Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo nailed Top Gear's 'Star in a reasonably-priced car'

The Stig and Daniel Ricciardo face off. Source: Top Gear/BBC World

Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has new bragging rights in the lead up to the Melbourne Grand Prix next month after posting the fastest time on Top Gear’s “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” challenge.

The 25-year-old rising star of Infiniti-Red Bull racing beat Englishman Lewis Hamilton’s two-year-old record by 0.7 of a second after flogging a Suzuki Liana around the Top Gear track to post a best time of 1 minute and 42.2 seconds.

Top Gear calls him the “loveable Aussie” and Ricciardo showed he’s as funny as he’s fast in the segment, with deft comic touches from his “race face, Grrrr!” to “Chicks will go crazy for this!” as the 13-year-old Japanese car slides and under-steers around the track.

On the couch, host Jeremy Clarkson teases him with a time of 1:50, with a devastated Ricciardo going “No, come on!” before laughter and the driver’s trademark smile takes over.

“I’m letting you down gently,” Clarkson says, adding “my hair’s standing on end” before revealing the new record time to delighted, fist-pumping Ricciardo.

“Staggering, absolutely staggering. How did you do that?” Clarkson asks.

The time also beats fellow Australian Mark Webber’s third place at 1:43.1 on the Top Gear F1 leaderboard.

Ricciardo’s triumph appears in the 3rd episode of series 22 of the popular car show.

No doubt the F1 driver, who ended his debut season in 2014 with three wins (and an unfortunate disqualification after a second in Melbourne last year) is hoping the Top Gear time is a good omen for the 2015 season, which begins in Melbourne on March 15.

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