Daniel Ricciardo is probably used to people being starstruck by him… But the shoe (or shoey?) was on the other foot for ‘The Honey Badger’ at the 2023 Met Gala, with the affable Australian caught fawning over Anne Hathaway in front of the world’s press.
The Formula 1 driver – who’s currently employed as Red Bull Racing’s reserve driver after finding himself without a race seat for 2023 in the top tier of international motorsport – was spotted having a bit of a fanboy moment at the Met Gala when he was caught on camera seemingly starstruck while looking at American actress Anne Hathaway.
Daniel Ricciardo was filmed standing on the side when Hathaway made her red carpet entrance. He stood there in awe until a group of photographers looked like they moved him out of the way because they couldn’t get a clean shot of Hathaway.
It was a slightly awkward but very cute moment… Danny Ric really is just a giant puppy dog, isn’t he?
After that embarrassing moment, Ricciardo went over to The Devil Wears Prada star and the two shook hands while sharing a brief exchange. It turned out that Ricciardo wasn’t the only one who was starstruck at the accidental meeting…
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With her ever-beaming smile, Hathaway told Ricciardo that she’s a huge F1 fan. The conversation didn’t last long, but it was good enough to know that both are fans of each other – or, at least, Hathaway is a fan of Ricciardo’s sport.
Daniel Ricciardo’s surprise Met Gala appearance
The Australian driver follows Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton as the latest representative from the world’s premier racing series to make an appearance at the annual fundraiser, which is held for the benefit of New York’s famous Metropolitan Museum of Art and its Costume Institute.
When Hamilton attended the event in 2021, Ricciardo commented that such events are not his cup of tea. He said that while it would be a great experience, it might be a little too formal for him. But on Monday, it seemed as if he’s changed his mind, having secured an invite to the prestigious event.
For the occasion, Ricciardo wore a custom three-piece tuxedo with wide pinstripes from Thom Browne and looked fantastic. We’re not sure how on-theme it was, but we liked his outfit regardless.
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Ricciardo looking to return to the grid
Ricciardo’s got more free time to do swanky gala events like this now that he’s on his F1 “sabbatical”. Originally signed by McLaren for a three-year deal starting in 2021, the British team ended the 33-year-old’s contract early in order to get fellow Aussie, 22-year-old Oscar Piastri, on board for 2023 alongside Lando Norris.
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Ricciardo’s dramatic slump in form at McLaren (notwithstanding his win at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix) remains one of the most perplexing episodes in recent Formula 1 memory, and his choice to take a reserve driver role at his old team, Red Bull, instead of trying to find a full-time race seat elsewhere, has been widely questioned by commentators.
However, Ricciardo’s been ebullient about his new role, and has recently emphasised how he feels ready to get back to driving full-time – but “not at any cost”.
“A lot of the reason for taking this year off was that I didn’t want to just jump back into a car, any car just to be one of the F1 drivers,” he recently told Sky Sports.
“I want to be back with a top team and obviously a team where I have my confidence back and my mojo… I feel better at the front of the grid. I feel like I perform in those situations with a bit more pressure and a bit more emphasis on a podium.”Daniel Ricciardo