Red Bull chief Helmut Marko confirms Daniel Ricciardo decision

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April

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Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has confirmed Daniel Ricciardo will become the team’s third driver next season. Marko made the admission while speaking to Sky Germany after the first free practice session at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

He said: “Ricciardo will be our third driver. We have so many sponsors, we have to do show runs and the like, so of course he’s one of the most high-profile and best-suited.”

It means the Australian will return to the team where he previously scored seven race wins before leaving after the 2018 season. It also means he will rejoin Max Verstappen who was his team-mate for 2016 and 2017.

Ricciardo had been tipped to sign as a reserve driver for either Red Bull or Mercedes since he accepted a full-time race seat was not likely for 2023.

Marko also confirmed F2 star Liam Lawson would be the reserve driver across both Red Bull and AlphaTauri next year. The 20-year-old got behind the wheel of Max Verstappen’s car in FP1 setting  time just two-tenths slower than Sergio Perez.

Marko added: “Lawson was unfortunately not as successful in Formula 2 as we had hoped, but he has already had a very good run in the AlphaTauri. He’s got potential. He’s going to drive Super Formula in Japan next year and be a reserve driver for Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri. So it’s up to him to make the step up there.”

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