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Daniel Ricciardo will be at Red Bull in 2023, confirms Helmut Marko

Daniel Ricciardo in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/McLaren)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Nov 19, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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According to team motorsport adviser Helmut Marko, Daniel Ricciardo will return to Red Bull Racing as the team’s third driver in 2023. The team hasn’t officially confirmed the news, but Marko told Sky Sport Deutschland at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday that the Australian would be returning to Milton Keynes in a promotional and ambassadorial role next season. Marko also stated that Liam Lawson will be the team’s reserve driver, implying that Ricciardo would not be in line to replace either Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez if one of them were unable to drive.

“Ricciardo will be our third driver,” Marko said. “We have so many sponsors, we have to do show runs and the like, so of course he‘s one of the most high profile and best suited.”

However, the Kiwi is expected to move to Japan next year to compete in the Super Formula series, which would preclude him from being available for reserve duties for at least three weekends due to direct clashes. The appointment of the Australian would put additional pressure on Sergio Perez to improve his performance next year. Though the Mexican is under contract for another two years, Red Bull Racing is notoriously ruthless with its driver roster, and the prospect of a competitive Ricciardo — as well as any lingering tension between Perez and Max Verstappen — may be too appealing for management to pass up in 2024.

Ricciardo has also been linked to a reserve drive with Mercedes for several weeks, though Mick Schumacher is also thought to be in the running after being dropped by Haas earlier this week. The Australian had several options to stay on the grid, the most prominent of which was Haas, but he has stated that he would rather spend a year on the sidelines linked to a top team than commit to a slog in the midfield.

Ricciardo made his Formula One debut in 2011 as a Red Bull-backed driver with the now-defunct HRT team before moving on to Toro Rosso the following year. Two years in the junior team were enough to persuade Red Bull Racing to promote him in 2014 in place of the retiring Mark Webber to partner reigning four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, whom he defeated in their first year as teammates. Ricciardo won seven of his eight career races with RBR, including the Monaco Grand Prix in 2018, but the team was never as competitive as Mercedes.



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