‘Hard Guy to Put Away’: Daniel Ricciardo Explains Why He’d Love to Fight Max Verstappen

Published 05/07/2021, 7:58 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Third placed Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo speaks with second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon


Daniel Ricciardo is an adrenaline junky, just as most F1 drivers on the grid are. When he is not going at 300 kilometers per hour on the racing track, he likes to spend his time off by indulging in other high-risk and adventurous activities. So, it’s not surprising that the Australian is a huge fan of combat sports.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“I’d love to do a charity boxing match or something just to feel that adrenaline of walking to a ring. It’s on my to-do list for sure,” Ricciardo told ‘The Athletic’ in an exclusive interview.

He began as an ardent follower of boxing but has shifted to MMA in recent years, inclining himself to the ever-growing craze of UFC. Not just a keen watcher, but he’s someone who is also ready to give in to the mania of celebrity boxing matches.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

As YouTubers began by fighting YouTubers, he is open to throwing some punches at his fellow racing drivers. While Lewis Hamilton rejected the idea of getting in the boxing ring with him in 2016, he is open to the idea of fighting his former Red Bull teammate, Max Verstappen.

On the suggestion of fighting Max, he said, “That would have been cool as well (laughs). Max would be a good competitor in the ring. The way he drives, he’s quite stubborn.

“He’d be a hard guy to put away. He’s probably the guy that you’d choke him and he’s going to sleep and not tapping. That would make an interesting one.”

Daniel Ricciardo has an eerie ‘killer streak’ in him

While most drivers may come across as cold and stern-faced, Ricciardo is as jovial as they come. The good-natured Aussie is always seen with a big, brimming smile across his face. But don’t kid yourself, for when the visor goes down, his single-minded focus is on winning.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“Even when I tell people I’m a fight fan, people are like, ‘oh really? You’re into that? You seem too nice to like that.’ But to get where I have in the sport, you need a bit of a killer streak in you. I do have it, but don’t always show it,” he explained.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 29, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys

Ricciardo is a bag full of surprises. His engaging personality is what helps the sport of F1 grow. And his endorsement of combat sports won’t do any harm to his chances of making a huge fan base in the United States.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Daniel Ricciardo Reveals the Most Embarrassing Moment in His F1 Career

about 1 year ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT