After almost 10 years in the Red Bull family, with the last race of the 2018 this weekend Daniel Ricciardo finishes a chapter in his career and opens a new one, with the Renault F1 team. During those 10 years he scored 8 wins in Formula Renault 2.0 WEC, 6 in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, 7 in British Formula 3 Championship, 5 in Formula Renault 3.5 Series and 7 in Formula One, all of which happened with the Red Bull Racing team. Ricciardo began his F1 history with Scuderia Toro Rosso in season of 2010, during which he was a test driver for the young Red Bull team. He got a permanent position in the team from 2012 and after only two years he was promoted to the senior team of Red Bull, first starring alongside Sebastian Vettel, and then with Max Verstappen after the German left for Ferrari.
Ricciardo faced some good as well as some bad times in Red Bull. One of the most remarkable bad one was definitely the 2016 Monaco GP during which the pit stop caused him to lose P1 and eventually stand on the second place on the podium. He redeemed himself two years after, in the season 2018, when he finally won the Monaco GP. During this current season Ricciardo did not finish the race 8 times (Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy, USA and Mexico), but won 2 times (China and Monaco) and 7 times he scored 4th place (Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Japan and Brazil). Compared to season 2017, where he did not finish 7 times (Australia, Russia, Hungary, Singapore, USA, Mexico and Abu Dhabi), but over 8 times he was able to score a podium, with 7 3rd places (Spain, Monaco, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Malaysia, Japan) and one 1st (Azerbaijan), this season was a little bit of a down for the Australian. The information about his switch to Renault F1 from next season dropped like a bomb around the summer break of this year, after it was almost sure he will still remain in Red Bull. But as he said, he needed a new challenge and his position in Red Bull has also became a little bit unclear, as the team prefers to push out younger drivers for number one despite the previous consistency of the Australian. With his skill, Ricciardo quickly became one of the best driver on the grid, a driver with incredible overtaking maneuvers and someone who will not give back their position on the track easily. Besides that, the Ricciardo we know from Red Bull is the always happy Honey Badger, always involved in some jokes and funny situations. Hopefully he will regain even more of his spark at Renault, and his switch to this team won't mean a total disaster.
The 2018 Abu Dhabi GP is also Ricciardo's 100th start with Red Bull in F1. It is also a farewell to the Red Bull Racing's Honey Badger. From the season 2019 Daniel Ricciardo will be a part of Renault F1 alongside Nico Hulkenberg. There's nothing more than to wish him good luck in the new team, and hope that the Honey Badger as we know will show us this is not the last we hear of him.