Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul says Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed he will take a voluntary pay cut during the coronavirus crisis to help his team, but the team boss accepts the delays to the 2020 Formula 1 season have made it harder to nail down his long-term future.

The Australian driver and teammate Esteban Ocon have joined senior management figures at Renault in taking a pay cut to help balance the team’s finances during the ongoing period without F1 races as the sport shuts down amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last Friday, Renault announced the “vast majority” of its F1 staff have been placed into furlough at its Enstone base with Abiteboul explaining the cost-cutting measures have been taken to protect the entire Renault F1 operation.

That includes Ricciardo taking a pay cut from his current Renault contract.

“It’s a discussion we’ve already had. Daniel has already confirmed he is willing...I can confirm to you that he will reduce it,” Abiteboul told L’Equipe. “The problem would have been if he had not accepted the idea.

“We still have to fix the terms but, in principle, I can reassure the Renault group management committee; I do not fear it will destabilise the F1 programme.”

Despite the backing from his drivers Abiteboul concedes with the delayed start to the 2020 F1 season the team is “blind” in making long-term decisions on key matters like driver contracts, including the future of Ricciardo whose existing deal expires at the end of this season.

The Australian driver has made it clear he wants to find a package capable of fighting for F1 world titles and is keen to assess all his options for 2021.

“In a normal season, we would have started work on the matter,” Abiteboul explained. “We would have evaluated Daniel’s performance over the first four races and started or not the first discussions.

“We haven’t turned a wheel. We are blind but have to plan. We may have to take decisions without the season starting.”

Currently, only four drivers have F1 contracts beyond the end of 2020; Sergio Perez at Racing Point, Esteban Ocon at Renault, Charles Leclerc at Ferrari and Max Verstappen at Red Bull.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...