Ricciardo names his five most underrated F1 drivers

Mark Scott
Daniel Ricciardo jokes that he plans to start the 2020 season-opener from the back of the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo jokes that he plans to start the 2020 season-opener from the back of the grid.

To help try and stave off the lockdown boredom, Daniel Ricciardo plans to publish diary entries about anything and everything. First up, his five most underrated drivers he has raced against in Formula 1.

Ricciardo was recently told he had raced against 62 different drivers since his Formula 1 career began in 2011 and that has sent him on what we hope are many trips down memory lane in the coming weeks and months.

Although his top five are in no particular order, he begins with a name that we suspect very few would have been expecting to see on there: Marcus Ericsson.

“Marcus was always properly quick as we were coming through [the ranks],” Ricciardo recalled in a post published on his social media channels.

“As a junior, Marcus was very highly rated and I felt like that reputation didn’t really last when he was in Formula 1. The speed, though that was definitely there…I felt that he was probably a bit underrated.”

Next on the list is a driver that is dearly missed: Jules Bianchi.

“It wasn’t like Jules was underrated,” Ricciardo explained.

“But we never got to see him in a top car, so maybe people didn’t appreciate how good he was going to be…he would have been in a top team and a race winner by now for sure.

“I feel Charles [Leclerc] is doing now what Jules would have been doing.”

There was also space on the list for his first-time Formula 1 team-mate, Tonio Luizzi, who caught Ricciardo “off guard with his raw speed” and Robert Merhi, who reminds the Aussie of Max Verstappen in how he “could just rag the car and had fantastic car control”.

And, even though Jenson Button is a Formula 1 World Champion, Ricciardo feels he does not get the credit he deserves, especially for the 2011 season where Button beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton “fair and square” and on “real [racing] tracks”.

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