Ricciardo emphasizes role as F1 racer, not 'an entertainer'


As one of the most popular characters on the grid, Daniel Ricciardo garners a lot of attention from F1’s fans, but the Aussie insists he is first and foremost a “racing driver” and not an “entertainer”.

As an eight-time Grand Prix winner, there are no doubts about Ricciardo’s merits and credentials in the sport.

Yet, when one envisions the AlphaTauri charger, the initial mental image that comes to mind is one of a charismatic individual known for his infectious smile, positive attitude, and good sense of humor, all of which have endeared him to F1’s fan base, to the media but also to sponsors.

Like his colleagues, Ricciardo has benefitted from the wave of popular success that has submerged F1 in the past few years.

But while he remains approachable and friendly, both on and off the racing track, Ricciardo doesn’t want his popularity to supplant the traits of an unyielding and competitive spirit.

“All of our profiles have grown, in the last few years, in particular, since Drive to Survive,” the 34-year-old explained, quoted by Speedcafe. 

“We’ve all kind of felt a bit of that.

“I think just me with my personality, and also just having some fun with the sport, yeah, that probably got a little bigger as well, because of that.

“It draws a few LOLs every now and then but I think generally, first and foremost, I certainly see myself as a race car driver, not an entertainer or anything like that.”

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“It is funny sometimes, people come up to me like: ‘you were great in that season’ and I’m: ‘racing season – or Drive to Survive season?’,” Ricciardo noted.

“For sure, to some, we’re maybe not all viewed as race car drivers, but it’s just it’s part of it.

“But I think we’re all also, as I said, building profiles and a bit of a brand, but it’s not anything that’s taken away from the racing side of it. And that’s first and foremost.”

Ricciardo’s departure from the grid at the end of 2022, after a two-year stint with McLaren that fell short of his and the team’s expectations, provided him with the space and time needed for self-reflection.


The introspective phase helped the Aussie shape his mindset, refining his goals, and prepare him for the next chapter of his racing career, which led to his return to the fray with Red Bull and AlphaTauri.

Ricciardo seems to have emerged from his time on the sidelines with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

“For sure, through all of this, it [his image] can maybe get away from you a little bit,” he admitted.

“Coming back into it this year and having a little bit of that time off, it certainly made me kind of just figure out what I’m about moving forward and how I want to go racing – probably just removing a few things and kind of going back to a little bit of the basics.

“Just making sure that I am seen as a as a race car driver who’s still hungry and determined and not someone who’s just here for a good time.”

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