The coronavirus crisis puts the teams in a delicate situation – Daniel Ricciardo, who receives a large salary at Renault and whose contract is due to end at the end of the season, could become the victim of the crisis.
Scheduled for 15 March, the start of the new Formula 1 season has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. No one knows for sure when it will resume, but what is certain is that this health crisis is hitting the teams hard. This is notably the case for Renault, which has Daniel Ricciardo in its line-up, earning a salary of €25 million.
The Australian driver’s contract is coming to an end at the end of the season and he still doesn’t know if he will be kept. Renault could then decide on Ricciardo’s future without the driver having competed in any races this season. The team boss, Cyril Abiteboul, has expressed his views on the matter.
“We may have to make decisions without the season having started”.
“In a normal season, we would have started working on it. We would have evaluated Daniel’s performance over the first four races and started or not started the first discussions. Then we wouldn’t have done a lap.
“We are blind but we have to project ourselves. So we talk a lot. We may have to make decisions without the season having started. We’re preparing for that. Is it a problem if he leaves?
“If I didn’t see it coming and didn’t anticipate it, it will a problem. That’s why we’re having discussions and why we have a driver’s academy,” said Cyril Abiteboul in an interview with the French newspaper, L’Equipe.
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Quite clearly we’re seeing the beginning of the savage cost-cutting that will become increasingly more necessary the longer the 2020 F1 season is delayed.
Indeed it doesn’t take too much of an expert to realise that soon we’ll be passing the point of which seismic change in Formula 1 is inevitable.
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