F1 news 2020, Portuguese Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, McLaren, Cyril Abiteboul, standings, next race

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul as admitted the team reacted badly to Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to leave for McLaren next season and the team wouldn’t be where it is today if not for the Aussie.

Due to the delayed start to the season, which included the Australian Grand Prix cancelled on the eve of practice, Ricciardo was forced to make a decision on his future before he had even driven this year’s offering from Renault.

With Sebastian Vettel’s exit from Ferrari creating a domino effect, the Aussie switched to McLaren, who had outperformed the disappointing Renault in 2019.

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Dan devo after lost shoey


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F1 2020 news: Eifel Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo, Tattoo bet, Cyril Abiteboul, Renault, Podium finish

Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul has revealed he had a “few beers” on the night behind the tattoo bet with Daniel Ricciardo that he could now be regretting.

The pair had a deal that Ricciardo would be able to choose a tattoo for Abiteboul if he was able to record the team’s first podium finish since returning to the F1 as a manufacturer team in 2016.

After Ricciardo snagged a third place finish at the Eifel Grand Prix, the tattoo bet was already on the agenda.

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Ricciardo podium at Eifel GP


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Daniel Ricciardo podium, Eifel Grand Prix, Red Bull’s Christian Horner, Renault, Cyril Abiteboul, tattoo bet

Daniel Ricciardo ended two-and-a-half years off the F1 podium with his third-placed finish at the Eifel Grand Prix.

But all anyone wanted to talk about was the tattoo bet he had with Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul.

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So much so, Ricciardo forgot his trademark shoey on the podium.

He took to Instagram later, revealing he “forgot all about it”.

“As soon as they’ve done the champagne, Max (Verstappen) was already spraying me and for the first time ever, they chilled the bottles,” he said when an interviewer reminded him.

“Normally the champagne’s like, lukewarm, and it was freezing. Or maybe it’s because it’s so cold outside.

“So I was just … shocked with cold, and I didn’t even … wow, I’m actually sad now.”

He made up for it on Instagram later.

RELATED: Ricciardo is crushing his new team

But post-race, all the talk was the tattoo bet with Abiteboul, who is now set to go under the needle.

The details of the bet are that Ricciardo can pick the design but the Frenchman will pick the size and placement of the tattoo after the Aussie ended a nine-year drought between podiums for Renault dating back to the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Straight after the race, Ricciardo said it was actually going to happen.

“It’s real. It’s going to happen,” Ricciardo said. “We’ll have to do some thinking now, but probably it will be something to do with me, but I think with a German flavour.

“This is obviously the place we did it. A little tip of the hat to something traditional in Germany as well.”

Ricciardo also said he knows a few tattoo artists in London he might have a chat to about inking his boss.

Sky Sports also ambushed Abiteboul with a Honey Badger tattoo, but he said “that’s not what I had in mind”.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner – whose team may be forced to source Renault engines next season – had his own suggestion.

“Well firstly, congrats to Renault, Daniel and Cyril for getting that first podium, I think we’re all looking forward to seeing a Red Bull emblazoned on his derrière,” Horner joked.

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Daniel Ricciardo podium, tattoo bet, Eifel Grand Prix, shoey, Cyril Abiteboul

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.

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.”

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”.

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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Daniel Ricciardo exit annoys Renault, Cyril Abiteboul

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has opened up on his frustration about Daniel Ricciardo leaving just when he expects his team to turn a corner.

The Aussie F1 star is bailing after two years with the French outfit, who he joined after quitting Red Bull at the end of 2018. He will link up with McLaren next season, after Carlos Sainz joined Ferrari because the Scuderia are cutting ties with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

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Ricciardo’s stint at Renault has been marred by a series of on-track blips and despite some fourth-placed finishes in a disrupted 2020, the 31-year-old is yet to stand on the podium wearing yellow and black.

Abiteboul was clearly upset when Ricciardo announced he was joining McLaren, issuing a backhanded statement saying: “Reciprocated confidence, unity and commitment are, more than ever, critical values for a works team.”

And the Renault chief says it hurts even more knowing Ricciardo is heading out the door when he’s confident about what the team’s future looks like — even if he can’t prove it.

Ricciardo knew he wasn’t stepping into a world-beating car when he signed with Renault, but was impressed with its vision for the future. Unfortunately that vision hasn’t materialised in the two season he’s spent there, and Abiteboul knows it takes more than empty promises to keep a driver interested.

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“I think everyone has been able to feel the frustration, and my own frustration, when it (Ricciardo’s exit) was announced,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.

“And let’s be honest. I had the feeling that this (progress) was coming, that the team had made a step up, and that the car would be better.

“Plus that there was much more to come actually in the pipeline, that he had not driven yet. I knew the figures, but the problem is that it’s only figures, and I know that he’s been promised lots of things in the past not only by us, but also by his previous team (Red Bull).

“Daniel is very emotional but he has clearly made a step up. He has gained massively in confidence with the team and with the car, and the relationship between him and his race engineer is very, very strong. We see all of that, it’s finally paying dividends.”

Renault is replacing Ricciardo with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who is returning to F1 after leaving the sport at the end of 2018.

The Spaniard is contracted until the end of 2022 and Abiteboul says the Ricciardo experiment has made it clear Renault needs to look at the long-term when bringing new people in.

“It’s really true that when you change driver, you make a step back before making a step forward,” Abiteboul said.

“Because year one is always a bit of an investment before the years ahead. So we need to have longer stints with our drivers if want to make steps forward.”

Ricciardo finished ninth in the drivers’ standings in his debut season with Renault, while the team slumped to fifth in the constructors’ championship, falling behind McLaren as the best of the midfield teams.

This season Ricciardo sits seventh in the individual standings while Renault is again fifth — ahead of Ferrari but behind McLaren and Racing Point.

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Daniel Ricciardo keen to leave lasting mark on Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul as tattoo bet revealed

“This has really broken out now,” he laughed. “That’s the bet … we will clear that up but it is a tattoo, and he does not have any so it’s a big deal for Cyril.

“I feel it’ll be something probably a little spontaneous, spur of the moment, but it’s going to be something funny like when he looks at it he shakes his head.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul could find himself with some interesting ink.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul could find himself with some interesting ink.Credit:Getty Images

“And it’s like ‘Ah, remember those times.’ Yeah, one of those ones.”

Ricciardo is leaving Renault, currently sixth overall, at the end of the season for rivals McLaren – which would make the tattoo even more painful for Abiteboul.


The driver last stood on the podium when he won the Monaco Grand Prix with Red Bull in 2018. He also finished fourth for Renault in Italy last September and said he would be disappointed not to make it this year if the chance came.

“I do want to stand back up there and be delivered a trophy on a robot or whatever they’re doing now,” he said, referring to the COVID-19 protocols that keep the drivers apart on the podium.

“I miss that, and I’ll probably get a fine for drinking out of my shoe but it will be worth it.”

Ricciardo is also known for his “shoey” celebrations, drinking the podium champagne from a sweaty boot.

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