Weekend Debate: What next for Daniel Ricciardo in F1?
Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Mar 2018   |  1:36 pm GMT  |  554 comments

In three weeks we will be in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix and all eyes will be on local hero Daniel Ricciardo and his start to a defining F1 season.

The 29 year old knows he is in the peak of his career, he feels he’s ready to win a world championship if he has the right car, but there are two big question marks on his 2018 horizon.

The first is whether the new Red Bull-Renault car is a winner. In winter testing it has looked fast at times, but it’s not been a seamless week for the team and Mercedes are clearly driving within themselves at this stage.

The second is Max Verstappen. The 20 year old was re-signed by Red Bull at the end of 2017, the Austrian drinks giants seemingly making it clear who their point man is for the next three seasons. So where does that leave the likeable Aussie?

In a remarkably candid media round this week, Ricciardo spelled out his strategy regarding whether to renew with Red Bull or to move on in 2019.

“The performance is key, I will base my decision only on that,” he said. “I’m 29 I feel that I’m in the moment of my career when I’m ready to win the world championship so I have to put myself in the best position to do that. If we start winning with Red Bull, I will stay, no reason to change. If not..

“Red Bull have said, ‘We want you to stay alongside Max, but we understand you need to look at other offers. Take your time.’ – I appreciate and really respect that.”

He said that he had no ill feelings about Red Bull prioritising Verstappen’s signature on a contract extension, “It just made it easier to understand certain things and to adjust myself around that.”

I think it’s going to be very hard for him to beat Verstappen in the same car, so even if the new Red Bull is a race winner he has to move on for the sake of his career, unless he can find some way to unsettle the Dutchman, as Nico Rosberg managed with Lewis Hamilton in 2016.

But looking at the pair and their characters, it doesn’t seem to be in Ricciardo to do that. It would be more likely the other way around. Verstappen has all the hallmarks of a once in a generation driver, the only things that would stop him being a multiple champion are; being in the wrong car and losing discipline and focus in his life.

Then again Verstappen has time; Ricciardo does not.

Ricciardo is right to question the short term competitiveness of Red Bull. The engine will start out the season at a disadvantage to the Ferrari and Mercedes, that has already been stated. The question is by how much and how long it takes for development steps to close the gap.

Then there is the question of what engine the team will use in 2019. Renault wants an answer in spring and Christian Horner and his senior engineers will be evaluating the Honda engine in the Toro Rosso, which has certainly started the 2-18 testing looking reliable and drivable, even if it’s too early to say what the outright power is like.

If he decides to move on, Mercedes and Ferrari both have openings at the end of 2018 and Ricciardo has already been linked with both.

Asked whether he had the impression that Sebastian Vettel would not welcome him at Ferrari he said, “Maybe that’s right. You’d have to ask Sebastian.”

As for evaluating Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, he said, “His growth from when he arrived in F1 to now and his talent are clear for all to see. If he arrives fully prepared for a Grand Prix, then he is very strong.

McLaren is another possibility for Ricciardo due to a strong relationship with Zak Brown, but they are some way off winning a world title and that is Ricciardo’s first order priority in the next two to three years. After that he risks what happened to Fernando Alonso; younger drivers like Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen came along and there was no longer an opening in a title worthy car.

What do you think of Ricciardo’s situation? How do you think it will play out? Leave your comment in the section below

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Here’s just a mad thought.

How about they make F1 like the football season

Ok, hear me out.

Drivers are contracted to a team as normal. The challenge would be, every second grandprix they drive for another team. 20 races, 10 for their home team then 1 each for every team on the grid. So effectively, they have to drive to win the world title. Maybe it would silence critics about who is the best driver when they all get a shot at driving the best equipment as well as the worst.

Drivers are often referred to as crap …. mainly because of the car they drive. These men have serious talent, surely adaptability should count toward being a worthy world champion

Maybe offer double point on away weekends for both manufacturer and driver to stop teams from sabotaging a drivers by not scoring maximum points for their team.

Just an interesting thought.

As for Daniel Ricciardo, well, he is a talent, maybe this system would benefit him… personally I think he needs to improve his consistency to be a real hope of being in any top team. He can drive, for sure but does he have the drive every single time he gets in the car.

jenson Button won a world title, not the best driver, but that year he’s lucked into the best car…so make things a little more level and a lot more interesting


Well, Ricciardo is in a pickle. He can stay at Redbull and risk becoming second fiddle behind Max Verstappen or he is going to go to Mercedes and be second behind Hamilton. He can also go to Ferrari and be second fiddle behind Vettel. And how is Mercedes going to come out of the engine rules changing in a few years. Ever which way we are looking at it, Ricciardo is running out of time and there is no good option to go to a team that will make him world champion. Because Hamilton will still best him in the Mercedes car and Vettel will not take a back seat to Ricciardo either.


Daniel Ricciardo is the perfect number two driver. He already peaked in my opinion. Both Max and Lewis are better drivers. So his only chance is Ferrari. Or become a solid number two.


I’m not sure whether anyone else has observed this but there has been almost zero comments in the press regarding Ricciardo’s mysterious illness that forced a reschedule of testing duties! That is of itself very unusual. When the testing schedules were announced it was Ricciardo who was given the first and the third driver duties. Now why was that decision taken? IMO, possibly, that by the time the fourth day came around that any basic problems would’ve been sorted thus letting the fourth day driver set the team’s best benchmark time. That gets publicity for that particular driver. Test two comes along with the same scenario and this time Daniel calls in sick, thus the scheduling reverses. With the final day coming up, the drivers with the best times of the day usually get the best publicity exposure. Maybe Ricciardo is a wake up to to the promotion of Verstappen in all possible media. This is not a paranoid post,just a keen observation of all the small things that can alter perceptions. Nothing is ever as it seems.


I think you’re bang on Kenny…let the games commence. I hope Dan is getting the right advice, but it’s little things like this that can make a difference. He will naturally want the RB to be competitive asap, if for no other reason other than it improves any leverage he might have with the big two. It would not be ideal if the car was bunk again and he appeared to going cap in hand to see Merc or Ferrari.


You do you relies that this will possibly send bee into a whole new universe of Conspiracy theorys and rants that could last for week.



Wow! Nothing will top this. Not even the fanatical musings of the LFC, the VFC, the SFC or the AFC. You take the cake in fandom.


Maybe Ric really is unwell 🤧- that’d be the simplest explanation.


I don’t think anyone cares who sets the fastest time

At this stage it’s much more about validation of the car’s performance and potential


@ James…’not bad for a number 2′ ATPIT..Only joking, but this morning i counted no less than 53 headlines in the Newsnow aggregation listing. Now i know that it doesn’t mean diddly squat in terms of actual racing results but it does plaster the drivers potential across a whole range of media, enhancing certain reputations. It also does him no harm in a relative sense with the team principals. Who knows ?


@ james…. The media care, hence the headlines on a daily basis during tests. If you follow/check any aggregation sites you will see that it is daily meat for the grinder. From an engineering team testing POV i agree with you but that is not what i said. I said it was all about promotion, and driver perception in the public arena.


The general opinion seems to be that drivers are only as good as the cars they drive. In fact I was reading an article recently which rated the top 150 drivers of all time. The author, an academic believed his approach for rating the drivers to be scientific and used terms such as “confidence intervals” to confuse plebs like me. But what I struggled to get my tiny little brain around was how Riccardo was rated significantly higher than Rosberg by the author. Perhaps it was to do with his idea that

“Those drivers who have fared poorly in these rankings compared to their stellar tally of wins, poles, fastest laps and podiums, have done so because they spent a large part of their career in exceptional cars and teams and performed less well than others who were similarly blessed.”. So I compared Riccardo’s record at Torro Rosso with Rosbergs at Williams. I was stunned to see that there was no comparison, as Rosbergs record was far superior. In fact Bottas’s record in a similar car was far superior too. Both outperformed their cars. Don’t get me wrong DR is a good driver and I really rated him UNTIL I saw how Verstappen destroyed him. But I think his claim to fame is that he beat Vettel at Red bull. That was the racing equivalent to a boxers “sucker punch”. In fact Bottas (who some believe to be cannon fodder) finished ahead of Vettel in the champion that year too. DR would get destroyed by either of the current Mercedes drivers.


@Jay Kay – Bollocks.


@ Jay Kay….re Bottas/ Rosberg, ‘both outperformed their cars’ Silly statement. No one can outperform their car. It’s an impossibility.


Here I was thinking this was a reasonable critique and as I continued it turned into a joke.

søren christensen

I see Ricciardo at Ferrari from 2019 onwards.The question about Vettel will be no problem, as the German will stop his F1 career after 2018, when he one more time lose out to a Mercedes driver.
Ferrari will have 2 new drivers from 2018 in Leclerc and Ricciardo


@ Soren christensen…you do know that Vettel has a valid contract with Ferrari through until ’21.


Dan’s path to a Championship looks a bit tortuous, to me. I can’t see him going to Mercedes, because short of Hamilton retiring the only move they’re likely to make is swapping Bottas for Ocon. I can’t see him going to Ferrari, partly because of Vettel and partly because I think they’ve got their eye on Verstappen in the longer term. Ricciardo’s best bet might actually be to wait Verstappen out at Red Bull and hope to inherit a winning car if he does go to Maranello. I’ve always thought Dan would be a good fit for McLaren, though, and if they don’t improve enough in 2018, he might decide to replace Alonso.


Very simple: if he can consistently outscore Verstappen, he’ll stay at RedBull. If not, then he will look for a drive then can give him a winning car. That still can be RedBull, but he will know that he has to up his game the next couple of seasons. Other teams in contention might be Mercedes (but I don’t think he’s up to LH level), Ferrari (if they offer him a drive, I guess he would take it: he has beaten Vettel in the same car). Renault and McLaren I think might be interesting 3rd options.

My guess: if Leclerc doesn’t show his potential the 1st quarter/third of the season, Ferrari might look for DR and he would be foolish to choose otherwise.


@MCB, i agree it is simple…but how many seasons must he outscore verstappen? 2016 was 220-181 head to head, 2017 was 200-168…

It seems outscoring him isn’t enough?

There are seemingly more important performance indicators according to some?


you just have to outscore / be better then your teammate in the season when you’re on the market. And yes: there are more important performance indicators. Teams just don’t look at the points talley when they want to contract a driver.


It’s not only about outscoring your’e teammate. It’s also about performing on a toplvl all season long. We all know Ricciardo had some luck earning all this points because of mechanical/third party involvement problems. In my view Verstappen was the faster driver all year long. He proved this in qualyfing and during their races together. It’s no coincedence that the teambosses picked Verstappen as their nr.2. It’s about what he showed when he was racing. While the win of Ricciardo is a pretty good example about how his year evolved…with a bit of luck, Verstappen showed how his year should have been with his 2 wins at Malaysia and Mexico.


Dan: “My only priority is performance, to fight for a WDC in the short term. Talks starts April/May”

Renault: “We’ll have reliability, but not performance, until May/June”

So that is done. Was expected.

Now, to Merc or to Ferrari?

Most likely is that negotiations are already well underway, from around the period when Max signed with RBR last year.

Max was priority, and when he made the choice, it is Dan’s.

Why? – If you noticed, talk/praise for Dan by Merc/Lewis & Ferrari/Vet changed, from:

– “do not mind” and “honoured” to have him in the team, to

– how awesome Kimi & Bottas are, to

– looking for younger ones,

All while nearly not mentioning Dan at all.

I’d call that, active negotiations.


I’ve said it before, but the Max lovefest is so OTT. RIC is sensational and will wipe the floor with Max this year. Then it doesn’t matter if he goes to Ferrari, Merc or stays at RB. I’ll be cheering him on. He is the driver who, in my opinion, is the most likely driver to provide us with epic, history making, overtaking maneuvers that will be replayed over and over again for generations. Go Danny Ric!



forget all the dribble posted here.

Go to Mercedes and challenge the best. Test yourself in the best car alongside arguably the best driver at the moment.

That’s the way to truly measure yourself.


He is driving the arguably best driver of the moment…and he loses out


@ Dufus…If only it was that easy. I too would like to see him in car which is able to mount a challenge. He may not be fast enough to do the business but i want to see him give it his best shot.


And I still want to see Dan in an improving Renault.

If RS18 turns out to be fast, Renault will be an option.


That’s a good shout. Sainz looks like a contender, but if Hulkenberg fails to make the step up then they could turn to Dan.


I agree. I have also thought this is a possibility for the past 12 months or so – but only if Renault suddenly drag their sorry asses out of the midfield and challenge at the front.
If Ferrari and Merc are a no-go, Dan could go for that 3rd “Factory seat” option, rather than settle for moving sidewards by going to McLaren – who will be extremely challenged trying to beat Red Bull this year, let alone get in between Ferrari and Merc.
Sainz still has contractual obligations to Red Bull, we can’t forget he’s only on loan to Renault. The only way a move to Renault happens for Dan is if Sainz ends up back in the Red Bull camp, replacing Dan in the “A” Team and going head-to-head with Max again.
In that case, Dan would most likely be offered a lot more money and guaranteed support by Renault than the other two Factory teams would give him because at Renault, he will be considered the senior/favoured driver.
At Merc or Ferrari he will only be offered a second rate package (money wise and support wise) because they already shell out around 50 mill per year on their highly favoured “No:1” drivers.

Here’s the option nobody has considered …
As stated very recently, if Toro Rosso remains the “Works Honda Team” (even if Red Bull join the Honda camp in 2019) and they miraculously succeed beyond all expectations this season, Dan may become their headline driver beside Gasly.
In that scenario, Red Bull would either jump on board and have two very competitive Honda powered teams – or – cleverly hedge their bets and remain with Renault PUs until 2021. Then they cover all bases.
Either way, they would be able to run one of their top two drivers in each team.
Obviously, this option would be the most attractive for Marko, Horner and Mateschitz.
Dan and Max benefit greatly from it as well because they both become undisputed No:1s and remain loyal to Red Bull!
It’s a win-win for everyone under the Red Bull umbrella … but only if both teams are challenging for race wins!


Please, can we stop feeling bad for Daniel Ricciardo. He is actually in enviable position. A extremely good driver who is a proven world champion beater and is still being pondered upon by team principals. He actually has a better shot of landing a top drive than Fernando Alonso, one of the best drivers ever.

Ricciardo will be fine, he has three options and all of them in the top three. Boo hoo.


Unless Vettel leaves Ferrari, the next open seat goes to Charles Le Clerc. He TOO is touted as a once in a generation talent. I see Ricciardo staying put.


I think this year is make or break for Vettel. If they fail again, I can see them looking for another main man to build the team around.


I would say half the grid could win a WDC if they had “the right car”. Won’t happen but it would be fun to see Alonso and Ricci team up and bring back a winning spirit to McLaren. Schumacher did it with Ferrari and would like McLaren to take a page from that book.

Ricci goes to Merc. If Bottas doesn’t win 5 races this year.


I think half of the grid could win a WDC in a dominant car, but probably only half a dozen have the mental fortitude and consistency to do it when the sharp end of the grid is very competitive.


only 4 out of the 20 drivers deserve to be called champions. if 10 of them deserved to be called champions, then it would have happened.

in f1, top teams have often pursued drivers they believe can win them championships.


@ Aveli…what nonsense. There are at least five drivers currently on the grid who could do the business. Hamilton is only as good as the car that he has.


who mentioned hamilton?

raikkonen, vettel, alonso and hamilton are the only f1 champions. there isn’t anyone else capable of being called champion. if they were, they would already be described as so.

the connection between and his racecars is that he lead’s his engineering team to design and develop them for him to do battle with. the rest are trying to do the same but you know what the score is, don’t you?


Err the 2009 Mclaren was a complete shambles. He still won races with it. Thats called talent Kenneth. You are already on a Lewis hate campaign… and the season isn’t even up and running it’s just testing😄 .

Give us all a break like Sebee has with his V8 mission.

No doubt you will be cursing, frothing, constipating, eating saw dust, for the upcoming F1 season. But surely you can relax your ‘Lewis hate sphincter’ a little before you cause yourself a mischief. There’s a good chap👍


Jon, the 2010 McLaren was no championship winner, not on the same level as that years Red Bull or Ferrari. Lewis did more with it than Button though…….


@BK. And in 2010 Hamilton had a fast car and failed to drive it to a championship position.. That’s called failure ..True talent takes a 90% car and makes it 110%.


It shows how far McLaren have fallen in recent years to make me realise that the thought of a top driver like Ricciardio moving to McLaren never once entered my head in the last few years. Yet a decade ago this would have been a given. Fingers crossed McLaren can get back to that level of competitiveness to make the top drivers return to their fold.


Ferrari poach Max as Red Bull 2018 remain out of touch in third, Max goes as Merc will not pair Max with Lewis.

Dan stays where he is and prays the PU margin can be reduced slightly to allow him to use Newey’s aero to challenge on more than a couple of tracks.

Sainz joins Dan and they both push Red Bull forwards…


Merc will not pair Max with Lewis.

Personally I reckon it’s the other way around ie, the Vertsappens are wary of going up against Lewis in equal machinery. Think about it – Max’s star is burning pretty brightly just now. If he goes up against Lewis and loses, then that star becomes a lot dimmer all of a sudden, much better to avoid the problem… he’s only 15 or 16 years old so time is on his side.


Maybe, but the dominant car must be where his people are looking especially if the gap to the Red Bull remains as big as it has been in recent years. Would be good to see them go head to head, though I’d also love to see Alonso Hamilton in the same team again.


but the dominant car must be where his people are looking

Absolutely, but not when the other seat is occupied by someone like Hamilton. The trick for the Verstappen management team will be to get him in a title winning capable car when he is the #1 driver, and that’s the hard part…..just ask Alonso if you don’t believe me 🙂


If he goes up against Lewis and loses, then that star becomes a lot dimmer all of a sudden

Absolutely ridiculous. If he loses, no one will beat him down; he’d have lost against one of the best. He will try again next year with more preparation. If he wins, the world will be at his feet. Isn’t this the kind of opportunity everyone hopes for in life? He won’t even blink before accepting this offer, if he gets it.


If he loses, no one will beat him down

Lol – and you think my comment is ridiculous !


I don’t think a driver on Max’s level thinks like that. He’ll believe with every fibre of his being that he’s at least as good as Lewis. Don’t forget that it’s also an opportunity for the same reason, though. Should Max join Lewis at Mercedes, nobody would expect him to win so all he’d need to do that first year is take the fight to him and stay reasonably close in the points and his stock would rise.

Remember Jenson Button. Had he stayed at Brawn/Mercedes and partnered Nico Rosberg, he probably would’ve been remembered as a stylish wet weather specialist who won a title in a very special car. Most commentators expected Hamilton to batter him at McLaren, but because he ran him very close, Button will be remembered as being among the better drivers of his generation.


Nah, Max is keeping his head down…it’s the smart thing to do.


Yep. The only button Max has is win at all cost.

Everything else is just secondary. So he stays quiet about the inter team politics and the fact Red Bull are backing him and paying him more than DR . If it means at times it gets heated with DR then he just uses the I’m young and still learning ticket.

Reckon Kenneth is becoming abit obsessed with LH. Or trying to do a Donald Trump Fake News campaign driven on LH.

Joking aside DR should be a Ferrari driver its made for him. He’d be the biggest marketing driver in a Ferrari. They’d drop Vettel with in a year as the Tifosi kick in with DR.

But Ferrari will most likely stick with Vettel then drop him in a Alonso way. Then sack tye team principal and start from scratch again.


@ C63….?


Did you hit return too soon, or did you just forget to type something? You’ll have to give me a bit more of a clue 🙂



he’s only 15/16 years old’ Que?

It was just a little joke – everyone goes on about how young he is.


@ C63…the posts become dislocated owing to extended time lapse in putting the post up. I was querying the comment…’he’s only 15/16 years old’ Que?


Ricciardo against Verstappen in 2017:

7-13 in quali with the 3rd largest speed deficit of all pairings

156-371 in laps ahead which equal 70% of all laps spent behind his team mate… include the Monaco team swap that would have been over 79%. The largest gap between pairings.

So they really weren’t that close and if this continues in 2018 Ric will find himself behind Ver quite frequently at RBR.

At Mercedes Ric would be up against the alledged best driver of the grid, Hamilton.

Mercedes would also have to ditch Bottas, which I doubt they’ll do.

At Ferrari Ric would replace Rai, who, realisticly could be in his last season. This would surely upgrade the Ferrari team. Vettel may have worries, but I doubt Ferrari would not consider Ric. Against Vettel, Ricciardo would have a rather goodchace on beating his team mate…and if things go right in a potential WDC winning car.

To my point of view Ferrari may be the best spot to be for Ricciardo.


Riccardo is not in a good position right now. He’s got arguably the most talented young driver to come into F1 in decades as a teammate, and Verstappen is showing that he will be championship-ready more likely sooner rather than later. And Red Bull have all but stated that they are building the team around Verstappen just as they built the team around Vettel.

I can imagine that there will definitely be interest on the open market for Ricciardo, but he frankly doesn’t have that much bargaining power and can’t ask for too high a price.. Mercedes has Ocon, who frankly is looking just as impressive as Ricciardo did when he was in the same age range and point in his career and can be promoted to a Mercedes seat at a much cheaper salary. If anything, Ferrari seem much more keen to get LeClerc into a seat sooner rather than later to have something to show for their driver development program than they do to throw a big offer at Ricciardo. Both of these guys look like they are every bit as capable of being as good as what Ricciardo and delivering what he has.

Personally, I think the team to look out for in all of this is Renault. We already know that they are very interested in him and went as far as to try to pry him (presumably, instead of Sainz) from Red Bull at the 11th hour during the whole Honda-McLaren-Toro Rosso saga. While the team seem pretty happy to have the Hulkenberg-Sainz pairing, one would think that they would also be quite happy to split that pairing up if it meant getting a guy who has won five grands prix over four seasons in a car that has been at a pretty significant power disadvantage. (Especially if it turns out that one of these two doesn’t quite have the stuff to compete with the other.) This is probably the best fit for Ricciardo, as it is a works team that is showing a clear commitment of resources in order to get back to the top and likely won’t come with the same pressure and political drama that being at Mercedes with Lewis or Ferrari with Vettel would entail.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Here’s the inside line. Ric is off to Ferrari next year. They made such a hoo har about the car being a product of Italian engineering at its launch, they can hardly wait to get a product of Italian heritage in the seat.

From there it’s do or die between him and Vettel to see who gets bumped for Leclerc in a year or two.

After throwing away the championship last year, Vettel’s collateral and collar over the other seat is done.

Just like the deal.




[I think I posted this at wrong article, please post here!]

Ricciardo’s options for the near future are determined by Verstappen’s decision to stay at RBR.
I am still very disappointed by Max’ choice because it’s going to preclude his winning a WDC any time soon. Just cannot see Renault getting their engine on par with Mercedes and Ferrari. Barcelona test results point to improved reliability but still no match in the speed traps.
The only long shot for a Red Bull title appears to be Honda: hope for a miracle performance at Toro Rosso, put all your money on that and become a dedicated works team. Implies a different attitude however than the one adopted by Mateschitz, where there’s only been mention of selling STR.

Max should have gone for a Mercedes contract. Not sure it would have materialised but it was worth a serious shot. He should have done so completely in the open, let Marko/Horner know it just wasn’t going to happen at RB until further notice and they knew it.
Could have promised he would not sign a long contract and would come back at the earliest opportunity.

Everybody says time is on Verstappen’s side. That’s a cliché and only very partly true. Formula 1 is not like football, where a young star is almost certain to end up in a top team. In both disciplines there is the wish to acquire the best/most promising actors but the penalty for a team to be delaying or even not signing is very different. In football your opponent who gets the star might punish you in the Premier League or Champions League this very season. In F1, you can afford to do nothing as long as the star does not have a top car. For the sake of argument, if Max is the best driver by some margin and everybody considers him to be that, there is still no necessity for MB or Ferrari to hire him. The only necessity would be the fear that the other top team would acquire him.
So F1 is a peculiar sport where there are only occasional windows where you can do business teamwise, maybe just 3 or 4 of those windows during a career. They should be taken bloody seriously at any age and even then you have to be very lucky.

The Aussie community seems to think verstappen owns Marko. Unfortunately it’s the other way around: Marko owns Verstappen.
As tough as the Verstappens are on and around the track, in negotiations they have proved to be so many fruit cakes. In a recent interview Max said Marko was ‘like a second father to him’.
There you go.
Says it all.
Now he’s committed and stuck with a losing car. No idle promises will change that.

As for Ricciardo, many Aussies are complaining he’s going to get the Webber treatment. Actually, they should be grateful Max stayed on because this slightly improves Ricci’s chances for a contract with a winning team. Ham/Max at MB would have written finish for Daniel’s chances at MB/Ferrari because Vettel is not going to allow him alongside. At least now there is the remote chance MB are interested. I think it’s a far cry but actually that still gives Daniel better chances of a WDC than Max for the coming seasons.


Phew…for a while there i thought the Verstappen commercial would never end!!!!


Really? I thought I was pretty critical. Can’t see the day you’ll be calling Daniel a fruit cake.
However, from just a single of your posts here the following praise for Ricciardo:
“Personally, i believe that he has the chops to be WDC.”
“He knows how to win and he appears to be able to cope with pressures rather well.”
“[Ricciardo at] Ferrari would open up a marketing dream for the teams.”
“The Tifosi would love to have him.”
“Hamilton fears Ricciardo”
“When Daniel is on it he’s the very best in the business.”

That’s closer to a commercial than my argument.


@ Lemwil…Have you taken time out to read the title of the thread? This thread is about Daniel Ricciardo and not Verstappen…


@ C63…Not necessarily so. Ricciardo will do what he can do, likewise Verstappen. The latters future is locked away for the next three years. He is virtually unobtainable. If the teams are looking to replace one of their drivers then irrespective of Verstappen they will take the best that’s on offer. Maybe that’s Ricciardo , i happen to think so, along with many others, but that is not a given and maybe there are others better suited. I guess that we’ll see sometime in the near future.


@ lemwil…’Ricciardo’s options depend on Max’s choice’ ? What choices are we talking about here? AFAIK Verstappen has made his choice so how does that effect Ricciardo going forward? What further choices does Verstappen have in ’18 that will materially effect what Ricciardo decides to do in ’19?


Yes @kenneth, I have, as you can tell from the opening sentence and the closing wrap-up. And the point is, Daniel’s options depend on Max’ choice. The main argument is about absent necessity to hire drivers, which applies to both RIC and VER, in fact to all desirable drivers.


This thread is about Daniel Ricciardo and not Verstappen

Ah, but the two are inextricably linked, wouldn’t you say?


Max should have gone for a Mercedes contract.

If Merc or Ferrari really wanted Verstappen I doubt he would have signed an extended deal with RBR. He could have stalled with the same reasoning as Ricciardo. It’s certainly not the case of a lack of money that stopped them from getting him, they just did not want or need him that much.

Ham/Max at MB would have written finish for Daniel’s chances at MB/Ferrari because Vettel is not going to allow him alongside.

I’m pretty sure Joe Saward has said more than once Vettel has no such veto power and I doubt Hamilton has it either.


@John H,
Without doubt no veto power indeed, but veto influence yes.


@ lemwil…maybe?


The basic premise of this piece is that Dan will need to move to Ferrari or Mercedes to beat MAX. I don’t agree with that yet.

It seems to me MAX in 2018 is where Vettel was at the start of 2010. He is not yet the sort of driver that will win 10 Grand Prix in one year. He will make some mistakes in 2018, as Vettel did in 2010, Turkey, Hungary, Spa etc.

If Dan is not in a car that can win the WDC this year, then he should at least be ready for a 2018 version of the battles VET v WEB went through in 2010.

Also, I see DAN as a different proposition than WEB was in 2010. He has a different set of stengths. For one, he is a RedBull creature, and has earned some loyalty within the organisation through outright speed. For another, he is less track-specific as Webber was/is and is popular with fans as well. I wonder what would happen at RedBull headquarters if a customer backlash emerged after flagrant favouritism of MAX, a la Spain in 2016.


Good post Mr Squiggle..

The Max=Vet analogy is a good one. Vet won the championship in the best car, but Max doesn’t have that luxury. He is also not the complete driver just yet, and the predictions for his future by his fans are mere projections.

He is yet to show anything more than his speed and a clean pair of heels in the wet. It takes so much more than that to win a championship. His race craft and spacial awareness need to improve and he needs to know how to get the car to the line in +90% of races, even if he doesn’t win the first corner.

More than any of that…both Max and Dan need to realise that they won’t win a championship at Redbull in the near or medium term. The team isn’t even close to the top two.



Just giving this issue more thought, what’s the chance that MV signed a new contract without get-out clauses regarding Renault engine performance? I think it’s very very slim.

So reading around a few sites, it appears as though Renault really is stuffed already for 2018. Some talk of no upgrades on energy recovery systems at all! And they start down on horsepower anyway.

RBR (and McClaren to a lesser extent) will go ballistic by the northern summer if this is true.

And I’d bet, MV has the right to action the get out clause. Therefore, my latest guess is MV will be at Merc in 2019 and DR will be at Ferrari. Or vice-versa. And RBR will drift into the wilderness for a good few years until at least 2021 with average engines and average drivers. Even the great Adrian Newey will have probably had enough by then.

RBR is on the verge of a complete mess, and may have already started down the slippery slope.


Luke, i would very much doubt that there is a performance clause in relation to the Renault. Marko and Horner would not put their fate in the hands of a third party supplier with such a dodgy track record.

I also don’t think the Verstappens would sign on for that long without them all knowing what the future plans are -whether that relates to a Honda works team deal or someone else like Aston or even Porsche.

If there is a performance clause i would think it might relate to the performance of whomever their engine supplier is for 2019 and beyond.


I believe Red Bull’s option on Ricciardo for 2018 was only activated when he won in Baku, because of a performance clause saying Red Bull had to provide a winning car. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if at least some of the years in Max’s contract were subject to the same condition. I’m not sure how you’d separate the car and the engine supplier for that kind of clause, though. You could try a reliability clause, but you would risk Renault and Red Bull trying to pin the blame on each other for failure, which wouldn’t be at all constructive.


Can DR be a WDC?? Sure he can but not in the same car as VES. If like Hakkinen he is in the best car and not up against VES LH, FA or SV he could be WDC in the future. In his case luck will be a big factor while the others i mention can force there way to a WDC. Knowing this i would advice DR a tranfer to Renault. A Works team without a topdog in there team. And to all the people (DR fan**s) i sugest look at the stats of VES en DR over the last 2 years and you will understand why the paddock, journalist and fans around the world regonise the once in a lifetime talent in VES. Btw i regard DR as a very good race driver but in mine opinion just below the absolute top in F1 and therefor he needs the best car, a second tier teammate and luck to become WDC


I think you’re being a bit premature. Max is clearly a once-in-a-generation talent and is capable of performing at a level above and beyond Ricciardo, but what’s not clear is exactly how consistently he can do that and how he handles the escalating pressure of a World Championship challenge.

What we know is that Ricciardo is very, very good and has consistently snatched whatever opportunities. None of his five wins have come in the fastest car and last year he did an incredible job of maximising points scored, and that’s how Championships are won. Should Red Bull turn out to be the class of the field in 2018, I don’t think it’s a given Max would win. Max is not yet the finished article and Ricciardo’s maturity and experience would ensure a very close fight.


@he is the one…(who is?)

“And to all the people (DR fanboys) i sugest look at the stats of VES en DR over the last 2 years and you will understand why the paddock, journalist and fans around the world regonise the once in a lifetime talent in VES.”

Are the stats you are referring to the 2016 WDC points head to head RIC 220 v VES 181, or are you referring to the stat 2017 WDC points RIC 200 v Ves 168??

Or is there some other stat that you, or the paddock, or the journalists or the fans around the world have, that is a more important stat than that?

Is Ric “the one”?

Us DR fanboys…we can do maths!


Probably not the best for his career but I’d be happy to see him in McLaren. Although I wouldn’t dismiss any of the current McLaren drivers … tough one


There re no super human, once in a generation drivers, there’s just top world class drivers and then the rest. Current world class drivers capable of putting together a world championship season together, whist demonstrating the finest sporting prowess are LH, DR, SV, FA. KR. There are other potential world class drivers such as EO, CS, MV, but these guys are still young and have not demonstrated great sportsmanship or all round capability to date, they’re just very quick, but need a lot of support. If MV won a championship in 2018 or 19, it will be because his car and team is the best, and DR’s car fails most, not through all round driver skill such as the top drivers. Apart from anything else, these young drivers should be given time to develop as sportsmen before such hype, they have nothing to say … MV plays play station when he’s not racing – what a great sportsman to follow … perhaps if you’re a teenager, or an emotionally retarded adult!!


Very true Rafe…

But heck! Look what referring to someone as “once in a generation” does to the readership!!

Every sport needs it’s hero’s…but not many sports anoint them before they’ve actually done something. In this day and age you can be born of the media, but actually crucified by them as well.


He should go to Mercedes. There’s no reason why they won’t have a competitive car at least for the next few years.

And even if the engines change for 2021, Mercedes showed last year that they can still win the title over a major change in the technical regulations – something Ferrari failed to do when the one-tyre-for-a-race-rule came in in 2005.

Plus, Hamilton only has 2-3 years left max, I’d say. When he finally goes, that paves the way for Ricciardo to be the number one.

It’s clear Bottas isn’t on the level of Hamilton / Vettel / Verstappen and probably Ricciardo also.

My only concern is that Mercedes will pull out of F1 at the end of 2020. But then again so too may Ferrari. And Red Bull. You could go on…

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