- Tag Heuer (Renault)
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Perth, Western Australia
The big grin returned to Daniel Ricciardo’s face last year as he and his team emerged as the biggest threat to Mercedes’ continued domination. Spurred on by the arrival in the team of young team-mate Dutchman Max Verstappen, the Australian reacted positively with a run of strong performances that helped him finish third behind the two Mercedes men in the title race – and introduce a new podium celebration.
A pit crew mistake appeared to cost him an expected victory at the Monaco Grand Prix, after a strategy call had favoured Verstappen to win in Spain, but after giving vent to his ire, Ricciardo bounced back. He recorded his fourth career win in Malaysia and with seven podium finishes he confirmed his place as a title contender.
His new ‘Shoey’ celebration – in which he drinks ‘bubbly’ from one of his racing boots – became his trademark and an activity that interviewers did their best to avoid.
His happier mood followed a disappointing year in 2015 when he enjoyed only one podium finish and ended the season behind his then team-mate Russian Daniil Kvyat.
They were seventh and eighth respectively on 95 and 92 points, a far cry from the championship chasing feats of 2014 when the popular West Australian revelled in his successes that included three wins.
Verstappen’s arrival in May 2016 revived the team and, with a new formula that is expected to reward good aerodynamics, Ricciardo and Red Bull Racing enter this year with hopes high.