Daniel Ricciardo is out of the Dutch Grand Prix with a broken hand in a touchdown during Friday practice, giving Liam Lawson his F1 debut with AlphaTauri.
Oscar Piastri made a mistake in the tight banking hairpin of the 3n turn triggering the yellow flags. Did he see them too late, but Ricciardo, who was following Oscar Piastri – the man who replaced him at McLaren for the 2023 season – was visibly surprised and went in turn to hit the barriers of the Zandvoort’s turn 3 at the start of FP2, knocking him out of the session on the spot.
Replays later showed Ricciardo’s hands were thrown into the cockpit as he was still holding the steering wheel when he hit the wall, with the Australian looking visibly uncomfortable as he exited the car.
After being transported to the medical center and then to the local hospital, AlphaTauri now learns that Ricciardo has broken a metacarpal in his left hand and will not be able to participate in what would have been the third race since returning to F1 with The outfit. sister to Red Bull.
It’s a real blow for Ricciardo, who made his return to the peloton in Hungary after being sidelined by Mclaren…in favor of Oscar Piastri. Ricciardo must prove himself to convince Red Bull to give him a second chance, knowing that the Australian hides less and less his desire to return to the first team. Helmut Marko made the buzz at the start of the weekend by saying that Sergio Perez’s place for 2024 was not yet locked. Except that there, Ricciardo comes out on his own like a grown-up. What’s more, besides Zandvoort, he could also miss Monza next week and possibly other races. So many fewer opportunities to prove themselves… in other words, their return is already in jeopardy…
A context not obvious for a rookie
It is therefore the reserve driver Liam Lawson, current second in Super Formula before the double season finale in October at Suzuka, who replaces Ricciardo. A boon for the New Zealander, but also a great challenge.
Last year Lawson made his F1 weekend debut with AlphaTauri at the FP1 Belgian Grand Prix, before a second appearance for the team in Mexico and then an outing with Red Bull in Abu Dhabi. However, this is an off-the-cuff replacement. It is therefore not in the best conditions that Lawson will start, having only tomorrow’s FP3 to acclimatize to the Alpha Tauri, which is not considered to be an excellent car. The weather could also complicate the deal. If Lawson does well, we can put a coin on him as a starter for 2024, even if it means shaking either Yuki Tsunoda…or Daniel Ricciardo.