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Ricciardo returns to Red Bull

Published at 11/23/2022

A reunion between Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull is now offical after the team announced the Australian will become its third driver in 2023.

Ricciardo returns to the outfit he won seven of his eight Grands Prix victories between 2014 and 2018 and will assist the team through testing, sim work and commercial activities. 

The former Red Bull Junior left the squad on a high following two sensational wins at China and Monaco to break free, but after neither stint at Renault or McLaren got the desired result, he will be rejoin the team in a new role supporting current drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

The news is far from a well kept secret after Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko revealed the “Honey Badger” was set to perform the third driver role during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, only for both team and driver to deny it stating a contract had not been signed.

However, three days after the chequered flag pen has been put to paper and the news is official with Ricciardo back in Red Bull colours and seen embracing with team principal Christian Horner following the announcement.

After a rough couple of years, Ricciardo is pumped to be returning to the team where he enjoyed most of success at the pinnacle of motorsport.

“The smile says it all,” he said.

“I am 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, 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 was a product of the Red Bull Young Driver program and rose through the ranks before making his debut for HRT at Silverstone in 2011.

After outperforming French teammate Jean-Eric Vergne across two competitive seasons at Toro Rosso, Ricciardo was promoted to the top Red Bull team in 2014 to partner Sebastian Vettel and immediately outpaced the four-time world champion winning at Canada, Hungary and Belgium.

Following a leaner season in 2015 which netted just two podiums, the Aussie returned to winning ways in grand style at the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix and also performed a “Shoey” on the top step of the podium after triumphing a crazy Azerbaijan race in 2017.

Despite Red Bull being sad to see Ricciardo go after the successful 2018 season, Horner has welcomed back the “Honey Badger” with open arms.

“It is great to bring Daniel back into the Red Bull family,” he 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.”

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