Ricciardo gearing up for simulator session 'scheduled for the upcoming week' to assess his potential Formula 1 comeback.

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Ricciardo gearing up for simulator session ‘scheduled for the upcoming week’ to assess his potential Formula 1 comeback.

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed his plans for an upcoming simulator session, scheduled for ‘early next week,’ aimed at determining the timeline for his return to Formula 1 competition.

After being released by McLaren at the end of the previous season, Ricciardo found a new opportunity with AlphaTauri following Nyck de Vries’ removal after just ten races in his rookie season. However, Ricciardo’s return to the AT04 was short-lived, as he suffered a crash during FP3 at Zandvoort, resulting in a metacarpal fracture in his left hand.

During Ricciardo’s absence, Liam Lawson stepped in as his replacement for the last four races, achieving his first F1 points with a ninth-place finish in Singapore.

In a conversation with Perth Now about his recovery progress, Ricciardo expressed that his recuperation was progressing well, and he was eager to assess his condition during his first simulator session since the accident. He stated, ‘That’s essentially my initial test to gauge my readiness and make a decision based on that. I definitely intend to return to the track in the coming weeks; that’s the plan. I should have a better idea, probably by early next week.

Photo Credit: motorsportweek.com

After AlphaTauri’s Head of Trackside Engineering, Jonathan Eddolls, acknowledged last Friday at Suzuka that Daniel Ricciardo’s return from injury was still a considerable time away, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has now indicated that the likelihood of Ricciardo driving in the Qatar Grand Prix is currently leaning towards ‘less likely than likely.’

Horner explained, ‘His recovery is progressing well, but he is committed to his seat for the next year. So, is there a need to rush for a hasty return for Qatar? Perhaps it might be more beneficial to use the additional time for preparation leading up to Austin, which is known for its challenging, bumpy circuit.’

He further elaborated on the situation during an interview with Sky Sports, saying, ‘I understand he has set his sights on Qatar, and he will undergo a simulator session next week. Our decisions will be based on the outcomes of that session.’

Formula 1’s second-ever race at the Losail circuit is set to take place next weekend, followed by a two-week break before a hectic stretch of five races in six weeks to conclude the 2023 season.

During the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, AlphaTauri confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo would continue alongside Yuki Tsunoda for the 2024 season.

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