Horner: “Daniel was stupid…”

Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner says Ricciardo made a stupid decision to leave Red Bull. Australian Daniel Ricciardo will be back in Milton Keynes for the 2023 season with the Red Bull team he left in 2018 to join the Renault F1 team at the time.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was quick to say Daniel Ricciardo did something “stupid” in 2018 when the Australian made the decision to leave the Red Bull fold to join Renault.

During his career, Daniel Ricciardo drove for Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) before moving to Red Bull in 2014 where he stayed for five seasons. But in 2018, the Australian made a surprise announcement that he was leaving Red Bull to join the Renault F1 team for two seasons, before finally opting to move to McLaren in 2021.


Ricciardo removed

Unfortunately for him, the performances were never really there at either Renault or McLaren, although the Australian driver did manage to take a win in the 2021 Italian Grand Prix with McLaren. Despite this fine performance, the Woking-based team made the decision to terminate Ricciardo’s contract a year early and replace him with fellow Australian Oscar Piastri in 2023.

Without a seat for 2023, Daniel Ricciardo will not be on the grid next year, but the Australian has still managed to keep one foot in F1 by signing a third driver contract with his former team Red Bull.



Asked to provide more details on why the Red Bull team had decided to bring Ricciardo back, team headmaster Christian Horner stressed the great relationship that has existed between the two parties for several years, although the British team boss admits Ricciardo’s choice to leave in 2018 was foolish.

“Daniel joined us as a teenager and he has grown with the team. He had great success with us and then he went and did something stupid, he went and drove for other teams and it didn’t really work out,” Christian Horner told the Mirror.


“But Daniel has such a great personality and character that we thought it was right to bring him back to the team – and of course – promotionally, he has the biggest smile in Formula One. For him, he’ll be able to enjoy himself again and rediscover the fun of being a Formula 1 driver, rather than the stress he may have had over the last two years.”



Ricciardo returns

Explaining why a return to Red Bull in 2023 seemed like the right option for him, Daniel Ricciardo told Speedcafe last month, “It’s certainly a way to stay involved and give myself the time to step back.”


“I got to a point where I thought, ‘okay, maybe I should get a few things back in my life – spend more time with my family, with my friends, and a little more time for myself as well.”

As a reserve driver, Daniel Ricciardo will stand in for one of the regular drivers if needed and also work in the simulator at Milton Keynes to help develop the RB19 throughout the 2023 season.

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