McLaren CEO Zak Brown has promised Daniel Ricciardo the chance to drive Dale Earnhardt Sr’s 1984 NASCAR stock car if he scores a podium for his new team during the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Last year, Ricciardo made a bet with his then Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul that the former team principal would have to get a tattoo if the Australian scored a podium in 2020. Ricciardo went on to claim podium finishes in at the Nurburgring and Imola, though Abiteboul is yet to honour his side of the bet.

However, a repeat of the tattoo bet was not on the cards for Brown, who revealed his fear of needles at the launch of McLaren’s MCL35M 2021 F1 car, though Ricciardo hinted at a different kind of wager.

“I know he’s got a pretty good car collection, so maybe we could just bet one of his cars or something,” Ricciardo said.

Brown has now made his offer to Ricciardo and it would see his new signing get a drive in one of Earnhardt’s NASCAR stock cars, the 1984 Wrangler Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

Earnhardt was Ricciardo’s racing hero growing up, with the seven-time grand prix winner choosing to run the #3 as his permanent number in F1 as a tribute to the seven-time stock car racing champion who died in a crash during the 2001 Daytona 500.

Brown gifted Ricciardo a model of Earnhardt’s iconic car as an extra incentive to earn his reward of getting a go behind the wheel of the real thing if he finishes inside the top three this year.

“Get us that podium and the drive is all yours,” Brown tweeted on Wednesday.

Ricciardo finished seventh on his McLaren debut at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, while teammate Lando Norris was fourth.

 

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