Ricciardo’s move to Renault has been hard work at times, but the car has improved recently to the point where finally he claimed his first podium since leaving Red Bull and Renault’s first since reviving its works team in 2016.
Most impressively, this happened at a high-downforce track where Renault has generally been at its weakest.
A reward for Ricciardo’s efforts and confirmation of genuine team progress
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo says his third-place result at the Eifel Grand Prix has all the emotions of his maiden podium result in Formula 1 that he achieved over six years ago.
The Australian crossed the finish line at the Nurburgring on Sunday in third place, marking Renault’s first podium since it re-joined the sport as a Constructor in 2016.
Ricciardo was promoted into third after Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas dropped out with Power Unit issues, but his position came under threat late on in the race amid a Safety Car restart.
However, Ricciardo held on to take his first podium since his victory at Monaco in 2018 for Red Bull, ending a two and a half year drought for the 31-year-old.
“To be honest, it feels like the first podium all over again,” Ricciardo said. The feeling I have now, it’s like that really happy shock.
“The Safety Car restart at the end, I was very close to getting Max [Verstappen], but us tussling meant that [Sergio] Perez got very close and I thought that he was going to get me into Turn 4.
“So it was pretty stressful, but it’s been two and a half years since I’ve had a podium and [it’s] really nice.”
Ricciardo committed his future to McLaren earlier this year, agreeing to join it for 2021 when his two seasons at Renault comes to a conclusion.
Despite Renault showing strong promise throughout 2020, Ricciardo asserts that he has no remorse over his decision to leave.
“I’m obviously OK with it, [I’m] very positive and excited for next year. But I would much rather end on a high.
“People think it’s easier to leave if we’re struggling and it’s like ‘Yeah OK, you’re moving on to something better’.
“But, I don’t want to struggle, period. I want to have success in every race.
“To leave here with success and on a positive and with a team with a lot of excitement and happiness, to see them all today, it’s cool.
“I’m OK with everything right now and just really happy that we’ve had a successful season and fighting up at the front again, that’s what I want.”
RICCIARDO MAKES ABITEBOUL KEEP HIS PROMISE
At the beginning of the year, Ricciardo made a bet with Abiteboul. If Ricciardo was to take a podium in 2020, the team boss would get a tattoo of Ricciardo’s choice.
“It is real. It’s going to happen! We will have to think now. It will probably be something to do with me, but with a German flavour. This is where we did it,” the Australian added.
RICCIARDO ALREADY PLANNING ABITEBOUL’S TATTOO! RICCIARDO ALREADY PLANNING ABITEBOUL’S TATTOO!
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|10h00 - 11h30||Free practice 1|
|14h00 - 14:18||1st Qualifying|
|14h25 - 14h40||2nd Qualifying|
|14h48 - 15h00||3rd Qualifying|
|13:10 - 15:10||Race|