Ricciardo talks up Renault as tattoo looms for boss

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo Cyril Abiteboul

Daniel Ricciardo has another chance to score first Renault podium and Cyril Abiteboul's first tattoo in Spain.

Daniel Ricciardo will have another opportunity to score his first Renault podium at the Spanish GP and force Cyril Abiteboul to get a tattoo.

It has become well know that Ricciardo has placed a deal with his boss that if he claims Renault’s first podium since their return to F1 in 2016, then Abiteboul would have to get a tattoo.

As it turns out Ricciardo will be in charge of the design, and it’s certainly a nice little incentive on top of the obvious ones for Ricciardo to return to the Formula 1 podium.

The Aussie hoped to have been in with a shout of P3 at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after claiming that spot in FP2, but would have to settle for a lowly P14 in the race after spinning.

But the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya presents another opportunity for Ricciardo to score his first Renault podium, and Abiteboul’s first tattoo.

“It’s a bit foggy, but I believe he chooses placement and size, but I choose the design. But we’ll clear that up,” he said in a press conference.

“But it’s a tattoo and he does not have any, so it’s a big deal for Cyril.”

Asked what designs he had in mind, Ricciardo replied: “I don’t know, I think it will be something probably a little spontaneous, spur of the moment.

“But it’s got to be something funny that when he looks at it, he shakes his head and it’s like, ‘Remember those times?’ One of those ones.”

Get your hands on the official Renault 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

But aside from the fun and games, Ricciardo admitted he would be disappointed if he left Renault at the end of the season without finishing on the podium, though that’s only if they squander a real opportunity.

“It’s more if the opportunity presents itself and we miss out on that, for sure I’d be disappointed,” he said.

“But if I race every race my hardest and I’m finishing sixth every race because of that, then I’m probably not going to be devastated.

“But I do want to stand back up there and be delivered a trophy on a robot or whatever they’re doing now. I miss that. And I’ll probably get a fine for drinking out of my shoe, but it will be worth it.”

Ricciardo has scored 20 points so far this season, compared to the six he had after five races last year, so he believes that proves the R.S.20 is a solid improvement on last year’s Renault.

“I feel it should be even more [points than 20],” he admitted.

“I think the car certainly has made a big step forward and it goes back to the first practice in Austria, after such a long break, jumped in the car and it just felt easy, and it was nice to drive and it was just there, really, from the get-go. It’s been strong and I think 20 points is great but there’s more in that so it’s considerably better.

“I think we’ve proved we’re a Q3 car, maybe a top five could be a stretch… [but] I think the only way we kind of miss out on Q3 is if we make a mistake on our lap perhaps. But I think typically if everything’s running smooth, then we should be there. We’ll see what happens here but I’m excited to get some more good qualifyings and then convert them to a good race.”

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