There are a lot of Red Bull fans out there, and, well, a lot of former fans who have likely buried every piece of Red Bull attire in frustration after how the last two seasons of Formula 1 ended (looking at you Max Verstappen and Christian Horner). But there is one ray of sunshine in the Red Bull garage this year: Daniel Ricciardo. The Aussie F1 driver returned to the iconic energy-drink team for 2023. Unfortunately, his toothy grin will be behind the scenes as the A-team’s test driver. However, with Ricciardo back at Red Bull, it looks like the team decided to take advantage of the sports’ most friendly and charismatic driver, and put him back on camera to run an old Red Bull F1 car through the Outback in his home country of Australia.
You can’t help but smile at the opening shot of Ricciardo’s head bobbing inside the cockpit of an old RB7 car — the car Sebastien Vettel drove to a World Championship with Red Bull in 2011, the V8 screaming as Ricciardo passes a semi. Cut to Ricciardo’s wide grin front and center on a tractor as he’s on a video conference call with the team in what looks to be a mission control out of a spy film.
Ricciardo’s mission is to test the RB7 by taking it across the Australian continent. I’m not sure how this will help the team for the upcoming race weekend, since the car is completely different from today’s F1 car and well over a decade old. But we’re going to overlook this little bit of storyline to preserve the ruse.
Along Ricciardo’s Outback tour, he kicks up the dusty desert landscapes and winds along beautiful coastal roads — challenging Red Bull racers along the way, including Australian rally biker Daniel Sanders, aerobatic pilot Matt Hall, and New Zealand V8 Supercar driver Shane Van Gisbergen.
(There’s also quite the nod to Top Gun during the airplane race. We’ll allow it.)
While seeing Ricciardo return to Red Bull this year was a little disheartening for fans, this video might help folks warm up to the idea. Most F1 teams just don’t seem to know how to take advantage of Ricciardo’s goofy personality like Red Bull does, and that’s a darn shame.
Ricciardo may not be one of the 20 drivers on the grid this 2023 F1 season, but we’re glad to still have him in the paddock in some capacity. Hopefully we’ll see a few more fun stunts like this in the meantime.