Why is Daniel Ricciardo so Popular in F1?
Daniel Ricciardo is arguably one of the most popular drivers in the F1 paddock today. Since his debut in 2011, the Australian has made a lasting impression on the sport and its legion of fans.
Despite racing for five different teams in his career, the Australian is yet to become a world champion in F1. Although fans expected him to be a world champion by now, things haven’t turned out the way Ricciardo would’ve hoped. So, what makes the 31-year-old this popular in F1?
Daniel Ricciardo is one of the quickest drivers on the F1 grid
The Australian possesses an aggressive yet mature driving style which mimics those of a world champion. One of the most exciting aspects of his racing is his braking, which he leaves until the very last millisecond. After exhibiting this trait in multiple races, he earned the moniker of ‘King of the late brakers.’
In 2014, Ricciardo signed for Red Bull Racing after his Australian compatriot Mark Webber announced his retirement at the end of the 2013 F1 season. He had the daunting task of teaming up with Sebastian Vettel, who just won his fourth world championship.
However, the Australian upstaged his decorated German teammate, finishing in third place in the driver’s championship that year. In addition, Ricciardo took three of his seven career race wins that year en route to collecting 238 points.
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Despite Red Bull failing to pose a genuine threat to Mercedes during Ricciardo’s time with them, the Honey Badger remained a consistent driver. Although the Australian has his critics, his years with Red Bull continue to speak volumes of his talent.
Ricciardo is one of the funniest personalities on the grid
Ricciardo‘s jovial personality helps fans relate to him the most on the grid. In fact, most of his F1 teams used him for hilarious social media content, ranging from posts to YouTube videos.
The Honey Badger is also known to give hilarious responses during interviews, and is a central figure in Netflix’s Drive to Survive. His presence in the paddock is a breath of fresh air and gives unlimited comic relief to an otherwise serious environment. In addition, he is one of the friendliest drivers on the grid, with very few drivers having any confrontations with him.
Despite being in his thirties, Ricciardo looks set to continue for many more years in F1. So, expect more jokes, late braking and the possibility of more ‘shoeys’ on the podium in the future.
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