After months of speculation, Daniel Ricciardo’s next career move has been confirmed, with the official announcement that he will be joining Red Bull as the third driver in the team.
Fans of Formula One can rejoice with the news Daniel Ricciardo will still be around the paddock in 2023, albeit not in a full time position. An announcement was imminent when both parties insinuated that the deal was all but signed. He’ll be assisting Red Bull with work in the simulator, testing for the team and promotional activity across the season.
“It is great to bring Daniel back in to 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,” CEO Christian Horner said in Red Bull’s official statement.
“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.”
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The story of how Ricciardo got to this position is well documented, with his departure from McLaren arguably the biggest story of the year, especially given his replacement is fellow Australian counterpart Oscar Piastri. Searching for his next move was very much speculated throughout the rest of the season after the Piastri announcement, with it noted that Ricciardo wanted a year to recharge when no seats became available on the 2023 grid. Denying teams like Haas F1 and Williams, fans were fearing the worst for the Australian.
Ricciardo is very happy to be returning “home” in 2023, somewhere he has already spent plenty of time across a span of 5 years.
“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. I already have so many fond memories of my time here, but the welcome from Christian, Dr Marko and the entire team is something I’m sincerely appreciative of,” Ricciardo said in Red Bull’s statement.
“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 has stated previously that he was happy to sit out the 2023 season if no opportunity arose for him to compete in a competitive team. This change will allow him to recharge and take a step back from full time duties in the hope of regaining a competitive seat on the Formula One grid in 2024.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will continue as the two main drivers for the team in 2023, with Ricciardo waiting in the wings.
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