The mechanics in the Red Bull garages had all sat down and was now enjoying, watching the race as it was on it final laps, there were multiple battles around the track, as it neared the end, when Stuart, who was currently chewing on his fifteenth carrot, felt Daniel’s phone vibrate in his pocket. Whenever Elle wasn’t present at a race, Stu would have the honor of keeping Daniel’s phone safe during his time in the car. He was certain that it was Daniel’s phone as his own had run out of power during the first 10 laps. Quickly chewing on the last of his carrot, he took Daniel’s phone up to see a message in all caps. Between Daniel, Elle, and Stu, they had made an agreement as she had entered the last month of her pregnancy that Daniel would not have a pin code on his phone, so if something happened during a race, then Stu could check the messages. So with a quick swipe, Stu had opened the message.
Badger, water’s broken, on the way to the hospital, Raffa and Mal with me. Love you! E
It didn’t take long for Stu to get up from his chair, which made the mechanics turn towards him with a questioning look on their face, as nothing had really happened on screen yet, as there was still two laps to go.
“It’s now.” was all Stu said before sprinting across the pitlane to Red Bull’s pit wall. He grabbed hold of Christian’s shoulder, getting his attention.
“Stu?” Christian asked, having a feeling what it was about, pulling free one of his ears from the headset
“It’s happening. Elle just texted. She’s on her way to the hospital.” Christian nodded back as he could hear the messages going between Daniel and Simon as Simon guided Daniel through the last laps. Stu retreated to the Red Bull garage just in time to see Dan cross the line for the final lap. Everyone was glued to the screen as Daniel drove on track towards his fifth win this season and his ninth win overall. Just as Daniel neared the pit straight and therefore the finish, Stu couldn’t keep it in anymore and yelled that baby Ricciardo was on his way. All mechanics from both Daniel and Max’ garage yelled out in excitement over the announcement, the win and the fourth place for Max.
On the pit wall, Simon was congratulating Daniel as he crossed the line as the first one. Christian was quick jump on Daniel’s radio after Simon had finished.
“Amazing Dan! This is your fifth win this season! Congratulations!”
“Thank you, Christian, thank you guys!” Daniel replied, his relief and now tiredness was notable on the radio.
“Elle texted. She’s in the hospital.” Christian smiled for himself as Daniel’s cheering had calmed down. “Her water broke. You’re gonna be a dad, repeat, Elle’s in labor, you’re gonna be a dad!” Daniel’s cheering returned, much to the happiness of the whole Red Bull Crew. A note was pushed from Max’s race engineer to Christian that Max wanted to congratulate Daniel and Elle. “Dan? Max says Congratulations.”
“Get yourself back here to podium. Details in cool-down-room, repeat, details in cool-down-room.” Christian said. Daniel confirmed quickly that he understood, and then Christian was off towards the podium and the cool-down-room.
As Daniel got out the car parked in front of the nr. 1 sign in the Parc Fermé area, he jumped off it and ran to Sebastian who had just celebrated with the Ferrari crew present at the area. They hugged and Daniel couldn’t stop himself from screaming that Elle was in labor, which he wasn’t sure that Sebastian heard. They parted and turned to Kimi, to congratulate him. Daniel quickly turned towards the mechanics and celebrated shortly with them before he knew that he had to go the cool-down-room.
Entering the cool down room, Christian was already present. Dan placed his helmet on a sofa, before turning to Christian.
“It is. Elle texted you on the third or fourth last lap, that she was on the way to the hospital and that the water’s broken.” Christian gave him his phone, as Stu had left it with him after telling him. Dan grabbed the phone and read the message over and over again.
“What’s happening?” A questioning Sebastian asked as he overheard Christian talking to Daniel.
“I’m… I’m gonna be a dad.” Daniel said as he realized the situation.
“Yeah, of course, you are. Elle’s pregnant.” Seb rationalized as he hadn’t heard Daniel’s earlier scream about Elle being in labor.
“No, Seb… She’s in labor.” Daniel said, all quiet. He knew that he had to weigh in, so he walked over to the weight. “Christian, when can I leave?”
“I think everyone is okay with you only doing the podium. Seb, can you excuse Dan’s absence at the press conference?” Even if Seb had left the Red Bull team a few years ago, he still felt that this was something he could do, even if it was now for a rival team.
“Of course,” Sebastian said.
“Congratulations, Dan.” Came from the otherwise silent Finn. It brought a smile on Daniel’s face, and he hugged Kimi.
“Dan, after the podium, Anna will give you your flight information and drive you to the airport, okay?” Christian said right before they both left the room to go to the podium. Daniel nodded as he took on the Pirelli nr. 1 cap on and left for the podium.
As the trophies were handed out and the champagne was sprayed. Sebastian and Kimi tag-teamed Daniel and sprayed him down. Daniel made his signature shoey, getting Seb to do one too. Kimi refused, yet showed a big smile on his face. Soon, they were presented with their own caps and a microphone. Martin Brundle hurried out on stage, heading directly for Daniel. A quick conversation later with Sebastian hinting to Daniel celebrating more than just a win, they were let off from the podium and back to the cool down room, now without cameras following them.
Anna, being patient as ever, was ready in the room with flight details and a ride to the hotel. Daniel and Anna did not talk on the way to the hotel or to the airport after they had packed their things. He had understood the situation now and wanted nothing more than to be with Elle in right this moment. He wanted to be by her side instead of his mother or Raffa Massa, who had sent him an update before Dan and Anna had left the hotel, that Elle was experiencing labor pains but was not ready yet to give birth.
It wasn't that Daniel couldn't fall asleep, but thoughts about Elle and their little boy were filling his mind and keeping him awake. He finally decided to put some music on his headset and try to sleep through the rest of the plane journey to Nice. He found a playlist that Elle had made at one of the earlier races this year and sat back in his seat to relax.
The next time Daniel was awake, they were landing in Nice. They easily got through the airport and all its details to a waiting car that would drive them to the hospital. As they had landed and Daniel had gotten a signal on his phone he saw a message from Elle. It was a video message. He pressed play, as Anna and the driver got their things into the car.
“ Now, ” his mom's voice filled the car, “ Danny, let's meet your new son. ” on the screen you could see a hospital room with Elle in the bed with a bundle in her arms and a tired smile on her face.
“ Hi, Badger. This is our baby boy. Born at 6 pm, Sunday, October 1st, Monaco time. He's 19 inches and 7 pounds. We both can't wait to see you soon. Bye, Badger. ” Daniel had tears in his eyes as the video closed, knowing that he was only an hour away from Elle and their boy.
Daniel felt as though the car drive was over much quicker than it really was as they arrived the hospital. Anna and Daniel had decided to drop Daniel off at the hospital and then she would drop by the Ricciardo house to get rid of Daniel’s suitcase, before returning home only to drop off her own things before continuing to the hospital, where she would help Daniel and Elle make a press release about the birth.
He rushed politely through the hospital, constantly on the phone to his mom to get to the right floor and room, so he could be by Elle’s side and see his newborn son. Daniel stopped in the doorway, as he got to the right room. The sight in front of him of his love holding the product of their love in her arms as she was completely and only focused on their son.
“Hi,” Daniel said, it not being higher than a whisper. Elle looked up and saw her man in the doorway. Tears silently streamed down her face as he came over and pulled her into a kiss, careful of their newborn son. “Hey you, Buddy.” He greeted as he caresses his son’s cheek. Without saying anything, Elle offered for Daniel to take their son up into his arms. “Sweetie, he's amazing,” Dan said as he sat down in the seat beside the bed. “Julian Ricciardo.” He started to say.
“Welcome to the world, Jules.” Elle finished the sentence for Daniel.
Mal never mentioned the picture she took of the new little family after they had all three fallen asleep, yet Anna used it for the press release. The little family would not know just how much an impact Jules would make on their lives and the World as he would grow up.
So, Welcome to the World, Jules Ricciardo.