McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has reacted to being given the top Australian honour in the Member of the Order of Australia, saying he was beyond ecstatic.
Ricciardo was one of 155 Australians to be named in the Governor General’s 2022 Australia Day Honours List. According to the nomination, he was recognised for his “significant service to motorsport as a competitor and ambassador, and to the community.”
The 32-year-old driver from Perth, who in his spare time donates to a number of charities, revealed he was beyond thrilled. He reminisced about his journey to F1 and his current position, and revealed his pride in his nomination.
Ricciardo reacted to being given the top Australian honour in the Member of the Order of Australia, saying it was the biggest achievement of his life.
“I’m extremely proud to receive the award, just to be named alongside the previous recipients is pretty special,” he said, as quoted by GP Fans.
“It wasn’t easy leaving Australia to chase this F1 dream. I was 17 at the time and it was a long road ahead, so for my home to recognise that effort, the passion and determination, it really does mean a lot.
“Representing Australia on this (F1) stage, it does put a big smile on my face, I’m just really proud.”
“It’s been awesome to get home, especially over the summer,” the eight-time race winner continued.
“First and foremost it’s been about spending some quality time with the family. It had been a while. Then it’s been great to see some friends, if it’s spending some time outdoors, some fishing, some backyard cricket, it’s been nice.
“Coming back home also just helps me switch off from racing for a few weeks. It gives me the reset to then get back into training for the year ahead.”