Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo is poised to make his return to the racetrack at the upcoming United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. This exciting news comes after Ricciardo missed five previous Grand Prix due to an unfortunate injury he sustained during a practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix on August 25.
During Ricciardo’s absence, Liam Lawson stepped in, taking on the challenge in races held in the Netherlands, Italy, Singapore, Japan, and Qatar. Lawson’s impressive performance earned him the position of Alpha Tauri’s reserve driver for the upcoming season.
The official announcement confirming Ricciardo’s comeback was made by a spokesperson for his team, Alpha Tauri, in a report to BBC Sport. It’s worth noting that neither Alpha Tauri nor their parent company, Red Bull, had issued an official statement regarding Ricciardo’s participation in the U.S. Grand Prix until now.
This weekend’s race in Austin will mark Ricciardo’s third appearance since he made his remarkable return to the Formula 1 grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix in July. Notably, he initially began the season as Red Bull’s reserve driver before reclaiming his spot as an active racer. Adding to the buzz around his return, it’s worth mentioning that Ricciardo, who parted ways with McLaren at the end of 2022, secured a spot as an Alpha Tauri driver for the 2024 season.
Ricciardo’s absence in the previous event in Qatar was a strategic decision by Red Bull to ensure his injury had ample time to heal and to prevent any unnecessary risks. The Australian driver himself shared the positive news via an Instagram post after successfully completing a show run for the Red Bull team in Nashville, Tennessee. In the post, he expressed his excitement, stating, “The simulator’s been going well, my hand feels good for driving. Austin – everyone knows I love Austin. I wouldn’t miss that one for the world. See y’all in Austin.”
The former McLaren driver’s journey to Alpha Tauri came after he was called in to replace Dutch driver Nyck de Vries midway through the season. Despite high expectations, De Vries’ performance did not meet Red Bull’s standards.