Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, born on 1 July 1989, is an Italian-Australian racing driver currently competing in Formula One under the Australian Flag. Ricciardo is contracted to drive for McLaren in 2021. He made his debut with the HRT Team in the 2011 British Grand Prix.

Ricciardo was born in Perth to parents of Italian origin. While his father, Guiseppe “Joe” Ricciardo, was born in Italy, his mother, Grace, was Australian-born to parents from Italy. Joe Ricciardo used to race at the Barbagallo Raceway on the outskirts of Perth. Ricciardo grew up as a fan of Dale Earnhardt, the NASCAR Series driver, and adopted 3 as his racing number in Earnhart’s honour.

Ricciardo drove a Ferrari-powered car for Toro Rosso in 2012 and 2013. He was promoted to replace the retired Mark Webber at Red Bull in 2014. Here he would partner with the four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel. Driving a Renault-powered car, Ricciardo finished third in the championship rankings in his first season with Red Bull. Ricciardo won his first three Grands Prix wins during the 2012 season.

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 celebrates on the podium with a shoey
2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Sunday – Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 celebrates on the podium with a shoey (image courtesy Renault F1 Team)

Two years of drought between wins followed before Ricciardo won the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix. He finished third a second time in three years in the championship that season, confirming his place at the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix. Ricciardo has thereafter won in Azerbaijan in 2017, and China and Monaco in 2018.

Ricciardo signed with Renault for the 2019 season and drove for them through the 2020 season. He then raced for McLaren for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, partnering Lando Norris, where he had a torrid time before being let go at the end of 2022.

In 2023 Ricciardo started out as a reserve driver for Red Bull, before replacing the underperforming Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri part way through the season. The Australian’s return to the grid was strong enough to see him given the seat on a full-time basis for 2024.

Daniel Ricciardo’s Career Before Formula 1

Formula Ford and Formula BMW (2005-2006)

Ricciardo started karting as a member of the Tiger Kart Club in Perth at the age of nine. Driving a 15-year-old Van Diemen, Ricciardo competed in the Western Australian Formula Ford Championship in 2005, his first foray into car driving. He finished the championship season in eighth place. Later in the season, he went to compete in the national Formula Ford series in Melbourne.

The 13-year-old Van Diemen that Ricciardo had leased proved uncompetitive in the national competition. He finished poorly in the in two races and retired in the other three. He won a scholarship with Eurasia Motorsport to race in the 2006 Formula BMW Asia Championship. Ricciardo finished third in the championship, winning two races in Bira and a pole position in Zhuhai.

Motaworld Racing invited Ricciardo to race in the Formula UK championship that year. Ricciardo retired in the first race but took three championship points in the second, finishing 8th in his only entry. He also competed with Fortec Motorsport in the Formula BMW World Final. He finished in the fifth position, trailing the winner by only 14 seconds.

Formula Renault (2007-2008)

Ricciardo joined RP Motorsport when he switched to Formula Renault in 2007, competing in the European and Italian series. He entered in 14 races in the Italian series and finished scoring one podium in Valencia and finished the series in the 7th place. He failed to score any points in the four races he competed in the European championship.

Continuing to race in the Formula Renault class in 2008, Ricciardo competed in the European and Western European championships. That season Ricciardo won his first Formula Renault Western European Championship. He finished second behind Valtteri Bottas in the European series.

Formula Three (2008-2009)

Midseason in 2008, Ricciardo competed in the Formula 3 Euro Series with the SG Formula team. Making his debut at Nürburgring, he qualified eighth and finished the race in sixth place. During the reverse grid race, his limited experience in the car showed and he finished the race in the fifteenth spot.

For the 2009 season, Ricciardo moved in with Carlin Motorsport to compete in the British Formula 3 Championship. Meanwhile, he also competed in the World Series by Renault in Portugal where Ricciardo retired in the first race and finished 15th in the second. In Formula 3, he took a lead of 45 points before the next weekend in Portugal.

Ricciardo scored a win and third-place finish in Portugal, enough to win the championship. He became the first Australian race driver to win the British Formula 3 Championship after David Brabham in 1989. Winning both pole positions at Brands Hatch, Ricciardo won the first race and finished fourth in the second race.

Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2010)

Ricciardo had driven for Tech 1 in Portugal in 2009. In 2010, Tech 1 signed Ricciardo to represent them during the season with Brendon Hartley. Ricciardo proceeded to take both pole positions in the season opener in Spain.  He finished the races in third and second to take a lead in the championship. He finished 13th and 2nd after many front-runners were awarded penalties in the latter race.

In Monte Carlo, Ricciardo took his third pole position. He scored a win in the next race and went on to claim two more wins at Hungaroring and Hockenheim. At Silverstone, Ricciardo was involved in an incident that sent him on a barrel roll forcing him to retire. In the second race, he finished second when he was overtaken in the last lap due to braking problems. 

Ricciardo was trailing the championship leader, Mikhail Aleshin, by 13 points going into the last round in Barcelona. Ricciardo won the first race from the 8th pole position. Starting from 2nd pole position, Ricciardo managed to hold on to his position until the last lap. Aleshin overtook Ricciardo who was struggling for pace, to win the championship by just two points.

Daniel Ricciardo’s Career In Formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo had made his Formula One track debut test-driving for Red Bull Racing over three days in December 2009. He then served as a test and reserve driver for Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso. In November 2010, Ricciardo served as the lone test driver for Red Bull at the end of the-of-season young drivers’ test in Abu Dhabi.

Ricciardo was confirmed as Toro Rosso’s reserve and test driver for the 2011 season. Ricciardo continued to demonstrate his one-lap capabilities in the first few races of the season. At the end of June 2011, Red Bull announced that Ricciardo was contracted to HRT for the rest of the season.

Hispania Racing Team-HRT (2011)

Ricciardo replaced Narayan Karthikeyan at HRT except for the Indian Grand Prix, where Karthikeyan would race in front of his home fans. Ricciardo’s Grand Prix debut was at Silverstone. Just before the Indian Grand Prix, Vitantonio Luizi made way for Kartikeyan which allowed Ricciardo to race in India also.

Toro Rosso (2012-2013)

At the end of December 2011, it was confirmed that Ricciardo would partner Jean-Éric Vergne at Scuderia Toro Rosso for the 2012 season. Ricciardo took his first two World Championship points in the first Grand Prix of the season In Australia. He did so by overtaking Vergne on the last lap to cross the finish line in ninth place.

He finished 12th on a wet Malaysian track and 15th in Bahrain despite qualifying sixth. In Monaco, he started 15th on the grid but suffered his only retirement of the season. Daniel Ricciardo finished the 2012 Formula One racing season in 18th place with 10 points. In October that year, Toro Rosso had extended Ricciardo’s contract for the 2013 season.

In the 2013 season, Ricciardo had scored 7 more points than his partner, Vergne, and had led over him in pole position in more than half the races. Ricciardo finished 13th in the season and his efforts saw him promoted to the parent Red Bull team for the 2014 season.

Red Bull (2014-2018)

At Infiniti Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo had replaced fellow Australian, Mark Webber, who had retired from Formula One racing at the end of the 2013 season. He would partner with the multi- World Championship winner, Sebastian Vettel.

Daniel Ricciardo started his home Grand Prix in Australia from second place on the grid and finished second. He was later disqualified because his car had exceeded the mandated hourly fuel flow limit. Red Bull’s appeal against the decision was rejected. Ricciardo would have been the first Australian to finish on the podium since the race became a part of the World Championship.

Having failed to finish the race in Malaysia, Ricciardo made sure that he got points in Bahrain by finishing 4th after starting 13th on the grid. He became the fourth Australian to win the Canadian Grand Prix after Jack Brabham, Alan Jones and Mark Webber. He ended a run of six straight Mercedes victories in Canada.

Ricciardo won the Hungarian Grand Prix on blistered tyres by overtaking Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in the last four laps and Vettel finished 7th. Becoming the second Australian to win in Hungary after Mark Webber, Ricciardo also became the second Australian to win in Belgium after Jack Brabham in 1960.

Ricciardo had led his more experienced teammate Vettel, for more than half the 2014 season. He finished the championship season in third place confirming his position in Brazil, despite retiring from the race. Ricciardo was awarded the Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year. It was earlier announced that he will partner Daniil Kvyat for the 2015 season.

The 2015 season didn’t go down well for both Red Bull and Ricciardo. Mercedes had out-developed the Renault power unit. The Red Bull car responded well on twisty and slow circuits that needed high down force, demonstrating a sturdy chassis construction. Red Bull lost out to both Ferrari and Williams in their bid to outdo Mercedes.

Ricciardo recorded the fastest lap in Monaco and got his first of five top-five finishes by finishing fifth in the race. He had a collision with Nico Rosberg in Hungary while duelling for second place and finished third. Having earned his first podium finish after the US in 2014, Ricciardo finished 2nd in Singapore. He finished the season in the 8th place with 92 points.

Ricciardo started the 2016 season in a much more powerful Red Bull car. He finished fourth in Australia and Bahrain. In China, he suffered a blown tyre when leading the race and finished fourth again. In Spain, opting for a three-stop strategy and a tyre blow out again ensured that Ricciardo finished fourth with his new teammate, Max Verstappen winning.

In Monaco, after taking pole position and leading the race, the Red Bull team took nearly 40 seconds for a change of tyres during the pit stop. Ricciardo finished second in the race. After the race, Ricciardo let his team know exactly how he felt. Ricciardo was back on the podium in Hungary and Germany where he finished third and second respectively.

In Belgium, Ricciardo finished second and repeated the feat in Singapore after pushing the eventual winner, Rosberg, hard towards the finish. He qualified fourth in Malaysia and moved into second place in the first turn after a collision among the leaders. Hamilton’s engine failure gave him the lead in the race. Ricciardo took his first Grand Prix win of the season in that race.

Ricciardo sealed third place of the season with a podium finish in Mexico. Besides Sergio Perez, he is the only driver to have scored points in all the races in the season. He improved his performance over the 2015 season in every race save two. In those two, he equalled the previous year’s result.

Ricciardo started the 2017 season on a disastrous note. Crashing into the barriers during qualification, an unscheduled gearbox change and a sudden fuel pressure problem ended his race in Australia. At the inaugural Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Ricciardo won his fifth Grand Prix after he qualified 10th.

Five podium finishes in a row between Spain and Austria and three in a row between Singapore and Japan landed Ricciardo in the fourth place in the championship rankings. But three retirements in the last four races meant that Ricciardo finished the 2017 championship season in fifth place.

Ricciardo finished fourth in the 2018 Australian Grand Prix. He retired in Bahrain with an electrical problem but won the Chinese Grand Prix. In Azerbaijan, a contact with Verstappen caused both teammates to retire. In the Spanish Grand Prix, he set the track record and finished fifth. Red Bull was favoured to win the Monaco race, which Ricciardo did.

Ricciardo retired eight times during the season, most of the retirements coming in the latter half. He finished sixth in the 2018 World Drivers’ Championship.

Renault (2019-2020)

Renault let it be known that they have signed a contract with Ricciardo for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Ricciardo’s partner at the Renault F1 Team would be Nico Hülkenberg.

Ricciardo suffered wing damage in Australia and a power failure in Bahrain in a poor start to the 2019 season. He finished 7th in China but reversed into Kvyat’s car in Azerbaijan, resulting in retirement for both the drivers. Then came a straight run of six race finishes including a 6th-place finish in Canada. In Germany, Ricciardo suffered exhaust failure. 

A fourth-place finish in Italy was followed by a collision and retirement in Russia. A 6th place achieved in Japan was disqualified for using illegal driver aids. Three successive point finishes including 6th places in USA and Japan, saw Ricciardo finish the 2019 season in the 9th place in the championship.

In 2020, Esteban Ocon replaced Nico Hülkenberg as Ricciardo’s partner at Renault. At the Eifel Grand Prix, Ricciardo secured Renault’s first podium position since the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix and his own since joining Renault. He scored another podium position at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and finished in fifth place in the 2020 Formula 1 Driver Standings.

McLaren (2021-2022)

Daniel Ricciardo joined McLaren for the 2021 Formula 1 season, partnering with Lando Norris. The season marked a new chapter for Ricciardo, with high expectations due to McLaren’s upward trajectory in previous seasons. The team aimed to consolidate its position as a leading midfield contender and challenge for podiums.

Key Highlights and Results

  • Italian Grand Prix Victory: The standout moment of Ricciardo’s 2021 season was his victory at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. This win was significant for both Ricciardo and McLaren, as it was his first win since 2018 and McLaren’s first win since 2012. Ricciardo led a McLaren 1-2 finish, with Lando Norris finishing in second place.
  • Performance Variability: Throughout the season, Ricciardo experienced variability in performance, with some races highlighting his adaptability and racecraft, while others were challenging due to difficulties in qualifying and race pace consistency.
  • Points Finishes: Ricciardo secured several points finishes over the course of the season, contributing to McLaren’s battle with Ferrari for third place in the Constructors’ Championship. His experience and feedback were invaluable in developing the car and strategy throughout the year.


  • Adaptation to the McLaren MCL35M: Ricciardo faced challenges adapting to the McLaren car, particularly in the first half of the season. The driving style required for the MCL35M differed from his previous experiences, affecting his qualifying performances and race results.
  • Competition with Teammate: Lando Norris, Ricciardo’s teammate, had a standout season, often outqualifying and outracing Ricciardo. This internal team dynamic pushed Ricciardo to adapt and improve throughout the season.

2022 Season with McLaren

The 2022 season presented new challenges and opportunities for Ricciardo and McLaren, with the introduction of new technical regulations reshaping the competitive order. Expectations were high for the team to build on the previous year’s success.

Key Highlights and Results

  • Struggle with Car Performance: The McLaren MCL36, designed to meet the 2022 regulations, initially struggled with performance and reliability issues. Ricciardo, like Norris, faced difficulties in the early races, with the car lacking pace compared to their main competitors.
  • Mid-Season Improvement: As the season progressed, McLaren made strides in improving the car’s performance. However, Ricciardo’s results were mixed, with fewer points finishes compared to his teammate. His best results came from races where strategy and racecraft came to the fore.
  • Challenges in Consistency: Ricciardo’s 2022 season was marked by challenges in finding consistent performance. Qualifying pace and race execution varied significantly from one weekend to the next, affecting his ability to consistently compete for points.

Departure from McLaren

  • Announcement of Departure: Towards the end of the 2022 season, it was announced that Ricciardo and McLaren would part ways at the end of the year. This decision came amidst a season where Ricciardo struggled to consistently match the performance of his teammate and the expectations set by his 2021 victory.

Daniel Ricciardo’s tenure with McLaren in 2021 and 2022 was a period of highs and lows. The victory at Monza in 2021 was a highlight, showcasing his talent and potential within the team. However, the adaptation to the car and the challenges posed by the new regulations in 2022 highlighted the difficulties in Formula 1’s highly competitive environment. Ricciardo’s time at McLaren will be remembered for his charismatic presence and the memorable victory that underscored his racing prowess.

AlphaTauri (2023 – )

After departing McLaren at the end of the 2022 season, Daniel Ricciardo made a significant move by rejoining Red Bull Racing as their third driver for the 2023 season. In this role, Ricciardo was tasked with completing PR activities, assisting in simulator and factory work, and supporting the race team during weekends by having access to chat channels and communications. This position also saw him behind the wheel of the Red Bull RB19 for the Pirelli tire tests on July 11 at Silverstone, following the British Grand Prix.

Mid-Season Switch to AlphaTauri

The 2023 season took an unexpected turn for Ricciardo when Nyck de Vries was released from his seat at AlphaTauri after the British Grand Prix. Ricciardo was announced as the replacement and made his return to Formula One racing with AlphaTauri starting from the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix, partnering with Yuki Tsunoda.

  • Hungarian Grand Prix: In his first race back, Ricciardo qualified and finished in 13th position. Despite a challenging start that saw him drop to last place after a first-lap incident, he managed a commendable recovery to finish 13th.
  • Belgian Grand Prix: The weekend proved difficult, with Ricciardo qualifying 19th for the main race after breaching track limits during his final flying lap. However, he showed improvement in the sprint shootout, qualifying 11th. Ricciardo ran in the points for most of the sprint but finished 10th after being overtaken towards the end. In the main race, he finished 16th, while Tsunoda secured a point by finishing 10th.
  • Dutch Grand Prix and Injury: Ricciardo’s season faced a setback during the second free practice of the Dutch Grand Prix, where he suffered a significant injury, breaking a metacarpal bone in his hand in seven places. This injury prevented him from competing for the rest of the weekend and led to him missing the next four rounds in Italy, Singapore, Japan, and Qatar. Liam Lawson replaced Ricciardo for these races.
  • Return and Season-Best Performance: Ricciardo made his return for the United States Grand Prix and later achieved a season-best fourth-place qualification at the Mexico City Grand Prix. He finished the race in 7th position, marking AlphaTauri’s best finish of the season and elevating the team to 8th in the constructors’ championship after spending most of the season in last place.

Daniel Ricciardo’s 2023 season was a journey of resilience and determination. Starting the year in a support role with Red Bull Racing, he transitioned back to a competitive race seat with AlphaTauri mid-season. Despite facing challenges, including a significant injury, Ricciardo’s return to racing was marked by a strong performance in Mexico, highlighting his skill and tenacity. His contribution was pivotal in improving AlphaTauri’s standing in the constructors’ championship, showcasing his enduring value as a competitive Formula 1 driver.

Will Daniel Ricciardo be in F1 2024?

Yes, Daniel Ricciardo will return to the Formula 1 grid in 2024, driving for Visa Cash App RB, the team formerly known as AlphaTauri. After a year away from a full-time race seat, Ricciardo’s comeback to the sport was confirmed in 2023 when AlphaTauri announced him as part of their driver lineup. His experience and personality are expected to be valuable assets to the team as they strive for competitive results in the upcoming season. Ricciardo’s signing indicates Visa Cash App RB’s commitment to blending experience with youth, pairing him with the younger talent of Yuki Tsunoda.

What nationality is Daniel Ricciardo?

Daniel Ricciardo is Australian. He was born in Perth, Western Australia, and has raced under the Australian flag throughout his Formula 1 career.

What race number is Daniel Ricciardo?

Daniel Ricciardo’s race number is 3. He chose this number for a couple of reasons: it was his first ever number in karting, and he is a fan of the number 3, which was also used by his childhood hero, NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt.

What is Daniel Ricciardo logo?

Daniel Ricciardo’s logo is a stylized version of the number 3, which is his race number. The design often incorporates his initials “DR” in a creative and integrated manner, making it distinctive and easily recognizable as his brand mark. It is used on his merchandise and branding materials.

Who drives for AlphaTauri?

As of the 2024 Formula 1 season, the drivers for Visa Cash App RB (formerly AlphaTauri) are Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo. Yuki Tsunoda has been with the team since 2021, while Daniel Ricciardo joined AlphaTauri during the 2023 season after a stint with McLaren and a year without a full-time race seat.

How many followers does Daniel Ricciardo have?

Daniel Ricciardo has approximately 9 million followers on Instagram. However, please note that this number can fluctuate over time as new followers are gained or lost. For the most current follower count, it’s best to check his official Instagram profile directly (Instagram: Daniel Ricciardo). On Twitter, Ricciardo has just over three million followers.

Why is Daniel Ricciardo called the Honey Badger?

Daniel Ricciardo is called “the Honey Badger” because he admires the animal’s fierce nature. The honey badger is known for its tenacity and fearlessness, traits that Ricciardo resonates with and aims to replicate on the racetrack. He adopted the nickname to reflect his racing style: unyielding and aggressive when competing against his rivals, much like the honey badger’s reputation in the animal kingdom.

Which Grand Prix has Daniel Ricciardo won?

Daniel Ricciardo has won eight Grand Prix races in his Formula 1 career:

  1. 2014 Canadian Grand Prix
  2. 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix
  3. 2014 Belgian Grand Prix
  4. 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix
  5. 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
  6. 2018 Chinese Grand Prix
  7. 2018 Monaco Grand Prix
  8. 2021 Italian Grand Prix at Monza

These victories were achieved during his time with Red Bull Racing and McLaren.

Is Daniel Ricciardo left handed?

Yes, Daniel Ricciardo is left-handed. This has been mentioned in various interviews and media segments featuring him. Being left-handed is relatively uncommon in Formula 1, but it does not significantly impact driving as F1 cars are designed to be driven with both hands on the wheel for optimal control and performance.