Four years on, his return to Milton Keynes is something of a homecoming for the Australian.
“I felt at home,” Ricciardo said of rejoining his old team.
“[It was] very familiar but also I was like ‘oh, this team has grown in the last few years'.
“It's a beast, but certainly a familiar feeling.”
Limited seat time for Ricciardo
Ricciardo's role will see him in action for the squad both in a performance capacity and a public relations component.
“Mainly, from a like driving point of view, simulator will be the main the main thing,” he explained.
“I know, there's some events, so I'll do some show runs throughout the year and, not confirmed so I'm not sure if it will happen, but I know there are some tyre tests.
“If I am to drive this year's car, that's probably more likely than FP1s.
“So potentially some tyre tests, I think there's there's maybe a couple in the middle of the year, so that's something that could be there, but mainly the sim work is the driving stuff for now.”
Verstappen happy Ricciardo is back at Red Bull
Verstappen believes the return of his former team-mate as Third Driver will have a positive impact.
“I think his smile, his attitude has always been professional,” said Verstappen when asked by Speedcafe.com what benefits Ricciardo brings the team.
“[He's] a super nice guy to work with as well as a team-mate from my side.
“And also back in the factory for the people working in the simulator rely on his experience.
“He's raced in Formula 1 for a very long time, he's a race winner, so we're very happy to have him on board, that's for sure.”