'Wow': Ricciardo ends GP drought

 

Aussie Daniel Ricciardo has reached a massive milestone in his Renault career in a brilliant drive at the Eifel Grand Prix, hanging on to third in a thrilling finish.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher's all-time race wins record with 91 but the Aussie ended plenty of pain with a stunning drive behind second-placed Max Verstappen.

Watch the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship™ on KAYO. Every practice, qualifying session and race LIVE. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

It's been a long time coming for Ricciardo, who claimed his first podium since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix when he won in a Red Bull.

It's been much longer for Renault, whose last podium was at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix when Nick Heidfeld finished third.

"Is that a podium boys?" Ricciardo said over team radio. "Is that a f***ing podium?"

His engineer replied: "That's a f***ing podium, good job Daniel."

"Good job Daniel," team principal Cyril Abiteboul said. "Thank you."

Yes Daniel, that is a podium!
Yes Daniel, that is a podium!

From there, Ricciardo could only laugh before saying "persistence pays off, merci. Woo. Oh wow, enjoy this one guys, enjoy it, it's a good feeling. Wow, feels good, feels good."

Ricciardo was equally pumped in the post-race interview.

"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.

"Wow. So happy. To see everyone as well, we've all waited a long time for this so I think everyone is going to soak it up."

Ricciardo's podium also saw him win his bet with Abiteboul - who promised to get a tattoo when the drought was broken.

"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."

After a shockingly calm start to the race, it took until just before the 20th lap for something interesting to happen.

The real action started when Williams' George Russell was shunted by Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen, almost flipping the Williams.

It was a spectacular moment but luckily didn't slam Russell into the barriers, although it shredded his tyres and appeared to ruin his suspension, forcing him out of the race.

Then Red Bull's Alexander Albon knocked the front wing off AlphaTauri's Daniil Kvyat.

But it was when pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes ran out of power, it was all happening.

A matter of laps later, Ricciardo's Renault teammate Esteban Ocon and Albon needed to retire as well.

In the space of 10 laps, Ricciardo was set up for a run at his first podium.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez was the main threat. He was closing in but a safety car - called when Ricciardo's future teammate Lando Norris' car died - gave both drivers fresh tyres for a 10-lap sprint to the finish. 

From there, Ricciardo's Renault held on by a second to claim third. The result moved him up to fourth in the driver standings.

Hamilton's historic win ended with Schumacher's son and F2 star Mick Schumacher gifting him  one of the German legend's helmets.

"Congratulations. This is from all of us," Mick said. "A great achievement."

Lewis Hamilton with the Schumacher helmet.
Lewis Hamilton with the Schumacher helmet.

Hamilton was stunned by the gesture.

"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.

"There was a game called Grand Prix 2 and I remember playing as Michael and seeing his dominance for so long I don't think anyone, especially me, didn't imagine that I'd be anywhere near Michael in terms of records.

"So it's an incredible honour and it's going to take some time to get used to it.

"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."

EIFEL GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING RESULTS

1st: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

2nd: Max Verstappen, Red Bull 

3rd: Daniel Ricciardo, Renault

4th: Sergio Perez, Racing Point

5th: Carlos Sainz, McLaren

6th: Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri

7th: Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

8th: Nico Hulkenberg, Racing Point

9th: Romain Grosjean, Haas

10th: Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo

Originally published as 'Wow': Ricciardo ends GP drought


Bunya Highway gets long-awaited $3.4M safety boost

Premium Content Bunya Highway gets long-awaited $3.4M safety boost

UPGRADES have begun on a section of the Bunya Highway, improving safety for drivers...

Kingaroy Magistrates Court appearances for today

Premium Content Kingaroy Magistrates Court appearances for today

Here is a list of matters listed at Kingaroy Magistrates Court

Gayndah teenager bites man’s arm, smashes windscreen

Premium Content Gayndah teenager bites man’s arm, smashes windscreen

A 19-year-old Gayndah man is charged by police after he smashed the windscreen of a...