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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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1

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

2

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

3

@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

4

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.

5

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!

6

Hear hear.

7

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.

8

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..

9

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

10

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

11

@ 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.

12

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

13

Kenneth
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.

14

@ 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.

15

Ken,

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

16

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.

17

@ 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.

18

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…

19

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.

20

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

21

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

22

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..

23

aveli,

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.

24

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..

25

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 🤣

26

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

27

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!

28

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

29

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

30

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

31

the only thing ricciardo owns is his smile.

32

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

33

@ 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.

34

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.

35

@ 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 !!! ‘

36

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.

37

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

38

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.

39

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?

40

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..

41

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?

42

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.

43

Oh…you mean Alonso and Hamilton?

44

Whoa there! Substantiation would be appreciated.

45

They seem like the 21st century prost and senna.

46

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

47

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.

48

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.

49

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.

50

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

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lseNan1ODY8

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

51

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

52

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.

53

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..

54

ricciardo and verstappen were inspired by hamilton.
even schumacher was shocked to see this.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UlgipON2Pow
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..

55

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

56

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

57

aveli,

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.

58

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..

59

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

60

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.

61

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.

62

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)

63

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..

64

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.

65

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

66

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

67

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)

68

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.

👎

69

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

70

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.

71

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!

http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/08/15/the-professor-nearly-an-eight-times-f1-world-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?

72

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…

73

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..

74

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.

75

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

76

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.

77

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.

78

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)

79

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:

http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/opinion/f1/button-lewis-s-tweet-it-wasn-t-even-real

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

80

You should do tshirts Hello!

81

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!

82

The Snapchat weekend in Japan.

83

(Whispered) 😃

Whatever the hell that means.

84

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.

85

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!!! 😉

86

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

87

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.

88

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

89

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.

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