A Season in Review: Daniel Ricciardo
In an era of Mercedes preeminence, a third place finish is just about all you can ask from a driver who’s surname isn’t Rosberg or Hamilton, in that respect Daniel Ricciardo can hold his head high after yet another impressive campaign. Despite the Ferrari duo keeping pace with Ricciardo early on, he was able to accelerate ahead of the field finishing third with relative ease. A glorious run of form saw him claim 7 podiums in 9 races from Hungary through to Mexico, including his one win for the season in Malaysia. Following this there was very little chance of anyone behind him catching up.
Ricciardo's win, Malaysia 2016
However, is there a case to say his season was not quite as brilliant as it may seem? Considering he put one more in his win column and gained 164 points on his 2015 tally, the answer should be no, but he was aided by continuing Ferrari unreliability and a certain Max Verstappen only getting 17 of his 21 races in the Red Bull. Both Ferrari drivers suffered four retirements each, with Verstappen having three; on the other hand Ricciardo had none all year.
Taking those retirements out of the picture, Vettel actually had higher points per finish, as did Verstappen if you only include his Red Bull races. So whilst his season must be considered successful, perhaps other factors contributed to it as well as his driving ability. The big test for Ricciardo will be next season when the ever-improving Verstappen gets a full season to try and beat him.
Season Rating: BH – 8/10