We all know the 2018 F1 season is chock-full of talent. A true era of racing giants battling back and forth for the world championship. Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have been locked in a bitter rivalry for the elusive 5th world championship and it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top. What’s truly tragic is that very few people seem to acknowledge the massive talent and spectacular racer that is the Honey Badger: Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo was introduced to Formula 1 in 2011, where he took over for fellow Australian, Mark Webber, and has been racing for Red Bull ever since. While most people are paying attention to his teammate Max Verstappen (simply for the shock value he adds to the races, I suspect), Ricciardo is currently third in points for the 2018 championship. His record over the past few years has been somewhat unremarkable, but this year he’s been in top form. His lows are still relatively high, and when he shines, he shines brighter than anyone. This is best displayed when he had a perfect race in Monaco two weeks ago, even with numerous odds stacked against him.
He led the entire race from beginning to end. And even with his tires torn to pieces, his engine losing power in the waning laps of the race and facing extreme pressure from a quadruple world champion, he still won. Racing aside, there’s something else about him that just makes him so much fun to watch, and that’s who he is off the track.
Most of the drivers this year mostly think and operate on similar lines, but Ricciardo is just such an eccentric goof. Whether it’s his Honey Badger decal he wears on the back of his helmet, his signature ‘shoey’ swing of celebratory champagne from his racing boot, his spectacular swan dive into the pool at the end of the Monaco GP, or his drenching the Monaco Royal Family with champagne on the podium, he is Formula 1’s resident rock star. He is massively fun to watch even when he isn’t whipping his own teammate or embarrassing veteran drivers.
He may not be a favorite to win the title, but he is a favorite to win the hearts of the racing scene. Keep being you, Honey Badger!
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Title image: CNN.com
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