Daniel Ricciardo

Formule1.nl

Statistics

Team:

RB F1 Team

Date of birth:

July 1, 1989

Country of birth:

Australia

Titles:

Daniel Ricciardo is making a comeback in Formula 1. The 34-year-old Australian will complete the rest of the 2023 season as a driver for AlphaTauri, the team he drove for ten years ago and is replacing Nyck de Vries from the Hungarian Grand Prix. Thus, Ricciardo adds a new chapter to a career that began in 2011 as a test driver for Toro Rosso and via HRT, Toro Rosso again, Red Bull, Renault, McLaren, and Red Bull again, has eventually come full circle.

A New Adventure

At Red Bull, Ricciardo achieved seven Formula 1 victories, but at the end of 2018, he ended his relationship with the energy drink manufacturer that had brought him to Formula 1 and made him famous. The Perth driver compared his transfer to Renault to a new adventure, but it was not an unqualified success: Ricciardo scored two podium places for the French factory team in 2020 and finished fifth in the World Championship, but by then he had already given up hope of storming the top with Renault.

As he entered his thirties, Ricciardo committed himself to McLaren until 2023. “They had tried to get me before, but could only make promises at the time. However, over the past few years, they have kept their word, and McLaren has been the team that has made the most progress,” the Australian explained his choice. Ricciardo’s decision seemed somewhat forced, after he saw a switch to Ferrari fail several times and Mercedes never showed real interest.

A Perfect Fit

Winning a race now and then with Red Bull was no longer enough for Ricciardo, who increasingly saw Red Bull becoming Max Verstappen’s team. At McLaren, everything seemed tailor-made for him. After all, besides key figures Andreas Seidl and James Key, they had also brought in Mercedes engines, the picture looked better than at Renault-Alpine. Or as Ricciardo himself said: “I fit into the puzzle here, instead of having to put it together myself.”

Unfortunately for Ricciardo and McLaren, things turned out differently. Despite a victory in Monza in 2021, where teammate Lando Norris finished second, Ricciardo’s tenure at the Woking team was not a success. In 2022, the Aussie could not adapt to the new generation of cars, more than once he finished far behind Norris, and so the logical conclusion followed: McLaren and Ricciardo were not meant for each other.

In 2023, Ricciardo returns to his old stomping ground. At Red Bull, he took on the role of reserve driver. On July 11, he tested the RB19 for the first time, and on the same day, Red Bull announced that the Australian would immediately replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri, the team he drove for two seasons in 2012 and 2013 (then still called Toro Rosso).

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