Who is Daren Stanley – McLaren F1 Strategist Behind ‘Daren’ Saga Involving Daniel Ricciardo?

Published 06/29/2021, 9:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – FIA News conference – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 17, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the French grand prix REUTERS/Yves Herman


One of the toughest jobs in F1 is undeniably to be a race engineer at McLaren, especially for the seat that is currently owned by Daniel Ricciardo. Tom Stallard just doesn’t seem to catch a break with the already famous ‘Daren’ saga. Yet again, at the Styrian Grand Prix, Stallard referred to the Australian as ‘Daren’ through the team radio.

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This led to many wondering, who is Daren? Is Stallard just mispronouncing ‘Daniel’ as ‘Daren’ or is there an actual person with the name, ‘Daren’?

Well, the truth is that the McLaren race engineer has been referring it to another crew of the team. Daren Stanley is the race strategist at McLaren and has been so for over five seasons now.

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The Briton joined the team back in 2012 as a support engineer and took the strategical role later ahead of the 2016 season. The interesting thing about Daren is that he has somehow become famous without actually showing up his real face in front of the camera, thanks to Stallard.

For those who are assuming the Daren saga started with Ricciardo, well, you’re wrong. This has been the case since Carlos Sainz’s phase with McLaren.

Daren shows up at Carlos Sainz’s radio

The first time Daren appeared on the radio was back in 2019. During one of the Spanish Grand Prix, Stallard came up on Sainz‘s radio and said, “Daren, it’s Tom… Sorry, Carlos“.

The Spaniard then gave a hilarious reply, saying, “Hello, Tom. I’m Daren“. The very next season at the very same circuit, Daren showed up again. Only this time, it was during the pre-season testing.

Daren, currently measured deg…err, sorry Carlos currently measured deg similar to the race,” he said before being interrupted by Sainz. “Hello, Tom. Daren again,” the Spaniard responded. Stallard giggled and replied, “It’s every time we come to Spain.”

McLaren race engineer continues the ‘Daren’ saga with Ricciardo

The McLaren race engineer reckoned Spain was the problem, having made the mistake in that particular circuit, twice.

Was he right, though? Was Spain the problem? Well, no.

Stallard yet again made the mistake with Ricciardo in 2021. And it was during the French Grand Prix this time.

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Daren, do you think… Oh sorry. Daniel, do you think this is a first lap tire?” Stallard asked Ricciardo. While many expected a comeback from the Australian much similar to Sainz, that never happened. “Yeah, it can be. Yep,” he replied, keeping it simple.

Just one week later, at the Styrian GP, it was yet again time for the Daren show. “Box Daren…Daniel Box,” Stallard said. And Ricciardo came back this time around. “Box confirm. Daren pit lane,” he said, taking a cheeky dig at his race engineer.

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Overall, the frequency of Daren showing up on the McLaren team radio is growing each day. And for the first time, Stallard made that mistake over two back-to-back race weekends. So, can the ex-British rower make it three in a row at the approaching Styrian GP?

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Rohit Kumar

940 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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