Daniel Ricciardo’s return to Red Bull has been confirmed with the popular Australian joining F1’s champion team as a third driver.
Ricciardo has been let go by McLaren a year before the end of his contract after two seasons of being outperformed by teammate Lando Norris. The eight-time race winner was determined to stay around F1 but was keen to take some time out as well. Therefore, he pursued a reserve driver role with a top team rather than a move to a backmarker team like Haas or Williams.
Ricciardo held talks with Mercedes but has instead opted to rejoin Red Bull, the team he drove for between 2014 and 2018 before his shock move to Renault (now Alpine).
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“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 via the team’s website.
“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!”
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Team principal 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.
“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.”
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