Sydney, April 15 (IANS) Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo will take a cut to his multi-million-dollar salary in order to help his team, Renault weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Ricciardo is among the world’s highest paid sportspeople, with a reported annual salary of $25 million.
Renault’s F1 boss, Cyril Abiteboul, told French newspaper L’Equipe on Wednesday that the 30-year-old has agreed to take a pay cut, with negotiation of his contract due for 2020 regardless since switching from Red Bull the year before, reports Xinhua news agency.
“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 said.
“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 program.”
F1’s season-opening race in Melbourne, scheduled for March 15, was cancelled at the last minute with the Monaco Grand Prix also getting subsequently axed.
Abiteboul said that with races cancelled or postponed, contract negotiations were significantly hampered, with the company potentially forking over millions of dollars for little return.
“We would have evaluated Daniel’s performance over the first four races and started or not the first discussions,” he said.
“We haven’t turned a wheel. We are blind but have to plan, we may have to take decisions without the season starting.”