Ricciardo helping Ford learn F1
By Mat Coch
Thursday 22nd June, 2023 - 12:04pm
Daniel Ricciardo is working with Ford to help reintroduce the American brand to the world of Formula 1.
It was announced in February that Ford will partner Red Bull from the 2026 F1 season, taking naming rights of the team’s power train.
The automaker is already working with Red Bull, ramping up its own programme in Detroit with a view to using the project to accelerate its learning in select areas.
As it does so, the company’s motorsport boss, Mark Rushbrook, admitted Ricciardo is playing something of a consulting role.
“Daniel Ricardo, he’s a fantastic personality, a lot a lot of energy,” Rushbrook said when asked by Speedcafe about his value to the project.
“He’s been really good for us, and helping us learn the sport or learn the sport as we return to it.
“But also interacting with our company with our management with our employees.
“We’ve had him for a day in Dearborn; the local team down there [in Australia] spent a lot of time with him for the Australian Grand Prix and we’ve spent more time with him since then.
“And will continue to do so.
“He’s a fantastic person, individual and a great resource for us.”
In Melbourne, Ricciardo helped unveil the Ford Mustang Mach-E, having previously teased an EV demonstrated with CEO Jim Farley a month prior.
That came during his trip Ford’s Detroit headquarters, where he also drive a Ford Mustang Supercar.
Ricciardo has thus far been present at the Australian, Miami, and Monaco Grands Prix in his role as third driver and is scheduled to attend the British Grand Prix too.
That is in addition to his time in the team’s simulator, a role he has found reinvigorating following two trying years at McLaren.
While working with Red Bull and Ford, the 33-year-old has signalled his desire to return to the F1 grid, revealing as much when asked by Speedcafe about his feelings towards racing in 2024 in March.
Throughout, he has maintained that he will only return if he can do so with a competitive package, with sources revealing Red Bull is his preferred home.
However, with both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez signed up until at least the end of next season, that may not be an option.
Ford meanwhile is ramping up its programme ahead of officially joining the F1 grid in 2026.