“Star” Daniel Ricciardo Hailed as the Roger Federer of F1

Published 11/08/2023, 12:01 PM EST

Follow Us

via Imago

There’s nothing more rewarding for a sportsman than to achieve success alongside his teammate, but when the competition is Roger Federer, the story usually ends similarly to Stan Wawrinka’s situation. Federer’s fellow national is considered to have one of the best one-handed backhands in the game alongside the 5-time year-end No.1 player. However, that’s where the comparisons unfortunately stopped for Wawrinka, who has only achieved three Grand Slams when compared to Federer’s 20. This story might ring a few bells in the minds of F1 fans, hinting at Daniel Ricciardo‘s plight against Max Verstappen, which caused him to embark on a tragic rollercoaster until Christian Horner stepped in to bring the prodigal son home.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Ricciardo finds himself in a similar position to Stan Wawrinka, after the Honey Badger’s fellow countryman, Oscar Piastri settles into the team that was the source of Ricciardo’s troubles. In only his first season in the sport, Piastri has managed to score a sprint win and has had a firestarter of a debut, similar to Federer’s first win against Lucas Arnold Ker at the 1998 Swiss Open. On the other hand, Ricciardo has gone by for much of his career like Wawrinka, without posing a serious threat to the top driver. This is why it may come as a surprise that Christian Horner believes there are a lot of similarities between Federer and Ricciardo than meets the eye.

Christian Horner is all praises for Ricciardo after his return

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

During the Eff Won podcast hosted by Dax Shepard, the Red Bull racing boss was reflecting on various Formula 1 drivers when Ricciardo became a part of the conversation. This prompted Shepard to bring up just how loving and marketable Ricciardo is ‘he’s the dream. Send him anywhere he can be so useful to a team in that capacity.” In that regard, there’s a valid relationship between Federer and Ricciardo’s ability to turn everything they touch into gold, not just on the track, but also on the brand behind the sport.

“And he’s another confidence driver, but he’s got his mojo. He is one of the fastest guys on the grid.”  Christian Horner went on to say Ricciardo’s driving style during Junior Formula and his marketability overall, reminded him of the tennis sensation, “And he came to us. I mean, he was one of the juniors. I remember going to watch him in Formula Three and so on. He really stood out and very smooth, very, you know, just great, an elegant driver, almost like A Roger Federer kind of star behind the wheel.”

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest Tennis stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

The reason Federer is such a global icon and arguably the most marketable entity in Tennis is not just owing to his immense talent, but also due to his positivity even after setbacks. Christian Horner felt Federer’s confidence and natural talent were quite similar to Ricciardo’s bubbly personality despite the last few years. After all, we should keep in mind that in Formula 1 it’s not just the driver’s skill but also a car that can match the performance.

Whilst Ricciardo had such a car when it was Adrian Newey behind the scenes, ever since his exit from Red Bull, the Australian has struggled to have that confidence and trust in the McLaren and Renault challengers as he did during his glory days at Milton Keynes. However, he now finds himself in the perfect redemption arc with the galaxy lining up for Christian Horner’s ‘star’.

Will Daniel Ricciardo right his wrongs at Red Bull?

Similar to Roger Federer’s mastery of the tennis racket, Horner believes Ricciardo had a similar effect on the steering, “A very light touch, great, great, great skill.”It’s safe to say that even with his pinky finger’s condition still being far from perfect, the Australian is on a mission to secure a spot in the team he had regretfully left in 2018. But fate had other plans for the Honey Badger. Max Verstappen was poised to become the number 1 driver, and after their run-in at the Azerbaijan GP, things were not in favor of the Australian.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

When Ricciardo departed Red Bull after the pressure from Verstappen was rising, the Aussie had taken a massive risk by betting his future on then mid-fielders, Renault. However, after a series of unfortunate races and two teams later, Ricciardo was helped out by none other than Christian Horner, who told the Aussie, “Look, you need a complete reset, you know, take a year out. Come back to us.”

That’s exactly what Ricciardo did after learning from his past mistakes. And after his performances so far, the Australian was relieved he’d made the right call this time. Making up for lost time, Ricciardo has gotten up to speed fairly quickly not just with his teammate, but with the man occupying his dream spot, Sergio Perez.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY | When Daniel Ricciardo Almost Had a Chance to Move to Ferrari

Although the Brazilian GP was disappointing for Ricciardo, it was completely unavoidable on his end, so we hope his hopes are still high!

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed

418Articles

One take at a time

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. As a child, it was the Top Gear Ayrton Senna tribute that drew him into the world of motorsports. While obtaining his Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication, his passion for motorsport grew.
Show More>

Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today