Daniel Ricciardo is fly ing to Barcelona for a potential operation on his broken hand and is likely to target a return as early as Singapore, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Ricciardo broke a metacarpal in his left hand after failing to release the steering wheel before he hit the wall at Turn 3 in Friday practice, ruling him out of the rest of the Dutch Grand Prix weekend. Liam Lawson will replace him at Zandvoort and is likely to do the same at Monza next weekend, but Horner says a potential operation will help his recovery.

“Well these guys, you see it in MotoGP, they bounce back pretty quick,” Horner told Sky Sports. “He’s headed off today to Barcelona. They may even have a little operation on him tomorrow to just tidy up where that break is.

“It’s quite a clean break then of course it’s all about the recuperation and how long that takes. Any normal human being would probably be 10 to 12 weeks but we know these guys aren’t normal. It will all be about the recovery process, how long will that take? Is it going to be three weeks? A month? Is it six weeks? Nobody really knows.”

With Ricciardo only two races into his Formula 1 comeback with AlphaTauri and now facing a spell on the sidelines, Horner says he gets the impression that the Singapore Grand Prix on September 17 – in three weeks’ time – is an initial aim for a return despite its physical nature.

“That was the thing he was most frustrated about talking with him last night. He’s just taken a bunch of time off, just got his mojo back, back into it, now he’s on the bench again. That was his frustration. They’ve (AlphaTauri) started to make some progress.

“A shame for him but I am sure that at the back of his mind he has got Singapore as a target but then again Singapore is probably one of the toughest circuits on the calendar. Nature will take its course.”