The Comparison: Daniel Ricciardo vs Mark Webber

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Jo Hinmers

The Comparison: Daniel Ricciardo vs Mark Webber

This Sunday will see the return of the formidable and exciting Melbourne Grand Prix. After a 2-year absence, the race calendar sees the return of Daniel Ricciardo’s home circuit once again.

The McLaren driver will look to kick-start his season following a poor start in Bahrain and Jeddah, hoping the buzz from the home crowd can spur him to score his, first points of the season.

Despite the poor start to this season, Ricciardo has established himself as one of Formula One’s most talented drivers, but how does his career so far compare to that of fellow Australian and former Red Bull driver, Mark Webber?

Australian GP Tips

skybet betting tip

DANIEL RICCIARDO TO FINISH AHEAD OF LANDO NORRIS @ 6/4

Daniel Ricciardo’s Story So Far

Following Mark’s retirement from Formula One in 2013, his Red Bull seat was taken up by then Torro Rosso driver, Daniel Ricciardo. Webber had an impressive career amassing nine wins, 42 podiums and 1047.5 total career points. Ricciardo’s career numbers are very similar to his Australian predecessor, with eight wins, 32 podiums and 1274 career points… so far.

Both faced the tough task of being the number two driver to 4-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel. Whilst Ricciardo left Christian Horner’s outfit due to feeling he did not have equal treatment to reigning F1 World Driver’s Championship winner Max Verstappen.

Ricciardo’s inaugural season as an F1 driver was impressive. Often outscoring his Toro Rosso teammate and senior driver Jean-Éric Vergne. By the end of his second season in F1 he had out-qualified his teammate in over 75% of the races that year and finished seven points clear of him.

Ricciardo’s early career at Red Bull impressed many, with him often outperforming the existing world champion, Vettel, during the first half of the season, something Webber failed to do throughout his Red Bull tenure.

Many feel that Ricciardo was unlucky in his timing when joining and eventually leaving Red Bull, two years earlier and he would be fighting for titles, two years later and he would be doing the same. While he still had a successful career as a part of Horner’s team, many fans utter “what could have been” for Ricciardo had he been given the fortunes of a more competitive car.

Fast forward to 2018 and Ricciardo, much to the surprise of fans, announces he will be leaving Red Bull and has signed for Renault in the forthcoming season, with hopes he was to be the veteran driver to bring glory back to Renault following their return to Formula One.

However, a disappointing debut season followed, with the Honey Badger finishing ninth in the championship standings. While his second season saw improvement, with a fifth-place finish overall, to Ricciardo at least, the car he was driving was not the one he was promised would allow him to challenge for titles once again, and he subsequently joined Lando Norris in a controversial switch to McLaren for the 2021 season, where he still competes today.

Ricciardo gained his first race win since leaving Red Bull in Monza last year where he and Norris finished 1-2 after championship favourites Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton both retired.

Australian GP Tips

skybet betting tip

LECLERC PODIUM, GASLY TOP 6, RICCIARDO POINTS @ 18/1

Mark Webber’s Career

While Ricciardo was thrown straight into the deep end with two seasons at a mid-range team before signing for title chasers, Webber’s career started a little bumpier.

In 2002, Webber signed for Minardi, a heavily underfunded team whose car was so underdeveloped at the time, that Webber’s 6ft frame could barely fit in the cockpit. After finishing 16th with only 2 points in his rookie season, Webber joined Jaguar in November of 2002 but again found himself in an unreliable and uncompetitive car despite his clear talent.

He stayed with Jaguar until 2005 where he was scouted by legendary Williams owner Sir Frank Williams, who he would compete for in the 2005-2006 season. However, after another poor season with an under-performing and under-powered car, Webber moved onto Red Bull where he would finally get to showcase his talent in a car fit for purpose.

It did take two seasons before Red Bull produced a competitive car, however, but the RB5 produced in the 2009 season saw Webber gain his first-ever F1 victory in the German Grand Prix, and go on to finish the season with his highest ever points total in fourth position.

From 2010-to 2013, Red Bull and their RB6/RB7 cars dominated the 2010-2012 seasons. Webber, much like Ricciardo only fell short due to the quality of his teammate (and that of Fernando Alonso). Was Webber to be appreciated for his talent, he likely would have at least one championship title to his name.

Comparatively then, the careers of both the Australians is somewhat similar, many fans throw in the cliché “what could have been” for both, however successful they were or have been so far. I am sure both will have no regrets regarding their careers, and Ricciardo will certainly still believe he has what it takes to bring a championship title back to Australia.

Australian GP Tips

skybet betting tip

DANIEL RICCIARDO TO FINISH IN THE POINTS @ 9/4

This Weekend’s Australian GP

Come Sunday, Ricciardo will certainly be hoping for more success than he and McLaren have had so far, however, Melbourne has not been a place filled with happy Formula One memories for the only Aussie driver in this year's line-up. The Honey Badger has never achieved a podium (legally) in the Melbourne Grand Prix and bar a miracle, this year unfortunately looks like it will be no different.

Despite this, he and the McLaren team have stayed optimistic, with Danny himself stating he is excited to get racing again following an unfortunate DNF in Jeddah in the last race, and that he can see the hard work put into the car is finally paying off. It will be interesting to see if McLaren have used the two weeks break to close the gap between themselves and the midfield teams ahead of them currently.

Mark Webber will no doubt be cheering on his fellow national, hoping the race kick-start’s the season for Ricciardo and McLaren following such a torrid start.

Ricciardo to finish ahead of teammate Lando Norris in Melbourne on Sunday is 6/4 on Skybet and 3/1 to finish in the points.

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