Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo believes the 2021 regulations delay won’t impact the driver market for next year. The Australian is one among many high profile F1 drivers who are out of contract with their respective teams heading into 2021. F1 earlier announced the postponement of the 2021 technical regulations to 2022 due to the current season being severely curtailed by an epidemic.
The 2021 regulation changes were the catalyst that Ricciardo needed to jump ship. The radically changing rules gave the Australian the opportunity to explore other teams. Ricciardo’s goal with Renault was to eventually fight for the World Championship but the team haven’t made any solid progress.
Had Renault endured another mediocre season, it would have given the Aussie the flexibility to negotiate with other teams. All the top 3 teams have vacant seats heading into 2021. It wouldn’t be wrong to say Ricciardo’s fancying his chances at a certain Italian team.
At 30, time’s running out for Ricciardo. The Australian always seemed destined for greatness at Red Bull but it sadly never happened. Ricciardo did pick up a few victories but never properly fought for the thing he wanted the most. The Aussie himself recently admitted that he had hoped to have a few World Championships by now.
Daniel Ricciardo believes the 2020 silly season will still go ahead thanks to long term contracts. The Australian asserted that teams wouldn’t risk signing a driver for a single season. This analogy is debatable but then again, F1 contracts are anything but straightforward.
Speaking to The Age, Ricciardo said:
“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.
The Honey Badger admitted that the postponement caught him by surprise.
“So much is up in the air right now that anything seems possible.”
We’ve seen no racing so far this season but those contract talks are definitely in full swing.