Ricciardo: 2021 rule delay won’t affect contract talks

Date published: March 22 2020

Daniel Ricciardo joining McLaren is a "sideways move" says Martin Brundle.

Daniel Ricciardo doesn’t believe the delaying of the new rules which were pushed back until 2022 will affect contract talks for any driver.

The sport was set to introduce new financial, sporting and technical regulations for the 2021 campaign, aimed at making the series more competitive and financially sustainable.

But with the 2020 season yet to begin due to the coronavirus pandemic, those changes have been pushed back until 2022.

Ricciardo joins the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz as the big names who are out of contract after 2020, but he doesn’t think the delay on the new rules will have an impact on contract negotiations for drivers.

“Everything’s messed up right now and it’s hard to say, but my best guess is that people will make the decisions they want to irrespective of how things have changed,” Ricciardo told Australian newspaper The Age.

“I find it hard to believe that anyone would sign a one-year deal just to be a free agent for ’22 because of the risks involved. Unless you’re in a unique situation, one year is normally far from ideal, so I imagine any contracts signed from now will carry over from the old regs to the new regs now coming on for ’22.

“It does make it interesting when you consider most of us aren’t contracted after this year besides Max [Verstappen] and Charles [Leclerc].”

Ricciardo said he was surprised when he heard the news that the new regulations would be delayed until 2022.

“My first thought when I heard the news was surprise that it would be delayed, so I need to digest things more before working out how I feel about it other than that,” he admitted.

“So much is up in the air right now that anything seems possible.”

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