UNITED KINGDOM: Red Bull has confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will return to the team as their third driver for the 2023 F1 season.
McLaren terminated Daniel Ricciardo’s contract earlier in the year and declared that Oscar Piastri would race for them next year. The future of Daniel Ricciardo was uncertain for the last few months of the 2022 season after the announcements made over the mid-season break.
Daniel Ricciardo began considering taking a year off from Formula One and a possible role as a reserve driver for a leading team because no race seat piqued his interest.
Red Bull leaders Helmut Marko and Christian Horner confirmed that the finalised deal was close at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, despite speculations that Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes were in negotiations.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will be Red Bull’s race drivers. Red Bull has earmarked the eight-time Grand Prix winner for specific duties. Ricciardo raced for Red Bull between 2014 and 2018, winning seven races.
Ricciardo will assist the team with simulator work and as a test driver. He will also drive previous Red Bull cars for commercial activities.
Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull and went to Renault for the 2019 F1 season. The team subtly mentioned his departure in the announcement.
Red Bull, in its statement, said that it regards the Australian at a high level despite Ricciardo’s lacklustre performance at Renault and McLaren after he departed from Red Bull at the end of 2018.
Red Bull adds that his additional knowledge and expertise in Formula One is an advantage to the team.
In Abu Dhabi, Marko said that Ricciardo would share the reserve driver role with Red Bull Junior driver Liam Lawson. Daniel Ricciardo has expressed a desire not to attend all races in 2023.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that the team was ecstatic over Daniel’s return to the side. He was full of praise for the 33-year-old’s character and talent.