‘Daniel has confirmed he is willing’: $40m man Ricciardo takes pay cut

Paris: Daniel Ricciardo will take a pay cut to help Renault through the coronavirus pandemic but talks about his future are already complicated, according to his Formula One team boss Cyril Abiteboul.

The Perth-born 30-year-old is one of the sport's highest paid drivers, earning as much as $US25 million ($39m) a year according to media reports.

Daniel Ricciardo, who is reported to earn almost $40 million annually with Renault, was due to begin contract negotiations this year.Credit:AAP

Ricciardo joined Renault from Red Bull last year with a contract that runs to the end of 2020.

With the F1 season yet to start, and some fearing this year's championship may have to be scrapped altogether, Renault could end up having to pay him handsomely for little return.

They may also have to make tough choices when it comes to contract negotiations.

"In a normal season, we would have started work on the matter," said Abiteboul.

"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."

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."

F1's season-opening race in Melbourne on March 15 was cancelled with the Monaco Grand Prix also subsequently axed. Seven other races have been postponed and more are likely to join the queue for rescheduling.

F1 has said it hopes to run a reduced calendar of 15-18 races from the European summer.

Reuters

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