Daniel Ricciardo was left with no seat for 2023 after having his contract with McLaren terminated a 12 months early; the Australian spent 5 seasons with Crimson Bull from 2014-2018 watch the Abu Dhabi GP all weekend – with the race at 1pm on Sunday
The 33-year-old Australian was left with no place on the grid for subsequent season after having his contract with McLaren terminated a 12 months early, following two largely disappointing campaigns with the British group.
Ricciardo was linked with various seats behind the grid, nonetheless indicated he would favor to hitch a first-rate group as a reserve driver with a view to returning in a further aggressive car in 2024.
Speculation inside the paddock in newest weeks suggested Ricciardo is likely to be a part of Mercedes, nonetheless Crimson Bull now seem to have swooped in for Ricciardo, who gained seven of his eight F1 races driving for the group between 2014 and 2018.
“Ricciardo shall be our third driver,” Marko, a Crimson Bull advisor, knowledgeable Sky Sports activities actions in Germany.
“We now have so many sponsors, we have to do current runs, so in reality he’s a number of the high-profile and best-suited.”
Marko said within the equivalent interview that Lawson, who drove for Crimson Bull in first comply with on the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP, may be Crimson Bull’s reserve.
Ricciardo’s operate may attributable to this reality be development driver, although Crimson Bull have however to confirm the switch with an announcement.
On Saturday, group boss Horner said “nothing had been signed” nonetheless hinted that affirmation may be rapidly.
“Daniel’s an enormous character, it has been disappointing to see his effectivity this 12 months nonetheless he’s nonetheless one in all many biggest names in Formulation 1,” he mentioned.
“Merely with the requires on race drivers immediately, from a promoting perspective alone, we’re an full of life group and do very many current runs and events, so to have a driver of Daniel’s profile and historic previous with the group is barely an asset for us.
“It means he retains in touch with Formulation 1 and we’ll clearly be using him on the simulator as properly when he attends events.”
Horner, though, insisted Ricciardo would not be altering Perez as a full-time driver with the group, even when he rediscovered his sort of outdated. Perez has a contract until 2024 at Crimson Bull nonetheless his future has been speculated upon, notably after the group orders dispute with Verstappen.
“No, Daniel’s contract might be very specific,” said Horner. “We now have a contract with Checo [Perez] for the following two years. The partnership of Max and Checo has been phenomenal for us.”
Coming into the Abu Dhabi weekend Ricciardo, who’s being modified at McLaren by fellow Australian Oscar Piastri, said “progress was being made” collectively along with his 2023 switch and that “hopefully you presumably can see my magnificence as soon as extra subsequent 12 months”.
“Mentally I’m not treating it prefer it needs to be my closing ever race, however it is likely to be,” he knowledgeable reporters on Thursday.
“I do know that nothing’s assured ultimately so I’m going out to benefit from it, I’m not going to get too, for example, emotional regarding the thought that ‘oh, is it the ultimate one or not?’.
“I do want to benefit from it and take it for what it is.”
Ricciardo could have a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race after inflicting a collision with Haas’s Kevin Magnussen on the sooner spherical in Brazil closing Sunday.
“I often go larger once I’ve penalties so I actually requested for a five-place penalty, nonetheless three will accomplish that there you go,” he joked.
Hill: Ricciardo may end up with starting seat at Crimson Bull
With the data swirling of Ricciardo’s Crimson Bull return, Sky Sports activities actions’ Damon Hill thinks that it is a clever different that may end with him in a starting seat as quickly as as soon as extra.
“It is likely to be pretty an attention-grabbing one in case you take into account the problems they’ve apparently had between Max and Sergio,” said Hill.
“For instance the toys exit of the pram and there could also be some form of fall in the marketplace, Daniel Ricciardo is likely to be in prime place.
“It is his home, and he does owe hundreds to Crimson Bull so he shall be very desirous to be once more in that fold.
“What’s it regarding the prodigal son who returns?
“He is likely to be in an excellent place coming once more and having found hundreds elsewhere.
“It might be that you could be improve having been another place then returning to the place you started.
“I am constructive that Sergio’s contract is watertight, and he shall be there for a really very long time however when relationships deteriorate, sometimes it turns into unworkable, and the suspicion is Max has numerous vitality in that group.”