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Ricciardo may need surgery and could be out for a while

Daniel Ricciardo has flown to Barcelona for possible surgery after breaking his hand in Dutch Grand Prix practice and could miss several races, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said on Saturday.

The experienced Australian, who was preparing for his third race with AlphaTauri after making a comeback as a replacement for retired Dutchman Nyck de Vries, crashed in the second session at Zandvoort on Friday.

“He’s on his way to Barcelona today, maybe he’ll even have a little surgery tomorrow to clean up the gap,” Horner said of Ricciardo’s next steps on Sky Sports television.

Barcelona-based MotoGP traumatologist Javier Mir is known for his work and was operating on Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll when the Canadian broke his wrists before the start of the season.

Stroll was able to race in Bahrain two weeks later.

“It’s a pretty clean break and then of course it just depends on the recovery and how long it takes. A normal human would probably be around 10 to 12 weeks old, but we know these boys are not normal,” Horner said.

“So it’s going to be all about the recovery process… Will it be three weeks, is it a month, is it six weeks? Nobody really knows.”

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza appears to be a non-starter as it takes place the weekend after Zandvoort, Singapore then on 17th September and Japan on 24th September.

Ricciardo missed the first ten races of the season after originally planning to take a year off following an unfortunate stint at McLaren, but said on Thursday he had renewed energy and motivation.

“The thing that frustrated him the most when he spoke to him last night was that he just took a lot of time off, just got his mojo back, got back into it and is now back on the bench ‘ Horner said.

“I’m sure he probably has Singapore as his destination in the back of his mind. But on the other hand, Singapore is probably one of the toughest circuits on the calendar. Nature will take its course.”

New Zealand’s Liam Lawson, the official reserve of Red Bull’s own team, has been called up to replace the eight-time Grand Prix winner and will make his F1 racing debut on Sunday.

Lawson was 18th fastest in final practice and caused red flags with a late spin, but Horner said that shouldn’t be taken into account.

“Not even a dry track, terrible conditions, a slippery track, a track that bites when you make a mistake,” said the Briton.

“He was quite wide-eyed last night, but I have to say he’s done a pretty mature job so far.)”

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