Daniel Ricciardo taken to hospital for checks on injured hand after F1 practice crash

Daniel Ricciardo has been taken to hospital for medical checks after injuring his hand in a crash during Formula One practice for the Dutch Grand Prix on Friday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ricciardo crashed less than 15 minutes into second practice at Zandvoort, hitting the barrier at Turn 3.
  • The AlphaTauri driver reported over the radio he had hurt his hand and was taken to the medical center at the track.
  • Ricciardo was then taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.

How the crash unfolded

Ricciardo’s crash was one of two accidents to happen at the same corner in under 30 seconds, spinning soon after McLaren’s Oscar Piastri hit the barrier.

Ricciardo failed to see the stricken McLaren ahead of him around the blind left-hand corner. He locked up his front tires and went straight on into the barrier. The steering wheel snapped violently in the cockpit on impact.

“I didn’t see the McLaren,” Ricciardo said on the radio after the accident. “I was too late when I looked up.” When asked if he was OK, he replied: “F— my hand. F—. Argh, OK.”

After getting out of the car unaided, Ricciardo was pictured holding his left wrist before being taken to the medical center at the circuit.

AlphaTauri confirmed to The Athletic that Ricciardo needed further checks that required a visit to a local hospital. Images taken of Ricciardo leaving the circuit in a car showed his left hand was in a sling.

Who could replace Ricciardo?

Should Ricciardo be unable to race, AlphaTauri would be able to replace him ahead of Saturday’s final practice session at Zandvoort. Whichever driver qualifies the car must race, meaning replacements can be made at any point prior to the start of qualifying.

The obvious option would be Red Bull and AlphaTauri’s designated reserve driver, Liam Lawson. Lawson races full-time in the Japanese Super Formula series, and would have been in line to replace Nyck de Vries had Ricciardo passed on the AlphaTauri seat this year. The New Zealander is at the circuit already in his reserve role.

A more surprising choice would be to recall de Vries, who is understood to retain some contractual ties to Red Bull despite being dropped from the AlphaTauri seat after the British Grand Prix in July. De Vries has experience driving the AlphaTauri car this year and would be a popular pick among the Dutch crowd at his home race.

For Ricciardo, picking up a hand injury just two races into his F1 return would understandably be a big setback following a quietly impressive return so far.

Ricciardo said Thursday he was “taking it race-by-race” upon his return, but that he “feels like me 10 years ago” with his level of motivation and energy after a difficult two-year spell with McLaren.

“The plan in my head is (to race for) a few more years,” Ricciardo said. “But performance-wise, I take it race by race.”

Required reading

(Photo: Lars Baron / Getty Images)

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