Famous not only for his big smile and podium “shoeys” but also for his precision late braking attacks and general all round speed, both in the dry and wet conditions. Daniel Ricciardo was born in Perth in 1989. Ricciardo started karting aged just nine after finding a hero in Ayrton Senna. After working his way through the go-kart ranks, in 2005 he entered the Australian Formula Ford series and, although driving an uncompetitive car, made enough of an impression to secure a scholarship for the following season’s Formula BMW Asia championship.
He made his debut at the 2011 British Grand Prix with the HRT team as part of a deal with Red Bull Racing, for whom he was test driving under its sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso. Ricciardo’s driver number is 3.
Ricciardo joined Toro Rosso in 2012 full time after the team changed its driver lineup and drove a Ferrari-powered car for them in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, Ricciardo was promoted to Red Bull as a replacement for the retired Mark Webber alongside multiple time world champion Sebastian Vettel. In his first season with Red Bull under Renault power, Ricciardo finished third in the championship with his first three Formula One wins, in Canada, Hungary, and Belgium.
After two years without victory, Ricciardo returned to the top of the podium at the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, eventually sealing third in the championship for the second time in three years at the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.He has since added victories at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2017 and the Chinese and Monaco Grands Prix in 2018.
On 29 August 2019, it was announced that Hülkenberg would be replaced at Renault for the 2020 season, and that Ricciardo would partner former Force India driver and Mercedes reserve Esteban Ocon.
At the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, Ricciardo qualified 6th before going on to score the team’s first podium since the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix. This was Ricciardo’s first podium since joining Renault, and his best result since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix. He reached the podium a second time for Renault at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
After two years at Renault, Ricciardo is due to join McLaren for the 2021 Formula One World Championship as a replacement for Carlos Sainz Jr. having signed a multi-year deal. His team mate for 2021 is due to be Lando Norris who is currently set to be retained by the team. Ricciardo subsequently admitted to the media that before signing for McLaren he had held talks with Ferrari about taking over Sebastian Vettel’s seat but Ferrari had instead signed Sainz.