Formula 1

Christian Horner Discusses Daniel Ricciardo’s Recovery and Potential F1 Return at Austin GP

Christian Horner recently revealed details about Daniel Ricciardo’s recovery and a possible comeback at the Austin race. This update follows Ricciardo’s hand injury at the Dutch GP, sidelining him from recent Grands Prix.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ricciardo’s Injury and Recovery: The Australian driver sustained a broken metacarpal during the Dutch GP’s second practice session, leading to his absence from three race weekends.
  • Impressive Stand-in Performances: Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson has successfully stepped in for Ricciardo, showcasing noteworthy skills during his time on the track.
  • Cautious Approach to Return: While Ricciardo is eager to compete in the Qatar GP, Horner advises a more careful strategy, suggesting that the Austin race could be a more suitable comeback event.

The F1 world was taken aback when Daniel Ricciardo, the acclaimed AlphaTauri driver, encountered a severe setback at the Dutch GP in August. His injury came shortly after he had taken over from rookie Nyck de Vries, putting him on the sidelines. Liam Lawson, the young prodigy from Red Bull, has been substituting for Ricciardo, leaving quite an impression with his remarkable racing abilities.

Regarding Ricciardo’s chances of participating in the upcoming Qatar GP, Christian Horner, speaking to Sky Sports F1, expressed doubts:

“I would say probably less likely than likely at the moment.”

Horner also shed light on Ricciardo’s recovery process, emphasizing the importance of not rushing his return:

“His recuperation is going well but he’s fixed in the seat for next year, does he need to rush a hasty return for Qatar where maybe another couple of weeks for Austin, which is a hell of a bumpy circuit anyway, it might be better to use that time in preparation for Austin.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his return for the Qatar race, Ricciardo remains focused and is set to test his readiness in a simulator next week. Horner acknowledged Ricciardo’s determination to return as soon as possible:

“I know he’s got his sights fixed on Qatar, he’ll drive the simulator next week and then we’ll make some decisions based on that.”

Amidst his recovery, Ricciardo has secured a solid future with AlphaTauri, having signed a contract extension to continue racing for them in 2024. This move not only cements his commitment to the team but also underlines his resilience and determination to return to the sport he loves. As the F1 community eagerly anticipates Ricciardo’s return, the focus now shifts to his performance in the simulator and the eventual decision on his participation in the upcoming races.

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