One of the biggest talking points in F1 right now is Daniel Ricciardo’s surprise return. After parting ways with McLaren last year, the Australian driver entered the 2023 season as a Red Bull reserve driver.
In a surprise shake-up, he secured a drive for AlphaTauri, replacing Nyck de Vries mid-season. Welcome to the unforgiving world of Formula 1.
With Ricciardo back in the driver’s seat, fans are wondering if he will return to F1 23. Well, wonder no more, because we now have official confirmation from Codemasters that the Honey Badger will soon be back in F1 23!
Daniel Ricciardo will return in F1 23
In our interview with Codemasters, we caught up with Creative Director Lee Mather to find out more about the future of F1 23.
One topic that came up was whether we will see Daniel Ricciardo added to F1 23’s My Team and Career modes. It's good news: Codemasters confirmed players will get to drive as Daniel Ricciardo for AlphaTauri in a future update.
“We have every intention to bring Daniel Ricciardo back into the game,” Mather told RacingGames.
“We’re going through the process of getting the reference together and building the assets. We’ll be bringing Daniel back into the series as soon as we can at the earliest convenience.”
Exactly when he will be back in F1 23 is still to be confirmed. Racing for AlphaTauri, Ricciardo will make his comeback at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
As his return was only announced recently, Codemasters needs to create his race suit and car livery for F1 23. Mather assures this will happen “as soon as we possibly can.”
It’s not clear yet when it will happen, but we're happy knowing that Ricciardo will be back on the grid in the F1 series soon. Considering the game is supposed to accurately represent the 2023 F1 season, it makes sense for him to return. We can't wait to race as the Honey Badger once again.
It also remains to be seen if you'll still be able to race as Nyck de Vries for AlphaTauri. This seems unlikely given that F1 23 represents the 2023 season - at least not in Career mode.
Codemasters on the challenges of F1 updates
The fast-paced nature of Formula 1 means that special liveries are introduced, drivers are swapped, and cars get performance updates to stay competitive at short notice. Codemasters works closely with the F1 teams to keep the F1 games up to date throughout the season.
“We have great relations with the teams,” said Mather. “A lot of the teams come to us and say ‘at this race we’re planning a specific livery relating to this moment in our history. Would you like to include it in the game?’”
“We work with them so we both get really good exposure from it. In the past, we brought the 2023 Alfa Romeo early in F1 22 for example, so they revealed the car in the game. That relationship with the team means we do get access to a lot of these liveries early enough to deliver them around the same time they’re revealed to the public.”
This isn’t always the case, however. “Sometimes they’re super top secret even amongst the teams," said Mather.
"There’s been some in the past when the teams have kept them under wraps from their own staff and a limited number of people have seen them because they’re tied to something significant they wanted to keep super-secret. But most of the time, we get a nice early heads up.”
It’s not just the liveries that can change at the last minute. Teams also implement performance updates to stay competitive. “That’s something we plan from the beginning,” Mather explains.
“We generally have a plan of when we’re going to do performance updates, so we have a good understanding of how the season looks and which teams are performing in which way.
“But we also have a plan B, particularly this year and last year. If things are so vastly out because one team is suddenly overperforming from previous years, we can look at making changes a little sooner."
"But they obviously need to be more limited because of the time available to us. We look to always make the vehicle changes updated so they stay relevant and in line with what’s happening in the real season.”
For more articles like this, take a look at our F1 page.