A Red Bull season launch for the 2023 F1 season lurched from disaster to another in New York overnight, culminating with Aussie star Daniel Ricciardo being called Daniel ‘Retardo’ on live television.
The launch of Red Bull’s 2023 car in the US has been widely panned by fans for presenting very little in the way of new information and car livery that looks almost identical to the 2022 cars.
Ricciardo was able to laugh off the gaffe, but fans were truly shocked that the host could get his name so savagely wrong
However it was the moment when co-host Giselle Zarur mis-pronounced new signing Daniel Ricciardo on a live broadcast on Sky Sports that the event really sunk to new lows.
‘Welcome one of the friendliest drivers in the F1 grid, Daniel Retardo, to Oracle Reb Bull Racing,’ she said as the Aussie driver stood there awkwardly.
‘Couldn’t believe this when I heard it live,’ one shocked fan posted on Twitter.
Another added: ‘I can’t believe he didn’t even flinch.’
‘What the hell is this presenter doing or saying?’ asked another.
‘Bro no way she said Daniel Retardo the slander names are getting outta hand,’ replied another confused fan.
Ricciardo and Verstappen added some humour to the event by arriving on mini go-karts that they drove into the venue in New York
The Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 is unveiled during the Oracle Red Bull Racing Season Launch 2023, looking very much the same as the car used in 2022
The event started positively, with hilarious footage of Verstappen and Ricciardo arriving at the venue on comically small mini go-karts.
However fans were far from impressed as the event lingered on before a very underwhelming car reveal.
‘Red Bull Racing F1 team, did you forget to pack the car for the presentation? Stop stalling,’ demanded one fan.
‘We just sat here for an hour and it looks exactly the same,’ laughed another.
Race fans hoping to catch Ricciardo back behind the wheel of the Red Bull where it all started should probably temper their expectations, though.
With Dutch champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez firmly entrenched in the top-two drivers positions, Ricciardo will have to wait for an opportunity.
However he re-iterated his need for a mental gap year and said fans were unlikely to see him driving much in 2023.
‘Right now, I’m not really looking at doing anything seriously or competitively,’ Ricciardo said. ‘I kind of also just want that mental time off,’ he said.
‘It’s a chance for me just to take a bit more of a light-hearted approach on things and ease off. So I think if I went into something that was going to put a lot of pressure on me.
Verstappen, Ricciardo and Perez attend the Red Bull Racing unveiling of the team’s new Formula One car during a launch event in New York City
‘I don’t know, I’m not sure I would actually enjoy it or I don’t know if that’s really what 2023 is asking for, from me. So for now, not really, I guess is probably the long-winded answer.’
Red Bull have forged a partnership with with American manufacturer Ford, who will work with the team’s Powertrains division to develop a turbo-hybrid power unit for the recently-agreed 2026 engine regulations.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has high expectations for the team in 2023 with a new car and new partnership with Ford
Team Principal Christian Horner said he expected big things in 2023 from a strong team spearheaded by Max Verstappen.
‘It’s going to be an incredible season. Our rivals, for sure, haven’t stood still. We’re expecting Ferrari to be competitive, Mercedes are going to be there, [and] there’s some other teams that could well make some big progress as well.
‘This time of year, it’s all a big unknown, and it’s a question of focusing on ourselves, doing the best we can. Then in Bahrain, in a couple of weeks’ time, we’ll get to see everybody’s car and we’ll realise, ‘Have we missed something? Have we not?’
‘Then we set off on this 23-race journey between March and November. There’s going to be highs and lows along the way, I’m sure, but I think we’re in a good place and looking to carry on that momentum from last year.’