Daniel Ricciardo will miss the Dutch Grand Prix after the Aussie driver suffered a broken wrist in a crash during practice on Friday (local time). Competing in just his third Grand Prix since earning a drive with AlphaTauri, Ricciardo fractured his left hand when he drove into a tyre wall at Zandvoort in an attempt to avoid running headlong into the stricken McLaren of compatriot Oscar Piastri's.
Piastri had crashed at the same spot just a few moments earlier. The young Aussie, who has replaced Ricciardo at McLaren this season, lost control on turn three just 10 minutes into the second practice session, his car spinning into the barriers.
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Ricciardo had been powering around on the same line, and despite a yellow flag warning him of Piastri's crash, he also swerved into the wall. Ricciardo hit the brakes after seemingly only seeing the McLaren late and went straight into the tyre wall.
Both drivers were able to clamber out of their cars, but the 34-year-old Ricciardo had difficulty extricating himself because his hand had still been on the steering wheel when he hit the wall. He had to be treated in hospital before his team reported: "An X-ray confirmed he sustained a break to a metacarpal on his left hand, and this injury will not allow him to continue his duties."
Ricciardo will be replaced by the team's reserve driver Liam Lawson. It marks a huge opportunity for the 21-year-old New Zealander, who will be making his Formula One debut.
Speaking of the incident afterwards, Piastri was thankful that it wasn't even more serious. "If you're coming into that corner, it's blind, so maybe he saw me too late and turned to the wall instead of into me. So if he did, thank you," the rookie from Melbourne said.
Ricciardo and Piastri's care both had to be hauled off the circuit by cranes, with Piastri apologising to his team as he explained the car was too damaged for him to return to the pits. The 22-year-old, who had been a test driver at Alpine last year, has impressed this season. He moved into Ricciardo's seat at McLaren in controversial circumstances last season in a move which outraged French team Alpine.
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Ricciardo has enjoyed an impressive comeback since linking back up with Red Bull's 'second team' AlphaTaurit. The fractured wrist will come as a crushing blow for the 34-year-old, whose career was at a crossroads when he was dumped by McLaren.
The session was paused for 15 minutes after the crash, with Piastri's teammate Lando Norris going on to finish fastest when it resumed. Norris' display will provide even more frustration for Piastri, who had been hoping for an impressive start to the resumption of McLaren's ever-improving season after the summer break.
"I just went in a little bit hot, tried to turn in a bit aggressively and unfortunately found the wall," said Piastri. "I guess it (his first significant F1 crash) was gonna happen at some stage. Of course you never want it to but I was just pushing a little bit too hard and, around here, especially in that corner, you pay a big consequence."
Norris was marginally ahead of championship leader Max Verstappen, who had topped the morning timesheets and looks in fine shape to take a ninth win in a row on Sunday. Verstappen is racing in front of his adoring home fans in an attempt to equal Sebastian Vettel's decade-old record of consecutive victories.
Absolutely brutal for Ricciardo, dude finally got back in an f1 and is now sitting out this race.
On a different note, glad Liam Lawson gets a shot in an F1 seat, even if it's a terrible car https://t.co/3UxNdgRI9R
— The Gaming Life (@TGL_STUDIOS) August 25, 2023
— Jake Coare (@JakeCoare14) August 25, 2023
So sad about ricciardo 😔 hope he recovers fast
— syrelle ~ saw skz and enha (@hanjiluvr5) August 25, 2023
Damn, Marko really kept his word about having De Vries attend the Dutch GP with family in the stands 😳
On a serious note, I really hope Ricciardo is healthy again soon. Such an awful thing to happen considering he just returned 😞
Let's see what Lawson can do 👀
— Jonathan #RIPBrayWyatt (@FrosteeWusky) August 25, 2023
Obviously awful for Ricciardo, but great for Lawson, excited to see how he’ll do https://t.co/1VVz3cvu3v
— Logan • 🇳🇱 RACE WEEK! (@formulalogan) August 25, 2023
Glad to see Lawson get a chance to race, he deserves it. Sad to see the reason, hope Ricciardo gets well soon
— Bryan Gtz (@bryangutper) August 25, 2023
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