Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull Racing not so long ago with dreams and a new lease of life. After a mixed period...
Daniel Ricciardo is another driver to make a move to a different team ahead of the 2021 season. The Aussie makes the move from Renault to McLaren where he will hope to be more successful. However, in the back end of the 2020 season, Ricciardo picked up a handful of podiums and the French team looked very competitive.
It will be a tight battle in the midfield but Ricciardo will hope that McLaren’s new Mercedes engines will power him to more podiums and race wins.
The Honey Badger
Ever since Daniel Ricciardo was young, the Aussie has lived up to his nickname 'The Honey Badger'. Sweet and soft when you look at it, but if you penetrate its territory, you better get running. From the period in Formula Renault, Ricciardo started to put himself on the radar. In 2007 only current competitor Valtteri Bottas managed to beat him in the Western European Formula Renault Championship and one year later, the Aussie appeared on the grid in Formula 3.
Ricciardo took the British Formula 3 title in 2009 and was also allowed to compete in that season's Red Bull, albeit only during a test for young drivers.
In those few days at Jerez, the Honey Badger managed to outperform all competition and would be taken on as a test and reserve driver for Toro Rosso (and Red Bull) for the 2010 season. A task the Australian would take on that year together with New Zealander Brendon Hartley, before the Kiwi would be kicked out of Red Bull's programme later that season.
Arrival in the king's class
As the only remaining test driver of Toro Rosso, Ricciardo got all the necessary moments to prove himself. Every time the Aussie got behind the wheel of the Toro Rosso in a test, he managed to set a better time than the more experienced regular racers of the team. At Red Bull's insistence, those results didn't go unrewarded: Ricciardo received an F1 seat at HRT for the 2011 season, albeit only for the few races that season had left.
Gaining experience turned out to be crucial for the Aussie, as he took his place in the Toro Rosso a year later. Helmut Marko decided to choose the young Ricciardo as a driver alongside Jean-Eric Vergne. In the opening race of that season (also Ricciardo's home race) the Honey Badger scored his first championship points. With several points finishes in his rookie year, Ricciardo managed to secure his spot with Toro Rosso for another year in Formula 1.
With Mark Webber leaving Red Bull Racing at the end of the 2013 season, it was up to Vergne and Ricciardo to show who was the best candidate to take the spot next to Sebastian Vettel. Ricciardo made the most of the opportunity and was allowed to continue, while Vergne fell into a negative spiral from that moment on.
In 2014, Ricciardo was on the top step of the podium for the first time, after a perfect drive from the Aussie in Canada. Later that season he also took the biggest trophy in Hungary and thus managed to put his teammate (and four-time world champion) Sebastian Vettel in his shadow. At the end of the season, Vettel left Red Bull for Ferrari and Red Bull-junior Daniil Kvyat came to drive alongside Ricciardo.
A driver duo that would only be seen for a short time in that form. In 2015, the RB11 not only had to be ahead of Ferrari and Mercedes, Williams also often scored better than the Austrian team. Renault's power source was blamed on the assembly line, while Daniil Kvyat, who didn't score too well, came under increasing pressure. Nevertheless, the Ricciardo-Kvyat duo remained intact for the beginning of the 2016 season, albeit only for a few races.
Challenge by Max Verstappen and departure
After four races in the 2016 season, the bullet was bitten: Daniil Kvyat was replaced by Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen and the Dutchman would compete in the RB12 in Barcelona. A race the Dutchman would win, so Daniel Ricciardo had to fight again to show his talent.
Sebastian Vettel was put aside fairly easily, just like Kvyat. Verstappen turned out to be from a different perspective and managed to get extremely close to his team mate in his first season. Only 52 points difference at the end of the season, despite missing four races.
In 2017, Ricciardo and Verstappen were on the same page, but the RB13 turned out to be the biggest source of bad luck that season. In the first half of the season, it was Verstappen who got DNF's on the assembly line behind his name, after the summer break the unlucky guy was Ricciardo. Despite all the misery, Ricciardo managed to be victorious in Baku and on top of that, he was on the podium eight times across the season. Something that came to a painful end in 2018.
Despite a good start to the season, fate struck bizarrely fast for Ricciardo. Eight times the Aussie didn't make it to the finish, only once due to a crash that could have been prevented. When Red Bull also announced during the season that it will switch to Honda engines from 2019 onwards, Ricciardo started to have doubts over his future.
Max Verstappen was the number one driver at Red Bull and Honda's engine was not yet very reliable (or powerful) at that time. At the start of the summer break, the multiple Grand Prix winner announced a very surprising decision: 'I'm switching to Renault for 2019'.
It didn't turn out to be a masterstroke. After two years at the team the Aussie is making the switch to midfield rival McLaren where he will race alongside Lanod Norris.
Latest Daniel Ricciardo news
Conclusions after Imola: Clear duel at the top and end of Bottas in sight
The second Formula 1 weekend of 2021 is over and this was immediately the second round of the battle between Lewis...
Ricciardo: 'That was certainly where I have to swallow my pride'
On a successful day for McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo struggled to match the pace of his teammate Lando Norris but...
Qualifying duels after Imola: 'Second drivers' do well in 2021
The qualifying session for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was another entertaining session. Not only was there an...
Interesting choice of McLaren: Third reserve driver appointed
McLaren has hired a third reserve driver in addition to Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries: former F1 driver Paul...
Ricciardo supports Verstappen: 'Many drivers used that part of the track'
Max Verstappen gave the spot back immediately after his overtaking action on Lewis Hamilton because he had gone...
Ricciardo 'apologises' for his sharp words
Daniel Ricciardo is one of the drivers who criticizes the endless repetition of violent images. This was the case...
Ricciardo hopes for Indycar or Bathurst: 'If he asked me, I'd say yes'
Daniel Ricciardo has been driving for McLaren since this season and apart from the fact that this is likely to...
Ricciardo looks back: "I was a bit unfortunate"
Daniel Ricciardo could be satisfied after the opening race in Bahrain. Where his team mate Lando Norris did a strong...
Norris: 'Bahrain has shown how strong Red Bull and Mercedes are'
Lando Norris had a good start during his third season with McLaren at the Bahrain International Circuit, driving...
"Renault was a mistake, which we all suspected at the time"
Daniel Ricciardo has found his place at McLaren, after his relationship with Renault came to nothing. According...
McLaren very happy with Ricciardo: "Never asked for preferential treatment"
McLaren came out of the winter break looking very strong despite an engine change. They are third in the Constructors'...
Looking back | Three times in Italy is not a charm for Verstappen in Imola
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is coming up this weekend and that means that Formula 1 travels to Imola for the...
Ricciardo tries to remain diplomatic in assessment of Hamilton's performance
Lewis Hamilton is one of the best drivers in modern F1 history and perhaps even the very best. However, he also...
Which drivers have a higher average starting position?
Lewis Hamilton has been on pole position more than 100 times now. So it is not surprising that he also has by far...
Ricciardo: 'To this day he's driving better than me'
Daniel Ricciardo is driving for the McLaren team this season. In the first race, he finished seventh. That happened...
Video | Ricciardo trains at home and visits his own brewery
In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Daniel Ricciardo visits Blue Coast Brewery in Nice, France. Ricciardo...
Ricciardo: "We have never hated each other"
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo sometimes didn't have the best relationship during their time together at...
"He dresses like a 60 year old, but otherwise he’s alright"
Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz have a special bond with each other. Whereas Ricciardo left for Renault in 2019,...
- Load more articles