Daniel Ricciardo seems to have a good feeling about Renault. The Australian was already very strong in Mugello...
Where in previous seasons Daniel Ricciardo could always be seen with a big smile on the paddock, in 2019 we saw a different Ricciardo than before. The move to Renault may not have been quite surprising to the Formula 1 world, and if Renault do not make rapid progress in 2020, the Australian may look elsehwere for a 2021 drive.
|Team||Renault F1 team|
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 program 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 gets 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: Ricciard 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. After having weighed up the option for a long time, Helmut Marko decided to choose the young Ricciardo as a rider 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 point 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 cup 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 through: Daniil Kvyat was replaced by Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen and the Dutchman would already 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 are 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 on Ricciardo's shoulder. 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. At least, not yet, from what we saw in 2019. Renault still started reasonably positive as 'Best of the Rest', but soon the big talk of Renault turned out not to be true. McLaren outperformed the French team in 2019, and early indications would sugggest that Ricciardo seemed to have chosen the wrong team.
A fourth place on the power circuit of Monza was a temporary heal for the bleeding, because just finishing fifth in the constructors’ cannot be considered a great performance.
Daniel Ricciardo in 2020
In 2020, the next step must be taken for Renault, when Ricciardo will be in his second and final year of contract. However, Cyril Abiteboul announced bad news for Ricciardo: all attention will be focused on 2021. Progress in 2020 will not be a necessity, so Ricciardo will not be expecting a great season.
First of all, he will have to shake off young Esteban Ocon to show once again how good he is, but he will also look further. Are there other options for 2021 or is Ricciardo linked to the fate of Renault?
Latest Daniel Ricciardo news
Verstappen leaves Perez stunned after Q3
Sergio Perez qualified for the Russian Grand Prix in fourth place. He beat the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo. For...
Provisional starting line-up Russia: First row not ideal for Verstappen
Due to a possible penalty hanging over Lewis Hamilton's head, it was as yet unclear who would ultimately be allowed...
Video: Ricciardo straightens mirror at 300 km/h
Daniel Ricciardo must have a great deal of confidence in his car. The Renault driver straightens his mirror during...
Verstappen about Red Bull: "That car is just very sensitive"
Mercedes dominated again during the free practice sessions on Friday. Bottas was in FP1 and in FP2 in Russia. Max...
Results FP2 are distorted: "Verstappen should have been higher up"
Max Verstappen only finished seventh in the second free practice session for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday....
FP2 results - Mercedes on top once again...
The second free practice session for the Russian Grand Prix is over and although the results don't say it all,...
Ricciardo: 'I kept my word'
Daniel Ricciardo, who is going to leave Renault for McLaren at the end of this season, has admitted he is doing...
Full result FP1: Bottas the fastest, Verstappen in third place
Valtteri Bottas was fastest during the first free practice in Russia. It was a session with a lot of spins and...
BREAKING: Bottas tops FP1 again in Sochi!
Valtteri Bottas set the pace in a disrupted FP1 session in Sochi, as both Carlos Sainz and Nicholas Latifi were...
Colleagues have faith in Vettel: "People quickly forget who you are"
For a long time it was rumoured that Sebastian Vettel would retire after he was put aside by Ferrari. Last week,...
Ricciardo enjoys the midfield: "That challenge is exciting"
Daniel Ricciardo has good times with his team Renault. The Australian is chasing a podium place and came very close...
Albon looks back: "Process is more important than the result"
Alexander Albon had a good weekend in Mugello, where he finally managed to get his first podium. In Russia, Albon...
Abiteboul looks forward to 2021: ''Then we'll have no more excuses''
At Renault, Daniel Ricciardo took control of reins firmly and steers the team towards the top of midfield. Esteban...
Norris is the most impressive driver of 2020 according to F1 fans
Lando Norris takes his first victory this year, although it is not a Grand Prix. Formula 1 recently asked its fans...
Ricciardo leaving caused frustration for Abiteboul
Even before the start of the season, there was already a big shake-up of the 2021 grid. Part of this was the departure...
Ricciardo unhappy despite positive surprise: ''This hurts''
Daniel Ricciardo took a surprising P4 at the Tuscan Grand Prix. The Australian himself was also surprised...
Vettel does not choose Ricciardo: "Even though he was a strong opponent"
Sebastian Vettel competed in Formula 1 against teammates Vitantonio Liuzzi, Sebastien Bourdais, Mark Webber, Daniel...
Ocon expects "biggest fight in years"
This season no less than two Formula 1 races will be held in Bahrain. The second Grand Prix, officially the Sakhir...
- Load more articles