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How Purple Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo plans to spend the 2023 F1 season

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How Purple Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo plans to spend ’23Arturo Holmes – Getty Pictures

  • After almost 12 years on the System 1 grid, Daniel Ricciardo finds himself in a reserve function for 2023.

  • Whereas Ricciardo’s recruitment by Purple Bull after his launch from McLaren was facilitated by his marketability, he’s nonetheless set to play a task in Purple Bull’s makes an attempt to retain each titles.

  • Ricciardo will assume duties in Purple Bull’s simulator and is more likely to briefly pattern the RB19 race automotive throughout in-season tire testing.

For the primary time since he began climbing the ladder towards System 1, Daniel Ricciardo is coming into a brand new 12 months with out a spot on the F1 beginning grid.

After almost 12 full seasons on the System 1 grid, Ricciardo was left with out a seat after he and McLaren mutually agreed to terminate a three-year contract one season early.

That got here amid a collection of underwhelming shows, working within the shadow of rising star Lando Norris, whereas Ricciardo was subsequently reluctant to chase one other seat at a midfield or backmarker outfit as his choices dwindled.

“I am trying ahead to not competing at that stage for 12 months,” Ricciardo mentioned in New York on Friday on the launch of Purple Bull’s livery.

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Max Verstappen, left, and Daniel Ricciardo converse on the launch of the Purple Bull RB19 in New York.ED JONES – Getty Pictures

As a substitute, Ricciardo signed a third-driver cope with Purple Bull, the crew which backed his junior profession, and with which he raced from 2014 via 2018, scoring seven of his eight profession F1 wins.

The deal means Ricciardo isn’t a de facto reserve driver—with teenager Liam Lawson formally within the function—however as a substitute Purple Bull will make the most of Ricciardo’s infectious buoyant character for advertising and marketing and ambassadorial alternatives. It’s a signal of Ricciardo’s recognition, notably in the US, that he can nonetheless command a spot on the Late Presentregardless of not being certainly one of System 1’s 20 full-time racers.

Ricciardo returned to his native Australia for winter—“spending it with household, using bikes, doing stuff I would usually do however not be capable to take pleasure in it on the stage I did this 12 months”—earlier than touring to the US, the place he’ll stay to attend subsequent Sunday’s Tremendous Bowl.

“The older you get the extra you type of want that in your life,” he mentioned. “It was good to be house and have high quality time with household and pals. I did not suppose an excessive amount of about racing or the season, I loved it. Yearly at house I am at all times serious about coaching or I am occupied with one thing and it was good to be utterly off. I owed that to them, owed some actual one-on-one time to folks I like.”

Whereas Ricciardo’s recruitment was facilitated by his marketability, he’s nonetheless set to play a task in Purple Bull’s makes an attempt to retain each titles. Ricciardo will undertake duties in Purple Bull’s simulator, offering suggestions based mostly off his expertise, and is more likely to briefly pattern the RB19 throughout in-season tire testing.

“On race weekends I am going to pay attention in [to meetings], and if I am not on the circuit I am going to have entry to the data, being on the channels with the engineers, and work out what tendencies we could be seeing,” he mentioned. “Even when they’re profitable each race no automotive is ideal. You are at all times attempting to chase one thing, in order to know the event, and perhaps if I’ve an thought from the previous couple of years I can lend some steering and recommendation, or check one thing within the simulator and provides suggestions.”

Ricciardo’s return to Purple Bull brings a reunion with Max Verstappen, now System 1’s two-time defending World Champion, and Ricciardo’s teammate from 2016-18.

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Max Verstappen, left, and Daniel Ricciardo had been teammates at Purple Bull from 2016-18.FAIRCLOUGH MAL – Getty Pictures

“He is at all times been knowledgeable and a brilliant good man to work with,” mentioned Verstappen. “Again on the manufacturing facility the folks on the simulator can depend on his expertise; he is raced in F1 for a really very long time—he is a race winner—so we’re very comfortable to have him on board, that is for positive.”

Verstappen’s present teammate, Sergio Perez, concurred, believing Ricciardo “shall be a large assist” via the season as “he’ll perceive what we’re speaking about once we’re speaking concerning the automotive.”

Ricciardo’s signing, even in a diminished capability, understandably raises theories of whether or not it locations an additional stress on Perez.

“No, whenever you’re at Purple Bull, it’s a must to carry out at your finest,” Perez mentioned in response. “It would not matter if Daniel is right here or not.”

Perez continues to be contracted via 2024, whereas Ricciardo – who has downplayed the prospect of a visitor look in one other championship – isn’t (but) actively pursuing a seat.

“I am nonetheless, for example, taking a day-by-day strategy,” he mentioned. “I am attempting to not put an excessive amount of stress on it that, like, by March 1st I really want to know the way I really feel. I simply wish to let it occur naturally. Being on the launch, it does excite me, and it is a cool feeling—however I am additionally actually comfortable to be taking the 12 months I am taking. It does really feel proper.

“I type of need that psychological break day. Competitors is superior, I actually do adore it, nevertheless it’s rather a lot as nicely.

“If I used to be to step into one thing else [in 2023] there’d be a stage of expectation, so I would wish to guarantee that I may simply have enjoyable with it, as that is what this 12 months actually is – an opportunity to take a extra of a light-hearted strategy on issues, and ease off. If I did go into one thing that put a number of stress on me I do not know if I would take pleasure in it – I do not suppose that is what 2023 is asking of me.”

Ricciardo confused that if he does resolve upon a racing return then System 1 continues to be the precedence, however outlines “If I’m going via this 12 months and I am like ‘ what, I do not wish to race in F1 any extra, I did my time’, no matter, then perhaps I am going to see if there’s one thing else that pursuits me, however [in terms of] the pure competitors I am trying ahead to simply having this 12 months off.”

Ricciardo is not going to attend the primary pair of grands prix in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia “so perhaps [watching on TV] will heat up just a few emotions” however shall be on the bottom on house soil, in Australia, in early April. That, he reckons, may affect his long term outlook.

“Being round the entire environment, the noise, sound, odor… that may in all probability do what it does,” Ricciardo contemplated. “And whether or not I am like, yeah, stoked and excited and desirous to get again or comfortable being a fan for a bit longer, we’ll see. I believe Melbourne will inform me rather a lot.”

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