F1 star Daniel Ricciardo is riding high in the 2020 season and believes a podium could be on the cards as soon as this weekend at the Eifel Grand Prix.
The Aussie driver has been back to his best this season, currently sitting sixth in the driver’s championship but just two points out of fourth place.
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And after a shocking first season for Renault, Ricciardo is primed to bring back the shoey if he can get back on the podium.
The team were always aiming for the podium in Ricciardo’s second season but he threw a spanner in the works earlier in the year when during the COVID break, he signed with McLaren.
But he’s continued to put in the performances that has seen Renault looking to move into the top three of the constructors championship, sitting just seven points behind McLaren.
Ricciardo has had a successful season so hard, finishing no lower than sixth in his past four races, as well as claiming three fourth places over the season.
Ricciardo and Abiteboul have a tattoo bet.Source:News Corp Australia
He has been desperate to claim a podium, having made a bet with team principal Cyril Abiteboul that the Frenchman would get a tattoo if Ricciardo gets on the podium.
“At first, I think he was very nervous and now I would say I’ve never seen someone look so excited at the thought of getting a tattoo,” Ricciardo told Motorsport Australia ahead of this weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix.
“Obviously it’s been a little talking point and it’s been exciting to think about the idea of it happening.
“We have come close and I really believe … if I keep going at this level — and I know the team is doing their part — but if I remain consistent driving at the level which I know I am at the moment, then I do believe we will get an opportunity (to claim a podium), something will arise.
“If I’m doing what I’m doing now, I’ll put myself in a position to take it before the year is out. I’ve just got to keep it up.”
Reportedly Ricciardo can pick the design but Abiteboul will pick the size and placement of the tattoo. The Aussie has narrowed his options but admitted it’s still up in the air.
“The coolest thing in a way is some form of Honey Badger, but we will see,” Ricciardo said.
“I kind of figured, obviously if it does happen, probably the track we do it at or the country we are in, it could be symbolic for something.
“Or it might be something ‘Oh, that marks the spot here’ so lets get that.”
Daniel Ricciardo has been in top form in 2020.Source:Getty Images
And it may not be too far away with Ricciardo pick the race at Nurburgring and the second race in Bahrain as the biggest chances.
“Honestly, the weather this week coming up to Nurburgring, it could be snowing for all I know,” Ricciardo said. “It’s been wet and cold for the past few weeks, so it could be one of those weeks where it’s a wet race and when was the last time a wet race was a boring race in F1 — it doesn’t exist. It’s these ones that I feel could create the biggest opportunity. I think these are the races where you could become hero or zero especially in the midfield, so it could be this weekend.
“Otherwise, Bahrain, what they’re calling the Bahrain Oval could be quite interesting so we’re doing that in week two of Bahrain. Essentially there are not many corners so I think there’s going to be a lot of drafting and it’s just very high speed and we seem to have a very slick car on the high speed circuits so maybe that one could work well for us as well.”
Ricciardo said it had been a “crazy” season but doffed his cap to the F1 for getting the races on.
He admitted that on the final weekend of the triple header weekends, “everyone’s just waiting for the race to be done, not us drivers but the energy’s starting to waver a little bit”.
Renault are on track for a great season.Source:Getty Images
But he had revelled in the condensed calendar, please with the performances he’s put on the field.
“Racing up the front is cool. I have even run third a few times,” he said. “I am getting excited and people question why I’m getting excited with third if I have won races.
“We have come close (to a podium) and I really believe if I keep going at this level, and I know the team is doing their part, but if I remain consistent and driving at the level I know I am at the moment, then I do believe we will get the opportunity and if I am there to take it, I will.”
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