NÜRBURG, Germany — Daniel Ricciardo’s first podium finish for Renault comes with a special bonus. He gets to choose a tattoo for his boss.
The Australian driver and Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul had a bet that Abiteboul would get a tattoo of Ricciardo’s choice if he could finish in the top three of a race this season. Ricciardo managed it with a run to third in the Eifel Grand Prix on Sunday.
Abiteboul gets to choose where the tattoo goes — ruling out, he said, any ink on the face — but Ricciardo picks the design.
Ricciardo said it will be “probably something to do with me, but with a German flavor” to reflect the race at the Nürburgring.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of brainstorming to do for Cyril’s tattoo,” Ricciardo said. “The first one is always a fun one.”
Ricciardo started strongly after qualifying sixth and was elevated into the top three after car problems for Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Lando Norris. His result could have been even better as he challenged Max Verstappen for second after a safety car restart.
It had been nine years since Renault finished on the podium, with Nick Heidfeld in Malaysia.
The Renault name was out of F1 for four years from 2012 through 2016 while the team raced under the Lotus banner. Renault has struggled to make a mark after its return, but has improved this season and is in a three-way fight with Racing Point and McLaren for third place in the constructors’ championship. They’re all taking advantage of opportunities opened up by Ferrari’s poor campaign.
The Renault team will be renamed Alpine for 2021 to advertise Renault’s sports car brand, and Ricciardo will move to McLaren. Two-time champion Fernando Alonso returns to F1 next season and will partner Ricciardo’s current teammate Esteban Ocon at Renault.