Australian Daniel Ricciardo is expected to return to the Red Bull fold from the 2023 season in the role of reserve driver for the Milton Keynes-based team, this is according to Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko who made a faux par with UK Sky Sports F1 asking the question as to what the future holds for the Australian McLaren driver.
Daniel Ricciardo will leave the McLaren team after the final race of the 2022 season in Abu Dhabi this weekend, but so far the Australian driver has not revealed what his future plans are. However, Dr Helmut Marko sort of let the cat out of the bag on Friday at Yas Marina when he confirmed to Sky Sports that Daniel Ricciardo will be Red Bull’s third driver in 2023.
“Ricciardo will return as our reserve driver”
“Ricciardo will be our third driver,” said Helmut Marko in Abu Dhabi on Friday, before adding that he would have to be content with a reserve role and could also drive older cars in demonstrations.
“We have so many sponsors…” boasted Marko,
“We have to do showruns and the like, and of course he is one of the most profiled and the best suited.”
Daniel Ricciardo has competed in 100 Grands Prix for the Red Bull team in his career, before leaving the Red Bull fold to join Renault in 2019. After two seasons at Enstone, the Australian made the decision to join McLaren in 2021, but McLaren – due to a lack of results – decided to end his contract early at the end of the 2022 season in August. Ricciardo’s place will be taken by his compatriot Oscar Piastri.
What next for Ricciardo?
At Red Bull, world champion Max Verstappen (contract until 2028) and Sergio Pérez (2024) are still planned as regular drivers in 2023.
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of speculation about where Daniel Ricciardo will go. In the meantime, there was talk of a commitment as a reserve driver at Mercedes, while Lewis Hamilton had spoken out in favour of the Australian remaining in Formula 1. Ricciardo had also stressed that he could imagine a year’s break in order to be able to compete again for the cockpits in 2024.
It is expected that Red Bull will confirm Daniel Ricciardo’s arrival in the next few days, once the various contracts have been signed between the different parties. The 33-year-old will contest his last race in F1 on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.