F1 Winter Break
“On the market”: What are the odds of F1 star Daniel Ricciardo moving on?
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: Editor   |  05 Oct 2017   |  9:36 am GMT  |  334 comments

Red Bull Racing front runner Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed that he is “on the market” for a 2019 Formula 1 seat after team director Helmut Marko surprised F1 by stating that Red Bull is seeking alternatives.

Marko said on Tuesday that while Max Verstappen has a contract, “Ricciardo is on the market. We must certainly look for alternatives. We will not be caught off guard.”

During the Thursday FIA press conference preceding the Japanese F1 Grand Prix, Ricciardo addressed Marko’s comments and said, “The only thing I’m aware of is that my contract ends next year. I guess he’s referencing that, he’s not referencing it for next year.

“I’m 99.9% sure I’ve got a seat with Red Bull Racing next year! Nothing’s been said between us about next year.

“I don’t think he has a plan beyond ’18, I should be racing next year. He wasn’t too disappointed after Malaysia, I think I’m still OK,” he joked. Ricciardo finished third in Malaysia, behind Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Verstappen.”

When asked about Red Bull’s slow start to the season, and whether a repeat would cause Ricciardo to jump ship, he replied, “It’s certainly a plan, it has been.

“I still don’t really know why [during] the last few years we’ve had slow starts and found a way to come back, so I guess the idea is that so there’s not many changes for next year…we hopefully start stronger.

“That’s the plan, that’s the wish, we go from there. For sure if next year’s not competitive at all that’ll be addressed. From where we are now, next year we should be competitive, hopefully as competitive as we can be.”

Ricciardo was many F1 insiders’ choice for Driver of the Year last season and this year he has again been exceptional in races, picking up podiums and even a win against the odds. He would walk into most F1 teams based on his race craft and consistency and it would be entirely normal if his representative had spoken to other top teams during another less than ideal season for the Red Bull team. Marko may not appreciate that.

However there is getting away from the fact that 11 times already he has been out qualified by teammate Max Verstappen; this has elevated the Dutchman and one senses that he is the ace that Red Bull will move heaven and earth to hold onto.

Both drivers are targets for Mercedes and Red Bull, while Renault know that if Ricciardo moves, Carlos Sainz would be pulled back into Red Bull, while Ricciardo would also be a target for McLaren.

So what are the likelihoods as things stand, on a scale of one to ten?

Stay at Red Bull – 5
From Ricciardo’s point of view this depends very much on the engine that the team will be using in 2019. If it is Honda and that motor hasn’t improved significantly by June, he will be looking to move. He also knows that long term he needs to get away from Verstappen as if the Dutchman is starting ahead on the grid, with experience, he is likely to hook it up and finish ahead in races on a consistent basis too.

Ricciardo wants to be world champion and he certainly has the tools to do it, but he will need a different car from Verstappen to achieve it. If Verstappen moves first, to Mercedes or Ferrari, then staying is an option.

Ferrari – 6
Again this depends on other factors, the main one being Sergio Marchionne’s belief in lead driver Sebastian Vettel. The German did really well in 2015 then last year things got frayed. This year he started really well and has had the car Ferrari has been waiting for for years, but critical points have slipped away in avoidable situations like Baku and Singapore.

Ricciardo beat Vettel fair and square in 2014 at Red Bull, would he do so again at Ferrari and how would Vettel react if Marchionne moved for him? Marko’s comments look to me like a ‘hands-off’ warning to Marchionne that he cannot have Verstappen, who would probably be the Italian’s first choice.

Mercedes – 7
Ricciardo would fit in very well alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2019, especially if Hamilton is a four times or even five times champion by then. Hamilton’s contract also expires at the end of 2018 so if he decided not to continue, or Ferrari switched Vettel for him, then Ricciardo would fit in well there too, possibly alongside Esteban Ocon.

Toto Wolff certainly has an eye on Verstappen too, but the warning from Marko extends to both suitors.

McLaren – 5
Ricciardo has a good relationship with McLaren executive director Zak Brown and the team will be looking beyond Fernando Alonso at the end of next season.

McLaren will have the Renault engine as a customer and Ricciardo would prefer to get a works seat, but by 2019 the engines are likely to have converged on performance to a large extent, as happened in the V8 era. But still McLaren will be at a slight disadvantage there. They are unlikely to be the team Porsche aligns with if it comes in as an engine supplier in 2021 as they are a direct competitor in the luxury car market. So Ricciardo would want to know what the long term engine plan was.

Renault – 5
A works drive in 2019 in a team that targets improvement by then and aims to challenge for wins and titles thereafter. The timing could be good for a move to this team and Sainz is on a piece of elastic to Red Bull if they lose either of their stars, so it could be a swap.

It’s possible, Ricciardo certainly knows Renault well and they know him. But it might not be his first choice and it would depend on Ricciardo’s belief in Cyril Abiteboul as a team principal.

Do you think Daniel Ricciardo will leave Red Bull at the end of 2018? Leave your comments in the section below

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How long is a piece of string? With so many variables in the mix it is impossible to know. What i do know is that Verstappen is a formidable competitor, incredibly ambitious and very young. He has a very long career ahead of him and Red Bull will be doing everything possible to retain his services even to the detriment of Ricciardo who also is a supremely talented driver with known capabilities that would a be positive for any team with whom he signs. I would think/hope that he has already had some prelims with others via his manager to test the waters. We all know how far Red Bull went to suppress Mark Webber and the fact is that they may just be planning to do that all over again. To Marko/Horner i'm sure the end justifies the means. Ricciardo has proved time and time again that he has the talent to make something out of nothing and he is a very positive guy. I certainly hope that he can find a place in a top three team as we haven't as yet, IMO, seen the best of him.


I was really impressed with how Joss mentored his son into F1, and then backed off. But Max is very young, and has had amazing early success. I hope that he doesn't become a prima donna.


Well said Kenneth. I think Lewis will be scared should either Red Bull driver join Mercedes. Seb might be too.. but on form I think he'd beat Ricciardo.


Cheesypoof, he wasn't scared of Alonso, it was the other way round in fact.....


No doubt Ricciardo is very very good but Max is better. Reliability and mistakes aside, Max has had a pretty clear performance advantage this season and will probably dominate Ricciardo next season.

Riccardo needs to run quick like Vettel did in order to keep himself as the top dog in another team because just like Vettel would probably have lost to Ricciardo, Ricciardo will probably lose to Max.


I personally disagree. The times are always extremely close. I think Max has said himself he is taking some risks to out qualify Dan. We also see in the races Dan has much better race craft. Malaysia was a shame Dan did not take the outside line into first corner. Many things could have been different. Instead V ended up along side Max. If it was Dan well I think he got past Max there last year didn't he?


Glad you got in first Kenny! And very well said!!


@ LKFE... a very late night! hahaha. Nice to see some support considering the constant flow of negatives. Thanks.


Stellar synopsis.


@ Yima. thanks for that.


Well written kenneth👍


@ james k...good one.


I actually don'the know how far red bull went to suppress Webber. Could please share that knowledge of the fact? Vettel was surely their preferred bet back the then as he was a product of their youth program. Would you honestly say that Webber was better thehenhenhan Vettel? Very curious. Marc

Matthew Cheshire

There is no debate that Marko wanted to see the back of Webber. Both Marko and Webber have said so. Is there any stretch of imagination that Webber was "supressed" given Marko's influence, and the front wing incident, the 2010 Istanbul crash etc? Was Webber just being sensitive with the "no.2 driver" jibe?

Recent events have proven to everyone that Vettel is capable of causing accidents like the 2010 crash- and yet Webber had a very clean career. In hindsight, was he treated fairly by Red Bull?

Vettel was the master of the double diffuser, and Webber botched too many starts, so Vettel was the more successful driver. If its only about points, then Vettel was the better driver.

But is causing accidents, abusing team orders to win, allowing your team mate to be given the blame important?

I'd say Webber was a better sportsman. And F1 is a sport.


Webber goes into detail about the inner workings of the team on his autobiography and unsurprisingly to many that followed his time there closely the garage in his view was heavily tilted in the Germans favour.
It's far easier to outperform your team mate when your the oje receiving preferential treatment.
Now of course its only oneside of the story however if you read the book you can make up your own mind.


@ Sars...Yes, quite correct. The fact is though that there are many facts that Webber did not include in the book as he was still semi employed by Red Bull at the time. The other salient fact is that there has been no denials...which of itself is rather unusual if one party has been publically denigrated. Webber is one person that i would trust to tell the truth and he said that he 'couldn't trust Horner' . That of itself is enough for me. Maybe one day we'll get to read the balance of what was not said.


And yet despite all that, he continued to accept the contracts he was offered! Can't have been that bad...


Where was he to go given red bull dominance. Be like rosberg leaving Merc in 2015


Why not read the book referenced Timothy and get a little more informed before posting.


Sarsippious. I have read it, actually I have my copy in front of me right now. Having read your retort I assume I misssed the chapter where he describes being forced to sugn contracts against his will.....


I doubt that.

If the fact he continued to drive for Redbull is your retort to suggestions from fans and indeed Webber himself that there was no favour held towards the German then you clearly havent read much of it.

To reply to your point though, why wouldnt he continue to resign for the most dominant team at that time ? Much in the same manner Rosberg continued to drive for Merc even when it was clear the garage was heavily tilted in Hamiltons favour, Rosberg was hopeful that eventually events on track balanced things out and his patience was rewarded by becoming last years WDC at the expense of his teammate. So really you cant blame Webber now can you...


@ Sars....When Webber was asked why he stayed at Red Bull when he could've walked any time into ferrari who'd been very active,twice, to secure his services he said that he didn't have the enthusiasm to start all over again in a new team. He was fastly becoming disenchanted with F1 and he didn't deny it.


Heavily tilted in Hamilton's favour?!? C'mon Sars, that's not a fair assessment of Mercedes 2014-16. They played a straight bat, and gave them both equal opportunity. Lewis was just a better driver than Rosberg, simple as that. The planets aligned for Nico last year, with Lewis' unreliability, and Nico having his best year as well.

I would agree that Red Bull clearly favoured Vettel over Webber, but I also wouldn't say that Webber was equal in ability to Vettel. I don't think he was, but it was definitely skewed Seb's way before they even got in the cars. Now with Max and Dan, I get the same sense that RBR will fall in with Max if push comes to shove, though I don't think it will be as bad for Dan, as it was for Mark. I put that last bit down to Ricciardo being a product of the Red Bull academy, whereas Mark was not.


Probabl not KRB however i guess its all a a matter of perspective and sometimes you need to merely try and keep some balanced , unbiased commentary on these threads and we both know now hard that is to come by.

And love your overview on the Ric- Redbull situation. Couldnt agree more and very well said.


@ Cometef1.....You need to Google and do some research. There are lots of anecdotes and as well read MW's book 'True Grit'. That will give you some more insight at the insidious internal politics that combined to make life very difficult at times, for Webber. Marko had a great dislike for Webber, who at times he referred to as 'that Australian'!!.


That was the case with Webber but I dunno about Ricardo? He seems to score more points than his team mates. He has a knack for getting podiums in inferior cars but we now know Max can out qualify him.


Good point, factually correct of course. Points are the ones that count at the end of the season. The word “luck” is very misused in F1. Its a team sport, mechanical failure is just part of the sport. There’s no such a thing as lucky championship in my view. The word “lucky” is the ones for the lazy excuse makers is most cases. Therefore, Ric beats Ves fair and square. Points are not given on Sat as we know.


Well there are a lot of Aussies or Ricciardo fans out here, but I think everyone in the pitlane, knows that Max is more interesting and a better racer. I don't know if Ferrari or Mercedes will getting Ricciardo, I would go for Max or Ocon, they have much potential and I think they are better for secure the future... I think Ricciardo will never be the number one racer in any of the top team's....


Two years ago Kvyat scored more points than Ricciardo, but still Ricciardo was regarded to be the better driver that season. Or would you say that Kvy beat Ric fair and square during that season?

Last year Verstappen and Ricciardo were on equal footing.

This year pacewise Verstappen has the slight upperhand, there's no denying that. Whenever Verstappen was hit by bad luck he was in front of Ricciardo. Ricciardo is doing a great job, but I think Verstappen has the slight upperhand at the moment. The points say differently but teambosses don't just look at the points. Like Kenneth says in the first post of this discussion it counts for a lot that Verstappen is still only just 20 and can still only get better.

I DO think Ricciardo is WC-material, based on his raw speed and consistency, but for the longer future Verstappen is the better option.


A reasonable opinion. If Max can get within forty/fifty odd points of Daniel by the end of season he may have some claim to be deserved team best, just as the latter had when beaten by a much smaller margin in similar circumstances.


I do think Kvyat best Ric fair and square. Doesn’t mean that Kvyat it better than Ric. That’s just how that season planned out. If we keep picking on everything in F1, then there will be no fair winner ever. It’s the combination of the drivers, cars, engineers, mechanics etc. combination deliver results. There’s no such a thing as one man show. It’s all part of the sport.


Jdr, except for Kvyat....


Are Mclaren, Merc and Ferrari et al options for Kvyat?


Do you mean their F1 programme or their FE efforts... F1 has been graced by many bright lights of the lower formulas only to then not cut the mustard at the top level. Kvyat is clearly talented, just not at the same level in this category as some of his peers.


Jungle, nope, but just making the point yhat the championship table doesn't always reflect the real pecking order....


I'm not convinced that we do know Max can outqualify him. This year with the pace difference we have seen between Merc/Ferrari and Red Bull, then Red Bull to the rest of the pack, is it even worth risking your neck or the car to be two tenths closer to the front?

I reckon if the car was consistently capable of the front row we'd see a change in Saturday form, but for now it's not worth it.


That's a very good point...


That goes for both sides of the garage....


although the qualify score in 11-4 in VES favour, many times the difference has been less that 0.1 s, so it has actually been incredibly close, and certainly a lot closer than the score indicates.

Why on earth Marko seems to favour VES so heavily astounds me. RIC has been flawless on race days this year; he is such a clean driver who rarely makes a mistake, and is just so good in wheel-to-wheel racing. And some of his passing has been sublime.


Are you seriously saying here that Ricciardo is taking it easy in qualifying and therefore losing the qualifying battle against Verstappen? Of course he isn't! I'm pretty sure he's pretty annoyed by that stat.


I am sure he does not go out with the idea of taking it easy. But mentally he knows this season is all about consistent point taking. As has been said in a car capable of winning the championship you could Max go quicker. Seeing as he admits he is on the limit taking chances ? Could DR go quicker seeing as he may be mentally resolved to the fact that taking unnecessary risks in qual will not help this season?
If DR was driving Vettels car this season would he have made the same errors and so would be neck and neck with Lewis know. This based on DR record of not making silly mistakes. If u were Ferrari at this moment maybe DR would look very appealing.


Nothing to add really...

Tornillo Amarillo

So this is my lineup for...2020!!

Red Bull GASLY-...Tbd...
Williams STROLL-...Tbd...


1. As soon as Max or Danny leave RB, Sainz will be back in.
2. not sure that the Hulk is going anywhere ...
3. Vettel won't want Max. Or Danny. That's why he hangs on the Kimi. He'll probably be happy with Leclerc. But it only takes a final red-mist moment for Marchionne to take against him and that will be that.
4. Why does everyone assume that Fernando will be gone by then? If he has a decent car he won't be going anywhere.


Can't see the former disruptive junior Bulls teammates being reunited.


Forget it. Vettel will not accept Max becoming his teammate and I personally think that Max and Ferrari don't mix.

I think Ricciardo will move to Ferrari and Max to Mercedes. They already wanted him in 2014 but could not offer him a seat. Red Bull stepped in and gave Max a ticket for the 2015 season.

So, It all depends on the quality of the Honda engines next year. If they are able to produce a reliable & fast engine for TR, it is even possible that Max stays at Red Bull.


Completely agree.

Tornillo Amarillo

Sainz is on a piece of elastic to Red Bull if they lose either of their stars, so it could be a swap.

Note that Sainz is already in the market, he was signed by another team -Renault- in a loan agreement and RB asked money for the full right to sign him, like $8M or something like that, he was treated as an "asset" with value to be on sale...
I think Renault is going to buy Sainz next summer.
Hulk will finish at the end of 2019 his contract with Renault and maybe his somehow disapointed F1 career.


Yeah this makes the most sense to me. No way Sainz will go back to Red Bull to be the number 2 to Verstappen when he can lead the Renault challenge.

Tornillo Amarillo

I will add that Nico Rosberg was the best Nr 2 driver ever, even he got the WDC! After Nico Rosberg Button was also excellent.
Now Ricciardo has the opportunity to do the same, and certainly challenge for the WDC from the beginning of the season in the only 2 top teams existing nowadays. RB has fallen behind. I think is a no-brainer for Mercedes to get Ric. No cons there, Ocon is younger and he must wait.


Looking at the improvements Red Bull has made throughout the season, he will be better off if he stays put and give it a few more years in Redbull.
If Bottas's form stays as it is, he will have a better chance at Mercedes.

Vettel has a 3 year deal at Ferrari. I assume Raikkonen will retire after 2018. if Leclerc does a stellar performance in F1, Ferrari would want to promote him for 2019 season and he will have full backing from Vettel.

Ricciardo's qualifying form and average race pace against Verstappen would be worrying for him. But these things tend to fluctuate season to season, depending on the car and their individual driving style. Remember how Rosberg had better qualifying form in 2014 compared to Hamilton. So just based on one season, it is hard to judge who is the better driver of the lot.
Maybe he will find himself quicker than Verstappen next season.


Possible but not likely, i think. Max is known for his unparalleled technical knowledge and he will definately put a bigger stamp on the design for next year than Danny will. I would be very surprised if next year's car would suit Danny to such an extend that he will consistently beat Max.


The only problem for Red Bull is the engines for 2019.


I certainly hope that he can find a place in a top three team

Perhaps you meant a title-challenging team? He's been in a top 3 team for 3 of the past 4 seasons. If the Renault PU makes the step they say they'll make, then 2018 might go the way that 2017 was supposed to go for RBR.

I've mentioned this before, but it is important for Ricciardo to challenge for a title soon. Next year will be his 8th season in F1, and the only multiple WDC to win their first that far into their career was Mika Hakkinen (won his first in his 8th season).


Couldn’t see your earlier reply here. So left a reply to myself.


I certainly hope that he can find a place in a top three team as we haven't as yet, IMO, seen the best of him.

Er Kenneth where are RBR in the WCC ? I think they're third so he in is a top 3 team.


@ Stephen Taylor...I'm sure you know what i meant. Yes, of course he's in a top 3 team but it is 3rd in the pecking order.


Indeed, in 2014 RB finished second in the constructors cup with the 2nd best car!

Incidentally, the "Ricciardo was many F1 insiders’ choice for Driver of the Year last season" is not entirely accurate. The 2016 AUTOCOURSE annual gave the No.1 driver slot to Lewis Hamilton, because in the editor's opinion "he is still Formula 1's class act." Interestingly, the editor of AUTOCOURSE admitted he was tempted to put Fernando Alonso in 2nd place last year (the bearded Spaniard was eventually placed 5th) over the RB drivers................


Seems to me you are asking James Allen to describe the difference between “many” and “all”. You can just google that you know.


James Allen gave him No.1 status and that's good enough for me. The article states that "many of F1 insiders chose him as Driver of the Year' It did not say 'all' so the article is quite correct. Just for once leave Hamilton out of it.


Gaz, I think JA was referring to himself...


I think you've got this spot on, my money is on a move to Mercedes due to his relationship with Lewis and from all reports, he gets along quite well with Toto. Mercedes would be looking for a quick, yet mature and settled driver, unlike Rosberg and Verstappen. I don't think Mercedes would like what would come of a Hamilton/Verstappen relationship as Verstappen looks hard to handle, especially with his dad at every race and in the garage (does that bloke have a job?)
I could see a move to Ferrari but I don't think Vettel would like it after what happened between the two previously. I don't think Vettel would want either Ricciardo or Verstappen, he likes to be the clear number 1 driver.


"Mercedes would be looking for a quick, yet mature and settled driver, unlike Rosberg and Verstappen"

Nico beat Lewis last year by being, er, mature and settled.


A report in the Evening Standard, meanwhile, claimed Mercedes and Ferrari are set for a 'bidding war' over Verstappen in 2019. "We have some things to prove to Max that we are still the best team for him," Horner admitted.


Ricciardo gets along with anyone, even Vettel and Ves I remind you. Ves mentioned that in the post race interviews after he took Ric out couple of races back. I’m not sure if Ham or Ves get along with everyone as well as Ricciardo. Hamilton got along well with Button, Kovy and now Bottas. 3 our of 5 isn’t the best stat in the world. And Ves openly didn’t get along with Sainz and doesn’t get along with Vet. That’s 1 out of 3, the stat is even worse. So, I am not convinced Ric/Ham is the best paring as the odds are in favour of Ham not getting along with Ric as soon as Ric start beating him. I’m not going to a conclusion personally either way as we are yet to see how things pan out. But so far, I give Ric 8 out of 10 to join Ferrari over Mercedes based on the past events.


Ooh you've forgotten Hamilton's public tweet about Button unfollowing him on social media... the data tweets.. etc. So they didn't really get along 😎 knock it down to 2/5. And Kovy said the minute he got to Mclaren he felt he was the number 2 driver.


Cheesypoof, ooh it's good that you don't forget things that happened 7 or 8 years ago though isn't it? Something that has slipped your mind though was Jenson saying those data tweets were of no value to the opposition and only contained information that was ready available to the other teams anyway. Funny how when it comes to positive things about Lewis, your memory always becomes a bit hazy, but things you see as negative are remembered in such sharp detail! Did you see JB interviewing Lewis on the grid today? Seemed very amiable to me, no doubt this incident will go on the 'forget' pile...


I think you're pretty far off. Verstappen already had a Mercedes contract offered, but choose Red Bull over Mercedes because Red Bull would put him in STR the following season. Both Wolff and Lauda are big Verstappen fans - Lauda has repeatedly said he thinks Verstappen is the best talent, and maybe even the best driver out there - and Wolff is a friend of the Verstappen family. Rumor has it Mercedes even has a contract ready which would pay Verstappen 20 million a year.

Ferrari in the other hand is a team who traditionally pick more experienced drivers over young guns. I think Ricciardo would rather go there.

Having said that - given the current development, I'm not so sure they're keen on leaving Red Bull at all. Next year will be a decisive year on that accounts.

And the reason Max's dad is always at the Red Bull team is because he works there - he's the Junior series talent scout for Red Bull.


AFAIK, Max has a contract clause that, if he can land a result in the top 3 of the driver's championship, RBR can lift the option they have on him for 2019.

However... If Honda shows no progress next season and there is no prospect of another competative engine, no contract is going to keep Max at RBR.


According to Christian Horner, Verstappen has a watertight contract for 2019 and Ricciardo is the only driver coming out of contract for next year, so I'm not sure how that works.


well I thought there was a clausule, if Red Bull can't offer Verstappen a championswinning car, he is free to go in 2019...


@ Wendy..where did that 'thought' originate?


Jos has a job (at Red Bull) and he isn't at F1 every race anymore.


He's been at the last four at least.


Ans so has Sainz sr. Father Stroll and many more.... What is your point?

Jos hasn't been interfering with the inner team politics after Max left Toro Rosso. Why? because it isn't nescessary and he feels Max can hold his own.

The guy is a former Formula 1 racer, personally trained Max from his 5th year upwards and has a huge role in Max's development as a racing driver. Why should he not be there with his son ?


I think Vettel has this year and next to win the title with Ferrari. If he doesn't this year, and if it doesn't look likely next year, then I think Verstappen will be joining him in 2019. If that's how it plays out, and Vettel doesn't like it, I think Ferrari will tell him he's free to go.


I know we are not the best of friends. But I agree with your view on Vettel having the next year to win the title. But there’s always been rumors about some drivers having number 1 status in the contract. As you know I’m a fact guy. So, the rumor about #1 status comes with a big “if”. One thing we do know that Vettel has contract until the end of 2020. And based on Ferrari’s improvement, he has more than just 1 year to win the title. This year’s title is long gone. Having Ves as teammate doesn’t seem like the right fit for driver chemistry wise anyway. I can’t see Ferrari rocking that boat either. Therefore, my money is on Ricciardo more than Ves to pair with Vet as they have been teammates already. Having said all of that, it’s F1. Anyone can be at any team.


I don’t take your comments personally at all. The great thing about good sport is about seeing things through different eyes. I find your comments very interesting to say the least, even the ones I don’t agree with.

Now for the championship I never had my money on Ferrari or a Vettel right from the pre season. I’m surprised that’s Vettel is even in the hunt. 07 doesn’t compare to this season at all. Alo/Ham (a rookie Ham) is completely different combination to Ham/Bot. I personally think Bot belongs to a team like Williss, kid field team. Anyway, Hamilton is a lot more mature driver than he was in even 09-11, let alone 07. And he has the whole Mercedes team behind him & him alone. Bot will be a pawn to his championship. So, I don’t accept that the championship is still alive. If you mean mathematically, then I would say yes.

Ferrari can’t sign Ves as long as Vet is there. They just don’t put two drivers together who will fight against each other rather than working for the team. Maybe they will after Vet leaves.


I'm all for being friendly, so I hope you don't take my posts the wrong way. It's more that we simply see F1 quite differently. No harm in that.

I think it's far too pessimistic to say that the title is "long gone". It's 34 pts! That works out to around 13 pts in the pre-2010 scoring system ... Kimi overturned a 17 pts deficit in the space of 2 races in 2007! I'm not even sure it's right to say that a Hamilton DNF is required to get Seb back in it. Obviously if he won all the remaining races, then Seb would win the title. His best 5 race span this year yielded 104 pts ... without a Hamilton DNF he would likely need the same sort of points haul.

As for Verstappen, I think if Ferrari can sign him, they will. They would rather he was in their car, than in a rival's. Normally Ferrari doesn't go for young guns, but I think they'd make an exception for Max.


KRB, id like to think you're right in that Marchionne will abandon his preferred status for Vettel if he doesn't bring the WDC in 17 or 18. In the past few years you could fairly accuse Team Ferrari of blundering it's way through development and race strategy. But this year in particular, they have got it all together. Their achilles heel has been driver brain snaps in Baku and Singapore (and even post race in Malaysia). When they sit down and lament the 2017 season, (if they haven't already), the lost opportunities to win the championship will come down to those moments. If they/he doesn't get on top of it by this time next year, i think they will remove any veto Vet might have on the other driver or his favoured status and realise they need a generational change.
If Vet still has a vote at all, i would say he would rather partner Danny than Max. His ego will see an opportunity for redemption for 2014, and he knows that Dan is a fair minded team mate. That's a much more appealing option than Max, who is single minded and blindly ambitious.
Ferrari management will know that having those two in the garage will be hugely destabilising for the whole team.
The Ricciardo name would bring the tifosi out in force and herald a new generation of Italian racing fans.
Can you really imagine the tifosi and the orange clogger brigade mixing? I think they would be marking their territory like feral soccer fans!


"The Ricciardo name would bring the tifosi out in force and herald a new generation of Italian racing fans."

They might even pronounce his name correctly !


Good post LKFE. i like it.


Verstappen is the future. Any team worth its while will want to have himregardless of their present drivers results. Like him.or not he is the closest looking thing to a sure bet. Till the next best thing comes around of course. Marc


@Comet...OK i'll take your money!....How do you call him a sure bet, when he DNF's 50% of his races? His fault or not, you'd be a very poor punter with 2 podiums in 15 races!


Don't count Vettel out just yet. What I can predict is that F1 will be unpredictable for a while which is a good thing.

If Ferrari have the best car and Vettel doesn't deliver then they want Hamilton. SM thinks he is fast.


I hope he moves on, but I'm not sure if it will happen?


Too early for any certainty. Ferrari might end up extending Kimi’s contract again. Then there will be more chaos.


I think much will depend what Honda are looking like in the middle of 2018. They're showing signs of closing up to Renault and if they continue that progress, sticking with Red Bull will be a lot more appealing for Danny. It's hard to see him leaving Red Bull for another Renault engined-team, simply because Red Bull are the best bet for a strong chassis among those teams. That might change if he were struggling to live with Verstappen, but from where I'm sitting Ricciardo appears quite comfortable alongside his undeniably talented teammate.

The exception to that could be McLaren, who are capable of matching Red Bull as a chassis-builder (although they haven't terribly consistent on that side of things) and who are likely to have big plans for the 2021 power regs. I've always felt Ricciardo was a McLaren driver in waiting - something about his demeanour and that antipodean connection. I can see him leading the team into its next era alongside Vandoorne. Two flies in that ointment, though: there's nowhere for McLaren to hide next year - their chassis will be compared directly to Red Bull's and they have to deliver; if McLaren do deliver, then Fernando Alonso is very unlikely to pack it all in for 2019.

Mercedes is an interesting destination. I agree that Hamilton and Ricciardo sounds like a fast and relatively harmonious pairing on paper, and it would be fascinating to see Lewis up against a driver who can really push him without resorting to funny business. Bottas could still be that driver, though. He's having a tough time, but don't be surprised if he comes back from it stronger. Esteban Ocon is the main threat here, though. I suspect he's going to be driving a Mercedes in 2019 come what may and it's just a case of finding out whether Hamilton wants to continue and, if not, whether the team think Bottas is strong enough to keep.

Ferrari is hard to call. Verstappen will be their top target, and Ferrari might well be his. If they can't get Max, if he goes to Mercedes and they keep faith in Vettel, then it's possible they'll turn to Ricciardo. 2018 will surely be Kimi's last year and none of the Ferrari juniors will be ready to step up in 2019. If Vettel's getting the job done, then they might opt for a conservative choice like Grosjean or Perez to fill the gap. If Vettel's not quite nailing it then they could turn to a proven winner like Dan. It risks upsetting Vettel, but they'll be prepared to take that risk if he's not giving them all they need. It's also possible Vettel won't be as bothered as people think - 2014 was an unusual year and the curtailing of blown floors affected Vettel (who had mastered the driving style needed to exploit them more than anyone) more than it did Ricciardo. There's no reason to assume Dan would have an advantage over Seb at this point, but he'll certainly fancy his chances...


That's a pretty reasonable analysis there Kenny, be nice to see both Honda and Renault improve next season which would really open his choices.....he is the complete package right now with a minimal fuss yet deadly attitude to his approach. All team leaders are aware of this and I'm sure wouldn't mind a piece of it!


Yes and It would be interesting to see Lewis up against a teammate he push with out resorting to funny business also.


I have envisioned Daniel going to Ferrari for some time now. I think he and Vettel would get along just fine.


Vettel will pull strings to ensure that Leclerc drives alongside him in 2019 if he performs well in 2018.
Its high time Ferrari rewarded its products through its junior driver programme.


You're assuming he still has strings to pull...
There is reason for an Italian Leopard to change it's spots...the junior program has never led to the senior team.


I really can't see Ricciardo staying at Red Bull in 2019, he just won't take the risk with a Honda engine and I can't see Verstappen staying either, obviously, that is dependant on how Honda does perform next year, but you can't imagine them passing Renault let alone Mercedes or Ferrari.
I also agree with Ricciardo not wanting to go to another Renault powered team, he will be targeting Mercedes and Ferrari. Although McLaren is interesting, I can't see it though.
Do you think Mercedes would prefer a Hamilton/Ricciardo, Hamilton/Ocon, or Hamilton/Bottas partnership? I can't see the Bottas partnership staying on his current performances. Ocon is interesting, although he isn't proving and isn't exactly blowing Perez away, who'd you would suspect is a lesser driver than Ricciardo. Obviously, the question has to be asked is how long will Hamilton continue?
I also couldn't imagine Ferrari opting for a Grosjean, Perez maybe? But I doubt they would opt for him if a Ricciardo is available, but if he is not available, what then?


That's the thing, Honda will never catch Mercedes or Ferrari or even Renault. They are just too far behind. If they are smart they will put all the resources into the parts that will stay the same when the rules change.


Helmut has never been too bothered about having an Aussie in the team.
Clearly Max is the favourite. If there is a better option Daniel should grab it an run.


I hope he does, because a lot of Ricciardo's fans are very unsupportive, just like Ricciardo, if it is not going his way, he throws his teammate and his team under a buss... and always this wining about Helmut Marko and Webber. Red Bull is the team who signed two Australian drivers. A little bit more respect for that woud be nice....



What a totally nosensical post. Perhaps you should read Webber's book about his difficulties with Marko. Marko resented Webber because he didn't come through Marko's junior development team Toro Rosso and arranged his contracts directly with team owner Dietrich Mateschitz. Did you not notice when Max took out Dan in Hungary Marko sided with Max? And where did Dan throw Max under a bus. They seem to be getting on pretty well as team mates or haven't you noticed. You wouldn't be Dutch would you?


@ Adrian...how very true. As Webber once said, 'i'm not on Marko's agenda'!!! A restrained response considering what he could've said. As for the previous post well the comments she has made are totally incorrect and just show where her real sympathies lie. When Verstappen took out Ricciardo he was headed for a 'possible/likely' 2nd or 3rd place. Another 15 + points and 5 less for Bottas would've seen him a mere 20/22 points away from a third place in the WDC At this point in time...all things being equal. He had every right to say what he did about Verstappen and the following actions by Marko supporting Verstappen were totally out of order. The latest media reports are saying that Red Bull will be going flat out to secure Ricciardo and Verstappen through to 2020. What a tough decision this is going to be?


Aussies are playing well in RBR. So there are obvious no problemo with aussies. But for Ric it's a question of a chance for a WDC and with VER beside him that option is slim.


Helmut Marko is the 'king maker' in terms of creating champions.
His style of management is quite effective in terms of getting the best out of the driver, keeping them humble and on their toes at all times. There is no reason to suspect that he is biased against Ricciardo.


@ Rohind...sorry but i have to disagree with you. The treatment meted out to Mark Webber by Marko was abysmal and anti motivational. Have you read Webber's book? The Turkey incident was just one, but a pivotal one, where Marko was totally out of court and what was worse is that Horner meekly followed. There are many examples of Marko's bastardry when it comes to driver management and affiliations. Nothing wrong with being a tough leader but to be so grossly biased and unfair is, IMO, a massive fail.


I refer you to JA's last article referencing an interview with Marko.

Have a read and i think you'll change your view...


I thought the same when I read it for the first time, but it is just mind games from Marko.
He probably uses this approach to get the best from the drivers and the upper hand in any contract negotiations. Not that I support his style, but it is very pragmatic and gets the job done.

About his preferences - the team wouldn't give a dime on them if the performances on track would tell a different story.


I think Daniel will end up.at mercedes that will be his best chance to be world champion.i believe he will more than a match for Lewis and i believe they would make a great pairing.As for verstappen he is a massive talent but is not a team player so i am not sure what positives he would bring to any team apart from his speed.


WCC's & WDC's


I think I would take Marko says regarding Verstappen with a pinch of salt given it's known by Joe Saward and probably a few others that Max has performance exit clauses in his contract which means he can leave if those clauses . These exit clauses will be triggered if RBR does badly next year a possibility that Marko for obvious reasons won't like admitting this in public .I doubt Marko's warnings will deter Ferrari or Mercedes at all. On Ricciardo I see him Mercedes bound. If Leclerc is at Sauber next season and does well I think Ferrari may gamble on him as Ferrari needs to push it's own young driver program . Certainly the dynamic of Leclerc-Vettel partnership would more suit the dynamic of the way Ferrari has operated with it's drivers in the last 20 years than a Vettel -Ricciardo one.


Might not matter what Max wants for 2019, as if his teammate grabs anything similar to this year, that performance requirement will have been met. Daniel's results in 2014 very nearly kept Seb from going to Ferrari, despite his own poor post blown diffuser form.


I think the problem could be for Verstappen is that Red Bull look like they are going to be very competitive for next year. They have either the 1st or 2nd best chassis and they Renault engine seems to have slightly improved. The gap is quite small now and you would expect with just minor improvements to the chassis and engine for next year, they will be right in the fight. This might mean Verstappen has to stay due to his contract meeting that performace clause in 2018, however with a Honda engine in 2019.


I really don't get it why Red Bull would sign for a Honda engine, it is not that the Honda engine has such a good results, I really would stay with Renault, now they up their game....


It's Renault that seeks a breakup. They want to focus on the works team and RBR is far too good building a chassis.

Contracts are nice but they are worth the paper they are written on... If there is no chance for a competitive engine in 2019, they won't be able to keep Max.


Riccardo is hot property and can virtually have his choice of team. Max less so due to maturity and experience lacking. Riccardo is still the better driver of the pair, well rounded, clean and controlled. The media has jumped all over Max on the basis if some good qualifying times, which are a factor of car set up and compromises against race performance. Max's race form is not good despite favouritism by RBR, and both wins have been handed to him on a plate. The way I read this is that RBR will be trying desperately to hang onto Ric but realise there will be plenty of others chasing him. As Max is still a work in progress RBR will see how he pans out over next 2 seasons, but the way helmet fawns over him I suggest they will offer big bucks to keep him.


You sir...have absolute no clue! 🤣


I agree with you, Ricciardo is more controlled and matured among the two. Maybe qualifying setups and race compromises have been playing a part in Ricciardo trailing Verstappen in qualifying, but Malaysia shows otherwise.


Max's first win was a RB gift shafting DR. His second was completely on merit.


@ Shane...sorry but that is not how i see it. The second win was gifted by Hamilton as he wimped out of any defense.He actually said that he didn't fight and let him by. Now is that counted as a win on merit? Yes, Hamilton. is playing the long game, percentages, in his quest for the title and that's fine but let's not get carried away. If Hamilton was the true aggressor and he raced for victories then i don't think the outcome would've been so clear cut as some would have us believe.


Generally agree as apart from the derating, Lewis did not put up a fight, but he planned, used his tools and took an opportunity through a doorway he created that was unlikely to be shut by the risk averse well clear championship leader.

Pre-race in Malaysia I heard words from an interview with Max and read quotes from Marko to the effect of "Max has realised", that left me in no doubt that there was to be a different and more rational approach to the opening corners/laps at Sepang and thereafter.

I just hope all the front runners play it clean through that period tomorrow so we get a decent race for a post summer change.


This is silly. Hamilton said he didn't fight hard, but the reason why he didn't was because Max was clearly quicker on pace, and it was early in the race.

Even if there was no championship on the line, and there was nothing to lose, I don't think Hamilton would've been able to keep Max behind for 53 laps! Of course he could've stopped him, by taking him off, but Lewis isn't that sort of racer.

So yeah, I would agree with Shane that Max won in Malaysia on merit.


Well said Kenneth.


@ Sars...Thanks...for some the truth can be massively hurtful.


DR has made his own luck this year and is suffering in Qualy from a bit of MV bias directed by HM. He has matured into an even better driver than 14 when he wiped the floor with SV. Best fit would be Mercedes, I would not count out a move for 18 as VB has not really come to grips with the Merc and DR is able to grab a car by the scruff of the neck and drag it up the grid as he did in 14. GM to retire again, VB back to Williams, Gasly to RB and Maybe Tictum to TR.


Since Riccardo "wiped the floor" with Vettel, I guess Verstappen his kicking Riccardo's arse. Oh, as I mentioned before, the next year, Riccardo was getting lapped by Vettel.


2015 RB went backwards or was static compared to others. I think you are confusing car performance with driver performance. Only trud driver performance comparison is when they are in the same car.


Redbull want to keep The Max Attack real bad as they are basically throwing Daniel to the dogs as a distraction to to keep Max. I can see Redbull ending up with none of them.

Their philosophy for this years car seems a mistake but if they can find pace/downforce and not lose too much of this years car's slipperiness, then next year they could be really good.


Vettel is now irrelevant. He lost most of it in 2014 but the rest went this year.


Certainly Ricciardo may have no choice to leave the team because Max is Marko's favourite driver in team, the way Vettel used to be Marko's favourite

And what's more Max is faster than Ricciardo which means he has a good chance to finish ahead of him in the future.

Having said that, Ricciardo leaving Red Bull will be a risk because one thing Newey is famous for is creating new champions

And what's more, Ricciardo is somewhat similar to Alonso in that they have good luck on the race track but not so much in choosing teams e.g. Ricciardo joined Red Bull in 2014 when the rules had just changed

Overall, life is all about choices so all one can do is say a little prayer and hope for the best.


@ Goferet...so what was Ricciardo supposed to do when he was given the offer to step up into the senior Red Bull team? It was a choice he made as being the only way forward and it was a super choice. Given the fact that the car was a dog he was till able to thrash Vettel which rather proved the point and the choice.


@ Kenneth

Oh no, Ricciardo joining Red Bull was definitely the right move career wise, all I was talking about is the timing which was wrong


@ Goferet...Why was the timing wrong? What was the alternative. The timing was in fact irrelevant. What happened happened without any pre warning and there weren't any other choices. I think the only word for it was 'coincidental'.


@Goferet, I don’t think the Ric/Alo analogy is a good one at all.


Shouldn't the numbers out of 10 add up to... 10? (and not 28)

All I want to see is Vettel with a thoroughbred teammate in 2019. Either Red Bull driver would fit the bill. But I think 4 years with an unchallenging Kimi as a teammate is plenty.


er....the idea of the article was JA rating each team out of 10.


From an individual point of view it makes sense that Ricciardo wants to split from Verstappen. It's a fact that Verstappen has already outqualified him a lot this year and he probably knows that in the long run (with less bad luck) VER will outrace him more often as well. But as Ricciardo is a very fast and allround driver, who already dominated Vettel as a teammate in 2014, it just shows how exceptional Verstappen's potential looks. But that's just how it looks and feels for me now. On the other hand, who says Ricciardo can't step his own game up further up as well and stay competive with VER in the future? Hamilton is a more exceptional racing driver than Rosberg was, but Rosberg kept working hard and improving himself so that he was very competitive to Hamilton last season, thus creating a possibility to become World Champion.

I like this article very much, as it shows how many choices Ricciardo may have. He is great personality who tends get along with all the other drivers well (maybe because he almost never trapped in a controversial moment). Although I hope Ricciardo stays at RBR alongside Verstappen and that the RBR will be a real championship car next seasons, I have a feeling that Ricciardo will move to another team in 2019.

In the end I don't think that Sainz will be Verstappen's teammate in the next years when Ricciardo decides to move. Although a really great driver, Sainz his PR tactics and rather poor relationship with Verstappen probably won't make him the first candidate. Besides that, Sainz his performances may also look very a good as Kvyat is underperforming big time. My guess is that RBR will probably sign a join young racing driver like Gasly?


The assumption that Rosberg somehow improved in 2016 is false. Rosberg's strongest year vs lewis was 2014. Even with a multitude of engine issues in qualifying and the race. Lewis still secured 12 poles to 8, 10 to 9 wins and 1 more costly dnf.
Similar to Daniel and max, reliability is skewing the result in the weaker driver's favor.


I would disagree that 2014 was Nico's best year vis-a-vis Lewis. 2016 was his best year against Lewis, but even with having his best year, it would not have been enough to beat Lewis were it not for the episodes of unreliability that his teammate suffered.


Just double checked the record books and believe it or not, even after taking into account your skew on things, it still states the WDC for that year is Nico Rosberg. Time to move on i reckon...


I think the comparison can be made, with Lewis' bad luck last year and Max's this year. When they have raced together, Max has usually been quicker this year than Dan. I think that's pretty clear.

It doesn't take much unreliability hitting one driver to essentially gift a points win to their teammate, if their teammate is reasonably competent. It happened when Kvyat outpointed Ricciardo in 2015, when Rosberg outpointed Hamilton in 2016, and now when Ricciardo has outpointed Max this season.


It's a head scratcher alright. I want to see Ricciardo win a championship.
I'd like him to go up against Vettel again in a different brand and I'd also like to see him partner Hamilton just for the hell of it.
The only thing you can take to the bank is that he has to get away from Max.
Hopefully he won't do an Alonso and jump the wrong way.


Everyone assumes he would want to be away from Ves? Would his moving at the end of next season be any different if Ves did not exist? Is it not about him getting into a car that can win consistently regardless of Max.


Well he's certainly finished at RBR in 2018. There's no way he can expect support from the team if there is any mathematical chance of MV winning a WDC, no matter what the scoreboard looks like. Webber would easily be able to remind him of "wing-gate" "multi-21" and Turkey 2010. He only needs to look at Hungary this year to see where the wind blows. He knows the history of HM and once he's picked his golden boy, he doesn't change.

I still think with his ability, experience and Italian heritage, I'd put him far most likely to end up at Ferrari in 2019 whether SV stays or not. Ferrari rarely picks young drivers, so although MV might have the edge in qualifying, DR's racecraft will see him end up there for my money.
Either way, it's a lottery for both RBR drivers (and any other driver). There's no way anyone can tell in advance how the car is, and though the drivers are the stars, the cars are the main reason for WDC's & WCC's. Not taking anything away from the LH's & SV's of this world...but they both landed in the right cars at the right times. Had LH stayed at McClaren, he wouldn't be a 4 time WDC (4th still coming) and had SV signed with BMW, he wouldn't be either. They are both brilliant, but both got the right cars at the right time. DR & MV may never be so lucky.


I'd very much prefer RIC move to MB. I only see him being the victim if 'favouritism' politics at FER.


He would be the number one driver at a team which consistently favour their best, so only an issue for Seb for mine.


Not easy to say, surely this depends on a few factors which won't be apparent until early next season. First and foremost Honda's performance in the Toro Rosso, McLaren's performance against Red Bull with the same engine and Renault's progress as a works team.

If Vettel wins the championship next year Ferrari will be less keen to replace Kimi with a charger and Mercedes seat availability will depend on Bottas' performance early season.


The funniest part of this article is the insinuation that Marko telling others to stay away makes a shred of difference to what happens with Verstappen. This is F1 people, anything can happen and McLaren dumping Honda is a classic example. Guaranteed Verstappen is at Ferrari and Ricciardo is at Mercedes for 2019. Horner has dropped the ball massively in his management of RBR and their time as a top tier team is over. Both drivers know if they want to be champion they have to be in red or silver


I hope you won't have to eat your words next year. I don't know how things are going to work out but for me, one thing is certain. Ferrari will not sign Max alongside Vettel. If they sign Max, Vettel is gone.

My prediction is for Ricciardo to sign a contract with Ferrari and for Max to leave RBR for MB in 2019.

This all, of course, if RBR can't secure a competitive engine for 2019.



I think you might just about be right.


5 for moving to McLaren or Renault seem too high for me. Of course a lot of the decision making will depend on how all the top teams develop their car next year.

I’m also surprised by 7 for Mercedes. Mercedes came into the 2017 season with huge advantages at the back of the turbo era success for 3 straight years. And they had Rosberg’s vacant seat with massive salary that weren’t going to pay someone like Bottas. Hence, they didn’t consider buying Ricciardo’s contract out of RB. So what’s the 7 based on James? Is it because Hamilton’s contract ends next year?

And for Ferrari, I can see him driving next to Vettel just fine as he spent a entire season with Vet already with no conflicts.

He said he wants a winning car. Based on what Marko said about the current Red Bull car, he should be just staying in RB. And if Marko is just making noise for noise making sakes, then he more likely to join Ferrari in my view. As a Ferrari fan and an Aussie I’d love to see him in the Red cars.


Think that they may have a 7 because Bottas is also out of contract next year and they won't have to buy Ricciardo out from RB as he is also out of contract, coupled to that, Marko doesn't want him anymore!


@Formula Zero.... Likewise. I have always looked at Riccirdo through the 'red lense' as it would seem to be a natural fit. Daniel is nothing if not passionate about his racing and he gets a lot of support from the 'tifosi' in Italy. I distinctly see the time when Marchionne says, 'we'll have Ricciardo' and that is that. Irrespective of what Vettel thinks. Vettel would dearly love to beat Ricciardo to expunge the horrors of '14 and equally Ricciardo would be determined to show that '14 was no 'one off'. That could make for an exciting pairing and some great racing. Whatever happens i just hope that whoever Ricciardo signs for [maybe even Red Bull] he gets a chance to seriously challenge for a WDC from the very start. He is one of the most entertaining drivers in F1 today as demonstrated by his sunny disposition and passing abilities.


Mclaren if Alonso decides to move to Renault ?
Ferrari ... it has to be Ferrari so Ricci can keep giving Vettel palpitations 😄
Max will be heading to Mercedes after next season as Bottas partners Ocon at Force India.
Perez to Indy Car or unless this new Chinese F1 team appears ...if by magic Mr Ben style (children's prog from the late 60s and early 70s).
Ricciardo has done his time at Red Bull and needs to move to another team like all good racers. Especially with Red Bull Honda heading closer.


he is likely to hook it up and finish ahead in races on a consistent basis too.

Sorry James, i don't buy this. Hasn't happened yet and anyway hasn't Ric been setting the car up for long run as the car is poor in Qualy trim ?
Race results / podiums would suggest so even with Max's dnfs etc.


Agree, plus Dan was how far back, 0.05s or so, hardly Bottas to Ham.

Dan over Max anyday, unless I had the huge desire to sell loads of cars in Holland.


That old excuse, my favourite driver is getting a thumping in qualifying, but it's only because he's going for a race setup, danni ric has confirmed a few times this year, he's been lost on setup and takes maxs setup for qually


@ Fursty feret....have you been able to find that missing data to support your accusation re Ricciardo's set up?


Only once from memory and that is when he lost too much time in practice.


@ Bryce...yes, that is correct. IIRC it was when Ricciardo put his car into wall as a result of his testing the limits!!!


I was at the Malaysian race. The two RB's were clearly setup differently. I was on the back straight. Dan's car was bottoming out in the last third of the straight whilst Max's wasn't bottoming out until just before the final hairpin.


Just as they are this weekend. FF's comment is not only incorrect, but irrelevant as they share all data.


@ FF..Any chance that you could post some verification supporting your theory re set up?


seriously? show me where?


Double the WDC points might suggest that he is?


Where did you read about Daniel copying Max's qualifying setup? If that is the case, it is bad news for him. He should be able to create a good setup for himself because that would give him the characteristics that fit him best.

The suggestion, however that Max is leading the qualifying battle because Danny is setting up for race pace, is nonsense IMHO.

If that were the case, he would be fastest during race simulations and the race himself but he isn't.


You know Marko really P!@#ses me off.
He did this with Webber and now Ricciardo.
Even when Webber won he looked disappointed. Remember Monaco ?
Read Webbers book. It was like a funeral home in the garage when Webber beat Vettel.
Marko needs to know he is anti fans of F1 and he should stay home maybe during races.
Let us fans enjoy our drivers without stupid comments without favoritism from some team owner.


Last race were Max won, I was so glad that all the Aussies were silent. They are so prejudiced, it is really annoying. Glad that I am a Hamilton and Max fan... they are winners.... instead of Ricciardo....


@ Dufus...How very very true. I think that Verstappen is hot and he is developing into a terrific driver but for my money Ricciardo is already there. Working in an environment that is toxic saps a drivers will to be successful as he knows that the odds are being stacked against him before a wheel even turns.The media are also in on the act and they give great precedence to events that are calculated to cause even more friction. I do think that Daniel needs to leave in order to move closer to a WDC. That needs to be tempered by the fact that Red Bull in 2018, carwise, is an unknown.


for failing in 2010 Webber can blame only himself - see Korea. He - WEB was (and still is) one of my favourite F1 Racers of all times as was Eddie Irvine, coz as Individuals. But does such sentiment help?


For sure it is too early to call. Next year could be a big one in terms of the driver market. As qualifying is more important than it has ever been in F1, Ricciardo will need to work on his performance versus Verstappen if he wants to improve his value when they both become available. If he is outperformed next season by Verstappen, I think I might lean to him staying with RBR while Verstappen moves on...unless of course they are the top team...so many possibilities, haha.


As qualifying is more important than it has ever been in F1, Ricciardo will need to work on his performance versus Verstappen if he wants to improve his value when they both become available.

This line made me realize that although you are right for now, things will probably change from 2020 on, with the new car specifications.
We might find ourselves in a similar situation to the mid 80's - remember how Lauda won the 1984 title by 1/2 a point, even though he was often out-qualified by Prost, focusing entirely on race set-up. Ricciardo will have to do the same if found in a similar situation against Verstappen, who is the fastest driver on 1 lap, the former seems to be the more complete racer not so prone to impulsive driving.


I sure hope you are right about qualifying. I think it would be incredibly exciting to see the importance of qualifying substantially reduced. The thought of Lauda winning the WDC w/o even having one pole position(!) is unthinkable now.

I also agree with you over Ricciardo, he is a very well rounded driver.


Unlike Max, Daniel will definitely be a free agent and if the car is remotely competitive he will be with the Bulls in 2019, whether by choice or not.


Ricciardo would fit in very well alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2019, especially if Hamilton is a four times or even five times champion by then

As a number 2 James ???
No way.
I think Daniel will be hungrier and smoke Lewis given the opportunity with the same hardware.


Unfortunately James is just as susceptible to the Hamilton bias as all English journalists. They forget so quickly that Rosberg best Hamilton to the title last year


This comment made me smile, it's written with the bias you are stating James is being influenced by.

If you would read again what James wrote, he is stating NOWHERE that Ricciardo would come, or be, a #2 driver for Mercedes - only that he would be a good fit for pairing Hamilton - a possible 4-5 times champion, fast, experienced, highly competitive but not so hungry for victories as now.


Isha, if you genuinely believe that James carries such bias, why come here at all? Perhaps as you chose to insult our host, you could explain yourself, where does James deny that Rosberg won the championship last year? Why is that relevant in any way to the article? Why does the idea of Lewis being a four or five times WDC vex you so much? Why do you assume that Ricciardo would go there as a number two? Doesn't Rosberg's title prive that Mercedes do not operate a number1/2 system?


What’s Rosberg got to do with Hamilton wining four or five titles?


If Rosberg had not beaten Hamilton as his team mate last year then Hamilton would have one more title - the Mercedes was clearly the best car on the grid


You clearly know me so well...


Who did you rate as your number 1 driver last year James? I forget...


I went for Ricciardo, while noting the trend that in the later part of the season Verstappen seemed to be out qualifying him a bit.

That trend has certainly carried over this season!


My comment is based on being a long standing and very loyal JAF1 reader/follower, I think you are the best in the business. However being an F1 fan for more than three quarters of my life and being english speaking but not GB based means I have been inflicted with the bias of english journalism toward your countrymen. While it is tedious to be exposed to I understand and appreciate the bias but for you to imply Ricciardo would be the automatic number 2 in the same team as Hamilton is a poor reflection on you as a professional. You would understand more than most the idiosyncrasies of motor sport and being in the right place at the right time. Hamilton is having a cracker season but Ricciardo has performed incredibly well since 2014 - the assertion you make about the dynamic at Mercedes with RIC/HAM is just baseless garbage. People believe what you write and you have a responsibility to your followers to consider your position carefully. Ricciardo deserves better from you as a colleague in the paddock


You are reading it wrong, I hope my reply to your other first post clears it up.


Where does James suggest that he would be a number 2? It's not in the article I am reading.

Let's say he does to to Merc and partner Hamilton. It is unlikely he would be instantly competitive against a driver who has been with the team for 5 or 6 years and knows the car inside out. The same goes for any driver, but given half a season, there is no reason why he couldn't become competitive with Hamilton. Mercedes recent history suggests they would give him equal standing as they did with Rosberg.


Instead of getting your pants in a bunch perhaps you can show us other long standing readers where JA has ever been 'biased' towards any drivers...

Oh and more importantly where exactly JA suggests in any way that Ricci would join Mercedes as a number two driver?

Read the article again as you seem to be applying your own bias.


Well I think Ricciardo will be a number two driver, he had to step up his game last year, he said so himself, when Max arrived. Max doesn't need that, he want always the utmost from himself and from the team and offcourse the car. They worked well together and Ricciardo was really nice to Max and the other way around. But finally Max will have the upper hand, just as Hamilton would have over Ricciardo and Vettel as well, because they both are longer at respectively Mercedes of Ferrari...


The point is that Ricciardo can leave after 2018 and Max only after 2019. So Ric has to make a decision when the top teams are still uncertain whether they can get Max or not. That is not a favourable situation.
Also after 2018 RB will no longer have the Renault engine and that complicates matters a lot. Is RB still a topteam with another (Honda) engine?
Therefore my guess is Ricciardo will stay with RedBull for 2019. Then if the situation around Max and the engine are cleared up he can make a decent move.


I guess the comments are made by Marko to poke Ricciardo for not yet agreeing to a new contract with the team, to ensure him he is not irreplaceable (if he decides to move away from RB) and to show his great support for their newest Grand Prix winner (on merit).

What I would personally like is a more balanced rhetoric from the old man and less bully comments to the media, as it can very well turn against him if both his drivers leave Red Bull from 2019, after discovering they have no real engine in the cars but another lawn mower from Honda.


Incorrect - Max can get out of his contract after 2018 he has performance clauses which allow him to do this despite the denials from RBR . Joe Saward has had inside information on this for months and it is surprise that other journalists have not detected the same information


Contracts in F1 and other sports, especially football, mean nothing.

Money can get anyone out of a contract. MV will leave RB before his contract expires if he so wishes.


I broadly agree, but the van der Garde incident proved that there are limits; it's not an exact match obviously, but I can see a situation whereby Red Bull stick it out, and if Max signs a contract for another team they try and get an injunction to stop him racing.


Maybe, but how low is the bar set? i.e. if he wins a race or two but isn't a contender but neither can he trigger the performance clause?


@ James...Are you saying that Taylor is right in the matter of 'get out' clauses in Verstappens contract ? Marko/Horner have been vociferously adamant that no such thing exists. If it does, and has been known to be a fact by the media, why aren't we seeing the media exposing this blatant lie ? Would appreciate your comments.


I have no specific insight, but it would be very unusual for a top team driver to have nothing in there which protects him against an uncompetitive situation. Especially on a long term contract


@ James...yes, you're most likely correct in your assumption but unless i'm wrong i would think that when Verstappen signed his original contract that he wasn't considered as being 'a TOP.. team driver' but more of a recent recruit. I am not aware that he has since signed an updated contract so my point is...if Saward is so adamant why aren't other media sources?


Unless your name is Fernando Alonso embarking on the Mclaren Honda dream 😎 3 years of torture.


Ahh, so Danny gave him the Malaysia win, just to de-trigger Max's performance clause and remove the competition for a prime seat in 2019.
He's a smart cookie! 🙂


If a situation evolves that Max isn't happy with the car and prospect for the 2019 season and wants to leave, the details of the performance clauses will be trivial to the outcome, i think.

It will only have impact on the transfer fee RB will receive for contract breach from either Merc or Ferrari.

I think however that such a situation will only occur if Honda does not show signs of becoming a VERY competitive engine supplier for RB in 2019.


As already said RBR are very much like Ferrari in favouring one driver if there is a shot at a title. When the last lot of horse trading was going on RBR/TR preferred to let Carlos go and part of that ( IMHO) is that they do not want Max and Carlos as team mates, especially if the car gets competative. As for Dannyric. He either needs to start taking Max down or look for a seat where he sill not be number two..


Interesting analysis for a driver that is a bit of a mystery in terms of performance and skill.

Ricciardo in my opinion is somewhere in the middle which makes it more difficult to fit into a role. He is really good but not excellent. He is not at the level of the current champions (with the exception of RAI), but he is not a typical no. 2 driver either. I think in a way he is like Rosberg. He is consistent like he was, and he manages to get results because he stays out of trouble as he is pragmatic.

In my opinion he could be the lead driver in any mid field team, so McLaren, Renault but also Force India would be good for him. Now when we talk about Mercedes & Ferrari, assuming he does leave RedBull, its not so clear how he would fit. I agree about Mercedes but only if HAM remains. Otherwise why would Mercedes agree to have a relative rookie like Ocon and a winner like Ricciardo that is not yet champion. They can keep BOT who by then will know very well the team. Also if Vettel goes to Mercedes which I think is highly likely he would not want to team up again with Ricciardo.
The same is true for Ferrari, which would opt for a champion and I am guessing that only HAM could go there, as Alonso will be too old. They would want next to HAM one of their protégées I assume, unless they have not done so well in 2018, in which case Ricciardo would fit nicely there.

So using the same point system:
RedBull: 5
Mercedes: 4
Ferrari: 6
Renault: 7
McLaren: 6
Force India: 7

Hope he lands a good seat, he deserves a chance at a championship


You and me are on a different planet Chris!!??


I am from a small part of the continent called Europe in planet Earth. Which planet are you from? Jokes aside thank you for your insightful comment


In life there's no such thing as a 100%,but probability outweighs any other scenario then Ricciardo being Ferrari bound in 2019 or sooner . The number 1 factor being Marchionne , when he took control of Maranello he have said, he believe anything anybody can do the Italians can do it just as well and better, basically saying Italian work & Italian team is the very reason that the paddock rumour may be correct by saying Daniel Ricciardo has sign a pre condition with Ferrari., though he's a true blue Ozie ,his pedigree are very much Italian.


Hamilton-Ricciardo at Mercedes looks a good combination, RIC being somewhere between HAM and Rosberg I think. So close racing. However I do think racing in the same team as Hamilton would be pitting Ricciardo more or less against the same talent as Verstappen. Hamilton is as fast, as much a racer, and as good in wet weather and in driving round issues as Verstappen (or Alonso). The only advantage would be that Verstappen is hungrier and more aggressive now. But that could be offset by Hamilton's much greater experience. Including at Mercedes.

My first instinct would be that Ricciardo should move to McLaren. They've a good chance of sorting out the engine problems, and they will then be a formidable force. Though there is the question of Vandoorne being a pretty good driver too... That being the case, maybe the best option would be Ferrari. He would indeed beat Vettel and be Ferrari's top driver.

As for Ferrari, they need to sign Verstappen... or Hamilton. However they seem stuck with Vettel. Extending his contract seems a poor decision. But they've been good at those for a long time.


Just saw this, some new footage of the Vettel-Stroll incident:


Gotta ask, why is Vettel turning as sharply as he is, closing the space between he and Stroll?!? Seriously, it's as though he wanted a collision at that point. Also seeing what gets ripped out from the back of Seb's car, it's hard to see how that didn't KO that gearbox. Rosberg's shunt in FP3 at Austria last year was less jarring. I certainly wouldn't trust that gearbox to last 5 more races.



well, maybe VET had run out of fuel and if he'd get to weighting he'd may be found to be too light ?


Well, he would have needed the collision to puncture his fuel tank, for the first suggestion. Far too hard to do.

On the other bit - that he might have been running underweight - I would like to know what the FIA do in this circumstance? Normally if a car retires during a race, they won't score any points, so it's usually moot if they were running underweight or not. However, this is a situation where the driver has come from P20 to P4, and set the fastest lap along the way. It's quite important that their car be weighed to determine legality, as much as is reasonably possible.

James, do you know what happened with Vettel's car after his post-race collision? Did the FIA gather up all the bits of his car, and weigh it? An inability to be weighed does not mean instant exclusion ... it could also mean grid drops at the next race (Art 29.2).

I see also that there was no investigation into Vettel taking his steering wheel, because it was not reported to the stewards. That seems a very strange excuse, it must be said. I mean, we've seen Driver Reprimands be given out this year for such things as not attending the national anthem ceremony (Perez & Ricciardo in China), for crossing pit entrance/exit lines, or for driving unnecessarily slowly. Surely, not leaving the steering wheel in place (in contravention of Art. 22.5) should receive a reprimand at the very least. It's not as though Vettel would receive a 10-place grid drop because of 3 reprimands either ... he has just the one for crossing the pit exit line during qualifying in Monaco.

I recall Hamilton getting niggly reprimands last year, one for reversing a metre in the pit lane after quali in Bahrain, on instruction by an FIA official! It seems Vettel gets away with similar or worse infractions, all the time. Which is why he keeps on doing them.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Who ah! Got a gripe for Vettel much?
Can't weigh a car that's in bits because you might not find them all. Race was over so the car didn't need to be steered anywhere and Hamilton got off scot free for something that should have been a black flag...
Where's the steward inquiry on that one?
But seriously... Vettel has lost the plot this season. He's gone completely bananas and only a miracle can get him even close to the title from here. Ham on the other hand is serene. On track at least, in front of the camera he's about as awkward as Ted Kravitz train-wreck post-quali "Notebook" intro featuring a bewildered N1CO Rosberg.
Some things, I am depressed I can't un-see.


I agree, it was all Vettel, but the bigger question for me is what the hell did they make that Williams out of? Adamantium?


I thought it was some kind of hidden cannon mounted on the Williams that Stroll volleyed unto the back of the Ferrari in some kind of road rage reaction at getting cut off. 🙂


Possibly, but no matter how hard I try I cannot imagine Stroll getting road rage 🙂


Sure as hell looks as though Vettel was sizing Stroll up, to drive across him and make contact. It's either some brutally bad driving from Vettel, or something more sinister. It just makes no sense why he would drive like that.


@ KRB......'or something more sinister' ? I sense a conspiracy theory about to be alluded to. Que?


Truth, that is interesting. What on earth was Seb thinking?!


It sounds to me like Ricciardo is depending on the choice Max is making together with Red Bull. At the moment it seems like Max is the hottest property for both Ferrari and Mercedes. Of they can't have him, Ricciardo is next in line.

Regarding Ocon and Mercedes, next year will be a big year for Ocon. He has to outperform Perez on a regular basis, otherwise he will be regarded as not (yet) good enough for Mercedes. Don't get me wrong, I think Ocon has had a fantastic year but hè is following home Perez on most occasions, yet. And Perez has not been picked up as the next big thing. So a big year ahead for Ocon!


I'd laugh if they both left RBR.



What is wrong with Helmut Marko, I think he has a really good eye for talent.... and offcourse it is harsh sometimes, but hey it isn't kindergarten, it is formula 1, if you don't deliver you are out, as simple as that, that is top sport...



Lol. Quote of the day.


That's what's going to happen.

RB won't be winning a WDC anytime soon. Both drivers are going to leave.


Riccardo is about to get the same love Vettel got when Riccardo arrived. Red Bull has no issues with letting you know that you are no longer the big dog.


Seems so, though in Vettel's case they already knew he wanted to join Ferrari when Ricciardo was signed, didn't they? If Ricciardo is making known he wants out if Red Bull don't improve - he has got stuck there for a few years now, treading water - then maybe Red Bull are simply making it look like a push more than him wanting to leave.


Could Riccardo be an Alonzo alter ego? As in... fast in any car, amiable, and likable?


The interteam battle between DR and MV is an interesting one. If you look at the points then DR is miles ahead of Max, if you look at the qualifying battle, then MV is miles ahead. The real picture is the relative position on track against each other when they are both in a race: out of the 364 laps they raced together, MV has led 248 of them against 116 for DR. What's even more interesting is that only in China, Monaco and Italy DR has led for a substantial amount of laps (15 or more in this case). The other races were Bahrein (1, MV already had a problem then), and Malaysia (2, during the pitstop window).

The picture is a bleak one: if DR wants to achieve his dream, then he'll have to move away from Verstappen (as pointed out in the article).

Mercedes: even if they want him, I don't think he's a match for Hamilton, so it's more of the same.

Ferrari: the interteam dynamics with SV are going to be a bit strained. If you're going to have a very strained relation in the team, then (putting myself in the shoes of a teamboss), it's only worthwhile when it's with 2 extraordinary drivers. DR is very good, but not extraordinary in my view (as pointed out in the 1st segment of this post).

McLaren: who knows what will happen after next year, but Vandoorne is getting up to speed the last couple of laps and Alonso will probably sign for a couple of years. Will there be a vacancy? I actually quite like DR ending up at McLaren to be honest. It has a nice ring to it.

Renault: could be a good option for him. Depends a lot how they fare against McLaren next year.


Hamilton has been beaten by Button and Nico as team mates. I think Ricciardo will very much fancy his chances against Hamilton.


Cheesypoof,How many times has Alonso been beaten by team mates? Funny how you always forget that. Lewis beat Jenson 2,1. Nico 3,1. Heikki 2,0 and Fernando 1,0. Not a bad record realky is it?


@ Mc.Bosch....i completely disagree with your assumption vis a vis Hamilton. Ricciardo, in a like for like car, IMO, would be every bit as good as Hamilton. Until that happens we'll never know unfortunately.


I hope you are right Kenneth, about Ricciardo being as good as Lewis Hamilton because that would mean Max should be able to take him on when he joins Mercedes in 2019 😉


@bs63......That's an incredible foresight you've got there.


Maybe, DR is a likeable guy and I really hope he would do well against LH. That said, I think all drivers on the grid today would have a really hard time against him. Maybe an in form Alonso would be up to it (how good is FA nowadays? Stoffel isn't doing so bad, so I find it hard to judge).


@ Mc Bosch...No one denies that Hamilton is a top driver but given equal cars there are quite few who could match his performances. IMO that is.


well Kenneth, I think you are very biased about Ricciardo... but hey you are allowed, but realistic not really...


@Wendy....not biased at all...'supportive' is the correct term. Since Verstappen came on board there has been virtually non stop derogatory comments aimed at Ricciardo and it becomes tiresome. Yes, we are all aware of Verstappen's capabilities which are considerable but we don't let that cloud our overall expectations. Verstappen may well live up to all the accolades being heaped upon him, who knows, but until that happens i will reserve judgement.


Be fair, Wendy. We are all biased...


McB, let me know when they have the gala event for the "I led more laps than my team mate when we were both still on the track, World Drivers Championship"!
I'll dust off my Tux!


The point was that teams look for more then points in the WDC. How does a driver stand out against his teammate is one of the most important ones. Apparently you missed that one.


'Mercedes: even if they want him, I don't think he's a match for Hamilton, so it's more of the same.'
I have a feeling you will be eating those words 2 years from now


Maybe... anything to back that feeling up?


Maybe... anything to back that feeling up?


- I think all top teams have an eye on Max and are speaking / acting to impress him.
- Ricciardo is super driver who has now spent 4 years at a team without challenging for the title and a change of team I think will boost up his spirits and performance to the next level.
- With almost everybody out of contract at end of 2018 (except Vettel), the real musical chair will begin that time.
- Whosoever grabs Danny will be happy and my money would be on him moving out to Merc most likely due to history of supporting either driver for championship. Also if Vettel cannot win title for 4-5 years after joining the team, he will fall out of favor and Ferrari would be a great alternative as well.
- What is highly likely / nearly certain in 2019 is we will not see current line up at Red Bull, seeing from the words of key figures at RB.
- May be James if you have some insight and can elaborate, but Red Bull knows something that they seem to favor Max over Ricciardo.


but Red Bull knows something that they seem to favor Max over Ricciardo.

ssst.. it's a secret. He out-qualified Ric and

The real picture is the relative position on track against each other when they are both in a race: out of the 364 laps they raced together, MV has led 248 of them against 116 for DR. (mcbosch)


well not only Red Bull, all the top teams would favor Max above Ricciardo, only the Ricciardo fans doesn't seem to know that....


I do hope the new regulations will lessen the impact of racing in dirty air, so that racing prowess becomes more of a factor from 2020 on.
A good racer show prove his skill not only in driving from the front after a good Saturday.


Here, here or hear, hear. Take your pick as I've never been sure which is correct.


Well that could also be a function of the qualifying position and being ahead in the early laps, which is about as important as the score at half time. I'm not even sure if Max has raced 248 laps this season? 😉


Thats a funny remark!

You are factually stating that grid position does not matter, or the pecking order after.. let's say.. 10 laps?

Of cours you cannot make comparisons over a whole race because it has not happened often that they both finished a race this season.

The comparison is made taking into account ALL LAPS they were BOTH in the race, and therefore, valid.


@ Big Haydo...I do like the analogy.


Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz in the same team. That could turn into a Singapore Start at every race.

McLaren would have to get themselves sorted if Daniel Ricciardo joined them. He could join a long list of drivers who've received the McLaren kiss of death fanfair - "This year XX is going to be WDC".

How many years since Ferrari had a winning Italian driver? As things stand, Ricciardo is the only driver with genuine Italian heritage and a suitable surname. What more could they ask for?


I think it won't work, it didn't work at Torro Rosso, so I doubt if they would go for that at Red Bull... Max and Carlos again in a team...


"What more could they ask for?"

For him to pronounce it the way they do?

That would be a step too far I think - It's his name and he can pronounce it any damn way he pleases 🙂


The Funny thing is, DR claims his father made the pronounciation choice because the aussies couldn't say it correctly....thats Nonsense, his father is a well know GP in Perth.....and up until DR popped up in F1, it was always pronounced the Italian (correct way). My Father-in-law (a former Ricciardo patient) bangs on about it non-stop, complaining that the commentators can't read..no matter how many times I tell him thats the way he wants it pronounced.


Right you are Kenneth, Joe is his father, my error. Dr Brendon Ricciardo is his cousin, who goes by the traditional pronouciation. maybe it's a split int the family?


@ Raddisch...I am confused by details in your post. My understanding was that 'joe' Ricciardo runs a well known earth moving contracting business with ties to the mining industry!!!



You're absolutely correct his father Giuseppe, not Giovanni as I have stated on a previous thread, was or is involved in earth moving and bank rolled Dan's motor sport pursuits to the tune of about 5m dollars I'm lead to believe by a friend who knows the family.

BTW great piece of yours at the top of this thread.


@ Adrian...thanks for that comment. At least the tickbox shows that not all posters in this thread are Dutch hahahaa


You're welcome Ken. You have a way with words no doubt. I wonder if 86 likes is a record.

Dan's father's business is called Ricciardo Earthmoving - Excavation & Earthmoving Contractors located in a Perth suburb called Malaga which is about 19 ks from me.

There is also a Ricciardo's Ristorante Restaurant north of Perth but I don't know if there is any family connection.


I don't think it was every the case that we *couldn't* say it correctly - it's not that difficult - but more that it's *easier* to say it the way he'd like.


Good job his name isn't Mannering or Finucane.


Another strangely 'tilted' piece, over-selling DR.
Certainly he is a top calibre driver...
...but he hasn't accomplished anything concrete in Formula One, to date!

Statements like, "Ricciardo beat Vettel fair and square in 2014 at Red Bull...", are very, very weak, unless presented with confirmation that it is pure opinion; everyone is entitled to their opinion, but DR's results just do not justify it, and it undermines the credibility of the entire piece.


Again, the standard moderator making replyies evaporate on anything that suggests DR isn't so super-duper-duper; it's sad.
What is the control over the media that DR has that gets everything all shined up for him, and excludes any question of it?

For those who fall back to "...like beating a far more experienced 4x WDC team mate", then by the same logic, having been beaten by KVYAT, the next year should suggets that Kvyat is a top driver and better than DR!
Now I don;t believe that Danil Kvyat is appreciably better than DR, but he has accomplished the same in F1, nothing!
It's just that the media is so darned DR-friendly, and DK-averse.
If your measure is "... James Allen's choice of 2016 Driver of the Year is all a load of nonsense..." (that's a quote), then please roll out your list of past JA DoY for review.

The reason I am such a hardened DR critic is the unsupported media support for him, in the absense of reasonable objectivity.
It's fake news!


Thank you Dean, I think so myself. Because he is a likable guy? He is favourite by some media? Because he has such a nice "jokes". But his own words says enough last year, he had to step up his game when Max arrived, when you are a winner, you always want the best of yourself no matter who is your team mate...


Go find something better to do than boring fellow readers with your unrelenting vitriol towards a driver. A few extremely biased favourite only posters are bad enough, but you sir take the cake for your starring role in ruining an otherwise great forum.


@ Bryce...good comment. Supported.


Moderator maybe gets involved because you rant quite often?


Ahh, now we come to the crux of the issue. DR has Media support because DR has fan support, and that is largely to do with 3 things in my opinion:
1. He is affable, approachable and "fun"...and a bit goofy...good for the younger fans
2. He is a good driver, maybe he doesn't have the raw talent of MV, but he has made some amazing moves that fans appreciate.
3. He is Aussie....F1 has a solid base in Australia who are desperate for an Aussie WDC...

The Kvyat issue comes down to consistency...he doesn't have it and has had some major brain fails over the last few years....none of this was helped by getting axed midseason - I'd suspect not many drivers would come back from that.
In my own opinion Kyvat never did enough in the Junior series to warrant a promotion to F1(yes I am aware he one GP3)...but I only ever see the highlights of these races, so perhaps I am a little harsh and somebody with a bit more of a finger on the pulse of those series will explain that his promotion was well deserved.


@ Deancassady...so in your eyes James Allen's choice of 2016 Driver of the Year is all a load of nonsense and without any credibility. You really should do your homework.


Kenneth, and yet you argue every time Lewis wins ine of those! If Dan's is valid, then so are Lewis'.


5 race wins in inferior equipment to the season benchmark is pretty concrete to most people...


"but he hasn't accomplished anything concrete in Formula One, to date"

You mean like beating a far more experienced 4x WDC team mate, winning races, finishing in the top three in the WDC...???

I'd be very interested to hear your definition of "concrete".


Ricciardo has been the one of the most consistent performers in F1 this year, considering the power deficit he is carrying around. Plus, n my opinion, there is no better wheel to wheel racer than Ricciardo in F1. He is able to put his sharp elbows out without contact, something Max has struggled to do at times, especially under heavy braking. Daniels light touch in close combat is pretty remarkable. His attack on Bottas and defense against Sebastian in Malaysia were pretty impressive. The move in Monza on Kimi was textbook Ricciardo, supremely confident with no funny stuff.

Due to age, Max may have the better upside in the long term, but I think Ricciardo in a Mercedes will win a title by 2020 even with Lewis in the other seat. At the very least he would guarantee Mercedes a permanent place at the sharpest end of the grid.



I second Kenneth's comments below. Well said.


@ Frederick...a very good post highlighting all, the positives that Ricciardo brings to the track. I seriously don't believe that there is anyone better to watch when we get that rare occurrence...real wheel to wheel racing. Well said.


yeah, I'm not disagreeing that DR is a good race car driver.
What I am saying is that DR hasn't won anything yet!
That is the real separator between the 'really good' drivers and the 'top' drivers'.
Winning is everything!



Ok give DR a car that can compete for WDCs or a Merc or Ferrari and then by your standard he'll be able to compete for "something". Sounds reasonable doesn't it? And BTW we can read your posts without the constant bold print.


Thank God the formula 1 teams have a more open view, else we wouldn't have had so many exciting drivers during the years.
I would be interested in hearing your opinion on which young driver should a F1 team commit to for a long period of time.


That's a fairly narrow view of what constitutes a top driver. Stirling Moss?Ronnie Peterson - both great drivers never to have won a WDC. Is SV the best driver on the grid currently because he has 4? Is he better than Alonso? I'd argue he isn't even better than a 25 year old Kimi. Was Massa a Top Driver for 8 seconds? Is Rosberg better than Coulthard or Barrichello or Webber? So much goes into F1 and it is a team sport, there are top drivers that have never won, and very good drivers that have.


Neither has anyone else but a Mercedes driver since 2014. Are they all poor drivers as well? Perhaps it might be something to do with the equipment?


The likes of Stirling Moss, Villeneuve and Pironi never won a championship. I guess you don't consider them to be top class drivers.


@ Dean Cassady...your still making silly statements. He's won five F1GP's, the Bandini trophy, a second and a third in the FIA's WDC's !! What are you so bitter about Ricciardo who, in the majority of cases is massively liked by a lot of people?


"DR hasn't won anything yet!"

But he has dean, he has! Entire races!

No he doesn't have a shelf full of WDC trophies (yet), but winning multiple F1 races still counts for something.


Wow, I don't think there is any doubt the DR outdrove SV in 2014, based on both points (fact), top 3 finishes (fact)..and I think any F1 observer that season just plain and simply saw this (opinion).

Additionally, what do you consider concrete? Only WDCs? He has won races, out driven more experienced teammates (unless you continue to deny the above) and is currently beating his team mate (bad luck has admittedly played a part).
Finally, why is this considered "strangely titled" - those were Helmut Marko's exact words - so it is an accurate and apt title.


Make that "a decisive part" and you have my vote...


Strange reaction. You'r sure we are talking about the same Ric, currently driving for RBR?


no championships; thus nothing concrete
it's that simple.

while i think Max is wdc material, same goes for him, nothing concrete.


Aha...I understand now...your using this post as a test bed for for your imminent stand up comedy routine in the local shire hall for the blue rinse set and those who are hard of hearing. I like your chutzpah.



Deano and his constant "nothing" reminds me of Quasimodo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame with his "the bells", "the bells". Whereas Quasi was going deaf good ole Deano seems to have an obession with his "nothing" "nothing" in regards to Dan's F1 achievements. It's quite a rant isn't it like a preoccupation.


@ Adrian....You are too kind as i would call it a 'fixation' and the posts as 'attention seeking'. I make no apology for supporting Ricciardo as he was and still is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise buttoned up PC dominated environment. He genuinely exudes a degree of 'bonhomie' whilst demonstrating some exceptional on track skills. There are other drivers that i also warm to...Alonso, Sainz, Ocon and even Vettel [to a lesser degree] and i am genuinely happy to see them get good results.



Thing is with Ricciardo is what you see is what you get. There is no bs as there wasn't with MW.

I'm with you with Alonso, Sainz and Ocon although not so much with Vettel as you may have noticed. Off the track he seems to have it together but when on the track he buckles under pressure as evidenced by Mexico last year and Baku this year which I thought was disgraceful. But it goes further back. Particularly the 2010 season where he was moaning to Marko about how an ageing Webber was consistently beating him. And then threatening RB with legal action if it took disciplinary action for Multi 21. Really!! Ok, he won 4 WDCs on the trot but IMO he was spoilt somewhat by Newey's masterpiece and by a teammate, who apart from 2010, didn't give him much trouble.

Speaking of Herr Doktor Marko I did some of my schooling in Austria so I can speak/read German somewhat (not great but ok) and occasionally I read some German auto blogs and some posters regard him as heartless and duplicitous. Whether this criticism results from a German Austrian thing I don't know but if you ask Webber he'd say there is an element of truth in it.


...then you'd say that Kvyat is better than DR?
or what?


Why would he leave? Red Bull seems to be on the uptick.
One of the most positive and likable and skilled guys on the circuit.
However he could lose the shoe drinking.


Red Bull may be on the up, but after next year they may not have a decent engine. Would you want to sign with a team which may have a Honda engine or would you take your chances with the likes of Mercedes of Ferrari?


I'm not good at predicting. Remember when Schumacher went to Ferrari at a rather uninspired time in their history? Remember when Lewis left McLaren? I couldn't figure that one out at the time. Drivers have a better line than us critics!



Welcome to the AMG Petronas F1 Team. Coming from a Renault powered team this will sound very strange to you but in Q3 there is a button you can press for that extra boost of qualifying speed - it is worth at least 3/10th of a second. We use it liberally to humiliate our competitors on Saturday and claim the qualifying trophy each year. Enjoy!

Love, Toto

On last thing, try not to pet Roscoe, it will not end well for you!



Love it! Hope you're right. DR actually gets on pretty well with Lewis so Lewis might just let him pat Roscoe.


@Frederick- Wow, I've not heard that one for at least 5 days.


I think it's 50/50. He will either stay at Red Bull or go to Mercedes. Ferrari has an outside chance but I'm positive Vettel is not going to want him as a team mate.


I heard Italians are very nationalistic: The Finnish name Räikkönen sounds like the italianized form of Ricciardo. So, "Ferrari – 6" is more likely. I wonder with which nation Daniel would identify himself more: with Australia or Italy?

Tornillo Amarillo

“I still don’t really know why [during] the last few years we’ve had slow starts and found a way to come back

Maybe Red Bull save money waiting the start of the season in orden to copy the other cars and compete in the second part of the year... Vettel said that the RB -I think in the sidpods area- were identical to those of Ferrari, doesn't he?


With a regulation change, each team will do the best job they can. Inevitably, 1 team will have a better interpretation of the rules. Once the season starts, every team gets to see all the ideas of the other 9, so a well funded team with a strong design dept. will inevitably improve massively as they incorporate the best other ideas into their design.
It's not rocket science... well, some of it isn't.


"Ricciardo beat Vettel fair and square in 2014 at Red Bull..." I guess it was "fair and square" if you add in that Vettel has a year like Max has had this year. He also knew mid-season he was going to Ferrari. I don't think the motivation was there. FWIW, the next year, Vettel was lapping his old teammate.

Does that mean that Riccardo is beating Max "fair and square"?


Vettel did not have a year like Max this year, in terms of unreliability, in 2014. Not even close. Ricciardo outperformed him comprehensively that year.

Max has had a very unlucky year, but when they've been able to race together, then Max has done better than Ricciardo this year. He's out-qualified him by quite a ways, and when they've both been running, Max has usually been ahead. Lewis was never going to catch Max last Sunday, but equally Ricciardo wasn't going to catch Lewis. Ricciardo was better than Max last year, in both quali and race pace, but this year it's Max that is better on performance. Of course, Ricciardo's been more fortunate with unreliability, but he's also shown better racecraft at times, which has allowed him to stay in races and capitalize on opportunities that have presented themselves.


I enjoy a lot of your posts and virtually all that don't involve Lewis. Luck, performance and racecraft covered, along with no particular bias makes for a good post.


I think Kenneth nailed it in the first post to be honest, but this article is really about opinions, so here is mine...
The way F1 moves anything could happen, but my hope is that DR is in the best damn car available for 2019 and I think that this time next year he will be 99.9% certain of such a drive with a team other than RBR.

Many interesting views expressed here regarding DR, some comments remind me of the sort of hotel reviews you read that would have you thinking a 5 star hotel was uninhabitable. DR is an exceptional driver who regularly pulls off amazing overtakes and even proved in Malaysia that he can defend incredibly well too. I thought Vettel was going to fly past DR, but he was instead shut well and truly down.
Whatever happens, I agree with the views expressed here that he needs to get away from MV. The RBR de ja vu is too much for this Aussie. The team management will clearly stand in Max's corner when the crunch comes (probably when they are dueling for the 2018 WDC)

For now, I'm hoping for a DR/MV epic battle in Suzuka this weekend.

Underestimate DR at your peril.


@ marbles...Thank you for the comment. A very good post and i do support your theories re in garage support. Without that unconditional support it becomes very difficult to give the very best at each and every race.


Here here


The sad thing is Dan Ric, like Alonso is too fast for the big 2 team bosses to be allowed to join Lewis or Seb at Merc or Ferrrari.

So the real question is, does Sergio Mar or Dieter Zet have the cahoonas, to hire two big guns in 2019, like Ron did with Senna and Prost.

They certainly chickened out of it for 2018...

More teams near the front competing for wins please Ross Brawn at al!


If you think Alonso isn't getting hired by the big teams because he "is too fast", you are greatly mistaken.

Kamiel from Piquet to Hakkinen.

Although I only 'know' DR from his media appearance he doesn't strike me as a 'roll-over and run' type of guy. If it is up to him I see him challenge MV and I do think he doesn't see MV as being the top seat at RBR at all.
As for team support, that is a different story. If DR feels and experiences he is out of equal support he will be looking for a winning car after 2018. And there's where the guessing starts. Honda to supply RBR as a works team will be a different dynamic then Honda had the last year's. I can see DR want to stick to that to see how pu security for RBR will play out.
If the support for DR at RBR will dry out the logical team for DR to look for seems te be Ferarri and DR ( I can't see Vettel with MV). But many factors in play (performance of Honda at TR, Bottas at Merc, Kimi retiring or not, McLaren moving up, MV free to go e.a.) it's to early to make sense of it all.


Please provide scores out of 10 for Ricciardo going to Haas, Sauber, Force India, Williams, and Toro Rosso, or this article is just fake news.


Head to America win the Indy car championship go to Le Mans and win that. Don't think Marko can handle a Aussie for more than a few years.


well, by putting this alternative thing into press Dr. Helmet, i guess, want's to see what MERC and FER are ready to pay to get RIC so he can suss what he can ask for VES. If Merc is fully serious for long therm i'd see 2019 HAM, RIC and 2020 RIC, VES in Merc given HAM gracefully retires and passes the winning torch to RIC, all parties could extract enormous PR from such fairy tale scenario


It looks pretty simple to me.Kimi gone in 19 retired and Ricc moves in.What was so hard about that?Seb is there or not will not matter.


If Ham is 5 times champ by 2020. He will either leave the sport or join Ferrari if offered a drive (to further try and cement his legacy).

Of course I could be completely wrong but that's part of the fun of guessing the future 🙂


If he is 5 times champ, he will go to whichever team has the best car and try to match Schumacher's record.


To be fair, marks stating Ric is on the market is an indication they know teams are chasing him and they don't want to be left in a compromise if he is snapped up. I certainly don't see it as an indication they wouldn't dearly love to keep him. He has performed well above the quality of the car and his team mate and yet doesn't put himself on the primadonna pedestal like many other top drivers. Why wouldn't you want him in your team?


Sidebar James...who is Daniels manager? Has he got what it takes to keep all the balls in the air and catch the right one? As a non-european, it's a lot hard commercially to sell your product?


This year if anything has established Max as a quicker driver even though the points might say a different story. We also know that Daniel is extremely good but he can't afford to wait till next year to decide his future - his value might stop dropping if Max starts to finish races!! My gut says that he has already signed the pre agreement with either Ferrari or Merc...


James, why is Marko doing this statement in your opinion?


Just changing the subject. Now that new footage has emerged from Stroll's car after his coming together with Herr Vettel, showing without doubt that Stroll is the innocent party, surely this end of race incident should be be fully sorted.
1) The collision between the 2 drivers.
2) Vettel removing his steering wheel, not leaving it in the the car as required.
3) Vettel hitching a ride on the side pod of another competitor.
I believe all of these are against regulations and Vettel should be held to account.
Or maybe not, after all it is Mr. Teflon and his equally slippery team involved.