Red Bull boss Christian Horner has suggested that Daniel Ricciardo is unlikely to return to Formula 1 action before next month’s Qatar Grand Prix.
Ricciardo sustained a fractured metacarpal during a practice crash at Zandvoort nine days ago.
He underwent successful surgery last Sunday in Barcelona and was ruled out of competition at Monza.
AlphaTauri’s reserve driver Liam Lawson will replace Ricciardo until the Australian is deemed fit to return.
Lawson finished in 11th position at Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
Formula 1 will resume in Singapore in two weekends’ time before travelling immediately to Japan for the following week.
“I think certainly Singapore, I don’t think there’s any chance he’ll be ready for then,” said Horner. “It would be optimistic for Japan but his recovery is going well. He’s got mobility of the hand and is into rehabilitation now.
“We’ve seen with motorcyclists rushing comebacks they can sometimes do more damage. So we just want to make sure he’s fully fit before we get back in the car.”
Lawson also has prior experience of Suzuka from 2023 through his programme in Japan’s Super Formula championship.
“I should think he’s pretty keen to be in the car in Suzuka,” said Horner on Lawson. “We’ll just take it on a day-by-day basis and see how the recovery and nature takes its course.