Daniel Ricciardo was shown the exit door from McLaren last season, and he will be replaced by fellow Australian Oscar Piastri. He had struggled in 2021, and it didn’t get any better for him in 2022. If anything, it got worse. In 2021, the car didn’t suit him all that well, which was the reason people thought he was struggling. But in 2022, Lando Norris thought the car was better suited to Ricciardo at the start of the season. Despite that, the ‘Honey Badger’ couldn’t even come close to Norris.
It’s going to be a long road back to Formula 1. For 2023, he will serve as Red Bull’s third driver. But that doesn’t mean he will be in the paddock too often, and will only attend a ‘handful’ of race weekends. His role seems to be mostly focused on showruns and promotional events. But it does allow him to stay connected with the sport. Fans will definitely miss him. He’s a popular figure, and to many, he was the first ‘face’ of F1.
How, you ask? Because of ‘Drive to Survive‘. Ricciardo was the star of the first episode of the show. The Netflix series has often been cited as a primary reason for F1’s popularity boom, particularly in the USA. Which means Ricciardo was somewhat at the forefront of it all. DTS’ Producer, Paul Martin, even says the show wouldn’t have existed without the Australian. But for the sixth season, which will depict events in 2023, he’s unlikely to appear in the show a whole lot.
In conversation with the New York Post, Martin said: “Without Daniel I think there probably wouldn’t have been a Drive to Survive. He was the first driver that we talked to about it, the first driver that invited us to his home in Australia. I felt very emotional with him leaving.”
DTS Producer likens F1 and Daniel Ricciardo’s situation to a soap opera
Daniel Ricciardo will not be in F1 for 2023, at least. He may get a practice run, or may be have the opportunity to replace Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez. But the chances of the latter happening are very small. Of course, he’s also sharing the role with Liam Lawson, so there’s some competition as well. His current situation is not great, but it’s not as if the chances of him returning to the grid are dead.
Paul Martin likened Formula 1 and ‘Drive to Survive’ to a ‘soap opera’, and then referenced (in regards to Ricciardo) a famous scene from the soap opera “Dallas”, in which character Bobby Ewing comes back to life. Martin said: “It is a soap opera: characters get killed off, they come back, new characters come on. I’m a big fan of the old ’80s soap operas so it feels a bit like Bobby Ewing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Daniel pop up in the shower at some point this year.”
The ‘Drive to Survive’ producer considers the Honey Badger “such a character…” and thinks it’s possible that Ricciardo may be given the nod to replace a driver on the current F1 grid if it doesn’t work out for them. There’s only 20 spots, of course, and if you’re not up to the mark, there’s many people waiting in line. Ricciardo was on the wrong side of it last season, but perhaps in 2024 he will be on the other side.
Aniket is a Journalism student, and a Ferrari (and Fernando Alonso) fan with much love for Bayern Munich, cinema, music, and literature - and really, all art.
Aniket's first exposure to the world of Formula 1 was through social media, though there was not immediate attraction. But after seeing 'Rush' (2013) there was no going back. Apart from F1, he is also an avid watcher of football - the 2014 World Cup had made him fall in love with Thomas Müller and the German national team, which later led him to Bayern Munich.
Aniket has been working for FirstSportz for more than 7 months, and has written over 800 articles for the organization. He currently serves as 'Content Head' for the Formula 1 team.
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