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Daniel Ricciardo comes house, joins Pink Bull as their third driver for 2023


Daniel Ricciardo is coming house.

Pink Bull Racing took the lid off the worst-kept secret in Components One, asserting that Ricciardo can be returning to Pink Bull for the 2023 F1 season as their third driver, behind Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez.

Ricciardo started his F1 profession for Toro Rosso, Pink Bull’s sister workforce, again in 2012. After two seasons with Toro Rosso, Ricciardo moved to Pink Bull for the 2014 season, and recorded his first F1 Grand Prix victory on the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix. Later that season he would notch back-to-back victories, first on the Hungarian Grand Prix, after which within the Belgian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo completed third within the Driver’s Championship on the finish of the 2016 season, behind each Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes. That yr, Ricciardo solely notched a single victory, on the Malaysian Grand Prix, however his seven podium finishes noticed him are available third behind the Mercedes duo when the season ended.

In the course of the 2018 marketing campaign with Pink Bull, Ricciardo scored a pair of victories early within the season, profitable the Chinese language Grand Prix in April, after which the Monaco Grand Prix just a few weeks later on the finish of Could. However a bunch of DNFs down the second half of the season noticed Ricciardo land in sixth place within the Driver’s Championship, his lowest end since inserting eighth in 2015.

It was additionally his first end behind Verstappen, because the youthful driver joined the workforce in 2016.

That 2018 marketing campaign can be Ricciardo’s final with Pink Bull, as he made the choice to depart the workforce for Renault for the 2019 season. In two seasons with Renault, Ricciardo by no means gained a race, managing only a pair of third-place finishes through the 2019 marketing campaign.

Ricciardo made one other transfer for the 2020 season, sliding over to McLaren. However the wins and podiums didn’t return. Ricciardo scored only a single podium end over the previous two seasons, a victory on the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.

In August, it was introduced that Ricciardo and McLaren would “mutually half methods” simply 18 months right into a three-year deal. McLaren secured the providers of one other Australian, rookie Oscar Piastri, to race alongside Lando Norris for the 2023 marketing campaign. Piastri got here by the driving force’s academy at Alpine and served as their reserve driver, however McLaren was capable of beat out Alpine for Piastri’s providers.

That left Ricciardo on the skin trying in for the 2023 grid. He was linked with AlphaTauri for 2023, and there have been seats obtainable at Haas and Williams. However AlphaTauri ended up getting in a special course, signing Pierre Gasly and Nyck de Vries, and Ricciardo determined to not pursue choices with the opposite two groups.

Now he’s coming house, because the reserve driver behind his former teammate in Verstappen, and a former rival in Pérez. This transfer was the worst-kept secret across the paddock, as Ricciardo hinted on the change through the season’s last race, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. However the workforce and the driving force made it official on Wednesday.

Pink Bull Workforce Principal and CEO Christian Horner had this to say about his return: “It’s nice to carry Daniel again in to the Pink Bull household. He has huge expertise and such an excellent character; I do know the entire manufacturing unit is happy to be welcoming him house. In his position as take a look at and third driver, Daniel will give us the possibility to diversify, helping within the growth of the automobile, aiding the workforce along with his expertise and information of what it takes to achieve F1.”

For Ricciardo, his face stated all of it:

The smile says all of it, I’m really excited to be coming again house to Oracle Pink Bull Racing as their Third Driver in 2023. I have already got so many fond reminiscences of my time right here, however the welcome from Christian, Dr Marko and the whole workforce is one thing I’m sincerely appreciative of. For me personally, the flexibility to contribute to and be surrounded by the very best workforce in F1 is massively interesting, while additionally giving me a while to recharge and refocus. I can’t wait to be with the workforce and help with simulator work, testing periods and industrial actions. Let’s go!

The workforce additionally launched a video of Ricciardo asserting the transfer:

The “industrial actions” portion of Ricciardo’s assertion is likely to be a essential a part of the transfer. Ricciardo stays one of the vital well-liked F1 drivers, due in maybe equal elements his success on the monitor throughout his earlier Pink Bull stint, and the Netflix documentary “Drive to Survive.” The primary season of the Netflix present featured Ricciardo prominently, as he contemplated his position with Pink Bull, the rise of Verstappen, and a possible change to a special workforce.

In a current rating of probably the most marketable athletes on this planet, eight F1 drivers ranked within the top-100: Hamilton and George Russell of Mercedes, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz of Ferrari, Fernando Alonso with Aston Martin, Verstappen and Perez with Pink Bull, and Ricciardo.

All seven have seats on the grid for the 2023 season. Ricciardo is the one reserve driver amongst them.

Again in Could, Ricciardo was featured in a story from GQ, calling him “America’s First Components 1 Celebrity.” That story described his recognition, notably in American, this fashion: “Ricciardo’s attraction to the producers of Drive to Survive and, in flip, their viewers of newly-minted F1 fanatics is fairly easy: he’s a hard-charging, fun-loving Australian dude in a sport stuffed with awkward 20-year-olds, jaded veterans, and wealthy weirdos.”

The story additionally dives into Ricciardo’s recognition as a consequence of Drive to Survive:

When Drive to Survive was first filming, the 2 high groups on the grid, Mercedes and Ferrari, refused to take part within the sequence, which means thousands and thousands of recent followers had been launched to the game by the man who drinks champagne out of his sneakers fairly than by, say, defending world champion Lewis Hamilton. “With the primary season, I used to be pleased to present a little bit of time, and I used to be excited in regards to the mission,” says Ricciardo. It paid off: Netflix has rewarded Ricciardo with devoted episodes and storylines in all 4 seasons of the present, whereas different drivers complain about lack of display screen time on the game’s most useful promotional device. (In addition they complain, Ricciardo hints, a few lack of compensation.) There was no technique on his half, Ricciardo says: “I used to be simply being me, and letting them in a bit. I believe that inspired [Netflix] to run with it.”

This recognition in America may also be a cause for the addition. With F1 set to carry three races in america subsequent season — probably the most ever throughout an F1 season — the game continues to develop within the States. Tapping into Ricciardo’s recognition appears a shrewd transfer for each Pink Bull, and the driving force himself.

And who is aware of what the long run holds? Different drivers have discovered their approach again to the grid after a while away, together with most not too long ago Nico Hülkenberg, who will return to a full-time rule subsequent season with Haas after serving as a reserve driver the previous few years. One thing tells me it won’t be lengthy till Ricciardo has a full-time seat of his personal once more.

Till then, anticipate to see plenty of him across the F1 world.

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