F1 Winter Break
Behind the Mercedes, Dan the man in epic race at Sakhir
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  07 Apr 2014   |  10:06 am GMT  |  322 comments

Daniel Ricciardo’s rollercoaster season, which in the opening two races hurtled from incident to incident, finally ignited in Bahrain with the Aussie delivering an excellent drive from 13th on the grid to fourth at the flag. Indeed, with just under half a second separating the Red Bull driver from Sergio Perez in the closing stages, Ricciardo might have stood on the podium for the second time this year had the race been a lap longer.

The Perth racer went into the weekend on the back foot, knowing that wherever he qualified he’d drop 10 places back down the grid. Red Bull’s sessions began in muted fashion with Ricciardo 14th in FP1 as the team spent much of the session “playing around with a few things on the car” but in the second session the Aussie’s soft tyre tyre run netted him the day’s fourth-fastest time, three places ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel. However, he insisted that steady progress was the key prior to the race.

“During the race I will make sure my aggression is on and make sure I’m moving forward,” he said. “But in practice and qualifying not really, I’ll just do what I can to make sure we have a good car for Sunday.”

In final practice Daniel was a low-key 13th, all the attention being focused on Vettel, who spun out with 20 minutes left and missed the end-of-session quali sims.

Ricciardo commandeered the spotlight in qualifying, however. He eased through the opening segment as one of just three drivers to only use the medium tyre (the dominant Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg being the others). His progress through Q2 was even more satisfying, Ricciardo making it to the top-10 shootout in third spot as the only non-Mercedes man to get within a second of Nico Rosberg’s segment-topping time.

That pattern was repeated in Q3 with Ricciardo storming to third spot again, and again the only man to get within a second of pole-sitter Rosberg. He ended the session 0.8s  down on the German and +0.25 up on fourth-placed Valtteri Bottas.

Thirteenth place on the grid left Ricciardo plotting an attacking race.

“I don’t think we need to be conservative, we need to push, we are out of position,” he said. “If there is an opportunity to move forward I will do what I can and hopefully take away some points. At the moment it is pretty close between a two or three stop, maybe there is some room for us to try something.”

In the opening laps of the race Ricciardo struggled to make an impact on those ahead, admitting that his first stint was “pretty much follow the leader”. His cause wasn’t helped by a rash lap-nine move on Magnussen for 11th position that saw the Australian run wide.

He passed the Dane two laps later, however, with a good move at the exit of Turn 11, though the McLaren drivers tyre’s looked to have given up. Ricciardo then set of after team-mate Vettel.

And when he closed up on his team-mate, Ricciardo demonstrated once again that while he’s got the broadest smile in the paddock away from the car, behind the wheel he’s more than capable of making demands from his pit wall.

On lap 14 Vettel complained of a DRS problem and within two laps Ricciardo was on the German’s gearbox and radioing through to his team that “he was wasting time” and asking for Vettel to be moved out of the way.

The champion’s engineer Guillaume Rocquelin called through Vettel and delivered the unfamiliar message: “Daniel is quicker than you”. Vettel made it easy and Ricciardo swept past.

The battle between the team-mates was revived late in the race after the safety car was brought out by Esteban Gutierrez’s crash. Tucked in behind Vettel, Ricciardo put a lovely move on the champion into Turn One on lap 50 to steal sixth place. He then bustled past Jenson Button, though the McLaren driver was already experience the clutch issue that would see him retire two laps from the end.

Nico Hulkenberg was a less easy mark but again Ricciardo took no prisoners. His final set of options (taken on lap 35) were still working well as his fuel load lessened and the track temperatures dropped.

He forced an error out of the usually flawless Force India driver into Turn 11, took fourth and chased down Perez, who afterwards admitted that had the race gone on another lap he would likely have lost out on his first podium finish since the Italian GP of 2012.

Afterwards Ricciardo said that while Safety Car had helped he felt he would have been able to claim his first official points finish of the season regardless.

“The race went to plan. We went pretty long in the first stint and from then on it was target two-stop,” he told RedBull.com “The Safety Car probably helped but I think we would have made it anyway. Maybe the last couple of laps would have been… on the edge though.

“Before the race I thought we might creep into the top six if everything went well for us, so to finish fourth… that’s a pretty good day. It was a lot of fun but equally we didn’t get anything for free, we had to really work for it and that’s always a bit more rewarding: you make the moves, you move forward. I really don’t think the race could have gone any better.”

The Red Bull driver confirmed, too, that he felt he could have reeled in Perez if the race had gone on any longer.

“We got close to the podium today, I think within half a second, so I was doing all I could,” he said. The car came to me as the race went on and I was happy with how I moved up through the pack, so a good day. It was good fun to race Sebastian, it was hard but fair and we left each other room. That’s what we want from each other and we discussed it beforehand, we’re racers and that’s what we enjoy doing.”

His team were fulsome in their praise too, with Renault Sport F1’s Thierry Salvi admitting that Ricciardo had “done a good job all race… he was quite impressive” and team boss Christian Horner added that “Daniel put in a great drive and, with another lap, possibly could have made it to the podium”.

If the race confirmed anything, it’s that not only is Ricciardo capable of delivering lightning-quick qualifying laps (as evidenced regularly at Toro Rosso) but that in the right car he’s also a determined, decisive and clever racer who is able to take the fight to the champions he is now qualifying around.

Modest as ever, thought, post-race Daniel reckoned he can still do better.

“It took me a few stabs at a few guys today,” he said. “I think a couple of times I was a bit anxious. I guess I have [established myself]. It is important. Obviously Seb has been dominant in F1 for the last four years at least and it’s nice to come in and show that I can race at the front. Obviously when you have the car underneath you it gives you a lot of confidence to battle and to move forward.”

With his points on the board courtesy of a fine drive in a complex and unpredictable race, that confidence will undoubtedly now bloom.


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kenneth chapman

fine piece james. says it all really. sterling job on the day. roll on the 'honey badger'.


Vettel got schooled! Praise The Lord for small mercies.


So far if you look at the first three races:

1.) Australia. Vettel has engine trouble in qually & the race. Comparison near impossible to make.

2.) Malaysia. Ricciardo was slightly baulked in qually (IIRC) and in the race he had the pitstop issue. Prior to that when both cars were running ok, Vettel looked to have more pace.

3.) Bahrain. Vettel has brake by wire issues in Qualifying, then in the race he had a DRS issue and he was carring a MGU-H issue as well. Thus a comparison is hard to draw from this given Daniel didn't have such issues.

So far in race conditions the first 2/3rds of the Malaysian GP are the only race where we've had two fully functional RBRs without issue, and during that period Vettel was quicker.

Schooled? I think not.

That's not to say that Ricciardo isn't fast, I think he is, but you can only hand out a schooling when both cars are functioning correctly and evidently they're not!


Nice post but you could better give up. So many people here that wanna see the guy fail.. you will never win sadly..


Not really, different tire strategies and a power unit problem all weekend with SV's car does not equal schooled. SV couldn't even overtake the FIATs on the straights

However kudos to DR, THE outstanding driver of the day by a lightyear!

As for the AMG MB's 2 seconds a lap faster and a 80bhp plus advantage WILL put you to the top of the heap at this level of racing.


oh dear,

look at it this way Riccardo would have been on the podium if his team had not screwed him around for the second time in 3races,

he could have been around third in the championship as well but his team are not up to it,

they dont have the heart because there golden finger boy is not fighting at all, he is moaning like the rest of his fans about how unfair it is that Merc are 2sec faster and 80hp up,

Riccardo has taken the bull by the horns and has proven their car is capable of running third right now but the finger kid doesn't want third he wants first or nothing.


Yup. I can't really find the words to express how happy I am that Seb is getting out raced by DR, shame about the last two races.


Dan The Man is the real deal. Quick, sensitive, keen to improve no matter which car he i


if vettel hadn't moved aside for ricciardo in the first stint how would he have made that progress? the teams should've let them race and you would've seen how hard vettel would've fought to keep him behind. the team made vettel move over and daniel beat him to the flag as a result.


Are you serious ?

Vettels woes started when he went off track and samagwd the turbos waste gate. It was self inflicted.


I think he was referring to the second battle they had...


they were on a different strategy so it had nothing to do with racing each other at that point of the race.


They were on different tyres, and different strategies, made no sense holding RIC up, that's hardly team orders in the classic sense.


are you serious? they were racing each other just like rosberg and hamilton were racing each other. vettel simply helped ricciardo to finish ahead of him. if vettel kept him back like hamilton did rosberg ricciardo would've finished behind vettel.

they all start the race at the same time with the same amount of fuel and they had the same tyres. hamilton's tyres were shot and he still held rosberg back until he pitted for a fresh set of tyres.


That was great to watch, wasn't it! Ricciardo & Rosberg certainly the two most unlikely & exciting drivers this season. I backed Rosberg (still do) to win the championship & I back Ricciardo to eventually win the team mate's battle with Vettel, if not this season, it will be next season I hope. I remember James Allen taking an interview of Daniel Ricciardo at the end of 2010 season in Abu Dhabi when Ricciardo was faster than the champion in the testing. I quote, "everybody thinks you are the next Sebastian Vettel, when are we going to see you in one these cars?" Ricciardo was modest as ever & replied, "hopefully soon, but I am focusing only on the testing at the moment". Remember JA? This proves that we are seeing the next generation of hugely talented drivers proving their worth already. Alonso, Raikkonen, Massa, Button era aren't far from the end of the line. We are fortunate that the new generation is just as great. It's certainly time for new world champions to emerge soon.


Something extraordinary that happened was that at the closing laps RedBull Racing were on softer tyres, whereas most other drivers were on harder tyres.

Sometimes it pays when you can try a different strategy to the other ones. Thank that Safety Car!

The fights for 3-8 places promise to be very exciting this year. Wonder who it will be the first non-Merc driver to win a race this year. Maybe a poll? 🙂


Pretty sure it will be a Red Bull, but which one?


Yeah I'd like a poll like that! I think a non Merc will win a race. If nothing else they'll take each other out at some point or screw up in a wet race!


Monaco could be an equaliser.

I would poll who is first to beat Merc, and which race.


Great race from Ricciardo. He overbaked a couple of moves, but can't deny his final result. He had some very good overtakes, especially up into Turn 11.

He's definitely deserved better from his season so far, but he's never let it get him down. Always nice to watch happy warriors!

Michael Powell

It seems that the only thing holding Dan back is his team: first through a fuelling mistake, then through a mistake with fitting a wheel.

That's three races out of three blighted for him.

Fortunately, he has the upper hand using the same equipment as Seb, so now we can judge how well the latter justifies his four championships.

Where's Equin0x gone this year?

Nice to see seb being well beaton by the semi rookie


Probably just very thirsty as the champagne has stopped flowing and is now trying to extract as much as he can out of a dried up Tealeaf.

Sorry, but I couldn't resist.


alonso got beaten by a rookie in 2007. that's nothing to be ashamed of.


Nice to see that Vettel allowed Dan to pass without hesitation. He is a true gentleman.


I must say when the radio message to Vettel was transmitted, I was sceptical that he would oblige, given his history with Webber, however I was pleasantly surprised, and go as far to say he has gained some respect back. This is how you increase a fan base. Well done Sebastian


I was impressed by Seb's mature response, he is obviously thinking that when the situation is reversed it will help him. It only took one race for Felipe to learn the value of cooperation among team mates, what goes around comes around...


I'm not having a dig at the guy Ed, just saying he handled letting Ricciardo by in a mature way. Makes a change for me to be sticking up for vettel but apparently he had a problem with the kers so he was down on speed at the end of the straights.


You mean the minute he gets passed by his team mate he's onteh radio making excuses about being down on power despite no perceivable drop in laptimes from his car?


"It was good fun to race Sebastian, it was hard but fair and we left each other room"

the second time they meet Dan whooped the "A" of Vettel, Vet tried to get passed again but Dan was gone,

just though you might like to go back and watch it again, or maybe you want because the true might hurt i guess.


Definitely makes Red Bull's driver choice a great one after Webber left.


Great to see the Perth flier finally get some points on board and more importantly with that kind of drive through the pack.

For sure Red Bull's search for a driver that can replace Vettel (should he seek greener pastures) has finally ended as Riccardo appears to possess the tools to fight at the front with the best of them.

Fair play to Vettel too for giving his teammate room when when was having all sorts of issues for the early signs indicate that Riccardo and Vettel have a healthy relationship.

Now I have no doubt once Red Bull get their car in order, these two will be another formidable pair because both have speed and tenacity.

Lastly am glad there wasn't one more lap for people like Force India and Perez, podiums come like once ever Christmas so it was nice to see them get that.


The biggest test for Riccardo is seeing if he can have consecutive races with good luck on his side.

If this is the case, we can say for sure that the Perth flier didn't inherit Webber's luck.


No fan of VET, but he certainly did the right thing and moved aside. Had it still been WEB the car would have seemed very wide.


@ Bryce



Good comments.

Do you think Sebastian will move on? Hmm, probably not next year, but 2016? Or will he step with Red Bull? Will Bull shack up with Honda for 2016 or stay with Renault?


There is no way RBR racing will move from Renault power. 4 consecutive championships and Renault are the most successful engine manufacturer in a decade. One slow start to a season will not break a likely ongoing future strong partnership. Renault will sort it out late this year, but definitely in 2015. They previously dominated the last turbo era remember. Demonstrated performance & history is more important than conjecture. Honda will be 2 years from a dominant engine.

The Merc supply that McLaren currently have will be the one up for grabs in 2015, but RBR will double down on their Renault relationship & history shows it will pay off big time with their F1 budget.

Ferrari engines are the big worry IMHO, the new era of F1 may be very unkind to the prancing horse (similar to the 1980's).


@ Gaz Boy

Thanks mate.

Seeing as the current rules favour the engines, if Renault do not get competitive in 2015, I think Vettel will have to walk.

As some posters said, Honda will be the exclusive supplier to Mclaren so Red Bull will have to look else where.


I was under the impression that engine suppliers had to make s supply available to more than one team, I could be wrong but I'm sure it used to be that way. Even if Honda don't supply red Bull there would be a spare Merc supply available, would Red Bull take it? Would Merc give it to them? I'm thinking it would be more likely that RB stay with (an improved) Renault PU but it would be interesting to see what they do.


The Honda issue is interesting.

Yes, I do believe Macca have an exclusive deal for Honda in 2015, but could - and would - Honda go into the customer supplier business for 2016? In 1985/86 Honda said they would only supply Williams, and yet in Germany 1986 announced actually they could also supply Lotus for 1987 with Japanese engines - as long as Lotus employed Satoru Nakajima (which they did).

Contracts aren't worth the paper they are written on................


What issues did a Vettel have then? Is being slower on the straights due to having more downforce than your teammate an issue??


A lack of working DRS won't help on the straights either and Ted Kravitz reported he had engine troubles all weekend.


Dont forget when Vettel went off track he damaged his turbos wastegate through every fault of his own.


The radio transcript (which I am sad enough to read) showed he was having problems with DRS, whether it was activation fails or what it doesn't say. And well I'm only reporting what Ted said and comparatively to us forum dwellers he has much more information than we do. Also read power unit rather than engine, I always forget these little term changes.


Oh but he did have working DRS, he didn't have any engine troubles at all. If by trouble you mean he's got a Renault engine then his teammate did just fine with it.


That's right, fair play to Vettel.

I am a big Ferrari and Alonso fan but can't really immagine what would happen if Alonso was delivered a similar line 😉

I thought Vettel would have the upper hand but so far Ricciardo's been great. The guy's aggressive when it counts and also laid back. And the team is nice to him... he could be their bright future when Vettel's gone.

Looks like we're in for some nice internal battles (Merc, Ferrari and Red Bull)


Interestingly, Vettel's & Alonso's contract runs out at the end of 2015. And we all know how much Vettel wants to win championship with Ferrari. So, Ricciardo might be the long term plan by Red Bull anyway.

And as far as luck is concerned, F1 can be cruel sometimes as we all know. From rarely recent memory, we still talk about Massa not winning the 2008 WDC due to no fault of his own! Alonso not winning the WDC in 2010 due to no fault of his own! So, Ricciardo in my view outperformed Vettel so far in the sea on & that's a great win.


While at this stage in the championship it is early days, it would be curious to know which driver Red Bull are giving the "leading driver" privileges to, the precedent established since wing-gate at Silverstone 2010.

Their policy there was stated that the driver leading the WDC gets the nod when there are only one set of new parts.

The reason it is of interest, is that while Vettel leads the FIA scoreboard, Red Bull's position is that Ricciardo's position in Australia was valid, which would make him the lead Red Bull in the championship.

The point is this - if they are giving Vettel lead driver privileges due to his position in the FIA leaderboard, would this not undermine their position against the FIA? I am surprised that no F1 journalist has posed this question to Horner yet.


The way Red Bull's production systems have worked they always seem to be able to get two sets of parts to every race. In the British GP practice Vettel's wing had a manufacturing failure. Webber had said that he couldn't feel a difference, but Vettel liked it and Newey felt it was a performance improvement so it should be used. With one part and only one driver wanting it, it was simple in one sense. The exact detail around whether they asked Webber and he said no, or Newey made the switch without asking varies on reports I saw. Either way Webber saw it as an avenue to play politics after the Turkey GP clash.

The premise that it was on championship position, to my understanding, is false. Red Bull kept rotating which driver got the 'last over the line' treatment in qualifying. First on the road got the lead on strategy, but it could be argued that Japan 2013 was an interesting spin on this.

The other thing to note is that Marko is a fan of Dan, at least so far.


The other potential political component to the front wing swap is that MW may have said he felt no appreciable difference for his own political/power insitu motivations. From the different stuff I read, it certainly seemed he did feel a slight improvement, but not the sort of improvement the development team were looking for. It could have been that MW playing down the viability of the wing and therefore trying to nullify any advantage (actual or perceived) gained by his teammate may have backfired on him to the result of the wing swap. If SV was achieving more with this wing that MW wasn't, you really wouldn't like to hand it over to your teammate even if you couldn't feel any improvement yourself, would you?


Irrelevant theorising. There is only one scoreboard that matters, the FIA's. And that is the one Red Bull will use to dictate their strategy. Having an 'internal' scoreboard might be feelgood but it won't win them any competitions.


Because clearly at this point Horner would say that they are being treated equally. What's the point in asking a question that you already know the answer to?


red bull are not in a position to fight for the championship so it's pointless having a lead driver.


They told Vettel to let Ricciardo through.

Enough said 🙂


"GET OUT OF MY WAY!" says the wooly haired driver.........and I'm not talking about Jezza.


“It was good fun to race Sebastian, it was hard but fair and we left each other room”

the second time they meet Dan whooped the “A” of Vettel, Vet tried to get passed again but Dan was gone,

just though you might like to go back and watch it again, or maybe you want because the truth might hurt i guess.


Are you trying to imply that I think Ricciardo - a driver I'm a big fan of - only got past Vettel because the Vettel let him?

Fact: The team told Seb to let Dan past because Seb had a problem and Dan was faster at that stage, which shows that RBR are not just giving Seb lead driver privileges willy nilly which is the only point I was initially making.

Fact: Seb did let Dan through, so good on him for that.

Fact: Later on when Dan was behind Seb again due to the pit stops and Seb seem to have recovered from his problem a bit, Dan still came back and kicked his arse.

The day might come when I criticise Dan for something, but that would only go to show that no matter how biased I am in his favour I'll still try to keep to the facts where I can.


Although not absolutely sure if this is the honest comparison between the two, I do like to see a teammate giving Vettel a hard time.

Honestly I never expected this when they chose him in stead of the iceman.

Props for Ricciardo

kenneth chapman

personally i don't think that raikonnen is faster than ricci and don't forget raikonnen is on the out and ricci is on the way in. if vettel pulls stumps then they need someone to take the reins. it remains to be seen whether or not ricci can maintain the rage as it is early days in the season but it certainly looks as though he has the goods. he's performed well three times in a row. the honey badger is looking great...e


Iceman is not as fast he used to be, plus he is not 24 either. Ricciardo is proving them right in every race now.


Excellent drive by daniel, i hope renault can find some more hp so these guys can mix it with mercedes, credit should also go to seb and the redbull team for doing the obvious and letting daniel by, if the 2 drivers can work together like this along with some more power in the car they will be unstoppable!


they have been stopped already.


if that is how you think teams should be doing then you must be joking,

we wouldn't have any racing between team mates just radio messages "that say he faster than you"

Dan can do it without team orders as he did the second time he and Vet meet, and did you see Vet try and get that position back, o yeah he tried alright but Dan blocked him and was gone,

knowing how Vet operates he was not happy the second time meet because he had no excuse this time to let Dan trough except loose points to his team mate.


"“It took me a few stabs at a few guys today,” he said. “I think a couple of times I was a bit anxious."

It's great that driver can acknowledge his mistakes. That means he's learning.

Complete constrast to Pastor whos like "I was driving to T1 normally. Didn't see anybody. Suddenly Sauber crashed on me. I don't understand why I got penalties."


All Pastor got for his act of lunacy was a slap on the wrist. Given his record, a black flag would have been more appropriate, IMHO.


Pastor got 3 points on his licence, I think it should have been more but it seems unlikely he will get to the end of the season without a 1 race ban, maybe a good year for the test and reserve drivers.


He's driving so well and has such a positive attitude. I'm Australian and it's only three races into the season, but I've almost completely forgotten about Mike Webber.


LOL. You can't forget about someone who you don't even know, and you obviously don't know Webber if you call him Mike :))


It is quite obvious you forgot about him if you call him mike




That was Aussie Humour, Rafa


I guess he was doing that on purpose to show that he had 'forgotten' him 😀

Vettel did have his issues but that does not take anything away from Daniel's superb racecraft. Props to him and here's to better fortune to him in the coming races.


It's quite obvious you didn't get the joke. I also don't miss Molly!


PRETTY sure that was sarcasm in action...did you not get the memo?


Dan is definitely a better ambassador for Aussies.


Proudly Australian "


before his Williams inevitably broke down, I should have added...


Not sure why people can't just enjoy Ricciardo's success without denigrating other drivers. I was a Webber fan, I guess, as opposed to those "Australians who felt they should support the Australian", but whatever anyone says, he achieved more in F1 than the vast majority of drivers will do. And before people say "well he was in a RB", he did some remarkable things in weak cars before that, which demonstrated his talent, e.g. qualifying a Jaguar (!) on the front row, or seriously challenging for victory at Monaco in a Williams that was an absolute dog (and in the same race, lapping Rosberg, if i'm not mistaken) amongst many others.


Webber also put up a lot of money for Dan to be where he is today, don't ever forget that, if it wasn't for Webber Dan would not even be here right now.


How do you know that? Something made up?

Dan comes from a very well established Western Australian (WA) family, who have a very good & large civil construction business in WA. Funding would not have been an issue for Dan's career. Webber is the one who came from a modest background.


"Mike Webber"

I hope that was deliberate 😀


Ouch TGS...I should really chastise you, but I see what you're saying.

Mark had his day, had some success, and he is missed, but Dan's taken the bull by both horns and it looks like he might well go all the way 🙂


You should watch the WEC and Le Mans... 🙂


Ha ha. Mike. Nice. And yew call yerself a Nozzie...


Oz should be proud. Great racer and a nice young man.


I wouldn't say he 'stole' the position from Vettel, he rightfully took it!

A wonderful drive from a great kid, so refreshing to see.


I reckon Webber was jumping up and down yelling you beauty when Dan passed Seb.... I know I was 🙂

Well done to Dan though he has exceeded and I didn't think he would be doing this sort if thing until later in the year.


No doubt Webber would've lost his voice. JA took an inter of Webber last year. This is how it went'

JA: What advice would you give your young country man when he has big shoes to fill & drive next to 4 time WDC.

MW: Kick his a.....s

Sums it up.


We have not heard a lot from the likes of Horner about how well Ric has done sofar this season. They seem to have too busy winging about the rules and theis Pu. Ric. So far they have had very good results and the car is quick. I wish they would get on with the job in hand. It was embarrassing listening to Neweys negative comments.

They should be making apologies for screwing up Rics races.


Horner has been nothing but glowing in his praise for Dan in all 3 races so far! You must've missed it...


Thats my boy. Doing Aussies proud.


And the Queen, parliamentary democracy, the metric system, driving on the left, the English language and the British Formula 1 kit-car industry.


You forgot anglicised/australianised italian names and good quality dentistry...

Mitch Evans was a Kiwi MW protege when Arden was MW Arden. Now running in Russian Time. Still up the pointy end, but no idea how much help MW is giving him these days. Can't wait till Mick Doohan's son Jack moves into euro formulas when he's old enough - just won his first Gokart race recently.


I forgot to mention the excellent scholarship scheme for Australian and New Zealand drivers to come to race in the junior formulas back in the motherland of Britain.

It's about time F1 had a top driver from New Zealand.......any promising up and coming Kiwi's to note?


Damn straight gaz, damn straight! 🙂


You should thank us Aussies for showing the Queen's men how Cricket should be played too LOL


Good race from Dan, and hopefully next week he can get his other 18 points back 🙂


That's not gonna happen. Dan's looking good though


Maybe so, but let's wait and see...


Random ,that's a long shot, I suspect Red Bull will not win the appeal, get a slap on the wrist, and just chalk it up to experience.

Bit off topic, but most drivers at the sharp end of the grid get paid a basic salary (which in the real world most of us could retire from!) plus they get extra payments per points scored - a sort of incentive system. I assume this is true of Daniel. However, it does include "lost" points? Daniel finished second on the road at Melbourne and was heading for at least fourth in Malaysia before the team bungled his pit-stop. So if his team hadn't messed up, Daniel would have scored 30 points in the first two races. Is he financially compensated for this as he lost these points through no fault of his own?

I know its a bit off topic, but I've always been intrigued by the pay per point system. Does it take into account operational errors from the team?


If that is the arrangement they had then considering it was the team that was the issue I would say yes, he should get it.

Mind you I also think he should be compensated for the points the team cost him in Malaysia, but that's a whole different story...


Come to think of it, does Daniel get paid in £ sterling, AUS dollars or Euros? Take your pick I suppose.


So long as it's notVietnamese dongs 😉


We could really use an edit reply button...just saying 🙂

nicolas nogaret

good boy ; he clearly doen't suffer the disadvantage of size that webber suffered


Glad to see Mark is enjoying a good steak and chips, with some mushrooms and onion rings on top! Mark was underweight for the majority of his Red Bull career.


that was because he wanted a career with redbull.


while in the car, they weighed the same. webber knew all the data and still set out to compete. there is no handicap in f1,


True, but it would have been the same at any team. Mark weights 75KG, which for a man of his height was too light, at least in the real world.

To put into context, Mark's weight was around 75KG, while Sebastian weights around 58KG. That's a difference of 17KG! That's at least two to three tenths of a second behind Mark had even left the pitlane! Not to mention Sebastian can sit lower in the chassis, and have the ballast moved around to where he wanted the areodynamic centre of pressure.


size doesn't matter in f1. they weigh the drivers at the end of each race. i have never seen any drivers height being measured.


Yes it does as height impaxts on centre of gravity. Also ballast can be put anywhere i think so....


if you understand it like that then the taller drivers have an advantage because their feet go futrther forward in the car hence more weight further forward. this means they will have more front grip.

the main point is, all the drivers compete with whatever natural features they have. all the fia request is that sum of their weight and car doesn't exceed the limit set. it doesn't matter what your weight, height or skin colour is. so long as you meet the fia requirements it's fine.

cream will rise to the top nor matter what.


Surely you cannot be serious.


the ball was in! have you ever seen jeremy clarkson driving an f1 car?

i have never seen a drivers height being measured either.


This all bodes well as being a good year for the fans. The Ricciardo / Vettel battle could be one of the highlights of the championship let alone the Mercedes battle.

I must say hats off to all the teams for finally letting teammates race each other on track and for position!

Formula one is a product for us, the fans (and ultimately the paying consumers). Without us, there is no "them" and it's great to hear the teams acknowledge this. If you want the new regs to work, you have to let the fans see what these new cars are capable of. Yesterday's race was a perfect example of this. If Mercedes hadn't let their drivers race, the race would have been deadpan boring regardless of what was happening behind them - thank you Mercedes for not pulling the plug on one of the best scraps for the lead we will ever see!!

In the same vein, I'm pleased to see Ricciardo didn't get the message from the pitwall to "be careful" when racing Vettel for his second overtake on the number 1 car. All the leading teams had their teammates come together on track at some point in the race and it was so good to not hear any interference from the pitwall. I have no doubt this was the recipe for success. Let the guys like Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Perez, Bottas etc.. show us why they are in F1. They have talent and we all want to see them use it. Let them go after each other if they can keep demonstrating the maturity and clean racing we have just seen.

Here's to more races like the last.


Well done that man.

It was also a very good race. And most enjoyable with a pint in hand. Watched from start to finish, unlike last time out.

More of this and F1 for a lot of people may be gripping again.

Keep it guys, and get a couple of thise silly rules changed.



Ricciardo looks like he's here to stay. My only hope is that Redbull wont go for the "team harmony" angle otherwise it'll come off as trying to shelter 4 champ Vettel from 'Dan the man' Im curious to see what Vettel is made of against a young-er gun. I just hope phantom mechanical problems and team orders dont rob us of the wheel to wheel team mate brawling spectacle we enjoyed in Bahrain. Pass this on to Horner lol.


Well done Daniel. And there's more good news.

The good news for Daniel and Sebastian is that the Red Bull chassis is an excellent chassis with lots of downforce, but the Bull's Renault is out-grunted by the Mercedes powerplant. If the difference between the two is in the ballpark of 80 BHP/80 Lb of torque - and that is the accepted ballpark at the moment - then that means the Red Bull is giving away 0.7/0.8 of a second compared to its Mercedes powered opposition before it even leaves the pitlane. So the excellent downforce of the Bull is making the difference - even on a track like Bahrain where raw straight line speed and power is more important than aerodynamics.

I personally believe that the most important part of an F1 chassis is the front wing and the floor, if you can't get those two critical areas working in combination a car's ability to generate downforce will be compromised. The Red Bull front wing and floor in combination are being able to produce lots of clean, efficient and well distributed downforce between both axles, even more than the Mercedes. So perhaps the tight packaging Adrian went for is actually now paying off aerodynamically.

Of course, Red Bull's progress is somewhat incumbent on their engine partner finding more BHP and torque, and that's a big if. On the positive side, for the last five years Red Bull have been able to implement an aggressive and effective development strategy that has kept them at the sharp end of the grid all season. Red Bull have the resources, personnel and finances to find incremental downforce increases right up to Abu Dhabi.

I suspect China will be a Mercedes walk-over (dry weather permitting), but Barcelona and Monaco are circuits where aerodynamic performance can overcome brute power. If Red Bull can introduce an effective upgrade for Barcelona, and Renault find a bit more ooomph, then at the very least Daniel and Sebastian can keep Mercedes honest.

Fingers crossed.


Nice post.

I haven't spotted enough clues as which cars will work well on a front-grip limited track such as China, and to a lesser extent Spain. The Williams is reported to have a strong turn-in, but whether this comes at the expense of front wear is something I'll look out for. They could qualify well and then need to stop early.

To me we seem to have an interesting phenomenon this year - most of the teams don't have the downforce to use the tyres properly, so we are seeing the cars with the most downforce, the Red Bull and the Mercedes, run with fewer stops than those with less downforce. In general more downforce will create more wear if you are comparing cars that have well balanced handling. At the moment we are seeing cars losing the rear tyres through a lack of rear grip and too much wheelspin.

I'm expecting the Red Bulls to go well at Monaco. The easiest way to increase traction in first gear corners is still add more downforce. The low gear ratios will help a little too. Both Nico and Lewis are handy around the track, so I'd still favour a Mercedes pole. In Spain the Mercedes may choose to use the engine power to run more wing (Monaco will be maxed out, so not applicable).


Martin, it will be interesting to see the sector time in the "Snails" section of the Shanghai circuit, as it is a mixture of tight hairpins and fast, swoopy corners.

Martin, you're right about China and Barcelona being front limited circuits; perhaps the teams will shift the aerodynamic centre of pressure forwards to protect the front tyres from graining/wearing? Of course, this will mean a more nervous rear axle zone, but as the Red Bull and Mercedes are producing more than any other cars it shouldn't affect them too much.


Hi Gaz,

The longitudinal location of the centre of lift and the centre drag don't, and aren't normally, in the same place.

In terms of moments, the drag force is a rotation about the vertical axis, and the centre of lift about the transverse axis. The drag force leads to stability, like an arrow or a shuttlecock. The lift force gives a big component to handling balance.

The centre of pressure is the point through which these forces appear to act. Increasing the front wing levels will move the point forward, but on F1 not to a point of instability. Pitch sensitivity, particularly under braking is where instability (nervousness as it is commonly used) is most likely to occur.

As Ferrari found out at Spa and Monza last year, adding more front wing can stop the floor working, so it may not be a simple tsk for Red Bull and Mercedes to avoid understeer in the long corners.




Barcelona is a track where aerodynamically superior cars will show up, but Monaco is more about mechanical grip, god traction, sharp front end in slow corners


When I said China will be a Mercedes walk over, well yes on the mega long back straight, but I wonder how Daniel and Sebastian and their Bull's will fare through the twisty "snails" section? That'll be interesting for downforce comparisons.


Man of the day for me. Brilliant drive from a brilliant guy.


Daniel Ricciardo will be the test of Vettel's true ability. Is Dan mixing it with the front runners because he's so good, or is Seb doing so poorly because the car's so bad? Hmm...


Ironically it may have helped Dan to be in the underachieving junior team for the past few years. Sebastian has obviously been the perfect driver for the counter-intuitive blown diffuser years - regardless of how we rank his talents - his mastery of that sort of car was insane by the end - meanwhile Dan hasn't been spoiled or had to learn the full adaptation that the unique red bulls have required for several years. He's come into the big team just as it reverts to a lower downforce, more karting skilled formula. I don't know who's genuinely faster out of him or Seb - but I think Seb is in shock at having to unlearn a lot more than Ricciardo. I think they may be very closely matched once they both get to grips with everything.


At this point, in time, I think it's both. The first two races had rain and Vettel had a car problem. In Bahrain, they started around the same position but with different tyres. Dan raced well but Seb held his own. After the safety car, Dan had fresher tires and Seb is complaining of car problems.

I'm still not getting the true picture. I think Seb has the edge slightly because he has been with Redbull longer, but I think Dan will be no pushover on a bright, sunny, no car problem, day.


Im an Aussie and had a love/hate relationship with Webber but its a Love/Love relationship with Ricciardo. So good, so impressive.


I wouldn't say it was love/hate, but every time I watched Webber race I was hoping he'd have a good result but at the same time I was just waiting to see what could go wrong for him next.


Couldn't put it better myself Josh!! Fellow Aussie with belief in Ricciardo,rather than hope with Webber? 2010 was the best year for us, in the past. The future looks as promising, if not more so.... Although nothing's a Gimme, being young and in a top team looks pretty exciting for this warrior from the West. Go the Honey Badger!!!


1959,60,66 and 1980 were the best years for Australia really but I was born 1983. Webber was unlucky his fastest years were with Jaguar. Also he could have won in 2010 but Vettel always had his measure. I dont think Webber was ever the fastest driver but came close. Ricciardo is still behind the best but over the next 2 years will be with them for sure. Bahrain, China, Spa and Monza are his best tracks I believe but Vettel is fast on all tracks. So we will see how he stacks up.


Jonsey could have won the championship in 1979, but his Williams FW07 lacked early season reliability. He was leading by a mile in Belgium and Silverstone when his engine failed, in Monaco he hit a kerb trying to chase the Ferrari's, and at Watkins Glen he could have won but after a pit stop a tyre went AWOL!

Still, Alan won the championship in 1980 no problems.......


Can't wait for him to get his first win, he deserves it already with what he's shown the world. Everyone seems to love the smiling Aussie and how could you not? He's taken the bull by the horns, quite literally. Not sure how China will go for the Bulls with that long straight, but with the way his confidence is growing every race hopefully we'll see Smiley back on the podium again soon.


Red Bull will need to lower down force and increase traction more than they will want to just so they dont get overtaken down that long straight and into turn 1. Hopefully Alonso isnt nearby because he loves cutting down the inside of turn one, its a great move. But Bahrain has 4 straights and they did pretty well there so maybe they will be ok


I think Red Bull will really shine when they get to pure aerodynamic circuits. That car was on rails through some corners, taking much tighter lines than what the other cars could. Barcelona will be interesting to watch. The Mercs are obviously on a different planet but obviously the first team to inherit a win from them would most likely be RB. Hopefully its Guy Smiley.


PS Advance Daniel for you are young and free - free to race and beat your team-mate, and young enough not to be daunted about reputations.

Also, both Daniel and Sebastian are slim-jims, and that's got to be worth a tenth of a second.


i did post on here last week that the rivalry to look out for aw the one at red bull but not at mercedes. i know that both mercedes drivers are gp2'rookie champions who are familiar with wheel to wheel combat so know how to accept the outcome. at redbull on the other hand there seem to be a higher degree of politics than at the mercedes team. some have started to write vettel off but i'd say vettel is yet to show just how good he is over this season with the car he has.


Nice try to give Vettel a hard time and trying to pile the pressure on him with you overly positive article on RIC.

Too bad Vettel was nursing a car problem again, which led him to be slower on the straights. This was an MGU-H problem. Too bad you don't report on that.


Didn't Seb also say he had a DRS problem, though that fixed itself quick enough...

Dan could have been helped more by his team, firstly by them moving Seb over quicker when the tyre strategies were different when Dan caught him. Secondly, Dan was ahead of Seb (and on the less durable tyres) so he should have first call and pitted before Seb. He lost a fair bit of time missing the undercut fast laps of Seb and others.

It was a bit clever, if desperate, of Seb to say to his team his tyres were going off as soon as Dan passed.

Dan drove very well, aggressively fair, very clever and mature calls over the radio and didn't whinge about his penalty or pitstop ordering.

Hope Red Bull allow Dan to race Seb in the future and give Dan decent strategies also.

Did anyone see if Seb jumped from his car in parc ferme and held up 6 fingers to the camera? 😉


"It was a bit clever, if desperate, of Seb to say to his team his tyres were going off as soon as Dan passed."

When a driver-team message is broadcaste =/= when a message is issued.


Excellent post, an accurate summary of the strategy.


A positive article about a fresh and fast driver. Don't let it get you down. VET will be back.....maybe


Wonder why Vettel's MGU-H problem was not part of this article. Is it because it was not true or for some other reason?


He had no problem at all! Daniel was running a lower downforce setup than Vettel and was still quick enough to stay close enough for the pass.


Cry more.


Sorry I am not a big fan of "sensational news" which is inaccurate just to justify to bash on Vettel...

What if Hamilton becomes a 4times WDC in this Mercedes rocketship? Would you doubt him? But oh no, it is Vettel, we must not like him... Let's find another excuse to hate on him...


Great weekend for Daniel.

Last year Vettel said something like - it would look stupid if he cannot beat Daniel in his first year (2014).

Right now in first 3 races it seems Daniel has upper hand.

If it ends like this in 2014 there will be a lot of voices saying any solid driver could be a four times champion in that rocket, nothing special in Vettel.


"If it ends like this in 2014 there will be a lot of voices saying any solid driver could be a four times champion in that rocket, nothing special in Vettel."

I'm constantly amazed at the efforts to belittle Vettel to the point of disparaging his teammate at the same time. If there's nothing special about VET, then Webber was even poorer, substantially poorer - though that would be a minority view in the paddock.

And your statement also implies that RIC is also nothing special.

Not sure why there needs to be a zero sum game when it comes to VET. RIC is an excellent racer and given a car that can be racy, he's showing that. He's definitely a talent.

If anything, he's sort of showing how much Webber dropped off in the last couple of years.

Good on RIC. And good on RBR for bringing him in and giving him a shot.

kenneth chapman

@ albert... the discussion was centered on vettel was it not? your introduction of both alonso, shumacher and senna were not.

to allude that my post was nonsense just shows how deficient you are in being able to analyse the actions of vettel and the subsequent flow on of those actions.

if you want to debate the latter three driver that you introduced i am more than happy to accomodate you. in the meantime stay on song.


The discussion was about Vettel being "a worthy F1 driver", so I compared his actions to the actions of three of the worthiest F1 drivers ever. 🙂

kenneth chapman

@ UAN... why should you be 'amazed' at the minimal respect garnered by vettel? think back to specific events, turkey would be a first, wouldn't it? he tried, unsuccessfully to take webber out when webber was running at reduced fuel burn.

take the silverstone frolic and then take 'multi 21' where once again he took advantage of webbers reduced speed to make a pass despite his pre race agreement with the team!

yes, vettel was fast in a fast car but he was rightly booed for his actions. he will never be, IMO, a worthy F1 driver for those reasons. that is apparently shared by many others as well.


@kenneth chapman

I'm also amazed at the sympathies Webber garners. I think it's due to his rugged good looks and stoic attitude.

Turkey 2010 aside, Webber pretty much failed to make his opportunities on the race track and resorted to off track politics to further his cause.

On the track, does anyone remember Valencia '10? Driving up the backside of the Lotus/Caterham? Or perhaps binning it in the rain in Korea?

Off the track, that whole wing fiasco was politically created by Briatore (Webber's manager) and Webber himself. It's been pretty well reported that Webber preferred the old wing to the new one. Poor acting of the year award should go to Webber in the post-qualy press conference when he slams down his glass of water "I'm mad!!!". LOL.

In Brazil '10 he spent the lead up to the race whinging about not be the "No.1" driver.

The most telling aspect for Webber is that in the lead up to Abu Dhabi, the story line was whether Vettel would let Webber pass him to win the WDC. Think about it. No one was talking about Webber just stepping up and taking pole/victory. It was just a given that Vettel would. Webber's no journeyman racer, he's fast on his day, but he's no WDC calibre.

As for Multi-21, that wasn't a situation that existed out of the blue. Webber ignored team orders at the start of Brazil 12 to give Vettel space and then before the first pit stops to let Vettel pass. Peter Windsor asked him about those incidents after the race, and Webber's response was "well they didn't exactly hand it to me on a platter in 2010". Grudge much?

The other thing about Multi-21 that people don't want to accept, is that while VET ignored team orders, he had also turned down his engine as well - the difference was that he had saved more fuel during the course of the race on the assumption that he would be allowed to challenge Webber for the win.

So it wasn't exactly a case of Webber being a sitting duck with VET on full power. Imagine VET having turned down his engine still being faster than Webber?

And the thing is, Webber was slow. He often talks about the RBR strategy of taking pole then prancing off in clean air to clear the DRS and then manage the gap home. He talks about it like it's been his own strategy, yet he's never done it. He can't do it, but he talks like he can. That's VET's strategy. So WEB in Malaysia spent most of the race trying to back VET into the Mercs, rather than stamping his authority on the race. Yeah, it's what he has available to him, but still, not too racy...

As for respecting VET, to each his own, but he does it on the track, not in the media and when he needs to win, he does (2010, 2012). It's not a fluke that VET was able to win 9 races in a row last year, it's more than just the car.


Nonsense. Alonso was proven to knowingly use information stolen from a rival team, even blackmailed his team director and was involved in the most controversial victory of the past 20 years (crashgate), but he's every bit as worthy as a F1 driver as anyone ever has.

I don't even need to start about Schumacher or Senna, two of the dirtiest drivers ever, curiously also widely considered the two very best drivers ever.


I'm not remotely a fan of Vettel but even I can admit his mastery last year was just skill. Yes he was born for the blown diffuser and Webber wasn't - but let's face it, the WDC is generally won by the best driver in the best car. This year it's probably going to be Lewis or Nico - they haven't suddenly gotten 200% better at driving - they have the best car. Jenson Button had the first half of 2009 to dominate and he regularly beat his teammate. Jenson surely isn't the best racer but he was the best that year, well suited to the car they gave him and even Alonso acknowledged Jenson did the best job that year.

Was Vettel favorited over Webber - probably, at least in 2010 at points, did he have the best car? Most of the time, but not always. Did he do a better job than everyone? Other than perhaps Alonso in 2012 - of course.

If you find yourself still dismissing Vettel entirely as winning because he had a 'rocketship' then you have to logically say that Lewis and Nico are both 'journeymen' since they have a bigger advantage than red bull ever had. It's just silly.

I'm glad not to be seeing the finger each week, of course, but I'm not stooping to this rubbish about 'journeymen' drivers. Get over it. Seb is one of the greats. It's too late now. Just be glad he's having to race in a formula that doesn't seem to offer him an easy time. I'm sure he'll win again at some point.


Let us wait for half the season before we make a conclusion.

Vettel drove brilliantly in 2013.

However it is reasonable to expect a 4 time world champion in his established team would be well ahead of a new comer from their junior team.


u might be sumarai's fan...if you say rocket, then 2014 he has broken tractor for 2 races..last race he had beaten fair & square..oh! you got selective amniesha..


Vettel has had a broken car in 2 out of 3 races...


wow, now apply that sort of thinking to mark webber's time at RBR.


No Vettel's table is just beginning.


Somebody has made that table a while. Webber and Vettel had about an equal amount of unreliability. It is somewhere over F1Fanatic. A very good read for all the people who need facts instead of a bias.

kenneth chapman

yes, vettel did have a broken car in australia and if you listened to the pit radio you would've noticed that immediately after ricci passed vettel he was on the radio complaining about his lack of speed at the end of the straight!

but was that the case after the SC? vettel hit back at ricci with spirited defensive driving and made no concessions at all? does this mean that he had recovered his speed loss which was, i believe related to the DRS. when ricci passed him the second time it was not under DRS at all. at least that is my recollection and if i am wrong then fine.


And Ricciardo has been shafted in two out of three races, so what's your point?


In all fairness Random, he was shafted by his own team's incompetence! Still, long season and all that.........


so did Mark Webber the majority of the time but that did not stop people overlooking the impact that has on losing WDC points so be consistent.


RIC has had 2 penalties out of 3 races


Agree it is very early days and with your comment.

Maybe by mid season we will have more clarity.


I'm loving watching Dan so far and it's only 3 races in.

A couple of solid passes on his world champ teammate and out qualifying him a couple of time too are the best signs that he's a genuine contender.

If only he still had the point for 2nd in Aus and 4th in Malaysia. I'm sure we'll be talking plenty more about Dan this year and beyond.


Oh yeah, and how does Maldonado only get a 5 place penalty for flipping another car when Dan got 10 for his pit stop issue last week?


I'm still waiting for someone to answer that - I even offered a reward 🙂


It's written into the sporting regs - it's a mandatory penalty, in the same way changing a gearbox gives a 5 place gear box penalty. No discretion.

In many ways, the Maldonado / GUT incident, with GUT's car flipping was someone of a freak outcome. But there have been more dangerous poor driving than that. The Kobayashi shunt into Jenson Button in Korea 2012, where he totally out braked himself going into T3, for instance, had the potential to be much worse. Or Schumacher in the back of JEV in Singapore 2012. Etc. MAL and GUT was relatively slow speed. It's just that we don't see cars flip, except for Webber running into the back of Kovalainen and flipping - though that was an "own goal" as it were.


I suspect the FIA has had enough of wheels coming off cars, especially when outside of the pit lane. The TV cameraman in German last year was probably relatively luck compared to Henry Surtees (who fatally hit a loose wheel after another driver's crash).


This is jolly well unfair!


I have been following "Dan the Man" since his British F3 racing days. Ever since then I knew if he had the car he would be a contender. 😉 Redbull obviously knew what they had when they hired him!


I like Ricciardo. The kid is all smiles and folksy giggles, but has a honey badger as a motif and, frankly, drives like one.

He's not afraid of the big boys and will happily pass them, qualifies Luke a demon and will push his team for position when required.

While the "We're wasting time" was a nice call when stuck behind Vette in Bahrain, I really liked the Malaysia comments when he was behind Vettel again and asked to release the gap to 2 seconds.

Paraphrasing, "Hang on that Merc is getting closer, I want to be part of the action if anything happens".

The Smiling Assassin.


What a sensational drive from Daniel Ricciardo! Whilst I hate to say to the knockers of a few years back I told you so.... "I told you so!" 🙂


I think you're lying - I don't think you hated that at all! 😉

Have to say his detractors are bit quieter these days 🙂


Top drive Daniel. Keep it up and prove the critics wrong.!!


I think he had a great race & deserved some good points after his bad luck so far.

It will be an interesting year for Vettel, when he's on top & has the best car he's exceptional..when he gets put under pressure we see the cracks. Button scared him off the road a few years back & now DR is really giving him a hard time. If Vettel gets the upper hand & begins to dominate DR he'll prove he's the Superstar his fans believe him to be.

If he doesn't, the 4 titles will look a bit hollow.


Though I like Webbo, he made Vettel seem like an extraordinary talent after the 2010 season... Vettel has never been twice the driver Alonso or Hamilton is... He was driving the right car at the right time for 3 consecutive years... 2010 was deserved though.. There are glimpses of incredible speed in Ricciardo. When he gets the pieces together, Vettel will be in trouble.. He may outscore him this season, but will never crush him like Webber...


I agree, how easily people forget JEV and Daniel were scoring about the same points when they were fighting at Torro Rosso last year. Which means there is tons of talent up and down the grid. How fast one appears, seems to be based on which team one lands in. So would JEV be giving Seb such a hard time he were promoted to Red Bull? I think yes. I mean just look at Kimi and Alonso, with their final positions in the race, you'ld think they had no talent.


Are you kidding?

JEV isn't good enough for F1. Look at Melbourne - rookie mistakes often where he puts wheels off the circuit. His new team mate is embarrassing him all over again. Sainz would have been better in the Torro seat this year.

He was never faster or more consistent than Dan. He will not be in F1 beyond 2014.


Most fans tend to just look at the points in the WDC or race results when it came to JEV/DR (and the midfield in general) so they thought DR wasn't a great racer.

But you look at the races and qualifying more closely, DR easily was the quicker more consistent driver and he did it under pressure.

- Smashed JEV in qualifying averaging up to 0.5 second quicker in both 2012/2013.

- Had more consistent results and was ahead in races but botched strategy, reliability and extra tires used in Q3 masked DR's racing ability. Not to mention holding off both Schumi (Japan) and Alonso (India) in superior cars.

JEV is decent but most of his points scored were rain related weekends. RB had all this data and they made the correct choice. JEV wouldn't be giving Seb a hard time, he would be qualifying/racing even lower than what DR is currently. A few rows back IMO given how tight the top ten is at times.


Great article, Dan the man has really gone up in my estimation after the first 3 races of this season. I have no love for RBR but I am glad he is taking his chance to shine. Keep up good work and keep smiling...


When red bull decided to put Ricciardo as the replacement of Webber i thought they did it just to protect Vettel from a strong team mate, I can now eat my thoughts, this Ozy is outstanding, my second favourite driver (after Hamilton)!


James, CLEARLY he has Vettel worried now?

My general impression is that RIC has looked faster at every race weekend, he was cruising behind last week before he hit trouble. He might get the points from AUS too, putting him in front of Vettel in the championship.

Looking forward to this battle, I think RIC will come out on top! Sure of it infact.


Daniel is the real deal because he has a proven teammate to match him with. This is the same as when Lewis joined Fernando in 2007.

You can always spot a great driver from a mile away.

The great thing about it is that Dan is also a Marko pretegè. So hopefully all will be even treatment between the two.

Looking forward to some more great races hopefully between Daniel and Seb!

Ps. Have to give kudos to Seb complying with team orders and making it easy. I guess he's realising that the publics respect need to be earned, it's not given freely.


Nice that you can spot them, as the majority on this site weren't so clear in Dan first 2.5 seasons.


Daniel did the same splendid job all the three races. If "in the opening two races hurtled from incident to incident" it was not his fault. So in the qualis as in te races he was consistent in the three occasions. He was second in Australia, fourth in Mallaysia (before he had to abandon) and fourth again in Bahrein. In the qualifications rounds he was also equally consistent. Red Bull coul have hardly hired a better pilot.


Confirmed MGU-H malfunction on Vettel's car.


Were not having any of it !

There's a party on in this forum.

The door to leave is thataway -> 🙂


So good to see the guy finaly get points. No mistake from the team.


I'd make the tentative and no doubt unpopular suggestion on this early basis that Ricciardo is a far better driver than Webber. Now while he's still very young in his career, and thus hard to fairly compare the two, it seems to me that he has that ruthless instinct that all great drivers had (and arguably Webber didn't have, which led to his very popular "everyman" persona)

It will be very interesting to see which of Daniel and Seb take the lead role in Red Bull's title chase once they start catching up, because right now, with Dan impressive and Seb struggling for consistency I'm actually not quite sure


I watched Marks career many times because like a lot of people I tape the races and watch them a couple of times.

The main difference I see is his ability to put his car in a good position into the first few corners of the race. His starts this year have not been fantastic but he has made up any lost ground into those first corners.

The second observation is his decisiveness when overtaking. The good drivers have this and while Mark had his moments like Belgium on Alonso he tended to be cautious most of the time.

Are those two points related to the age difference of the two?, maybe a little.

At the end of the day they are / were great ambassadors for F1 and Australia


I think the caution comes with experience, hopefully Daniel will keep going for it and not have that instinct drilled out of him.


Interesting observation about decisiveness while overtaking...This could be the case with Rosberg too in Bahrain GP.. I thought he had plenty of opportunities to get ahead. But the ruthlessness and confidence ( a hallmark for many F1 champions) to complete the move seems to be missing.

The Singapore GP last year- I thought Rosberg got a better start than Vettel and would lead into the first corner, only for him to run wide and be overtaken by Vettel.

The same goes for Webber.There were many races wherein I thought he conceded defeat very easily, especially in some of the wheel to wheel battles with Alonso, even though he had a competitive car.

All the F1 drivers are supremely talented.It could be small things like this that separates the cream at the top


Indeed. Also great ambassadors for the Commonwealth too - Liz and Phil will be delighted at young Daniel's progress.


Age is certainly a factor.

Some interesting observations there


One separate thought James, have you considered providing bios for the other writers on the site? Hynes isn't a name that comes to mind at the moment. A google search may help.


I remember thinking after Malaysia 2010 at the start. Webber had a clear run at the first corner for pretty much the first time in his career from memory (his other front row starts were poorer). Vettel easily out braked him. At the time I thought that Webber was probably just used to being conservative into the first corner as there were always other cars to hit. But with Newey's comments on aero feel versus tyre feel, I wonder if brake sensitivity, especially when cold was another area where Webber lacked the fine edge of talent?


There's no doubt that Ricciardo was under-estimated when appointed, and has now more than justified his selection. Hopefully it will shut up the Vettel detractors who decried his appointment, assuming that Red Bull's appointment was designed to avoid competition for Vettel. I think it's a bit soon to make judgments on the intra-team battle; after all, out of three races so far Vettel was forced to retire in one, and in Bahrain had a problem with his energy recovery.

Shame the Mercedes is SO far ahead, mind you.


what if vettel is a fake time champion as others have suggested? ricciardo will surely look good.any fake time world champion. now bring verne into the equation. who's the best out of these three?

kenneth chapman

correct me if i am wrong but i believe that vettels problems were sorted out by the time of the safety car and vettel was racing on an equal footing with ricci for the last ten laps.


Ricciardo is at the top of his game, by the time Webber got to RB his fastest years had been wasted at Jaguar. Not quite a valid comparison.


perez drove better on sunday, didn't once go off track.


he beat his teammate. now imagine what he could do if he tried hard enough.

kenneth chapman

wasn't trying hard enough then!

kenneth chapman

@ jacob....you seem to think that webber didn't have the ruthless streak? i beg to differ. webber was a 'hard man' on the track and never rolled over or gave up. his maiden win was emphatic even after two penalties/drive throughs.

i recall button being interviewd and asked who is the toughest driver competitor on the grid and he said, 'webber is by far the hardest and toughest. he never gives an inch and is always up for fight but he is fair'.

that speaks volumes to me and i have followed his career since he first went to europe. i somehow feel that towards the end he realised that marko/horner/RB had broken him and he would never recover. a pity but then again his drives will never be forgotten, especially monaco...twice.


I would never doubt Mark's quality, as you point out two dominant wins in Monaco could never happen by sheer luck, but in a business that it already fairly ruthless at it's peak I felt on average Mark was more courteous than most. He never appeared to have that selfish win-at-all-costs streak that a Vettel or a Hamilton have in their belly. Potentially this is an age factor. As you also suggest, it could easily be a lack of self-belief from the notion of Marko favouritism that Vettel clearly had.

Mark got into a decent car late in his career (arguably because he was too loyal to Jaguar. Not being selfish enough in his F1 youth perhaps?) and the more experienced drivers are by nature a touch more cautious just through experiences of racing and such. You wouldn't say Button is the most feisty and barge-y of wheel-to-wheelers for example, as good a driver as he is, and in those moments can often swing a championship.

For a more comparative case study than all of Dan's three races ,I'd compare Mark favourably with Damon Hill, pudding proof that the nice guy can win in F1. But the observation I often hear about Damon is that while he was a really good driver and a worthy champion, he doesn't quite elevate to that top pack of drivers, a Senna, a Prost, a Schumacher, a Vettel etc. And I'd put Mark in the same category as Damon.

Can Dan surpass that standard? As I said, it's too early for anything truly conclusive, but the signs are there that it's certainly possible

kenneth chapman

@ jacob...a reasoned approach but i still think that webber was never really given any equality at least not when it came to team support.

i recall webbers partner saying that after one of webbers early wins she went into the main garage to greet and apart from webbers team the place was deserted and no one was there to congratulate webber. she commented that 'mark wasn't supposed to have won that race'!!!

i have no reason to doubt her veracity in this and that is a perfect example, amongst many, of what webber had to contend with.

anyway it is all history now but i will never forget the sheer joy and elation that i felt when he was 'on song' and unbeatable.


What ever happens, never loose the smile Dani!

Looking forward a lot to see him for the next years and see what he can do against Vettel during a complete season.

On a sidenote, Vernge has his last season and Kyvat is looking strong.


Dunno about that just yet, Vergne is 2:1 ahead of Kyvat in qually.


Like Mark Webber ,Daniel is an Aussie that doesn't give up. Well done Daniel !

Alexander Supertramp

I was not happy when Red Bull decided to let Ricciardo graduate to RB last year,but he looks to be the real deal. He's giving us another very interesting team battle, Seb has work to do.

On a different note, too bad Mclaren don't have a junior team on the grid. Magnussen is doing great all things considered, but I think it's too early for him to really challenge Jenson. Also, Stoffel Vandoorne won his first GP2 race. His F1 dream is materialising more and more with Magnussen showing his skill and Stoffel himself shining in GP2. How about a Sauber drive next year?

While we're talking about talents, there is a big one waiting for a descent shot at glory, i.e. Robin Frijns. Can he replace Ericsson at some point? What a boring driver.


Awesome drive Dan. We'll done. Sensational race.

But what's with all the negative Webber comments? I'm sure if Mark was put in a top shelf team at Dan's age he would have better career numbers. Get over it, there's like 15 years between them, different drivers, different era's blah blah. Webber was a standout Aussie sportsman for years, and did us proud.

But yes, we Aussie Motorsport fans are having a real treat at the moment.


+ 1,000,000


Daniel Beat seb. Fairly

Both have Same Car. Seb has always complained about Car.


Vettel had a broken MGU-H...


According to the FIA details of the race, Seb set his fastest speed trap after the safety car had pulled in (not sure exactly which lap) which would suggest that he didn't actually have a problem after all.

The data also shows that Seb was down on speed compared to Ric all weekend.

Richard from Perth

Great to see a top bloke from Perth doing so well. Awesome job Dan!


I assume when Daniel wins his first grand prix he will be given the Freedom of the city of Perth?


what ever the reason, Daniel looks to be real, and in that, a real contender against Vettel.

If, as predicted, (by me) Renault improve their engine reliability (i.e. power output) and efficiency (i.e. power output), they will be compeitive with Mercedes.

Right now it looks like Daniel will be there, if not leading the charge.

I have to admit that I have not been a big booster of the big Aussie, but he's difficult to deny, now.


Can anybody please confirm if Vettel's car had a MGU-H malfunction? If so, he did a fantastic job to keep Williams behind him. Also earlier in the race, I thought his overtake of Kimi without the DRS was a good one


I know it's off topic, but I have an interesting technical point on Ferrari. Kimi had a new MGU-H for the Bahrein race, while Fernando has not changed it yet. Kimi's top speed in the race was 327.8 Km/h, done during the last laps after the safety car, probably with DRS. Fernando's top speed was 314.4 Km/h, done also at the last stages of the race. Both benefited of DRS in those last laps, their tyres were exactly equal, with exactly the same laps on them. The difference in top speed is huge, as they were in exactly the same condition. Even more, Kimi was doing regularly considerable better times in sector 1, near 2 tenths faster in almost every lap, and more than that on many laps.

Conclusion: it seems Ferrari did something to their MGU-H, and Kimi benefited from this, while Alonso was still using the older iteration. Maybe James knows if they have already modified their engine alleging reliability issues. What do you say James?

If not, Alonso had still issues with power the whole race. I think this is more plausible, but Alonso said his engine was ok during the race. There is clearly something going on here.


I knew that the comments on this site are painstakingly polarized against Vettel, but c'mon guys. Not giving Vettel credit due to Red Bull's previous pace advantage, but praising Hamilton when Mercedes has the most dominant season start since 1992.


Ricciardo's pace against Vettel raises all kinds of questions.

How quick really is Vettel? How good was Mark Webber?

If Dan proves to be Vettel quick does that mean Vergne is similar too?

What does that mean for Kvyat's pace!!


Verne ? Not in any league in my opinion. Dan smashed him last year ans now in Bahrain a rookie mistake at the start. He will be lucky to pick up a drive for next year.


+1000 so obvious JEV is not upto F1 standard.


Great job and result for Dan. Impossible to dislike that guy, I wish him great success. I hope he gets a fairer shake than they gave Webber.


Not a redbull fan but i like his always smiling attitude. Looks down to earth to me & that's what a person has to be.


Logic now shows based on team mate comparisons:

Ricciardo > Vettel

Ricciardo = JEV

Kvyat > JEV

Therefore I deduce Kvyat is the quickest Red Bull family driver with Vettel the slowest. 😉


Equal? Meh, RIC always had pace on JEV

German Samurai

Webber had a couple of good races in early 2012 where he was quicker than Vettel. Let's see how Ricciardo is faring by the end of 2015.

Even Button beat Hamilton over the course of an entire season in 2011. Rosberg regularly beats Hamilton yet I don't consider Rosberg a top tier driver. Hamilton beat Alonso in 2007 and Trulli beat Alonso in 2004. Massa regularly out qualified Alonso last year.

As you see one race means little. A season will give us meaningful data.

I don't think a couple of races means much, but Ricciardo is super quick and Red Bull have been vindicated in selecting Ricciardo. Most people slammed Red Bull for going with Ricciardo. It has proven a master stroke.


Fantastic driver. Breaks my heart how many points he lost already, without doing anything wrong.


Lol... Vettel's reputation is really taking a bashing. I like Mark Webber, but let's face it, he was not fast. If Ricciardo beats Vettel this year, everyone will know Vettel won because of the Red bull car and not his driving talents.


I agree. I think the same can be said about Alberto Ascari, Jim Clark and Damon Hill. They only won in dominating cars too. Actually Ascari's cars and Clark's cars were more superior to the rest than Vettel's Red Bulls from 2010 and 2012. 2011 and 2013 Red Bulls were similar dominant like Ascari's (52/53) and Clark's (63/65) cars, though.


What happened to the 'Great' Vettel... LOL...

Just goes to show what a farce the last few WDCs have been...

The FIA and Vettel have been seriously exposed... again. Although, it was so obvious to most of us... including the guys booing the so called WDC every race.

Respect has to be earned - not shoved down our throats.


Based on one race? what about alonso and hamilton then? like german samurai said, both beaten on 2004&2011.


A bit sad really even after Webber praised Vettel at the end of his career. Fact is the Pirelli era + blown diffuser never suited Webber and he was never able to adapt hence he got smashed in 2011/2013. It was only 2012 when Pirelli made their tires more durable he was able to peg Vettel back a bit.

Vettel is bashed because of Newey's rocketship car yet Webber says he is a master of the Pirelli tires and Renault say he is the driver that gives the best feedback re the engines.

If you watched both Australia and Malaysia, Vettel was quick on the longer runs than DR and also in the race. I don't doubt DR is seriously quick but not Vettel quick in terms of race pace. At least not yet, I'm guessing around halfway through the season there will be a better comparison.

Just because you have one or two bad rounds does not mean you discount his 4xWDCs.


Well maybe.

But give me one, yes one example where RIC could have done any better in any FP or Qualy so far this year ?

Name ONE mistake ?

VET has his hands full with new regs and a stellar teammate. RIC has race pace and dont get me started on qualy pace....


He has made a mistake in one of the free practice sessions, it was a minor off so it isn't worth mentioning as all drivers are finding the limit or doing setup work. Otherwiese Ricciardo has been flawless - much the same when he was in the TR.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in as much praise as everyone else at how good Ricciardo has been, that much was easily evident to me in the TR and HRT the past two years but I think lots of fans are already writing off Vettel's achievements given Ricciardo's impressive start.


Vettel ain't such a great champ after all, we had doubts for a reason. I think daniel will make it very hard for me him this year!!! Can't wait for vettel to start winening. We all know it's only a matter of time. How bad is the ferrari car, what a joke


ricciardo proves to be a lot better than many gave him credit.


Daniel's ability to produce under pressure has always been phenomenal. Rather pleasingly, it looks as though he has been able to get on top of his starts. Interesting season ahead teammate wise. Daniel! Your doing your doing your country proud!


The moment I knew that Ricciardo is someone to take very seriously was in Q3 in Australia qualifying. He was on the full wets, and when the track was on the border between inter and full wet conditions, he was asked by his race engineer if the track was ready for inters. He replied that in one lap, it would be. He went with inters at the perfect moment when the track was ready and got the call 100% correct, and he nearly grabbed pole for it.

This is a guy who knows what the hell he is doing behind the wheel of a race car. He is serious world championship material and is going to make Vettel very uncomfortable. At the very least, Red Bull have someone they can go to war with if Vettel decides to jump ship to Ferrari. (Or more likely Mercedes, if they keep their car 1-2 seconds per lap clear of the field.)


That's surprising thing. IMO Ricciardo's wet weather driving is his main weakness. He was slightly slower than JEV in the wet - and this is where JEV scored the bulk of the majority of his points vs DR - so to see him consistently put it up at the top of the timesheets in a wet qualifying session showed a marked improvement.

I thought if he stuck with the wets, he would have had pole. It still looked a bit too wet for inters for me.


I don't think the wet is a weakness for Dan, he had some exceptional wet sessions at STR, and it was notable that in Brazil 2013 in the wet sessions Dan was finally outright quicker than JEV. I think he had some issues with the old Pirelli inter (gone now) and was made to look slightly average in the wet purely because JEV is absolutely brilliant in the wet, or he was the previous wet compounds.


No doubt I agree there were times when DR was great in the wet but it is the consistency as well. I remember in Spa it was the same when he was behind but managed to get it ahead of JEV in the changeable conditions despite being behind most of the weekend.

I'm still waiting for a trouble free weekend for both Vettel + DR for a better comparison.


Why would merc take him?


When nico is beaten by lewis they will want a German that can win!




Yep... it was glossed over. Pro-British sentiment for Hamilton seemingly a shoe-in for the WDC overshadowed that switch to the inters. Gave me a shiver sitting in the Brabham stand..

He was also the only non-Merc driver below 1:40 in the closing laps at Bahrain.. he is so hungry for success without a hint of a whinge..


has anyone noticed the changes to the timing service from the fia? i can't see the sector times anymore. only the lap times with dots for the sector times and I find this frustrating. how can I get to view the sector times james?


yep, I agree it's terrible

far less useful than previously



Yeah, I noticed it.

I bet they are pushing you to buy the app now.

Anyone have feedback on the app? is it worth buying this year?


thanks to james,horoldo, johnbt, david in sydney, andrew, clarks4wheeldrift and old dry joint for all your informative responses.



I'm doing quite a bit of content on the F1 App - they take our live commentary and also I do some stand ups videos and features. 3 in Bahrain in fact


I guess you have to buy the apps. But you can try watching the races without live timing, visually you can see the gaps quite clearly on tv and I thought it's more enjoyable as your eyes are not too busy as you can miss moments when glued to the computer. I've watched live timing for years but as the cars are much slower this season I feel it's a waste of time. Even when you're on the track you can do the same like at Sepang I felt the cars were so much slower on the turns and gosh the gap that Hamilton left from Rosberg and the rest of the pack was astonishing.

David in Sydney

FOM is trying to push you into buying the mobile app.


Drop an email to F1.com to complain. It's a sore point for many and a lot more of a negative that the sound of the new engines.

They've taken it away this year making live timing a good bit more useless.

They've removed it as they want people with laptops (that like to create plus consume content as opposed to just consume content) to bin their laptop for say an ipad (from £399 - £639) and pay £8 a year for an app that gives sector times but apparently makes the battery red hot.

Basically F1 seem to believe in the model of shafting the existing customers, and I'll be quiet now as it's sounding a bit too bitter.


The old carrot and the stick trick...

The app gives much more info than last year at a third of the cost.. that's the carrot.

The stick is degrading the free online stuff.


The Italian daily, „La Stampa“ gave the following points:











I wonder if they gave Pastor some points for adding a bit of spice to the race? The more interestin point is the 4 points for Alonso, they obviously still have the "blame the drivers" mentality when Ferrari do badly.


What the hell would you have to do to earn a 10!!!


Do what Hamilton did + be driving a ferrari


Win in a Ferrari?


Was thinking the same thing!

kenneth chapman

interesting...on what basis did maldonado get a score of 2? should be two race DQ, IMO.


Perhaps, for making the last 10 rounds more exciting!?


Seriously, they gave 2 points to Maldonado? Wow, involved in 2 clashes and you still get 2 points, they must have hated Alonso drive to only give him 4 (I thought given the car, he did well)


Maldonado lost 3 points on his license.

How many points do they get?

Any one want to bet that Maldonado will be the first to loose his license.


Accumulation of 12 points leads to 1 race ban I believe,correct me if I am wrong.


"MALDONADO 2" ? I think they mean negative 2 surely.

"Esteban seemed to be off his line" - Maldonado, would seemingly support that, don't we think ?


The thing that impresses me about Ricciardo is his consistency and performance under pressure. Yes he is quick, but his ability to always be quick and put in a hot lap when it counts is superb and he very rarely makes mistakes. We have also seen him fend off the likes of Alonso and Schumacher in a car inferior car without so much as a hiccup.

If he doesn't have what it takes to be a lead driver then these two things must make him a valuable second driver at the least.


I agree. To add to your point, his performances have the traits of a superior driver in an inferior car like Alonso in a Minardi or an early Vettel in the Red Bull, to name but a few.

Only now, he's at the sharp end of the grid, overdelivering with an underpowered car and all the while making VET look like the whiny and foul mouthed kid instead of a four time WDC.

Thank the HEAVENS we're now back to talking about drivers again. Forget engine noises, this kind of talk is the sweetest sound so far this year.


"The champion’s engineer Guillaume Rocquelin called through Vettel and delivered the unfamiliar message: “Daniel is quicker than you”. Vettel made it easy and Ricciardo swept past."

Loved every minute of this race, especially the above.

With the Mercs being allowed to race this confirms my view that RB have been bad for the sport in recent years.

There just hasn't been any point watching with the procession led from front by now cry-baby SV.

So Dan show him how it's really done.

Best race in years.


I remember James was talking this kid up a few years ago.

It was in 2010 I think.

Any more predictions?


Good article. A clear focus on one of the stars of the race.

David in Sydney

He's doing well. Better than I expected. But then he is a British F3 Champion against Chilton, Ericsson and Bottas, so he can drive.



There was no mention of the fuel flow monitors. Were there any dramas?


Leslie D'Amico

A phrase that will live in infamy, "______ is quicker/faster than you"


I suspect Perth's Ric will be like a new Vettel in RBR. He's been so consistent by merit despite the disqualification from Melbourne. This lad seems to have a smile as infectious as Vettel when he was rising until he won 4 WDC and has been receiving so much negative comments. Congrats to Ric for his fine start to the season and wish him well throughout the year. Respect to Vettel without making a fuss when he had to let Ric through, and don't rule out Vettel as I suspect he has some technical issues of late. This year's car is so complicated that a little bit of this and that can give drivers a hard time, so it's good to read as much articles after each race as to what happened technically when a good driver performance suddenly drops.


It is nice to see Daniel doing so well with what most people viewed as a daunting task prior to the season jumping into Webbers seat to take on Seb.

Doing it with good humour and humility has only added to the total package and the Red Bull marketing people must think all their Christmases have come at once.

As for Seb playing the team game I think I will reserve my judgement until we see them racing for the whole cake and not just the minor placing crumbs. It's easy to move over when you cannot defend because of issues with the car.

I don't think that will happen when a potential win is on the table. Remember "Multi 21" was the second race in the season in a year he won the championship by heaps.


I don't know why people still complain about multi 21 and Vettel when situation in here and Malaysia were totally different

1. Vettel qualified in POLE while Webber qualified a lowly 5th

2. Team decides to pit Vettel for Slicks earlier and this results in him in losing the position to Webber through a series of pit stops.

3. Webber actually never overtook Vettel to rightfully claim the lead for the race.

4. So people are actually saying that a driver who had qualified on POLE and was faster through out the race and had to concede the lead not because other driver overtook him, but because of team's pit stop strategies should not reclaim the position by overtaking?? Funny..

5. If Webber or Alonso or Hamilton had done the same thing, people would have applauded them for standing up to their team and keeping up the true racing spirits( Just like People are applauding Massa now for ignoring team orders )

6. Both of them had turned their engines down and Vettel had faster tyres.

To conclude, he was racing, he was faster and he won the race deservedly


You missed the point mate. Have another read


I can foresee "Team Daniel" at Red Bull in a couple of years like we had team Sebastian at Toro Rosso in 2008.


I thought Red Bull should have gone for Kimi instead of Dan.

I was wrong. Hats off to H.Marko and company for the good call.

Dan always brightens up the weekend - so full of smiles and positivism.

And very sharp - its not "guys get him out of my way" it's "guys we need to make a decision here". Superb!


Awesome that he's ticking all the boxes so quickly.... RBR potentially walking from the sport? Not with this new Ambassador! If Dan keeps it up the pendulum will shift towards him sooner than anyone expected, whether Seb walks or not..... His attributes are the perfect compliment for a brand that could do with some repair, especially post multi 21 affair!

Love ur work RIC!

David in Sydney

Dan was cheaper. And with less attitude.


Its a biased post ! Clear James has always been a Dan Ricci fan. Read a few blogs here but this was over the limit. How was Dan the man when Sergio scored a podium and Dan only came through thanks to the Safety Car??


Sergio started 4th on an adjusted grid that had the first 8 cars powered by Mercedes and finished 3rd.

Danile, thanks to the Maylasian stewards, stated 13th and was 7th if I am correct when the safety car came out. There were a few World Champions dispatched along the way, Alonso, Raikkonen, Button, Vettel as well as Massa who lost a championship by a point and you think Sergio drove a better race.

Nothing against the guy but 1 more lap and he would not have made the podium due to the teams two stop strategy. They bet on a race without a safety car and nearly come unstuck.

kenneth chapman

@ anandR.....obviously james has a better eye for talent. are you saying that a drive from 13th to 4th was not epic? as for the SC everyone in the race with the exception of hamilton benefited by closing up the gaps.

you might care to reconsider your accusation that james is biased.


I still maintain that. If Sergio was boosted by Mercedes, why wasn't Nico Hulkenberg, the Williams etc around the podium. I just find it unfair to other drivers when someone who finished 4th due to a safety car is given the drive of the day.

Dan is good, but good over a season, will see. Good at handling the pressure of chasing down a world championship, we will see. Also he had nothing to loose in the race starting so far back.

kenneth chapman

wrong...he had everything to lose and he simply drove the wheels off the car to get a result. what the end of season results will be is a great unknown and where ricci finishes up is also a great unknown. that said, based on his form to date, then he is looking highly likely to do well.

if you can't see the wood for the trees maybe time to visit the eye doctor!


Sergio Perez was flattered by his car and his Mercedes Power Unit.


Wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Reads like you need to get back into it.



Lap time analysis please.

I watched on tv as well as the F1 APP and noticed for the majority of the race RIC was 0.5 secs a lap faster than VET and in fact most around him.. Dissapointed a 2 of my comments deleted that i would have thought were reasonable and appropriate for the forum.


They may well be in the backlog, we've had 1000s to deal with, Bear with us


James, off topic, read an article about scrapping fuel flow limit from Autosport and it's mentioned it's dangerous as drivers lifting throttle at the end of the straights can be dangerous and also the weight problems with taller heavier drivers…..am hoping Mark will be writing an article on these issues for a clearer understanding. Thanks.


It may be early days yet, but I remember (with a few others) rebutting a lot of anti RIC comments mid last year, particularly from Kimi fans, and already feel vindicated.


Who is the blonde girl who stands next to Daniel during paddock interviews? I think all the drivers have a media handler or something, but she loves standing close and can't keep her eyes off him.


It's that smile, it hypnotises 🙂


True, I notice James also blushes a little when chatting to Dan in the paddock.


Don't take this the wrong way. Love Dan, great drive, but I really felt for Hulk. Safety car at that time really showed what the extra 7Kg or so can cost you when everyone is bunched up and on low fuel. It really put the driver weight issue into a different perspective for me.


The sign a great driver is the ability to grab an inferior car and challenge the front runners. Ricciardo looks to have the goods.


I think people ate writing off Vettel at their peril, no doubt he can drive but likely needs some time to adjust to the new regs. We all know he needs an optimised car to get the best out of him.

That said, Ricciardo is showing a clean pair of heels, great pace and a cool head.


And Vettel is starting to show a few cracks at the edges,complaining the car is "slow".I thought it looked like he was falling for the old "overdrive the car on entry to make up for low top end",making his exits slow & therefore costing more terminal speed. He did have DRS issues,but Dan didn't even use it to pass him,he got him at a point where in previous years Vettel was untouchable.Just goes to show how good Dan really is!!


It wasnt an epic race by any sense of the word.

It was a two car race and that is all - with the rest of the mid filed racing behind.

Merc are over 2 secs a lap faster than anyone. This will all be over by mid season.

Well done FIA for giving us what will be a bland season overall.

Moreover, well done Merc for blowing away the competition.


What do you think about Seb pushing Massa out of the track?

If it was the other way around, for sure penalty would follow.


Hmm. I suspect if Vettel had been the one demanding that Riccardo be moved out of his way there would be a whole lot more gnashing of teeth. Once again we see the blatant double standards with which team orders are viewed.

So far this season Vettel's been the RB driver with all the car problems, first in Australia and here again in Bahrain. Again, if Riccardo was having all the mechanical issues the conspiracy theories would be flying thick and fast.

Vettel's faster lap of the race was on lap 18, so he had obvious engine issues. Riccardo looks like being a very handy driver and is rubbishing all the dismissive claims made about him last year when RB chose him over Kimi. But so far this season, when both cars have been working properly, he's been second best to Seb.

kenneth chapman

'swings and roundabouts'


What a drive! I thought Dan would be good but not 'this' good! He's beena revelation.


ricciardo drove reasonable well on sunday but he scared himself and drove off track when he tried to overtake raikkonen by out braking him and ended up scaring himself.

i notice martin brundle has chosen ricciardo as his driver of the day and wonder why. many other drivers drove perfect races without errors and yet he ignored them all. i also noticed how subdued he was while watching hamilton do his magic.


Ricciardo moved from 13th to 4th position, that's better than hos 4 time champion team mate and was racing along the way, also making a clever call when behind Seb.

That's probably why Martin Brundle made him his driver of the day.


i must say that i was impressed by his call but vettel shouldn't have let him by because they were racing each other. if vettel had kept him behind, he could've finished ahead of ricciardo. brundle was subdued while hamilton made that recover take at the end of his first stint, telling me hat he has a pungent hatred for hamilton. coulthard said brilliant 3 times with enthusiasm.

kenneth chapman

@ aveli.....'reasonable well???' come on. ricci drove an absolutely cracker of a race and deserved the accolades for his achievment.

top drivers push and sometimes they exceed the limits of adhesion. that is what they do. despite this he recovered and went on to even greater heights during the race or didn't you notice?

now we all have opinions and we are entitled to voice them but surely in this case ricci is entitled to enjoy unqualified support from those who do understand the difference between ordinary and extraordinary...on the day.


I think you have forgotten that @aveli has already decided his driver of the day for every day.

Daniel drove very well, in some ways his over-harsh penalty did him the favour of giving him people to overtake. I wonder how he will fare once RBR stop costing him points and places. He seems to have taken a step up in performance compared to last year. It should be a spur Sebastian.

kenneth chapman

@neilmurg.... yes, i didn't forget what aveli said however i thought that his comment was less than complimentary considering the 'racing' that occurred in the final ten laps.

i have just finished watching a total replay and second time around i was even more impressed with his duel with vettel in the closing stages.

whether or not his form can be extended throughout the season we are yet to see but horner has already stated, 'ricci is top drawer' that is a far better summary than previously stated.

the 'honey badger' tag is well suited to his style.