F1: Who is AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo - how many races has he won and who has he driven for

Daniel Ricciardo is set to make his return to Formula 1 this weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix - we’ve taken a closer look at the Australian driver

Daniel Ricciardo will be making his return to Formula 1 this weekend as he gets back behind the wheel. The Australian motorsport driver was announced to be returning to AlphaTauri last week after the team axed Nyck de Vries.

Ricciardo was announced to be taking the seat for the rest of the 2023 season, after De Vries failed to impress the bosses at the Red Bull junior team. The Australian is a firm fan favourite and has seen lots of support from fans when he has attended races during the first half of this year.

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Daniel Ricciardo was previously left out of a seat at the end of the 2022 season after being replaced at McLaren by Oscar Piastri. The driver was then kept by Red Bull, who took in Ricciardo as a reserve driver for 2023.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new AlphaTauri driver ahead of his 2023 debut.

Who is Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo was born in Perth, Australia on July 1, 1989 to his Italian father, Giuseppe “Joe” Ricciardo and his mother Grace. The 34-year-old has one sister, Michelle, and a niece and nephew, who are regularly seen supporting the driver and his career.

Ricciardo is currently in a relationship with 25-year-old actress Heidi Berger, with the pair making it official on social media in August 2022. Berger is the daughter of Austrian Formula One driver, Gerhard Berger, who completed 14 seasons in the sport.

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The Australian driver moved to Europe to begin his motorsport career and won the British F3 championship in 2009 and progressed into Renault 3.5 the following year.

Ricciardo reached Formula One through Red Bull’s young driver programme, where he initially joined as a test driver between 2009-2011. The driver then spent a year at HRT before moving to Red Bull junior team, Toro Rosso, which is now known as AlphaTauri, in 2012.

The Australian driver then moved to the main Red Bull team in 2014, where he scored three wins in his first year at the team. He moved to Renault in 2019, before joining McLaren in 2021.

Daniel Ricciardo will make his F1 return this weekendDaniel Ricciardo will make his F1 return this weekend
Daniel Ricciardo will make his F1 return this weekend | Getty Images

After a disappointing two years with the team, it was announced that McLaren would be getting rid of Ricciardo at the end of the 2022. It was revealed that Ricciardo would be without a seat in 2023, but was saved by Red Bull, who took him back into the team as a reserve driver.

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How many races has Daniel Ricciardo won

Daniel Ricciardo has won eight Grands Prix over the course of his career. Seven races were won with Red Bull, including:

  • Canada (2014)
  • Hungary (2014)
  • Belgium (2014)
  • Malaysia (2016)
  • Azerbaijan (2017)
  • China (2018)
  • Monaco (2018)

Ricciardo also won the Italian Grand Prix in 2021, where he performed his iconic shoe-y on the podium.

Why is Daniel Ricciardo called the ‘Honey Badger’

Daniel Ricciardo is known widely amongst fans as the Honey Badger, a moniker which has followed the driver since his start in Formula 1. Ricciardo was given his nickname by trainer Stuart Smith who watched a documentary on the animal and compared the similar qualities between the two.

Ricciardo is known for his daring late-braking overtakes, which, mixed with his friendly and outgoing personality, has seen him compared to the tenacious mammal. He told Red Bull in 2014: “It is supposed to be the most fearless animal in the animal kingdom.

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“When you look at it, he seems quite cute and cuddly, but as soon as someone crosses his territory in a way he doesn’t like, he turns into a bit of a savage. He’ll go after anything - tigers and pythons, he turns very quickly, but he’s a good guy.”

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