Daniel Ricciardo has explained the crash that broke his hand during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix, and is targeting a thorough recovery to ensure he returns “strong and competitive”.
The AlphaTauri driver hit the wall at Turn 3 moments after Oscar Piastri had done the same, but broke a metacarpal in the incident, ruling him out of the rest of the race weekend. Ricciardo – who will be replaced by Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson – is likely to miss multiple races with the injury, but when talking through the crash, he said he won’t rush a return.
“I was very excited to be back after the break,” Ricciardo said. “The day was going pretty well. We made some changes for FP2 and the few laps I did on the hard tire before the crash felt good; we were building up and improving. At that time, we were pretty competitive, and I was feeling positive.
“I remember coming into Turn 3. I had already gotten into the corner and then saw Piastri, so it was either hit him or the wall. When I hit the wall, I didn’t have enough time to take my hands off the steering wheel, so the wheel came and hit my hand. It’s really unfortunate and frustrating, but I’ll try to recover as quickly as I can.
“Obviously, I’d love to get back soon, but I also want to ensure we do things the right way, so I come back strong and competitive. I wish the team well, and I’m sorry for the change in plans again. It’s a chance for Liam to have a go, and I wish him and the team a strong weekend.”
Ricciardo returned to the paddock after a hospital visit for an x-ray that confirmed the break, but teammate Yuki Tsunoda says the Australian was already in a positive frame of mind despite the cast he now has on his arm.
“I was obviously in the car when Daniel crashed, but he was competitive and doing really well,” Tsunoda said. “I saw him after he got back, and he still had a smile on his face. He is such a positive and strong guy, I hope he recovers quickly and is back in the car soon!”
The stewards have formally given permission for Lawson to replace Ricciardo for the rest of the weekend, with the New Zealander running AlphaTauri’s back-up number of 40.