Daniel Ricciardo is in the top 10 highest paid drivers for 2022, despite struggling so badly that he lost his job. Now he hopes to regain the mojo he lost in the acrimonious split between McLaren and Red Bull Homecoming
Incoming Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo has cracked the F1 top 10 rich list even in a shocking year that cost him his job and seat at McLaren for the 2023 season.
The 33-year-old Aussie earned $22.1 million all year and even managed to bag a $2.9 million bonus, despite his ongoing battle with McLaren and poor results on the track.
Daniel Ricciardo smiles in one of his last appearances with McLaren – the Aussie No. 2 driver made $22 million this year
The Perth-born driver had a tough season behind the wheel, failing to finish in the top 10 in the Drivers’ Championship.
Ricciardo had his toughest season yet as McLaren’s second driver, often finishing behind Lando Norris and struggling with his future in the sport.
The 232 driver now returns to Red Bull – where he started his career and achieved his best career results – behind Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Of the eight Grand Prix titles Ricciardo has won in his career, seven came during his first stint with Red Bull.
He hopes a spot on the bench will allow him to find balance in life, along with the hunger to once again become a top driver at Red Bull and has admitted he has doubts about his abilities at McLaren.
Ricciardo celebrating a No. 1 podium finish with a shoey after the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix
Ricciardo clutches his fist after a strong No. 1 finish at Monaco Grand Prix – he was smothered in success at Red Bull
“McLaren, in a way I have to accept that it was what it was, and maybe I’ll never know [why it didn’t work],” said Ricciardo Speed cafe.
“That’s why I’m looking forward to returning to Red Bull, a place where I clearly competed well with Max, so I can show my strengths.”
“I’m really just curious to see how I get back into something I’ve obviously had great success at.”
Ricciardo’s salary of 14.7 million received a huge boost after winning the Italian Grand Prix in 2021, enriching him more than $8 million a year.
Ricciardo sprays champagne as he celebrates on the podium at the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix
He is seventh in the top 10 coin list, with champion teammate Max Verstappen leading.
Mercedes poster boy Lewis Hamilton continues his high-flying run of checks, having made $81.2 million without bonuses.
Although he will not be on the grid in 2023, Ricciardo will work in Redbull’s simulator and alongside the team engineers to get Redbull’s F1s through the ring.
His reserve signing will allow him to see family and friends due to a lighter travel burden, something he is looking forward to after a Covid isolated period.