It’s a meaningful incentive for the new McLaren driver, whose chosen race number 3 was selected in honour of the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and stock car legend, who he views as a racing hero from his childhood.
The bet stems from last year’s wager where Abiteboul agreed that he would get a tattoo if Ricciardo finished on the podium for Renault — a feat that he achieved twice. Abiteboul blamed Covid-19 restrictions for preventing him from carrying out his side of the bargain last year.
A conversation with the McLaren team principal just ahead of this year’s car launch seems to have sown the seeds for a second bet.
“We were just having lunch with Zak a couple of hours ago and he mentioned something about him hating needles,” Ricciardo said at the launch in February.
“I can’t see that 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 one of his cars or something.”