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Daniel Ricciardo

Formula 1 driver

Daniel Ricciardo
Credit: Getty
Vital statistics for Daniel Ricciardo
NationalityAUS
BirthplacePerth, Australia
Born1 July 1989
Age27
F1 debutBritish Grand Prix, 2011
Driver number3
Current teamRed Bull Racing
Recent fastest laps
2016Mexican Grand Prix
Singapore Grand Prix
German Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo started his F1 career at the now defunct HRT team, after waiting in the wings at Toro Rosso. He was finally given a drive for the Red Bull 'b' team before being promoted to the big leagues, replacing fellow Australian Mark Webber. After outperforming defending champion Sebastian Vettel and winning three races in the Mercedes domination of 2014, he remained at Red Bull whilst Vettel departed.

F1 biography

After working his way through the karting championships in Australia, Daniel Ricciardo moved up to national Formula Ford and then on to Formula BMW’s Asian category. From there, he took part in Formula Renault and Formula Three, winning the latter championship in 2009. He fought for the Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2010 but just missed out on the championship in the final round of the season.

In the same year, he was signed to Toro Rosso as a test driver, and he continued the role into 2011. Part way through the season, Ricciardo was loaned to backmarker team HRT. Initially, the notoriously happy Australian was beaming about the chance to get some racing experience under his belt, but gradually the frustrations of running at the rear of the field wore away that smile. He was relieved at the end of the year to be brought back to the Red Bull stable, and he was promoted to Toro Rosso for a full season in 2012.

Ricciardo spent two years racing for Toro Rosso, and the results were mixed. The car itself was inconsistent and left both drivers just trying to haul the best out of it they possibly could. When Mark Webber confirmed his intention to retire from Formula One towards the end of 2013, Ricciardo’s was one of the names being mentioned as a replacement. In September that year it was confirmed that he would make the step up to the Red Bull team, partnering defending champion Sebastian Vettel for the 2014 season.

It became clear early on that Vettel was struggling with the new style of car but Ricciardo took the edge and ran with it, winning three races during the season and becoming the only non-Mercedes driver to do so. He finished best of the rest by the end of the year, more than 70 points ahead of the German. Vettel opted to leave Red Bull for 2015, but Ricciardo remained, stepping up to team leader to be joined by Daniil Kvyat.

In 2015, Ricciardo picked up a couple of podium finishes but it wasn't until the latter half of 2016 that he returned to the top step with a race victory in Malaysia. By then, he was partnered with Max Verstappen, who replaced Daniil Kvyat after just a few rounds of the 2016 season. Having a more competitive driver in the other seat must have been a stress for Daniel, but he remained his chirpy self with that trademark smile, and earned himself another racing season with Red Bull in 2017.

Learn more about Daniel Ricciardo with the Pocket F1 Handbook.