Red Bull confirms Ricciardo reserve role at specific races


Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will be in stand-by mode as the team's reserve driver at a limited number of races in 2023.

Ricciardo was signed up by Red Bull following his departure from McLaren, but Horner has made clear that the Milton Keynes-based outfit has no plans of promoting the Aussie to a race seat unless exceptional circumstances come into play.

Red Bull junior Liam Lawson will be the F1 outfit's first substitute if necessary. However, the Kiwi's Super Formula programme in Japan includes several clashes with the F1 calendar, namely Imola, Montreal and Mexico City.

For those three F1 race weekends that Lawson will be unable to attend, Ricciardo will fulfill the role of official reserve for Red Bull.

"Daniel will be attending some races where, obviously, he will be our reserve driver for those events," Horner told Speedcafe.

"[He will] probably do a bit of tyre testing for us, with the Pirelli programme that gets distributed around the teams.

"He’ll be doing some work in the simulator. So 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 a much bigger presence in the US where Daniel is now predominantly based, with three grands prix there next year, he’s gonna have a busy agenda for the season ahead."

Save for his remarkable win with McLaren at the Italian Grand Prix in 2021, Ricciardo has enjoyed all of his eight career victories in F1 with Red Bull Racing for which he raced from 2014 to 2018.


Despite the disappointing epilogue to Ricciardo's stpry with McLaren, Horner admitted to being surprised to find his former driver facing the unemployment line at the end of this season.

"We were surprised to see Daniel be out on the overall market," said the RBR boss.

"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.

"[He’s a driver] with so much experience, at such a high profile, I think 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 here in the factory and at events with all commercial partners we have as one of the most recognisable faces currently in F1, 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 than in that third driver role, combined with the commercial activities that he’ll be performing."

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