Pay cut for Ricciardo due to the pandemic


Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul is giving his comment about the decision of Daniel Ricciardo to take a voluntary pay cut during this coronavirus pandemic

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Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul is confirming Daniel Ricciardo has decided to take a voluntary pay cut during the coronavirus crisis to give his help to his team.

The team boss does not have any problem to accept the delays of this 2020 Formula 1 season but he is aware this made harder to nail down his long-term future. Our Australian driver and teammate Esteban Ocon have followed management figures at Renault in facing a pay cut to help balance the team’s finances during this ongoing period without F1 races as the Formula 1 shuts down during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Last Friday, Renault announced a difficult news. Their “vast majority” of its F1 staff have been placed into furlough at its Enstone base with Abiteboul explaining this strong cost-cutting measures have been taken to protect the entire Renault F1 operation from a potential collapse. That includes a necessary action from Ricciardo to take a pay cut from his current Renault contract:

It is a discussion we have already had.

Daniel has already confirmed he is willing…

I can confirm to you that he will reduce it.

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.

About this pandemic ?

I do not fear it will destabilise the F1 programme.

Abiteboul – Renault Team Principal

Even if his drivers backed his plan, Abiteboul concedes with the delayed start to the 2020 F1 season the team is “blind” in making any effective long-term decisions on key matters like driver contracts.

Even the future of Ricciardo whose existing deal expires at the end of this season, it is very difficult to plan or discuss. Our Australian driver from Perth, he has made it clear he would like to get a package capable of fighting for F1 world titles and there is not problem to assess all his options for 2021.

Abiteboul explained about this subject:

In a normal season, we would have started work on this matter.

We would have evaluated Daniel’s performance over the first four races and started or not the first discussions.

We have not turned a wheel.

We are blind but have to plan.

We may have to take decisions without the season starting.

Abiteboul – Renault Team Principal

Currently, only four drivers have signed a F1 contracts after this season: Sergio Perez at Racing Point, Esteban Ocon at Renault, Charles Leclerc at Ferrari and Max Verstappen at Red Bull.

Our Daniel Ricciardo during this forced break reflects on Max Verstappen

Daniel Ricciardo has reflected on the personality of Max Verstappen displayed when the pair were teammates, as well as rivals, at Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo has reflected a bit about his time with former Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, saying the young Dutch driver had shown a carefree attitude. This was one of the factors that made him such an important force when he first arrived in F1.

Verstappen became Ricciardo’s Red Bull team mate during midway through the 2016 season when the teenager was promoted from Toro Rosso and he wasted no time to impose his presence.

The Dutchman was not afraid to unleash aggressive overtaking moves and opinion of media and other drivers did not mean nothing to him. As his career has progressed that “hothead” streak has remained even as other drivers, for example the six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, have complained about Verstappen for taking too many risks. Ricciardo explained that Verstappen simply did not care about anybody.

He did not care what others thought about him, he did not care about protecting machinery Red Bull, even if they had spent millions of dollars on and he did not care that F1 drivers have much more responsibility on their shoulders than simply what happens during the two hours of a race.

I think a lot of it was his age at the time, that had its downsides with a little bit of immaturity but it had its upsides.

He really just did not care about anything, about annoying people or about the risks.

It was like, I am just going to go out there and drive this thing as hard as I can. He probably did not understand the responsibility … So he raced with a lot of free will and that worked out pretty well for him a handful of times.

When he joined the team, really from day one he just got out of the pits and really ragged the car and was not really caring about protecting the equipment or anything.

It was just 100 or nothing and that was cool because a lot of the time I would build up to it and sometimes I was a bit too nice as well on the car.

We certainly pushed each other a bit harder.

Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo finished ahead of Verstappen in the championship of 2016 and 2017, but his former colleague beat him by two places in 2018 when he ended up fourth while the Aussie was sixth. This was when finally, Ricciardo said he was leaving to move to Renault, and Red Bull team drop any support to our Aussie driver.

There were disappoint members in Red Bull Racing Team when Ricciardo’s decision to leave the energy drink team was declared to media. This “Ricci” reaction was because he felt Verstappen was being given preferential treatment by Red Bull.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has made no secret of the fact he wants to make Verstappen the youngest F1 world champion ever but it might be this coronavirus pandemic will slow down his plan.

Even so, he accused Ricciardo of running from a fight with his younger comrade instead to prove his value:

It was a shame because there was a great dynamic between the drivers.

I was not aware of any frustration or favouritism Ricciardo felt existed within the team.

It is something we talked about a lot over the years. He was a competitive driver but he obviously felt that he needed a change, he needed a stimulus and the Max factor for sure was an element in his decision-making.

He is a great driver and I hope he still goes on to achieve some success.

Chris Horner – Red Bull Team Principal

Verstappen enjoyed his best season during 2019, winning three races and standing on the podium eight times. Horner believes Ricciardo’s departure was the catalyst for the 22-year-old to accelerate his mature process because he is now the senior driver beside relative newcomer Alex Albon.

Alex was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull last year:

After Daniel left, Max suddenly recognized the responsibility he had on his shoulders as the senior driver and he definitely stepped it up a gear and became more of his own person.

He shouldered that responsibility incredibly well and the way he is driven the team forward, the direction he gives from the cockpit in terms of development and feedback, has been outstanding.

Chris Horner – Red Bull Team Principal
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