Who Is Daniel Ricciardo’s American Alter-Ego Ricky Bobby?

Published 10/22/2021, 8:59 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 21, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Mike Blake


Daniel Ricciardo loves a lot of things; America, comedy movies, and NASCAR are a few of them. What better way to combine the three than in his character of Ricky Bobby?

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On multiple occasions, Ricciardo has claimed Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby to be one of his top movies of all time. It is also a well-known fact that as the American air reaches Ricciardo’s lungs, the Aussie in him is drawn right out. Beards, briskets, and a heavy Southern accent take over the new man, Ricky Bobby.

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Ricky Bobby is Will Ferrell’s character in the movie; the actor plays a NASCAR driver hilariously trying to go back to his glory days. It is also a movie Ricciardo obsessively quotes in interviews; often getting upset when people don’t understand the reference.

But, who is Formula 1’s Ricky Bobby, and what’s his origin story?

The origins of Ricky Bobby

What started as a clever quip between Daniel Ricciardo and Jenson Button, has now become a running joke in F1. In a chaotic encounter in 2018, Button asked the Aussie for an autograph. Both drivers pretended not to know each other, leading to a hilarious exchange between the two.

While Danny referred to Button as Jason and Jensen, while parting with the Aussie, Button flipped the tables on him. The Brit asked Ricciardo, “What’s your name again?”

To this, Daniel chuckled and answered, “Ricky Bobby.”

The joke found its roots in Button sending Daniel a signed copy of his book the previous year. Although Button affectionately called his bud Ricky Bobby, soon fans associated the name to Ricciardo’s brisket-loving American alter-ego.

Daniel Ricciardo is now Ricky Bobby aka Rowdy Ricciardo

Notorious for his accents, Ricciardo’s southern accent trumps his Scottish one; thus, he frequently uses it, especially when in the Lone Star State. Daniel‘s love for America is deep-rooted in its similarities with Australia. Consequentially, the COTA in Austin is his favorite circuit to be on.

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Therefore, Daniel Ricciardo goes all the way. With the US Grand Prix, comes a new livery for Danny Ric! Traditionally spotted with a Mutton Chop beard, a cowboy outfit, and surely, the accent, there is no Daniel Ricciardo in Austin; only Ricky Bobby.

For years, Ricciardo hasn’t failed to disappoint at Austin; the state unlocks another level of hilarity in the driver. From the Texan- jumpsuits at Red Bull to bringing back the beard in 2021, Ricciardo unleashes the beast that is Ricky Bobby.

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With the American circuits increasing next season, maybe we’ll see a Miami-version of the Aussie as well! Till then, as Ricciardo says, “Boogedity Boogedity Boogedity, let’s go racing, drivers!”

Watch this story: Daniel Ricciardo Set to Drive NASCAR Legend Dale Earnhardt’s 1984 Chevrolet Car at Texas

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Shreya Sanjeev

606 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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