Red Bull has 'the strongest line-up on the grid' with Daniel Ricciardo's return, claims team boss Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner stated that with the addition of eight-time Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo to their team, they have the strongest lineup on the grid. The Australian has joined the team as a reserve and simulator driver for the 2023 season.
Ricciardo had previously raced with the Austrian team from 2014 to 2018, before moving to Renault and McLaren for two seasons. Horner mentioned that the Australian will lend his expertise to the team and drivers throughout the season. According to the Express, he said:
“He went on his journey via the other teams. But to bring him back and to have these three such quality drivers, it really does feel like we have the strongest line-up on the grid. Daniel’s going to play a key role behind the scenes as well. Commercially as we try to get a bigger footprint in the US.”
While explaining his role with the team, Horner mentioned that Ricciardo will do some test runs with Red Bull in 2023, adding:
“Obviously with tyre testing he will get a bit of running in the car and be looking to support the two race drivers with the experience that he has. So it's great for us to have that in-house in the team.”
“On race weekends I’ll listen in and have access to all the communications" - Daniel Ricciardo on his Red Bull reserve driver duties
Daniel Ricciardo revealed that he will join the team on some race weekends, interacting with Red Bull engineers and helping them whenever possible. He said:
"On race weekends I’ll listen in and have access to all the communications and staying close with all the engineers and being on channels with them. Just trying to figure out what trends we are starting to see because even if they are winning every race, no car is perfect."
The Australian mentioned that if he finds something new that might help Red Bull on the track, he will do his best to give in some positive feedback to the team after testing it out on the simulators at Red Bull HQ.
"You are always trying to chase something so try and kind of understand the direction they want the car to go in and develop. If I have an idea or something maybe I have learned in the last few years racing with other teams perhaps. I’ll try and lend some guidance or advice or something for me to test in the simulator and try to give feedback if it's positive."
Only time will tell if Daniel Ricciardo's move to Milton Keynes yields benefits for both the driver and the team.