F1 Winter Break
Red Bull F1 Mid season analysis: Has Max Verstappen done better than Daniel Ricciardo so far?
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Aug 2017   |  10:37 am GMT  |  305 comments

I will be the first to admit that I thought Red Bull would be fighting for this year’s world championship, but it hasn’t happened. The car isn’t fast enough and it’s also not been reliable enough.

As the research below shows, at the mid season point, Red Bull has actually completed fewer racing laps in 2017 than McLaren Honda, incredible though that sounds.

But the area where the fans are most interested is the duel between the two drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. They pair collided in Hungary, which Verstappen took responsibility for and apologised to Ricciardo. It had been coming for some time and Ricciardo’s reaction in the heat of the moment was telling – calling Verstappen “amateur”, adding that “he doesn’t like people passing him.”

The photo at the top was taken as recently as Silverstone and shows that the pair can be easy in each other’s company, which is more than Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg could manage at Mercedes in the last few years.

But there’s no mistaking the tension that underlines it.

Ricciardo saw off the incumbent at Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel – who headed off to Ferrari in 2015 – and then got landed with Verstappen as a team mate. The teenager exploded into F1 and has since underlined his credentials as being fast, aggressive and controversial. Nothing has really changed, other than he has gained some more experience of how to set up and drive F1 cars. The net result is that Verstappen has been a shade faster than Ricciardo this season.

But Ricciardo has more points than Verstappen, largely due to reliability woes for the Dutchman and many examples of opportunism by the Australian, who had a great run of podiums and a win, through May and June. Verstappen has stood on the podium only once this year – he badly needs consolidation in the second half of 2017, a string of podiums like Ricciardo enjoyed as a minimum.

The general view in F1 is that this pairing is probably unsustainable long term and many more episodes like Hungary will hasten a move away for one of them. Both desperately want to win and both are clearly capable of being world champion in the right car. What they both need to do is get a situation for themselves such as Lewis Hamilton has at Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel has at Ferrari.

Both men are locked in for 2018, but I’d be surprised if one of them, more likely Ricciardo, doesn’t move. If I had to guess a destination for the Australian I would lean more towards Mercedes than Ferrari, but wouldn’t rule out McLaren if 2018 brings really significant progress.

Red Bull’s 2017 season in numbers
Red Bull has raced the fewest number of laps out of any team this year with 928 – 80 fewer than McLaren. Compare that to Mercedes and Ferrari, who have completed 1330 and 1287 laps respectively, it starts to paint a picture of Red Bull’s season so far.

Out of the 928 laps that the Red Bull pair has raced in 2017, 530 were completed by Ricciardo and 398 by Verstappen, meaning Ricciardo has been able to finish an average of 12 more laps per race than Verstappen.

With eight failures to finish in 2017 over these 11 races so far, chances to score points have also been few and far between. Ricciardo has been classified with three DNFs while Verstappen has had five.

When Ricciardo does finish a race, he averages a position of 3.4 while Verstappen comes in at 4.5.
Verstappen however has had the advantage in starting positions, because, including grid penalties, Verstappen starts races at an average of sixth on the grid while Ricciardo begins races at an average starting position of eighth.

There has been one podium but no race win yet for Verstappen and the Dutchman hasn’t retired from a position lower than fourth this year.

Verstappen’s brakes failed in Bahrain from fourth position; the Spanish GP collision with Kimi Raikkonen took him out of third place; his battery failed in Canada from second; he retired with an engine issue in Azerbaijan from fourth; and when he started fourth in Austria, a first lap collision retired him from the race.

Head to head in qualifying, Verstappen does lead Ricciardo 7-4, with Ricciardo having outqualified his team-mate in China, Bahrain, Russia and Austria. Yet in three of the races where Verstappen has outqualified his team-mate – Spain, Canada and Azerbaijan – Verstappen has failed to finish the race.

In the three races where both drivers managed to finish (China, Monaco and GB), Verstappen has finished behind his team-mate only in Monaco. Due to an incredible first lap in China, Verstappen, who started 16th, finished ahead of Ricciardo (he started fifth).

But when it comes to gaining positions in races that the Red Bulls manage to finish, Ricciardo gains an average of four per race while Verstappen makes a net gain of two positions, including his 13 place gain in China and Ricciardo’s 14 place haul in Britain.

When it comes to laps led over his counterpart, Ricciardo falls short with 68 – not including Spain, Austria or Hungary where there were retirements before lap one – while Verstappen has led 186 laps over the Australian.

In just the three races where both RB13s saw the chequered flag, Verstappen still leads 124 laps over Ricciardo, while Ricciardo has managed 62 laps led over Verstappen.

Verstappen does lead Ricciardo 2-1 in fastest laps run, but if you take an average of both drivers’ 10 fastest laps, Ricciardo leads that head to head 3-0.

Above all, however, Ricciardo, with 117 points, has 50 more than Verstappen in the drivers’ standings.

UPDATED: In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said, “We will not catch Mercedes and Ferrari,” in a frank rundown of the team’s season so far.

“But, I want to collect more points after the summer break than Ferrari…perhaps win here and there,” he said.

Though Ricciardo is one point ahead of Kimi Raikkonen going into the Belgian Grand Prix on August 27, Red Bull is still 134 points behind Ferrari who have gained 318 so far, and Mercedes sits at the summit of the championship with 357 points.

Horner cited a difference between the team’s wind tunnel, CFD data and performance data found out on track during the March F1 test in Barcelona as the cause of Red Bull’s issues compared to its rivals.

“It took us until Melbourne to find the mistake,” explained Horner.

“Only then could we start the clean-up work and the development work on the car.”

Horner told AMuS that the problem took two months to fix but by then Mercedes and Ferrari had moved ahead.

“In the Spanish GP we saw some progress. After that, we got better at every grand prix.

“After 11 races, we have 6 podium finishes and one win. We are further away from our competitors than we wanted to be. At least we can now say that our chassis works well.

“It was mainly the wind tunnel which let us down. The larger model and the larger tyres gave us unsatisfactory results in some areas in our wind tunnel. The CFD and the wind tunnel produced different results.”

On whether Verstappen can recover from a tough start to the season, Horner said, “As a driver, he is still developing rapidly.

“The bad luck he had before Silverstone will make him stronger. In each of these races he was in a promising position.

“He has handled this frustration well, and that has only made his shoulders wider. He is still young at the age of 19.

“We must not forget that he only outgrowed the kart four years ago. I can promise you that he will deliver great performances in the second half of the season.”

Research: Samarth Kanal

What do you make of the Red Bull pair so far this season? Has one driver impressed you more than the other? Leave your comments in the section below

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Verstappen has not stood on the podium yet this year

He was third in China 😉


Ricciardo has been able to finish an average of 12 more laps per race than Verstappen

Speaking about statistics in this article, is it just me or do others also find this statistic completele meaningless?
Ricciardo may well have finished on an average of 12 more laps per race than Verstappen so far, but in theory could have done so without finishing any of the races! Very irrelevant.


@ Njurb......A trip to Specsavers is recommended for you and your 16 up clickers!!!!


I'd advise you and your +1 to quickly tag along then, as the article has been edited just about a day before your reply!


@ Icon...It was what it was.


"Verstappen has stood on the podium only once this year" is what the article reads.


The article did say that Verstappen 'hadn't stood on the podium' which was a mistake by me. It was edited shortly after being published - Samarth


goes to show you when your mind is one sided and decided, you need to find some "evidence" to prove it to yourself, rather than face the true reality of it all.

We all know the bottom line, like to admit it is another.

I suggest you put all your stats aside, sit back and watch some truly amazing racing skills, this will be one of the greats.


Little to choose between them, perhaps Max is slightly faster in qualifying but I feel Ricciardo has the calmer head and at this current time is the more complete package.

And since they've been together it's Ricciardo that deserved to win a race on merit (Monaco 2016) and only didn't because of the pit stop blunder. Max has yet to put in that kind of performance. The other wins of course only came about when the Mercs crashed into each other or suffered mechanical issues.


Monaco was very well driven. But, there is 1 circuit where RB is / was faster than Merc and that is Monaco. Dan qualified on pole for the first time in his career and Max crashed in Q. So in the 2 years there has been only 1 chance to win on own merit. So that doesn't mean much.
We can only see when the RB becomes a race winning car (without having to benefit from others misfortune)


How is this comment holding up in second part of the year?


I'd agree. Max clearly has stellar potential, but Ricciardo is a very, very strong all-rounder and fans often underestimate drivers like that. I think we'll see fireworks between the two, as they clash and I'd expect Ricciardo to be that bit more mature and wise in how he handles it. Ultimately though, I'm expecting Ricciardo to replace Alonso at McLaren at the end of his Red Bull contract.


Max did put in such a performance (in Brazil 2016)


I agree great drive but he didn't beat Hamilton's Mercedes on merit like Ricciardo was on course to do at Monaco 2016.


i still have verstappen streets ahead.


...streets ahead

Might be a bit of a stretch. Ahead...mmm, ok. Streets ahead? Get your hand off it 😉


Streets ahead is an exaggeration.

But Verstappen has definitely had way more mechanical issues or retirements not of his fault (he's been taken out twice, remember). And on all but one of his five retirements he's been ahead of Ricciardo.

No one can ever know whether Verstappen would've carried on in front of Ricciardo but we can only draw comparisons from their time together on track - and Verstappen has definitely been more impressive in this time. The break down above says it all. Of course it's not to say Ricciardo has been bad. He's been great! But what would Verstappen have done with an equally reliable car?


@aveli.... Streets ahead?
How do you justify that?
Why don't you just admit you're a MV fan.


why would anyone not be a verstappen fan?


That's the exact thinking of any fan of anyone: why can't they see the obvious? (only they can obviously).

It's like a blindfold around your eyes, you just miss the freedom of enjoying any good racing performance happening on track, whoever driver is behind the wheel is. But hey, hmmm...


i like your post especially your use of the words exact and obvious.
nearly as brilliant as verstappen drives that redbull.


I feel Max has more speed in a single lap than Ricardo but Ricardo is much better on tire wear. To say which is better depends on the car they are given.

So really either could win the WDC in a car that better suits their style. The same goes for Vettel and Hamilton.


True nick, but DR didn't have to come from 16th and fight his way through like max did in Brazil. But your right, that was such a bummer for DR. He drove fantastic in that race. But I believe that Lewis did aswell to get in that position he got to. It was a great race. But can understand DR was a bit "peed off" after.
By the way Nick, if you don't mind me asking, are you from England or Australia?
Just curious😊🍻


England, James! Growing up I was in Africa though, specifically Tanzania and Ghana. Great places!


@ Nick H....interesting. i have travelled from one end of Tanzania to the other north to south and spent a few months in Arusha....Mt Meru before climbing Kilimanjaro. Also know the Lake Manyara/Ngoro Ngoro crater as well. Nice place.


Wow Kenneth, I'm impressed!
I take my hat of to you good sir👍


@ Nick H.... China has invested in excess of $75 billion in the ten year period between 2000 and 2011 in many parts of Africa especially East Africa. They have paid for many on the railways in that area as well. Tanzania is a tremendous country and i do have fond memories especially some of the more unusual places...Ruvu River/ Ngordoro Crater off the main road to Mombasa and many others. It is like all the other Central and East African countries now though, extremely dangerous and well avoided.


@ james K...Don't be to impressed hahaha I got to within 100metres of the summit before falling foul of 'thin air' which forced me to hlt and then return to the Kibo hut to rest up. The first time i saw the summit was in my pal's pictures hahaha. But it was fun all the same.


Doesn't matter Kenneth! At least you've tried and experienced it, the beauty of this planet. A lot more than what others can stake a claim to. Bravo! From what I can gather from reading your posts over the last couple of years, you seem to be a man that has seen a bit of the world, and that's something I admire. Travel is the best education imho.


James k,

"Travel is the best education imho."

Couldn't agree more!


Kenneth, good stuff! It is a lovely country. Although I have heard in recent times parts are becoming spoiled with more and more Chinese influence. This is happening all over Africa.


That's cool!!. My old man was South African. Went there once in about 1986. That's when there was still apartheid ruling. Never forget it.


Interesting James, southern and eastern African countries are some of the most beautiful on earth IMO. Must have been quite something to have visited SA during apartheid.


@ Nick H...I actually lived there in SA for almost two years during apartheid. Strangely enough i was never witness to any violence or public protests whatsoever. It was safe and easy going, a fun place with fun people. All the Zulus i met were also a fun loving group and there were no problems.


You forget to mention that Max had the better pace in Baku over Ocon, and had a good chance to win that race. I also believe that Ricciardo had a lot of luck taking the podiums he score so far. But that doesn't mean that Ricciardo is a less driver than Max, but for sure more equal.


The only time Daniel's wins have been lucky has been in Baku. Even then he did what most of the other drivers didn't and that is stay on the track.


You make your own luck in this sport.


You make your own luck in this sport.

Please tell me how you do that if your Renault motor give up while you are racing.


The numbers are so close that if you're a Max fan, you can make them support you, if you're a Dan Man then you can choose those that swing in your favour.
I think the difference really is Dan's experience [half a season in HRT was the best thing he ever did] but Max will soon eat up the advantage.


Yeah there is almost no difference at all.


Spot the difference:


Easy, one of them is really talented 😉


I think once Max gets a car capable of winning everyone will be very very afraid. The kid is next level. Once he gets a tenth on you you never see it back


You could say that about Lewis, but he isn't always capable of performing on that level. Some weekends he's superhuman, others merely hard to beat and once or twice a season he's just not at the races. The real measure of Max will be just how consistently he's able to perform at that superhuman level.


This is one of top 10 most sensible comments posted on this forum...


Until he crashes and/or breaks the machinery, as this season has proven he is prone to do. Championships are won by those that accumulate the most points, the "best" driver which is very often not the "fastest" driver. Especially one who has high % of DNF's.

A lesson from recent history, Grossjean and Perez were both supposed to come into F1 and dominate from day 1 because they were so fast. But as we have seen, other deficiencies in the package can easily overcome any faster pace advantage.


You think he breaks the machinery himself? That was debunked a lot of times.


The fact he does that now shows he's exploring the limits, like a champion would. If he can progress to finding the edge without falling over it as often then he should achieve a lot of what is being predicted for him in the end.


"Until he crashes as this season has proven " ? Tell me please when did he crash this season so far? Only mistake he did was bumb in to the car of Ricciardo. Well, i forgive him for that, because Bottas did it before him and never get penalise for it. It's very weak to pin point at a guy only because you think you have a strong argument.


Grosjean and Perez were both supposed to come into F1 and dominate from day 1 ...

Uh, what?! I must've missed that memo then. I don't recall any such hype like this surrounding either of them.

Of Verstappen's 5 DNF's, the only one he can take most blame for is Spain, where he was too optimistic trying to go 'round Kimi & Bottas on the outside of turn 1 on lap 1.


I remember the feeling being that our attention should be on Perez in his debut year in F1, rather than reigning GP2 champ Pastor Maldonado, because he was regarded as the higher quality prospect. No one was expecting him to dominate anything, though - he was in a Sauber.

Slightly different story for Grosjean. He'd been marked out as a future star after his performances in FR3.5 and his first year of GP2, but in early 2009 he had a really nasty accident at Monaco which visibly dented his confidence behind the wheel. When he was drafted in to replace Piquet Jr at Renault (a team in utter turmoil), he just wasn't able to cope. A dominant 2011 in GP2 got him back into the F1 frame, but there was a big question mark hanging over him after his 2009 misadventure.


So in 2015 the better driver at RedBull was Kvyat?


100% , he's quick in the race trim, that's what counts and they all know it.


should have worked out where to land before taken off.


that's where verstappen' weak. he had the chance of driving the mercedes and gave it up for a chance with redbull. with redbull' tight grip he has a very good chance of missing better drives when they become available.


that's where verstappen' weak. he had the chance of driving the mercedes and gave it up for a chance with redbull

What you see as weakness is just common-sense thinking of his management. In a team like STR he had the chance to learn and matured as a driver. What had he become if had a deal with Mercedes. Mayby....maybe GP2 and just like Stoffel van Doorn waiting a other year before he maybe had a chance with Mercedes. Nobody did know on front that Nico would give up his F1 carrier ad the end of 2016. So when do Max would have be given a chance with Mercedes? Nico and Hamilton both did a very good job. You can compare it with the situation Carlos Sainz is in. No one is waiting for the driver Carlos Sainz, because nobody has room in any top team. And would happen with Max to if he had make that decision.


Your assuming Dietrich is here to do what exactly ? Sell sugar water ?


is that what redbull is, sugar water?


Why would you join a young driver programme of a team where no young driver ever reached the actual team?
Inwould not call that a 'weak'.


if you paid attention, you would have noticed that mercedes sponsored hamilton from age 13


That statement can be equally applied to Ricciardo.


Must admit, the only side of danni ric, I thought would have the advantage was in 1 lap qually, every thing else max is superior, but even qually max is regularly beaten the so called one lap king, seems Danny rics 1 lap pace is a bit of a myth


His 10 lap pace on old tires is no myth tho.


I'll be keen to see if Max can bridge the points gap over the second half to his team mate; that will be incredible! Max is super talent we are bound to see some strong races from him; as you have mentioned one of them have got to go and it does look like it will be Daniel who will have to find some other spot.


Ricciardo may be topping the number of overtakes on that list, but that doesn't reflect the situation accurately. Verstappen has generally qualified better and that means he has fewer opportunities to overtake. And Riccardo has finished races more often and that means he had more time to achieve more overtakes. But yes, it does look like Verstappen has been the better performer, while Ricciardo has been brilliant enough to grab hold of opportunities this year.
Considering how easily Verstappen appeared to be competitive in comparison to Ricciardo last year, after having joined the team only mid-year, without the extensive experience with the car that Ricciardo had, and the way in which Verstappen caught up with his teammate by the end of the year (including that stunning Brazil drive), none of this is surprising ...


Topping overtakes can be explained by 2 factors. 1. Starting from further back due to losing in Q and 2. the RB being much faster than every other team but Ferrari and Mercedes.

Topping in average 10 fastest laps is explained by the fact that you drive faster in the last laps of the race and Max didn't have that many laps running low on fuel.


Dan always seems to take advantage of opportunities.


I think this Max in terms of pace has Dan covered this season, throw in free practices too and dan isn't quicker very often, plus a couple qually sessions Max had the pace, just didn't string it together.

I like Dan, and he's quick, but Max is a freak of nature, and I think Dan knows it too and feeling it. At the moment experience, plus a little luck have given him a healthy points advantage. Dan is doing well just not to be overwhelmed by this unstoppable force, he doesn't drop the ball, and always performs at his maximum, but the tide I think is firmly swinging in max direction now pace wise.

I'd love to see him go against Vettel in the same car, think it'd be humbling experience for Vettel, he's quick, but not a great at Lewis's or Alonso level.

A view point shared by Adam Parr and Ross Brawn, in how Vettel compares to Lewis and Alonso.


"A view point shared by Adam Parr and Ross Brawn, in how Vettel compares to Lewis and Alonso."

Ah, there's a completely impartial and objective viewpoint! What does that Stirling Moss guy know anyway?


I wouldn't know Vettel is good in that Ferrari. On the other hand Vettel would do worse than either one in a Red Bull.

What would be more interesting is what either could do in a Merc.


I think verstappen is miles ahead but ricciardo tend to be deliberately slower in practice not to give away much to verstappen. like it or not, verstappen will still find his way....

Ricciardo Aficionado

Yep, tbh Max is something else. SUPER quick but he makes mistakes. All sorts of mistakes. It will be frightening when he matures a little bit. I'd like to see him go up against Hamilton because I think Ham is probably the benchmark for raw pace. Him, Ricciardo and Max are all super-quick but Vettel is no slouch. He's got Kimi licked who, even though old, still has the pace to pole at Monaco. But pace is one thing; racing, another. DR is better in races. It's no fluke he has five wins in the third (at best) car on the grid. He doesn't make those mistakes, overtakes like a demon and never gives up. He's got Alonso level qualities during a race. That, combined with his pace, makes DR the better driver for me.
Verstappen the more likely champion. But that is only because the hype will get him a better car sooner.


Max has the better race craft and better overtaking. It shows even more in the rain. Dan can overtake but needs more time.


" I think Ham is probably the benchmark for raw pace. "

No, that Merc is the benchmark for raw pace. Hamilton is merely average, as can been seen by the way he tied Button during their time together, tied Rosberg during their time together, is is delivering a comparable performance to Bottas at present. You' think the "quickest driver in F1" might trounce a teammate once in a while. Apart from the desperately poor Kovalainen LH has not clearly outclassed any of his teammates.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Button and Rosberg do not have 61 poles. (Or whatever)
Ham is quick on his day. But he has off days too. Verstappen would give Ham (and anyone on the grid) a shakeup as a teammate.


Rubish... what did Ric had to do for his podiums this year...?

Spain > 3 driver dropped away in front of him
Monaco > 2 drivers got a worse strategy, Ric benifited
Canada > overtook Rai, 2 drivers dropped away in front of him
Baku > overtook Stro, the rest dropped away in front of him
Austria > overtok Rai

Revelations time, Ric overtook Rai twice, Str one.
From Spain till Canada 8 position dropped away in front of him.

If Ricciardo really is better in races why is he always behind Verstappen...? Eeven in China, Bahrain and Soche where he qulified ahead it took Verstappen just minutes to pass Ricciardo on track.

Points can only hide the truth for the ones who don't want to look what actually happens on track


Don't forget that Ric overtook Max at Hungary. Max did, however, manage to get back back in front at the next corner.


Hungary was no race overtake. It was like Max overtook Dan in Canada 2016. Nowhere to go

Ricciardo Aficionado

Yeah yeah.


Indeed, the rivalry at Red Bull is fascinating as is always the case when you partner two number 1 drivers in the same team

And as is usually the case, such partnerships are not sustainable as both want to win and hence won't accept the number 2 role

Certainly, Ricciardo has done a good job in breaking the Red Bull spell considering the team has recently had a history of the younger driver finishing ahead of the older one in the standings

But in terms of talent, I reckon Max is the more talented of the pair as shown by Max's skills in the wet Brazil 2016, as the true greats also happen to run well in the wet

As for Red Bull, it's a big disadvantage that they don't make their own engine for as Newey said the sport is currently in an engine formula.

Overall, the future is cooking bright for promising talent on the grid considering since 1994, the sport has been getting new champions, the exception being Schumi and Lewis as the only old champions to defeat a defending champion


Daniel takes a measured approach to races and generally does the business. He can be fast in qualifying we saw that time and time again against SV in 2015. I think the better the car gets to drive the harder he finds qualy and the sweet spot of timing, not to mention being white anyed by Dr Helmut Marko


Max seems to have a slight edge this year when it comes to raw pace. Daniel in my opinion though is the complete driver.


Its a good blend the old bull and the young bull...

"Lets go running down to all those cows in the paddock and knock a few of them off"

"Na lets walk down and knock them all off".


Great analysis James. My take is that Verstappen is really talented at a level similar to Hamilton, Alonso and Schumacher but due to inexperience and character can not capitalize it yet. 2 DNFs because of collision with many more near misses paint a picture of a person not patient enough or experienced enough to judge when to attack and when to wait.
Ricciardo is a solid driver and a great addition to the F1 roaster and we are lucky to have him bring some extra smiles in each podium. I would like to see him in a non Red Bull environment to see how adaptable he is

Devils Advocate

RIC surely is the one with the calmer head on his shoulders and I do agree both drivers will be WDC one day, however MAX needs to learn that there are other racing on the track before someone puts him in the wall.

Although he has out qualified RIC in qualification, come race day he throws his car all over the place and retires from the race.

On that note, what he did in Hungary was not called for and I don't think a simple apology will resolve it. He cost the team some valuable points in the WCC, simply because he is too childish mentally to realize that he is in a race car not on a PS or XBox


I can recall 1 mistake of Max this year: Hungary. He had luck in Canada with Seb's wing and he took risk (and paid for it) in Spain. All the other races he has had very mature and clean drives.


Throws his car all over the place? have you actually see the races?

Devils Advocate

I assure you that I watch the races @robsel. I doubt you do though, as clearly he caused the incident for RIC and had to apologize to him and to his team, simply because he cost them both valuable points.

Listen mate, I am all for one "loving" a driver, but not to see his flaws is not that healthy. Like I said, he does have the potential to be a WDC, but he needs to make sure that there will always be a team that will want him to win, as for Max it's winning at any cost.


If F1 was about flashes of brilliance, I'd be all over Max. But there have been very few "complete" displays. It's ok, he's young, and he might learn all the tricks of the trade, but you need to be patient and pay your dues. Max has been shoehorned through all the junior categories and he could be forgiven for thinking impatience and aggression is what works. But we've seen a number of occasions where that attitude has cost him and the team.
Just being fast here and there doesn't win you championships.


verstappen is much better.. am not sure what you can't see but at least you can see the timer's records.


Like is said, I see flashes of brilliance, and the WDC standings.
You keep watching the timers records and predicting the future..


flashes? don't look away and you won't miss it.


Max has been shoehorned through all the junior categories

Your right there LKFE.
At the moment, Max is like a diamond in the rough. Has sooooo much potential to entertain us for years to come. But has been shoved through at light speed by his father ( and his talent off course) and it shows sometimes by his actions on track. It's like he sometimes thinks he's still in a kart.
But as a F1 fan, max is exciting, and that can only be good for F1.


ricciardo it moved up to red bull because webber retired. why do you think verstappen got moved up mid season?


His dad...


Because of his talent, as I've written. I think Max is great, but I would rather watch him for a full race instead of 1 or 2 laps. Whether it's his fault or not, he seems to get himself into situations that end with retirement. That's why I see him as a diamond in the ruff, ready to take over the baton after Lewis.


show me a diamond which has been cut into a sparkling gem without friction and i'll show you someone who seems to know the prices of everything but the value of none.
verstappen is streets ahead!


The photo at the top was taken as recently as Silverstone and shows that the pair can be easy in each other’s company, which is more than Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg could manage at Mercedes

Well considering Ricciardo showed Max the finger in Hungary when they weren't fighting for the win let alone titles, I would say Lewis/Rosberg will go down as the most well behaved closely matched teammates in history of the sport because they had a brotherhood history all the way from karting.


Its too early James for the comparison of these two.
Whilst its tantalising long term i think you have jumped the gun so too speak.


As the title subtly implies it's a mid-season analysis Dufus, and while I agree that it's too early to say definitively who the better driver is at Red Bull I tend to think that a mid-season analysis is perhaps best done during the mid-season 🙂


You dont say much these days random, but when you do, it's gold😄👍


What do we do to break the monotony and ease out the wait until Spa 🙂
Not a bad read. Helmuts eggs are clearly in the Max Basket.


Mr Allen, I'd argue that Verstapen's driving style has possibly contributed to the brake issue. Yes, he made up a lot of places with electric starts this year. However, it's no secret that the cars and tyres need high degree of management this year to get the best out of. The evidence shows that the Ferrari's have been a lot better at race at times than qualifying. Similarly, Mercedes also managed to perform better after a slow start in the races and qualifying. To me Ricciardo's has managed to get the best out of his Red Bull because he understands the car better. I do get the unreliability with engine or hydrolics or ers etc. But tyres performance and brake issues and ability to be in a position to fight for the podium when opportunity arises Ves was unable to capitalize. So, to me the answer to your headline is "no".


verstappen goes much deeper into races with the same set of tyres than ricciardo. how does he do that without understanding tyre management or the car? please stop focusing on prices and pay attention to the true value of drivers.


Didn't RIC have a brake issue once also?


let's see how they finish this season and next..


Ves was in NO way responsible for the brake failure. I wonder where you got that idea. The team communication is quite clear in this i'd say. Max is very good at managing the tires, as seen in his last race on the long US stint. Ves was robbed of podiums and probably a win, so for me he was for sure the better driver. Better in practice, better in qualifying, better starts and better wet driving capabilities (china this year for example where he beat Ric even with his start position). Ric has been far more lucky, but i think the second half of the season should balance things out. So in short, Yes Ves has been the better driver for me


@ Robsel....'Verstappen was in NO way responsible for the brake failures'! You might think that but you cannot be 100% sure.


YOu are absolutely right! Lets just stick to what the team has to say about it since they have all the data right? And what again did they say?...........


The team is responsable for the car, the driver for making the car go as fast as possible (without crashing it). Both Verstappen and Ricciardo suffered from brake failures, both had their share of mechanical issues.
Verstappens isues struck more during races, that's the difference.

In Hungary Ricciardo suffered from multiple problems in FP3, which is easily forgotten, we don't blame him for his car to break down, but when it happens during the race more often people start making their own conclusions...

Ricciardo should be able to 'read' the car better..(??) I't just another self made story to justify Ricciardo's scored points.

In Bahrein Ric started from P4, dropped two places down the grid, Ver DNF-ed and Ric became 5th
In Spain Ric was starting from P6 when Bot-Rai-Ver all DNF-ed he found himself on P3.
In Monaco Ric won 2 places thanks to team strategy, Bot and Ver didn't have a chance
In Canada Ric overtook Rai, Vet and Ver dropped away in front of him
In Baku pretty much everyone dropped away in front of Ric

Apart from Baku, Ricciardo only overtook one driver while on 8 occasions a faster driver in front of him dropped away.

Ricciardo's earned his podium at Austria, the rest of it was thanks to other drivers/cars failing.

Ricciardo Aficionado

In Monaco Ric won 2 places thanks to team strategy, Bot and Ver didn't have a chance

Ric made the strategy work with a blistering stint on old tyres. He's always been mighty at Monaco.


Being 0.5 behind in quali and losing Q1, 2 and 3 is not being mighty, that's being second best in the team. Monaco was a parade without any single overtake on track, Ric on P3 was decided by the team nothing else.

Btw I felt sorry for Ver, but RBR did god, this was the one and only way to score maximum points for the team as it got Ric in open air for some good laps. Ver was stuck behind a slower Bottas all race long... Ric was behind that train and would have finished 6th for sure. This strategy got them P3 and 5 instead of 5 and 6.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Sure the team gave him a good strategy, Ric executed faultlessly. The team also put him out in traffic on his second Q3 run. Ricciardo was faster than Verstappen after the first runs but he didn't get the chance to improve his time like three of the four ahead of him did.



To your comment:

"Ricciardo earned his podium at Austria, the rest of it was thanks to other driver/cars failing."

DNFs are unfortunately a feature of F1 racing the consequences of which drivers have to live with. Just ask Lewis Hamilton about last year.

At least give credit to Ricciardo for putting himself into positions to take advantage of other driver's problems. Or are we to conclude that his podiums were just handed to him and they weren't earned?

If you're going to be consistent with your logic you would have to say that Verstappen only won in Spain last year because the two Mercs took each other out in the first lap. But I'd give him credit for being in a position to take the win and in the process keeping a pressing Raikkonen behind him just as I would give credit to Ricciardo taking third place in Canada by staying ahead of a persistent Perez for 30 odd laps.


Current F1 cars are very reliable. Look at how few fail to finish a race for mechanical issues. If there were only 6 points scoring positions like not all too long ago, it would become VERY hard for midfielders to rack up any points. Manor and now Sauber would score none. Heck, several teams would have just one car getting points.

This year luck has been terrible for Max. Not only the number of mech failures and crashes (outside his fault), but also how the positions played out. We know how unlikely overtakes are this year. But often, he was ahead of RIC when his car gave up, or someone punted him off. Not only would Max get more points with fewer DNF's, RIC would get fewer.
RIC is supposed to be unbeatable as qualifier and at his very peak. 7-4 for Max now. Max was impressive when he came into F1 (two 4th's in 2015 in a Toro Rosso still not approached by supertalent and top team favorite Sainz), but has staggeringly improve himself in a big way on every front. Already he's more solid in many respects than most drivers after they became world champion.
Think of Senna, Prost, Mansell, and how often they crashed out their teammates. Or themselves without cause.

It's not about Max getting a winning car drive to make others very scared. He's under Vettel's and Hamilton's skin already. Both love racing, but are very unhappy when 33 shows up in sight. It doesn't make them look very good. In fact, he was overtaking Vettel on a wet track in USA 2015, in a Toro Rosso. Sainz didn't get past Raikkonen in the same fight. Or any other car pretty much.

The bad luck is starting to wear off. The points difference will diminish, on merit.



"Current F1 cars are very reliable. Look at how few finish a race for mechanical issues"

Try and convince Lewis Hamilton of this when his fans will tell you that he lost a WDC last year because of mechanical issues. Or, try and convince Fernando Alonso of this when the Honda PU has been a disaster since they returned to F1.


Sure Ricciardo earned those podiums, that's not the issue...
He didn't earn them cause his performance on track was better than his team mate, that's my point. Ricciardo is taking points where others leave them...

Ricciardo is consistant, but reliability of the car isn't in the hand of the driver and luck is involved. Max was unlucky in Spain, Ric in Hungary. Max took 4 reliability DNF's, Ric two.
No comes the smart part... Max DNF-ed from P4, 3, 2, 4 and 6 while Ric DNF-ed from P-last, 7 and 4. That's a very large difference is missing out on potential points.

Over the last few years every driver not driving a Mercedes was 'lucky' to score P1... until 2017 where Ferrari is on par.



Just a few points:

You now say “Sure Ricciardo earned those podiums….” but that’s not what you said in your earlier post when you said that “Ricciardo earned his podium at Austria, the rest of it was thanks to other drivers/cars failing.” So what is it? Did Ricciardo earn all 5 of his podiums or just the one in Austria? Is somehow the shine of him winning in Baku diminished because Vettel acted like an idiot and was given a 10 second stop-go penalty or Hamilton needing to pit because his head rest wasn’t properly secured? If you focus on these things you overlook Ricciardo’s feat of overtaking the two Williams drivers in the first corner after the re-start.

You state “Ricciardo is taking points where others leave them...” But I could make the exact same observation in relation to Max. For example, his much proclaimed and well-deserved win in Spain last year where he benefited (as did other drivers in terms of finishing positions) from both Merc’s taking themselves out in the first lap. But how far do you want to take this sort of reasoning. Formula 1 is a sport of mechanical excellence and mechanical failure. It’s also a sport of opportunism or drivers being in the right place at the right time (sometimes by their own skill sometimes by luck) to take advantage of situations as they unfold. These are factors that define the nature of the sport. Personally, I thought Hamilton was the better driver last year – based on race wins and pole positions – but was severely affected by mechanical failure. But does this mean that Rosberg was an unworthy winner of the WDC? No it doesn’t.

You’re right, both drivers have suffered through DNFs although as I posted to you earlier Max was IMO at least partially responsible for what happened in Spain. James Allen has it that Ricciardo has had 3 DNFs to Max’s 5 but if you factor in Spain it tends to even things out a little. But here’s the thing and this applies to both drivers and that is we just don’t know what might have happened if those DNFs had not occurred. The times Ricciardo was behind Verstappen he may have got ahead of him, through strategy for example, or both drivers may have got a puncture or been hit by another driver. We can assume Verstappen may have finished in front of Ricciardo but in reality we just don’t know and will never know.

As I said in another post we can throw the numbers around and make other observations to put one driver in a better light than the other and that’s fair enough. But the key thing for me is that it’s disappointing that both drivers have not been able to show their true worth because of the unreliability and power deficit of the Renault PU.



I was going over this and red "The times Ricciardo was behind Verstappen he may have got ahead of him".
This is a highly unlikely statement, although not impossible, but Verstappen has been rarely overtaken by any of his team mates. As far as i can remember only Sainz overtook Max in Spain 2015 in a one-to-one fight.

Try and dig in...


@ Adrian...extremely well put. I couldn't agree more. I have consistently said that there is very little between them and they will 'seesaw' their way through the season. I have also acknowledged just how good verstappen is under certain conditions but that does not in any way diminish Ricciardo's results. In fact, one of Ricciardo's strengths is to make something out of nothing, like from 19th to fifth! The Max brigade are hell bent on diminishing Ricciardo's achievements which is disappointing but to be expected.


Hi Ken,

Thanks for your comments.

Similarly, I have also acknowledged Verstappen's talent which is considerable and wouldn't belittle or talk down any of his achievements. A podium is a podium. A race win is a race win. And this is the problem I have with some in the Verstappen fraternity who put qualifications on Ricciardo's achievements.

Thing is from a team perspective it's Ricciardo's consistent high scoring that's kept RBR ahead of FI in the Constructors'. Marko and Horner would be well aware of this. Well you'd hope they would.


There's a certain degree of fighting for positions what makes a (podium) 'earned'. Like for example Spain was just plain luck... if three drivers drop away and a driver doesn't need to fight at all.
Spain 2016 was a different race, Ver faught quite hard all race, while there where at least 4 drivers racing for P1.

That's also why Austria has been a very good race by Ricciardo, he took P3 thanks to fighting for it.

Baku is a story apart, luck was the main factor and Ricciardo did a good re-start, but in all honesty in a RBR against Stroll and Massa (who's car failed seconds later) ehm... not so much of a fight there.

You won;t read me saying Ric is doing a bad job, cause he's the one taking points for the team, but it due to reasons.


@ Matn....There's reasons for everything.



Spain this year I'd say that Ricciardo kept out of trouble and didn't put himself in a position where he was likely to be cleaned up as what happened to Max. No bad luck for Max here just poor decision making IMO.

Spain last year I've already acknowledged Max's well-earned victory there but in accordance with the "lucky" argument you've been running against Dan surely you would have to agree that with the two fastest cars out of the race it was open to someone else to step up to take the win. Max did despite some Dan fans stating that Max was given the better strategy just as you have said Dan was given the better strategy in Monaco this year.

Baku this year. How did Dan benefit from "luck". Once again he put himself into a position to take advantage of Vettel losing his mind and Hamilton's mechanics not securing his head rest, if they were in fact responsible. As for Dan overtaking two cars in one sequence immediately after the restart well the Sky commentators liked it. Where you aware that before the re-start Dan actually told Marko what he was going to do.

I am inclined to agree with Horner that Max will benefit from better reliability in the second half of the season.


Good analysis.


Both drivers are top drawer but for different reasons. Verstappen still makes too many errors despite being fractionally faster. Daniel has matured into a well rounded but still exciting driver who can match anyone currently driving. Both of these guys could win a WDC given a car that is a match for the best out there. I would hope that Ricciardo makes the change after next season as the team dynamic has swung almost totally in favor of Verstappen. Racing at this level is tough and to have the team now openly backing Verstappen must have an effect on Ricciardo. All Horner talks about these days is 'how Verstappen has handled this and that etc etc etc and how he's a WDC in waiting'. It seems that Ricciardo is a forgotten man these days. We all know how Webber suffered the Horner/Marko onslaught in the Vettel days and i certainly see elements of that era being perpetuated. Sad really as i expected better from them once Webber had left, after all Ricciardo was a Red Bull junior and was a Marko placement. I fervently hope that Daniel takes them on 'full frontal' and let's see what happens. At least this fan will be there to support him.


Please do tell... to may errors you say?

In wonder, apart from Hungary which errors Verstappen has made this season, as far as i see he's rather flawless on track. Verstappens style is more aggressive, that doesn't mean he makes errors.. (??)

Ricciardo crashes twice and a close call in Monaco, to me it seems Ricciardo has been over the limits more than Verstappen.



"apart from Hungary which errors Verstappen has made this season"

Try Spain where he aggressively (your word) drove into a closing corner (Turn 1) and was cleaned up by Raikkonen who was himself hit by Bottas. It was an overly aggressive or overly optimistic move by Max. As Sky commentary remarked in its race summary 3 into 1 or three cars standing side-by-side in that corner don't fit. It was a high risk move by Max and he paid for it. So IMO this was a DNF that he contributed to.

Ricciardo crashed twice? Last race Max took him out so what was the other race where he crashed out? In Monaco yes after the restart on cold tyres he momentarily lost control but saved it. A lessor driver may not have.


Ricciardo crashed in Q3 at Australia and Baku.
Crashing in FP can be forgiven, but to crash in quali will seriously compromise a drivers race. Ricciardo clearly was over his limits.

i just can;t stand the Sapin comment of the non-fans... every start there will be three cars going side by side, ofcourse it is a risky move, but it's not like we can automatically blame the driver for a crash cause he's taking a risk. In Spain Bottas bumped over the kerbs into Raikkonen. Raikkonen was just inches away from Bottas and took a rather big hit bumping into Verstappen, who was at a safe distance from Raikkonen.

Safe as in, if no one crashed it will be a safe move.

If going on the outside is a hight risk move than this applies on Ricciardo in Hungary as well.

on both occasions it could be labelled as racing incidents or causing a collision. The stewards where mild on Bottas twice, while Verstappen took a penalty for oversteering.

To me both RBR driver are usually very spotless in their driving, Verstappen often more aggressive, but within the rules. Being aggressive is easily mistaken by many fans... maybe they don;t like the action on track, maybe they don;t like the driver, but in the end the FIA decides and usually they let them race... cause racing is allowed.



Spain this year is as simple as this: If Max had NOT FORCED himself into that corner he would not have been cleaned up by Raikkonen. You praise his aggression but it's his aggression that cost him on this occasion. He needs to reign it in a little.

I appreciate your passion towards Max but it seems to me that you diminish Riccardo's achievements to bolster Max's. Do you think this is being objective? It would be like me saying to you Max got 3rd BUT or Max won the race BUT.


Spain was a bit risky but no fault. I agree with Matn.


Vettel spoke of Verstappen last year, saying his biggest advange was his aggressive style, he just doesn't give up.

A good example of that was the restart in Canada, this was also used to describe Verstappen in half-season-reports. Although Verstappen did drive a potential P5-6 car he found himself at P2 after the start.... after the VSC periode he took a shot at Lewis for P1 and nearly succeeded. Ofcourse the RBR was in no way good enough to maintain P1 if he would have made it...but Verstappen tried anyways regardless.

Spain was in no way a special start, we see 3 cars next to each other about every race, Verstappen didn't force anything, just was faster from the grid lining up his car. It's really not different from what Ricciardo did in Hungary...being faster out of the corner lining up his car on the outside of the next corner.

Ofcourse there's always a risk in such moves... but for RBR drivers not gaining positions from the start will most likely put them on P5 or 6 at the finish line. Both driver do fight for positions at the start, one more succesfull than the other.

Verstappen overtook Ricciardo twice at the start (Bahrain and Sochi). Bahrain, Verstappen chose the outside and overtook both Rai and Ric, is was a fierce fight between the RBR drivers being next to each other for a few corners with Ver coming out in front.
Sochi.... such a good example... Ric chose the outside this time going into the corner 3 cars wide (!!!), Verstappen got the better line on the inside and overtook Ric again.

So there's nor real difference in how the two RBR drivers approach the starts, both are doing the same thing, both are aggressive, one just comes out better than the other more often.



Thank you for reminding me (once again!) of Verstappen's achievements and abilities. You really don't have to go to so much trouble. You have this annoying habit of talking up Verstappen by talking down Ricciardo. Why don't you at least give credit to Ricciardo for maximising the opportunities presented to him so that at least RBR (the Team) stays ahead of Force India in the Constructors' Championship? Can you do that?

With respect you really do contradict yourself. You admit that Spain was a "risky" move for Verstappen and that he was "unlucky" but you said in another post that it was "very clean driving" from Max and that he was actually "in front" of Bottas and Raikkonen. You really do need to watch some vision of the incident and ask yourself one simple question: If Verstappen had not driven into that corner would he have been shunted by Raikkonen? Regardless of how much blame you want to put on Bottas the Stewards regarded it as a racing incident.

To say what Ricciardo did in Hungary was no different to what Verstappen did in Spain is nonsense, Simple fact is that Ricciardo legitimately got ahead of Verstappen and in a desperate attempt to get the place back Max locked up and steered into Ricciardo for which he was penalised by the Stewards for causing a collision. Have you forgotten he later apologised to Ricciardo?

Max's impatience in Spain contributed to his DNF and his impatience in Hungary resulted in the DNF of his team mate. And neither of these incidents can be attributed to inexperience. He's been around long enough to know better.


@ Adrian...extremely well said and your analysis is spot on. Verstappen's followers are becoming tiresome as they are hell bent on diminishing Ricciardo's achievements in order to big up their man. Obviously they don't read the posts because if they did they wouldn't be making such outlandish claims. Verstappen knows exactly what he's doing and i simply cannot accept that he is 'still learning the basics' as a sop to his impetuous and somewhat disastrous lunges. DR paid the price and hopefully he won't forget it. What goes around comes around...or so it's said.



Thanks mate. I think these people just post ANYTHING to bolster young Max. Problem is it doesn't stand up to objective assessment and is contradictory. Now Matn is trying to claim that Max was actually in front of Bottas and Raikkonen in Spain. Whaaaat? I can recommend a good optometrist!

Hey Ken, what have you heard about Max's sister, Victoria-Jane Verstappen, now on the payroll of RBR? Tell me it's not true.


Re Verstappen's sister...No i haven't heard that! It seems to have gone unreported on any of the aggregated sites as well.


@ Matn...Two errors in Hungary for a start. Turn one being run off the track as a pass on the outside was never on, then ridiculous error on turn two losing the team a possible podium if not a possible win and taking Ricciardo out altogether. There have been more errors but i can't be bothered , If you don't recall then that's your problem. Flawless he is not.


Turn 1 was definitely on in Hungary but then Kimi had to lift and he had to avoid Bottas (again). Sorry but Hungary turn 2 was his only fault this season.



You mean Turn 1 in SPAIN don't you?

Max's biggest supporter on this thread, Matn, even admits it was a "risky" move by Max, which it was so how can it be "definitely on". The run down to the first corner and the negotiation of it is usually chaotic with a reasonable chance of contact. Why GAMBLE on other drivers behaving themselves if your survival depends on it.


No Hungary, I was responding to kenneth.

As for Spain: every driver knows that round the outside is riskier. But do you mean that Kimi was also at fault? And can you never go round the outside? But maybe you're right. I'm no race driver and I have never raced. I trust Max knows better than me.

I think that Dan is shining this year and he has had good drives. But when Max wouldn't have been as unlucky as he was, Dan would have been the no. 2 driver in the team by now.


No driver on track is flawless...but if you can;t be bothered, you shouldn't have posted it i guess...


@ Matn....you astonish me! Your post, no. 78, ' As far as i see he's rather FLAWLESS on track'. Then you post that 'no driver is flawless etc etc'. You can't have it both ways.....but in your case apparently you can.


Isn't there a difference betwee being 'rather flawless' and being 'flawless'...?

Ofcourse Ver isn't flawless, but to say he makes to many errors is just not true. Ric crashed twice in quali which are much larger flaws than Ver made this season. You could say Hungary was a bigger mistake, but don't forget Ver could proceed the race.

My ppoints is none of them are flawlees and every driver is involved in somekind of trouble ver a season, the suggestion Verstappen is in more trouble than thers is just untrue.


Very well put Matn. Your comments are spot on



Is a pregnant woman "rather pregnant" or "pregnant" ?



i think you are a wise enough lad to know the difference between going of track or crashing.. both are errors, but one has significant more influence than the other.

Rather flawless refers to minor mistakes
Flawless is making no mistakes at all

This dicussion started with Kenneth saying Ver makes to many errors, that suggest Verstappen is to blame for many errors on track maybe even resulting in to DNF's.. which is just untrue.

I have the feeling the somehow biased fans are putting Ver' DNF in Spain in his shoes, taking to much risk. I fell that utter bullshit, as omng as the driver on the outside makes no mistakes he's in no way responsable for another driver making an error. In this case Bottas, who apologised after the race for braking to late and causing three drivers to DNF.

We don't blame Massa for crashing in Canada, Alonso for being taken out by Kvyat in Austria. Why put the blame for Spain on Ver...?
Going round the outside is something all drivers do, going round the corner with 3 cars the same.


@ matn...sorry pal but that's just nonsense. You say one thing then totally reverse it a few posts later. No point in any further debate however I will restate for you....Verstappen, flawless he aint. Enjoy the rest of your evening.


He ain't flawless. No driver is


@ James...sorry to double dip but i did forget to mention a point that you made re Ricciardo and Mercedes. Somehow i had never even considered him as driving for them. Why? I don't know. I just figured out that he'd be a great fit into Ferrari. Seeing as you regularly get to mingle with the principals it would be interesting to know if Wolff has ever expressed any sort of interest...or is it just that you see Ricciardo as one of the few who could be a possibility further down the track?


It took themm till Barcelona to find the mistake


writing by committee?

"Verstappen has stood on the podium once this year – he badly needs consolidation in the second half of 2017, a string of podiums like Ricciardo enjoyed as a minimum."

but "There hasn’t been a podium or a race win yet for Verstappen, either, and the Dutchman hasn’t retired from a position lower than fourth this year."


"hasn't retired from a position lower than fourth this year"?
Except in Austria, where he was way down the field after a poor start when he got booted.
And you can't call where he was in Spain "3rd". He was on the outside of the 3rd and 4th placed cars at turn 1 and was always going to be run off the track - it was just a case of whether he would survive any contact or where he would feed back in.
James didn't need to make this incorrect claim to prove Max has been unlucky in good positions, and it does detract from the article. Pity.


In Austria Ver DNF-ed from P6, his place on the grid as his clutch wouldn't release.
in Spain though Verstappen was in front of both Bot (5th), Rai (4th), being on the inner side of the next corner would have put him on P3.
Spain was a very clean move until Bottas hit the kerbs which bumped him into Raikkonen, who bumped into Verstappen.

There was no single sign anyone would have ran anyone wide, the facts are Bottas was overly excited, which he admitted wisely after the race


Interesting read as so often on this page.
2 things stand out for me: Ricciardo benefitted a lot of Max's retirements and managed to get on the podium a couple of times because of that. Going from p6 to p4 gains you less points than going from p4-p2 for example.

Also it seems to me that Ricciardo is happier with getting the maximum out of the car and thus perhaps settling for 4th or whatever than Max is. Max takes more risks with overtakes, first laps etc because the RBR is too slow to make up for it otherwise. If they can get in front (hello quali mode on engines) they have a chance of staying there, if they can't, they need luck (failing cars) to gain positions. With reliability issues this has gained Ric a lot of points and I hope once RBR have a race winning car Max will change his approach slightly.


To finish first- First you must finish. WDC is not decided on the fastest driver. It's decided by who has the greatest number of points at the end of the season. Reliability will play a part but even that can be affected by how the car is managed during a race. Max is young & very aggressive- perhaps too aggressive at times which can cost him &, unfortunately, the target of his aggression. I think Dan has the experience to control his aggression & has profited from that. Max will learn when to push & when to hold off. Max has been given quite a bit of lee way but that will not be the case for ever.


RBR is nver gonna be WDC this year. Why not atleast have some spectacular races? Max prefers it too he once said.


People seem to forget that, until Baku, Ricciardo was just plain slow. Even Baku itself. Never seen such a big difference in pace between the two until raceday.

In qualifying, Max is the boss. Even when he's having a bad day like in Austria, he still close to Ricciardo. If Ricciardo wins qualifying, it's mostly because of misfortune of Max. Engine failure in China, Massa-incident in Bahrein, car damage in Sochi (Ok the last one might be self-inflicted but it did prevent him of doing a better lap).

About the races. In Spain, Bahrein and Canada Ricciardo's racepace wasn't great. In Canada, Max retired early. But in the laps they did together in clean air, he was more than 0.5s faster per lap. In Monaco, Ricciardo had the better strategy. The fact that Max was close (or even faster) than Monaco is pretty telling. With all the pressure of 'not crashing' and a teammate who is a beast around those streets.

When Ricciardo finishes a race, he often moves up the ranking because of misfortune of others. When Max finishes the race, he only profited once. (Vettel, Silverstone)

This whole first part of the season is being covered by Ricciardo having more points. Everybody now says that Ricciardo is the complete package, keeping his nose clean, etc. But without the retirements, Max would be ahead. Even including some opportunistic moves and youthful errors.


The answer to the question is : Yes Max has performed significantly better than Daniel. Daniel has been impressive in how he raised his game since Max entered the team, but in terms of race pace, Max already had the upper hand last year and in qualifying he overtook Daniel in the second half of 2016. 2017 only makes the difference more obvious for qualifying. In the races, Daniel clearly benefitted from Max' car failures this year. Neither of them were to blame for their (own) DNFs due to accidents. Max clearly was to blame for Daniels DNF in Hungary, but where many consider this due to Max' impatience, you can also consider this as Max knowing very well how important lap 1 is in Hungary. Maybe not a top team player on that occasion , but clearly showing the relentlessness of an F1 champion. And that's a quality too.


Daniel hasnt crashed into his own team mate. Thats gotta count for something. Dans contract is up before max so expect him to move out to a better team first.


Seems to me, that everyone can see what the deal is at redbull right now with regards to the drivers and their level.
Max is like the sleeping giant to me, when he wakes up and becomes the complete driver that they need him to be, he will be very entertaining. I'm just a little concerned that he will "burn out" before he reaches that point. The lad seems to be under so much pressure to perform. Expectations are high and I hope it doesn't get to much for him.

What can one say about Dan Ric. He's is a woken giant. He's put his car there where it was needed when others fell by the wayside. Lucky or not, it was DR that was their to scoop the points/win and nobody else. I think he's done a fantastic job, considering the tools he's got to work with. I can definitely see both drivers moving on after next year if Renault doesn't get its act together soon. But who knows🤔😳


Well said old mate!


'What they both need to do is get a situation for themselves such as Lewis Hamilton has at Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel has at Ferrari.' - What does that mean?


What i really like about the Red Bull pair is their passion. It's easy to see that they are driving their hardest in every race and they are both fighters. I'm surprised to hear Daniel say that Max doesn't like to be passed. Well, yeah, that's a good thing, right?


I don't think any driver likes to be passed, but what Max needs to learn is that, when racing against the elite, it's gonna happen, he's gonna get passed sometimes. Max needs to deal with that in a more composed manner. When he can just calm down a little, Wow, he's gonna be magic...🍻


This season reminds a lot the SEB vs WEB rivalry.
WEB used to set up his car to be faster on qualify, but fade in race pace, while SEB did the opposite.
So people {armchair experts} used to say: Helmut Marko is sabotaging WEB, SEB is RB protege, yada-yada.
There is no reason to fight, RB won't become WDC or WCC this year, so who cares.
RB drivers has to focus on improving the package for next year, kind of McLaren approach.
Its only natural the RedBull decline, after all its heavily based on a single person: Adrian Newey.
Along the years, rivals started to poach the technicians Newey developed offering senior positions.
Newey itself split his focus to/with America's Cup vessels.
Horner also still couldn't solve the ever present under powered drivetrain problem, since the birth of the company.
So yeah... the unbearable lightness of being... or you can't sustain yourself on top, all the time.


So we all imagined the dynamic duo (marko & horner) taking the upgrade front wing from Webber & giving it ti Vettel when he (Vettel) broke his at Silverstone. Hmmm just an inconvenient truth there.


I just wonder how people desperately wanting to make the drivers look close, cause in fact they really aren't. Verstappen has been leading 10 out of 11 races so far.

Quali is 7-4, but in two races Ver was behind Ric, it took him only one or two corners to get in front on race day. To be in front on race day is what matters, DNF's ruined the score for Verstappen... DNF's occured on P4, 3, 2, 4, 6 which are a shitload of potential points lost. Ric DNF from P-last, 7 and 4 and gained a lot of points thanks to drivers DNF in front of him..in fact he only overtook a faster driver twice (Raikkonen).

Ricciardo looks good thanks to points, if RBR wouldn't have been so damn unreliable Ricciardo would have looked a lot worse than he does now.
Consistacy is a term other used for Ricciardo and he doesn score points when others fail (Spain, Monaco, Canada, Baku), but hardly scored thanks to overtaking on track... Austria was his best race, overtaking Raikkonen at the start and maintaining his position throughout the race. But it all fades when we compare that race to Verstappen starting from P17 in China.


Agree and your arguments are better than some of James' pointless statistics. I would like to add also comparing the whole weekend -friday, Saturday, Sunday- Max comes out of top there too. Autosport's driver ratings this year has Max as second best driver, almost all weekends better than Ricciardo. Alonso being nr 1 rated.


verstappen is streets ahead of ricciardo..
nothing to add.


Stop adding it then.




you of all people should know better than give me instructions.
if you're in in a position of authority to tell me or anyone else what to do, then show us your id. if not, hush.



That's the third time now you have made exactly the same bland statement on this thread. Any reasoning behind what you think? If you can't think of any perhaps you'd like to tell us how Verstappen would go against Hamilton.


thanks for keeping a count for me.



No problems, your welcome.


We get it. You have "added" it 4 times in this thread!


Agree "streets ahead of Ricciardo" in the immaturity stakes. Firstly he needs to learn how to avoid accidents on the first lap, 3 so far this season.


@ gary...hahha, an astute observation. I like it.


simply look at how long each has been racing and honestly tell me which of them is the slower learner..


He could've avoided Spain & Hungary. Not sure how any driver could avoid what happened to him in Austria.


Well presented, James, thank you. Staying away from personality issues [and resulting individual driver favoritism] and observing the adage 'results count' with the perspective that more to the point, race-based results which count on the balance sheet, probably count more than anything -- perhaps the answer to the fundamental question lies in a few of the comments above:

"Horner said, “As a driver, he [Verstappen] is still developing rapidly.

"When Ricciardo does finish a race, he averages a position of 3.4 while Verstappen comes in at 4.5.

". . .if you take an average of both drivers’ 10 fastest laps, Ricciardo leads that head to head 3-0.

". . .Ricciardo, with 117 points, has 50 more than Verstappen in the drivers’ standings.

Given those observations, however, the wider picture for 2018 will probably depend on much outside of the influence of individual performances and internal "team" dynamics:

"What they both need to do is get a situation for themselves such as Lewis Hamilton has at Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel has at Ferrari.

Which will be a significant challenge for "both" and at this time in this season, plus the seats currently "owned" by other top-shelf shoes, options in that regard are definitely not at all clearly defined. . .


Results speak for themselves. Ric ahead.


qualifying results?


Yep, and Kvyat is a better driver than Ric....


When Ricciardo, with 117 points, has 50 more than Verstappen at this stage, there must be something wrong with the flying Dutch.


In there lays 'the problem'. The Dutchman is not flying like all had hyped him up to be. The likes of Maldonado and Kvyat all had their periods in the limelight with 'amazing results'. Have we already seen Verstappen's?
Being young, aggressive and with less thought that a race is about more than winning the first couple of corners brings you only so far in F1.


Yes. Reliability.


Reliability almost always has nothing to do with crashing into other cars, which he has managed to do 3 times this season on the first lap.


Fact is he ran once into 1 car and got hit 2 times by others. Actually 3 times by others #bumpercars


Let's be fair now. In Spain Kimi crashed into him, although you could say he should have known that the probability of that there was high. In Austria he was crashed into by Alonso (who was crashed into by Kvyat), and there was no chance for him to avoid that.

Hungary is the only one where he's crashed into another car (Ricciardo's), where it was his fault and avoidable.


his cars has failed more often than him being involved in collisions..


' car

Right, and there is.


In the end, they still be miljonairs and i have to work 2morrow. o... diner is ready c yall!

Holla for a Marshall

Team principals owners and fans want points and trophies, not overtakes before first corner followed by runwide detours and crashes. Max is quick in quali where no wheel to wheel but qualifying and winning races are two different things. Max has a habit of running competitor cars off track and dangerous moves. Compare to Ric who is smooth fast and clean, better at overtakes and respected by peers. Max has one lucky career win to his name, finished below Ric last year and is 50 points behind this year (and owes Ric a potential poduim stolen at Hungary) Max can be a champ but needs to realise you don't win it in the first corner, but you can certainly lose it!! Ricciardo for mine and voted by grid as the better driver


if trophies were the be it and end all, there wouldn't be tv footage and commentary but a camera at the end to show the order in which they crossed the line and which trophy each driver got..as we all know, the end results are a tiny fraction of the drama.


Ok, so why don't you ask the drivers what they'd prefer.
Stand on the podium after a race, or make 10 fantastic overtakes and then stop after 10 laps.
You surely cannot deny that Max needs to calm down just a little bit. He needs to see the bigger picture instead of here and now. Apart from that he is phenomenal.


let's be realistic james k....f1 exists primarily because fans watch f1, not because of driver preference. so why would you like to ask drivers which they prefer? all i know is there is a lot of work being put into f1 to increase, not only camera angles but the quality of the cameras at every stage of the race to present the show as best as possible for fans to enjoy. and we enjoy the it all from the drivers parade to the post podium interviews as well as all the drama in between.
honesty is only natural..


I don't need to ask them, I'm pretty sure I know what there answers will be.
And the day F1 is jjst for the fans, I will stop watching. I've always thought that F1 was about the best drivers, driving the best cars, fighting for a world championship.
Of course, the fans are important, and fans will always flock to something that interests them. Watching the likes of Lewis and Max interests me.
The money men see the fans as a source of income, nothing more.


take out fans and there is no f1.. it is an advertising business which will have no one to advertise to without fans. fans watch f1 to enjoy the thrill of completion and the glamour that goes with it. among the fans and sponsors, are a few who shy from the truth and try to twist it to satisfy their agenda.


Hi James,

You have detailed how reliability has affected the race results for Max, but how has reliability affected the quali results?
I'm pretty sure Dan has been more affected here.
Eg: Hungry.


Go eat something then 😉


Like a lot of people, I've got the view that Max is a teensy bit quicker, but not always.

But the stat that jumped out at me in this peice was the DNFs. Max 5 vs Ric 3.

The whole story about Max this year seems to be if it wasn't for the DNFs he would have given RIc a toweling, but MAX has only had +2 more DNFs than RIC.

There is a quite a gap in the points -does +2 DNF wieghting to MAX explain that enough?


Ver 5 DNF's
P4 > 12 points
P3 > 15 points
P2 > 18 points
P4 > 12 points
P6 > 8 points
Total 65 potential points lost, add Monaco makes 70 points
Ric 3 DNF's
P- last > 0 points
P7 > 6 points
P4 > 12 points
Total 18 potential points losts

Now the interesting bit... how many points did they gain due to others DNF..?
Ver > none
Ric > from Bahrain to Canada 2+7+7+5 add Baku 15-17 points as P5-P6 would have been realistic without others DNF. Total ~36-38

Ver 67 + 70 = 137
Ric 117 + 18 - 36 = 99

Ofcourse this is just take from actuall track position, where they would have finished will be a guess. But is to easy to just focus on 5 or 3 DNF's as Verstappen track position was way better than Ricciardo's.

There's now way a driver qualifying 7-4 and in front 10 out of 11 races, is close to his team mate. Verstappens performance is so much better.
To blame Verstappen for his DNF's or even suggesting he takes to much risk isn't making the story any better, especially as Ver overtook Ric three times this season where both faught hard for their position. Ric got hit in Hungary on the outside.. Verstappen in Spain, that makes it equall. On top Ricciardo crashed twice in Q3 and a near escape in Monaco. Subjectively Ricciardo is the driver who's closer to his limits than Verstappen is.

All the theories don't add up cause of reliability issues, therefore the focus should be on actuall trackpositions. Verstappen did not loose a single position on track this season.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Nope. 2 DNFs are worth (at very very best and likely to be less) 50points. So even giving Max two wins from his dnfs (unlikely) he is still behind Ric.
This is not because of pace but because of experience.
DRs results have been stupendous this year. Max might keep up over a lap but probably not over a year.


Look at what happened in detail. For instance Baku. Without his DNF Max was the likely winner, demoting DR to 2nd. So +25 for Max, -7 for DR. So 32 points gained back in one race. Other DNFs also had DR benefiting. So if you want to do math do it correctly. If you analyze all Max DNFs he could end up with between 82 to 91 points extra and these would cost DR 21 points as Max was ahead of him. DR's DNFs could have given him between 16 and 18 points and would cost Max maximum 2 points. All put together Max would be between 33 and 46 points ahead. In fact, he would end up just behind Bottas in the standings. Another proof who got the upper hand this season. Not surprised Red Bull is all about Max. They see this too.

Ricciardo Aficionado

That's ok I'll leave the math to the experts.


Wouldn't 2 wins have VES ahead on countback?

Ricciardo Aficionado

Um, yeah I think you're right. Better go with Kenneth's method.


@ RA...I worked it out a bit differently. Given the fact that DR has had so many third place podiums then by substituting those for each DNF we finish up with a Ricciardo with an additional 45 points and Verstappen with an additional 75 points. That then equates to Verstappen with a total of 142 versus Ricciardo with 162. That is more like a fair comparison to me. Of course the Dutch contingent will argue that Verstappen may have done better than 3rd positions but that is just wild speculation with no basis in fact.


Two is 50 points possibly so maybe they are dead even now.


Interesting comment James that Ricciardo is likely to move out of RB before Max.

Given the comments and body language coming out of RB senior figures favoring Max (for reasons)...think Ric is feeling the heat and the need to leave when opportunity arrives at top contenders. He is seeing the writing on the wall.

It might be just a a matter of time before Dan''s advantage of experience, calmer head and good luck would be shadowed by Max''s talent as he develops.


I've had the strongest feeling that Ricciardo will end up at McLaren ever since he got into the top team at Red Bull. There's something about him - he just feels like a McLaren driver to me.


@ kenny C...I sincerely hope that you're wrong. I somehow can't see past Ferrari as a home for Ricciardo. james had alluded to perhaps Mercedes. The one thing i he should do is get the hell outa Red Bull. Verstappen is Golden Child ver. 2 and that brings out the red alert for me and hopefully for DR.


Would this be why it has been reported Vettel only wants a one year deal for the moment. He knows he's finished if he's teamed with the top drivers.

Ric or Alonso in the red car this season would have more points by now.


Will Verstappen still be making great gains at the the start when he does away with some of the reckless behaviour? Ditto for his race and qualifying performance? The idea that he can clean that up without losing anything is a bit unrealistic to me. He will have drama from mistakes that he will learn from as his career progresses. The adjustments he is forced to make will come at the expense of some of the agression that puts him in places we are impressed by at the moment. Ricciardo has already made some of those adjustments. I don't believe they are as far apart as some people think. Just at different places on the learning curve.


it's a non starter for ricciardo I'm afraid
max is miles away the most valuable asset on the grid right now, he is a guaranteed talent for the next generation of drivers

he passes all the eye tests as a teenager?
only leclerc could possibly be more valuable
maybe lando too but both remain to be seen, they also won't be making a jump in formula like Max did just to underline his base line talent already

most telling is that they brought in rules to stop cases like max occurring again, same has been done for a few sports now except football

that aside, the next sporting generation is emerging
the nba has had one of the most stacked drafts for a while and the future drafts are looking even more stacked

mbappe has emerged at Monaco, dele Ali at Tottenham, ousmane dembele at Monaco, and that's just the first wave of them

nfl draft is loaded for a few years

and there are some really really good drivers in the junior categories right now, all things permitting they will be given the right opportunities


There's not much between them in outright speed. Rarely separated by more than a few tenths. Given that Verstappen is widely acknowledged as the new talent of his generation (or the new Senna), then you have to say that Ricciardo, who beat the current WDC leader in the same car with his cool head, is also very special.

Perhaps we're seeing the new Prost vs Senna. once Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso hang up their helmets.


Young Bull says to the Old Bull ...
"Let's run as fast as we can up the hill to the heifer paddock and shag as many as we can in an hour! Then we can run back down the hill and stuff ourselves full of green grass! Won't that be a cool mornings work?"

Old Bull replies ...
"Steady-on young fella! Let's wander up there nice and slowly to save our energy. That way we can shag the whole lot of 'em nice and easy and enjoy the experience. Afterwards, we can have a nice, long, cool drink and have a friendly chat with the girls at the water trough. Then let's have a sleep under that big shady tree for a few hours until the sun cools down a bit. After that we can wander back down here nice and slow, so we don't break a leg on the steep, rocky trail. We can eat the sweet, green, evening dew-covered grass while the sun slips down behind the mountains. Once we're sufficiently full, we can have another cool drink to wash it down. That way we won't get a belly ache .... then we can have another nice long snooze to replenish our energy stores and do it all again nice and early tomorrow morning!"

Gotta love the Old Bull's tactics - especially when the moral of the story is that the same result (or a much better one) is achieved with a hell of a lot less pain, anxiety and undue effort!

Now you know why Ricci rarely looks stressed and always has a smile on his face the size of a prize winning bull!!! 😉


surely the idea of the activity is to get some excitement out of it....
where's the thrill of a race?


Both as fast as Lewis and twice as smart. Lewis needs to win this championship because if RedBull are within 0.1/0.2secs next year they both will finish ahead of the most fragile.

The Snapchat weekend in Japan, (Whispered)


We were doing so well there for awhile! No one thrust a slag at Lewis into a post that wasn't about him ... until now.



twice as smart? how do you figure that one out?


1. The Snapchat weekend in Japan.

2. Posting setup data on social media.

3. The fact Jensen ran him close/beat him over 3years/1year.

4. Lost a championship to Nico.

There's at least 3 driver's, who if they had of drover Lewis' car they would have more 3 championships now. 3 championships is a sub par/default result considering the cars he's had to drive.


I appreciate your attempt at some Anthony Jeselnik-esque humour in your other post. Though at least with him, I know he's joking.

You have it wrong here though. Hamilton has had the clearly best car only 3 seasons, and he has 3 titles. I'm not sure that many drivers could've come back from the issues that Hamilton had in 2014, with brakes failing (GER) and then an engine fire (HUN) in back-to-back quali sessions, after starting 25 pts down after the first race because of reliability. 29 pts behind your teammate with 7 races to go, in a two horse race. Such a gap to a teammate has never been bridged before in a title fight, so late in the season. Last year the planets aligned for Nico ... in the best car while your teammate is beset with problem after problem. That's the dream scenario for any F1 driver. Nico was good enough to capitalize on that gift. Like with Dan and Max this year, it doesn't take too much disparity in reliability to have big changes in the points table.

Hamilton won in 2008 when the Ferrari was the better car. Much like when Prost beat the better Williams in 1986. There's a guy who also had some close-run defeats, finishing runner-up 4x. With 12.5 more points, he would be an 8x champion!


I don't see many people accusing Prost of being wasteful with his chances. He was able to win some he shouldn't have (1986, 1989), lose some he should've won (1983, 1984), and just generally be in with a shout, whether it was a Renault, McLaren, Ferrari or Williams he was driving. Like Hamilton, he went up against very good drivers, usually in their prime, and largely with equal opportunity. Mansell was hindered by his weight difference to Prost, when only the car's weight was measured, and then Prost was no. 1 at Williams in 1993 with his no-Senna clause. No other driver has had as many champion-caliber teammates as Prost (5), but Hamilton is close, with 3, though Hamilton beats him on seasons spent with those teammates (8-7).

Lastly, you do know the setup data tweet was a hoax, right?


i agree with you that prost's 1986 win though was special but each time i think of prosts f1 activities or see the face of the the fia president, am overwelm by emotions from those scenes of prost crashing into senna. i was so charged up to watch that final battle, only for it to end that way. still raw from it...


he cheated when he crashed into senna for that 1989 championship. the then french president of the fia also openly favoured prost. very difficult to praise cheats..


I don't praise that at all. I agree that Suzuka '89 was cheating, done because Senna had outperformed Prost in their time together.

His 1986 win though was something special. He only led 16% of the laps, against a car that led for 55% of them! Williams scored nearly 50% more points than McLaren that year. That was with Prost and Rosberg in the McLaren. That was an incredible achievement.


Yeah Kovalainen, Nico and Jenson are on Senna's level.


Prost had 2 seasons with Senna, and with the current points system would have beaten him both years.

Hamilton saw off the reigning two time champion, and fellow great, as a rookie.

Nico and Jenson were one time champions, just as Keke, Nigel & Damon were. To Kovalainen I see you a Johansson.


right but they all raced after the rules were agreed.

the most bizarre application of rules in f1 was spa 2008 when a rule was invented to penalast a past incident. a clear indication of how profoundly affected certain emotions where by the hamilton effect.


I didn't say he's always had the best car but in 2008 he should have beat Massa in 2008. Should have won 2010 as well. There was a lot of stupid mistakes.

I know it wasn't a hoax. The whole paddock knows it wasn't a hoax. Just like the whole paddock knows Lewis wasn't pretending to have a meltdown in Japan last year. At first they all where laughing but then it turned into. "It's not right to laugh at special people. God bless him".

God bless and think of the children.

The Snapchat weekend in Japan (whispered)


Should have won in 2010?!? Yeah, ok. The RB6 was clearly the best car. A non-RBR winner that year would've been criminal. Go back and check the spreads in qualifying. That Hamilton was leading after Belgium was testament to his ability to fight with an inferior car, and Red Bull's profligacy to that point.

Here's Jenson discussing "that" tweet:


I guess I should not laugh at you then? 😃👏🎯


You should do tshirts Hello!


please help me understand this hello, i understand f1 races where drivers race each other and their speeds are directly compared to find out which is faster.
are you comparing drivers to determine one is twice as smart as another or are you just wishing it?
i am confident that the smartness of an f1 driver can be determined by how well he does in f1. one driver doesn't only trains himself well but also manages himself to negotiate the best deals for himself up against professionals and another driver who depends on a trainer to keep him fit and healthy as well as a manager to carry out contract negociations and commercial deals for them and you think the ones with managers and personal trainers are smarter?
please help hello!


The Snapchat weekend in Japan.


(Whispered) 😃

Whatever the hell that means.


what about snapchat? he commands the highest following in the history of the sport and understands the value of connecting with his fans unlike you, the critic who seems to know all the prices but the value of none.


On this years' performance I doubt Verstappen will get a pay rise but Ricciardo will. I also doubt that any other top team wants a trouble maker like Verstappen.


You just proved that you have absolutely no knowledge AT ALL.


doesn't the fact that you are comparing their performance alone tell you that the much younger, less experienced verstappen is streets ahead?


here are a few areas of impressive driving:
qualifying laptimes
racing laptimes
staying clear of collisions
successful defending
successful overtaking
wet weather laptimes
team choice.
from the above list verstappen is streets ahead...unless anyone else can add to the list areas where ricciardo does better than verstappen...smiles have nothing to do with driving by the way.


qualy lap times- Max
Racing lap times- Dan
Staying clear of collisions- Dan
Successful (legal) defending- Dan
Successful overtaking -Dan
Wet weather- Max
Team Choice- they both chose the same team?
Final score Max 2.5, Dan 4.5.
Roughly the same proportion as the WDC points as well!
Good analysis!
( I always knew you were smart)


verstappen' overtaking and defensive driving turned him into a superstar in a very short stint in f1. you may review how they each overtake and defend at your convenience and notice how wide ricciardo goes in his overtaking attempts compared to verstappen who is mostly centimetres away from his victim. he did it so well that he was moved mid season from toro rosso into redbull. ricciardo, on the other hand won over verne with that smile of his.
i know some use the words "down under" but surely blood flow to your head is the same as the rest of us..


You can twist statistics to show pretty much anything that you wish.

And impartial F1 fans can clearly see that Max is already faster, better at overtaking than anybody, with the possible exception of Lewis, and the dominant driver there in RBR, it is not even close.


It is my opinion that working his way through traffic is probably the only aspect of Lewis' racing that's not a full 10. Max is obviously better at it, and I suppose the same goes for Ricciardo. Lewis may be better at driving off in the distance, pure Q3 pace and battling for a win. But when it comes to traffic, getting out of the mid field, he's good, not even very good, and certainly not great. Doesn't make him less than the best of his era. In all other respects he's a full on legend. Max, if he were to retire, would already go into history books as legendary overtaker in every stage of a race, all track conditions, and known to make (multiple) world champions look silly in battles. He totally owned Rosberg, is very much in Vettel's mind, has Raikkonen properly frustrated and got Lewis' attention and acknowledgement. Oh, and then there's the Suzula overtake in his debut season on Alonso, forcing the legend into an error without which an overtake would have been impossible.

98/100 for Lewis. He loses two in mid- and back field starts. Look at what Max has shown in 2.5 seasons, half of which in a midfield car.
Max is not at 98/100 just yet, but is scoring 10's where world champs are spilling points. Fascinating.


is this what you mean when you say "working his way through traffic?


i can hear the commentators excited about something they have never seen or thought possible. what do you hear?


Hamilton’s the only driver in F1 history to reach the podium 3x after starting P20 or lower.


Lewis came along and taught the rest of the pack new overtaking. (woke them up)

Danny Ric came along and taught them a little more.

Max is now here with even more lessons for the rest.

I only fear Lewis has lost a little of it from running in the best car the last 4 seasons. He's a little "same as the rest" when he decides to over take now but that comes with the car and championships on the line.


the overtaking working group was formed because hamilton came and demonstrated just how much more exciting f1 could be with his overtaking and defensive moves..


ricciardo and verstappen were inspired by hamilton.
even schumacher was shocked to see this.
in his very first season, hamilton destroyed alonso as his teammate and made massa look like an armature. kers, drs and soft pirellis were introduced to help the rest do the same. what changes have you seen to help anyone since ricciardo and verstappen?
the truth will not be hidden because no one can fool nature..


I've been saying that about Lewis for a while Hello. Lewis was a better racer at McLaren.


accurate observation...so glad to know that there are sane fans still about..



Note that Fluffy said "with the POSSIBLE exception of Lewis" which leaves open the question that Max is already faster and better at overtaking than anyone on the grid including Lewis.


you observed back in brazil how verstappen discovered his limits trying to keep up with hamilton in the wet. you saw him spin out of control, nearly hitting the barrier at a place hamilton barely noticed as a challenge. you also observed how he fell back afterwards. the verstappens learned from observing hamilton but are yet to ask him how he does it to have a complete understanding..


You think the handling characteristics of the merc and rb are the same?hmm


Didn't Rosberg have a sideways spin too? It was only Hamilton that didn't put a foot wrong in that race. A true wet weather masterclass.


Thanks James, very interesting and balanced article. The only thing I would add is that I would agree with Christian Horner when he said that Ricciardo and Verstappen are the best and most exciting driver pairing on the grid.

Whether you are a Ricciardo or Verstappen fan you can dice the numbers to present an argument to show that either driver has achieved or might have achieved more than the other in the first half of the season.

But to do this would be to ignore the overriding factor which is that the unrealibility and power deficit of Renault's PU has meant that neither driver has been able to demonstrate their true talents.

Hopefully as far as RB the team is concerned they have both moved on from Hungary.


Two fantastic drivers - proper drivers and people too. Best pairing on the grid.


They seem like the 21st century prost and senna.


An interesting piece.

One missing, so frequently omitted fact, while it is true that Ric beat Vet during Vet's last year at RB (2014), the next year (2015) the highest points collecting driver at Red Bull was, in fact, Kvyat, with 95 points to DR's 92.

At RB this year, IMO we have THE two heavy weights in in-team intrigue.
I have always respected the basic principle of driving success, that the driver you must beat is the driver in the same equipment.
In my Machiavellian view of the F1 universe, I suspect much machinations behind the scenes, of drivers ensuring their 'advantage' over their team mates. I believe that some drivers will go much, much further than others in ensuring this advantage; and I see these two drivers as the contenders vying for THAT championship!
The Max with his heavy weight father, who knows exactly what needs to be done, and DR with his shadowy contingent, always ensuring he comes out looking good; the drastic media overplay on DR is just one example.

At the same time, we can see that both of these drivers, unlike several on the grid, deserve their grid spots.

I predicted that with increased competitiveness at RB, we would see this 'clash of the titans', and yet, even without the predicted success of the RB machinery, we are starting to see it.

It will only get worse!,/b>

I can't see Vettel allowing DR in at Ferrari.
I can't see Hamilton letting DR in at Mercedes.

However, if Vettel and Hamilton were to swap seats, then they would have less authority in determining their team mates.

But the reputation of DR is probably well known around the paddock, as will be the reputation of The Max.

Most likely scenario for DR, McHonda, after "The Most Complete Samauri" and Machiavellian crown prince (there is only one other, in the history of F1 above him), has finally had enough, realizing he can garner much more adoration in Indycar, (it seems a good fit to me), makes the move.

Clearly The Max is still in the good books with Herr Marko, so I think we can expect to see him for another year. So it will be interesting to see who his team mate will be, if this scenario comes to pass.
After 2018, unless RB is clearly winning by the end of the year, I think The Max will almost certainly go to Ferrari or Mercedes, or who ever has the fastest car at the end of 2018.

As on-track drivers, with all of the unknown variables of machinations, it is really difficult to compare them, based on their 'performance'.
Certainly Ricciardo scores top marks for passing, even though The Max is no slouch.
We're seeing a trend in dominance from The MAx is qualifying, which reminds me slightly of Vettel, during his sublime glory years at RB, though he's not quite there yet.
The Max certainly has been getting into more trouble, but that only counts when it cuts into points, which is what is has done this year, though to a much lesser extent than mechanical failure.

As to the 'incident'; I think it is an over-simplification to assign the blame to one driver or another; from a global perspective, especially with the cut-throat culture at RB, this was a racing incident.


ricciardo did beat vettel fair and square over one season but how do we know that it wasn't a fluke or because vettel wanted out?


hamilton says he will race anyone...i guess he says this because he believes he's the best of all time, backed up with evidence, occasionally on purpose, giving away points to his teammates, still holds record pole positions and victories with a record number of critics on tow..


Deano! I blurred out at "Dans shadowy contingent"!
Who are these people you speak of???
And what are they doing to us??
Is this an episode of the X files?


the creators of this entire aura around Ric as being classified in the to ptier of drivers; a prefernce in peranlty assignments; systematically better (reliable) equipment compared to team mates.... those shadowy contingent, that you'll never read about on the mainstream media, yet the stastistical anormalities foot prints are left behind.


Oh...you mean Alonso and Hamilton?


Whoa there! Substantiation would be appreciated.


I like both driver and see them as the better pairing on the grid. I believe that while Ricciardo is a top tier driver, Verstappen will evolve to be even better. Max is not a finished product just yet, at least not the way Ricciardo is, but I believe him to be more naturally talented and that over the next 2 or 3 years, giving a good enough car, no driver on the present grid will be able to beat him bare Ocon perhaps if we are lucky. Hopefully some of the rising talents in the lower series will remedy to that or F1 might become a bit tedious in the near future.
I know that the assertions I made above might sound a bit presumptuous, but it is really how I see it. I hope to see Max racing beside Lewis or Sebastian (My favorite driver presently.) in the very near future, for I believe he would work himself ahead of them after just a handful of races if not less.
I hope that Red Bull & their partner at Renault, will get back after the summer break with a fast and reliable car, for not only because it would add to a already fun season with 3 drivers in the fight, but would also help determine more easily who the fastest driver is at Red Bull. Marc


Ricciardo has totally OWNED Max on race days, and likely will continue to do so.


the only thing ricciardo owns is his smile.


Was it the 75% of race laps spent behind Verstappen when they were both running, that led you to think that?


@ BVBN....When recalling some of Ricciardo's classic passes i recall one ohis very best was at Spa in 2014,IIRC, when he hunted down Vettel then on the back straight he sold him the classic dummy and blasted past! Epic effort, cheekily commenting on his comms, 'that's how it's done ladies' hahahah Good one. Looking forward to Spa in a couple of weeks then the rush to the end of season.


That great pass was at Monza 2014. At Spa Vettel was leading Dan, then had a wobble out of Pouhon and Ricciardo was past for the win.


@ KRB...I did say IIRC and i was wrong but so are you, according to Dr. Google. It is said there that that phrase accompanying the pass was made in Hungary '14. and was voted on as 'Pass of the Year !!! '


Ricciardo might have said that phrase in Hungary '14 (after passing Alonso for the lead), but it wasn't during a pass on Vettel, which was the salient point I took from your post.

The dummy move pass on Vettel was at Monza '14, into della Roggia.


So if Redbull is less reliable than Honda-- what perspective do you take on Alonso's various demonstrations?


agh.... haven't we discuss this yet in several other threads?


Its funny that conspiracy theories are not at full swing. Remembering last years battles on this site for deliberate Hamilton mechanical faults on his car to favor Rosberg. Also the years of Vettel favouritism at redbull to sabotage deliberately Webbers car. How is this situation different. I am sure Ricciardo is being handed better position and car over Verstappen. Maybe sugar in the tank for Ver 🤣


Goodness me...they are still lurking in the shadows!!!!


hamilton has surely got you, hook line and sinker, or whatever it is they say.
verstappen is not afraid to speak his mind, like hamilton. if there is something amiss, he'll tell it to the world, fearless!


Finishing is an important part of motor racing, protecting the vehicle is paramount. Ricciardo is a master of strategy, tires and cool headed driving.


ricciardo has diverted his focus on building his neck, ever since kravitz measured his neck at the start of the season, instead of racing.


don't forget the cool smile, or is it a colgate smile?
why is ricciardo and his management team not chasing that colgate sponsorship instead of that infectious habit of shoey, or whatever it is they call it..



I think you're becoming obsessed with Danny Ricc. Can't be healthy for you! Better rekindle your obsession with your hero or have you forgotten who he is? He's a hint: His initials are LH. Remember now? Yes of course you do.


how can you not be obsessed with that smile adrien?
i was stood next to a group of 5 australians, 3 generations, at the f1 london show. they were very quiet and gentle but as soon as ricciardo turned up in his car, they burst into action, announcing to all of us around them that they are aussie and love ricciardo. it was such a sudden emotional outburst, i got goose pimples all over my arms. don't think i'll ever forget that moment.
now you know why. ricciardo is significant in f1..


All square but we all know Red Bull favour Max all the way. DR is the Mark Webber in the Red Bull house.


@ Big Vern...it's certainly looking that way. I guess that more will be revealed by season end. If you're right then what of '18? Red Bull are totally adamant that Ricciardo is locked in and that they will not let him go.


Ps nothing is ever locked in.
Neymer proved that with PSG


Think if it was DR who took out Max there would be hell to pay. But because it was Max on DR it's bean brushed under the rug. Max really does walk on Red Bull water. I expect more aggression from DR in all avenues of racing against Max. The milk will taste sour by Malaysia. DR will want a move asap.
Williams or Mclaren
Think his best bet would be teaming up with Lewis at Ferrari in 2019.
Vettel has one problem Mercedes likes to be fair and no team leader , so he may have a bad time at Mercedes.


@ Big Vern..yes, i agree. Had the tables been turned and Ricciardo had taken out Verstappen the Dutch contingent would had a total meltdown and we would be drowned out as the collective fingers were withdrawn from the dikes! Yikes! I very much doubt that DR can get his freedom. Red Bull will want to keep him on a leash not because they want to promote his WDC chances but to keep him from being a threat to Verstappen in the future in a competitive car/team.



The whole Dutch nation and Belgium where he was born would have gone into meltdown!!!!


Somewhat off-topic: what gets to me in current F1 are the histrionics that are made out of a minor driving error (if that at all) by a fellow driver: "I demand an apology" and all that. That a mediocre driver with psychological issues such as Vettel does that, so be it, but I had thought that would be beneath Ricciardo. Apparently not, as we saw in Hungary.


@ SMcA...You are showing your naivety there if you think that Verstappen's crash into Ricciardo was a minor driving error. The stewards, who know infinitely more than you are ever likely to know, called it for what it was and subsequently showed how serious, apart from the 10 sec penalty, but also they put points on Verstappen's licence. To further claim that Vettel is a 'mediocre' driver just confirms my opening statement. I take it that you don't like Vettel, well that's cool ,but to assert that a $4 [four] time WDC winner is mediocre is just plain silly. Ricciardo had every right to demand an apology and it was forthcoming as Verstappen knew he'd busted Ricciardo's chances to possibly run third in the WDC. Was it on purpose? we'll never know.


That's my point exactly - this whole "demanding an apology" thing is ridiculous. It is this petulance that has made F1 such a snorefest.

Re Vettel: I suppose an analogy is Piquet. He may have won 3 WDC's, but nobody remembers him. People remember Prost and Senna.

Same with this generation: people will remember LH, Alonso and Max. If they remember Vettel at all, it will be for having been such a girl's blouse...


From the in-car footage I am 99% sure it was intentional.He just locked up and understeered straight into him.Not enough urgency on the steering wheel to try to avoid the collision.


Verstappen has been better of the two, especially the first half the season where Ricciardo struggled with the rear of the car and tire warm up. Verstappen hasn't been able to build on the qualifying advantage early on the in season in races because of the problems he has.

But if you look at the last few races, probably since Austria, Ricciardo has got over the early season slump and is now back on the pace. The points WDC isn't reflective of the early season advantage that Max had over Ricciardo while he got to grips with the new car.

Doesn't take away anything from Ricciardo making the most of his opportunities and still scoring well while not at his best.

Either way RBR have the best driver pairing on the grid IMO. Both would be WDCs.


you're right, i have seen more orange tshirts at races than ricciardo support considering verstappen's relatively short f1 career. even heineken has join the band wagon whilst rocciardo is yet to convince colgate..


There are more Verstappen shirts than Hamilton too. Ferrari shirts are the only one's that beat them all at every track.


Daniel has done a better job; the last thing a team needs is it's driver's taking each other out!

Are you listening Max!


Hear hear.


Look at the Championship table. Ricciardo is leagues ahead. No excuses. Reliability always evens out over the year as it did with Rosberg and Ham last year. The points table doesn't lie.


@BVBN @Left Flank you are both right. DR is all over MV. MV just did'nt know what to do. MV turn his engine down a copple of times, ahead of DR, because he knew there nothing he could do against DR. DR owns MV absolute crushing MV. No one in the paddock has to think twice when they could sign DR or MV, absolute no brainer they go for DR. DR even start the races behind MV to give MV a small opportunity to be ahead a copple of rounds. DR don't have to worry at all those podiums and even a win over MV just one podium shows the different level of race craft between the two. Right.................. lol


Verstappen finished in front of Ricciardo in GB.
So 2 of 3 he beats him not 1 in 3.


Does anyone else think it's more than coincidence that the 3 races Verstappen has been ahead of Ricciardo he's had mechanical failures?