Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2022

Ricciardo yet to sign contract for Red Bull role – Horner

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Daniel Ricciardo’s return to Red Bull as a reserve driver has not yet been officially confirmed, team principal Christian Horner has said.

Red Bull’s motorsport director Helmut Marko said yesterday Ricciardo will return to them as a “third driver” in 2023, following his early departure from McLaren. However Horner said today his driver’s return is not yet official.

“We haven’t signed anything yet, but Helmut, in his enthusiasm, has obviously announced it,” said Horner. “So I guess that means Daniel will be joining us, unless, of course, he chooses not to sign.”

Ricciardo raced for Red Bull between 2014 and 2018, during which time he scored seven of his eight grand prix wins. He moved to Renault in 2019, then joined McLaren two years later, but has largely failed to produce the performances which were expected of him, leading the team to cancel the third and final year of his contract in 2023.

His role would involve some simulator duties and also a marketing role, said Horner. “Daniel’s a big character,” he explained. “It’s been disappointing to see his performances, he would have wanted a lot more out of the season. But he is still one of the biggest names, one of the biggest characters in Formula 1. He obviously has a history of being a Red Bull Junior.

“And just with the demands that are on the race drivers these days, just from a marketing perspective alone, we are very active as a team, we do many, many show runs and events. So to have a driver of Daniel’s profile and history with the team, within the group, is only an asset for us.”

Ricciardo has said he is not looking to race in another series and is targeting a return to F1 in the future.

Joining Red Bull would “mean he keeps in touch with Formula 1”, said Horner, “we’ll obviously be using him in the simulator as well and he’ll potentially be attending some events.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“If he does sign a contract. But I’m sure that will all become clear in the event of him signing a contract.”

Red Bull is not considering reappointing Ricciardo to the race team in the long-term, said Horner. Both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez signed new deals to continue driving for the team this year, taking them up to 2028 and 2025 respectively.

“Daniel’s contract is very specific, for a specific reason,” said Horner. “We have a contract with Checo for the next two years.

“What the partnership of Max and Checo has produced has been phenomenal for us. The five one-two finishes so far this year, the constructors championship that we hadn’t won for eight years is a phenomenal achievement and obviously a combination of both drivers points contributions.

“The two drivers have a good relationship, they’ve raced well for the team and we’ve got no reason to see that any different tomorrow or for the duration of their contractual commitment to the team.”

Perez occupies the seat alongside Verstappen which Ricciardo vacated at the end of 2018. “With Checo we made that commitment for two years earlier in the year,” said Horner. “He made a good step this year. His performance, I think he felt more comfortable in the team at the beginning of the year after that first year joining during a Covid period.

“Hopefully he can round off what has been a very strong year for him with that runner-up position in the championship this year, which is something we’ve never achieved before.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

10 comments on “Ricciardo yet to sign contract for Red Bull role – Horner”

  1. Why would they want this washed up guy other than to either make the tea or prance around in the background playing the fool for RedBull PR.

    Ric really should have used this forced opportunity to try other things in life.

    1. hat’s his exact draw, the Red Bull PR machine. He’s already trying to put together a production company and pitching for an F1 tv series, this coincides with his decline as a driver. He is seduced by ‘hollywood’ since the day he Drive to Survive turned up in the paddock. His entire future as far as can see is ‘hollywood’, he wants an Entourage / Ballers type show based in the F1 paddock. Red Bull are a marketing company / media production powerhouse that sponsor athletes in a lot of exciting sports, so cameos would be oh so easy if he’s back under the umbrella.

      His career as a driver is over, he knows that, I think he was buddying up to Hamilton because he is also lured by celebrity culture and Hollywood ambitions, so hanging out around Hamilton would get him access to celebs that would snub Ricciardo, there are already enough uninspiring hangers on around them, whereas Hamilton is a World Champion even though they have no idea what F1 is, they can hang out with a World Champ

    2. Someone doesn’t like Danny lmao, l heard he makes the best tea in the world

  2. Assuming it was him who rejected the seat at Haas, i dont see him accepting this deal. It still keeps him away from the track for a year unless they let go of Checo and that doesnt seem likely to happen at least in the short term. There’s no guarantee that Daniel will be the Daniel of the old–he could still find it tough and be slower than Checo.
    As an aside..he will have plenty of time to work on his fictional F1 series.

  3. Red Bull payback for Ric incoming. Would not be surprised if he gets left without a contract. Would be typical Red Bull and the reason he left the toxic team.

  4. Well, to be fair, Daniel didn’t show anything special since he left Red Bull. Yes, he won a race in Mclaren, but that was the only highlight, more of an exception than the rule. He was average in Renault and mediocre in Mclaren. I don’t see him coming back to F1 in the future, unless he wants to drive a backmarker car – maybe Williams, if they Sargeant does not get superlicence points. Alpine didn’t want him for next year, Aston Martin has drivers for next 2 years as minimum, unless Alonso falls out with them. Top teams are occupied and they wouldn’t choose Daniel because of his performances. So his only choice is third driver or to look for a drive in other series.

  5. Unless there is some hidden agreement about an actual race seat behind this, to me it would be better to turn this offer down, unless he needs the money (but then, of course, I am not Daniel Ricciardo, so what do I know?).

    I read an autobiography from one of the Apollo astronauts who post-NASA received a lot of offers of positions on company boards of directors. Initially flattered, he soon realized that none of them were for using his skills and knowledge, but all just for the role of “token astronaut” to be paraded in front of business contacts who needed to be impressed.

    The role of “third driver” with “some simulator work” has a smell of a pure PR “brand ambassador” job, with the title of “honorary driver” attached to it.

  6. He wasn’t average at Renault at all. In fact he did very well at Renault with the machinery he was given.

    It was just unfortunate it didn’t work out for him at McLaren. If anything, staying at Alpine would’ve been a better choice for RIC. But can’t change the past, can only look ahead. Yes, his stock has gone down due to the McLaren stint. Will have to wait and see what happens.

  7. Waiting for the results from this weekend which will decide if PER is gone or not. Will it be a wingman contract or a 3rd driver contract.

  8. “We haven’t signed anything yet, but Helmut, in his enthusiasm, has obviously announced it,” said Horner.

    Is Horner poking at Marko? If it is, that’s something I’ve never before noticed to happen. Makes me think whether there is some sort of powerplay going on at RB after mateschitz’s death and Horner might be interested to get a larger role in the organisation.

Comments are closed.