Daniel Ricciardo came away from last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix with his first win since Monaco 2018, after a tough settling-in period with the team over recent months.
Back in March, team boss, Zak Brown made a bet with the Aussie driver to motivate him further in landing his first podium for McLaren.
The prize would see the 32-year-old drive the 1984 NASCAR Chevrolet Monte Carlo – once raced by Earnhardt Sr, one of his racing heroes.
However, since actually winning the race for the Woking-based team, Ricciardo says the bet was for a podium in general but “we never talked about the win.
“I’m like, maybe he gives me the car?
“I think it was always a podium, I get to drive it.
“We never talked about a win, so I gave him my shoe that he drank out of, so maybe he gives me the car. It’s a good trade,” he joked Ricciardo.
“There’s like a couple of things today, like two heroes: Dale Earnhardt – big hero of mine – and to have a chance to get behind the wheel of one of his cars is crazy. That will certainly be a ‘pinch me’ moment,” he said.
He went on to talk about his long-awaited victory and said; “The other one… I’m sorry if I sound a bit self-absorbed now but when I think of McLaren I think of [Ayrton] Senna.
“That’s the early memories and I’ve seen you know, like the trophies in the cabinet at the MTC [McLaren Technology Centre] and to have a winning trophy now with my name in pretty much the same cabinet is crazy.
“These are like two little things today that I certainly appreciate, and they are two little surreal moments that I guess have hit me.”