Christian Horner confirms Daniel Ricciardo test as he targets 2024 return

Daniel Ricciardo claimed seven victories for Red Bull between 2014-2018.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has confirmed that development driver Daniel Ricciardo will complete a test for the Austrians this season; however, the much-loved Australian will have to wait until “later in the year”.

Ricciardo raced for Red Bull between 2014-2018 but has returned to the Milton Keynes-based team following his exit from McLaren, after spending two disastrous years at the British side.

Apart from his victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo endured a miserable 24 months, with a return home having been the best option for him to rediscover his love of racing.

Ricciardo opted not to race in 2023 in order to take a step back, with the 33-year-old recognising that he needed to reassess where he was.

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He decided that returning to Red Bull was the best place for him to get “his mojo back”, in a bid to try and get back onto the grid in 2024.

Whilst the move has been questioned by many, Horner has admitted that “it’s great” to have the Aussie back in the garage, with him having been “really throwing himself” into the development driver role.

“It’s great to have him back in blue and back in the team,” Horner said.

“He’s really throwing himself into it. [He’s] sitting in all the briefings, he’s been working hard on the simulator as well, doing some race support and some development work on that.

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“Daniel’s just a positive energy to have around and it’s great to see him getting his mojo back, to see that big smile on his face – he lights up a room when he walks in.

“His popularity in Formula 1… even though he’s not driving, he’s still probably the most popular driver here, and for us, it’s just positive to have him in the team, contributing to the team, to the drivers, to the engineering team.

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“Hopefully he’ll rediscover his love for the sport. He’ll do a bit of testing for us later in the year and we’ll see how that how that goes for him. But I think it’s a different experience. He’s thrown himself [in] and [is] embracing this new role.”

Should either Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez be unable to drive then there is the option for Ricciardo to step in, with Horner joking that Ricciardo needs just “10 minutes” notice to be ready to jump in.

“I’d say he’s about 10 minutes away from being ready!” Horner joked. “He’s in good shape; he’s kept himself fit and well. I think that he’s training hard and he’s ready to go given the chance.”