Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner has shed some light on Daniel Ricciardo’s role in the team since his return as a reserve driver, clarifying that he won’t be the reserve driver for all the races in the upcoming season. In an interview with Speedcafe, Horner explained that Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson would also be the reserve driver for some races.
“Daniel will be attending some races where, obviously, he will be our reserve driver for those events,” Horner said. “He’ll be doing some work in the simulator, probably do a bit of tyre testing for us, not with the Pirelli programme that gets distributed around the teams. 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.”
Horner also revealed that the Australian driver would be involved in some commercial activities, especially in the US, where Red Bull has a more significant presence. “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,” Horner said.
Daniel Ricciardo made his F1 debut with Red Bull in 2014 and spent five seasons with the team, claiming seven Grand Prix wins before moving to Renault in 2019. After spending two years with Renault, Ricciardo joined McLaren for the 2021 season. However, he parted ways with the team after a single year, and it was announced that he would be returning to Red Bull as their reserve driver.
While some fans had hoped that Ricciardo’s return to Red Bull would lead to a race seat, Horner confirmed that there are no plans to offer him a full racing contract. Instead, Horner hopes that Ricciardo can rediscover his passion for Formula 1 in his new role.
“Hopefully, in that process, Daniel will rediscover his passion for Formula 1, but we certainly have no plans to utilize him other than in that third driver role, combined with the commercial activities that he’ll be performing,” Horner said.
Ricciardo’s return to Red Bull has been a topic of discussion among F1 fans, with many wondering if he will have a chance to race again for the team that brought him his greatest successes. However, for now, Ricciardo seems content with his role and eager to contribute to Red Bull’s success in any way possible.