Daniel Ricciardo has finally secured his first podium for Renault, finishing third in Sunday’s Eifel Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 91 Formula One wins at the Nurburgring, catapulting the Mercedes driver closer to a seventh world championship.
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While the Briton triumphed at the same German circuit where Ferrari great Schumacher won five times, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas suffered a huge hit to his title hopes with a first retirement of the season.
Red Bull’s Max Versteppen finished second, and took a bonus point for fastest lap, with Ricciardo finishing third for Renault in his first podium since 2018 when he was at Red Bull.
And the breakthrough podium finish comes with a special bonus for the Australian driver. He now gets to choose a tattoo for his boss.
Ricciardo and Renault's Cyril Abiteboul had a wager that the team principal would have to be tattooed with a design of the driver's choice if he could finish in the top three of a race this season.
Ricciardo managed the feat by finishing third in the Eifel Grand Prix on Sunday, leaving Abiteboul doubtless fretting about what's in store for him.
The good news for him is that Abiteboul gets to choose where the tattoo goes - ruling out, he said, any ink on the face - but the bad news is that Ricciardo picks the design.
Ricciardo said it will be “probably something to do with me, but with a German flavour” to reflect the race at the Nurburgring.
“I think there's going to be a lot of brainstorming to do for Cyril's tattoo,” Ricciardo smiled. “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 Bottas and McLaren’s Lando Norris.
His result could have been even better as he even challenged Verstappen for second after a safety car restart.
It had been nine years since Renault finished on the podium, with Nick Heidfeld in Malaysia, and it was 31-year-old Ricciardo’s first podium finish since he won the Monaco Grand Prix in a stricken Red Bull two years ago.
“Oh wow, it feels like the first time I ever got a podium,” he enthused.
“These emotions and that feeling you get when you get out the car, hug the team, the mechanics slapping you on the helmet, it's just amazing and I am so happy we did it!
“It's obviously my first one with Renault and it's something I wanted to achieve when I set out on this journey with the team. I felt like it was coming with our performances in recent races, so I am so happy to have done it. What a day!”
There was just one more thing to be done.
Ricciardo had talked earlier in the year about missing the 'Shoey', the act of drinking the podium champagne from a sweaty boot, but when the moment came it slipped his mind in the excitement.
To make up for it, he posted a video on Instagram of the forgotten deed.
“The shoe is off. I think I was so caught up in the podium and obviously it's been a while. Everyone afterwards was like 'why didn't you do a shoey?',” he said, holding his boot up to the camera before pouring in the bubbly.
“I was like 'oh, man'. So anyway, here it is. Belated but better late than never.”
“Mother's milk,” he declared, after swigging it down.
869 days since Daniel Ricciardo last stood on an F1 podium... 869 days since Daniel Ricciardo won the most prestigious Grand Prix there ever has been. 869 days since Daniel Ricciardo proved every last one of his doubters wrong... and today, he’s done just that again.#EifelGP pic.twitter.com/esD1oGTXL3— Ayden 🇦🇺🏴🇬🇧 (@F1_Ayden) October 11, 2020
First podium for the Renault team since Nick Heidfeld finished 3rd at the 2011 Malaysian GP. That was their last year at #F1 until they came back in 2016.— Yuri Coghe (@YuriCoghe) October 11, 2020
First podium for Daniel Ricciardo since winning the 2018 Monaco GP. His 30th overall. #EifelGP
Hamilton’s beautiful moment with Schumacher’s son
Hamilton, celebrating his seventh win of the season, is now 69 points clear of Bottas in the standings with six rounds remaining.
After the victory, Schumacher's son Mick, the Formula Two leader who could be racing against Hamilton next season, presented the Briton with one of his father's red helmets from his second stint in F1 with Mercedes.
“Congratulations and this is on behalf of all of us. A great achievement, really,” said Mick, whose father suffered serious head injuries in a 2013 skiing accident and has not been seen in public since.
“Thank you so much, it's such an honour,” said Hamilton before stepping up onto the podium at the circuit closest to Schumacher's boyhood home in Kerpen.
“I don't even know what to say.
“When you grow up watching someone you generally idolise them, you know, really just in terms of the quality of the driver they are but what they are able to continuously do, year on year and race on race and week on week,” added the Briton.
“Seeing his dominance for so long, I don't think anyone and especially me didn't imagine I'd be anywhere near Michael in terms of records. So it's an incredible honour and it's going to take some time to get used to it.”
9️⃣1️⃣— Formula 1 (@F1) October 11, 2020
A record we could barely imagine would one day be matched.
Lewis Hamilton equals the legendary Michael Schumacher's win tally, earning a special prize from Michael's son, Mick 🤝#EifelGP 🇩🇪 #F1 pic.twitter.com/3B2SFE4JKe
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