Daniel Ricciardo has vowed to defend himself after the Aussie F1 star's former adviser reportedly started legal action over what he alleges are unpaid earnings.
Per Motorsport.com and the BBC, Glenn Beavis has taken the matter to the United Kingdom High Court of Justice and is claiming he is owed nearly A$18 million $18.7m) because he has not received commissions relating to Ricciardo's lucrative new contract with Renault, who the 30-year-old driver joined this year.
According to the reports, Beavis has lodged legal documents with the High Court, arguing he is owed approximately A$18m for "various sums due in accordance with the commission agreed between the parties".
Ricciardo left Red Bull at the end of 2018 and made the shock decision to join Renault on a two-year deal. Reports circulated in the British press earlier this year claiming Ricciardo's salary was nudging A$50 million but the West Australian rubbished those suggestions.
Ricciardo issued a statement to Motorsport.com about the S$18 million bombshell in which he said: "There is no substance to Glenn Beavis' claim.
"It is unfortunate that he has decided to bring this wholly unmeritorious claim which I intend to fully defend in the court process."
Ricciardo's lawyer Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp of The Ebury Partnership told the BBC there was "no merit" to Beavis' claim.
"Daniel's position is very clear — there is no merit whatsoever in relation to this claim and we are going to defend it absolutely fully," Courtenay-Stamp said.
"You'll have only seen his claim so far. You won't have seen our defence because it hasn't been filed. But it will be filed and it will entirely refute the claim that Beavis is making."
Beavis filed his lawsuit earlier in July, claiming the arrangement he had with Ricciardo saw him earn a 20 per cent commission on deals which he took care of.
As reported by Motorsport.com and the BBC, Beavis claims he started discussions with Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul in 2017 about Ricciardo leaving Red Bull and joining the French team. The switch was finalised in August last year and Beavis reportedly believes he is entitled to commissions related to that deal.
Beavis' lawsuit claims Ricciardo said he wanted to end their working relationship last December but Beavis continued in his role for several more months to sort through "outstanding matters … including negotiating the long form of the Renault driver contracts".
That "long form" contract was finalised on March 7 — shortly before the season-opening grand prix in Melbourne — and Beavis claims he worked for Ricciardo until March 31 before they ended their professional relationship.
Earlier this year Ricciardo's legal representatives said in a letter Beavis "has no entitlement to the commission, or to any other form or amount of commission, in relation to the Renault contract".