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Daniel Ricciardo breaks hand in crash, won’t take part in Dutch GP

With the Aussie unable to race, reserve driver Liam Lawson will make his F1 debut… with just an hour’s practice

Published: 25 Aug 2023

Daniel Ricciardo has been ruled out of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort after breaking a bone in his hand in a crash in free practice.

The AlphaTauri driver - who is only two races into his shock F1 comeback - hit the barrier at Turn 3 in the second shakedown, just seconds after McLaren’s Oscar Piastri had done the same just metres further on.

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Ricciardo was taken straight to hospital where an X-ray revealed the break to a metacarpal in his left hand.

The team confirmed that the injury would “not allow him to continue his duties”, and that he’d be replaced by 21-year-old reserve driver Liam Lawson for the remainder of the weekend.

It means the New Zealander will make his competitive debut in F1 with only Saturday’s final, hour-long practice session to find his feet in AlphaTauri’s car before being thrown into qualifying on what is one of F1’s most unforgiving circuits. In at the deep end much? 

Lawson finished third in the Formula 2 championship last season and is currently second in the Japanese Super Formula series with two races remaining. He took part in three F1 practice sessions in 2022, but hasn’t yet been exposed to this year’s cars.

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If Ricciardo’s injury is severe enough, it might mean the Red Bull junior driver lines up alongside Yuki Tsunoda for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza next week as well.

This isn’t the first time injury has befallen a driver this year: before pre-season testing Lance Stroll sustained two broken wrists after crashing on his bike, but the Canadian miraculously recovered to finish sixth at the season-opener in Bahrain.

How do we reckon Lawson will get on at such short notice? Nyck de Vries subbed in for Alex Albon at the Italian Grand Prix last year and scored points on his debut, although the youngster will be going some to achieve the same feat given AlphaTauri sits last in the constructors’ standings right now…

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