This 11th October 2020 will be a milestone for the Renault DP World F1 Team. Thanks to Daniel Ricciardo, author of a splendid race, the team is back on the Formula 1 podium. Nine years after a Renault driver's last podium appearance (Nick Heidfeld at the 2011 Malaysian GP) and four years after Renault's return as a manufacturer in the discipline, the Australian driver finished third in the Eifel Grand Prix, the eleventh round of the 2020 World Championship.
Under the eyes of Jean-Dominique Senard and Luca de Meo, respectively Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the Groupe Renault, Daniel Ricciardo fought for 60 laps to achieve this result, which is a concrete expression of the progress made by the Renault DP World F1 Team this year. The team now occupies fifth place in the manufacturers' standings, just six points from third place. For his part, Daniel Ricciardo emerges in fourth place in the drivers' standings.
This Eifel Grand Prix marked the return of the Nürburgring circuit to the Formula 1 World Championship, seven years after a last edition that saw a podium entirely tricked out by drivers powered by Renault’s engines: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault), Kimi Räikkönen (Lotus-Renault) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus-Renault). Was this a premonitory sign for the Renault DP World F1 Team drivers Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo? Although the former unfortunately had to retire (hydraulic problem), the latter bravely held his opponents high, behind the untouchables Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. The Australian rider was all smiles at the finish.
“Oh wow, it feels like the first time I ever got a podium. 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!”
Daniel Ricciardo, Renault DP World F1 Team pilot
For his part, Cyril Abitboul could not help but exult too.
“It’s a great feeling that and I would like to share this emotion we had at the track with every team member. It’s been a huge, huge journey to get here and today is a milestone. We earned that podium: we’ve seen it coming for some time. We have had the potential to be there and today we had the right circumstances. Daniel drove a great race and fully deserved this. For now we need to celebrate and enjoy this moment as it is a moment that matters in the life of the team.”
Cyril Abitboul, Renault DP World F1 Team Team Principal
For the record, Daniel Ricciardo's result could force Cyril Abitboul to get a tattoo. This was the contract between the team manager and the Australian rider, in case the latter would be on the podium. Daniel Ricciardo has already announced that the tattoo would not only have something to do with himself, but also with Germany, the land of this exploit. We can't wait to find out!