“You’re only as good as the last race you did” is a common adage in the racing world.
This one sentence provides an excellent summary of how the Formula One competition is run and the reasoning behind the various teams’ choices regarding whether to sign a driver.
The outcomes decide everything and do not remember, just like they do in every other sport; consequently, the main character of these lines has not been in a particularly favorable position in recent years.
Daniel Ricciardo is currently uncertain about his future in the Grand Circus, even though he is one of the references of the decade in the organization.
Mclaren was not a team in which he demonstrated the great driver that he is and that burst with force when he went up to the first Red Bull team.
Due to his high salary, it is difficult to know which team he may join in 2023, but he may join the Red Bull team.
After we have provided some background information on Daniel Ricciardo’s role in Formula One and sports in general, we can move on to a more in-depth discussion about him, including his early life, his ascent to the top, and the victories that have allowed him to maintain his place for such a long time on the starting grid of the premier class of motorsport.
Daniel Joseph Ricciardo was born on July 1, 1989, in Perth, situated on the western coast of Australia, an island nation in the southern hemisphere.
Though he is of Italian descent, thanks to his father, Giuseppe, the truth is that he did not grow up in a family connected to the world of motor racing.
This is in contrast to the majority of other drivers, but the truth is that his house was never short on money.
His father had a career as a mining engineer and was an avid supporter of the industry; therefore, Daniel’s first foray into the industry was more of a result of his father’s aspirations and the hobby that Daniel himself had developed throughout his childhood.
That being said, he started karting when he was nine, a sport in which he competed for a little over five years before transitioning to single-seaters in 2005. During that time, he competed in national and international championships.
His success in his home country motivated him and his family to uproot their lives and relocate to Europe, which is where Formula One and the majority of its promotional competitions are held.
Despite this, in 2005, he participated for the first time in the Western Australian Formula Ford Championship, driving a single-seater car provided by the Van Diemen team.
The eighth spot in the race is commensurate with the quality of his introduction letter.
Shortly after, he competed in another Formula Ford race, but it was at a national level this time.
The race was held at Sandown Raceway, about 25 kilometers southeast of Melbourne, with a horse racing track surrounding it.
On the other hand, he obtained a less obvious result there. Despite this, he competed in the Formula BMW Asia championship in 2006 for the Eurasia Motorsport team.
In that competition, he demonstrated a portion of the potential he possessed, capturing two victories, which led to him finishing in third place in the overall standings with 231 points, 59 points behind the winner of that competition, who was a New Zealander named Earl Bamber.
His activities during that season did not end there because, in August, he took part in a Formula BMW Grand Prix with Motaworld Racing.
He retired from one of them in the two races he competed in and finished eighth overall.
He competed in the Formula BMW World Championship at the tail end of the year, this time with the Fortec Motorsport structure, and finished fifth in the competition.
He wanted to put the finishing touch on the season.
Daniel Ricciardo, on the verge of reaching the age of majority, competed in Formula Renault, taking part in the European and Italian championships.
His traveling companion in this prestigious competition is RP Motorsport. Using one of their single-seaters, he finished sixth in the transalpine country, earning 196 points and a podium.
Because he is not as frequent on the Old Continent, he only competes in the races of Portugal and Spain and does not score points in any of the four races he runs.
He continued his apprenticeship in Formula Renault in 2008 and shows here that he has fully adapted to the category: he is proclaimed champion in the competition in Western Europe. Still, he has to settle for the runner-up spot in the European competition behind a certain Valteri Bottas.
After that two-year period, he takes another step toward his dream by competing in the British Formula 3 with Carlin Motorsport, who guides him to the championship with great authority.
This brings him one step closer to achieving his goal.
As a reward, the Red Bull team allowed him to test the RB5 during a session for young drivers that same year.
He ended up being the fastest driver on the only day he competed against the clock, enough to convince Milton Keynes to sign him and keep him in mind for the future.
In 2010, he returned to Formula Renault in the 3.5 categories, where he finished as the runner-up with 86 points and was only bested by the Russian Mikhail Alioshin, who had only 2 points to his name.
He did this while combining his new work as a tester for the energy team.
Ricciardo began to be linked with F1 teams for the 2011 season as a result of his outstanding performance as well as his revalidation of the best time in the young driver tests.
Despite this, he did not begin racing in the Grand Prix of his native country and instead continued as a tester for Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
Ricciardo made his debut in the Grand Circus in 2011, thanks to the dismissal of the Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan from the Hispania team.
This also allowed Ricciardo to make his debut on the track with the most history in the championship: Silverstone.
Red Bull decided to lend him money so that he could gain experience rather than continue to use him as a tester and enter him into minor competitions.
Although the lack of competitiveness of that single-seater prevented him from shining early, he continued to race for the Spanish team from that race until the end.
His best result was the 18th place finish in the race and a 21st place finish in the qualifying sessions.
Despite this, he was able to outperform his Italian teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi, so he was successful in meeting that objective.
Daniel Ricciardo signed with Toro Rosso for the 2012 season after Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari were released from their seats at Red Bull due to a decision made by the organization’s structure.
However, Jean-Eric Vergne, his teammate and former competitor in Formula Renault, outperformed Ricciardo during the season.
In 2013, things took a slight turn for the better when he eventually prevailed and led the Faenza team in scoring 20 points. His best result came in China, where he came in seventh place.
Following the retirement of fellow countryman Mark Webber, he was allowed to join Red Bull’s first team, which he took advantage of by signing on for the 2014 season.
During that time, he raced alongside reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel.
It was the first race of the hybrid era, and despite Mercedes being unbeatable, Ricciardo took victory over the driver who had won the previous four championships.
He accomplished this feat with panache by claiming his first three victories in Canada, Hungary, and Belgium (Rosberg-Hamilton battle with a disappointing ending) and climbing the podium on five separate occasions.
Because of his performance, he had become the team leader, and he had to have felt the weight of that responsibility, especially after the German driver had left for Ferrari.
However, in 2015, he was dealt an unwelcome blow by Daniil Kvyat, who defeated him to the point where he could not win and finished in eighth place overall.
This was because the Russian was superior to him.
Another surprise, albeit one that went in the opposite direction, occurred at the beginning of the 2016 season when Red Bull removed Kvyat from the single-seater after his poor performance up until the Spanish Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen made a spectacular debut in that race by winning at Montmeló.
He kept the young Dutchman at bay in the remaining races, reclaiming the third-place overall finish thanks to his victory in Sepang and eight podium finishes. He would repeat this feat in 2017 despite having a poor finish to the season.
However, in 2018, he had a tough time due to the consistent reliability issues with his single-seater.
As a result, he was forced to retire from up to 8 Grands Prix, including the one in Azerbaijan after a collision with Verstappen.
Be that as it may, he threw away the victory in Monaco, which he had been chasing since 2016, due to a botched pit stop.
Daniel Ricciardo made one of the choices in recent years in Formula One that, in light of what has transpired, is one of the least understood decisions.
He decided to leave Red Bull and sign with Renault, a team without a contender to win races.
His transition to the French single-seater was not easy, as he only scored in one of the first five races he competed in 2019.
However, he demonstrated his potential in the following year, 2020, and brought the diamond brand back onto the podium twice after several years of absence: at the Nürburgring and Imola.
Because the pandemic prevented that course from developing typically, the transfer market for 2021 began to move before the start of the academic year.
However, while he was in confinement, he decided not to renew his contract with Renault and instead sign with Mclaren, a team that had been clearly on the rise since 2019 thanks to the hard work of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.
He took the place of the Spaniard but experienced the same difficulties with an adaptation he had previously encountered during his time at Renault.
He was significantly outclassed by his new teammate Norris. Despite this, he secured arguably the most significant career victory by switching engines at Woking and returning to Mercedes.
It was at Monza, the temple of speed and in the land of his paternal family, and it was there that he brought McLaren back to win a race nine years later.
At that point, he had never been so far behind a teammate as he was, but he managed to sign a victory that vindicated him and demonstrated that he still had something to say in Formula One.
Unfortunately, it was a mirage, and 2022 did not prove to be the confirmation of a leading Ricciardo at McLaren that would return to the glory days of this mythical team.
As a result, he was replaced by his compatriot Oscar Piastri despite his large salary (15 million dollars) and the remaining year of the contract he had left.
Will he drive a car with a steering wheel in 2023, or will he test his skills in other types of motorsport instead? The only way to know is to wait.
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