka remaining in late October. He has also tested for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri in previous seasons, contesting three practice sessions in 2022 across the two squads, and has been the reserve driver for both teams.
Lawson has been touted as a candidate for a seat in 2024 with AlphaTauri and the unexpected outing gives him a chance to prove his worth, despite the difficult circumstances, while also providing Red Bull’s stern motorsport consultant Helmut Marko with the opportunity to evaluate how Lawson tackles the situation.
The 21-year-old has not yet driven AlphaTauri’s AT04 though did race at Zandvoort in Formula 2 in 2022.