Daniel Ricciardo has been awarded one of his nation's top honours by being named a Member of the Order of Australia.
The McLaren F1 driver was one of 155 people across the country to be awarded the distinction in the Governor General's 2022 Australia Day Honours List.
Ricciardo has been recognised for his "significant service to motorsport as a competitor and ambassador, and to the community".
The 32-year-old from Perth, who devotes his spare time to a number of charities, told The West Australian newspaper: “I’m extremely proud to receive the award, just to be named alongside the previous recipients is pretty special.
“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.”
Following his debut campaign with McLaren, Ricciardo was able to return home for the first time in 20 months due to the situation surrounding the pandemic, allowing him to properly switch off in a recognised environment.
“It’s been awesome to get home, especially over the summer,” added Ricciardo. “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.”