Daniel Ricciardo has admitted his recovery from injury was tougher than he thought it would he as he prepares for his F1 return this weekend.
Ricciardo makes his return for Scuderia AlphaTauri at this weekend's United States Grand Prix after five races on the sidelines.
Ricciardo underwent surgery on the injury which revealed the break was worse than expected and, as a result, prolonged his recovery.
“Tougher than I thought,” he said when asked how his recuperation had been.
“I'm probably a bit of a wuss as well, so maybe not tougher than I thought!
“It was really just, when the accident happened and we were aware what bone broke, they seemed fairly okay with that bone in terms of it's a relatively easy one to, kind of, let's say, fix.
“But when we got the surgery done in Spain, we got further checks done, and it was just the break was a lot worse than it first seemed.
“That's what took a lot longer for the recovery and probably made it a little more painful for myself.”
Ricciardo broke the fifth metacarpal in his left hand, the bone that extends between the wrist and little finger.
His return follows a simulator session to confirm his ability and fitness while earlier this week, he took part in a demonstration event in Nashville for Red Bull, where he drove an RB7 and performed doughnuts in front of the crowd.
The United States GP will afford the 34-year-old a first taste of the updated Scuderia AlphaTauri, which had new parts fitted at the Singapore Grand Prix.
There, his substitute, Liam Lawson, scored points in what was a strong showing for the team.
“So I went out to Singapore where they had some pretty big updates, and that was actually a pretty positive weekend for the team,” Ricciardo said.
“So that looked good and the drivers were saying they could feel some good differences.
“I'm expecting the car to be a little stronger than where I left it,” he added.
“But I mean, it's going to be the third race I've done this year, so I'm still very, very green for the season.
“In saying that, not using that as an excuse as just, yeah, everything just kind of still feels new to me.”