F1: Ricciardo Breaks Hand During Dutch GP Free Practice, Liam Lawson To Sit In For Alphatauri

Following a crash in free practice 2, the Aussie will be sidelined due to a broken hand thereby allowing the young Kiwi, Liam Lawson to take his place

By Yashraj Singh


3 mins read


Published on August 26, 2023

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  • Recently returned AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo suffered a broken metacarpal after a low speed crash in Zandvoort.
  • His recovery will likely see him miss the following Italian Grand Prix as well.
  • In his place a talented young New Zealander, Liam Lawson will get behind the wheel of the AT-04.

In a turn of events that has sent waves of disappointment through the Formula 1 fraternity, Daniel Ricciardo's eagerly awaited participation in the Dutch Grand Prix will no longer be a reality. The Australian driver suffered a fractured hand in a low-speed crash during Friday's practice session. The crash has not only left him nursing a broken metacarpal in his left hand but also paved the way for the young and promising Kiwi driver Liam Lawson to make his Formula 1 debut with the AlphaTauri team.


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The incident unfolded at Zandvoort's challenging Turn 3 during the early stages of FP2, casting a gloomy shadow over Ricciardo's return to the racing scene. Ricciardo's McLaren successor, Oscar Piastri, had met a similar fate earlier, bumping into the barriers. Ricciardo's collision, however, had graver consequences. The impact flung his hands frenetically within the cockpit, as the steering wheel jerked as a result of the crash. Emerging from the car, Ricciardo wore his discomfort visibly, painting a poignant picture of the physical toll the impact had taken on him.


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Medical attention beckoned for the injured racer, whisking him from the circuit to a local hospital. The diagnosis that followed was sombre: a fractured metacarpal on his left hand. This revelation dashed Ricciardo's hopes of participating in what would have marked his third race since reuniting with Red Bull's sister team, AlphaTauri. A sense of anticipation was replaced by a cloud of uncertainty.


In a twist of fate, stepping into the void left by Ricciardo is Liam Lawson, a 21-year-old reserve driver for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri. Lawson's rise in the motor racing scene has been impressive, as he concurrently competes in the Japan-based Super Formula championship before which he was a multiple race winner in Formula 2. Impressively seated at the second position in the Super Formula standings, Lawson's proficiency is unquestionable. The scheduling quirk that left a calendar gap in Super Formula played into Lawson's favour, making him the ideal stand-in for the incapacitated Ricciardo.


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As the New Zealander takes the reins, he marks his territory in the Formula 1 realm. In becoming the 10th New Zealander to grace the Grand Prix stage, Lawson's potential and talent are thrust under the spotlight. A lineage of New Zealand drivers threads through Formula 1's history, with the last appearance dating back to Brendon Hartley's stint with Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) in 2017 and 2018. Lawson carries this legacy forward.


Remarkably, this isn't Lawson's maiden encounter with the pinnacle of motorsport. Last year, he dipped his toes into the Formula 1 waters, participating in FP1 sessions for AlphaTauri during the Belgian Grand Prix and later gaining a taste of racing action in Mexico. His talents were further recognized by Red Bull, affording him an outing during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.




Last Updated on August 26, 2023

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