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Daniel Ricciardo outlines the condition for his return to Red Bull Racing

With the Formula 1 2022 season coming to a close following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, naturally, the question on everyone’s minds surrounds the F1 2023 season. There will be plenty of changes in the drivers’ lineup on the grid going into next season. 

Next season will feature a record 24 races across the world but ‘Honey Badger’ Daniel Ricciardo will not be a full-time driver following his axing from the McLaren F1 team.

Despite not being a full-time driver, Ricciardo will remain in close proximity to the grid and is set to agree on terms to join his former team Red Bull as the third driver. The Australian had previously spent five years as a full-time driver with Red Bull after coming through the ranks at Toro Rosso.

In his very first season with Red Bull, he finished third in the World Drivers’ Championship with his first three Formula One wins in Canada, Hungary, and Belgium.

Since leaving Red Bull in 2018, the Australian has failed to replicate the high points of his career. He joined Renault in 2019 and after spending two seasons with them, he became a part of the McLaren team along with Lando Norris. Besides his 2021 Italian Grand Prix win last year, Ricciardo had a forgettable couple of years with the British team.

It will be surprised not to see him feature as a full-time driver in Formula 1 next season but Ricciardo’s most likely move at this point will be a return to Red Bull in a lesser capacity.

“The highly likely place for me is Red Bull,” he said to Sky. “I can’t say 100 percent until things are signed off. I look forward to that. 

“If it is, I won’t be at 24 races! Otherwise, I may as well still be on the grid. I made it clear that I needed time off.”

The 33-year-old has already stressed that workload management and a lighter schedule will be the first priority for him if he does go back to Red Bull. With the F1 calendar expanding and adding more races than ever, it isn’t surprising to see him opt for this.“It has beaten me down, the past couple of years, which is why I want a little bit of time removed. 

I want to find a part of myself again and rebuild a little bit. When it doesn’t work you can easily be angry, bitter, and have negative emotions toward something you love.”

Ricciardo had finished a woeful P11 in the F1 2022 drivers’ standings after his ninth-placed finish in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.