Ricciardo: Tattoo remains 'unfinished business' with Abiteboul

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Daniel Ricciardo says that former Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul is yet to pay up for losing a bet between the pair by getting a tattoo of the driver's choosing.

Ricciardo made the wager when he joined the team at the end of 2018 that Abiteboul would get inked if and when the Australian claimed a podium finish with the team.

That target was achieved at last year's Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, with Ricciardo going on to claim a second podium four weeks later at Imola.

Both Abiteboul and Ricciardo have since departed the team, which has been rebranded Alpine F1 for 2021, with Ricciardo heading to McLaren. But he says he's still holding Abiteboul to the forfeit for losing the bet.

"Unfortunately it hasn't happened yet, but it will. It will!" he insisted. "We certainly left on the terms that there was still some unfinished business, that business being the tattoo.

"You'll definitely know when I get done with Cyril," he added. "I hope it does happen, obviously sooner rather than later. But it definitely will."

Ricciardo hasn't yet made a similar bet with his new boss, McLaren CEO Zak Brown. And any wager definitely won't involve tattoos or anything else requiring needles.

"We were just only a couple hours ago having some lunch with Zak and he mentioned something about him hating needles," Ricciardo revealed to Motorsport.com this week.

"So I can't see the tattoo thing happening with Zak, but we'll think of something else," he pledged. "I know he's got a pretty good car collection so maybe we could just bet for one of his cars or something!"

Brown's collection of classic racing cars includes Mario Andretti's Lotus 79, Ayrton Senna's McLaren MP4/6 and Mika Hakkinen's MP4-16.


It certainly sounds as though Ricciardo is already feeling at home at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking ahead of his race debut for the team next month.

"I've already had so many meetings here at the MTC with not only my engineer, but really with the whole racing department," he said.

"Fitting in [is crucial] in terms of feeling like you're part of the team. Being integrated, not only into the driving side, but into all of it, into the engineering and into the strategy.

"It's kind of like feeling like you're sitting in the room with with a voice and with enough knowledge that what you say will be taken on board.

"That kind of integration into all areas of the race team, that's probably got a lot more power than just being the driver and only the driver.

"That feeling you can sit in every room and have a presence, that's probably most important. But it's also the most difficult thing to get going."

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