Daniel Ricciardo has given his fans a no holds barred insight into his recovery from hand surgery that kept him out of the Dutch and Italian Grand Prix.
The Australian eight-time race winner crashed out in practice in the Netherlands while trying to avoid contact with countryman Oscar Piastri, and was later diagnosed with a broken metacarpal in his hand.
Spotted in a sling at Zandvoort, and later a cast, Ricciardo required surgery on the ailment and missed two races, and will likely be absent for more.
Speculation is rife over his return date for AlphaTauri, with a seat for the 2024 season in high demand.
However, it doesn’t look like the 34-year-old will be back any time soon, as he posted a gruesome image of his left hand stitched together with the caption: “Relatively unchanged.”
Having already missed two races, the team principal of parent team Red Bull suggested Ricciardo could be out for two more.
Speaking at Monza Christian Horner said: ”I think certainly Singapore, I don’t think there’s any chance he’ll be ready for then. I think it would be optimistic for Japan.
“But I think his recovery is going well, he’s got obvious mobility of the hand, he’s into rehabilitation now.
“We’ve seen with motorcyclists rushing comebacks can sometimes do more damage, so we just want to make sure he’s fully fit before he gets back in the car.”
In Ricciardo’s absence, Red Bull junior Liam Lawson has stepped in at AlphaTauri and finished 13th and 11th.
He becomes the fourth AlphaTauri driver of the season, with Ricciardo already replacing Nyck de Vries who was sacked ten races into the current campaign.
As things stand, AlphaTauri don’t have any drivers under contract for 2024, with Yuki Tsunoda’s future also in doubt.
Things are further complicated by the situation at parent team Red Bull, with big question marks over Sergio Perez’s lack of performance against teammate Max Verstappen.