Daniel Ricciardo is officially a part of Red Bull again, with the F1 team confirming the Aussie star will take up a reserve role in 2023. Ricciardo was brutally dumped by McLaren for next season in favour of compatriot Oscar Piastri, but the 33-year-old will remain in F1 in 2023.
"This may be our worst kept secret, but the rumours are true," Red Bull said in a statement on Wednesday. "Daniel Ricciardo will return home and re-join the team as our third driver for 2023."
Ricciardo had been rumoured to be returning to Red Bull for weeks. On Wednesday the team revealed some key details about the role he will fill as a reserve.
"Bringing a wealth of experience and character, Daniel will assist the team with testing and sim (race simulator) work, as well as commercial activity," Red Bull added.
Ricciardo made his debut with Red Bull during the 2014 season after spending two years at junior team Toro Rosso (Alpha Tauri since 2020). He spent five seasons with the team before making a switch to Renault in 2019, then subsequently to McLaren in 2021.
"I'm truly excited to be coming back home," Ricciardo said. "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."
Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: "It is great to bring Daniel back into the Red Bull family. He has enormous talent and such a brilliant character; I know the whole factory is excited to be welcoming him home."
Ricciardo said he is unlikely to attend every Grand Prix in 2023 and is keen to take some time away from F1. Red Bull have back-to-back world champion Max Verstappen and Mexican driver Sergio Perez in their starting line-up for 2023.
“Otherwise, I may as well be on the grid somewhere," Ricciardo said last week. "I made it clear that I need some time off for myself to get away a little bit. But I’ll be around and try to stay involved.”
Daniel Ricciardo's telling admission after McLaren swansong
Speaking after his final race for McLaren at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Ricciardo poured his heart out about some of the difficulties he endured in 2022.
“There were certainly some races where I felt more comfortable," Ricciardo said. "The difficulty, the struggle was what encouraged me and then all of a sudden, a week later, we were back where we were. The inconsistency, the unknown, was what made it so tricky but I am happy to have had a few nice [races] since the summer break.
“It is so easy to get caught up in competition. We devote so much time to it and when it is not going well you can so easily get angry, frustrated and bitter. Get so many negative emotions towards something you truly love.
“Perspective allowed me to maintain happiness and appreciation. You have your days but is a privilege to do what we love – it is such a fun sport. The surroundings, the travel, all the people we meet. Whatever you do in life, gratitude helps you move forward a lot.”
Greatest Redbull driver with them right now
— Dean™ (@Seb5meister) November 23, 2022
He is essentially going to be a marketing driver doing demos at events .. and he will do some testing and free practice stuff. He won't be competing
— Alyson Duncan (@alyson_duncan) November 23, 2022
can’t believe now Ricciardo is back at Red Bull I have to go back and delete all my tweets about how happy I was that he left a toxic team 😭
better get the Red Bull hoodie out of storage too
— sarah (@SarahFlann) November 23, 2022
I'm really sad Daniel Ricciardo doesn't have a full time seat next year but DAMN I am happy he's staying around in some capacity with Red Bull
— Matt Gallagher (@MattyWTF1) November 23, 2022
Daniel Ricciardo going back to RedBull might be the worst full circle moment yet.
— t 🌿 (@formullana) November 23, 2022
I hate everything about Ricciardo being a 3rd driver at Red Bull, apart from the fact that we might get the return of Maxiel in 2023
— Aldas🇱🇹 (@Aldas001) November 18, 2022
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