Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Albert Park, 2020

Ricciardo willing to accept Renault pay cut, says Abiteboul

2020 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo will take a cut in his pay to reduce Renault’s costs arising from the disruption to the 2020 F1 calendar, according to the team’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul.

The 30-year-old winner of seven grands prix is thought to be earning around $20 million (£15.8m) per season at the team, which he joined from Red Bull at the beginning of last year.

Drivers at McLaren, Williams and Racing Point are already known to have accepted pay cuts as their teams have furloughed staff while they expect to keep their factories closed for several weeks due to the restrictions on travel in Britain as a result of the pandemic.

Last week Renault confirmed details of its plan to suspend operations at its British chassis base and engine operation at Viry-Chatillon in France. “For Enstone, Renault Sport Racing has decided to retrospectively apply for the Job Retention Scheme set up by the British government,” it said in a statement.

“As of April 1st, the vast majority of Enstone staff will effectively have a total shutdown (furlough) until May 31st. This will be reviewed dependent on the development of the situation. It was also agreed to top-up the amount allocated by the government to guarantee a minimum of 80% of the actual salary for all team members. Salaries of active staff, including management, will be reduced in the same proportions.”

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Drivers, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
Analysis: 2020 Formula 1 drivers’ salaries
Speaking to L’Equipe in an interview, Abiteboul confirmed their star driver will also accept a salary reduction.

“It’s a discussion we’ve already had,” said Abiteboul. “Daniel has already confirmed he is willing [to accept a pay cut]. I can confirm to you that he will reduce it.”

Ricciardo joined Renault on a two-year contract. However the team’s disappointing performance last year, when it slipped from fourth to fifth in the constructors’ championship, prompted speculation he could look elsewhere for the 2021 F1 season.

The delayed start to the new season has cast further doubt on Ricciardo’s plans for next year, Abiteboul admitted.

“In a normal season we would have started work on that matter. We would have evaluated Daniel’s performance over the first four races and started or not the first discussions.” But, he admitted, “we haven’t turned a wheel.”

“We are blind but have to plan,” he added. “We may have to take decisions without the season starting.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 5 comments on “Ricciardo willing to accept Renault pay cut, says Abiteboul”

    1. The Reuters article about this also has this little gem:

      Asked whether it was a problem if Ricciardo left, the Frenchman replied: “It would be if I had not seen it coming or anticipated it. That’s why we are having discussions and have a driver academy.”

      1. @phylyp Well that’s an interesting statement but Ricciardo can’t leave unless he has somewhere to go. The only consistent rumour is Ferrari is keen on him although RB would have him back in a heartbeat, I don’t see that happening. I believe Wolff rates him very highly but Merc also have a couple of very good young drivers on the back burner. I absolutely believe if given a good car Ricciardo is WDC material but the driver market is not short on talent.
        So back to Ferrari with McLaren being an outside chance.

        1. I still rate Ricciardo very high.
          Renault should try to keep him, or alternatively any other team can bolster its line-up by hiring him. He should be safe for F1.

          The problem is that Cyril offered too much, be it $20M or $25M. It’s more than Renault/Mclaren/etc can afford. And even the top 3 teams will only pay this to their #1 driver.

    2. Daniel should give Cyril a schoey on his backside.
      Renault was almost gone, now it is gone.

    3. Ideally, the sensible thing to do across the board would be to cancel 2020 and carry all 2020 contractual arrangements over to 2021 so that all the contracts due to expire at the end of this year actually expire at the end of next year instead.

      Contracts and lawyers unfortunately don’t work that way so we’re going to see quite a mess later in the year, particular given that it’s more than likely there’ll be no racing this year.

    Comments are closed.