ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — Daniel Ricciardo suffered a broken metacarpal in a crash during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix, meaning Red Bull junior Lawson will make his Formula One debut with AlphaTauri in his place.
Ricciardo injured his left hand after a heavy crash into the barriers during Friday’s second practice session, shortly after McLaren’s Oscar Piastri had crashed at the same corner.
It was immediately clear Ricciardo was in pain, as he was heard saying over the radio: “F—, my hand, f—.”
Ricciardo was holding his left arm when he got out of the car and he was later seen leaving the circuit with it in a sling.
Hospital checkups later confirmed the break, which AlphaTauri confirmed on Friday evening a few hours after the crash.
Ricciardo only returned to AlphaTauri in July after replacing Nyck de Vries.
In a cruel twist of irony, the crash occurred almost 12 months on from when McLaren confirmed it would not continue with Ricciardo beyond 2022, which had left him without a race seat coming into this season.
Lawson, 21, will get a single practice session before qualifying on Saturday afternoon but has an immediate opportunity to underline his credentials for a full-time drive.
New Zealander Lawson finished third in last year’s Formula 3 championship before Red Bull placed him into Japan’s Super Formula championship this year.
Ricciardo’s injury creates a fascinating dynamic now. The Australian driver was widely known to be in an audition of sorts with AlphaTauri, with the Australian hoping for at least a full season with the team next year.
Ricciardo has made it clear he wants to return to Red Bull, the team he left at the end of 2018, in future and saw a spell with AlphaTauri as his best way to do that.
It is unclear how long Ricciardo will be out for but it seems he will also miss next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
After that race, F1 does not race until the Singapore Grand Prix on Sep. 17.