It’s the year of the lawsuit over here in Formula One—after the Rich Energy saga, it seems like everyone else is keen to get in on the action. Namely, Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo’s former manager is seeking £10 million ($12.8 million) from the driver because he, uh, apparently didn’t get paid.
Ricciardo’s move from Red Bull Racing to Renault last season was a bit of a shock, given the fact that most of Ricciardo’s racing career had been sponsored by the energy drink company. Interestingly, that deal to swap teams didn’t seem to include paying his manager at the time, Glenn Beavis.
(There’s a lot to unpack here, so stick with us.)
Beavis was Ricciardo’s manager and consultant from 2012 to the current season, Fox Sports reports. In his lawsuit, Beavis notes that his contract entitled him to twenty percent of Ricciardo’s base salary, along with various other contractual fees—including the cost of Ricciardo’s superlicense, which allows him to race, and even the cost of a physiotherapist. Ricciardo switched from Beavis to a partnership with CAA Sports ahead of this year’s Australian Grand Prix.
Beavis also claims in the lawsuit that he was the one who started the Renault negotiations for Ricciardo in 2017, which continued until Ricciardo signed the official contract on August 2, 2018. While Ricciardo did inform Beavis that they’d be ending their partnership on December 15 of that year, Beavis was kept on to settle the Renault contract matters that weren’t finalized until March 7, 2019. Their partnership was officially nixed on March 31.
Here’s where it gets sticky. Because Beavis was the one who negotiated the contract, he argues that he’s entitled to his cut of Ricciardo’s Renault salary—that £10 million we mentioned before. So he’s taking the Australian driver to court. Ricciardo wholly disagrees.
However, there’s a lot of legal red tape coming into play here. From Autosport:
Beavis says he was informed on April 4 by R&H Trust Co (Jersey) Limited, acting “on behalf of Whitedunes and/or Ricciardo”, that no commission was payable in respect of the Renault contract.
A letter dated May 30 from solicitors acting for Ricciardo allegedly reiterated that Beavis “has no entitlement to the commission, or to any other form or amount of commission, in relation to the Renault contract”, including the future contingent sums or any other deal introduced by Beavis.
I can’t imagine it’s a particularly comfortable feeling heading into F1's summer break knowing that you’re going to have to spend it getting legal consultation. But I’m sure Ricciardo can at least rest easy knowing he’s not fighting Haas F1's battle.