Red Bull add reserve driver role for Ricciardo at selected races in 2023

2022 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo will attend select grands prix as Red Bull reserve driver for 2023 alongside simulator, tyre testing and commercial duties, says team principal Christian Horner.

Ricciardo signed with Red Bull as a third driver for 2023 after he was released from his McLaren contract a year early. He has previously driven for Red Bull teams AlphaTauri (originally known as Toro Rosso) and Red Bull’s senior team throughout his first seven full seasons in Formula 1.

Liam Lawson has been Red Bull’s reserve driver since July. He will continue in that role next year but will also race in Japan’s Super Formula series, meaning he will not be available to attend all rounds on the 2023 F1 calendar.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that Ricciardo will take over reserve driver duties at select rounds in 2023. “Daniel will be attending some races where obviously he’ll be our reserve driver for those events,” he told Speedcafe.

“He’ll probably do a bit of tyre testing for us to help with the Pirelli programme that gets distributed around the teams. He’ll be doing some work in the simulator. He’ll be doing all of those activities and then of course with the commercial demands that we have from the myriad of sponsors and partners that we have – particularly with the much bigger presence in the US where Daniel is now predominantly based with three grands prix there next year – he’s going to have a busy agenda for the season ahead.”

Horner said Ricciardo had lost some of his “passion” for Formula 1 through his disappointing 2022 campaign with McLaren, but expects the driver’s return to Red Bull will help reignite his love for the sport. However, Horner insists the team have no plans to return him to one of their race seats at this stage.

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“We were surprised to see Daniel be out on the open market,” Horner said. “So for us – having grown up with Red Bull, having nurtured him since being a junior – it made sense for us to bring him back into the fold.

“I think that Daniel had fallen out of love a little bit with Formula 1. He’s had a couple of really tough seasons, particularly this year. For him to play a supporting role to the race drivers as our third driver, both back here at the factory and at events with all the commercial partners we have – as one of the most recognisable faces currently in and around Formula 1 – for us, it made a lot of sense.

“Hopefully in that process Daniel will rediscover his passion for Formula 1. But we certainly have no plans to utilise him other in that third driver role to combine with the commercial activities that he’ll be performing.”

Red Bull has also announced one of Ricciardo’s first duties will be to conduct a demonstration run in one of their cars at the Mount Panorama circuit during the Bathurst 12 Hours weekend in February. Jenson Button became the first driver to lap the track which holds the famed Bathurst 1000 touring car race in a Formula 1 car in 2011.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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13 comments on “Red Bull add reserve driver role for Ricciardo at selected races in 2023”

  1. Too bad he doesn’t count as a junior driver, so he could even drive in some practice sessions… Good for him, if he’s happy with all this (and who am I to have an opinion about his life), but this situation is a bit strange; and a bit sad. On the other hand, real sad stories don’t include people driving (or “reserving”) in F1, it’s still a career that 99,999% people can’t even dream of. I hope to see him back in the saddle and having a good season. At the same time, that means that I hope someone loses his job. Strange thing this F1, especially with only 20 seats.

    1. to be pedantic, the actual percentage is around 99.9999997%

  2. I’m sure that I am not the only F1 fan who would dearly love to see Danny Ric get used as a reserve driver for a race at short notice next season and then totally dominate the race for a jaw dropping win :)

    1. Ahah, yes, that would be interesting, could for example happen at monza, he’s been driving well there even at mclaren.

  3. He should try to get a Le Mans drive, I’m sure a top team would take him.

  4. From Honey Badger to Bunny Badger

  5. It’s just a reason to have him show up to track and get on camera a bit really. No surprise at all here. I wonder if he will do any guest roles with Sky/F1TV also at some races, that would also make sense.

  6. Its the first step to get him into the raceseat. I’m sure he will get an oppertunity if he can show his performance is still there.

  7. Predominantly based? Isn’t he still officially a Monaco resident, or what does Horner mean exactly?

  8. I hope this is right. Seeing Daniel in a RBR F1 and Valentino Rossi both tackling the mountain would be a dream come true.


  9. Daniel Ricciardo could make his first official outing as the Red Bull Racing third driver with a demonstration run around Mount Panorama at the Bathurst 12 Hour.

    The endurance race announced today that Red Bull Racing will send its RB7 show car to the mountain for the 3–5 February event to “attack” the iconic circuit in a series of exhibition runs.

    No driver has been named for the program, but Daniel Ricciardo would be an obvious choice

    Ricciardo has returned to the Red Bull fold as the team’s third driver specifically to give its exhibition program a higher profile, and his appeal to the local audience is obvious.

    Ricciardo has never lapped the Mount Panorama circuit, having spent almost all of his car racing career outside Australia.

    Bathurst organisers said Red Bull Racing would confirm a driver in the new year, with the full demonstration program to be announced in early 2023.

    Whoever pilots the car, the appearance of the title-winning F1 team is a boon for the event, which is already buzzing from confirmation that previous race winner Team WRT will field seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi in a BMW M4 GT3.

  10. Redbull knows their team lacks ‘personality’ and so its no surprise that they’ve reclaiimed Ricciardo back into their fold. That said, he’s a shell of the driver he use to be.

    If the FIA have their way all F1 drivers would be ‘broken’, squaddies, robotic identikits, cookie-cutter, poster-boys, like most of the branded drivers in indy car.

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