After making a sensational comeback with the team before the summer break, Ricciardo was ruled out of the Dutch Grand Prix in August after breaking his wrist in second practice.

Consequently, Ricciardo has been unable to compete at the next three races (Italy, Singapore and Japan), and it seems likely he will miss Qatar as well.

Despite his absence, Ricciardo is expected to remain with AlphaTauri for F1 2024 alongside Yuki Tsunoda.

Speaking at Suzuka in the FIA press conference, AlphaTauri trackside engineering chief Jonathan Eddolls provided an update on Ricciardo’s recovery.

“We all saw him in Singapore,” he said. “He’s still going through that recovery phase. I’d say we’re still talking a while away. 

“So I wouldn’t want to put a target on it. The recovery is going well. We’ve got some simulator work planned before a return and I think from our side and his side there’s no rush to get him back too early. 

“The worst thing would be to come back before it’s properly healed and cause any issues. Watch this space.”

Eddolls reiterated that the simulator will be a good test to see whether Ricciardo is able to return to F1, with the final decision to come from the Australian himself.

“He will jump in the simulator which is a very good representative of the car, all of the loads etc,” he added. 

“The final decision is more than likely going to come from him than from us. He will know better than anyone. How’s the pain? How’s the recovery? As said, we’re not putting him under pressure to come back. We’ve got a pool of three good drivers at the moment. 

“There’s no big rush. The focus is on him making a full recovery so that when he comes back it’s not a point that’s even talked about.”