Image: Red Bull Racing
Sunday’s Hungarian GP will probably be remembered for Lewis Hamilton and his incredible third place finish after starting from the pits. Or it could be the ongoing driver feud in the Mercedes team as once again Hamilton refused to let Nico Rosberg pass. Spare a thought for Daniel Ricciardo who won the race, securing only his second ever F1 win. The Aussie racer is quickly making a name for himself as one to watch, particularly as he continues to outshine his teammate Sebastian Vettel. 43 points ahead of the four time championship winning German and third overall in the driver’s championship, questions about Ricciardo’s ability to fill Mark Webber’s place have quickly been answered.
1) Born on the 1st of July 1989 in Perth, Western Australia, Ricciardo began racing from an early age, winning state and national championships as part of the Tiger Kart Club.
2) His skill behind the wheel didn’t go unnoticed, and he was soon racing in the Formula Ford championships – a proving ground for wannabe F1 drivers.
3) In 2006, Ricciardo earned a scholarship with Eurasia Motorsport, racing in the Formula BMW Asian Championship. In his first season he finished third overall, including two victories at the difficult Bira racetrack.
4) His big break came in 2008 where he was selected for the Red Bull Junior Team. He was entered into the young driver’s test where he clocked the fastest lap by over a second. It didn’t take long for Red Bull team manager Christian Horner to promote him to test and reserve driver.
5) Another speed test would further enhance Ricciardo’s burgeoning reputation as one to watch. November 2010 saw another young driver’s test and once again Ricciardo was selected. He won the event easily, with his fastest lap being 1.3 seconds faster than that of F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel.
6) He made his F1 debut in 2011 for the Hispania Racing Team. His first race was the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
7) The 2012 season brought a switch back to Red Bull and their secondary team Scuderia Toro Rosso, alongside Jean-Eric Vergne. He secured his first championship points in his home country, finishing ninth at the Australian Grand Prix.
8) A place soon opened up on the main Red Bull Racing team, with Mark Webber retiring from Formula One. In the very first race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Ricciardo finished second behind Lewis Hamilton, becoming only the fourth Australian to make the podium on home soil. Disaster struck however, with his car being disqualified for exceeding the fuel flow rate.
9) Unperturbed by this early setback, Ricciardo continued to impress, outscoring his teammate Vettel over the first half of the season. This included his first ever race win at the Canadian Grand Prix, overtaking Nico Rosberg with just four laps to go.
10) His second victory of the season came in the Hungarian Grand Prix, where once again smart tactics and outstanding driving gave him a place on top of the podium.
With team Mercedes running away with this year’s Driver’s Championship, many eyes are looking on to next year’s race where the other teams will have a chance to improve their cars. No doubt Red Bull will be pushing their way back into contention and with a driver as talented as Ricciardo behind the wheel, more victories must be on the way.
Man I'm loving this champagne on a Sunday. What a race. Second one tastes just as sweet! pic.twitter.com/hMrSkHnCAy
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) July 27, 2014
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