When Australian Formula One superstar, Daniel Ricciardo, made the controversial move to Renault last season, it raised a fair few eyebrows. With the reveal of his salary, however, Ricciardo’s move to Renault has seemingly been justified.
According to recent reports, Ricciardo is set to earn a whopping $49 million a season, which cements him as one of Australia’s highest-paid athletes. Not only is this figure a significant improvement on his Red Bull salary, but it also puts him well clear of his former team mate, Max Verstappen, who’s current yearly wage sees him earning approximately $18.43 million per year. Nonetheless, Renault is yet to publicly confirm Ricciardo’s salary.
Ricciardo unhappy with Red Bull
Ricciardo decided to leave Red Bull Racing after his relationship with Verstappen broke down. The pair had always had a rather fiery relationship, which often stemmed from Verstappen knocking Ricciardo out of races and podium contention.
On top of this, the Perth native felt that the young Dutchman was benefiting from favouritism from Red Bull’s upper management. As a result, Ricciardo felt that he was quickly becoming the secondary driver, which clearly did not sit well with the Australian.
Looking ahead to Melbourne
Ricciardo is looking forward to the start of the 2019 F1 season, which begins in Melbourne this weekend. The Australian believes that a massive rise in salary and change of team will not affect his ability to remain focused throughout the year, despite his admission that the team will likely be out of contention this year. He has also had some minor issues with his Renault engine in some early time trials.
Where does Ricciardo sit?
Ricciardo’s big payday means he now sits 3rd in the salary rankings for this year. Naturally, four-time Mercedes champion, Lewis Hamilton, tops the list with a reported salary of $74.73 million. His direct opponent, Sebastian Vettel, follows in second place with an annual salary of $57.06 million. Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas round out the top five, in 4th and 5th respectively.