F1 Winter Break
Lewis Hamilton identifies the driver most likely to take his F1 crown
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Nov 2017   |  6:35 am GMT  |  877 comments

In every generation of Formula 1 there is a standout driver, who becomes the benchmark for the others and he is always on the look out for the young challenger who will take his crown away.

Inevitably one day a new challenger comes along and eventually takes over. It’s happened with kings and princes in history and likewise in sports.

The interesting time is the early stages of the overlap, when the established guy spots the challenger in question.

I saw it clearly in 1991/92 with Senna when he clocked Michael Schumacher. He couldn’t help clocking him, to be fair, as Schumacher made it his business to get in Senna’s face from the early stages of his F1 career.

These were the days when drivers would take each other off the road (a la Senna and Prost) and play games of chicken at 200mph; it was a man’s game and a fresh-faced young Schumacher wanted to show he wasn’t scared.

At one test he so enraged Senna that the great Brazilian came over to the Benetton garage and tried to hit him.

Schumacher dominated for some time and seemed to have a number of pretenders to his throne, like Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya, both dubbed the ‘next big thing’ by the media, but neither of whom fulfilled that brief.

Schumacher knew that they wouldn’t and instead identified Fernando Alonso as the driver who would give him a hard time. He noticed him mainly during 2002, when Alonso was a test driver for Renault, having done an initial race season with Minardi.

Alonso looked on course, when he beat Schumacher in 2005 and 2006, but his career took a wrong turn with McLaren in 2007 that he has never truly recovered from.

Alonso noted Lewis Hamilton in 2007, he couldn’t miss him as his team-mate and although Sebastian Vettel won four consecutive titles with Red Bull during a window of time, it is now Hamilton who sits atop the pyramid looking down for the challengers.

What I have noticed progressively during this season, especially when the drivers are together behind the scenes and in the press conference room after qualifying sessions and races, is that Hamilton has identified his challenger and he put that into words recently.

“I’ve got that Max just sitting there waiting to take it,” he said. “So I’ve got to raise the game another level in order to stay ahead of him.”

It has been notable how much Hamilton’s respect for Max Verstappen has grown across this season; you can tell it in the body language. Verstappen, like Schumacher, announced himself to the other drivers last season as very talented, but also an aggressive driver who wasn’t afraid to mix it with the best and there were complaints about his tactics, like moving to block in the braking zone.

But this season he has progressively come of age, beating Daniel Ricciardo in qualifying and as the season has gone on, he has raised his win tally to three. Now all he needs is the car for next season and he will be right there challenging, as Schumacher did to Senna and as Alonso did to Schumacher.

Although he trails Ricciardo in points, it is hard to judge this season between them as both drivers have had quite a bit of unreliability, especially on the engine side, that has hit their chances on race day; Verstappen earlier in the season and Ricciardo more recently.

Career being well managed
The Verstappens cleverly moved recently to shore up Max’s position at Red Bull by offering his services until the end of 2020 at a significantly higher price, which Red Bull’s management accepted and locked him down, ending speculation of a move by Mercedes or Ferrari. At 20, Max has time on his side and there was an opportunity to extract a high price – he can move to Mercedes or Ferrari once Hamilton and Vettel have gone.

Short term, that has Verstappen de facto lead driver in that team and complicated Ricciardo’s life. Although the pair get on fine, it is clear that Ricciardo is not committing to the team for the long term and that his best chance of becoming world champion lies elsewhere.

Sky did a story with Verstappen in Brazil where he spoke about this challenge, noting that it would come down to how strong the Red Bull package is next season, “At the moment he (Hamilton)is the world champion, I’m still not in that position and I hope I can be next year,” said Verstappen.

“We need to wait and see how strong we can be as a team.”

I have huge admiration for Sebastian Vettel and for what he has achieved in F1, but this year has also highlighted some flaws in his game, as the 2014 season did when he was tired and unable to deal with Ricciardo in the first hybrid turbo cars.

In Verstappen you see all the tools and above all the racer’s instinct and aggression, all maturing and Hamilton has rightly identified where the trouble is going to come from.

Ferrari had a wonderful car this year but came up short due to execution, driver mistakes and a lack of ruthlessness. They are sure to challenge next season, but the generational shift will be between two drivers who see a lot of themselves in each other.

What do you think of this rivalry between Hamilton and Verstappen? Do you agree that Max is the next challenger or does it lie somewhere else? Leave your comment in the section below

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I have to agree with this very interesting article. It is harsh on Vettel but true. Two questions come to mind about wasted 2017 talent:
Is Alonso, who I would have on my dream team, fundamentally flawed in terms of his ability to choose and fit in with the right team?
And more importantly for F1 fans, can Red Bull (Renault) step up for Max next year?


2018 will be an interesting year.
When Renault gets it together (and stop masking their failing engines by pointing to Honda or other teams) it should become a fight between Hamilton, Verstappen, Alonso & Vettel.

Let's hope it will become a thriller season.
Great if Hamilton takes his 5th title
Would be great if Verstappen can snatch the title.
Would be amazing if Alons can pull it of and on the sideline harvest Le Mans.....

Otherwise its a boring year between Hamilton en Vettel and Renault having to publicly admit there engines still fails....


Agree, good article but I thought a bit dismissive of Vettel... yes he showed his flaws this year and in 2014 but couldn’t the same be said of Schumi - vs Villenueve etc. Also Hamilton last year letting ROS get inside his mind?
Senna and Prost clearly had their flaws.
All I’m saying is all the greats (and the not so great) have their flaws, and that shouldn’t discount VET from being included in that list.


Vettel had the best car for four years, and only had Webber to contend with as a teammate. For 3 out of their 4 years together, there was little competition from within the team. Along came Danni Ricc, first year in a decent car, and Vettel was suddenly nowhere. Since then, who has he beaten? A rather indifferent Raikonnen. Vettel should be admired for his preparation, consistency, and ruthlessness. He was in the right place at the right time and took advantage. But he's not in the same league as Hamilton and Alonso.


Hamilton only had Rosberg, did you see his performance in Monaco 2016, he was so slow but Hamilton still couldnt pass him without team orders.
Webber was much better than Rosberg, he even beat him when they were team mates.
Did you see the race where MW qualified P2 in a Jaguar?
Did you see MW win in Germany, even with a drive through penalty?


Webber was much better than Rosberg?!? Yeah, right. Webber and Rosberg finished 7-4 in 2006, in Rosberg's rookie year. Then Webber left for Red Bull.

Ralf Schumacher beat Button as a rookie; Heidfeld beat Kubica as a rookie; Heidfeld also beat Kimi as a rookie ... you gonna claim that any of them are better drivers than the rookies they beat?

As Helmut Marko said, Webber's problem was that he only had 2-3 really good weekends in a year. To only have won 9 races, with the cars that he had from 2009-13, is quite hard to believe.

Webber didn't win any junior series as he was coming up, while Rosberg won Formula BMW and GP2.

Nico Rosberg on the whole was a better driver than Mark Webber, hands down.


Webber destroyed nearly every team mate he had, it just shows how good Vettel is.
How good can Rosberg be so good if he has been destroyed by Hamilton consistently since their junior days?
He did come good in 2016, he hit his peak and walked away from F1 as the better driver.
Did you notice when HAM was talking about retirement until he realized VB was a pushover and the WDC was in the bag?
I will bet my house, as soon as HAM faces a real challenge from a team mate he will retire, at 33 he isnt as good as he used to be, but he is great with a weak team mate and no pressure as this year shows


Webber's teammates are a veritable who's who of heavy hitters in F1, right? Sure.

Most of them were punching bags. Alex Yoong, Antonio Pizzonia, Christian Klein, and an aging Coulthard. He lost to Heidfeld in their time together at Williams in 2005, and Coulthard in 2007. Sorry if I don't consider any of those as top tier drivers.


Couldn’t disagree more

Hamilton clearly went up a level in 2017 against a quick Ferrari. You’d struggle to find anyone inside F1 who knows what’s what who does not see it that way


That just shows how good Vettel is, he had to pass his own team mate on track, HAM had team orders.
HAM only seems like he went up a level because his team mate is VB, that Merc is fast.


How about Lewis Hamilton's race car..?? Do you think it has no advantage over the others cars on grid..? Lewis is in the right place with the right vehicle with the right team to winning race after race.. Silver arrows are still a far superior machine and Hamilton is a good driver.. Result is win, win and win.. Lets talk about Max


By the same logic, Hamilton also has had the best car for the last 4 years and been beaten by his team-mate in 1 out of those 4 years (for a world championship, no less).

Hamliton, Alonso and Vettel are all great drivers with little to separate them. Your suggestion that Vettel doesn't belong in the same league as the other two is quite baseless.


2014-2016 Hamilton had the clear best cars.

This year (2017), the SF70H is a match for the Merc. Very little to separate the 2 cars. There are many within the industry that say the SF70H was actually the best all round car on the grid.


Dear Kris, selective memory. Red bull speed difference with respect to Merc is can not even be compared. Red bull had some competition with rival teams. Merc was simply a rocketship with nobody around. So another question to you, who did Hamilton beat, Rosberg (although Rosberg did get one up).


When a driver enjoys a good run of winning streak, they all think that they are unbeatable. We have seen that with Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Alonso and Vettel. The difference here is that Hamilton loves putting down other deivers to suit his mental game going forward. That way if he lost to Vettel or Ricciardo in the next two years, he can blame the car. This is one of the things Ham followers love about him. Listening to various podcasts, reading articles and expert opinions, it is almost universal that Ham loves taking a swing at a few drivers that challenge him and loves the mind game. This article is just extension of that.


F zero, remember the other week when you said you were sick and tired of people making stuff up.......


Can’t convince someone who ignores the facts.


TimW, including JA and many other pundits did the same analysis when Schumacher won 5 in a row. Of course we know what happened when Renault came back with the suitable package for Alonso.

And Alonso said it in an interview with Martin Brundle that he is the best driver on the grid and he will beat anyone in an equal car on the current grid.

Hamilton blowing his own trumpet just like Alonso. It’s called giving red meat to his base. If that’s not example enough to biased mob, listen to his words about Rosberg every time he mentions anything about Rosberg. Please stop living in alternative factual world.


Agree FZ, We know who the media darlings are...it's very plain to see...
Talk of Vettels flaws and how he was unravelled by Ricciardo, but no talk of Hamiltons and how he was unravelled by Rosberg.
The article is essentially all about Max, but he is STILL behind his team mate with EQUAL unreliability (in fact RIC has has more grid penalties).
Looks like it's selling column inches though....(or clicks, or whatever...)


You surely can't be serious about the grid penalties.

You can't compare grid penalties to DNF's because grid penalties still provides the driver with a good chance to score points.

Sure Daniel has had his share of bad luck this season but comparing the points lost due to bad luck, Max lost considerably more than Ricciardo, while his DNF's boosted Daniel's score more than the other way around.


Just like he didn't get the "bad luck" when he came through the first corners unscathed in Mexico, yet the two others involved in the contact had to struggle back to the pit lane. Simply it is all racing and one has to take the good with the bad if one chooses to race hard.


Sure, if the bad has to do with damage or penalties caused by his style of racing. I was talking about the DNF's due to technical failures.


bs, ok you got me...i meant to say grid penalties as well. I didn't mean to infer they were the same. However grid penalties have cost Daniel many more places than Max.


On the grid, yes... Most of the times Max was caught in the middle of the race... no grid penalty but also no points.


Sorry, but I cannot understand your point on bad luck and technical failures as I was talking about contact and both teammates have retired four times each mid race. The other poster was pointing out that RIC had suffered further drivetrain setbacks beyond the four DNF's.

Anyway, another battle starts on track tomorrow.


@ LKFE...very well stated and very very true.


Lkfe, perhaps the reason people don't talk about Nico's triumph over Lewis and Danny Ric's over Seb in the same breath, is they were totally different circumstances, and caused people to reach very different conclusions. In 2014 Ricciardo destroyed Seb by every measure, he was ahead on wins, in qualifying and the 'ahead in 2 car finish' measure. The points difference between them was 71, and there was no reliability miss match,, Seb had 3 retirements and Dan had two, and a disqualification.
In 2016 however, Lewis was ahead in every measure bar the final points tally, and that was only five points. Also it was of course the final year of a four season partnership between Nico and Lewis, over the course of which Lewis beat Nico three one.


Tim, we can pick through the entrails of 2016 as much as you want and blame reliability, but the harsh reality is that the WDC was still there for Lewis to take, even with the reliability issues he had. The thing that was in his control was his mindset and it went missing at various stages. He switched off after the 2015 US GP and let Rosberg reel off 7 straight victories...almost like has was playing chicken.
Lewis has more natural talent in the left pinky than Rosberg (without taking away from the massive improvement that Rosberg made).
Time to move on and call a spade a spade.
If Lewis gets a mulligan for 2016, why doesn't Seb for 2014? (This from a RIC fan!)
The reality is neither of them showed up!


Lkfe. The reason Seb doesn't get a mulligan for 2014 is Dan beat him in all measures like I said before! Nico won the first four races last season, but Lewis' car failed in qualifying for two of those. You are correct that it would have been possible for Lewis to win last year despite the reliability mis match, and he came incredibly close to doing just that, but no one has managed to deliver an error free season yet, and Nico, while not on Lewis' level was certainly quick enough to make the most of the opportunity that chance gave him, this is why I always say he deserves his championship, but it is clear that Lewis was the better driver in that team last year, the points totals in races unaffected by reliability clearly show this, just as the same measure tells us that Danny Ric was the better driver at Red Bull in 2014, and in 2015 when Kvyat outscored him.
Btw, I don't give Lewis any 'mulligans' for losing to Jenson in 2011, he made too many errors and deserves that black mark.


Well said...you may go...


F zero. Alternative facts are "Hamilton loves putting other drivers down to suit his mental game". Does he? Have you asked him? I have seen him say critical things about other drivers in the past, but I have also heard him say positive things as well, you have no idea what his reasons or motivations are for doing this, and shouldn't pretend that you do. Read the article again, pay attention to what he says about Max and tell me again that Lewis thinks he is unbeatable.
Your original comment was fact free, and I notice didn't contain the phrases "in my view" or "in my opinion" anywhere, your reply was bereft of any of the examples you have been asked to provide, although I see further down you claim to have done so!


You make me laugh with your bitterness mate. Let me tell you something, I did ask him in person. At that time he had one WDC to his name and he was with going out with Nicole. He didn’t answer.

I have more idea than you will ever have in this lifetime. My comments wasn’t my opinion, it is my belief. And I did read the article, just didn’t read with glasses on like you mate.


F zero, no examples, no facts, just a personal attack on me, and a highly dubious claim at superior knowledge. Hardly convincing is it?


Perhaps you could show us your "Oracle Of The World" merit badge.
I agree with TimW and not because I'm "bitter", I'm just tired, like he is, of people claiming facts with zero substantiation.


Whose bitterness? High time for some self-reflection, methinks.

That's what you used your time with a global sportsman for? Hmm.

Your opinion, and your belief, are one and the same thing.

Claiming to have more idea than another, is a debate shutdown attempt, usually employed by those bereft of convincing argument.


You say it, but you offer no examples. I recall Lewis saying he was loving the fight with Sebastian, and regularly made note of his abilities and his titles.

Someone else posted this:


Yeah, that sounds like Hamilton putting down Vettel alright.

Let's cut to what's really happening ... you don't like the article, and the bit about Vettel, so you're spouting off about it.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Agree. And it's so blatant!
He's even still swinging at Rosberg.


Should be easy to give examples then.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Yes it is.


Go on then.....

Ricciardo Aficionado

I can't be bothered googling Hamilton. I'll leave that to you. Here are three off the top of my head you can start with.
Drivers briefing recently... Made a joke of Vettel during a discussion about curbs.
In the press...
Told DR to beat his teammate first. The transcript is actually quite a measured and valid statement but out here in the wild you betcha it's being thrown around as a dig at DR...
In the drivers press conference, 5 minutes after Rosberg became champion, Hamilton put it down to reliability...

Have fun TW...

(Here's a bonus one because it's not actually at a driver... Press conference at some venue he rips on Honda. That'll come up in any youtube search you do 🙂


Don’t bother mate. Knowing these guys, they won’t even read half of your comment or claim that they have no idea of what you are talking about.


F zero. Good advice, when commenting on here it seems best to make up some nonsense about your least favourite driver, and then respond to the inevitable calls for evidence to back up your claims with insults rather than facts. Just to be clear I have read every word of your comments on this thread, and so far you have delivered zero facts, zero examples and zero evidence.


zero facts, zero examples and zero evidence.

I think the clue is in his name 🙂


RA, is that it? He made a joke about Seb, said something you describe as balid and measured and pointed out the (real) reliability miss match between himself and Nico last year. Unimpressive to say the least, and not teally examples of him "putting other drivers down", which was the original claim. No cigar for you......

Ricciardo Aficionado

I don't think anything Hamilton says would strike you as pernicious.


Ra. I think he has said some pretty daft things over the years, but no more than any of the others. What I haven't heard him do however, is make a habit of "putting other drivers down", which was the original accusation.


Just have KRB.


Innocent question but I'm guessing the people on this thread would know. Has Hamilton ever congratulated Rosberg for the 2016 WDC win?


Has Hamilton ever congratulated Rosberg for the 2016 WDC win?

Yes, of course he has. In the official post race FIA press conference - he said "congratulations to Nico, he did a fantastic job and he had a great year".He also congratulated the team - as he always does.


Andrew, I'm sure he did, I definitely remember him being interviewed straight after the race in Abu Dhabi where he was asked if Nico had won the title or if he had lost it. From memory he said "I don't want to take anything away from Nico's championship, because he deserves it".


Nothing harsh on Vettel. This is just one man's opinion, and a man who's self-absorbed for that matter


Oh geez!

"All units, attack the person! I repeat, full attack on the character of the author!"


One of my favourite drivers who should have stayed at Mclaren for the 2008 season to avenge his defeat in the standings by the future great, Hamilton, and obviously to have another crack at a title.

Horner and Brawn have also revealed that they both tried to sign him for Redbull and BrawnF1, respectively.

The Spaniard is not done yet, however, as he is getting a Renault PU next year. I can't wait.


Age is catching up to Alonso. He can still drive at a high level. He should have been at least a four time champion by now but he didn't used to work well with others and neither did Hamilton for that matter. Ross Brawn sure helped him out by convincing him to move to Mercedes. He wanted to go to Red Bull but that wasn't happening.

The most interesting thing with Hamilton is that he has won with different teams. Vettel may do that.

In a way Shumi took his team with him to Ferrari and he was good with feedback on making his cars better. Whether someone can ever reach his wins and especially his 7 titles is hard to say. Hamilton has a small chance on wins.

A long time ago I thought Alonso might have been the one to catch those records. He may win another title If McLaren comes good but the odds aren't good.


I've always admired Alonsos abilities but been perplexed by some of his career decisions. If the F1 gods permit next year Renault will provide a strong and reliable engine as a platform for an Alonso resurgence. The mark of the truly great drivers is their ability to drive their steeds beyond what should be their limits and get results that one could not realistically expect but for the sacrament of their talent. It is not necessary for the truly great drivers to stand on the podium let alone win. Recall Senna in 1993. I doubt that Alonso can win the WDC in 2018 but it would be to the benefit of the sport if he were able to close his career with a season long display of his magic. Only time will tell . Roll on 2018 ! Have a Merry Xmas and god bless us every one.


Absolutely! I think what is important is that Red Bull and Mercedes have been the 2 top teams since 2009. That was the big change year. Before that, McLaren and Ferrari were battling it out. If you include Brawn (2009), which became Mercedes the next year, every championship has been won by those 2. OK, Ferrari and McLaren have been close at times.

That explains Fernando's problem. He was dead right to go to McLaren in 2007. But, to have Hamilton as a team mate, no-one expected how that would turn out! So, 2 years were wasted back at Renault. But, he was still stuck. He did not have much choice. Hamilton went to Mercedes at exactly the right time. Vettel left Red Bull at exactly the right time!

Also, I think you are right about the Renault engine - it is key. If they can get level with Mercedes and Ferrari next year, then we could have a 4-way battle for the championship (like 2010) - Lewis, Seb, Max and Fernando!


I can still remember how the so called "experts" talked about Hamilton and his move to Mercedes from Mclaren! It all seems so ridiculous now!


Actually a 3 to 5 way battle. I remember when at many races the worst teams only finished 10 seconds behind the best in the race.

Now that gap is much higher. There is still a big difference now tho.


I have never been a McLaren fan. But for F1’s sakes it’s important that McLaren is at least on par with RB. They ar the second most successful team and one of the most historic teams after all. As for Alonso’s chances to show what he is made of, I’ll be watching the pre season very carefully first. It will come down to how reliable they are first, then the gap to the front runners. Even as a customer team, I expect McLaren to do well based on their budget, quality of the drivers and resources on board. So, let’s wait and see what happens in the first test.


Lewis, Seb, Max and Ricciardo. I don't see Alonso in the mix with a Mclaren. He will fight the FI cars.


It's more on Renault. Red Bull likely have the best chassis currently. A stronger Renault engine will bring McLaren and Renault itself more into the game.


That's where the biggest risk is for MV. He's gambled his next few years to a Renault engine (who want nothing to do with RBR) next year and an unknown engine after that. Then he's got to make a new engine choice in 2021 that will decide his fate for the next say 3 years after that.
Depending on how all that works out and one more bad choice in 2021, and he might find himself 26 and still the "next best thing" and still without a WDC.
Quite surprised he has given up a likely 100% chance of genuine contention in a 2018 Mercedes or Ferrari for a Renault that's still going to be a few tenths down most likely in 2018. And RBR and MV will likely find themselves falling further down the "preferred customer" list from next year. Renaults best and brightest will be in the factory team, next best and brightest will be stationed at McClaren, and the worst (of a no doubt still talented lot) will be with RBR. Not to mention special engine modes and software that might not always find its way into RBR's hands until after the others have had a play.
I think he's made a bad choice tying himself to RBR at this stage, but then again he might know something we all don't know.


I bet that contract has performance clauses or he knows something about Honda that I don't or Renault for that matter.


Red Bull also have the skill as a team to communicate effectively - Newey is a strong asset. Their engineering is also stronger than McLaren.

Getting a different engine supplier is not going to bring them into the game - not by a long shot. They need to improve in many areas.

Their failing is not all Honda's fault. As Renault will not be their savior

McLaren need a Gordon Murray and they don't have one. Zac is a fail on all counts and this team, next year, is in serious trouble. Alonso will again start to belittle the engine supplier and this time he will not stop there - the team will be his next target.


Alonso belittle the engine supplier are you kidding????
He doesn't discriminate he belittles everybody.


Well changing engines can't hurt McLaren. Their chassis is good well lets say 4th best at worst.

What happened with Honda yeah that was the fault of McLaren and that size zero thing but Ron Dennis was behind that not Zak Brown.

Honda started from scratch without that concept this year. Still the reliability was terrible. It wasn't just Alonso this time. McLaren really needs to finish higher in the order next year. Last or next to last place will ruin their name if it hasn't already and they have other things besides F1. As for their engineering being poor, they are not bad at that.


I think you are right, RBR will probably be a real contender next year. I’m sure a big part of Verstappens new deal was guarantees Newey would be much more involved than he has been for the last four seasons.

When Verstappen gets a car that is close to or even the equal of Mercedes I don’t think there will be much of a contest. Both Hamilton and Vettel have their weaknesses. Alonso doesn’t but he’s getting on a bit. Verstappen only has one weakness and that is his inexperience, but we have seen him grow year by year. As for the rest his clearly a great qualifyer, the best at overtaking and defending, great at taking care of his tyres, a great starter and a true «rain master». When he gets a car capable of qualifying on pole he will do so and nobody will have neither the ability or guts to pass him.


C'mon, you can't claim max doesn't have any weaknesses other than inexperience. He does make mistakes here and there and when you've been racing since you were a nipper it can't always be put down to age. I'm an unbiased fan that just loves racing and from my observations I would put ricciardo down as the best overtaker, Hamilton as THE rainmaster, HAM again as quali king (Seb just behind). Vettel as the best at building a first lap lead. Alonso most tenacious and consistent in race performance...there are so many different skills and attributes required and although he's clearly very special you MIGHT just see some of his flaws surface when it's squeaky bum time in the closing races of a tight championship battle wwith a WDC at stake. Just my opinion, but it's an unbiased one.


For a team that's apparently in trouble, McLaren's performance has increased pretty sharply across the season...


These sharp increases your describing are related to the improved engine reliability. That power unit is gone next year and according to most - its about time.

My feeling is Honda is equally as anxious to leave Zac and McLaren. Renault under Cyril is about as lost as McLaren under Zac so its going to be a sh__ show next year. Wait and see.


The structure at the baby Bulls is completely different from McLaren. Honda could benefit greatly from this.

I think McLaren will be the most disappointing team next year - but we'll see.


Renault thought they had a bad time with Red Bull with their temperamental engines. With Mclaren it's just gone atomic. Honda messed up big time and they've turfed them out.
Mclaren has mega expectations with Renault engines so the management stress has risen.
But it's a good stress. Renault and Mclaren that's a marketing dream. With the French GP, Mclaren will be enjoying the limelight.
If Renaults own team falls by the wayside at the home GP they'll have Mclaren. Meanwhile Toro Rosso (2019 Red Bul) will be cursing the day they got into bed with a Honda.
Max is the next great and Lewis is right to use his as his rival.
As for hot head Vettel he is less interesting than a drying snot bubble.


The problem with these tantalising changing of the guard battles is that they are inevitably decided by nature. Sadly tragedy ended the Senna/Schumacher rivalry before it really began, Alonso faced an aging and tired Schumacher rather than when he was at his best, and I get the feeling the same may just happen between Hamilton and Max. At the moment Lewis is still in his prime, but realistically this battle may only really happen during 2018 as there are doubts over RBR once they lose the Renault deal. By the time Max is on the market to get into a top team again, Lewis may very well be retired.


I agree with your sentiments per se, but Ayrton Senna's death wasn't due to "natural forces", it was due to sloppiness and complacency on the Imola circuit owners, and most of the grand prix circus was complicit in that "it's alright, everything is safe as houses now" attitude in the early to mid 90s. There had been warnings about Tamburello before: Piquet Senior in 1987 and Gerhard Berger in 1989, both were hurt but made full recoveries, and the attitude from the gentlemen in Paris was "well there we have it, grand prix racing is now mortality free." That was the prevailing attitude before Imola 1994................

There had been several warnings about high speed impacts before Imola; Alex Zanardi at Spa 1993, Martin Donnelly at Jerez 1994 or even JJ Lehto at Silverstone early 1994 had all suffered nearly fatal injuries when they hit unprotected barriers/concrete walls, and yet nobody in authority thought "Hang on a minute, isn't flinging a car against rock hard concrete or guardrail at over 150 MPH going to cause a fatality?"


@ Gaz Boy...what a load of nonsense. Motor racing is dangerous and all drivers are totally aware of that. F1 drivers get paid massive amounts to compete, in full the knowledge of that fact. It is their decision to race and and they can withdraw their labour at any stage. To suggest that the blame can be laid at anyone elses feet is disingenious. Senna's death was either his own fault, or an engineering failure. That wall has been passed thousands of times and how many times have there been a fatality? The wall didn't just leap out in front of him.


Gaz Boy, Senna discussed that corner with the track officials before the race they suggested to put tyres there to absorb any impact. Senna said no it's not a good idea. You cannot blame the circuit owners for what happened tragic as it was.


I have to agree. If Max gets the equipment he will take the crown one day. Hamilton didn't even try to slow him up in Malaysia but in Mexico he mixed it up with both him and Vettel and came out on top.

He will some day be in the best car I think. DR is also very good but Max is very aggressive and he is still young. Hamilton is correct but he may have a few battles yet with Vettel but age is the advantage Max has.


Schumacher was driving at a vey high level in 2005-2006. The car just didn't work in 2005.

2006 was a very close season and could have gone either way.


2006 Suzuka - I can still hear Mr J Allen shouting "Oh no!" when Schumi's engine grenaded itself, along with his title hopes............

I don't imagine James was being partisan for Michael, it was probably more he - and everyone else - wanted to see Alonso and Schumi slug out the title destiny until Brazil, and that uncorked engine meant the (at the time!) clean shaven young Spaniard was pretty much a shoe in for the championship.

Still, that's racing, and arguably Schumi could have won another title at Suzuka in 1998 had it not been for a puncture, so Michael could have been a NINE times world champion had things panned out his way in 1998 and 2006 in Japan - just shows how determined and motivated he was to be the best.


But then again, 2003 WDC should be Kimi.


Andrew, Kimi was great that year, 2 points off the title with only one win to Michael's five, and all in a year old car!


Watched a planet earth episode and RA called the Arctic Bob Cat as TENACIOUS. Hamilton is that. Max too. Alonso was as you can see from his body language, but has lost it recently. Tenacity.


Everyone would've lost tenacity after so many seasons in such POS car. You don't have to look too far - just remember how dejected and uninterested Hamilton was when having to drive that dog of a car McLaren had with no hope of fighting Red Bull.


Talk about new talent being heralded – I clearly remember the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix when Senna very nearly snatched a win from Prost in a contentious wet race.
I'd love to have known Prost's thoughts after that race!


The half-points race that cost Prost the title..


Something along the lines of, “Here’s your check, Jacky?”


Prost would rue that race all year. He lost the championship by 0.5 pts, and Monaco was half points, largely because he was waving for it to be called. It would have been better for him if he finished 2nd there in a 75% full distance race.


I noticed that before this season, there was a worry about Max concerning the extra forces he had to cope with, with the new car. He'd have a disadvantage with his teenage body over the other more mature drivers. So Max got to training, and when I look at the drivers now, he's maybe the most hulked up body of them all. Maybe James can confirm this from having seen the drivers up close. And the other drivers, Ricciardo, Vettel, the rest, seem the same. This leaves the question, were the other drivers sleeping or lazy, or did Verstappen overdo it? The new kids are quite small yet coping, and one could argue that extra bulk means extra mass and less speed.


Ricciardo is way beefier than he was last year.


Max has always had a big neck. He is in great shape now.


"hulked up"
Awesome!! 🙂


It's clear Max is the most talented of the coming generation, but how many races and championships he wins is impossible to say. It will depend on his machinery and the decisions he takes. And who is to say there isn't a brilliant 14-year-old out there who will emerge in a few years to seize Max's crown, as Lewis did to Alonso, who everyone had pegged as the heir apparent?

Ricciardo Aficionado

Yep it could be LeClerc in a Ferrari that thwarts Max's destiny.


There will be that 14 year old. One thing is certain. Time gets us all in the end. Some value money. I think what we do with our time while we are here is the most valuable thing there is.

Wasted time can never be replaced but money and things can be remade. People and time is precious indeed.


Personally, I think Hamilton will dominate for a few years, then Max is going to have his hands full with an even younger Lando Norris, who looks to be possibly even better than Max.


Well that would be interesting. I don't know how good he is...but he has a cool name! There are lots of names in the mix, like Gasly. But it wasn't long ago that drivers like Grosjean and Hulk...even Bottas...were being talked of as Champion material. Potential is one thing, but delivering under intense pressure and scrutiny week in week out is something very few drivers can do.


Norris is the youngest ever karting world champion (14), won Euro F3 championship in rookie year and is going up to F2 next year. If he wins that as well then it's safe to say he's pretty special.


...or could the other challengers to Max already be in F1 in the form of Sainz and Ocon? Oddly enough both older than Verstappen, but less experienced, they look like potential future challengers in the right cars - albeit not yet on Max's level


You're seriously arguing that Carlos Sainz has less experience than Max Verstappen?


I know many, including James, really rate Ocon, and I am hardly in a position to disagree...but he hasn't blown my socks off this year. He has done well...but hasn't shown anything like the precocity of Max. We will know more about Sainz in a year's time. If he makes Hulk look ordinary, then we'll know he's the real deal.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Like all reputations in F1, it's to do with the car.
Lewis was just a Button or Raikkonen prone to flakiness and form fluctuations until he got in that Mercedes. Now lo and behold he's "matured" into an all-time great.


Hamilton has won a race every year he has been in F1!

Ricciardo Aficionado

I concede this is an exceptional feat.


I think your recall is off. Even before Mercedes, Hamilton was THE star of the show. He's been that ever since he burst onto the scene in 2007, with a frankly incredible rookie year. He's always had the quality of making things happen on the track, that would cause anticipation for viewers. Max is very similar in that respect. He has that X factor.

Ricciardo Aficionado

That's not my recall. That's your recall. The world has a lot of perspectives!! It's freaky.


You would correct someone politely if their recall was clearly wrong, right? Like if they recalled the plot to a movie completely wrong, or if they forgot the actual year that something happened?

The F1 Team Principals poll is pretty illustrative. It's been happening since 2008, which works for us because that was Seb's first full season.

If we just look at those poll results from 2008-12 (i.e. before Lewis went to Mercedes), and hand out points per year on the 25-18-15...4-2-1 basis, we get the following:

VET 96
ALO 92
HAM 82
BUT 54
RAI 46.7 (pro rated; 28 total from '08, '09 & '12)
WEB 36

Hamilton was just considered like Button and Raikkonen?! Don't think so. If we look at the actual points from those polls, it's even more stark.

The 5 year running total top 10 (2008 & 2009 poll points adjusted with a 2.73 factor):

Sebastian Vettel: 968
Fernando Alonso: 929
Lewis Hamilton: 912
Jenson Button: 573
Kimi Räikkönen: 551.7 pro-rated; 331 for '08, '09, '12
Mark Webber: 364
Felipe Massa: 330
Robert Kubica: 293
Nico Rosberg: 188
Nico Hülkenberg: 68

It's pretty clear that those in the know have always considered Hamilton a cut above, from the likes of Button and Raikkonen. There's been a pretty clear Big Three in F1 for awhile now. Max is on the cusp now of forcing his way into that lead group.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Yeah your figures do question my statement. They also make a mockery of this...

In every generation of Formula 1 there is a standout driver, who becomes the benchmark for the others and he is always on the look out for the young challenger who will take his crown away.

Which is what I take issue with.
PS. Nice work on the stat compilation.


Not sure how it makes a mockery of that statement. Care to elaborate?


Less experienced? Sainz has exactly the same number of F1 races under his belt as Verstappen. And both Sainz and Ocon race formula cars longer than Max does.

Ricciardo Aficionado

The hype on Max counts for a couple of seasons!


Max has gotten to the point where he is very good, but like Lewis said in response to to a question on Daniel wanting to challenge him in the same car, he should concentrate on beating his teammate first. The impetus seems to be with him, but even when blessed with superior natural raw speed and skill, you can't win a title if you are behind on the points ladder at seasons end, as the Senna/Prost era showed.


@bryce..i am not upset and will never be upset by anything you post on here.. your claims are unsubstantiated. hamilton and alonso were forced to cut their hair short at mclaren and now, they both wear them aaa long as the choose. here a picture of hamilton when he first arrived at mclaren....


That picture is from 2006. The year before his F1 debut.


that picture was taken at the end of the 2006 f1 season, so he did look like that when he arrived at mclaren.


why don't to compare pictures of all drivers 10 years ago with their current pictures to understand how they have aged rather than making such a comment. look at their postures too and you will notice hamilton looks less tired. like it or not, his f1 career will last for as long as it does and he will be as successful as he will be.


Genetics at work, look at Hamilton's father, looks more like his brother?


You brought up Lewis was youmger looking than his fellow older drivers, whilst I simply pointed out hair plugs was the main reason why and then you get upset. Still I play with my new hair.


alonso forgot that hulkenberg won le man at his first attempt yet has never stood on an f1 podium.


hamilton told ricciardo to focus on beating his teammate rather than wanting to join mercedes. with the points score as it stands, no one believes ricciardo is beating verstappen, except the antifans..just like no one believes button beat hamilton except the haters..


Look at the scoreboard. Ricciardo is beating Verstappen.


i looked at the scoreboard and saw the entire redbull team wrapped around verstappen.


He already is beating his teammate.. if you look at the scores even RIC would love its: quali and wins.. points somewhere in the lWDC standing are not that important. I guess RIC is glad to change all his points for a extra win.

Kamiel from Piquet to Hakkinen

@Andrew. I think you are right Andrew. Ocon and Sainz will definitely be challengers for the crown of F1 too. That makes for a possible Senna-Prost situation again, since neither Sainz nor Ocon is having it from Max. No friendships there.


To be fair, Hamilton said that of Ricciardo, exactly because he regards Verstappen to be better, despite the points advantage of Daniel.

Telling Daniel to first beat his teammate, doesn't work two ways. Either Daniel has beaten Max or Max has beaten Daniel. It seems in Lewis' mind Max has had the meassure of Dan. Therefore Max doesn't need to beat Daniel. He has already done so.


Except that Max hasn't beaten Daniel.


in my mind verstappen beat ricciardo more often than not, ov er this season.


I wish both drivers well in Lewis' mind game championship.


Oh the points ladder again...

VER has outraced RIC more then the other way around. VER lost lots of points because of car failure and being knocked out a few times. And when it happened he was mostly in front of RIC.
When did RIC have his car failures?


Ricciardo has had more grid penalties than Verstappen.


Were you watching the same season i was watching! Half of Max's dnf's were his own fault, running in to others. Max is a great front runner but cant overtake without contact. Riciardi is exactly the opposite. Ou can race wheel to eheel with him


horner was watching the same season too, was he?


There is only this little difference. Max has his fights upfront while Ricciardo overtakes the midfield.


Yeah like that time Ricciardo overtook Bottas and Raikkonen at Spa to take third. Midfielders pfft.


This is such nonsense you must be kidding right?! If not I feel really sorry for you. Must be hard being you.

Just watch the Chinese GP and tell me where does he make contact.


7 DNF‘s :
4x Car failure : BAH, CAN, AZB, BEL
3x collision:
ESP: doesn‘t run into others but gets hit from RAI who got hit from BOT
AUT: doesn’t run into others but gets hit from ALO who got hit from KVY
SIN: we all know what happened there

So your statement that half of his DNF‘s are his own fault is complete nonsense.
If they would be, why on earth would RB want to keep him?


Yeah, the points ladder. The same one James wrote of in comparing them in above, that for some years now has taken into account the results of every race and on which being ahead at the end of the season just happens to be the only way to get a championship.


ricciardo’s wrapped both arms around that points table while redbull wrap themselves around verstappen. i wonder why that is..


Because Ricciardo wants to drive a car that can win the world championship. He knows while the Red Bull car has a renault engine it won't happen.


I daresay Ricciardo can neither beat Hamilton nor Vettel in his current form.


@ Robert...Put Ricciardo in either a Ferrari or a Mercedes and t i think your words would be manifestly edible!



Baseless, as Axx1 would succinctly put it.

All of Ricciardo's wins have been gifts, the same way you described how Redbull gifted Monaco to Hamilton, so there is no way of knowing if Ricciardo could win in a Mercedes or Ferrari through merit.

So your statement is baseless as Axx1 would say.


@ FanF1...I'm sure Robert can answer for himself! You're current hang up is noted...WOW! You've hit my inbox with 11 posts within an 8hr period. That has to be a record here, surely? This is nothing short of obsessional but i'm sure that you know that. I have a quick question for you....have you always posted here under the 'FanF1' sig? A brief yes or no is all that is needed.



Aw, tapping out? Don't start what you can't finish, Kenneth.

By the way, this is a comments section and I have the same number of comments from you that you have from me. Obsessed much?

Why do you guys always assume that "this must be the same guy who disagrees with me just using another name!"

No, it just means that there are more people that disagree with you and you can't accept it.

I don't need another name to expose your double standards to suit your arguments.

Like calling Hamilton's win at Monaco as a "gift" to devalue while deliberating leaving out that all of your boy, Ricciardo's wins, were obtained this way.

Remember, this is not my standard, it is yours.


@ FanF1....Is that a simple 'yes' or 'no'? Hardly. Your hang up is still manifesting itself in each and every post you make. Time you got over it. Another question, since the new engine regs were introduced in '14, if Hamilton was driving the Red Bull would he have won three WDC's. A simple 'yes' or 'no' would be appreciated. Yes, it's hypothetical but i would like to hear your response. Simple question, simple answer.....



Another gem from double standard Ken. Your hangups also manifest itself every time you post. Time to give it up, as well.

Simple question, simple answer: Using your Monaco 2016 standards for gift wins, has Ricciardo ever won on merit?

Yes or No?


why can't ricciardo lead his engineers to build him a faster car?
i wonder what you said of hamilton when he left mclaren for mercedes.


Same reason Hamilton couldnt help fix Mclaren, he ran away to Mercedes and tried to take credit for Schumacer and Rosberg's work.


hamilton would’ve fixed mclaren if they respected him enough to let him. their middle management disrespected him simply because he joined them aged 13. he tried to go back to say high to the mclaren staff during the 2013 campaign and one of them blocked his path only to be sacked for treating hamilton with so much disrespect.
if hamilton was respected at mclaren half as much as he’s respected at mercedes, he would’ve won them several more championships.


So i guy got sacked for disrespecting Hamilton by a team you say disrespected Hamilton?
Makes no sense, sorry


i’ve seen pictures of hamilton on holiday with one of the owners’ daughter, diving off a yatch together. that yatch was her dads.


thought i said some of the middle management and below disrespected hamilton and sited an example of that. there was also a video clip of a mechanic who offered his hand to hamilton for a handshake but as hamilton went to shake his hand, he retracted and stroked his hair backwards. i wonder what happened to him. i haven’t seen him in the paddock since. the owners love hamilton of cause. they still do and wish he’d return....


Hamilton won a race every year with McLaren, and a championship.

Schumacher and Rosberg's work? Did you see the 2012 Mercedes? The car that ate its tires so fast that they always dropped back in races? That trait continued in 2013, even after the infamous tire test (who was testing then?). In 2014 it was a brand new car, with a brand new engine. Not sure how you credit Rosberg or Schumi with any of that. It was Hamilton that was able to get the most out of the car, such that Mercedes felt the need to create a dossier (after Malaysia '14) for Rosberg, to explain to him where Lewis was finding all his time, while doing it with less fuel usage.

As James said at the time when Hamilton signed up, Mercedes getting Hamilton helped them to kick on to the next level.


you ok? ....you sound threatened?


who's the anti...aveli?


and Inshallahura and JJJJJJ ......!!


kvyat scores more points than the current toro rosso drivers put together and yet he got dumped. i wonder what happened to that points table. button scored more points than hamilton at mclaren but mercedes went chasing hamilton with an elevated multi million pound contract while mclaren offered button a much diminished financial package to renew his contract. i wonder what happened to that points table of yours.


Doesn't change the facts. All that stuff in the background doesn't mean a thing. At the end of the day the number of points you have determines your position in the world championship.


except no one ever talk about your points position if you didn’t finish at the top of the table..


Sure points are the only way to a wdc but i think potential says more than a snaphot.

Looking at it that way i would put my 5 cents on Max. He is more likely to get the wdc in the years to come than Ricciardo


on the desperate turn to the points table for comfort.
all f1 teams use laptimes and consistency to choose their drivers. like a certain rookie scored 9 podiums in the first 9 f1 races. never will that be repeated in our lifetime.


I never said he wasn't more likely and clearly stated that he has the impetus. Still, a full season with all its potential ups and downs is a fair snapshot at this stage.


just you watch but promise not to weep..


James said : „Although he trails Ricciardo in points, it is hard to judge this season between them..“

There is no denial he trails RIC, but there is always a story behind it.

When KVY finished the season with more points was he a better driver? Or when ROS beat HAM last year?

In Spain he made the move on RAI. RAI gave him space enough, but then RAI got punted by BOT. So how VER is himself to blame is ridiculous.
Same as in Austria, after his clutch infected bas start he was already giving ALO enough space, was even way over the curbs, when ALO gets punted by KVY. So again how can you put blame on him? Same as Singapore.

You should ask yourself why HAM is talking about VER and not so much about RIC.
Don’t get me wrong I like RIC, but he trailed VER on track to much this year, while it being his 4th RB season and VER‘s 1.5th..


@ Andre....'why Hamilton is talking about Verstappen and not so much about Ricciardo.? Maybe they are the two drivers that threaten him and by not talking about Ricciardo [so much as he has in the past] just puts more pressure on Ricciardo who will be battling Verstappen. He's playing games with them and hopefully it will blow back. All that however is just pure speculation but then again Mercedes will, if the current trend stretches into '18, still have a significant performance edge for both championships.


I reckon it has something to do with Ricciardo's imperviousness to pressure. Put more pressure on Max, though...


I think you (and others) are over-thinking/over-analysing it.
I personally don't think HAM puts that much thought into it - he is just giving an honest opinion. Most would agree that Max has had a better year then RIC despite the points table.
I'm just hoping to see some more good racing next year regardless of who comes out on top. The biggest thing I'm praying for is a competitive Renault PU so McLaren can get back to the top step where it belongs 🙂


@ Bleed Orange...Don't ever underestimate the ability of Hamilton to play mind games and try to gain any advantage he can by whatever means he can employ. That's being an F1 driver today. To think otherwise is naive. By fostering internecine battles between team mates it effectively reduces competition and a degree of outright challenge to others. That is witnessed at almost each and every race. When team mates duke it out it is the followers that get to reap the benefit in many cases.


More to the point Ken, The media savvy Hammo knows that if he talks about Verstappen, he'll get himself in the papers!!


Lkfe, your point would be valid if Lewis had delivered his opinion on Verstappen un prompted, but he was just answering a question. Surely the real truth here is that you guys are all smarting because he didn't say Ricciardo when asked who his next challenger will be.....


@TimW... True.


Thats also why Lewis prefers Dan as a team mate, i think that is also why MV signed up for Red bull, Lewis would never allow MV in the same team, he knows that at his age he wont beat a young MV, who will only get better.


Pretty much this. Everything is about Verstappen these days in the media, whether he warrants it or not.


@ LKFE...True.


typical anti statement that is....why would hamiton want to get in the papers? he has more following than any of those papers out there.


I think you are wrong about Hamilton.
I watched him comment on the race in Mexico. They showed him the start, three drivers of three different teams battling into the first corner. As he was watching he literally lit up and said ”This is cool! This is the battle I’ve been waiting for for years!“

He wants to compete for victories, he wants more battles for victories.
Because he knows that even how good he himself is, the last four years (besides 2017) the only real threat was from his teammate. Because the Mercedes was way better than the other cars.


@ Andre... Great post.


Don't get me wrong either. I like Max (allowing for his youth) and like Lewis as a driver as well for that matter. I stated above that Max is very good and the impetus is with him, having also been amazed by and praised him on many occasions, but that doesn't stop me seeing past the hyperbole that is associated with his rise.


Don't forget Max also took out himself a few times.
Ruthless, racing incident, whatever you call it, he scrapped more carbon than RIC


but still better at driving his car than ricciardo is..


That is simply and provably not true.


i understand why you only have one gold star assigned to your name.


I understand your arguments are weak. I bet you show those gold stars to your friend.


@ Ragnar...which friend[s] would they be? Inshallahura and/or JJJJJJ. The point it will Aveli respond?


He has a t-shirt as well...


Thanks for that post, aveli.

The Mercedes team seems to appreciate what Hamilton has achieved this year. Unbelievable show of appreciation for their champion.


But that doesn't count in some eyes George. Max is only to have the positions, points and plaudits gained by his aggressive driving used in considerations. Any other race that he suffers a loss of points or prestige is to be excused, blame apportioned elsewhere or passed off as bad luck and put aside.


Oh George.. are you serious?
When was that? The only time he crashed and was out was in Spain, Austria and Singapore. None his own fault. The only clear fault he made was in HUN, and maybe in ITA , being to eager with MAS. All other races he finished top5 or had a car failure.


I say your argument is flawed Andre, as it is simply a risk versus reward situation. One cannot take the advantage of the places gained around the outside or through hard forceful racing to make a case for superiority or adjustments of points position, without allowing for the corresponding loss of points when things don't go as well as one would like, such as contact damage or being taken out.

Max has many points and prestige in many eyes from attacking the early corners aggressively, so he must pay the penalty when the same actions come undone. Neither are simply luck, they are all a result of decisions taken, with Ricciardo getting hit by drivers from the inside just this past race being a prime example.

In his post race interview Daniel simply said that he placed himself there to gain an advantage and you have to expect to get taken out sometimes when you attempt such a move.


What risk did he take in Spain??
He was clearly besides RAI who gave space to him and RAI had enough space on the inside. All was normal until BOT punted RAI. VER did not take a huge risk at all, just very bad luck. Same as in Austria. If you say he did we better stop racing.

If you say he took unnecessary risk then so did RAI (Spain) and ALO (Austria) because they where the first ones to get hit.


Flawed logic, Andre, And that's what costed Vettels chances this year: VET took a stupid risk, but wasn't aware of a third dog in the game... RAI was where Vet couldn't expect him to be, so no fault per se, but 0 points anyway.
You can be not guilty of causing an accident, but still have had the option not to risk all. For instance, had Max given up on the lost cause in Singapore, he might have won that GP.
Instead of taking RAI out, (who really had nowhere to go) He could've tucked himself under VET's rear wing, and attacked VET later on.
VET took a stupid risk, but a risk most leaders take, while VER had both Ferraris in vision, and decided not to play defensive.


Given up on what lost cause?!

Watch the replays onboard...

At what point does it seem to you that VER should have braked? When RAI came next to him?

If you look closely you will notice that at the moment RAI is coming next to VER, VER’s car is shaking left to right because of losing traction and VER battling to keep it under control. RAI and VET are carrying more speed than VER at this moment and would have been next to VET into the first corner. But sure, VER should have braked!

As RAI is besides him RAI rear right tyre collects with VER’s front left. Causing RAI’s right rear suspension to fail and sending him crashing into VET who got just in front of VER.
Just watch it in normal speed and see how fast everything happened, and thus making the decision window very small.

But surely you must be right that he had enough time to react.
And most other people are wrong by saying it was just a unlucky chain of events in difficult conditions.


OK, Andre, You don't want to understand? Fine by me.
It's all about risk management: VET took a risk by closing the door on Max in Singapore, with the possible advantage of keeping POS1 and the possible risk a collision with Max. He didn't know RAI took up extra space.
RAI took a risk to dive inside of Max and found him nearly anlongside VET, so he was invested to take the inside line, with no other option.
Max had a clear view on the positions of both cars, and he could've known that coming T1 would be near impossible to take three cars wide, where at least one of them isn't aware of the third car. Max reacted on VET's closing door by moving into RAI,to get an inside line, which was unfortunate, because there was no position to be gained, but an extreme risk of an accident. Had RAI not been there, it would've still been a close call to get in possition for a T1 inside attack, but RAI was there, so what did VES expect to happen? One Ferrari to dissolve in the spray?


I don’t want to understand?! What about yourself?
Lauda, Webber, Brundle, James Allen and many more seem to have the same view as me.

James Allen wrote on this website “Some fans have suggested that Verstappen “should have lifted off”, but the trajectory would not have changed by doing that – he cannot simply disappear“

George, how many seconds where there between lights out and contact?

6 seconds!! And of these 6s, the first 3s nothing abnormal happens. So the whole sequence of events leading up the contact only take up 3s.

VET and VER concentrate mainly on each other as they start on the front row.
VER had a slightly better get away and VET noticed it.
VET starts covering VER and VER reacts and steers slightly left. At the same time RAI having a much better start then both VET and VER, steers to the left of VER.
RAI comes alongside VER, and traveling at higher speed (like a missile according to JA) ,RAI clips the left front of VER with his rear right.

My point is. The whole timespan VER and RAI had to even notice things would be tight between them was at most about 2s. So you tell me how any of them could have avoided that?

As James Allen wrote in his article, there was nothing VER could have done to avoid his contact with RAI.
And that Vettel moved across a long way and kept on coming. Ultimately this is what caused the accident...


What you don't understand is that it doesn't matter who is to blame ultimately, the end result of the avoidable risk is a DNF. And if 0.5s isn't enough to figure this out and react, VER will never become WDC.


Of course George.

Me, James All and all those others got it all wrong.
We are all sorry for being so ignorant.


@ George...A good summary. I agree with that.


What is often overlooked is that Max made the initial move to the right that allowed Kimi a gap that would otherwise have not been available for him to roar through.



"What risk did he take in Spain??"

Max took the same risk that Ricciardo took in Brazil and got pushed off the track. Whether it was the same level of risk is debateable. As Max said at the time if all 3 drivers at that corner (Turn 1) behaved themselves then 3 cars side-by-side is possible. But this is the problem because your survival depends upon other drivers behaving themselves. Your survival is taken out of your hands. Max didn't really have to go around the outside because he had the rest of the race to get past Bottas and Raikkonen and probably would have done it. Ricciardo started from P14 and because of this was prepared to take the risk.


Dan also accounted for the cars running wide, and was on the kerb (which appears to be permitted on lap 1). Max was attempting to drive into the disappearing wedge underneath the racing line for T2 in Spain.


Your own survival is always out of your hands. There are 19 other cars on track. You are always dependent on what they do. Look at OCO in Brazil.
Racing is always taking a certain ri
RIC also got hit by MAS in the first corner in Italy, but that didn’t cause any damage.

VER had a better start than BOT and RAI in Spain and was slightly in front of RAI at the moment of impact and had much better track position for turn 2. No excessive risk whatsoever, until BOT missed his braking point and punted RAI. RAI also said that he himself didn’t do nothing wrong and gave BOT enough space on the inside.

Was ALO taking a judge risk when GRO crashed into him and the others in Belgium in 2012??

And concering having the whole race to get passed BOT and RAI. Do you know that Spain is notorious for being allmost impossible to overtake other cars? There was almost no overtaking in this race, beside HAM on Vettel. RIC did not do one overtake and finished 1 min behind the winner. So I don’t see how VER could have passed them.



A number of things for your consideration:

1. Spain was considered by the Stewards as a ‘racing incident’ which means that no one driver was wholly or solely responsible for what happened. You and others may want to put the blame solely on Bottas but the Stewards didn’t see it that way. Even Max said it was “unfortunate”.

2. Your comment that “Your own survival is always out of your hands ” is not necessarily correct. Once the race is underway and the field is strung out and no overtakes are being attempted where is the risk of cars coming into contact with each other? The key point here is that drivers should do things to minimise risk whether that being to simply stay mentally focused or to avoid attempting overtakes that have an element of risk attached to them.

3. Watch the start again and reconsider your comment that “VER had a better start than BOT and RAI in Spain and was slightly in front of RAI at the moment of impact and had much better track position for turn 2.” Max started in P5 and at the point of impact he hadn’t gained any clear places and if you like was equal 3rd with Bottas and Raikkonen in Turn 1. When he was shunted off the track by Raikkonen he wasn’t “slightly” in front of him nor was he in a better position. He was alongside Raikkonen.

4. If you are going to quote me please do so correctly. I did not say Max took “excessive risk” but rather I said that he took “a risk”. If you’re going to drive around the outside (as Ricciardo found out and admitted to), especially into a closing corner (i.e, with cars already filling up the available tarmac) there is inevitablely going to be a risk. I’ll remind you again as to what Max said himself: ‘Three cars standing side-by-side is doable if everyone behaves themselves’ This is the risk you take. Actually Sky commentator Anthony Davidson’s comment in his post-race video summary was more telling when he said “Three into one doesn’t fit.” It’s all about ‘risk reward’ Andre. Drivers have to weigh up the risk against the reward that might come from that risk. Hamilton didn’t fight Max for the lead of the Malaysian GP because he was playing the long game i.e. getting points for the WDC.

5. I would say that Spain is a “difficult” circuit to effect a pass but I wouldn’t say its “almost impossible”. I know these are relative terms but Monaco is probably in the “almost impossible” category even though there are passes there. But this is beside the point. The point I was trying to make was that Max didn’t have to try and clear 2 cars in one passing sequence at Turn 1 with the rest of the race to run. He could have exercised more patience and opportunities may have presented themselves. If he could have avoided Bottas and Riakkonen the chances are that he would have got third place ahead of Ricciardo because as you recall Bottas retired from the race.

Max is a special talent and no doubt he’ll learn from these sort of incidents.


Here we go again..

1 that the stewards didn’t give a penalty to BOT is mainly because it happened in the first corner/lap. But no one would have been surprised if they gave one, because BOT did knock out 2 cars in the process. I have seen penalties given for less.
The point is.. no one other than BOT made a mistake, and because of that punted RAI. VER & RAI didn’t make any mistake.

2 well where cars are driving together there is always a risk. Remember MSC and Vergne, Montoya and Jos Verstappen and so many more. But I was talking about the risk involved in overtaking. Every overtake a driver does has always a certain risk to it. In one way or another you are always depended on what the other driver is doing. In some the risk is higher than in others. The late plunges of RIC although very well executed, still have a high amount of risk. (Ping pong 😉

3 well why was VER, as you say, alongside RAI (and BOT) when they both started in front of VER?
The only way possible is that he had a slightly better start, right? The track position he VER had was better because he had the inside line for T2.

4 well you say he took a risk, but I say there is always a risk driving into T1 on L1. There is always a risk of someone making a mistake or cars coming together. Ofcourse three cars is always tight. But who made it three? VER, RAI or BOT or all together? They where all alongside one another. And again BOT was the only one making a mistake, so maybe he was too eager?!

5 yes Monaco is more difficult but they where not racing in Monaco or???
VER’s victory in 2016 was partly because RAI could only overtake on the start/finish straight with the DRS, and so VER only had to make sure he had enough of a gap coming out of the last corner.
First of all, in the whole of this years race there where just a few overtakes. The delta is too big there.
Secondly if like you say he maybe would have had the opportunity later, explain why RIC ended up more than a minute behind VET?

In the end, VER had a (good) opportunity in the first corner and in the end it didn’t work out because BOT made the mistake. Taking two cars out (and nearly his own teammate) in the process.



"Here we go again.."

It’s not a contest Andre we’re just sharing ideas.

“The point is.. no one other than BOT made a mistake, and because of that punted RAI. VER & RAI didn’t make any mistake.”

The point is that the Stewards weren’t interested in apportioning blame to any one driver that’s why they considered it a ‘racing incident’. Because of the congestion of cars first corner incidents are not usually penalised by the Stewards unless there is clear evidence of one driver driving carelessly or recklessly taking another driver out of the race. All the more reason to take care and not take any unnecessary risks.

“Every overtake a driver does has always a certain risk to it. In one way or another you are always depended on what the other driver is doing. In some the risk is higher than in others.”

This was exactly the point I was making about Max’s attempted overtake of 2 cars in one corner in Spain.

In relation to Ricciardo his late breaking passes are consistently well executed and come off so the level of risk is reduced.

“The only way possible is that he had a slightly better start, right? The track position he VER had was better because he had the inside line for T2.”

In your previous post you said Max had a “better start” now you’re saying he had a “slightly better start”! Perhaps I’m quibbling over words but you ask “why was VER, as you say, alongside RAI (and BOT) when they both started in front of VER?” Because he drove into that corner with the intention of passing Bottas and Raikkonen in one sequence. But I don’t see how you can say he had better track position for Turn 2 when he’s competing with two other cars for the same few metres of track and he would have known that before driving alongside Raikkonen.

“well you say he took a risk, but I say there is always a risk driving into T1 on L1. There is always a risk of someone making a mistake or cars coming together. Of course three cars is always tight. But who made it three? VER, RAI or BOT or all together? They were all alongside one another. And again BOT was the only one making a mistake, so maybe he was too eager?!”

I pretty much agree with all this. But once again Andre it comes down to what James Allen spoke about a few threads back and that is ‘risk v award’. You seem to admit that Max took a risk and if you think about it further you might come to the conclusion that it wasn’t a risk worth taking especially at the VERY START OF THE RACE because you just don’t know what opportunities may arise later in the race, even given that overtaking is difficult. And IMO blaming Bottas is not going to mitigate the risk Max took.


Don’t worry I don’t see it as a contest, I am just enjoying myself here 😀

I did not say BOT needed a penalty, but in all fairness what happened between BOT and RAI was not much different than between GRO and OCO in Brazil. Both lost the car and ended someone else his race. So I find that strange, but for me GRO’s penalty was also harsh.

VER’s initial start wasn’t better, but just before the first corner he caught up with both RAI and BOT so his position had improved from that at the start.

So just before the first corner VER was beside RAI, and both where just very slightly moving ahead of BOT going into the first corner.

Upon taking the corner BOT his car jump to the left, hitting RAI’s right rear tyre with his front left. So RAI was slightly in front otherwise BOT would have hit his front tyre right? RAI’s front left then smashed into VER’s front right. So they where at the same height. Right?

So then T2,(lets say BOT missed RAI’s rear tire)
VER is on the outside of RAI in the right-hander T1. BOT was already slightly behind them at this moment.
T2 is a left-hander so VER would have the inside line right? So thus having better track position going into T2, even if he didn’t have the ideal line.

I did admit he took a risk, because all drivers take a risk going into the corner with other cars around. There is always a risk of someone screwing up or having a problem.

But this doesn’t mean he was wrong by positioning him next to RAI when there was plenty of room, with the next corner being left, just because there is a risk somewhere that one might screw up. Then he better stop racing.

He wasn’t trying to pass two guys in one corner!
He was racing RAI for track position into the first two corners.
He didn’t come charging in. He just rightfully tried to take the opportunity that presented itself. He didn’t force someone wide, didn’t lock up or anything. Didn’t put anyone in a risky situation, because RAI would have taken the same line as he did now. Only BOT desperately tried to make the corner after losing half a track position to RAI, ending up losing the car on the kerbs.

Regarding RIC his passes being CONSISTENTLY well executed is debatable.
Remember the ping pong “overtake”? Or his first attempt on BOT in USA this year? Both times overshooting the corner, the other drivers having to take evasive action! He took way much more risk than VER did in Spain.



I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.

You seem to have this obsession as to what Bottas did in Spain. You spend a lot of time analysing what he did, what he shouldn’t have done (etc, etc…) but the fact remains, as I’ve stated a few times now, that the Stewards deemed that no driver of the three was wholly responsible for what occurred. Doesn’t that tell you that the Steward’s thinking was that when the three drivers were competing for the same space and fighting for position with the intention of getting P3 into Turn 2 that they were all responsible for what happened? They were all at fault to various degrees. You can make comparisons with other incidents if you want but what you’re really talking about with this is the consistency of the Steward’s decision making which is really another issue.

Let me ask you a few questions Andre: If Max was leading a race, for which he looked-liked winning, and came across back markers fighting for position at Turn 1 do you think he would risk going around the outside like he did to clear them? If Max was leading the championship and needed a high points finish to extend his lead over his nearest rival do you think he would attempt such a move in any similar situation? I would suggest in both scenarios Max would not. Give him some intelligence mate don’t ramble on about Bottas this Bottas that.

To your comment: “He wasn’t trying to pass two guys in one corner!” Disagree entirely. Max would have seen Bottas and Raikonnen pretty much side-by-side and went around the outside with the hope of getting both in one swoop.

You comment that: “RIC his passes being CONSISTENTLY well executed is debatable. No its not up for debate. Please tell me the last time DR crashed out of a race attempting a pass? Bottas in the USA wasn’t a pass it was a legitimate “attempted pass” because it wasn’t successful, but at least he had a go didn’t he? Perhaps you’d like to comment on DR going from 19th to 5th at Silverstone this year or from 17th to 6th in Brazil two weeks ago without shunting people off the track or locking his brakes. Sorry mate. I don’t get the “ping pong overtake”. I thought that was table tennis.

Let’s just agree that both Danny Ricc and Max are great drivers and hope that Renault can give RB a decent PU that will give them both reliability and greater power for next season.


He's rolled the dice, got hit....got no points. You can't praise him for winning first corners but not take into account when it doesn't work out for him...
With the exception of Brazil, Ric has kept his nose clean at the start and brought home the points...
FANtascise all you want, but that's what it's all about...


@ LKFE...yes, great points there.


Have you ever listened to what Brundle has said re Ricciardo's passing abilities? He also has a determined attempt at changing the patterns of the race. Not always successful but surely better than 'wussing' it out like some. Besides, over the last four years how many accidents has he been involved in and how many other drivers have fared badly as a result of Ricciardo's passing attempts and successes?


Laughing as I read a response stating that you missed the point and he then continues to go on about risk and reward, which is the key part of racing and the only point of discussion. Arguing the unarguable in a classic case of wanting to keep the cake, yet eating it too.


Well then maybe read it again 😉

Explain why does he get praised for what he did in Mexico and yet according to you experts he is too blame for what happened in Spain??

His own action in both races was flawless, only in Spain the outcome was different because someone else screwed up.

Hamilton’s move on Vettel in Mexico was also well executed, but it only failed because Vettel cut his tyre.

The way you see it is like shooting at the goal from outside the penalty area. The player hits the ball perfectly, touches the inside of the goalpost and... GOAL!!, the crowd is cheering.
Next match same spot, hits the ball again perfectly, and just before the goalpost, a gust of wind pushes it wide and it hits the post. No goal. According to you the crowd should be angry at the player now because he tried in the first place.


I laughed because your post was all about risk and reward and the hypothetical praise or detracting, whilst thinking just how much you have invested in Max.


You seem to miss the point here.
It is racing, there is always a risk in battling with other drivers.

Why does he get praise for when it works and gets the blame when it doesn’t work without himself causing the eventual outcome? That doesn’t make any sense does it? The initial move is still the same.

The same as when you make a dangerous move and it works out that doesn’t make it a good move, it is still as bad as when it doesn’t work.

His move on the outside of RAI had some risk to it but not exceptional. RAI gave him enough room and also gave BOT enough room. So the move was good, the outcome was caused by BOT missing his braking point.

HAM’s move on VET in Mexico was exceptional , but the outcome was caused by VET touching his rear wheel.
RIC move around the outside in Brazil was also good, but the outcome was caused by VAN taken a hit by MAG.


Did you notice that Ham touched MV's rear wheel, damaging his front wing when he passed VET in Mexico?
It happened a split second before VET hit HAM's wheel, if MV wasnt there, i wonder if VET would still have hit HAM.
I am not blaming anyone for anything, i just found it interesting.


In the incidents in Spain , Austria and Singapore. Max did not take himself out -Bottas was predominantly to blame in Spain , The Ferrari's in Singapore and Kyvat in Austria. Max has only been really to blame for taking one person out this year and that was Ricciardo in Hungary.


And, to be honest, in Monza where he did not have the patience to wait for a clean overtake on Massa. Those were his 2 mistskes this year.

Beeing agressive braught him victory in Mexico, great drives in China & USA.

His season started after the summer break.


This might be nitpicking, but you’re forgetting Monza where he lost a bag of points when he hit Massa attempting an overtake.


If you want to race hard, gaining places and points by pushing through and going around the outside in the early corners, you must accept that you are going to suffer from contact and sometimes be taken out by those on the inside. OCO and RIC are the most recent prime examples of exactly that.

Singapore is a complicated one, as there were two incidents, the first contact with Kimi from which Max appeared to come out of completely unscathed. He then chose to try and beat the sliding red car through the first turn, as did Alonso and they both came off second best, whilst the next two cars chose to brake and found themselves in second and third place.


You clearly haven't paying a lot of attention because Max lost his left front suspension adter the contact wirh Kimi


I have not seen anything to suggest that he lost his suspension and missed the race coverage as flying near there during the race. Please provide a link or reference.


Max immediately said he had damage over the radio, he was unable to steer into the corner as you can see in the onboard, and the reports afterwards are enough proof for that.


I replied with the following a day or so ago, but it did not get posted for some reason, so ....... In that case, I apologize and retract that statement. As per previous post, I was in the air that evening and have never heard that.


After the initial contact with RAI he was already on the radio saying : I got damage, I got damage!
And while saying that, RAI collects him. You could hear the impact on radio.


In that case, I apologize and retract that statement. As per previous post, I was in the air that evening and have never heard that.


apologies accepted. classy...


To be fair the points has been skewed in Daniels favour because of of Max's early mid season.


That was certainly the case mid season, not so much so now that it seems Daniel has had the majority of the reliability problems and penalties.


Max has had 7 DNF's DR 5. DR also scored several podiums when MV had successive DNFs


@ Stephen Taylor...It appears that they have both had 4 DNF's due to engine failure so in that respect they are equal.What you fail to recognise is the Ricciardo has take 75 grid spot penalties...far more than Verstappen. That makes Ricciardo's score even better than it looks.


I disagree. Most of those grid penalties had little or no effect on his finishing position.


Ricciardo had two grid penalties that put him behind Verstappen. It all evens out.


AUS qualified P10, VER P5
ENG qualified P20, VER P5
ITA qualified P3, VER P2
MEX qualified P7, VER P2
BRA qualified P5, VER P4
So please tell me when a penalty dropped RIC behind VER??

And regarding the grid-penalties..
AUS : 5-PGP: dropped 5 places
ENG : 15-PGP : WON 1 place
ITA : 25-PGP : dropped 13 places
MEX : 20-PGP: dropped 9 places
BRA : 10-PGP : dropped 9 places
So of the 75-PGP’s only lost 35 places

Verstappen :
ITA : 20-PGP : dropped 11 places
USA : 15-PGP : dropped 10 places
So of the 35-PGP’s only lost 22 places

So effectively RIC only lost 13 places more than VER. When you leave out the 5-PGP’s in Australia because the penalty was a result of himself crashing in Q3, only 8 remain.

Just sayin’.....


So did Dan start behind max in England and Brazil because of grid penalties?


Really I need to explain?
Where did RIC qualify in ENG and BRA?

In ENG he qualified 20th and started 19. So his 15 place grid penalty did not hurt him. VER qualified 5th so he was already in front.

In BRA RIC qualified 5th and the 10 place penalty dropped him to 14th.
VER qualified 4th so was already in front of RIC.

Get it?


I got you to explain it so you would understand. Sometimes repeating things to ourselves helps us get it right.

Ricciardo's turbo failed during qualifying. Doesn't count as a DNF but he still got penalised and dropped to the back of the grid. So Daniel was penalised and had to start behind Max. Brazil is more starighforward. Dan got penalised and started behind Max.

So in those two races as I said grid penalties affected him or as you have brought to my attention reliability issues and Dan had to start behind Max.

Glad you got it in the end.


Hahaha you‘re funny man.

Grid penalties are applied after qualifying. It doesn’t matter at what point the penalty is given.

In ENG he finished last in qualifying because of a turbo failure, VER finished 5th. RIC then go the 15-place penalty added. So the penalty did not drop him behind VER.

In BRA he finished 5th and VER 4th. And then the penalty was added.

So every time he got a penalty he finished already behind VER in qualifying in the first place..
The penalties only dropped him further behind VER, beside ENG where the penalty did not cost him.

So what you are saying is nonsense.


@Andre - You're not in a position to call anyone childish or to tell anyone to grow up. You're just another punter on a forum. Nothing more.

My point is that Ricciardo has had as many if not more problems with reliability than Verstappen. He's on top of Verstappen on the points. I don't care if Verstappen was in front when his car failed. It failed. Bad luck.

You think you're a hero because I said Dan had a Grid penalty that affected him in Britain when it was a failure of his turbo in Q1. Big deal. He still suffered a grid penalty and it put him in 19th. You talk about being childish and all you want to do is score points.

In that case once again. Look at the scoreboard. Max is 6th. Dan is 4th.


How should I call a childish comment then?

Your first comment was regarding grid place penalties, I reply and all of a sudden you go off about pointstable, fanboys, last quali result...

Of course it matters when the failure comes. If your car fails driving in P2 or P17 is a big difference. Of course lots if things could have happened in those races, but the fact is he was always driving top5 when they happened.

Of all the races, when they both finished or something happened to one of them, VER was in front 14 times compared to 6 for RIC.

You just don’t get it with the grid place penalties. Yes RIC had a problem in Q1 in Britain, same as VER had in CHI.
RIC ended quali in P20 and VER P19. RIC gets a 15 place penalty, resulting in moving up a place to P19.
VER gets no penalty ends up starting P16, both because of penalties of other drivers..

So did the problem cause the low starting place or the penalty? This 15 place penalty didn’t hurt RIC one bit.
And what on earth has that to do with me being a hero? Or me wanting to score points? I am just replying to your comments, mate.

The points table is the most important in the end if you have the most in the end you are the champion, if not you have nothing.
But it doesn’t always tell the whole story.

Why is this story about VER and not RIC? Doesn’t Hamilton look at the points table?

I like RIC, don’t get me wrong. I see him as equal to VER.


That's funny considering all you Verstappen fan boys whinge and moan about how the reliability factors are why Verstappen is behind Ricciardo. Then when I show you that Ricciardo has had worse reliability you say that doesn't make any difference.

At the end of the day look at the scoreboard. Dan is in front and will remain in front of Verstappen. Oh, and he out qualified Max today with an engine the is .2 of a second slower per lap.

How about them apples?


Maybe you should not talk about apples if you don’t seem to know the difference between appels and bananas..

You talked about grid penalties dropping RIC behind VER, which I correctly pointed out was nonsense, you find yourself in a corner and start yelling about fanboys etc? Grow up!

Both had reliability problems, for VER it only came at a worser moment than RIC.
Position when car failed :
RIC : P17, P7, P4, P7
VER: P3, P2, P4, P5

If you look at all the individual races until now, where they had a problem (failure/penalty resulting in an DNF or low gridposition) you will see that, they both had 7 races :

In China VER had an engine ‘failure’ in Q1. Resulting in starting 16th on the grid.

What does today’s qualifying result have to do with anything? So childish, unbelievable.


Yep, just like Max has recently gotten to the podium in a car that is no longer half a second off the pace, whilst the sister car sat smoking trackside a couple of times. As for non reliability DNF's, basically RIC did not contribute and VER had varying degrees of input in all of them.


Elaborate on the

various degrees of input

. Are we still on the "Too harsh on the engine, brakes etc." train?

Even Ricciardo said he examined Max's data and couldn't find anything that clarified the failures.


I don't know why you came back three days later to reply again, but you must have missed the words "non reliability" when reading it a second time.


Language thing, i am sorry. I read the sentence as : dnf's caused because of the car being non-reliable.
You were right about it, then.
He still has some work to do on the "patience skills"


Agree... he fell victim, most of the time.


I really hope we can see some interesting fights between Hamilton, Verstappen as well as Alonso and Vettel. On paper we're up for an interesting season next year but only if renault improve their engine. The difference mainly in qualifying is too big an advantage for Mercedes/Ferrari which leaves a lot of work to be done in the races for the Renault powered cars. Reliability wise it also doesn't look great, how many grid slot penalties have the Mercedes engines combined taken? And next year we'll need to be even more reliable... That said, I think Lewis is right but on the other hand, the way he's performing today it's going to be a tough battle!


Even Hamilton is worried next year over penalties 3 engines 2 batteries. They might tactically take a bunch of engines at some races.


3 engines for the entire season? That's crazy and ridiculous! We will have penalties out the ying yang!


Answering my own post but isn't it true that most of these penalties are around the MGU-H or the turbo itself. Brawn is right some of this stuff could be off the shelf.

Let the engine manufacturers concentrate on engines. I don't see any reason why Ferrari would care about promoting their road cars by making a better battery for instance.

There is no way I want F1 not to have differences in engines. That makes it special but they don't need to go too far like lmp1 did.

Who is left in that? No Porsche or Audi? Really for 2021 the rules should be changed completely to an ICE only and maybe a standard fuel for refuelling because I want to see cars that can be pushed like Hamilton in Brazil in every race. I don't like the fuel having to be burnt at the end of the race before the cars have speed.

I know it's a pipe dream but the things causing the most penalties have to be standardised.

Next year we might see races strategy like Hamilton accidentally had in Brazil. We will see if he still runs wide open at the next race and see if something blows up.

Or maybe someone else doesn't complete a qualifying lap to test another engine. Maybe they should all start from the pits to protest these penalties. Maybe do that at some Arab track or China or Russia. I can't be like that just do it in the US and forget track limits. It would be fun to watch. The smaller teams wouldn't do it but if the big three do it at the same time that would be fun.

All pipe dreams. Nothing will happen.


But they are all in the same boat. The Merc engine was very reliable this year, if that stays constant in 2018 then they may have penalties but the others will take more. Merc perhaps have less to fear from the new engine restriction than Renault and Ferrari, but who can ever tell....


That isn't allowed anymore, jdr.


But changing your engine for a new one and starting form the pits, like HAM did in Brazil, is allowed and working as you could see.


Lovely piece James. You touch on that sense of change just waiting to happen. We've got to the top of the hill, and are just about to fly down the other side.


Max is a great talent, and he is in a great position to hone his craft at Red Bull before moving to Mercedes or Ferrari with five years experience, and still only 23! That head start that Red Bull gave him will, I'm sure help him beat all of Lewis' records, and maybe Michael's too. It would be great to see Max and Lewis battling on track, but in reality this rarely happens, hopefully Red Bull and Renault can turn things around next year.


That will be 6 years of F1 experience at the end of his RB contract...


Max is a great talent, a care free youth..................but he's still rough round the edges. His collisions in Barcelona, Montreal, Budapest (taking out his own team-mate!), Monza and Singapore will be something he looks back on over Christmas and be somewhat regretful about. Whether he was in the right or wrong is irrelevant, the fact is he had to retire in Spain and Singapore, and in Monza the collision denuded his chances of a big points haul - those lost points could have cost Red Bull dear in the WCC as they might have finished 2nd come Abu Dhabi.................

If Max was an artist, he would be Dali - that angular, surreal, abrasive style..........


Generally agreed. For mine, some of that thinking was already done after Singapore and words with Marko prior to Sepang, and we have seen a somewhat different driver since.


Some of that thinking was never done I can assure you 100%.
You seem to think he made these bad decisions before Malaysia.

He was driving already very good the first half of the season too:

5th, 3th, brakes, 5th, collision, 5th, engine, engine,collision, 4th.


Ehm sorry regret? Why?

Spain,Austria : for being on the outside and getting hit??
Montreal : for his engine dying while on P2?
Budapest : he already apologized
Monza : one can argue, but okay
Singapore : he couldn’t really ovoid that could he?!

I am sure if we go and ask Horner what he thinks about VER his driving this year, I bet you will be surprised.
The 8 retirements this year is what has cost RB the most points.



And when Max's car was failing, and when he was at least partially responsible for his DNF in Spain (for his high risk drive into a rapidly closing corner), and for unnecessarily tangling with Massa in Monza it was his team mate on the other side of the garage who was putting in good drives to help Red Bull Racing get third in the Constructors' Championship. Wasn't it?


But he has so much time on his side to hone his craft.

But he is a joy to watch, rough edges and all. It reminded me of how I felt in 2007 when a certain phenom rookie exploded onto the scene challenging a 2 time world champion.


Fan f1, the special ones always make themselves known.


Ya gotta know when to hold 'em - and know when to fold 'em" as Kenny Rodgers observes in his ballad of the gambler. . . A concept in the larger sense which combines skill, judgment and wisdom.

Who was the sage which observed '. . .wisdom is generally the product of experience, and an awful lot of experience comes from bad judgment. . .' or words to that effect ?


Max has nothing to regret regarding Singapore as it was clearly the fault of the Ferrari drivers . Yet another person blaming Max for Singapore . Oh dear


I have no comment on the Singapore crash, but I recall the accident at T1 Hockenheim 2003 where Barrichello was in a similar predicament but nonetheless copped some of the blame.


In Singapore the Ferrari drivers made one choice each and it cost them both a DNF. Max made two choices, came away from the first one with his car intact and the second one cost him a DNF.


Bryce, he made the decision to drive in a straight line to turn one, Seb made a very different decision and it cost his team a likely one two.


So he didn't move first and to the right to allow the space for Kimi to trounce through?


Oh man, you really believe it..

He must have had a reprimand from Dr. Marko for being so dumb.


@ Andre...If he didn't get one then he should've....


Most people will blame Max there, but ofcourse most of you fans are already blond


The Ferrari drivers.. lol.

Oh yes Kimi didn't follow the brief that you were apparently privy to.


I didn't need to be there . James referenced the fact Kimi didn't follow the brief in a previous post so I am only repeating what JA on F1 posted. I can work it through common sense Kimi's brief was quite clearly be sensible and not take any risks . In some ways Kimi should work it out for himself that getting so overeager to fight for position when your WDC contending team mate is in close proximity He took an unnecessary risk an this was a contributing factor in the incident . You should be thankful I don't follow the Nigel Roebuck theory that Kimi should have had a penalty in my view it was racing incident


I can work it through common sense Kimi's brief was quite clearly be sensible and not take any risks .

After a lightning start he positioned his car on the inside of a rival and had almost out dragged said rival before Max turned left in avoidance of Vettel and hit Kimi. Kimi did not turn right.

Max drove into a disappearing wedge and chose not to lift.

And I suppose Vettel wasn't told about the brief? i.e Don't be stupid at the start.

Max was drving


I'm wasn't blaming Max! As I wrote, whether he was in the right or the wrong is irrelevant, the point is - or rather 25 points is - in Singapore a more cautious approach could have yielded a victory or at least a 2nd place rather than lots of broken carbon composites and a very short race for the Dutchman.

You can't win the race in the first corner, but you can lose it........


Bingo !


You can do both, but you don't have the right to take the glorious victory without also taking it on the chin when you get a DNF.


Vettel did on bottas and VER did on HAM.. so yes.. you can win from the first corner.


Ofcourse it is relevent if he was in the right or wrong. Where was he supposed to go in Singapore??
He was controlling wheelspin the whole way, and RAI came alongside like a bullit and they touched. VER was not even thinking about fighting for the first corner yet. Just watch the start onboard on YouTube and you will see/hear how he is controlling wheelspin and how fast RAI is coming past.


@ Andre...Verstappen caused that tangle in Singapore. The overheads confirm that at the point when Verstappen drove into the side of Raikonnen Vettel was almost a complete cars length in front!!! Verstappen shouldve lifted. He was the prime cause not Vettel who is entitled to take whatever line he chooses when he is so far in front. But just go on ignoring the facts.....


Oh dear. Facts? What facts are you talking about? A picture? In a highspeed sport? Funny. Why didn’t he get a penalty then? Because in your view it is causing a collision. Why did the majority of the F1 people say he wasn’t at fault?!

You say he should have lifted, but you also say VET was almost a complete car length in front. Why would he need to lift then?

Kenneth, just watch the start onboard with VER. Listen to his engine, and watch his steering wheel.
You will see and hear he is battling wheelspin the whole way. Even half a second before getting in contact with RAI. Also watch how fast RAI is passing him.



@ Andre...TBH i feel as though he should've got a penalty but the stewards deemed it to be a racing incident so that is that. He ruined what would've been a top race had he not tried to force his way through.


At exactly what point did he force his way through ??

Did you watch the onboard? If so, then please tell me at what moment during the run to the first corner did he push himself through?
I am really curious.


From start to crash....that's when. He should've anticipated Vettel's cover off but he wasn't watching in his mirrors . That's why he drove into Raikonnen and Vettel was well in front at that stage, confirmed in the overhead image. Verstappen should've lifted. Simple and no amount of bluster and spin can reverse the obvious facts. It's done and over with. This issue has been covered ad infinitum. Move on.


He drove into RAI, funny. RAI carried more speed and was only one second next to VER when they touched. But ofcourse your precious picture tells it all..

Well then you and me (and a lot of other people) have a different view.

If you still have this view about it after watching his onboard then there is no point discussing it.


If Max was battling wheelspin the whole time, dont you think he should have lifted? thats the best way to control wheelspin.
Maybe he should ask Kimi for some pointers on throttle control?


But why should their hero back off, when he is the chosen one.


Bryce, what does that suppose to mean?

If some write BS comments I respond no matter who the driver is.


@ Andre...A picture is still worth a thousand words...contemplate that. Anyway it's all history and even you cannot rewrite that.


It is al history thank God, but I am not the one rewriting it, that’s you my dear amigo.

Why did Lauda, Webber, Brundle, James Allen to name a few, share my view and not yours? Did they talk nonsense?

You think the stewards rely on pictures?
Because if you had looked really good....VER doesn’t hit RAI 😉
RAI’s left rear hits VER’s right front, breaking his suspension and pushes him against VET.

As James Allen wrote in his article on this website: there was nothing VER could have done to avoid his contact with RAI. ....Vettel moved across a long way and kept on coming. Ultimately this is what caused the accident...

From lights out until contact lasted only 6s. VET started moving across after 3s. RAI was still behind VER at this moment.
The whole timespan VER and RAI both had to even notice things would be tight between them was at most about 2s. So you tell me how any of them could have avoided that?


@ Andre...we are never going to agree on this or even find common ground. Yes, Vettel moved across but that was his prerogative. It may have been, in retrospect, ill timed, but he was not in the wrong. Verstappen was the first to collide with Raikonnen and that set the scene for the whole mess. Time to move on.


This whole discussion stems from the fact that some here state that this collision was VER his own fault, and therefore not scoring any points.
So why move on?

Of course the initial contact is between VER and RAI every fool can see that. But that was all because of VET moving across, as he is entitled too, making VER needing to go slightly left to. Making him ending up in the trajectory of RAI who is coming past with much higher speed. And in the end RAI clips VER‘s front right and the rest is history.

All just an unfortunate chain of events. As James Allen wrote : VER had no way of avoiding contact with RAI. So no blame on him.

So your precious photo tells a thousand words but not the million words that went before it...


I know it's a long time ago but I have a good example of when a race was won in the first corner: Vettel, Brazil 2017


actually, with these cars, you can win in the 1st corner


You can most certainly win races in the first corner. especially now that it has become much harder to follow and overtake due to the cars aero. Just look at the last race.


Simple really, especially if you take out all the competition.


I would have thought that Lewis would have needed to have acquired the crown from Sebastian first, seeing that the German is arguably the most successful driver on the grid at the moment. Of course this will make next year very interesting as Michael's protege will be challenging for his first Ferrari championship in the same time frame as Michael did at Ferrari. If he is successful, that will be one for the record books.
Naturally the crown will have to be trimmed down next year to accommodate the new halo on the scene!


You must be “pullen” my leg!!!


Is comprehension a problem in the comments section? I fail to understand the upvotes on an inaccurate post.

Surely, the facts suggest, sans arguments, that Hamilton is now more accomplished than Vettel. So why the upvote on an absurd lie?

Ah, it must be "hate" that triggers the fingers.


That's the reason you've just got 19 upticks...alternate facts are a common thread in all posts...nothing too hard to understand there.


They're equal in championships, but Lewis is smashing the records, and Sebastian isn't.


Most successful how? Number of wins? Number of poles? Number of WDC?


Hamilton statistically is the most successful driver on the grid at present -no arguments after he equalled Vettel's tile tally this year . Ham has more poles and wins with same number of titles so there is no argument . Hamilton is definitely the most successful driver on the current grid .


Most successful in what respect?
Hamilton is well ahead of him in wins, poles, points, podiums, fastest laps, higher percentage in each of those areas.
Hamilton is statistically more successful in every area and while it is always down to opinions, it seems very much the general consensus, amongst pundits and his own peers, that Hamilton is the better driver.


Ham also won championships in two different teams and three different major regulation eras!


Yeah, on Mercedes engines all the time.


How is Seb the most successful on the grid? Lewis has more wins and more poles as well as 4 WDCs with 2 different teams in 2 different regulation eras.