Ricciardo starts planning Abiteboul’s tattoo

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo PA

With a first podium in the bag for Daniel Ricciardo at Renault, it’s now time for Cyril Abiteboul’s tattoo design to be decided.

Ricciardo crossed the line P3 at the Eifel Grand Prix, scoring Renault’s first podium since the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix.

That was also Ricciardo’s first top-three finish in yellow and black, and as part of the deal he struck with team principal Abiteboul, a tattoo is now in the Frenchman’s future after Ricciardo delivered on his end of the bargain by taking Renault back to the podium.

Speaking to Sky F1 about his first podium since Monaco 2018, Ricciardo said: “It’s been a while, actually to be honest it feels like the first podium all over again.

“I think it has been two and a half years or something, and the feeling is really nice, it’s fresh, I’m just so happy and to see everyone as well we’ve all waited a long time for this, so I think everyone is going to soak it up.”

Asked about Abiteboul’s tattoo, Ricciardo said: “Yeah it’s real. It’s going to happen.

“We’ll have to do some thinking now, but probably something to do with me, but I think with a German flavour. This is obviously the place we did it so a little tip of the hat to something traditional in Germany as well.”

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That podium arrived at with new Renault CEO Luca de Meo’s to watch his team in action – talk about perfect timing!

“Yes the timing is good,” said Abiteboul.

“But I think the timing is just the fact that the team has progressed, it’s very visible since a few races, we understand the car better, the setup works better.

“Quite frankly we were a bit worried here because this is the first time we came back to a track which is extra-high downforce and here also it’s working, so it’s a good indication of the progression.

“We were helped a bit by the second start [after the Safety Car], the retirement of [Valtteri] Bottas, clearly our car is not good for a podium in absolutely normal circumstance, but what is good is that when it happens, when there is an opportunity we are able to nail it down.”

Ricciardo has now finished in the top six at the last five rounds, and Abiteboul believes something has clicked between car and driver.

“There is something that has clicked between Daniel and this car, his race engineer also was doing a fantastic job and the team,” he said.

“So I think the confidence level has just improved, but simply because he’s got a better car, he’s capable of doing what he wants.

“I think the predictability of the car is also much better than what it used to be, so overall it’s a good working relationship.”

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