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It's official! Ricciardo returns to Red Bull as third driver

It's official! Ricciardo returns to Red Bull as third driver

It's official! Ricciardo returns to Red Bull as third driver

It's official! Ricciardo returns to Red Bull as third driver

Red Bull has officially confirmed Daniel Ricciardo will serve as its third driver for the 2023 F1 season.

The news was initially aired by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko early in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, although a contract had yet to be signed at that stage.

Now the reigning F1 constructors' champions have declared the Australian, who was axed by McLaren with a year remaining on his contract, will return to the team he last competed with in 2018, and with whom he won seven grands prix.

Ricciardo, who will assist the team with testing and sim work, as well as commercial activities, said: "The smile says it all.

"I’m truly excited to be coming back home to Red Bull 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.

"I can’t wait to be with the team and support with simulator work, testing sessions and commercial activities. Let’s go!”

The move represents a return to Ricciardo's roots as the 33-year-old came through the Red Bull junior system.

Following a debut with Hispania Racing midway through the 2011 season, Ricciardo joined Toro Rosso in 2012 and spent two years at Faenza before promotion to Red Bull from 2014.

Across his five years at Milton Keynes, aside from his seven race wins, Ricciardo was on the podium a further 21 times, and twice finished third in the drivers' standings before switching to Renault in 2019.

Welcoming back Ricciardo, Horner said: “It is great to bring Daniel back into the Red Bull family.

"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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