By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Motorsports Tribune reviews the top 10 from the 2017 Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship. Our list moves on to fifth-place finisher in the standings, Daniel Ricciardo.
Daniel Ricciardo, No. 3 Red Bull Racing
- 2017: 5th in the championship, 200 points
- Wins: 1, Podiums: 9, Top 5: 13, Top 10: 14, Poles: 2, Laps Led: 23, Fastest Laps: 1
- Best Finish: 1st (Baku)
The 2017 Formula 1 season was feast or famine for Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo. The 28-year-old Aussie put on a strong display of form when given the chance to take the fight to the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes.
His season was bookended with retirements with four additional sprinkled throughout. However, when Red Bull’s leading man finished, more often than not it was on the podium. Additionally, with only five of his results not leading to a champagne celebration at race’s end, Ricciardo only finished outside the top 5 once all year (non retirement result) when was left with a sixth-place in the penultimate round in Brazil.
Ricciardo had control of the teammate dual with Max Verstappen for much of the year and ended the 2017 campaign ahead by 32 points. Although Ricciardo did grab victory first between the two, which came at the unlikeliest of places at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, it proved to be his only win while Verstappen captured two (Malaysia, Mexico).
It’s obvious that Ricciardo has the form capable of delivering a potential title. He even managed to outscore Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen on podiums (9-7), with only late season reliability to blame for not bettering him in the championship.
Entering 2018, a lot of the attention will be on Ricciardo and his contract situation. Red Bull locking up Verstappen and looking poised to build a team around him appears to have unsettled a situation that Ricciardo would want to continue forward with. That said, there are a lot of moving parts to next year, but the one definite is to not overlook this Aussie when it comes to the championship.