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Horner and Ricciardo

Horner casts doubt on Ricciardo’s return for the Singapore GP

Christian Horner casts uncertainty on Daniel Ricciardo's comeback for the Singapore Grand Prix while expressing optimism for Japan

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Christian Horner has doubts regarding Daniel Ricciardo’s return to the racing circuit at the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix as he recovers from a hand injury. Additionally, concerns have emerged regarding Ricciardo’s readiness for the subsequent race in Japan.

Ricciardo in Zandvoort
Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Scuderia AlphaTauri wears a cast on his hand after crashing during practice which has ruled him out of competing in this weekends race ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on August 25, 2023 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Image Credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images)

AlphaTauri brought Ricciardo on board mid-season to replace Nyck de Vries. Ricciardo suffered a broken metacarpal during a Friday practice session crash in the Netherlands. Subsequently, he underwent surgery, which involved the insertion of a metal plate and screws to stabilise the injured bone.

Stepping into Ricciardo’s shoes for the Zandvoort and Monza race weekends was Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson. Lawson, who has been actively competing in the Super Formula series in Japan this year and currently holds second place in the standings ahead of the season finale, rose admirably.

Following the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, questions arose regarding the timeline for Ricciardo’s recovery. Statements attributed to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko raised doubts about the Australian driver’s ability to participate in both the Singapore Grand Prix (scheduled for September 15-17) and the subsequent Japanese Grand Prix (set for September 22-24). Christian Horner has now provided a fresh update on the unfolding situation.

Horner somewhat optimistic about Ricciardo’s return to Japan

According to, Horner revealed the timeline of Ricciardo’s recovery.

“I think certainly Singapore… I don’t think there’s any chance he’ll be ready for then.

“It would be optimistic for Japan, but his recovery is going well. He’s got mobility of the hand and is into rehabilitation now.

“We’ve seen with motorcyclists rushing comebacks they can sometimes do more damage, so we just want to make sure he’s fully fit before we get [him] back in the car,” Horner said.

AlphaTauri officially confirmed that Liam Lawson will continue as a stand-in driver until Daniel Ricciardo is fit enough to return to Formula 1. The 21-year-old New Zealander impressed during a challenging weekend at a wet Zandvoort. He continued to build on this promising start with a commendable 11th-place finish at Monza.

Christian Horner shared his thoughts on Lawson’s performance: “I think he did a solid job. I haven’t followed his race that closely. They did a two-stop, which is unconventional on strategy, so I’ll have to look at the analysis after the race. He’s acquitted himself very well.”

Looking ahead, Horner acknowledged Lawson’s eagerness to compete at the Suzuka circuit in Japan, considering his prior experience in the Super Formula series. Horner emphasised a cautious approach, saying, “We’ll just take it on a day-by-day basis and see how the recovery and nature takes its course.”

As the Formula 1 world awaits Daniel Ricciardo’s return, the focus remains on his recovery and the unfolding chapter of AlphaTauri’s season.

Feature Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images

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