Aussie Daniel Ricciardo has finished third in the Formula 1 Eifel Grand Prix on Sunday to secure his first podium whilst driving for Renault.
The 31-year-old finished behind Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in an afternoon at the Nurburgring which featured five retirements and Lewis Hamilton equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of most race wins.
In his post-race interview, Ricciardo expressed the relief he felt after failing to appear on the podium since 2018.
“It’s been a while. It feels like the first podium all over again,” he said.
“It’s been two and a half years or something and the feeling is really nice. It’s fresh.”
Lewis Hamilton stormed home for his 91st grand prix win, equalling legend Schumacher’s record.
To mark the occasion, Schumacher’s son Mick, who races in Formula 2, presented Hamilton with one of his father’s helmets.
Speaking afterwards Hamilton says he was incredibly moved by the gesture as he had always idolised Schumacher’s dominance.
“I don’t even know what to say,” he said. “When you grow up watching someone you generally idolise them in terms of the quality of the driver they are but also what they are able to continuously do race on race, year on year, week on week.”
“When I came into the pit lane that’s only when I realised I had equalled it, I hadn’t even computed it when I had crossed the line. I couldn’t have done it without this incredible team.”
“A very big thank you and huge respect to Michael.”
After qualifying in pole position, Lewis’ teammates Valtteri Bottas had a dogged day, with a mechanical failure forcing him to retire.
Lando Norris, Alex Albon and Esteban Ocon also fell victim to internal issues, whilst Georgie Russell’s race ended at lap 13 after Kimi Raikkonen collided with him and the FIA penalising the Fin as a result.
A big talking point after the race wasn’t on the track, but on the pit wall, with Renault Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul having to get a tattoo of Daniel Ricciardo’s choosing after a bet the pair had over the Australian’s podium drought.
“It’s real – it’s going to happen,” Ricciardo said. “We’ll have to do some thinking now. Probably something to do with me but with a German flavour.”
“This is the place we did it, so a little tip of the hat to something traditional in Germany as well.”
In terms of the driver’s championship, Lewis Hamilton is a clear leader with 230 points followed by his teammate Valtteri Bottas on 161.
With a second place finish, Max Verstappen stays at third place with 147 points, whilst Ricciardo’s first podium of the year gives him a reward for his consistency in the form of fourth place with 78 points
Mercedes are still on top in the constructor’s championship after winning every race barring two, whilst Red Bull trail in second and Racing Point follows in third.