The Double Life of Daniel Ricciardo

Many great athletes have earned legendary

animal nicknames.

Tiger, Mamba, Pitbull.

One of the rather exotic, but fitting examples

is given to Daniel Ricciardo: The Honey Badger.

鈥濼he Honey Badger has been referred to by

the Guiness Book of World Records as the most

fearless animal in all the animal kingdom.

It really doesn鈥檛 give a shit.鈥?

As everyone knows since this viral video,

the honey badger is a cute, fluffy but badass

mammal found mainly in Africa and Asia.

And for some reason it is the spirit animal

of Daniel Ricciardo!

Welcome to Athletic Interest.

In this video, we will understand how Daniel

Ricciardo has paired his ruthless driving

skills with a fluffy and fun personality to

create a level of fame usually reserved for

world champions – and how he is building a

second life as a businessman.

Daniel Joseph Ricciardo decided to take up

karting when he was 9 – after spending his

early years watching his father race.

Within a few years, Daniel was racing in junior

formula events across the globe.

His fearless driving style eventually caught

the attention of Red Bull, who signed him

to their junior team in 2008.

One year later, Ricciardo got his first taste

of Formula 1 when he was invited to a young

drivers鈥?test in Spain.

He clocked the fastest time of the event by

more than a second.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner was so impressed

that he made Daniel one of Red Bull鈥檚 test

drivers for the F1 season in 2010 and he quickly

became more than just a test driver.

In his over 200 F1 starts since then, Ricciardo

has become famous for his stunning speed and

fearless overtakes.

He has recorded 8 wins and 32 podiums and

is routinely named as one of the most talented

drivers on the grid.

This success has made him one of the sport’s

biggest stars.

An estimated 45% of the U.K. population knows

who he is and he has around 11 million followers

across social media, the third-highest of

any current F1 driver.

So, how did Ricciardo become a worldwide celebrity

without winning a world championship?

This is where Daniel takes inspiration from

the Honey Badger.

Ricciardo may be one of the deadliest overtakers

in Formula 1, but his off-track persona is

more fun and fluffy.

I’ve gone to the toilet in my racecar? – There is a little bit of like an excitement piddle, but not a proper one.

Just like a little bit dripped out? -Yeah. It’s like “Oh I’m excited!” Ups.

Ricciardo is capable of turning any situation

into a spectacle.

Just look at what happened on the podium of

the 2016 German Grand Prix鈥?

Ricciardo removed his sweaty shoe, filled

it with champagne, and proceeded to down the

disgusting cocktail.

This weird celebration, which is apparently

an Australian tradition, put Ricciardo鈥檚

entertaining personality on full display.

Ricciardo鈥檚 podiums are now blockbuster

events and he has even convinced everyone

from Lewis Hamilton to Patrick Stewart to

join him in chugging sweaty champagne.

When Netflix decided to make a documentary

on Formula 1, it was an obvious choice to

follow Ricciardo.

They spent a lot of time with him and gave

fans around the world a very personal view

of his life off the track.

From his hilarious pronunciation of Nico Hulkenburg鈥檚

name

To his ability to genuinely connect with strangers.

Thanks to his awkward but hilarious personality,

fans across the world, and even his rivals

within F1, now hold genuine affection for

Ricciardo.

This love was on full display when Ricciardo won his first race with Mclaren in 2021.

Daniel鈥檚 ability to connect is relatively

unique in Formula 1, a sport where drivers

are often seen as elite and untouchable.

Before 2017, teams and drivers were banned

from filming behind-the-scenes clips for social

media, which created a natural barrier between

fans and drivers.

Ricciardo鈥檚 loveable personality has quickly

broken down that barrier and arguably helped

pioneer a new wave of drivers that are loved

for both their on and off-track exploits.

As Ricciado himself puts it:

Daniel鈥檚 newfound fame has allowed him to

create an impressive business empire.

In recent years, he has set up a brewery in

France, a wine brand in Australia, and has

even started his own label of merchandise.

He also has brand partnerships with Amazon,

GoPro, Beats and EA Sports.

Much like his spirit animal the Honey Badger,

Ricciardo鈥檚 approach to business is a complete

contrast to how he approaches Formula 1.

He is far more private about his business

ventures and views them as an escape from

the hectic world of racing.

This attempt to separate his business life

from his Formula 1 career is deliberate.

Ricciardo knows that his F1 fame will not

last forever and he is quietly preparing for

life where he is no longer in the spotlight.

At the same time, Daniel is still following

his core strategy鈥enuine connection.

Each business venture is based on something

he has a connection to.

His love for fashion is evident in his merchandise

and his Italian heritage was his inspiration

behind the wine partnership.

While other sports stars try to squeeze as

much money as possible from their popularity

through book deals, radio shows and presenting

gigs, Ricciardo has built companies that take

him away from the F1 limelight.

He may be ruthless on the track, but his goofy

personality and genuine ability to connect

have helped him become one of the most popular

Formula 1 drivers on the grid.

A true Honey Badger.

鈥淗oney Badger don鈥檛 care, it just takes

what it wants.鈥?

Athletic Interest just turned two 馃帀!

You remember our first video?

It started like this:

鈥淓very 28 seconds, somebody buys a Liverpool

kit.鈥?

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Thanks a lot for supporting our content and

to many more years and videos!