Daniel Ricciardo would be returning to Formula 1 in 2023 as the third driver for Team Red Bull. Ricciardo, whose contract with McLaren was terminated at the end of the 2022 season, had earlier said that he would be taking a break from the sport for a year, but it seems like that would not be possible again.
The Australian driver was in Red Bull before leaving in 2018 to join Renault, after which he then joined McLaren.
As a third driver, Ricciardo would step in when any of the two drivers are not available. He would also help with testing and stimulation. According to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, Ricciardo would give the team 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.”
When he left in 2018, he was the second driver, and part of the reason why he left was because he felt Red Bull was paying more attention to Max Verstappen at his expense.
Speaking on his move back, the 33-year-old said that he was very excited and was quite glad at the kind of welcome he received from the team. He said, “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.”
He also talked about how he had considered taking the year off next year but also thought about what he could do instead, which led him to move back to Red Bull. As a third driver, Ricciardo would not be under a lot of pressure like the two main drivers.