Former F1 Driver Recalls How Teammate Daniel Ricciardo Made Him Suffer at Toro Rosso

Published 10/27/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 27: Pole position qualifier Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 27, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Jean-Eric Vergne, currently competing in Formula-E, was quite straightforward with his F1 career. The Frenchman’s sole target was to score podiums and wins, which meant that he hardly had the opportunity to celebrate top-10 finishes with Toro Rosso. Then, things got worse when Daniel Ricciardo joined him in 2012.

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The Australian was all smiles irrespective of how good or bad he performed on the track, while Vergne was quite the contrast to Ricciardo’s personality.

Vergne’s far-fetched goals denied him of any celebrations even when he managed to come home in P8 with a mid-field car (Toro Rosso) in hand. Hence, Vergne opened up about how he suffered from the comparisons with the Honey Badger.

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What did the former Daniel Ricciardo teammate say?

During a podcast, Vergne felt that his outfit characterized him as a rather ‘moody’ driver as he cherished none of his own or the team’s successes.

I had this image within Red Bull of this, you know, French, moody driver. And I suffered from the comparison of Ricciardo that regardless if he was behind me or in front of me, or last, or tenth, or sixth, he always had the same smile,” he told F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 smiles at the livery launch of the Renault Sport Formula One Team RS20 during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

People like that about him and I was a little bit the opposite. So, if I would to come back, I would enjoy a lot more, eighth or sixth position and I think I would be a bit stronger, politically speaking, in the Red Bull family. I think I was a bit too nice, but you know, that comes with experience. That’s the way it was.

Vergne reckons he was the better driver

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The French lad opined that 2013 was his best season, despite losing out to his teammate in the championship. Although Vergne enjoyed a commendable start to the season, the frequent DNFs prevented him from defeating Ricciardo, the second time in a row.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 06: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 looks on in the garage during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

I had very good results in F1. I scored more points than Daniel in one of the two seasons that we were teammates. On the last year, I think I was a lot better, I think it was a little bit of bad luck,” he said.

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Overall, both Vergne and Ricciardo are enjoying a decent campaign in Formula E and Formula 1, respectively. While the former signed off the 2021 season by claiming P10 in the standings, Ricciardo is still amidst a tough fight to claim his second consecutive top 5 finish in the championship. But, will he?

Watch Story: Shortest F1 Drivers Ever Featuring Yuki Tsunoda & Lando Norris

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Rohit Kumar

1439 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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