Horner Gives Candid Insight on Potential Return Date for Daniel Ricciardo

In a sport as physically demanding and technically intricate as Formula 1, a driver’s well-being is paramount.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Horner Gives Candid Insight on Potential Return Date for Daniel Ricciardo
© Getty Images Sport/Dean Mouhtaropoulos

In a sport as physically demanding and technically intricate as Formula 1, a driver’s well-being is paramount. This becomes crystal clear when faced with the possibility of a driver returning to action after an injury.

Currently, all eyes are on Daniel Ricciardo, the talented Australian driver, who is on the mend after a hand injury. With the Singapore Grand Prix looming, speculations are rife about whether Ricciardo will make it to the starting grid.

Horner's Update: A Mix of Hope and Caution

Christian Horner, the Red Bull team boss, provided a much-awaited update following the Italian Grand Prix. “I think certainly Singapore… I don’t think there’s any chance he’ll be ready for then,” he opined, echoing the sentiments of Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.

Marko had earlier expressed concerns about Ricciardo’s availability not just for Singapore, set to take place between September 15-17, but also for the subsequent Japan Grand Prix scheduled for September 22-24. Ricciardo's injury and his recovery journey have been closely monitored.

The good news is that he's making progress. Horner remarked, “It would be optimistic for Japan, but his recovery is going well. He’s got mobility of the hand and is into rehabilitation now”. However, there's caution in the air.

The risk of hastening a comeback remains a legitimate concern. As Horner pointed out, early returns have proven detrimental in motorsports, potentially causing more harm than good.

Daniel Ricciardo© Getty Images Sport/Lars Baron

Stepping Up: Lawson's Promising Stint

With Ricciardo’s absence, the team has turned to the youthful energy of 21-year-old New Zealander, Lawson.

AlphaTauri has officially confirmed that Lawson will remain the stand-in until Ricciardo is fully fit for a return. The rookie has shown immense promise, especially with his commendable performance in the Italian Grand Prix.

Horner had words of praise for the young driver. “I think he did a solid job,” he noted, though admitting that he hadn’t tracked Lawson’s race in its entirety. With Lawson's experience in Super Formula at Suzuka, there's a palpable excitement about his potential participation there.

However, the overarching sentiment remains focused on Ricciardo's well-being. As Horner aptly concluded, the team will “take it on a day-by-day basis and see how the recovery and nature takes its course”.

Daniel Ricciardo
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