Ricciardo raced for Red Bull between 2014 and 2018 before leaving the team to join Renault. After two unsuccessful years at the French manufacturer, Ricciardo was on the move again, this time to McLaren. 

But the Australian was left without a drive for F1 2023 after having his McLaren contract terminated a year early following his underwhelming performances alongside Lando Norris over the past two seasons. He has been replaced by compatriot and 2021 F2 champion Oscar Piastri

F1 2023 driver line-up - who will underachieve?

The 33-year-old will return to Red Bull as a third driver next year and is targeting a full-time return to the F1 grid in 2024. 

Horner feels Ricciardo’s decision to leave Red Bull in the first place was a mistake.

“Daniel joined us as a teenager and he grew up with the team here,” Horner told the Mirror

“He had some great success here with us, and then he went and did something stupid and went to drive for a couple of other teams and it never quite worked out.”

Horner reckons Red Bull will provide Ricciardo with the environment to “rediscover his enjoyment of being a Formula 1 driver” following his tough stint at McLaren.

“But Daniel is such a great personality and big character,” Horner added. “We felt it was right to bring him back into the team – and of course promotionally, he's got the biggest smile in Formula 1. 

“For him, he will be able to get back to having fun and rediscover his enjoyment of being a Formula 1 driver, rather than the stress he has had over the last couple of years.”