Daniel Ricciardo feels ‘whole again’ with RB ‘no longer just a junior team’

Henry Valantine
Daniel Ricciardo launches the VCARB-01.

Daniel Ricciardo said he feels 'whole again' by returning to the Red Bull stable.

Daniel Ricciardo is revelling in the “new opportunity” to perform with RB this season, believing they are “no longer seen as just a Red Bull junior team.”

Ricciardo was drafted back into Red Bull’s sister squad midway through last season a decade after his last appearance for the Faenza outfit, having moved back to Red Bull as a reserve driver after his early departure from McLaren.

The move back to the team with which he broke through into Formula 1 has made Ricciardo feel more comfortable, and he has a chance to impress if he is to earn a seat alongside Max Verstappen once again in 2025.

Daniel Ricciardo ‘whole again’ with full season with RB on the horizon

Ricciardo had the chance to drive the VCARB-01 around Misano for the first time earlier this week, as he and team-mate Yuki Tsunoda found their feet with their new machinery.

With the team fully rebranded as Visa Cash App RB for the new season for sponsorship reasons, with new investment as a result of this title partnership, this comes alongside Red Bull bringing their other team closer to them on a technical level.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko confirmed last year that they would take all the technical parts as would be allowed under the regulations, and while those parts are extremely strictly regulated, it is hoped this will bring about a change in fortunes moving forward.

For Ricciardo, he is unsure about where the team will sit in the pecking order, but he believes RB’s new era will be a start of other constructors looking to “take us seriously” as an outfit.

“Every year you get excited for a new car,” Ricciardo said.

“I think it presents a new opportunity. I think firstly the livery, I think the car looks great and from a feeling, it was just nice to get a few laps again after the Christmas break.

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“It’s hard to know yet where we will be, of course it’s only early, but for me personally I felt really good getting behind the wheel.

“Being back with Red Bull was already something that made me feel whole again, being back with that family and for the team now this year, Visa Cash App RB, it’s another phase of this team’s career.

“It’s a time where I feel that, yes, we have some amazing partners on board who are going to help us get closer to the front of the grid, but I feel like it’s a time where we’re no longer seen as just a Red Bull junior team.

“It’s a team that’s standing on their own two feet, and I think for other teams to take us seriously, this is the chapter I feel we are about to start.”

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