Daniel Ricciardo has signed for Red Bull as a third driver in 2023, reuniting him with his former team.
The eight-time grand prix winner had his McLaren contract terminated one year early after a tough two seasons, leaving him without a race seat that interested him for next season. Keen to have a break from the constant demands of each race weekend with the hope of returning F1 stronger in future, Ricciardo has signed a third driver deal at Red Bull that will see him carry out testing and simulator duties alongside marketing and commercial activities.
“The smile says it all, I’m truly excited to be coming back home to Oracle Red Bull Racing as their third driver in 2023,” Ricciardo said. “I already have so many fond memories of my time here, but the welcome from Christian (Horner), Dr Marko and the entire team is something I’m sincerely appreciative of.
“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. I can’t wait to be with the team and support with simulator work, testing sessions and commercial activities. Let’s go!”
Ricciardo last raced for Red Bull in 2018 before moving to Renault, and has only won once since then when he led home a McLaren one-two at the Italian Grand Prix last year. However, Horner believes he still possesses the ability to be as competitive as he was prior to his McLaren move if he’s given the right environment.
“It is great to bring Daniel back into the Red Bull family,” Horner said. “He has enormous talent and such a brilliant character; I know the whole factory is excited to be welcoming him home.
“In his role as test and third driver, Daniel will give us the chance to diversify, assisting in the development of the car, aiding the team with his experience and knowledge of what it takes to succeed in F1. We’re very pleased to be working with Daniel again and look forward to everything he will bring to the team in 2023.”