He’s known as the Honey Badger, because according to him it is,” the most fearless animal in the animal kingdom …he’ll go after anything – tigers, pythons – he turns very quickly, but he’s a good guy.” There is an image of the honey badger on the back of his helmet.
Born: 01/07/1989 in Perth, Australia
Lives: In Monaco
Salary: 400.000 Euro (2012)
Family: His father Joe Ricciardo is from Ficarra, Sicily and his mother Grace was born in Australia to Italian parents.
“Racing has always been a big part of my life. It’s my passion. All the work I put in is to become the best. I am a competitor and will not rest till I get what I am after.”
F1 RACING STATS:
Team: Red Bull
Car No: 3
Grand Prix starts: 103
Career Points: 539
World Championship Wins: 0
Pole Positions: 1
Fastest Laps: 7
Ricciardo is a good natured, very competitive driver; with still much to prove. Currently enjoying an extremely successful season; at this point he is the highest placed driver behind the domineering team Mercedes.
1998: Inspired by his discovery of Ayrton Senna, Ricciardo started karting aged 9; becoming a member of the Tiger Kart Club.
2005: Finished 8th in the Australian Formula Ford Championship.
2006: His time at the Australian Formula Ford was enough to secure him a scholarship for the Formula BMW Asia Championship; where he came 3rd in the championship with 2 wins and 10 podiums. He also finished 5th in the World Finals this year.
2007: Competed in the Italian Formula Renault with RP Motorsport – coming 6th.
2008: Won the Formula Renault Western European Cup with 8 wins from 15 races.
2009: Won the British Formula 3 championship, with 6 poles, 6 wins and 2 rounds still to go. This year he also found time to help at the straight-line test days and work on the F1 simulator at Red Bull’s Milton Keynes headquarters. At the end of the year he participated in the Red Bull Young Driver Test at Circuito de Jerez– putting Spain at the top of the timesheets.
2010: Ricciardo became a reserve at Red Bull – though he wasn’t called on to compete. For the second year in a row he was invited to take part in the Young Driver Test. He came 2nd in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with 4 wins for Tech 1.
2011: Formula Renault. In Formula One Ricciardo became the regular 3rd driver for Toro Rosso. He was contracted by Red Bull to race for Hispania Racing alongside Vitantonio Liuzzi – making his Grand Prix debut at Silverstone the same year.
2012: Formula One with Toro Rosso. At the Australian Grand Prix he earned his first two World Championship points. By the end of the season he had scored points at twice as many races as team mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
2013: Scored 20 points from 19 races to come 14th in the championship.
2014: Ricciardo replaced Mark Webber at Red Bull, alongside four-times World Champion Sebastian Vettel. Team mate Vettel struggled with the new hybrid machinery, whereas Ricciardo had no such problem – becoming the new No.1 at Red Bull. In his first season he finished 3rd. Winning in Canada, Hungary and Belgium. This year he was also the winner of the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy. Vettel left Red Bull for Ferrari.
2015: Achieved a podium in Hungary (3rd) and in Singapore (2nd); but couldn’t match the previous season and finished 8th in the championship. Ricciardo became the fastest Formula One driver to take part in Top Gear’s ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’, with a time of 1:42.2. He won the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year award.
2016: Team mate is young Dutch prodigy Max Verstappen. Still without a win since his hat-trick in 2014. But he has had a wonderful season so far, taking four 2nd places and achieving points in all but one race (Russia) He is currently 3rd in the championship with 179 points and 6 races to go.