After two complicated years with McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo has not been retained by the British team at the end of the 2022 season. The Australian had planned to retire in 2023 but has now joined Red Bull as a reserve driver. Christian Horner, the Austrian team boss, spoke about Ricciardo’s future role with a warning that there will be no race drive for Ricciardo outside of that reserve seat.
Four years after leaving RedBull, Daniel Ricciardo has returned to the Austrian team as a reserve driver. Christian Horner, the boss of RedBull, spoke about his return and the role the Australian will have in 2023.
“Busy schedule for the coming season”
Christian Horner spoke about Daniel Ricciardo’s return to Red Bull. The director of the Austrian team explained what he expected from the Australian and announced a busy season for the driver.
“Daniel will attend some races, he will obviously be our reserve driver for those events. He will probably do some tyre testing for us, to help us with the Pirelli programme that is given to the teams.
“He will do some work in the simulator. He’ll do all these activities and then, of course, he’ll be involved in the commercial demands from the myriad of sponsors and partners that we have.
“Especially with the much bigger presence in the US in F1. And the US is where Daniel now resides most of the time. With three Grands Prix there next year, he’s going to have a busy schedule for the season ahead.”
“Daniel had lost interest in F1”
Christian Horner admitted that he was surprised to see Daniel Ricciardo on the market at the end of the season.
“We were surprised to see Daniel on the market, so for us… we grew him up at Red Bull Junior and therefore it made sense to bring him back into the fold.
“I think Daniel had lost a bit of interest in Formula One, lost his love for the sport. He’s had a couple of really difficult seasons, especially this year.
“For him to play a supporting role to the regular drivers as a third driver, both here at the factory and at events with all the commercial partners we have – because he’s one of the most recognisable faces in and around Formula 1 at the moment – for us it made a lot of sense.”
“We hope Daniel will rediscover his passion”
By bringing Daniel Ricciardo back to RedBull, Christian Horner hopes to rekindle his passion:
“We hope that in the process Daniel will rediscover his passion for Formula 1.” said Horner but warned that Ricciardo would not be automatically taking an existing race seat, hinting at the precarious position within the team Sergio Perez has:
“But we certainly don’t intend to use him in anything other than this third driver role – with all these commercial activities he will be doing in parallel.”