One year on
Marina Bay 2018
Singapore Grand Prix
Max Verstappen on why he blew a golden chance for F1 Chinese GP victory
Posted By: Editor   |  16 Apr 2018   |  6:04 am GMT  |  329 comments

“Maybe I should just…not even calm down, just oversee the situation a little bit more. I don’t know why, I think I was quite good at that before but, somehow this year…

“Maybe with the previous two races not going my way, you want to recover points – it’s working against me at the moment.”

Max Verstappen had a painful ‘life lesson’ in Shanghai, taking out the world championship leader Sebastian Vettel and messing up his chance of a win by running wide when trying to pass Lewis Hamilton in a highly risky place on the track.

This handed the initiative – and the race win – to his team mate Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian still had plenty of overtaking work to do, but he did it flawlessly and raised his stock and market value in the F1 driver market in the process.

The F1 world loves Verstappen’s bold moves and virtuoso drives when they come off, and Red Bull have broken the bank to sign him on that basis. But Shanghai illustrated that there is a fine line between hero and zero when you walk that particular tightrope.

Now in his fourth season of F1, he is no longer considered a ‘young driver’, despite being only 20 years old. “He’s done enough races..” said Vettel after the race.

He follows in a rich tradition of drivers who came into F1 all sound and fury and who collided with others from time to time whilst also demonstrating great skill and talent. Some went on to be great champions, a few did not.

A race win goes begging
Following Red Bull’s inspired decision to pit both of their drivers under the safety car and supply them with new soft tyres, it was all in Verstappen’s hands to go on and challenge for victory, as all the cars ahead had worn medium tyres on. The speed differential was sufficient to pass them all – as Ricciardo went on to prove.

Verstappen was the highest placed Red Bull in fourth place. Ricciardo had to start his post-safety car charge from sixth.

The Dutchman put third-placed Hamilton under severe pressure and, as the pair went through the high speed left-hander of turn seven, Verstappen was forced into taking a wider, less optimal line.

Other drivers had backed out of such a move earlier in the race, but when Verstappen attempted to try and stay with the Mercedes he discovered the anticipated reduction in adhesion and ran wide. This allowed Ricciardo through, who had already disposed of Kimi Raikkonen.

This first error put Verstappen on the back foot, who now had to follow his team-mate through the field. First the pair cleared Hamilton, then homed in on Sebastian Vettel.

On lap 42, Ricciardo managed to execute the majority of the overtake on the long straight prior to turn fourteen, finishing off the move on the Ferrari as they cleared the corner.

Verstappen tried his move on the following lap but, coming from further back, he tried to pass just as Vettel was navigating the corner. The pair came together, both drivers spun, and Verstappen was handed a ten-second time penalty.

Those two poorly-executed overtakes not only cost Verstappen a realistic shot at victory, but an almost-guaranteed place on the podium.

Unfortunately, his collision in Shanghai means he is yet to have a clean race in 2018; he spun in Australia after damaging his car earlier in the race and his Bahrain Grand Prix weekend was marred by a qualifying crash and a race-ending collision with Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen admitted that he was trying to make up for lost ground in the opening races, by forcing the issue too much.

He apologised immediately to Vettel – and publicly – for his mistake in China but, whilst the Red Bull man cut a remorseful figure when speaking to the media after the race, he said he felt no need to reduce his level of aggression.

“I don’t think I necessarily need to change a lot of things, I just need to learn, of course, what happened today,” said Verstappen, “I don’t think I necessarily need to be less aggressive or anything because that [attempted pass on Vettel] was nothing to do with being overly aggressive, just wanting too much.

“Of course this definitely not what I want. It’s a life lesson.”

Verstappen will be looking for his first incident-free race of the season when Formula One heads to the overtake-inducing Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan in two weeks’ time, where Red Bull won last year, albeit in another chaotic, Safety Car inspired race.

All Photos: Motorsport Images

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Not too encouraging what we’ve been hearing from Max since his foolhardy driving last Sunday. He made 4 significant errors: 2 of judgement (engaging in premature moves against Hamilton and Vettel) and 2 of execution (ruining the same). I would have actually preferred it if he (mistakenly) had not found anything wrong in the execution of the two moves, but had been critical of engaging in them in the first place. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s mostly the other way around: his focus is on the details of the moves, only very hesitantly will he be critical of his overall awareness in the race. What he needs is not so much restraint but cleverness. Jos has argued like this, Lauda has (“intelligence”) and many others. He’s got it, he showed plenty of it in recent years but instead of developing it it seems to be slipping away. I don’t believe it’s pressure, impetuousness, or arrogance – although there is some of the latter to be seen (“that’s how we do it”, “see you f*** later, son”). I think that during his career he has been impregnated with a very agressive racing style which he totally considers to be his own now, and to always work. It’s hard to discover that there are limits to that once you’ve entered the realm of the world champions. For all of us it is easy to see what is required, I guess he recognises it too, but it’s hard to nibble away from acquired habit and conviction.

So Max needs to rethink and be more clever. If you find yourself slipping and sliding behind Magnussen, you settle down and couldn’t care less your oblivious crew urges you on to push. “Guys, it’s not gonna happen, think I may have a problem”. If you are in a position to overtake Lewis or Vettel you realise you’ve got the better tyres as well as time on your side – and you don’t let yourself be fooled and get overconfident by the ease you passed two world champions with in the first round. You take two laps to overtake Hamilton and likewise for Vettel.

Verstappen should also develop an other form of cleverness. F1 is a repeated race with ever the same contenders. It’s not as if you encounter dozens of teams and hundreds of constantly changing individual opponents, like in football. It’s the same 20 guys over and over again, 21 races in succession. It’s like going on a 21-day Canada mountain trip with 20 men. You have to deal with the same people day in day out. If you push 2 guys off the track one day you can’t expect any favours the next. Getting respected within a small group of people is never attained by toughness alone, you’ve got to impress by character as well.

He’ll get there but it may take more time than I thought.


F1 needs drivers like VER. It’s a game for the big ballsy types and not the my little pony followers.

But remarkable is the way people tend to jump on VER and forget about the idiotic move of Alonso on VET later on.. he is not 20.. he has a lot of races but the total lack if respect he showed is no problem it seems. Very strange.

I hope and know for sure, VER will stay a long time in F1 and let’s hope there are more situations that spice up the races.


Verstappen needs a hosing down big time, even before the race starts you know from where he is on the grid that he is going to take at least one car out.

He needs to sit out a season or two and reflect on what a menace he is, he then may mature a bit


Took out one driver in 4 seasons… about exxegarating


He’s a bigger liability than Kvyat was. In my mind, he’s “faster” only because he takes too many risks, often cocking everything up in efforts to prove himself. He’s the new Maldonado, which is great because I always look forward to his next calamity. I don’t think he’s as good as he’s been made out to be in the past and I doubt he’ll be a world champ. He’s not well-rounded enough, and has the biggest ego thanks to him being billed a messiah by his team. Danny Ric should get RBs full attention – he’s the better driver. I do enjoy watching him though, because he’s a loose cannon who takes risks. He’s just not that good at making the risks work. He needs to learn from Dan and was promoted far too quickly.


Some have said this was a minor disaster for RB, but I personally feel the events in Shanghai could not have been much better for them. (1) they got P1 and P5 = total of 35pts. (2) Max actually learned an important lesson and will be a better driver for it and most of all (3) – RIC was behind Max and *catching* him before the Hamilton challenge that pushed max wide allowing RIC through. So, it’s not hard to imagine if Max wasn’t pushed wide, that RIC might have had a go at overtaking Max soon after and it’s not hard to imagine that ending in tears for RBR.


Max is over driving, he needs to go back to being the relaxed happy go lucky kid and then his judgement will improve as he will be driving more naturally rather than trying to force the issue by going for non existent gaps.


Make or break year for Max. His career goes one of two ways, he becomes the exciting but unreliable driver, or he becomes the next meastro. If his race days continue in this vein even RBR are likely to be questioning his status as the golden child. Meanwhile Danny Ric seems to have the balance between spectacular and prudent just right and if his season continues as it’s started is going to have no shortage of offers and who knows maybe a WDC.


He made an mistake on Vettel, apologized to him and that should be enough. It was wrong and he knows it. Everybody keeps bashing him for nothing. In his first year at RBR people said he was gifted his wins and he was nowhere near RICCI and should qualify better. In 2017 he improved his quali and race level to new heights and in the process of it beating his team-mate on quali and race wins and was almost all the time in front of him. Unbelievable that people still questions his race craft and keep talking him down or blaming him for that Singapore start and calling him Crashstappen. He won several races in 2017 and did things with that car last year and before any driver could dream to do so, and yes that includes your golden boy Hamilton because since his move to Mercedes he didn’t do jack then only complain when his rocket was not doing it correctly or his team-mate got the better of him. I prefer the Mclaren Lewis, he was fearless and a beast. All this drama every time about Max from drivers and media is starting to get boring. One day people complain F1 is boring and it is only horsepower and DRS. Finally you have drivers who actually try it different because they cannot rely on the extra HP Mercedes and Ferrari have and everybody is yelling FIRE. Come on… he tried to pass Hamilton outside on that corner instead of taking the easy DRS mode, if he achieved it it would be the move of the year. After it he told the media that he picked up too much marbles and couldn’t get it to stick. Are we racing or are we doing golf. We should applause that instead of moving the bulldozer over his head. People forget he is so young still and he is still learning.

Everybody has so much expectations and hate that is almost unbelievable, Max himself is actually very humble if he really is wrong and he showed it to Vettel after the race. He did not say at any-time he would easily be a champion or race winner, you all want the impossible from him or expecting a SennaMacher Terminator at the least.

What where Hammie and Vettel doing on his age? Messing and bouncing each other off in F3. RICCI did an amazing race and this time he was the smarter one, it happens. But if you cannot see that MAX is the overall faster of the two then you don’t know nothing about racing. This has nothing to do with beeing Marko’s boy or whatever, he is the faster in quali and in race trim at the moment. Patience can be learned, adding raw speed isn’t


But if you cannot see that MAX is the overall faster of the two then you don’t know nothing about racing

…but you are implying that you have to be faster all the time to win a race? There is absolutely no point in being half a tenth faster if you can’t do the business and get to the flag first.

Ricciardo is barely giving anything away on Saturdays, but his Sunday record against Verstappen speaks for itself.


It’s no good being faster by 100th of a second in qualifying if you can’t keep your car on the track during racing or be smart enough not to run into other cars.


Amen, i couldn’t have said it better myself. All those detractors are getting really tiresome. Max will bounce back, you could see in the post race interview he know he needs to change something. And he will.


True. Everyone forgets history of other drivers on the grid. I recall Lewis smashing into previous team mates (Jensen & Nico) and also into the back of Kimi’s Ferrari coming out of pitlane, to name a few. And now Lewis is 4 times.


@ Chris…you’re pushing the same barrow as all the other defenders. He’s in his 4th year! That should tell you something. The reason he didn’t make the pass on Hamilton, around the outside, was because it was not an option which he has learnt. The problem was that he may have taken Hamilton out as a result of this lack of racing acumen. Luckily he didn’t. What he did do though was take the Championship leader out of a reasonable amount of points as a result of another ill timed attempt to pass. No one is denying that Verstappen is a very fast driver and may, just may, go on to achieve greater things. What people, like me, are condemning is his cavalier approach and disregard for other drivers who are all trying to the best that they can under the same conditions. ATM his ambitions are greater than his skills.


@Kenneth, indeed he’s in his 4th year and has experience as an F1 driver. But he is still only 20 years of age, and the mind and descision making of people under 22 works differenly. They don’t over see all the consequences. Maybe in his mind the overtake could work because he made the exact same move last year in Kimi Raikonnen and made it stick.
As for disregard for other drivers is just bs, you could say the same for Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Ricciardo and almost every other driver. The move Ricciardo made on Bottas was way more agressive and prone to accident then what Max did, yet people think that was perfectly ok. Same for the Bahrain incident with Hamilton (wich Hamilton is just as much to blame for), Max gets flak for running Lewis a little bit wider then absolutely neccesary, yet those same people think its perfectly ok for Alonso to run Vettel all the way off the road. Had the roles been reversed in Bahrain and had Max hit Hamilton everybody would have been up in arms about it and calling for Max’head. It’s gone wrong a couple of time in a row now for Max, but more often then not he get’s it right. The same goes for Ricciardo, he’s been pulling off these aggressive move, but eventually it will go wrong for him too, just as it has in the past for the other drivers. Remeber 2011 when Hamilton and Massa seemed like magnets constantly running into each other.


@ PDR…my response is simple… don’t shoot the messenger. I suggest that you read a bit wider from accounts of commentators far wiser and smarter than me. Then when you’ve done that you might like to reflect on what i’ve said.


Verstappen has been a great addition to F1, he injects excitement and a real element of the unknown. He probably is faster than Ricciardo, as you suggest, maybe the fastest flat out of all the drivers, especially when racing. He seems to extract extra metres when the cars are bunched up and is always looking to pass. But I’m not convinced his car control and spatial awareness is as good as Hamilton’s, say. I used to think so, but there are just two many errors of judgement. His anticipation of other drivers is also poor. And that’s where Ricciardo truly shines. His ability to pounce at the perfect time and place means he just doesn’t come unstuck in the same way. Unless Verstappen addresses this area of his driving, I think Ricciardo will always be a better bet for a championship-winning driver. I think Red Bull may have backed the wrong one of the two.


Pity I sort of knew what happened before I got to see the Monday night 1 hour highlight, But it’s still good to see why things happened.

Max still has a lot to learn, obviously, but the turn 14 incident with Vettel was caused by Vettel 200 metres after the 5 red lights went out.

As usual, Kimi got a better start than Seb, but Seb ruined his, & Kimi’s chances by forcing Kimi into a shallow corner entry, & giving Bottas & Verstappen the faster outside entry.

If Vettel (who still has his own learning to do) didn’t squeeze people at the start, both Ferrari’s would have been 1-2 in clean air & Verstappen would have been back in P5, P4 at best.

Had Vettel not slowed both himself & his team mate, he & Max would not have been together at that point some 40 odd laps later.

Max deliberately ran wide at Bahrain to push Hamilton away, which compromised his entry to turn 2, & therefore deserved the flat tyre, & Lewis’ turn 7 response in China.

The biggest lesson for Max to learn, is that you cannot pass at the apex. It must be before or after.

His move on Kimi in Austin ’17 & this turn 14 hit with Vettel in China is proof enough.

Between Vettel’s refusal to be anything less than God, Mercedes new found ability to get Sunday wrong, & Max’s unrestrained youthful impatience, this year could be good for Daniel Ricciardo to be WDC.


Actually, i’m not sure Max was entirely to blame for coming together with Ham in Bahrain. In fact, I’d say it was 50/50. He squeezed Ham out but Ham didn’t back off enough. Ham does that a lot, especially in th Rosberg days, pushing them right out and expecting them to back off when they run out of room. With Max in Bahrain, perhaps the boy squeezed to much but then perhaps Ham didn’t back out enough?


Since Hamilton was still slightly ahead at the apex, Max was obliged to give him room on track, which he didn’t – he pulled right across the track to block Hamilton. Lewis could have slammed the brakes or gone off track, sure, the decision to stay on and not reduce speed (much) was a gamble, maybe, but it worked for him. It was a racing incident either way, but unnecessary on Verstappen’s part, he could have given Lewis room and maybe still have ended up ahead. Bad decision again.


It is not his driving style, not his level of ‘aggression’ nor his attitude he has to change.

It is his ‘impatience’ he needs to control because it corrupts his timing. He just wants to correct a lost position to fast. He knows that first laps overtakes bring the best chance for succes because one looses less ground to the front-runners but after the initial phase of the race he needs to take time to calculate, to plan and to wait for secure opportunities.


@ Jeroen Bons…Sorry but i don’t buy that excuse. His ‘attitude’contains those elements of aggressiveness and that leads to his possible impatience. Without an ‘attitudinal change’ he will continue to make these ‘rookie’ style blunders. Being into his fourth F1 season one expects more from a driver at this level.


Fun race, or second half anyway. I think its still dangerous to right off mercs as losing the momentum, they are VERY good at development, see 2017. Baku must surely be a make or break for them?

In terms of Max, I think lots of folks forget he’s still only 20, being thrust to the front of a world class theatre must surely pile the pressure on a 20 yr old to perform and over reach at times, I didn’t see his attempt to pass Hamilton, but I did see his stab at Vettel and to be honest I thought it was an over optimistic racing incident, in terms of the race it was disastrous but IMO between two other racers I think it would almost have been overlooked. He’s still got 6/7/8 years before he hits what’s considered his f1 prime, which is slightly scarey!

Provided he matures in the right way I think he could out class Hamilton and give Schumacher a run for his money by then!

As for Riccardo I really really hope he can put a run together, he’s been over shadowed by the young wipper snapper in the other car, I think he’s one of the most under rated drivers at the front end certainly


The virtual carbon copy incident of the other young bull of GAS was similarly penalized and didn’t take out the championship leader, only the sister car.


Mad Max Verscrashstappen.


Verstappen’s luck has run out. Simple.


Sadley Max is not destined for F1 for much longer. While some may find his antics fun there is a lot of money and time being invested in this Formula and to have a wreckless individual destroying what is a lot of hard work for a great many people with complete disregard and respect for that input not to mention the same for those driving around him, I feel that time is fast running out for Max.

For a team to make public on the radio “to keep it clean” does not bode well as the team are obviously finding it difficult to control him and are running out of patience with him. While they might have thought he could be tamed they have taken a massive risk with him and now find themselves in a difficult position.

What goes around comes around and as we are seeing it is very easy to destroy a team’s championship quest by some wreckless driving by a lower team. And memories are long in this sport.


What are you talking about, seriously? He over performed already so what is the fuss about. The boy is just 20 and won three races already. He outbrake himself on Vettel and that is his fault. He already said he wasn’t trying to overtake Vettel. The Hamilton Bahrain thing is way overblown because it was a 50/50. What do you actually want? Racing or watching the parade. You guys are really an pain in the …. No wonder Brexit happent. You guys do know that Schumi and Senna were way worse then these drivers nowadays. Verstappen would be a saint compared to those two. Actually i think Senna would teach all a lesson in stop complaining like a little child. Nowadays they are a joke and saying Senna is my idol but at the first simple squeeze calling the other an idiot, how laughably when your idol did things 10x worse than that. Imagine schumi doing a Adelaide 94 on Vettel or Hammi. Those were the times drivers said i will make your live hell and did their talking on the track and no FIA would interfer.


“He already said he wasn’t trying to overtake Vettel”. Bwahahaha!

The Brexit decision was nearly as stupid as the marbles overtake.


Max needs to move to NASCAR where this slam-bang-crash your opponent is the rule. Doesn’t work in F1. How many of these are they going to give him?


It’s become obvious that Red Bull, Max’s adoring fans, and the unrelenting, ravenous media looking for the next huge headline are as much to blame for Max’s attitude as he is.
When a kid is told he is going to be the best ever, before he has even sat in a Formula 1 car, it would be hard not to feed off that tsunami of love and adoration in a manner which blinds him from his short-comings and immature mistakes.
In short … he now believes all the hype, pomp and ceremony is true and that he can do no wrong … because his family, friends, mentors, bosses, fans and the media allow him to get away with anything because he is “exciting” to watch.
Marko, Jos, Mateschitz and HornySpice all believed and openly stated that he would be the youngest F1 race and Championship winner in the history of F1. They spoke boldly about his potential and hypothesized to a point where they all started to believe it would simply happen. No need to coach him or mould him into the star they saw in him, just allow the kid to blossom in his own time and manner.

Unfortunately, that tactic is failing him miserably now. The kid is caught in that world between adult and adolescent, where cold-hard reality bites like a tiger and ambitious hypotheticals are quickly dismissed when actions display the polar opposite of those lofty expectations.
If you tell a kid he is a champion enough times when he’s growing up, he will begin to believe it, it’s only natural.

If you want a perfect example, look up the poor girl on I think it was Britain’s Got Talent. My wife’s Goddaughter show it to her the other night, it was hilarious but totally disheartening all in one. This poor girl firmly believed she could sing like Celine Dion and tried to prove it by singing the Titanic song, extremely difficult to say the least. She sang it with total confidence because her parents had constantly told her she could do it. When she bombed out horribly and was told how bad she was, she questioned the judges. Her parents quickly jumped to her defence and questioned the judges as well. The judge, Simon Cowell, then told the parents it was all their fault for lying to her and giving the girl false hope because she really was atrocious but had absolutely no idea. To them it was more important to lie than to hurt her precious feelings.
In Max’s case, he might have the talent – but he certainly does not have the poise, respect or maturity to back it up. Nor does he have the ability to understand the gravity of his actions … because he has constantly been told he is the anointed one and can do no wrong!


@ Jack…a well crafted response to the’ Verstappencandonowrong’ camp. I happen to agree with your summary. Crash and burn is a well known inhabitant of F1. He may well go on to beat Shumacher’s record, who knows, but ATM he is going nowhere fast.


Mad Max? Yes, Mad Max!
You don’t get such a nickname without reason.

Max Verstappen got burned by many pundits even before this last race in Shanghai because of his very aggressive style on the race track with limited thought about potential consequences when no margins are left. Including errors of his own making as his skills/ability is still not where his blown ego think he is.

So no wonder the critiques are vocal after this weekend’s Shanghai race. Max Verstappen’s lack of patience (or intelligence?) cost him the victory. Dr. Marko also expressed so after the race… Hard to disagree with him.

The safety car came out just at the absolute best moment possible for the RedBulls. The RedBull pitwall and engineers did an outstanding job calling the right strategy right then and there, even double-stacking their two cars for the tire change. Risky as it was, it went perfect and Verstappen was coming out from the pitstop all stars lined up for a brilliant GP win. Ricciardo a few seconds behind to turn this race into a fantastic 1-2 race win for Redbull!

Both RedBulls were substantially faster than both the Ferrari and Mercedes who had both passed by the pit-entry and missed the opportunity for new fresh and faster tires.

Still Max looses the plot completely shortly after when attempting a clumsy move on Hamilton with no prior consideration, no timing, no brain. Leaving the track for his teammate Ricciardo to show how easily it could be done with some finesse and appropriate timing.

And then still shortly after, Max repeats with yet another totally silly move on Vettel at wrong time and place, throwing away both his own and Vettel’s race and his own chance at podium.

Lauda was certainly not impressed. And in typical direct style was not shy in front of the cameras post-race saying: “Max was the one and only causing this accident. It does not appear as any proper reasoning is able to get to him and his brain. Normally you grow from you prior mistakes. But he shrinks. It is a case of lack of intelligence.”

Difficult as well to think that Verstappen improved his chances for a seat at Ferrari or Mercedes any time soon after this Shanghai race… Now again he his a long term contract signed with RedBull, so should he are? Well, time will tell…
Yes, he is only 20 years old. But this is his 4th season in Formula One!

He got promoted to RedBull and right after he won in Spain. A star was born!

Then came Monaco 2015 where he for the first time drove beyond physical possible. He tried a hopeless pass on Grosjean and it ended in a giant crash.
Since then he has gone from one questionable episode to the next. Way too much self-confidence in own abilities and total lack of respect for other drivers ahead of him or just next to him. And what did he achieve in 2017? He parked his car 7 times without getting to the chequered flag. Not all by his own doing though…
Mechanical defects and also getting his nose involved in questionable situations, like when the Ferraris made minced meat of him in Singapore. No doubt he must be frustrated after such a season, where still his teammate scored persistently better throughout.

This year Max started strong in Australia. But no doubt he got very surprised when getting taking sublime on the outside by another hard charging and talented Kevin Magnussen. And despite being in an inferior car, Magnussen managed to defend again and again against Max. And Max lost both his temper and grip. Spun, lost precious position and ended again behind his mature teammate.

Then onto Bahrain where he already in the Q2 qualifier overdrive his car, where he otherwise easily could have cruised through to Q3. And in the race it didn’t go much better. Initiating a great pass on Hamilton. And then still for no reason want to impose himself and cutting further into Hamilton before the end of the curve. They touch and he gets a puncture on his rear wheel. Game over and for what?

He is now 8th in the WDC. Has only half the points of his teammate.
On track for a sub-par performance vs his teammate like last year. Its not all lost yet but he definitely need to change his approach. We know and have seen his amazing skills, like when driving fast in the rain while other drivers scrambled. Though his self belief is almost at an intolerable level, just a bit more respect for the others could take him a long way. Maybe also some better coaching not from his father as role model, as we know how he ended. Max has the WDC potential but we need to see him taking his F1 race craft experience and development more serious. This is not karting or Formula 3 bumper car racing.


James, I have reading your articles for more than five years but don’t mistake me. It was journalists like you and others who have made the notorious driver who Max is today. I have been saying from day one that this guys is dangerous for himself and others. It’s not only about talent, it’s about how you use that talent. Anybody can drive crazy like him but driving with common sense differentiates great drivers from crazy drivers like Max.


Staggering to see how critical people sitting on their couch can be. Max is young and when he actually gets his head in order in the heat of battle the rest are screwed. If he was smart he would learn as much as he can from Ricciardo but I think he is too arrogant for that. Sad to see his dad being critical of him, Jos should be very proud.


Hakkinen had a race ban for a string of overzealous manoeuvres in I think around 94 or 95, one incident in particular took Alesi out who was entering turn one in the lead. While Mika was not 20 there are a few possible parallels to draw here.

BTW I have not seen any comments from Sebee or Gazboy for sometime?


Hurt feelings have taken their toll although we have seen Sebee back infrequently.


I don’t see a problem with his dad being critical of him. Its good to have someone tell you when you are wrong and also praise you when you are doing the right thing. Where is bad parenting is overlooking your child’s weaknesses and pretending they don’t exist and praising them anyway. Max needs a wake up call. As Vettel indicated, he has enough races under his belt to not be considered a rookie or inexperienced.


Yet here you are sitting on the middle of the couch calling him arrogant and being critical if his father. Go figure.

This has been a long time coming, with many blinded by the hype. Hell, some were even saying that he should be allowed to take a shortcut at Austin.


Well he certainly took a ‘haircut’ hahaha..talking of which,a certain driver of Germanic origin, needs to get some better advice!!!! What a shocker.


Max will get there. The guy’s speed is fantastic. He’s always right there on the edge – and went just over it in China with Lewis (an attempt to overtake that would never succeed on that part of the circuit) and Vettel (contact). His level of aggressiveness isn’t wat cost him the race in China – his lack of patience was.

Also some of the criticism directed to Verstappen isn’t completely justified. How was Alonso’s overtake on Vettel (China – ) cleaner than MV’s overtake on Hamilton (Bahrain – Yet nobody cares about Alonso’s move.

Obviously Verstappen’s ruffled some feathers and by doing so got the worlds attention. Now it’s up to him to prove that he’s more than just a very fast and entertaining driver. This race will surely contribute to him becoming a more complete driver. I’m sure China will prove a very valuable lesson for the rest of his F1-career. I can’t wait to see the rest of this season unfolds – it’s shaping up to be epic with Ferrari, Merc and RB all in the mix.


Without looking again, I am almost certain that one was ahead at the apex and one was wasn’t, so that would be the reason.


Alonso and Vettel did not touch, while Max and Lewis did. Why is it so hard?


Because Vettel went off track, to avoid a collision… why is it al hard?

I quess a lot of Hamilton fans are just scared by Verstappen’s raw talent.


Last time i looked at the points to date,this season, i don’t think that Mercedes have anything to worry about from Verstappen. He may go on to become the ’18 WDC but i wouldn’t bet my house on it.


I’m not sure how you can separate “aggressiveness” from “patience”, there is undeniably a time factor involved in both of them. Especially in motor racing where the overtaker most frequently has to take the time to assess where to overtake. Whilst taking to much time is often aligned to not being aggressive enough, witness Bottas in Bahrain.

From what I see there are a number of problems with Verstappen. Firstly he is trying to live up to his projected image, that he can do what other drivers can’t. An image which is falsely cultivated and hence impossible for him to live up to. Plainly there are number of drivers on the grid who can do it just as good, if not better, a fact that he hasn’t yet learnt and, what is worse, he hasn’t identified who they are. Some drivers will give way because it is in the their nature to avoid accidents. other will give way because in that race, at that time, they need to finish and a lost place isn’t their main concern. The biggest problem he has is that he hasn’t identified who the drivers are that will never give way. The ones that fight for every mm and won’t give you anything.

Verstappen is fortunate in that it is possible to teach a fast driver to be also a smart driver. It is much harder, next to impossible, to teach a smart but slow driver to be fast. As usual the first step is admitting that we aren’t both smart and fast already. No one truly arrives in F1 with both attributes, or if they do it’s very very rare. Verstappen has to learn to be smart about how he goes racing but retain the speed at the same time. There are plenty of fast drivers who never truly learnt the craft of F1 racing. Or when they did learn to be smart they dropped some speed as a result.

Personally I have seen nothing in Verstappen that convinces me that he can be both smart and fast. His arrogance keeps getting in the way.


@ Gary…another well crafted response.


Was shaping up to be another one stop race – sigh. Was a fun race, but we need some way for races to be exciting without a safety car.


Here’s a simple idea which needs absolutely no changes to anything other than the pit stops in the races.

All teams have to use all 3 tyre compounds supplied by Pirelli for each race.
The tyres are already there, they might as well use the damn things!
That instantly guarantees 2 stops and the opportunity to use them in whatever order the teams wish. It would make for some very interesting, very different strategies at different stages of the race and a chance for all of those different strategies to converge and play-out with about 10-15 laps to go.
No need for the boringly slow, follow-the-leader conservation stints at the beginning or end to save tyres.
How good would that be????
It creates a very similar situation to what happened in China without the SC or VSC influencing the results. Which also gives some of the “slower” teams a chance to mix things up and challenge the big guys at certain stages of the race where they can run much softer, newer tyres in those stints where the big boys are on the harder tyres.
It may not change the ultimate result but it would make the races a lot more interesting because nothing is clear until the final part of the GP.
Uncertainty creates excitement and causes teams to make a lot more quick decisions … which in turn creates mistakes and even more opportunities!


An off topic question for anyone who uses the BBC website – does anyone else find the fact they have Jolyon Palmer giving expert analysis a bit much? He wrote a piece last week criticising Bottas and one this week criticising Hamilton (albeit milder than the Bottas one). Does anyone else think it’s a bit ridiculous considering this guy was on the grid last year getting pummelled into the floor, and he’s there criticising world champions and race winners?


@ Andrew M…I do read his comments. They are his opinions and he is entitled to them as much as anyone else’s!. The fact is that he is an ex F1 driver, regardless of how he fared, and that gives him an insight that is IMO far better than anything that you could come up with. By all means criticise, that’s what healthy debate engenders but only if you can do better, which i very much doubt.


There is a world of difference between me and you commenting on a forum and what Palmer is paid to do for the BBC. Punditry is a very weird nexus, you have to be credible in your analysis (especially when it is critical, as Palmer’s have been); I don’t think he has that credibility.


Your comment regarding Jolyon qualifies him for a top billing on this and many other forums, all populated by armchair experts. At least he has been there and done it.

@Kramgp. Couldn’t agree more.


At least he has been there and done it.

Been there, sure. For 1.5 seasons. Done it?! He did nothing.

F1 driver Jolyon Palmer, who left Renault at the end of 2017, joins the BBC team …

Two things wrong there. Left Renault? At the end of 2017?? He was booted from the team mid-season! Renault paid him out, to get him out of there and replace him with Sainz!!


Totally ridiculous. No credibility at all. You’re always left with the question of “well, what would you know about it?!” with Palmer.

Jacques Villeneuve says a lot of stupid stuff, but I’d be more likely to take his point because he’s been at the top of the sport and done it.

Having said that I do like the analysis done by the likes of Davidson, Di Resta and Chandok, and none of them did much in F1. I think it’s that Palmer gives off the impression that he believes he could be competing with the heavy hitters if only given the car. When of course that’s ridiculous, seeing how he was pounded mercilessly by the Hulk. Read a story only recently about how Hulk only started asking about settings on the other Renault after Sainz joined. Before that he didn’t care, ‘cos he knew Palmer was never a threat.


I think he’s just feeling his way, it’s quite common for new commentators to go over the top early on. I think they feel the pressure to say something headline worthy, hopefully he’ll calm down.


I completely agree. I find it very difficult to read his ‘bits’ published on the BBC website. He always was rather second rate, pushed heavily by his father. I’ve watched him doing circuits with others at the Bedford Autodrome and getting passed lots, even then. He has always had a lot to say for himself. Maybe that qualifies him for the BBC job!


Wow, how I wish we had NBCSN back. ESPN’s coverage of the race, commercials or not is pathetic and I’d rather have Buxton, Diffey, Hobbs and Matchett back any day.

Martin Brundle is pathetic because his grid walks make him sound like he’s on drugs or half way into a stroke. He certainly doesn’t belong in the role he is expected to play and it sucks. Pretty shabby from where ESPN used to be in race coverage and no help from Sky Sports either.


The greatest drivers never go in for coaching or commentating, but often lesser drivers/athletes do well in these roles. I didn’t rate Palmer as a driver, but he’s new to the commentating role, so we can give him a longer rope, and he is much better than the stuff Andrew Benson puts out. (My fellow countryman Karun Chandok despite not setting the track on fire is a well-appreciated commentator, liked by quite a few here)

I thought that “Bottas is an incredibly talented driver, but if he is to really take the fight to those around him I feel he needs a bit more bite in the heat of battle.” was quite fair.

I also thought that his description of DannyRic’s overtakes ” The way he sets up an overtake is key. The thing is from the outside he doesn’t give anything away. He knows how far back he can send a lunge in from, and when he’s within range he sits in the slipstream and just waits for his opponent to brake before firing it down the inside at the last moment when it’s too late for them to respond. The key for him is to give nothing away before the braking zone. When drivers move out too early, it actually becomes easier to defend as the driver ahead knows what to expect…………. He did his trademark late lunge and made it look easy. No lock-up, made the apex, using the brakes to full efficiency. His judgement is remarkable.” was a simple to understand explanation for some of the people here who still can’t understand how Danny does it and why driver skill makes the difference.

On Hamilton, even by his I’m ‘slow-out-of-gates’ standards, has been outqualified and outraced in 2 out of 3 races by Bottas is not something I expected in the Fangio-year. He’ll turn it around but some criticism is bound to happen.

Torchwood Mobile

@Andrew M – I agree with you.

Renault mysteriously gained the ability to run two cars at the same time, within weeks of replacing Palmer, so he was not the complete architect of his poor F1 record; but yes, it leaves a bitter taste to see him laying into higher tier drivers in his articles.


Totally agree. Crap driver so really should not be throwing stones at those who have a vastly better track record than him


I also read the articles. But disagree. I didn’t get the impression he was claiming to be anything other than his record suggests. An ex driver can give good inside knowledge. And is well informed. Martin Brundle didn’t exactly set the world on fire and is a very well respected commentator. I would get too worked up about it.


Well Brundle was world sports car champion and beat a certain Ayrton Senna in the lower formulae – his F1 career wasn’t so great. Not sure if Palmer has achieved much.


I wouldn’t compare Brundle with Palmer. Different league, Brundle was awesome even with two smashed up legs.


Fair point about Brundle, he went straight from racing to commentating which is virtually the same thing, although I think he was clearly a higher level than Palmer, and he had a 10+ year F1 career, not just shy of two seasons (which ended rather ignominiously). It’s just that Palmer was soooooo poor…it’s really hard to take his insights seriously.


Verstappen is now 20 — yet he drives like a 17 year old, and Maldonado. He has got an amazing talent, but, I am afraid he will never be a champion. Red Bull should give to Ricciardo the No. 1 status — he truly deserves it.


Max has all the driving skills needed in a multiple WDC. All he needs is a little more experience. This year he’s learning self control; how to take the longer view. China was an excellent lesson for him. The test will be how quickly he learns.

Richard Mortimer

Kimiwillbeback is right! You can’t judge a driver by one race, or even 3.

Looks to me like a little desperation has crept in. That’s has caused to misjudge / mistime his overtaking attempts.

He is still the stand-out driver from late last year! And, thankfully, he has admitted his mistake and that he is over compensating for the first 2 races!


I agree, however RBR should preference Ric while they grow Vers. And stop the mind games apparent between the lines of Horner & Marko. It ain’t professional. Bad habits are hard to change though.


How quickly we forget.. Talented but crash-prone, might never be a Champion..

I reality we have seen the same from so many drivers in the past that has gone on to great things.

Senna had more than his fair share of incidents due to being too greedy.

Schumacher had a lot of incidents i 91, 92 and 93 due to overdriving and wanting too much. That continued throughout his career.

Hamilton was involved in a lot of incidents in his younger days, and does still have some moments.

Vettel was known as the «crash-kid» for quite some time and does still have incidents caused by being too greedy.

Alonso is the odd one out among these drivers but he has not won as the others.

So what was the cure for these drivers to rack up the numbers and stop being too greedy? The answer is getting in the best car, start from the front. Then they don’t have to be greedy, they are in control.

I actually think the impatience shown by the aforementioned drivers and Verstappen is what sets them apart from other very good drivers. The willingness to overdrive a car and do anything to win instead of accepting the car is not quick enough is a sign of future greatness. As they hone their skills the mistakes are fewer and further between, but they are prone to relapses from time to time throughout their career as they refuse to settle for second best. At times coming second would be better than risking it, but it’s just not in their DNA.

Richard Mortimer

Quite right! Vettel’s errors last year were far worse! And, that from a 4 time world champion.

By the way, we still have this weaving when another car is alongside! Totally unacceptable…. I mean Seb pushing Kimi into the pit-lane!

If I were Kimi I would say, “Do that again and I am going through!”

Put Seb in his place…. he (Seb) has as much to learn as Max!


“The willingness to overdrive a car and do anything to win instead of accepting the car is not quick enough is a sign of future greatness”

You mean like Jacques Villenuve?? 🙂


“Alonso is the odd one out among these drivers but he has not won as the others.”

Reminds me of his C-R-A-Z-Y overtake on the outside of Schumy at 130R.

Stuff of legends.


“virtuoso drives” I’m sorry, but what are you talking about James?

A virtuoso is someone that utterly dominates his craft, never making the slightest mistake, think a virtuoso violinist, not someone that botches 2 out of 3 attempts and apparently the ones that stick are due to mere luck or the other drivers backing off in order to avoid a collision.

I think there’s something important to be said about Horner giving excuses like “he’s learning”. F1 shouldn’t have childs that come to learn, this is supposedly the best series in the world, why can’t it have the best drivers in the world (pay drivers aside, obviously).

This is in detriment of the series. Childs, that come to learn to drive to F1. Crashing into everybody ahead of them one race at a time.

Richard Mortimer

Esteban, have you ever driven competitively? From what you say, I would guess not….

You can’t compare a ‘virtuoso’ violinist with a competitive one! Ricciardo’s performance was a virtuoso, like Max’s late last year!

He is a virtuoso (at 20 years) just not performing at that level right now!

A child? Adults still learn… plus, remember, Max came to F1 at 17, not yet an adult (18).

I am 55, and although I don’t drive competitively that much, these days, I am still learning. For one thing: every new track is a huge learning experience, as is every new / unfamiliar car.

It’s hard to get the ‘sweet-spot’ where you are completely ‘ONE’ with the car! When it does exactly what you want and you feel you can do anything with it.

Red Bull are in a difficult position: pretty much decidedly third in the ranking. That means they are not too worried about the mid-field battle, but need to get everything right to compete with Mercedes and Ferrari.

I think that is why Max is over-driving at the moment and taking risks.

Wait and see. He’s a bit far behind now…. plus, admits he has got it wrong.

He’s in a good position now. It’s easier psychologically to be the chasing rather than the chased.

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