F1’s Honorary American, Daniel Ricciardo, Now Recognizable Across US

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Daniel Ricciardo is living proof that Formula One’s popularity is on the rise in the United States.

The Red Bull Racing driver is very open about his love of the country, reminding us every year that he goes on a diet before heading to Circuit of the Americas so he can stock up on barbecue. But it seems the U.S. finally is starting to reciprocate that affection.

Ricciardo is a native of Perth, Australia, but frequently visits the U.S. when he’s not racing. The 28-year-old recently told CNN Sport that, with each year he’s been coming here, more Americans have begun to recognize him stateside.

“I’m still not saying I’m getting recognized everywhere — not at all — but I do get recognized now, and I’m sure other drivers do also,” Ricciardo said. “When we first started coming, not only weren’t we recognized, but people were not even aware of what Formula One was.”

Considering Ricciardo made actor Gerard Butler chug champagne out of his race boot on live TV after last year’s U.S. Grand Prix, we’re not surprised he’s getting more attention from Americans. That said, Ricciardo’s friends probably no longer will be able to embarrass him in public, like they did at Los Angeles Airport, without causing a scene.

Thumbnail photo via Red Bull Racing

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