Daniel Ricciardo will take a pay cut this year, following in the footsteps of several other drivers, Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed.
With the coronavirus pandemic effectively shutting down the sporting world, the 2020 season has been delayed indefinitely and could even be scrapped altogether and that is a major financial concern to the teams.
All bar two of F1’s UK-based teams have furloughed their staff – Red Bull and Mercedes have not confirmed if they have or intend to – with drivers taking pay cuts, but when Renault confirmed it would furlough its workforce, there was no mention of its drivers taking a reduced salary.
But Abiteboul says the matter has been discussed and Ricciardo is “willing” to do so to aid the team.
“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 French publication L’Equipe.
“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.”
Meanwhile Ricciardo’s contract is due to expire at the end of the current year and with no racing, Abiteboul concedes they’re “blind” in their decision making progress as to whether or not they should renew his deal.
“In a normal season, we would have started work on the matter [of contracts],” added Abiteboul. “We would have evaluated Daniel’s performance over the first four races and started 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.”