Daniel Ricciardo has unveiled McLaren’s new Formula One car but the Australian also had his eye on something from his boss’s private collection.
The 31-year-old, who joined teammate Lando Norris in pulling the wraps off the papaya and blue car in an online launch, has joined from Renault on a three-year contract as a proven winner.
Ricciardo stood on the podium twice last year, winning a bet that obliged then-Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul to get a tattoo of his driver’s choice.
The inking has yet to happen, and Abiteboul has since left Renault, but Ricciardo’s thoughts have turned already to his new situation and what he might wager with McLaren chief executive Zak Brown.
“Only a couple of hours ago we were having some lunch with Zak and he mentioned something about him hating needles,” Ricciardo told reporters.
“So I can’t see the tattoo thing happening with Zak but we’ll think of something else.
“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 includes McLaren and Ferrari road cars, as well as Formula One cars raced by champions such as Mario Andretti and Ayrton Senna.
Ricciardo will be the senior driver alongside 21-year-old Norris who is starting his third season.
“I’m certainly the more experienced in F1, this being my 11th season, but actually in terms of McLaren, Lando is the more experienced,” Ricciardo said.
“For sure there’s some things I can learn from him, particularly within the team itself and integration into the McLaren family.
“Every time you have a new teammate it’s a real opportunity to learn something new, whether it’s work ethic or a driving technique. Or both.”
Winner of seven races with Red Bull, Ricciardo is keen to get back on the top step of the podium.
“I’m thrilled to be a McLaren driver and super-keen to get started,” he said.
“McLaren has been on an awesome journey over the last few years, and I’m looking forward to helping the team maintain this positive momentum.”