- The Australian is still recovering from surgery on a serious wrist injury
- AlphaTauri has confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo is still unavailable to race
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Daniel Ricciardo’s return to Formula 1 is still some time away, with AlphaTauri reluctant to rush the Australian back after his serious wrist injury.
Chief engineer Jonathan Eddolls threw cold water on a quick return to the grid for Ricciardo after sustaining the injury at Zandvoort last month.
Ricciardo underwent surgery involving a metal plate and some screws to secure the bone, while New Zealander Liam Lawson has taken to the cockpit in the Australian’s place.
Lawson has received widespread praise for his performances in the AlphaTauri, culminating in a ninth-place finish at the Singapore Grand Prix.
As a result, there are calls for Lawson to be given a place on the grid in 2024. However, Ricciardo has the team’s full support for 2024 and Eddolls says they will not rush his return.
Daniel Ricciardo will not be put back on the grid by AlphaTauri as he continues to recover from a broken wrist
Liam Lawson will continue to replace Ricciardo and was involved in the opening practices ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix
“Well, we all saw him in Singapore,” he said. ‘He is still in that recovery phase. I’d say we’re still talking for a while, so I wouldn’t put a target on it. The recovery is going well.
‘We have some simulator work planned before we return. I don’t think there’s any rush on our part or on his part to get him back too early. The worst thing would be to come back before it’s properly healed and cause problems.’
Calls are growing for Lawson to take center stage on the team next year
He added that Ricciardo’s simulator sessions will serve as a fitness test for the former Red Bull man.
“He jumps in, the simulator is a very good representation of the car, all the loads,” Eddolls said.
“I think the final decision will most likely come from him rather than us. He’ll know better than anyone how the pain is going, how the recovery is going, so like I said, we’re not putting any pressure on him to come back.
“We currently have a pool of three good drivers, so there is no big rush. The focus is on him making a full recovery so that when he comes back it’s not even talked about.”