Daniel Ricciardo opens up on Red Bull changes after returning

Daniel Ricciardo will serve as Red Bull’s third driver in 2023, following his release from McLaren.

When Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull at the end of the 2018 season, the Australian was leaving a team that still had a significant gap to bridge to Mercedes.

While the 33-year-old did pick up a number of race wins and podiums during his time with the energy drink giants, an unreliable Renault engine prevented Ricciardo from ever winning the championship.

Since his departure, the team have switched to Honda engines and come on leaps and bounds, winning the drivers’ championship in the last two seasons and finally bringing the constructors’ trophy back to Milton Keynes last year.

Having underwhelmed in spells with Renault and McLaren since leaving Red Bull, Ricciardo finds himself returning home this year to serve as Red Bull’s third driver, completing simulator work and promotional activities for the team.

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Speaking at Red Bull’s season launch in New York, Ricciardo has admitted that while it feels good to return home, Red Bull have grown since his departure.

“I felt at home,” he said when asked about his return.

“[It was] very familiar but also I was like ‘oh, this team has grown in the last few years’.

“It’s a beast, but certainly a familiar feeling.”

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During Ricciardo’s previous time with Red Bull, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton were proving almost unbeatable, but upon his return to the team Red Bull now look like the team to beat.

Red Bull were dominant in 2022, dominating the start of F1’s new era but this could all be set to change this year.

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Mercedes and Ferrari struggled under the new regulations, however having now had a full year to understand the changes, both teams are tipped to be a lot more competitive in 2023.

It was initially rumoured that Ricciardo could make a move to replace Sergio Perez as Max Verstappen’s teammate, should the relationship between the pair not improve quickly.

Red Bull have been quick to shut down these suggestions however, explaining that Ricciardo’s contract is very specific and that they see no reason to part ways with Perez in the near future.