How has Daniel Ricciardo compared to teammates in his F1 career?

09-01-2020 16:17 | Updated: 09-01-2020 17:11
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
F1 News
How has Daniel Ricciardo compared to teammates in his F1 career?

Since making his debut at the 2011 British Grand Prix for HRT, Daniel Ricciardo has had eight full seasons in Formula 1 since with five different teammates, with Esteban Ocon becoming the sixth in 2020 at Renault. How has Ricciardo compared to all these teammates? We break it down!

*Check out all of Ricciardo's stats in the Instagram post below!*

Toro Rosso and JEV

After that sudden debut at the British Grand Prix in 2011, Ricciardo got a permanent seat at Toro Rosso for the 2012 season next to Jean-Eric Vergne. The Frenchman was a rookie and seemed well-matched to Ricciardo, and even finished ahead of the Aussie in the standings by the end of the year despite finishing in the points less often. Still, JEV seemed overly aggressive at times and even reckless in his overtaking moves. 

2013 was when Ricciardo confirmed he was the better of the two youngsters. Consistent rather than up-and-down like Vergne, Ricciardo was rightly tipped for promotion to Red Bull Racing, where Mark Webber announced his retirement from the sport at the end of the season.

Winner: Ricciardo

Upsetting Seb

Ricciardo was brought in at Red Bull as a new era in F1 began, the turbo-hybrid era. Settling into the garage next to Sebastian Vettel, the four-time reigning champion at the time, Ricciardo was meant to play second fiddle to the German, as Webber had (reluctantly) done before him.

Instead, the Aussie became the team's best driver, to everyone's surprise. Vettel, who won 13 races the year before, didn't take a single victory in 2014 while Ricciardo took three, some of which in spectacular fashion. He won over the fans and pundits alike with his overtaking prowess combined with his quirky personality. Vettel, the man with all the pressure on his shoulders, grew very frustrated with Ricciardo and his overall situation, and made the switch to Ferrari for the 2015 season.

Winner: Ricciardo

Double Danny

Young Russian talent Daniil Kvyat was brought in to replace Vettel at Red Bull. Yet to be nicknamed Torpedo, Kvyat had just one year of F1 experience at Toro Rosso and looked a raw prospect in the RB11, although the Bulls' challenger was nowhere near good enough to challenge for wins or titles that year.

Kvyat did finish slightly ahead of Ricciardo in the standings but the Aussie out-qualified him 14 out of 19 times.

In 2016, Kvyat was discarded after just four Grands Prix.

Winner: Ricciardo

Fighting Max for the top spot

When Max Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016, it didn't take long for the world to realise the Dutchman was a special talent. He famously won his first race in a Red Bull and became the youngest Grand Prix winner ever. For the first time, the spotlight wasn't on Ricciardo at his team.

As well as they got on off the track, Ricciardo and Verstappen were incredibly well-matched in 2016. The year after, Verstappen's first full year at Red Bull and a year filled with hype and expectation, the teenager had a very inconsistent year. Tortured by mechanical problems, he grew frustrated and was scolded in the media for his overly aggressive style of driving. While he ended the year very well, Ricciardo was clearly the more mature and more consistent driver with nine podiums compared to Max's four.

This trend continued in 2018, where Ricciardo won two of the first six races and looked a proper contender for the title while Verstappen struggled to complete a weekend cleanly. 

After Monaco, where Verstappen famously binned his RB14 in FP3, a switch flipped in the Dutchman's head. Verstappen became incredibly consistent and blatantly out-drove Ricciardo for the rest of the season. Max stood on the podium 10 times while Ricciardo didn't get any besides his two wins, Verstappen scored 79 more points in the championship and horribly out-qualified Ricciardo as well. The Aussie somewhat shockingly announced his departure from Red Bull during the summer of 2018.

Winner: Verstappen

Life at Renault

As you can see in the stats in our Instagram post below, Ricciardo had the better season at Renault compared to teammate Nico Hulkenberg. However, it wasn't the best year for Ricciardo, who despite some stellar performances in Canada and Italy was largely invisible for the year. This mainly came because Renault failed to provide the 30-year-old with a package that allowed him to fight McLaren.

He comfortably beat Hulk in 2019 but the German didn't have his best year either, so not a lot can be derived from that. With Ocon, a hungry young driver, coming in this year, it will be exciting to see whether the Frenchman can get the best out of Ricciardo again.

Winner: Ricciardo

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