This performance led to a test and reserve seat at Toro Rosso for 2010, which Daniel combined with a move up to Formula Renault 3.5. He narrowly missed out on the World Series title after impressive wins in Spain, Monaco, Germany and Hungary but was rewarded with regular FP1 appearances for Toro Rosso in the first half of 2011. Next came a loan to HRT for the second half of the season and an F1 race debut at Silverstone in the British Grand Prix.
Daniel transitioned smoothly into a race seat at Toro Rosso for 2012 and, in two years with the Italian squad, consistently punched above his weight, gaining a reputation as a demon qualifier, confident overtaker and a racer’s racer, who enjoyed the scrap as much as the result. He scored in 13 of his 39 races and was awarded the Trofeo Lorenzo Bandini in recognition of his efforts.
Daniel was promoted to the senior Red Bull Racing team for 2014. He took a debut F1 victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, followed by further wins in Hungary and Belgium to finish third in the Drivers’ Championship, and was awarded the prestigious Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year.
He took his first pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2016 and was denied victory by a slow pit-stop. He went on to win the Malaysian Grand Prix later that year and once again finished third in the Drivers’ Championship. He added an unlikely Azerbaijan Grand Prix victory in 2017, and a remarkable early season victory in China at the beginning of 2018. He then had the crowning moment of his career to date: winning the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix from pole position, despite driving half the race with a crippled car, down on power, losing gears and with failing brakes. Mid-season, he announced a move to Renault for 2019.
Daniel’s two seasons with Renault were comparatively fallow and yet, despite limited successes, he still managed to burnish his reputation as F1’s most clinical overtaker, with a penchant for a late-race charge. He signed off from Renault with a flourish, scoring podiums at the Nürburgring and Imola.
Daniel lives in Monaco but takes every opportunity to get back to the family farm in Western Australia – less for the farming and more for the space to play with his collection of dirt bikes and other off-roaders. Gregarious by nature, and not disposed to taking himself too seriously, Daniel has always been a firm favourite with fans, media and his teams – but when the visor comes down, the Honey Badger is a fierce competitor indeed.