Daniel Ricciardo revealed he is keen to have a go in Red Bull’s 2023 car the RB19 to stay race fit, but he will do most of his driving in the simulator for now.
The Australian Formula 1 driver joined Red Bull as a third and reserve driver after losing his seat at McLaren at the end of the 2022 F1 season.
He was in attendance at the team’s 2023 launch event on New York, where their 2023 challenger, the RB19, was revealed along with the announcement that Red Bull and Ford will be partnering in 2026 on the power unit front.
Speaking to the media after the launch, Ricciardo revealed his wish to drive the RB19, while revealing how will be working for the team over the course of the coming campaign, while insisting he is happy with where he is now.
“I am definitely keen to have a crack [in the car], just to stay race fit, so the body doesn’t go into complete shock when it hits 5Gs, but also, if there was a test tomorrow, I’m still good,” Ricciardo said.
“[But I’m] still happy to have some time off,” he added. “As the year progresses then I’m sure I’ll put my hands up. But [I’m] not foaming at the mouth, [I’m] still happy to ease [into] 2023.
“Being here at the launch does excite me and it is kind of a cool feeling but I’m also really happy to be taking the year I am taking. At least currently where I am sat, it does feel right,” the Aussie maintained.
Tyre testing and simulator work for now
As for his 2023 driving duties, Ricciardo said: “From a driving point of view, simulator will be the main thing that I do [this year].
“There are some events, so I’ll do some show runs throughout the year. [It’s] not confirmed, so I’m not sure if it will happen but I know there are some tyre tests.
“I will say that if I am to drive this year’s car, [tyre tests are] probably more likely than FP1s. So, potentially some tyre tests, there are maybe a couple in the middle of the year. That’s something that could be there but mainly the sim work is the driving stuff for now,” the former McLaren driver explained.
The winner of eight grands prix admitted that once the season starts, and as he will be missing some races, he will start to feel that he missed racing.
“I think I’ll be watching the first race from likely a television,” he said, “so I think that will start to warm up a few feelings – and then I’ll be in Melbourne.
“That will be the first race I attend. Just being around the whole atmosphere, the noise, the sound, the smell, all of it, that will probably do what it does.
“And whether I’m like stoked and excited and wanting to get back, or whether I’m just happy to be a fan for a bit longer, we will see. But, I think Melbourne will probably tell me quite a lot,” Ricciardo concluded.