The Formula 1 season kicked off this past weekend in Bahrain, and while the next race weekend isn’t until mid-April, we’re still getting content.
Not just in the form of Netflix’s excellent Drive to Survive documentary, either. Rather, we got some rare cross-motorsport content. NASCAR and Formula 1 certainly have some overlapping fans, though there are also plenty of vocal members in the outer two circles of that particular Venn diagram. There’s one F1 driver who has never made his love of NASCAR a secret, though: Daniel Ricciardo, who uses the #3 in honor of the Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Ricciardo drove for Renault the last two years, and his standing bet with Renault team manager Cyril Abiteboul that should Ricciardo bring home a podium finish Cyril would have to get a tattoo became a weirdly big talking point during the season last year. It was arguably overplayed, to be honest, but even if it was driven into the ground by the media, it was still something people followed.
Having joined McLaren this offseason, Ricciardo now has a new podium bet, courtesy McLaren’s team boss Zak Brown:
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 31, 2021
Brown owns a fleet of old race cars, including the one in question:
Dale Earnhardt Sr's 1984 Wrangler Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
— Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) March 31, 2021
The wager received the stamp of approval from a very relevant figure:
This is awesome https://t.co/5Z3CpSTRz2
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) March 31, 2021
Earnhardt Jr. and Ricciardo have had a bit of an online friendship for years, ever since Dale Jr. learned why Ricciardo chose to use the #3.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) August 30, 2016
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) May 27, 2018
Hopefully Ricciardo brings home that podium finish this year so we can see him behind the wheel of a stock car. He has a good shot; McLaren finished third in the constructor’s race last season, and they looked very quick at the opening weekend, with Ricciardo finishing 7th and teammate Lando Norris taking 4th.
Should Ricciardo get the chance, hopefully there’s some way we can get Dale Jr. there at the same time to also take a few laps, if he wants to.