Daniel Ricciardo was born 1st July of 1989 in the city of Perth in Western Australia. His father was born in Sicily (Italy) and moved to Australia, as well as his mother’s family who left Calabria to emigrate. Daniel’s father started his racing driver career at the age of nine in the karting, as a member of Tiger Kart Club (TKC). He took part in a wide amount of karting events along this period of his life.
Around 2005, he moved to compete the Western Australia Formula Ford championship. He competed with a 15 year old Van Diemen car and finally he came eight during his first season. Before ending this season, he leased a 13 year old Van Diemen to compete next year with a better car but is ageing car revealed to be uncompetitive allowing him to finish just sixteenth over seventeenth pilots. Subsequent year, he obtained a scholarship into Formula BMW Asian championship together with Eurasia Motorsport Team. During this season, two victories were achieved together with a pole position scored at Zhuhai. A total of 231 points was his final result at 59 points behind driver’s champion Earl Bamben.
Next step, in his racing driver career, was the opportunity to enter inside Fortec Motorsport Team and compete in Formula BMW World Final event. He was able, during this race, to finish in fifth position.
Around 2007, Daniel moved to RP Motorsport and switched into Formula Renault category. He raced in Europe within the Italian championship. His final score was 196 points and a seventh place at the end of this season. A single podium was obtained at Valencia and this was his best result.
During 2008, Ricciardo decided to stay another year in Formula Renault and competing in Europe. This time, the young Australian driver won his first European title in the western European Cup, while he scored second in the Eurocup where he was racing too. Just Valterri Bottas was able to perform better than him, winning the Eurocup.
In the middle of 2008, Ricciardo gave a try to Formula Three. His début was at Nürburgring circuit with SG Formula’s 3 Euro Series Team. Even if he didn’t have enough experience his skills helped him to be very competitive from the first race.
Year 2009 saw another change of team and this time Daniel moved to the British Formula Three Championship driving a race car for Carlin Motorsport. At same time, he also made a début in the 3.5-litre World Series by Renault Championship. Finally, Ricciardo won the British Formula Three title following David Brabham who won it around 1989. Daniel won this title in a car powered by a Volkswagen engine exactly like Brabham. This result was achieved by winning this championship with a margin of 87 points over Walter Grubmüller who finished second.
On 30th October 2009, Ricciardo signed a contract together with Tech 1 to compete in next season. Following the previous experience, they gained together in 2009 at the Autodromo Internacional de Algarve in Portugal, Daniel and Tech1 Team opened the 2010 season at Alcañiz (Spain), taking a pole position. He finished third and second in the subsequent races.
After this amazing start, his first season in Formula Renault 3.5 Series finished second while championship winner, Mikhail Aleshin, advanced him by scarcely two points.
In 2011, Ricciardo raced with another team: ISR Racing. Formula One debut was experienced in 2009 in the month of December. He tested for Red Bull Racing at Jerez over three days. Last day of testing, he was over one second faster than others making the only driver to stay into the 1:17 bracket. On 11th November 2010, Daniel became the single driver to represent Red Bull Racing at the Ya Marina Circuit. After receiving this news, he stated: “I can’t wait to get another crack at driving Red Bull Racing’s amazing Formula One car.”
During the 2011 season, he was confirmed as test and reserve driver for Toro Rosso Team. He was capable, after some practice sessions to be really close and one time even ahead of official Toro Rosso drivers.
This made possible, on June 2011, to sign a contract for Hispania Racing allowing him to replace Narain Karthikeyan for all the remaining season, except the Indian Grand Prix. Ricciardo made his debut with Hispania Racing Team at 2011 British Grand Prix, starting his career inside Formula One as official pilot.
After his first season, he was confirmed on 14th December 2011 as Formula One pilot. This time he was going to race for Scuderia Toro Rosso. At the Australian Grand Prix on 18th March 2012, Ricciardo started to prove his value when he decided to overtake his teammate Vergne just on the last lap getting the ninth place and securing his first two points in Formula One. Since this was not enough, in Malaysia obtained a 12th position, after finish line, switching to slick tyres when the other drivers were still scared to give a try. In Bahrain got a sixth place during qualifying, making his best qualification result of 2012. This result moved Toro Rosso to confirm Daniel for the 2013 season too.
After year 2013, Red Bull decided to replace Mark Webber with Daniel Ricciardo, another Australian driver like Mark who decided to retire. Within this team Daniel was finding Sebastian Vettel, a four-time world champion , as teammate. Instead to become shy, Ricciardo qualified second during the Australian Grand Prix. He would have finished his race in second place if he was not going to be disqualified later by Formula One commissary due to a malfunction which created an excessive hourly fuel flow rate which exceeded the limit. Infiniti Red Bull Racing appealed immediately but this was rejected and decision confirmed by FIA.
Ricciardo became the fourth Australian to win a Grand Prix when he was able to win at the Canadian Grand Prix. This was his first victory: a well deserved success!
During this season, Ricciardo was capable to beat Vettel along different occasions and even more to get positive comments from Fernando Alonso after a clean and tight battle with Ferrari’s driver. Alonso paid Ricciardo compliments by stating:
“He is unbelievable… He is very, very smart and very respectful”
Finally, 27th July 2014 arrived another victory after Hungarian Grand Prix. This result was achieved when Ricciardo overtook Alonso and soon after Hamilton with less than four laps remaining. Ricciardo became the second Australian to win this Grand Prix.
Daniel continues to race with Infiniti Red Bull proving his immense value, race after race with same tenacity and daring he showed during his period with karts.