(Reuters) - Daniel Ricciardo was surprised to be joined by race winner Lewis Hamilton in a celebratory podium champagne ‘shoey’ on Sunday after the Australian finished third in Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The last time Ricciardo appeared on the podium, at the Nuerburgring in Germany on Oct. 11, he forgot in the excitement to perform his trademark gesture of drinking champagne from his sweaty boot.
That Eifel Grand Prix podium was his first for Renault, and first since 2018 when he was at Red Bull, but after a second top three finish in three races Ricciardo was ready to spread the love at Imola.
“I was about to drink a beautiful fresh one and I heard Lewis saying ‘take your other shoe off’,” said Ricciardo.
“And I was like ‘No…’. Because honestly, I think it was three years ago on the podium he goes: ‘I’ll never, ever do that, I’ll never drink it. You can offer me, you can force me, I’ll never do it’. And he even asked for it today.
“So it took me by surprise, but 2020 is the year of the strange so it was good fun.”
Hamilton said it had tasted like ‘toe jam’.
“It definitely didn’t taste great,” added the Briton, a facemask covering any grimace.
“I mean I don’t really like champagne as it is, but it definitely tastes worse. But what’s positive is that Daniel’s mum thinks I was a good sport, so I’m grateful for that.”
Ricciardo’s first podium for Renault also meant team boss Cyril Abiteboul would be acquiring a tattoo of the Australian’s choice after an agreement made last year.
COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe have so far prevented that from happening and Ricciardo said the Frenchman had been quick to state there would be no second inking.
“He actually just said: ‘Congrats, but I’m not getting a second tattoo’,” said Ricciardo. ”So maybe someone else in the team.”
The Australian, who joins McLaren at the end of the season, recognised that Sunday’s podium had fallen somewhat unexpectedly into his lap.
He had been fifth with 15 laps to go when Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crashed out of second place and the safety car was deployed.
Then Racing Point’s Sergio Perez pitted from third, by which time Ricciardo was grinning.
“It’s pretty surreal actually, the first one (podium) and to get two now in such close proximity. It’s awesome,” he said.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar
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