Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo has returned to Red Bull following an agreement with the Austrian Formula One team.
Ricciardo will join the team as their third driver behind regular drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez and will help the team with testing, sim work as well as marketing and commercial activities.
Ricciardo returns to the team with which he made his name in Formula One. After initially missing out on a seat for the 2023 grid, he will hope to use this opportunity to get himself ready for a seat in 2024.
Ricciardo made his debut with HRT at the 2011 British Grand Prix. The then-Red Bull academy driver moved to Toro Rosso for the 2012 and 2013 seasons before getting the call-up to the Red Bull team in 2014. Partnering four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo beat the German in his first year at Red Bull and finished a stunning third in the Championship Standings. He also took his first Formula One victory the same year at the Canadian Grand Prix and added a further two more wins during that season.
After five years with the team, Ricciardo left Red Bull at the end of 2018 to join Renault, with whom he stuck for two seasons before joining McLaren in 2021. Following two underwhelming seasons with McLaren, even though he gave the team their first victory since 2012, at the Italian Grand Prix 2021, Ricciardo was replaced by his compatriot Oscar Piastri for the 2023 season.
An eight-time Grand Prix winner, Ricciardo has already worked with Verstappen and rest of the Red Bull staff. This will be a homecoming of sorts for the Australian, who will look to use this opportunity to secure himself a seat for the 2024 season and beyond.
Speaking about his return to Red Bull, Ricciardo commented:
“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. 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!“
Christian Horner, CEO and Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, added:
“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.“