Daniel Ricciardo takes his smile, and speed, to Top Gear


One of the joys of BBC’s Top Gear program – outside of the usual silliness that occurs among hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – is seeing the “Star in a reasonably priced car” segment.

Occasionally, Top Gear has Formula 1 drivers on. This week, they welcomed Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo was fresh off the opening F1 test of the year in Jerez aboard his new Red Bull chassis.

If you haven’t seen the show on BBC or BBC America here in the U.S., we’d advise you read no further to see how he did.

Ricciardo joined Clarkson in the main area for his interview, before a shift to his lap in the Suzuki Liana, which all prior F1 drivers have used.

Clarkson polled the audience for potential questions, and one smart-alecky fan asked “how does the back of Lewis (Hamilton’s) car look?” Ricciardo deftly responded with the international one-finger salute.

Once in the car, Ricciardo had the last laugh.

The Australian dropped a 1:42.2 lap time around the Top Gear course. The time was seven tenths quicker than Hamilton, who had set the previous lap record, more than a second clear of countryman and Red Bull predecessor Mark Webber, and nearly two seconds up on former Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel.

More on Ricciardo’s record-setting run from the Top Gear website is linked here.

Ricciardo, who won three Grands Prix in 2014, is off to a good start for 2015.