Daniel Ricciardo may need to undergo surgery for a broken bone in his left hand.
The Australian, who was only a few races into his return to Formula 1 and linked with a sensational promotion back to Red Bull Racing in 2024, crashed during practice at Zandvoort.
“There was little he could do about it – he could no longer brake and he could no longer avoid Piastri,” said Alpha Tauri team boss Franz Tost.
“He was laughing, but not much,” the Austrian smiled. “He’s in a lot of pain because it’s a serious injury.
“I hope he can sleep tonight and he will probably see another doctor tomorrow. They will decide how to proceed.”
Ricciardo, 33, had a cast put on in a nearby hospital and will be replaced by reserve driver Liam Lawson for the rest of the Dutch GP weekend – who was already on-site.
It is not clear how long Australian Ricciardo will be out of action.
“We’ll see how it goes next week in Monza,” Tost told Viaplay. “Maybe he needs surgery. The doctors will decide on that in the coming days.
“The recovery for a normal person is six weeks, but he is an F1 driver and hopefully it will go a bit faster for him. We’d like him back in the car, but it’s done now.”
New Zealander Lawson, 21, is a regular in Japan’s Super Formula series this year and Tost said he is being put under no pressure.
“You always have to be prepared – that’s part of it,” Tost said. “Liam drove the Abu Dhabi test for us last year and he’s pretty fast.
“It won’t be easy, because the field is very competitive. We are preparing him now but there is no pressure on him and he has to enjoy himself.
“Don’t crash, drive as many laps as possible and get used to the car,” the Austrian added. “The rest will then come naturally.”
Daniel Ricciardo pledges rest of career to Red Bull
Just before breaking his hand at Zandvoort, Daniel Ricciardo pledged the rest of his Formula 1 career to Red Bull.
The Australian, 33, met with Dr Helmut Marko in Graz during the summer break – just a few days before Marko suddenly started to indicate that Sergio Perez’s place at Red Bull Racing next year was not safe.
However, Marko told f1-insider.com at the Dutch GP. “A meal with Ricciardo has nothing to do with future decisions.”
But at the same time, he confirmed that Mexican Perez – with a contract in his pocket for 2024 – is on notice.
“Perez has to perform,” Marko, 80, told Sky Deutschland.
“He has to improve his qualifying, but everything is clear for the current year. We’ll see what happens next year.”
Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher says Red Bull is right to be wondering if Ricciardo would be a better teammate for Max Verstappen than Perez, 33.
“A driver who is so far away from his teammate is not sustainable in the long run – especially if he doesn’t use the car’s potential and makes too many mistakes,” said the German.
Perez appears to be struggling with the car once again at Zandvoort, with Marko commenting: “We hope he makes it into Q3 tomorrow.”
Before breaking his hand at the wheel of his Alpha Tauri, Ricciardo told reporters at the Dutch circuit that he is pledging the rest of his career to Red Bull.
“I’ve told the big names that now that I’m back in the Red Bull family, I want to stay here. No matter how long my career lasts, I want to end it here.
“Of course it’s my dream to be part of the big team again, but if that doesn’t happen, I’ve made it clear that I want to stay here.”
As for McLaren’s impressive pace with Lando Norris at Zandvoort, Dr Helmut Marko observed: “McLaren has turned their engine up to full speed. We haven’t yet.”