The Australian crashed at Turn 2 in Zandvoort as he avoided Oscar Piastri, who'd come unstuck at the same corner and sat broadside to the direction of travel.
In the impact, the steering wheel hit Ricciardo's left hand, breaking the metacarpal below his little finger.
“I can obviously remember it very clearly because I didn't hit my head,” Ricciardo told Tom Clarkson on the Beyond the Grid podcast.
“So you come through, I guess it's Turn 2, and it's over kind of a crest, but you stay quite tight because then the line for [Turn] 3, you just ride the top of the banking, so you're not taking a conventional racing line.
“So you're not looking at the apex, you're looking at the top of the corner.
“Pretty much like, as a driver, we're always looking ahead and normally like at the apex, but the way you exit [Turn] 2 you kind of look straight ahead and pick your breaking point.
“So at that point, I'd exited [Turn] 2. I hadn't seen any yellows, nothing like that. And then by the time I've looked ahead and braked, I've then looked where I need to turn and I see Oscar.
“I'd already committed so I knew, the speed I was going, my only choice was to take the high line, but I could see his car was at the top of the track, so there wasn't enough room for me to pass.
“I'm going too fast to take a low line, so it was either probably look like a real idiot and crash into him or trying to slow the car as much as I can and likely just crash into the barriers, which is what happened.”
As that was happening, Ricciardo didn't have time to think about taking his hands off the steering wheel, though admitted it's not something he typically does anyway.
In the impact, the tec pro barrier grabbed the front of the Scuderia AlphaTauri, wrenching the steering wheel out of the Australian's hand.
“Because the wheel's then turned so quickly, I've basically lost grip, so it's spun out of my hands and the bottom of the wheel, which is pure hard carbon, has then come up and basically karate chopped my hand.
“Then you've got like, shock of a crash, and then adrenaline, so I've come on the radio, and I think I've been like, ‘oh, sorry, like, I've crashed' or something.
“And then is he like, ‘Are you alright or can you continue?' And I was like, ‘No, the cars damaged', and then I could feel my hand.
“The pain just went… obviously ramped up really, really quickly and I feared that something was bad.
“I was like, I need to get my glove off. I need to get my glove off,” he added.
“As I'm pulling my glove off, I remember I was thinking, I was like, if there's a bone through the skin, I'm gonna pass out!
“So I pulled my glove off and I could see it was already quite swollen but no bone through the skin. I was like, okay, but then the pain just got so bad.
“As soon as I jumped into the medical car, I was making a lot of noises because I was in a lot of discomfort. So I knew that it was not good.
“I knew immediately obviously, I wasn't going to race on the weekend, like, I didn't need a doctor to tell me.”
Taken to the medical centre at the circuit, doctors assessed the eight-time race winner's hand, and from there was transferred to a hospital in Amsterdam for further scans.
With surgery recommended, Ricciardo and his team quickly reached out to others in the industry as they looked to decide on the next course of action.
That included contacts at Alpine Stars, who had strong links into the MotoGP paddock, and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, who'd broken his wrist earlier in the year.
“So he I think put us into touch with Xavier Mir, and then Lance was like go to him as well.
“All signs were just pointing to this guy's done this too many times, just go see him.
“So it was a it was a blessing and a curse because he does a lot of MotoGP guys, who are not human! They are not. It's fact, they are not.
“I think there's an expectation of me going in there, he's like, ‘Oh F1, MotoGP, same, not human, don't feel pain'. No doctor, I feel pain. I'm gonna cry for the next 48 hours whilst I'm in this hospital.
“It was just funny. They, I think, all the doctors and nurses and that who were helping me and that were great, but I think they would laugh a lot because I would wince and pull away and ask questions.
“I think they just thought I would be tough like a MotoGP rider!
“The break itself was quite significant and it was a shatter, like, it wasn't like oh, you just break it clean down the middle. I think it was in eight pieces or something, so it was also, for a bone that can be quite a simple one, it wasn't too pretty.”
Ricciardo made his return in the United States, ending a five-race absence during which Liam Lawson deputised with aplomb.