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Daniel Ricciardo
3
Australia

Daniel Ricciardo

Date of birth
1989-07-01
Age
35
Nationality
Australia
Country
Australia
Date of birth
1989-07-01

Daniel Ricciardo Biography

Daniel Ricciardo is one of the most popular drivers on the Formula 1 grid, with wide grin and shoey podium celebrations adding character to a sometimes-sterile series.

The Australian has scored eight wins in his F1 career to date, with seven secured at Red Bull and his most recent success with McLaren.

Ricciardo moved to Europe full-time to begin his junior single-seater career in 2007 and made his first breakthrough a year later by winning the Formula Renault 2.0 WEC series and also finishing runner-up in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship to Valtteri Bottas.

The Perth driver also joined the Red Bull Junior Team from 2008, which proved instrumental in supporting him through the ranks, with further success in 2009 as British F3 champion, and then narrowly missing out on the 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 Series title by two points to Mikhail Aleshin.

But that title miss did little to stall his ascent, as Ricciardo joined the F1 grid midway through 2011 with HRT/Hispania and was quickly moved on to the Red Bull junior team, Toro Rosso.

Another promotion arrived in 2014 as he partnered Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull. It was during a five-year spell with Red Bull that Ricciardo enjoyed his most successful period in the sport, taking his breakthrough victory at the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix and even briefly topping the drivers’ standings in his final campaign with the Milton Keynes-based team.

Successive two-year stints at Renault and McLaren yielded little to cheer about, save for victory with the latter at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. As a result, McLaren and Ricciardo ‘mutually agreed’ to end his contract a year early, leaving him without a drive for 2023.

But Nyck de Vries’ struggles at AlphaTauri – formerly Toro Rosso – opened the door to Ricciardo’s return and at the Hungarian Grand Prix, he was brought in from his Red Bull reserve driver role to join his former team on loan for the remainder of the year.

2023

AlphaTauri 

17th – 6 points  

Daniel Ricciardo made his return to F1 for AlphaTauri at the Hungarian Grand Prix after starting the season as Red Bull’s third driver. The Australian was put back behind the wheel after AlphaTauri released Nyck de Vries following the British Grand Prix. 

During the second practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix, Ricciardo crashed into a barrier which resulted in him breaking his hand. The Australian driver was then replaced with Liam Lawson for the next four races before he returned for the United States Grand Prix. His best finish was P7 at the Mexican Grand Prix; AlphaTauri’s best finish in 2023. 

2022

McLaren F1 Team

11th – 37 points

Ricciardo’s time at McLaren failed to improve in his second season with the team and ended with both team and driver electing to end their relationship a year early. The announcement came as part of the dramatic ‘silly season’ shuffle triggered by Vettel’s retirement, with Oscar Piastri confirmed at McLaren for the 2023 season.

Seven points finishes including a sixth in Australia were the highlight of an otherwise underwhelming campaign.

2021

McLaren F1 Team

8th – 115 points

Ricciardo suffered a difficult opening year to his two-year stay with McLaren but this was punctuated by victory at the Italian Grand Prix as he led team-mate Lando Norris home for an eighth career success – and McLaren’s first since 2012.

But this result aside, the Australian was comfortably beaten by team-mate Lando Norris. With both drivers retiring only once in the season, Norris failed to score on just one other occasion, whereas Ricciardo eight times and featured in the top 10 only twice in the closing seven races.

It can be argued that Ricciardo’s lack of pace was a factor in McLaren dropping from third to fourth in the constructors’ standings, with the team finishing 48.5 points short of Ferrari, while, in the drivers’ race, Ricciardo was 45 shy of Norris.

2020

Renault DP World F1 Team

5th – 119 points

Ricciardo’s second season with Renault saw a marked improvement in results with the Australian famously winning a ‘tattoo bet’ with then-team principal Cyril Abiteboul. The arrangement was that when Ricciardo scored his first podium for the team, Abiteboul would get inked.

This mark was achieved twice in a three-race period, with third-place finishes at the Eifel and Emilia Romagna grands prix.

But the season as a whole took place under a cloud for Ricciardo, who announced his decision to leave the team at the end of the year before a race had taken place in the Covid-delayed campaign.

Finishing outside the points only twice all year, Ricciardo ended the season with 11-straight top 10 finishes, making his departure all the more painful.

2019

Renault F1 Team

9th – 54 points

Ricciardo’s Renault career got off to a difficult start when he suffered race-ending damage after running off the track and over a gutter on the run to Turn 1 at the Australian Grand Prix. This set the tone for much of the season that was to come.

Ricciardo finished in the points only eight times over the season, with fourth place being his best finish – this coming at the Italian Grand Prix.

Despite team-mate Nico Hulkenberg registering top 10 finishes on 10 occasions, the German was unable to match the Australian’s standout results – finishing in the top six just once.

2018

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

6th – 170 points

The 2018 season began with so much promise but ultimately fell flat for Ricciardo, who announced in August that he would be leaving the team.

Ricciardo scored wins in China and Monaco and leaving the principality rose to third in the championship. But with no further podiums following in the final 15 races and six retirements, Ricciardo dropped to sixth – 79 points and two places behind team-mate Verstappen.

2017

Red Bull Racing

5th – 200 points

While 2016 was an impressive season for Ricciardo, it could be argued that, despite achieving only one race win, 2017 was the Australian’s best in F1.

Mercedes and Ferrari entered the season as the teams to beat with Lewis Hamilton and Vettel engaging in the ‘fight for five’ title battle, but Ricciardo was consistently able to finish on the podium despite this.

His return of eight podiums beyond his single victory was enough to position him ahead of Verstappen – who achieved two race wins – although his campaign to finish fourth in the standings was hindered by three retirements from the final four races. In the end, he fell five points short of Kimi Raikkonen. 

2016

Red Bull Racing

3rd – 256 points

Following his 2015 slump, Ricciardo bounced back to assume his position as the best of the rest, behind the two Mercedes drivers. But the season also saw the emergence of the driver that would ultimately force the Australian to elect to leave the team a few years later – Verstappen.

Red Bull retained its previous driver line-up for the opening four races of the year but with Verstappen shining in the Toro Rosso, he and Kvyat switched seats from the Spanish Grand Prix – a race that Verstappen went on to win. Ricciardo scored his sole victory of the season – his fourth with Red Bull – in Malaysia after Hamilton’s Mercedes power unit expired.

But there was no mistaking that Ricciardo now had his most challenging team-mate to date with the Australian winning out 8-7 in races in which both drivers finished.

2015

Infiniti Red Bull Racing

8th – 92 points

In a career that had had a clear upwards trajectory to this point, 2015 was the first step in the wrong direction for Ricciardo as Red Bull dropped behind Ferrari and Williams in the constructors’ race. With Vettel having departed to join Ferrari, Ricciardo was now the de facto team leader with Daniil Kvyat his new partner.

In a season of lows, Ricciardo scored two podiums – third in Hungary and second in Singapore – but he fell short of Kvyat by three points at the end of the year.

2014

Infiniti Red Bull Racing

3rd – 238 points

Partnering the reigning four-time world champion Vettel, Ricciardo was widely tipped to play second-fiddle during his debut season with Red Bull. But this couldn’t have been further from what transpired.

From qualifying second at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix to Hamilton’s Mercedes, it was clear that Ricciardo was willing and capable of taking the fight to his team-mate. Ricciardo also crossed the line second in the grand prix but was later disqualified after his Red Bull was found to have exceeded the strict fuel-flow limit. On that occasion, Vettel had qualified 13th and retired from the race with an engine failure.

Following a retirement in Malaysia, Ricciardo failed to score points only once more, with his worst result being eighth place in Austria.

This was a season of breakthroughs for the Australian, with his first podium – besides his Melbourne disqualification – coming with a third-place finish in Spain, a result that he immediately backed up in Monaco.

But then came the Canadian Grand Prix, which Ricciardo won as both Mercedes drivers struggled with overheating brakes. A heavy late collision between Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa ensured that there was not challenge in the closing stages, as Ricciardo confirmed his place at the top of the podium.

This success was backed up with further wins in Hungary and Belgium while team-mate Vettel endured his first winless season since 2007, his rookie campaign.

Ricciardo was the only driver to break Mercedes’ race-winning stranglehold across the season and duly finished third in the drivers’ standings – 71 points clear of Vettel but 79 behind second-placed Nico Rosberg.

2013

Scuderia Toro Rosso

14th – 20 points

At the second time of asking and with a Red Bull seat on the line following Mark Webber’s retirement from F1, Ricciardo dominated Jean-Eric Vergne. With seven points finishes – including personal-best results of seventh in China and Italy – Ricciardo outscored his team-mate by seven points.

But more impressively, and something that certainly factored into Red Bull’s thinking when lining him up as Webber’s replacement, was his qualifying pace – outperforming Vergne 30-7 across their two years together.

2012

Scuderia Toro Rosso

18th – 10 points

Red Bull saw enough from Ricciardo’s stint with Hispania/HRT to promote him into its junior Toro Rosso team in 2012 alongside fellow F1 rookie Vergne. With Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari in situ the previous year, the team had finished eighth in the constructors’ standings, but fell back to ninth with its new pairing.

Ricciardo scored his first F1 points on his debut for the team at the Australian Grand Prix, finishing ninth, but then endured a 10-race drought before scoring again in five of the last nine races – equalling his season-opening result in Belgium, Singapore and Korea.

However, despite Vergne finishing in the points less frequently, his four eighth-place results saw him better Riccardo’s points tally by six, putting him one place ahead in the end-of-year standings.

2011

Hispania Racing F1 Team/HRT Formula 1 Team

27th – 0 points

Ricciardo made his grand prix debut with Hispania at the British Grand Prix after spending the first half of the year in a test driver role with Toro Rosso.

The Australian replaced Narain Karthikeyan for the remainder of the season but was unable to register a points finish in what was comfortably the slowest car on the grid.

Measured instead against the performance of his team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi – as well as a one-off reprieve for Karthikeyan in India - Ricciardo shone as from his second appearance onwards, he was beaten only once when both cars reached the chequered flag.

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