Following Daniel Ricciardo’s FP2 incident, Scuderia AlphaTauri released an official statement, confirming he will be replaced by reserve driver Liam Lawson for the remainder of the weekend at Zandvoort after sustaining a wrist injury on his left hand on Friday.
Soon after, he was taken to the medical center, leaving with his left arm in a sling on his way to the local hospital for further examinations, where an X-ray revealed a break to a metacarpal on his left hand.
“This injury will not allow him to continue his duties, so he will be replaced by the team’s reserve driver, Liam Lawson, for the remainder of this weekend. The team wishes him all the best for the quickest possible recovery,” reads a statement released by AlphaTauri on Friday evening.
In that regard, the 34-year-old from Perth outlined: “I remember coming into Turn 3. I had already gotten into the corner and saw Piastri, so it was either hit him or the wall. When I hit the wall, I didn’t have enough time to take my hands off the steering wheel, so the wheel came and hit my hand. It’s really unfortunate and frustrating, but I’ll try to recover as quickly as I can.”
Adding: “Obviously, I’d love to get back soon, but I also want to ensure we do things the right way so I come back strong and competitive.”
The 8-time race winner was taking part in his third Grand Prix weekend since returning to F1, the first since race action resumed following summer break.
“I wish the team well, and I’m sorry for the change in plans again. It’s a chance for Liam to have a go, and I wish him and the team a strong weekend,” Ricciardo said.
Reserve driver Liam Lawson will step in for the Aussie at the wheel of the AT04 from FP3 onwards.
On Sunday, the 21-year-old will become the 10th driver from New Zealand to contest a Grand Prix, making his debut on the Formula 1 grid.
Last season, he made his maiden FP1 appearance driving for AlphaTauri at the Belgian GP, taking part in a second outing with the outfit in Mexico.
He finished the year driving for Red Bull during free practice at the Abu Dhabi GP as in the post-season tests, also held at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The Red Bull Junior stands second in the Japan-based Super Formula championship, combining his role as reserve driver for Red Bull and its sister brand.
Jonathan Eddolls, AlphaTauri Chief Race Engineer, stressed: “With Daniel recovering, we welcome Liam back to the team to drive his car, but this time in a much more competitive situation. It has all happened very quickly, but Liam has shown he is more than ready to step up to the challenge, and he has the whole team behind him.”
Whether Ricciardo will be fit to race in Monza next weekend remains to be seen.