Daniel Ricciardo will not take part in the remainder of the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix after the popular Australian suffered a wrist injury during the second practice session at Zandvoort on Friday.
Ricciardo, who had set the 13th fastest time in the first practice session, crashed into the barrier at Turn 3 roughly the same time countryman Oscar Piastri found the wall, bringing out the red flag.
Ricciardo was seen clenching his left arm after getting out of the car before being taken to hospital for medical checks but was found to have broken a bone in his hand.
“After today’s incident during Free Practice 2 in Zandvoort, in which Daniel Ricciardo hit the barrier at Turn 3, he was brought to the local hospital, and further examinations were carried out,” said an AlphaTauri team statement.
“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.
“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.”
The late change marks the second driver swap at AlphaTauri in 2023, as Ricciardo had been drafted in at the Hungarian GP to replace underperforming rookie Nyck de Vries.
Lawson steps up to the plate
Ricciardo’s loss is Liam Lawson‘s gain, as the Kiwi will take over the second AlphaTauri for Saturday’s third practice session before being thrown into his first Formula 1 qualifying session and F1 race.
Lawson, who spent two seasons in Formula 2 and made three FP1 appearances in 2022 for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri, is currently racing in Japan’s Super Formula series.
The Kiwi got his campaign to a dream start with victory in both rounds at Fuji before adding wins in Autopolis and currently lies second in the drivers’ standings, eight points behind Ritomo Miyata.
The 21-year-old from Hastings will become the tenth New Zealander to race in a GP and the first since Brendon Hartley in 2018.
Lawson is another in a long line of super subs
Lawson joins a long list of drivers parachuted into a seat midway through a GP weekend.
After Alex Albon was ruled out of the 2022 Italian GP because of illness, De Vries was drafted, finishing an excellent ninth and earning his AlphaTauri.
Robert Kubica was also drafted in at Zandvoort with little track time after Kimi Raikkonen tested positive for Covid-19. The 2008 Canadian GP winner also replaced the Finn for the Italian GP.
Nico Hulkenberg made several substitute appearances for Racing Point in 2020, which included a late call-up for the 2020 Eifel GP, with the German just arriving in time for qualifying to replace Lance Stroll.