Ricciardo names himself driver of the year

Date published: December 16 2020 - Mark Scott

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo has reluctantly named himself the best driver of the 2020 season, realising he “sounds a little bit of a douche” in doing so.

Ricciardo was the latest guest on the Australian Grand Prix’s ‘In The Fast Lane’ podcast and was asked to help construct a list of the top 10 drivers of the 2020 campaign.

The Aussie found it to be a difficult process as he felt a case could be made for quite a few drivers in a season that produced five different winners and 13 different drivers on the podium.

But eventually he decided to choose himself, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

“I don’t think it’s that obvious,” Ricciardo said. “Because I think a lot of people stepped up this year.

“I mean the Mr Consistent at the top, of course, is your Lewis Hamilton. So he’s going to be there, whether it’s first, second, he’s going to be there.

“Then you go down to Red Bull and Max is always there. So he’s in contention.

“The way Charles got that Ferrari doing things this year, but then again I feel like probably Charles made more mistakes, so I wouldn’t put him there.

“Yeah, probably myself! After all that. It’s hard not picking yourself, but it’s also hard picking yourself because you sound like a bit of a douche.

“Put it this way, I would put myself, Max and Lewis in the top three. But I’d sneak myself a nose in front.”

Daniel Ricciardo

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Ricciardo also did make a point of mentioning just how his former team-mate Verstappen has improved over the years.

“I think he definitely did a large step of his development through 2016 and then 2017,” he said.

“I also felt like the new cars, when we changed to the bigger tyres and all that in 2017, having more grip actually helped him or suited him as well.

“He was already doing very well and then those cars were more for him as well.

“Everyone says he was one of the best go-karters ever, and on a go-kart there’s a lot of grip in that and I thought maybe he just does like a car that really sticks.

“So, 2017, I think already the speed was there. And then there was still the mistakes which he needed to clean up, even through a bit of 2018.

“But once you clean that up, now he’s just got that high level of consistency with few mistakes.”

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