Daniel Ricciardo is set to return to Red Bull as the team’s reserve driver for the Formula 1 2023 season, according to Helmut Marko.
Daniel Ricciardo : Red Bull reserve driver | Penalty
Ricciardo joined Toro Rosso in 2012 full-time after the team changed its driver lineup and drove a Ferrari-powered car for them in 2012 and 2013.
In 2014, Ricciardo was promoted to Red Bull as a replacement for the retired Mark Webber alongside multiple time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
In his first season with Red Bull under Renault power, Ricciardo finished third in the championship with his first three Formula One wins, in Canada, Hungary, and Belgium.
After two years without a victory, Ricciardo returned to the top of the podium at the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, eventually sealing third in the championship for the second time in three years at the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo red bull reserve driver
Daniel Ricciardo is set to return to Red Bull as the team’s third driver for the Formula 1 2023 season, according to Helmut Marko.
It is expected that Ricciardo will be a development driver, with Liam Lawson the official reserve.
The 33-year-old Australian was left without a place on the grid for next season after having his contract with McLaren terminated a year early, following two largely disappointing campaigns with the British team.
Ricciardo was linked with several seats at the back of the grid, but indicated he would prefer to join a top team as a reserve driver with a view to returning in a more competitive car in 2024.
Speculation in the paddock in recent weeks suggested Ricciardo could join Mercedes, but Red Bull now seem to have swooped in for Ricciardo, who won seven of his eight F1 races driving for the team between 2014 and 2018.
“Ricciardo will be our third driver,” Marko, a Red Bull advisor, told us.
“We have so many sponsors, we have to do show runs, so of course he’s one of the most high-profile and best-suited.”
Daniel Ricciardo joked that he asked for a harsher grid penalty for this weekend in Abu Dhabi, thinking he drives faster when he’s had some form of penalty.
This is in reference to his recent resurgent drive in Mexico City, when he overcame a 10-second penalty and made plenty of overtakes in a well-earned seventh-placed finish last month.
Though he finished higher up in Singapore, Mexico was arguably Ricciardo’s best drive of the season so far, taking the ‘best of the rest’ mantle behind the front-running Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes drivers.
He retired from last weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix however after first-lap contact with Kevin Magnussen, tagging the back of the Haas on his way into Turn 8.
As the Dane rolled backwards, the McLaren driver could not avoid a second piece of contact which put both drivers out of the race, with Ricciardo subsequently given a three-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi this weekend for being found at fault for the collision.
He joked that the penalty perhaps should have been harsher though, in case it brought more pace out of him.
Speaking to media including PlanetF1 ahead of the weekend, Ricciardo said: “I feel good. Yeah, mentally I’m not treating it like it’s going to be my last ever race, but it could be.
“I got a grid penalty. I normally go better when I have penalties, so I actually asked for a five-place penalty, but three will do!”
Ricciardo is taking part in what will be his final race weekend in Formula 1, for now at least, with the Australian set to sit out the 2023 season.