Danny Ric finally gets back behind the wheel of a Red Bull. Much smiling follows.
After months of waiting, we finally get to see Daniel Ricciardo back in the seat of a Red Bull Formula 1 car. Unfortunately, it's not the RB19 used by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, but rather the RB7, which Danny Ric pretends to have stashed away at his homestead in Oz.
Before the F1 elders and gatekeepers start sending hate mail, we'd like to acknowledge a few things. Ricciardo never drove RB7 competitively. RB7 was used in the 2011 season, driven by Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. It secured Vettel's second world championship, and he named his preferred chassis Kinky Kylie.
The next race of the season takes place in Australia this week, which means it's time to create some hype, and who better to do it than Australia's (and the rest of the world's) favorite smiley F1 driver?
The video also features Hannah Schmitz, principal strategy engineer at Red Bull Racing and possibly the most brilliant strategist on the grid. Danny and Hannah are giving the car a shakedown to prepare for the upcoming Aussie Grand Prix, even though RB7 is equipped with a 2.4-liter V8 and a KERS system and has almost nothing in common with cars competing in the hybrid era.
Still, we choose not to be cynical about these things. It's essentially a love letter to Australia and features several of the country's most famous sports stars.
It also answers the question some of us have wondered about for ages. What would an F1 car be like on a gravel road? Quite good, actually. After a quick pit stop, Ricciardo switches to a set of slick hard compound tires and races a Red Bull stunt plane to Wollongong.
Red Bull's off-road racing truck also makes an appearance, but it doesn't have the speed to keep up with that gorgeous-sounding, 750-horsepower, 18,000-rpm V8.
Our favorite bit is RB7 going head-to-head with a V8 Supercar with a Chevrolet Camaro body on top. Ricciardo toys around with the car around Bathurst for a bit, but all he needs to do is flex that right foot a bit, and the Camaro is left in his dust. The speed difference is staggering. Ricciardo leaves us with 780 miles left before Melbourne, so Red Bull might have one more promo left before the race this Sunday.
While the spot is a bit corny, it's much better than Haas putting stereotypical outback hats on its drivers. It also shows the considerable marketing budget gap between a small team and a colossus like Red Bull. Let's hope this ad doesn't put them over the budget cap. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.
Why no Verstappen or Checo? Well, Verstappen sucks at promos, to put it mildly. Honda used him to promote the Honda e, and the resulting photographs made it seem like the poor little electric car insulted his mom. We'll include that image below for you to look over.
And why else do you think Daniel Ricciardo joined Red Bull? He is officially named the third driver but not a reserve driver. Red Bull and AlphaTauri's reserve drivers for the 2023 season are Liam Lawson, Zane Maloney, and Dennis Hauger.
Daniel Ricciardo is at Red Bull because everyone loves him, and RB desperately needs some love. The two main drivers are also seemingly at odds, with Sergio Perez wanting the title more than ever. Verstappen is not known for slowing down for anyone.
That means Daniel Ricciardo gets paid to do all the fun stuff, and even though he hasn't raced this year, he's still level on points with his former team's total in 2023.
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