Daniel Ricciardo will join Red Bull as a third driver next year, according to the team’s motorsport consultant Helmut Marko.
Marco told Sky Germany that Ricciardo will return to the team, but Liam Lawson will continue in his role as backup driver for Red Bull and Alfatauri. Lawson drove Max Verstappen’s RB18 in first practice at Yas Marina today and has also appeared twice for Alphatari in practice sessions this year.
Ricciardo was supported by Red Bull on his move to Formula 1, joining the team in 2014, winning three races and adding four more wins before leaving at the end of 2018.
He spent two years at Renault and then signed a three-year deal to drive for McLaren. But apart from last year’s surprise victory at the Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo has rarely performed up to the team’s expectations and has agreed to leave a year early at the end of 2023.
With few race seats available for 2023, Ricciardo is understood to have played a replacement role in the leadership team and was at one stage linked with a move to Mercedes. However, Marko’s revelation means that Ricciardo will instead return to Red Bull next season, five years after his exit.
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