After what has felt like an entire season of speculation about Daniel Ricciardo’s future in F1, we finally have an answer; he’s Red Bull’s reserve driver!
His exit from McLaren one year before his contract expired has been grabbing headlines for months and with rumours that Ricciardo would take a year off from the sport, people began to worry that 2022 would be the last time we would see him in an F1 car.
Ricciardo’s new role will focus on test outings, simulator work, and commercial activities with the team. Those commercial activities will be very useful for the Red Bull marketing machine especially when you’ve got one of the largest personalities on the grid on your team.
As Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, told the media, “… he’s still one of the biggest names and characters in Formula 1. He obviously has a history with being a Red Bull junior. Just with the demands on race drivers these days, from a marketing perspective alone we are a very active team and we do very many show runs and events, and to have a driver of Daniel’s profile and history with the team within the group is only an asset for us.”
For Ricciardo’s part, he seems happy with the decision, “The smile says it all, I’m truly excited to be coming back home to Oracle Red Bull Racing as their Third Driver in 2023. I already have so many fond memories of my time here, but the welcome from Christian, Dr. Marko, and the entire team is something I’m sincerely appreciative of.
“For me personally, the ability to contribute to and be surrounded by the best team in F1 is hugely appealing, whilst also giving me some time to recharge and refocus. I can’t wait to be with the team and support with simulator work, testing sessions and commercial activities. Let’s go!”