Daniel Ricciardo “Faultless” Seven Races In

Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo is having a rookie season to remember according to Red Bull Racing leadership.

Not yet at the half way stage of his first year alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo heads into this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix as one of the talking points of the season after claiming a maiden GP win in Canada a week and a half ago.

The 24-year-old has overcome an overturned podium finish at his debut F1 appearance on home soil in Melbourne to move into third spot of the driver standings behind dominant Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

“Daniel has been massively impressive this year,” Red Bull Racing tech boss Adrian Newey told AutoSport.com. “He has certainly exceeded all our expectations.

“What I find amazing about him is how calm he is in the car. When he’s on the radio it’s like he’s sitting down with a cup of tea and driving one-handed. It’s quite remarkable.

“He’s very calm, collected, takes everything in his stride, and he’s really enjoying his job.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also got amongst the action, complimenting Ricciardo’s maturity in capturing three podium finishes so early into his career.

“The way he has driven, the way he has made his passing moves, he has driven faultlessly all season,” Horner said.

“He grabbed his opportunity [in Canada] and I am delighted for him that he won his first grand prix.

“There were questions asked when we chose him as our driver alongside Sebastian and I think he has demonstrated beyond all doubt that he fully deserves that position.”

Formula 1 returns to Austria’s Red Bull/A1 Ring this weekend for the first time in 11 years. Ricciardo enters the 71-lap, 307km course 61 points behind championship leader Rosberg (140) and just 39 behind Hamilton for second. 

Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images