Daniel Ricciardo denied French GP podium by damaged car, weighing up next F1 team move
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: Editor   |  25 Jun 2018   |  12:14 pm GMT  |  293 comments

Red Bull did better than they expected in the French Grand Prix, but were unable to fully capitalise on a free double-podium opportunity as Daniel Ricciardo was hindered by a “wounded” car, losing out to Kimi Raikkonen.

With the Red Bull engine choice for Honda in 2019 now made and officialised, the Australian is also the key to the F1 driver market in the coming weeks.

The Australian was one of the main beneficiaries of the chaotic start to the race in Paul Ricard,which dropped a Mercedes and a Ferrari down the order; Ricciardo moved up to fourth place on the opening lap and made light work of Renault’s Carlos Sainz after the early safety car period.

From there, Ricciardo stayed within a few seconds of second-placed team-mate Max Verstappen, and his later pit stop gave him fresher tyres for the final stint. A damaged front wing meant that the Australian couldn’t stay with his team mate and resist a recovering Raikkonen.

Instead, he dropped back towards Ferrari’s Raikkonen, who powered past the Red Bull driver on the Mistral straight with a handful of laps to go.

“I’m obviously a bit disappointed and it’s a shame to lose out on the podium today,” said Ricciardo.

“We were definitely quicker than fourth place and it could have been a good battle with Max. I don’t know why yet but the front wing was damaged during the race.

“Before the pit stop we had really good pace on the supersofts, I don’t know how good compared to Lewis as he was so quick, but it seemed that we were pulling away from Kimi and catching Max.

“Then about two laps before I stopped I had damage to the left part of the front wing; I felt some understeer immediately and I don’t know whether it was a failure or I hit some debris but the mechanics could see it during the stop.”

Ricciardo added that similar damage to the other half of the wing further hampered his pace.

“After the stop, the identical part on the right of the front wing also broke. Because of the damage we had less downforce, the car was understeering, and the tyres were suffering.

“Kimi was always going to catch us at the end of the race with that pace, the blue flags were also pretty bad, but we were a wounded car.”

After his Monaco Grand Prix win, Ricciardo was 38 points off the championship lead and third place overall.

Despite remaining in third place in the drivers’ championship, Ricciardo’s deficit has now extended to 49 points in the last two races, further lengthening his already-long odds at challenging for a title this season.

Ricciardo decision on future due now that Red Bull engine choice made

All eyes will be on Ricciardo in the coming weeks as he holds the key to the F1 driver market for 2019. Now that Red Bull has committed to Honda engines for next season, the Australian knows fully what the options are. He would be brave to move to McLaren, given how far off the pace of Red Bull they have been with the same Renault engine.

If he were to leave, Red Bull would probably pull back Carlos Sainz so a switch to the works Renault team would effectively end in a swap. He will not go to Ferrari and the Mercedes chance is fading, as Bottas has made a stronger case this season on many levels, for retention.

A two year extension with Red Bull would be a likely route, which leaves him a free agent for 2021 when many of the top driver contracts expire. He will be 31 at that point, still in his prime and able to capitalise on a title winning car if he can get into one.

All images: Motorsport Images

Do you think Red Bull will have any chance of challenging for either championship this season? Leave your comments below.

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1

Sounds like a failure to the front wing, both sides lost identical pieces & Paul Ricard had very little marbles on the track.

2

Looks like Australia won’t be getting an F1 world champ for a while. The stories are that Ricciardo is about to sign with Red Bull again. It’s a real shame.

3

I think the scenario you’ve outlined, with Ricciardo staying put until 2021, is the most likely, now. Not only is Bottas strong enough to support Hamilton in races and win them when Hamilton can’t, but he’s not the kind of character who’ll try and get under Lewis’s skin to gain an advantage. As I see it, there are two potential risks in retaining Bottas:

1) That losing to Lewis takes its toll on his confidence and, Massa style, his performance suffers. Valtteri seems like quite an introspective character.

2) That Mercedes risk losing Ocon if they can’t make room for him in the top team.

As for Red Bull’s championship chances, I think it would be a very long shot. You’d basically be looking at a scenario where Ferrari and Mercedes are regularly beating each other, and Bottas beating Hamilton sometimes, whilst Ricciardo consistently beats Max. At the moment, none of those three things look likely to happen.

4

Unfortunately for Ricciardo Leclerc is younger and more connected. The fact that he is quite a good driver dosn’t hurt either. So It may be that he is going to get the gig at Ferrari.

But I do like a good rumour especially one that suits what I want to hear. So the rumour is Anthony Newey may move to Renault. Renault have made it clear they would absolutely take Ricciardo.

So accepting that Ferrari sign the young Monaccan born driver I think a Renault move for Ricciardo would be very possible.

But Wolff has come out with this gem.

Q: Hamilton said on Thursday that negotiations are all done so what’s the delay, is it coming from your side?

TW: Maybe it’s about choosing the right moment to say…

Q: So is it done?

TW: I can’t confirm.

So my question is If Hamilton has re-signed why not say so? Surely this is a big deal four time WDC resigns with Merc for $$$$.

What if he hasn’t, what if he has decided to leave F1 and Merc are now in serious contract discussions with Ricciardo?

5

I’d have thought Renault more likely to sign Sasha Distell than Anthonly Newley 🙂

6

If Hamilton has re-signed why not say so

According to the report I read they are planning to announce it at the British GP – not long to wait to see whether the author is right.

7

@ C63 I posted about that rumour about one month ago and asked James for a comment? Still nothing…..

8

@keneth

I didn’t see the interview with Toto (last weekend) but I have read the transcript – he said they will be announcing their line up shortly – the British GP makes sense and it is shortly, so not too long to wait. He also reiterated that no changes are likely. Not looking too good for Ric I wouldn’t say.

9

@ C63…The Silverstone announcement is really old news. I have never really thought that he’d get a drive at Mercedes. I doubt whether Hamilton would welcome that and Wolffie has blathered on about ‘equilibrium’ etc etc which more or less said to me that Capt. Dull will get a renewal. Where Ricciardo finishes up ATPIT is anyones guess but i suspect that he’ll stay at Red Bull as they are, car wise, still the third best. That entails a leap of faith in Honda, something that i don’t have and i’m sure that Riciardo will also be aware of what could happen.

10

A person I was having a discussion with on twitter has said Hamilton has resigned from Mercedes but that they were not interested in Ricciardo. He didn’t explain why. Strange.

11

Ragnar, resigned or re signed?

12

Hi Tim. I looked at it again. It’s a grammar thing. I thought he’d resigned as in finished his career. The person who said probably meant re-signed as it signed a contract. Was greatly disappointed when I realised we were not talking about the same thing.

13

Esteban Ocon? It’s possible that he’s already resigned – I heard about Hamilton quitting McLaren from insiders several months before it was announced.

14

If he does not stay at Red Bull, l would love to see him move to Renault. They are ambitious and looking at their progress on the right path. Sure the next couple of steps for them are the hardest but having Ricciardo to help them develop the car would be a great plus. Renault is bringing in some strong people in the team but in my eyes they are lacking on the drivers side. Ricciardo would be a great shot in the arm for them. Mercedes and Ferrari seem out of the question and now Red Bull will be embarking on a new venture with Honda that won’t lead anywhere much in the next two years l think.

l would not touch McLaren with a ten foot pole at the time being, so what is left?

Renault is a great opportunity for him to build a team around himself, and doing so would put him in that rare club of drivers that have done so. Marc

15

I’ve heard rumors that Renault are talking to Newey (Adrian that is) as well. If they can pur$$$$ue him, I’m sure Ricciardo will follow without a second thoughts.

16

@ Krako…You’ll have to keep up. Newey himself has proclaimed that rumour to be total tosh.

17

@ kenneth…Sorry, for not being up to speed. 🙂

18

Like Hamilton you mean 😀

19

Ricciardo could negotiate a lower contract price – MUCH lower. Just get IN a Ferrari. I think Red Bull could pull it off with Honda as long as reliability improves. Red Bull prefers Max. The name “Max” has more marketing appeal, Max, Maxi, Mad Max… You know, a marketing dream. “Ricciardo” – earthy, is a bit more polished in sound but “Max” – it’s in the “X”. The X factor. Actually, Max and crashing goes well together; it sensationalises the X factor…

If Ricciardo doesn’t get in with Ferrari at a lower contract negotiation, well – put your head down and perfect those race starts. Another year or two of patience.

20

It is common knowledge that Ric gave Seb a beating so Ferrari would be pretty stupid not to take him and tell Seb he is number 2 or it’s the highway

21

Ferrari ARE stupid but not for the reason you state. I believe…and to be sure it is just my opinion. ..that RIC and the RB is a perfect match. My intuition is he would not be able to drive the way he does now in another car. That RB gives him the tools he needs to compliment his driving style. No other car will. IMO

22

Deano, there’s absolutley no way that you can know that! The Ferrari chassiss is very close to the RB.

23

Did I say I KNEW that? Don’t think I did. Intuition…. ? Opinion? Think I stated both of those things.

24

It is also common knowledge that Kvyatt comprehensively beat DR when they were team mate. There is no doubt that DR is a very good driver and very likeable.Yes he beat SV on points when they were team mates at RB, but it has to be recognised that for whatever reason SV was not comfortable with his car that year. Outscoring SV seems to be the only peg that the RCFC could hang their hat on. Surely there must be a reason why these big teams continue to pay their star drivers a huge salary when they could have RC’s signature for a lot less money

25

@KJ Lets get this straight Kyvatt was 3 points ahead of Ricciardo so don’t try to bend the facts to suit your own ends. However Ricciardo beat Vettel by 71 points- That’s “comprehensive”. Ricciardo will be treated as a no.2 at Ferrari but he will be more consistent than Kimi & get more points for the constructors championship as well as help prevent the tactical advantage that Mercedes seem to have at the moment. I would rather see Ricciardo go to Mercedes as I think there would be less of the no.1/ no.2 in that team. I feel that Ricciardo should leave Redbull because of their record in the way they treat their drivers. The team management will trash the driver who is not “in favour” & they have already stated that they will “build the team around Max”.

26

Surely there must be a reason why

Spot on. If DR is deemed good enough he will get the drive he seeks and if not he won’t. IMO the problem DR has is that he’s not good enough to usurp the current #1’s at Merc and Ferrari and he’s too good to fulfil the #2 role. So, he can either stay put, or go to a lesser team like McLaren or Renault and take the #1 spot and keep his fingers crossed that they will improve and he can hang onto their shirt tails.

27

In the same car Daniel is better than Hamilton or Seb!!

28

David, actually it’s a proven fact that Lewis would be a second quicker than both of them…,,

29

4 WDCS suggest otherwise. RIC is a fantastic driver but he’s won 7….., I repeat, 7 races!! At least 3 of those fell in his lap too. When he gets to double figures and even has 1 WDC to his name we can’t start thinking about mentioning him in the same breath as HAM and VET… and ALO.

You aussies fans are doing RIC no favours… believe me. Very good driver, very little achieved in F1.

30

@david

If that is the case (and I don’t know how you can say that with such authority) then why don’t Merc or Ferrari offer him the seat? They could get him for a fraction of what they are paying either Seb or Lewis and if he’s better as well…..surely it would be a no brainer wouldn’t it?

31

@ C63…Well if Ricciardo is passed over by Ferrari and Mercedes it won;t be because he’s not good enough it will because of the internal politics as already hinted at by others closer to the action.

32

You simply think that Hamilton/Vettel are better drivers and for that reason and that reason alone, IYO ,Ricciardo doesn’t match up

kenneth, I think you are missing the point. It’s what the likes of Toto and Maurizio think that matters. I thinks it’s fair to say they know a tad more than you and I about what it takes to run a successful race team – wouldn’t you say?

33

I call BS on that opinion and we can go around and around and around. The only definitive metric there is, that does not involve opinion is success. You cannot argue with it. Calling RIC a better driver than HAM is purely opinion. There is zero definitive metric to prove this…ZERO.

If he doesn’t get a drive with Ferrari or Merc it will be because BOTH teams have better options available to them. Think they know a bit more about the drivers than you or me! If he does get a drive with them it will be because they feel he is the best option. There’s no twisting this to suit your agenda. It is what it is.

34

@ C63….’No need to argue over the semantics etc etc’ Your statement is quite clear and , remarkably, concise. You simply think that Hamilton/Vettel are better drivers and for that reason and that reason alone, IYO ,Ricciardo doesn’t match up. I say BS. I will hold firm to my interpretation of Wolff’s comments. His major concern is that of maintaining ‘equilbrium’ which is difficult to understand. Ricciardo is not divisive or antagonistic which i’ve said many times so if i am correct in that then the field of differentiation narrows. What ‘equilibrium’ is he talking about? The only other variable that i see is that Hamilton doesn’t want Ricciardo there as a more complete challenge. Wolff will not upset his star act as witnessed by the prolonged ‘just waiting for the ink to dry’ contract. IMO of course. Actually i’m more disappointed in him not getting the drive at Ferrari which is where i’ve always thought that he’d make a great fit.

35

kenneth, we can argue over the semantics of what is meant by ‘deemed not good enough’ all day. But the bottom line is; if DR does not get the gig at either Ferrari or Mercedes it will be because he does not tick as many boxes as whichever drivers they eventually settle on. I realise that you are a massive fan of Ric, and if (as looks increasingly likely) he doesn’t get to move up the ladder, you will be hugely disappointed, but surely you can’t allow that disappointment to colour your judgement to such a degree that you convince yourself that the two top teams in the sport would wilfully deny themselves access to a greater talent than the ones they eventually choose. It’s ridiculous to suggest they would.

36

That’s hilarious.

37

“Comprehensively” was it?

38

Perhaps not so common knowledge then that Vettel needed to activate a performance clause in his RB contract that year in order to accept the Ferrari megabucks offer on the table…

DR would be mad to leave Red Bull – he’s really just negotiating for a big $ rise…

39

This theory has been discredited a number of times. Vettel was beaten fair and square by a better driver. The car got Vettel his championships, not his driving skill.

40

Although maybe the ugliest of all the tracks, I must say it was able to get the cars at least overtake to some degree. The mistral of course but the slower parts ot the track seemed to let drivers attack. And yes I know the bar is low now comparing the action, The truth still is we need changes to cars, I have the feeling it might not be enough with the already approved changes. I would want to get away with the fragile front wings altogether, or narrower, not only for the overtaking, but they to often brake and ruins drivers races. Tracks need also change. Looking forward to Spa, not many times Iv’e been disappointed by that track, and that’s a track that only the best drivers thrive in usually. The absolute favorite track.

41

I’m starting to get tired of this endless talk about Ricciardo. Iv’ve never thought he’ll go nowhere next year, but maybe he will, but that would be Renault or maybe McLaren. It’s actually ridiculous this thinking that Lewis or in fact Seb will decide who enters or not their respective teams. Toto and co will definitely have a strong opinion, and Ferrari are a very proud team with very strong opinions about who will be their drivers. There were a few weak years with Alonso/Santander the last years before he left, but he was forced to do so in a not so subtile way, although Alo always twists the truth. But this management have reinforced that Ferrari pride. Unfortunately there is also a strong first driver history there and they use this in their in season development. When it comes to Ric he should stay put, a good driver can prosper and win titles there in the future. I like RIc, but the truth of the matter is that Ric could be more consistent. He’s put in some brilliant races and some not so. Why he looks even better though is because Max has made so many errors, but when he doesn’t he (Max) often is ahead, but not making errors is also a big part of a drivers skill of course, so sure he is pushed to overdrive maybe. The RB is a car that is capable of winning races of it’s own merits, maybe not at all the race tracks but so are not either Merc or Ferrari at the moment with this fierce competition. If fact RB looked really fast in France, the speed inherent in the car was obvious.

42

“I’m starting to get tired of this endless talk about Ricciardo”

Imagine how some of us feel about you lot and Hamilton!

43

If Ricciardo cannot get a seat with Merc or Ferrari, he should absolutely make sure he signs a ONE year contract only. That will ensure that this time next year he will have another chance to access his options, which may then be better.

44

Red Bull will not sign for a year. They want to lock down Ricci for the long term. They neex a Webber type yes man to help out Max.

Similar to what Kimi does for Vettel.

45

James, please, please please, you have to do a story about track limits abuse on T1 in the French GP. I just rewatched the replays several times, and it’s BAD. What are those guys doing out there???? Max was one thing, we could spend all day discussing that (he nearly took the lead, I’m not kidding, watch the replay!). But KMags did the same thing in T1, for zero reason, and only gave back 2/3 places he gained by doing so.

It’s even worse at T4. Grosjean decides to shortcut the circuit after Vettel hits him. Hulkenberg decides he fancies a drive through the French countryside. Ericsson, a Williams, and Vandoorne (2nd time he was off!) decide they don’t really fancy the circuit either, and prefer the shorter line to T5.

I know Alonso is a heaty topic at the moment, so this isn’t some sort of “pro Alonso” plug here, but him and Hartley were the only two who avoided the Gasley/Ocon incedent in the proper way…by slowing, but staying on the circuit. The rest of them, they just bailed out for no reason at all.

I was only able to find replays on illegal streams, so I don’t know how you could post a video without the blessing of the big dogs, but st least some screen shots would be good. Fans need to be able to see these replays so they can judge whether or not the driving was up to standard or not….and if not, we need to make some noise about it so that hopefully the people who are suppose to enforce the rules might wake up.

Max, KMag, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Ericsson, unidentified Force India, Stroll, Sirotkin, and Vandoorne x2 all made a mockery of track limits, for no other reason that the runoff was available.

These are the same guys who just drove in Monaco, they have the ability. The officiating in this sport needs to step its game up, big time!

Sorry for the off topic rants, but there’s not a single story about this on any Motorsport website, and it needs to be brought up. This is not a one time occurrence, this was just the worst one of the poorest laps in F1’s history.

46

“Hulkenberg decides he fancies a drive through the French countryside.” 🚵‍♀️

LOL!!!

47

Strongly support Twitch_6 concerns about track limits. I posted similar comments about this on the JA article about the French GP. I am interested in racking `on the track’ and have zero interest in seeing drivers take big shortcuts during a race. Max at T1 was completely OTT but as noted by Twitch_6 there were lots of others doing similar things . I don’t condemn Max for what he did because with this track, the T1 accident and current rules he did what was deemed acceptable. But that’s the problem, it shouldn’t be acceptable. You’re only really `racing’ when you’re `on the track’. Anything else is garbage. We need more `wheel to wheel’ and hard fought racing and less room for opportunistic off track adventures. Simple fix is to add some temporary barriers to key corners. Set them back from the track limit and add the `water pillows’ for safety but make sure drivers don’t have the option to take those kind of short cuts. If we’d had these temporary barriers for the French GP diver risk/reward math would have been very different. Vettel may have been slightly more conservative (who knows) but even if he hadn’t Max and others would have to deal with the crash `on the track’ ….. it’s kinda’ fundamental. Stay on the track and race on the rack. Surely F1 believes that it’s important for drivers to `stay on the track and race on the track’?

48

I couldn’t agree with you guys more. Max reacted angrily to Vettel’s incident but no one else lifted an eye to his tactics. I’m sure the rule says return to the track when it safe to do so. And when off track do not move at racing speeds. It didn’t seem that Max lifted or took any caution while off track. I’m sure also Vettel incident was part car and part him to blame. His wheel was locked and car was sliding. I’m sorry to the Max fans for bringing this up as we become use to the norm of ignoring Max incidents.

In my opinion he should be last to be angry about Vettel’s incident.

49

Max wasn’t angry. He was being sarcastic, likening the possible comments on Vettel’s incident to the commotion after his own mishaps. Unfortunately the irony/sarcasm didn’t come off quite the way he’d intended it. Vettel understood though.

50

there’s no business like show business!

51

Good shout

We’ll look at it

52

Appreciate the response more than you realize lol. I was beside myself last night watching those replays, thinking “how is this not being discussed!!?!?!?”

If nothing else, pay close attention to KMags in T1/2, and Hulkenberg at T3/4/5…..what on earth are they doing????? And why was not a peep said about it???

After T1 issues in places like Mexico, Sochi, etc…how was no one able to look at this circuit layout and identify problem areas? Why was there no foam blocks at T1 to prevent the Max/KMag line? Why did none of the drivers use the beautifully painted rejoin lane down at T5??

How did they spend 25 laps investigating Grosjean, but never looked at KMag it Hulk, or the rest of them???

So many questions, so few answers.

53

“A Force India and Vandoorne short cut across T2 for no reason, other than they have the ready made excuse of ‘there was an incident somewhere up ahead in that general direction.’ “

Again, LOL!! Both adequate and very funny!

54

Totally agree James and Twitch, I was waiting for the investigation flag to come up but nothing! These guys were just cutting corners and not even thinking about where the actual track was. Max was a shocker atT 1but many followed. This should be stopped in its ‘off-tracks’

55

Not sure why you think Max taking to the run off at t1 was shocking, he was fourth, Seb and Valterri crashed ahead of him leaving him with nowhere to go, he came out of the corner in second, exactly where he should have been.

56

Twitch, if Max had overtaken Lewis, he would have either given the position back or got a slam dunk penalty. If he had waited for Seb and Valterri to finish spinning in front of him, then he could have lost numerous positions, does that seem fair to you? The rule states that a driver shouldn’t gain an advantage, he shouldn’t make up any time, or gain or fail to lose a position. If the drivers you mention had overtaken anyone, then they would have been penalised. I don’t see the harm in it if they don’t gain anything, if they do it repeatedly they can expect to get a penalty, so what difference does it make? After the usual chaos on lap one they all kept it between the lines, so what’s the big deal?

57

Tim, this isn’t just about Max, it’s about 9 or 10 of them.

Max is debatable, good water cooler talk. Some people, like yourself, feel he had “no where to go” except to straight line an S-curve at full throttle. If you haven’t already, I suggest you want a replay, the helicopter shot….Max nearly overtakes Lewis, and only slots into second place because he lifted. Other people, like myself, feel that Max had more than enough time to slow down addiquetly to avoid Vettel, while staying on or at least much closer to the circuit.

To be clear though, this isn’t really about Max, it’s about the officiating. Max did was was allowed, technically (and based on precedent set at previous races, Mexico for example). It’s the fact it’s allowed that is the problem. It’s also a problem that no one is a leadership position was able to foresee this coming, given that we have T1s similar to this in Spain, Sochi, Mexico, Monza, etc. It is shocking that, on the circuit with the most runnoff in the history of runnoff, no one thought to put some blocks there that drivers would at least have to zig zag through.

Again I encourage you to find a replay, and watch KMags. Ahead of KMag is Sainz and Kimi, both of whom slow down enough and stay on the circuit to avoid the spinning Bottas. Instead of slowing behind these two, KMag bails out to the right, and goes full throttle across the runnoff, and rejoins P3. He gives up a position to both Dan and Sainz, but does not give back a position to Kimi, who he was behind going into T1. He also ends up ahead of Leclerc , who was basically side by side with KMag going into T1 – LeClerc avoided the accident and stayed on the circuit.

Even after the accident is long over, both a Force India I can’t indemnify and Vandoorne short cut across T2 for no reason, other than they have the ready made excuse of “there was an incedent somewhere up ahead in that general direction.”

Now go down to the T3, 4, and 5 conplex. It kicks off with Vettel (having rejoined the circuit with a damaged vehicle) is unable to brake in time (no front down force) to avoid hitting an innocent Grosjean. The tap is very minor, and after Grosjean corrects the car, he decides to cut left, skipping T4.

Vettel stays on the track, but Hulkenberg cuts left to “avoid Vettel” (whose just a car on the road, he’s not a hippopotamus grazing in the middle of the track), even though he has ample time and space to avoid him (or just follow him, Vettel makes T4 no problem).

Ericsson cuts T4 because Gasley and Ocon are crashing on his right side, but he’s basically passed the incedent already when he decides to bail out and use the runnoff.

Following Ericsson’s lead, one of the Williams and Vandoorne completely give up on the circut and take to the runnoff just because they see others doing it.

The second Williams attempts to stay on the circuit, but bails out to the left at the last second before hitting Ocon taking a minor short cut around T4.

Alonso and Hartley were the only two who stayed on the circuit behind the the Gasley/Ocon crash. They could have short cut T4 as well, but stayed on the circuit like you’re supposed to.

Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Ericsson, both Williams, and Vandoorne all rejoined the circuit by merging onto drivers left going into T5, which is technically part of the racing line going into T5. All six of these drivers failed to use the “rejoin lane” that is clearly painted in that specific runoff area.

Tim, I know we often have our differences, and it’s often over me being critical (perhaps too much sometimes) of F1, while I would say you tend to be one who is quite satisfied with the way F1 is. That said, I don’t know how anyone can watch that opening lap and conclude that, yup, this is the pinnacle, and these guys are the absolute best in the world. How low has the bar been lowered to consider that kind of driving acceptable? The only other place you see driving like that is in poorly run video game lobbies (meaning the well run lobbies hold a higher standard in regards to respecting track limits than this “pinnacle of motorsport”).

For now, forget max….people get too emotional about max. But please, go track down a replay, and pay attention to KMag in T1, and Hulkenberg in T3/4/5.

58

DR to Mclaren Alonso to renault and CS to RB.

You heard it here first.

59

And last.

60

Amusing prediction… I know DR has got a sense of humour… I don’t think it would be strong enough for a year at McLaren…

61

Looks like LeClerc will be the Ferrari choice and it’s been mentioned that money is an obstacle for a second Ferrari driver. Ricciardo should offer his services to Ferrari at a vastly reduced salary but with bonuses for results just to get his seat in the seat. It’s his best and only hope. If he performs for Ferrari and they see his worth he can always accept their rewards for that. This could be his only immediate chance for a title. Honda is not going to make the Red Bull a challenge to Mercedes or Ferrari.

62

Oh no..this article reads of insider info that your not fully sharing. You know he’s not going to Ferrari? And Mercedes is not looking like happening?

If neither of those seats become available, and I hope DR is moving mountains to make one of them happen, then he is finished in his desire for a WDC. It’s never, ever going to happen for him at RBR. If they build a championship winning car again (unlikely for at least next few years due Honda) then the effort will swing behind MV as already stated by RBR management multiple times.

No one else is going to build a winning car within the next two years. So he will be 31 and going into a blind gamble on new engine regs to try and get a WDC. Again, if he’s not already in Merc or Ferrari, he’d be betting on a 100-1 horse with any other team.

DR’s window appears to be closing quick. He will likely be remembered as one of those super quick and mega talented drivers that never won a WDC, despite being blento beat them all in the right equipment.

I was really hoping to see him move to Ferrari. What a depressing article JA! (or staff writer)

63

In two years time there may be new ‘next best things’ on the scene. I am thinking of schumacher for example. Anyone waiting two years could become old news.

64

I’ll express my opinion as well…

DR should accept either a Ferrari or MB drive, even if he is not given equal status. Waiting for one of the kingpins to move on is a MUCH better bet than throwing darts blindfolded at either RB/Honda, McLaren or Renault in what they might do in the future.

Dannyboy, get your foot in the door, then get your elbows out…

65

They. Will. Not. Take. Him.

66

I. Hope. You’re. Wrong!

67
Stephen Taylor

Wrong ! With RBs help and the fact two teams will be running the Honda PU and this will help Honda improve at a more accelerated rate . I don’t think is as big a disaster as you are making out and RB always have the Newey card to play. I think McLaren will get a nasty shock when they see Honda in a few years.

68

Again, not sure who “editor” is, but on what basis do you say… “He will not go to Ferrari and the Mercedes chance is fading..”

That sounds like direct knowledge (and probably deserves a fair bit of expansion)?

As i was last made aware by this site, Ferrari has an option on RIC expiring on June 30. So have parties agreed to walk away ahead of that date?

We are very spoilt on this site in getting JA’s insights and insider knowledge from the paddock. To what extent are the opinions (facts?) expressed in this article based on the same level of intel?

69

I think Danny Ric needs to stay at Red Bull, there’s nothing better available, unless Lewis retires, and I can’t see that happening.

Alonso continues his habit of hampering the team he’s in. OK he ‘won’ the 24 hour Le Mans between the only 2 cars in the same team that competed. And now presumably McLaren will be distracted with his desire to win Indy. But is this in McLaren’s interest? I would say no. I’m not saying he’s a not good

driver, he’s not a team player.

Meanwhile, Fox support Fox News, and Sky is Fox. There are many things more important than F1. I will no longer pay Murdoch to watch F1. It’s a shame for me, ‘cos I like F1. But putting children in cages? Horrific.

#BoycottFox #BoycottSky

I hope you print this, but it’s your sandpit…

As BostonJohn said, ‘Cya!’

70

Get rid of zak Brown and boullier.

The team are going backwards and it would seem the windtunnel is out of date.

71

They use the Toyota tunnel, like half the grid…

72

Ferrari need to wake up. They have an opportunity to get the best driver from Red Bull. He will give Ferrari the world championship they want. He doesn’t have the stupid brain snaps that Vettel does. He just goes out and consistently scores points and podiums. Spend the money and get the championship Ferrari.

73

@ ragnar…Commonsense will get you nowhere on this topic.

74

Interesting isn’t it Kenneth. I wonder if in two years time, Ferrari or Merc are looking at retiring WDC’s and seeing DR doing it all in another team – and thinking, why didn’t we sign in him when we had the chance?

75

@ Luke…I’d like to think that but DR has a mountain to move if that is going to come to fruition. The major engine changes for ’21 will most likely favor Ferrari/Mercedes again as i would presume that they already have test engines screaming their heads off as we speak! Time will tell.

76

I’d love to see him at Ferrari, but I think the most telling thing I heard over the weekend was Horner’s comment about DR stepping from a race winning car into one that he (DR) has been lapping in recent races (McLaren) being a “bold decision”.

It suggests to me that Horner knows DR is looking beyond Ferrari and Merc (and I think DR said something to this effect recently too) I doubt very much that he would go to McLaren, unless they have some strange idea to field an indycar with DR and Alonso as the lineup? DR does spend a lot of time in the US though…

But back in reality, perhaps the move to Renault is looking more likely? I can’t see that Honda magically blitzing the field next season (I wish it would) so I don’t think it would be a terrible idea for DR to consider an option like Renault, where he may have just as much luck as if he stayed with Red Bull.

That said… Keep hassling Ferrari Dan!

77

Danny will be in red next year,pretty simple stuff

78

Not according to James!!!

79

If only i shared your confidence!!!

80
Tornillo Amarillo

About damaged cars, next Sunday please, sit Grosjean, Ocon, Gasly, Hartley, Ericsson and few more drivers (Vettel) to watch how they could avoid contact in the first lap.

Stop ruining others’ races!

I mean, the midfield is really so slow that they must be more intelligent by now!

Vettel ruins his race, Kimi’s race, Bottas’ race, and then all the midfield races thanks to the blue flags he generates in his dull comeback to nowhere…

81

Vettel did not get the help of blue flags on his march through the field. Blue flags only appear when a car is about to get lapped and Vettel was hardly lapping any car. He did a great job passing cars whereas Bottas clearly struggled in this field. Although that may have to do with the setup of the Mercedes, which is made to run in clean air and not to follow another car as we’ve seen also with Hamilton in other races.

82
Tornillo Amarillo

Correct michael about blue flags, thanks, but I mean the midfield car has to slow down most of the time to let the fastest car pass.

83

James, is there any way (if you have time) you could do a little story or feature on track limits on the opening lap at Paul Richard? I’ve watched the replay a few times, and I’m counting least 10 cars off the circuit at various points, and nothing happened to any of them.

Max was the worst, obviously. That was a joke. What’s the point of even following a circuit if Max is allowed to straight line an S-curve like that?

The sorry old excuse of “I was avoiding an accident” is rediculous. If this was Monaco, he would have avoided he accident by slowing down and being more cautious (Vettel probably would have been more cautious too).

These drivers have become accustomed to the way track limits are enforced on lap 1, and they’re now going into T1 basically searching for any excuse to take to the runoff. “Oh, there’s an ant on the road, animal rights!! Quick, I must bail out of this corner, to the runoff we go! Now floor it!!!!” It’s a sad joke.

I fully understand why the paved runoff is there, and I don’t want to see drivers getting hurt. I also don’t want to see cars eliminated from a race because they’re stuck in gravel. But I do want to see cars on the CIRCUIT, not using the runoff as part of the circuit. The runoff was put there for the safety of the drivers, and now they abuse it, making the fans the biggest losers, like always. These are supposed to be the best 20 drivers out of 7 billion…the least they could do is try to keep it between the white lines.

And how do you enforce it, you might ask?? Instant, zero tolerance drive through penalties. The cars should be fitted with electronic trackers. As soon as all 4 wheel are off, the stewards are notified, and review the incedent. Unless the driver was physically forced off by contact, then they get a drive through penalty for going 4 wheels off. No arguments, no excuses, no sob stories.

Look at soccer. The playing field is delineated by white lines. Go across, you’re out. You don’t get to plead your case to the ref, have a sad story about how the other guy didn’t leave you enough space. Out is out, tough luck. Soccer could use walls to define the playing area, like hockey or lacrosse, but then more people would get hurt. So, they remove the walls, use a painted white line, and soft padding beside the field (sometime). But just because the wall is gone, the players don’t get to start using the area outside the pitch as part of the pitch.

Furthermore, Vettle’s penalty was a joke. That should have been a stop +30 for causing a collision.

T1 has always been an issue in racing, and I think it’s time for the sport to shape up. Right now, the standard is to be more lax on T1 incidents, when it should be the other way around. Anywhere else in life, in critical, tense, high traffic situations or areas, rules are always more strictly enforced. Not in racing…the most critical part of any race, we kind of throw the rules aside for a lap or two. After all, these are the best drivers in the world, why do they need rules???

Please James, I know track limits is a bit of a dead horse, but it’s getting beyond rediculous. Nothing will change unless the powers that be feel pressured to do something, so can we please make some noise about this.

84

@ Twitch6…Good post. i thought that there were far too many incidents. I couldn’t believe that Verstappen got away with his detour. That was the most blatant of them all and nary a word anywhere.

85

@Kenneth

You really don’t like Max, do you. How on earth do you (and Twitch_6)come to the conclusion that Max was the most blatant (or worse) of them all? Max was right beside Vettel when he and Bottas took each other out. If there is one person you can understand to take evasive manoeuvres it was Max. For sure he would also have taken out by Vettel if he stayed on track. Have you seen KMag? 3 places behind the accident (P8) and he was taken the same route as max rejoining the track at P3! So how is that less worse? Please take of the anti Max goggles. The world will look better to you.

86

Kenneth, that’s because he didn’t break any rules….

87

@Tim

It’s almost like kenneth bases his judgements on which driver is involved rather than the actual circumstances.

88

C63, a disgraceful allegation! Have a cigar……

89

i can still see LH cutting the first corner in Mexico, but did’nt gain a permanent benefit 🙂 MV did’nt gain places, number 2 and 3 collided and so he moved up in the order.

90

“I can still see LH cutting the first corner in Mexico, but did’nt gain a permanent benefit”

Ham not gaining a permanent benefit in T1 Mexico is a myth perpetuated by LH fans. The reasoning seems to be, he entered T1 first, exited it first, maybe gained a few car lengths in the process – no harm done. However, he DID gain a substantial benefit: by approaching T1 at breakneck speed and then ‘unfortunately having to shortcut it’ he eliminated all risk involved in battling other cars, being passed by them or getting into accidents. With the speed he had he never could have made the corner, so he would have LOST a couple of places for sure! Not taking that into account is the error Ham’s defenders conveniently make; as for the marshals I was frankly baffled they let this slip by. Can only ascribe it to unjustified lap 1/turn 1 leniency.

Comparing Ham’s probably premeditated excursion with Max’ evasive maneuvers is a travesty.

91

Twitch_6: “Max went into that corner already looking for an excuse to bail out to the right.” Move of the century then! To account for all those variables, e.g. things not happening way to the left, is just utterly brilliant! Maybe they should introduce SOTD: Scoundrel Of The Day. Your argument hinges on so many outlandish suppositions I can’t begin counting them. On the other hand if like Ham you are P1, you control all the variables and can actually do something (halfway) premeditated.

92

Lemwill, the reason you were so mystified at the steward’s lack of action in Mexico, is because they use the real rule book instead of the imaginary one that exists only in your head.

93

Max was premeditated bro. He took the took the clever boy’s racing line through T1 and T2. He went into that corner already looking for an excuse to bail out to the right. It’s the fastest, safest way to navigate that complex of corners

94

Yeah, Lewis backed off for a little bit to let them get somewhat closer and then took off again, whoop de doo. Definitely should have been penalised and been behind others as should have naturally occurred if he made any sort of reasonable attempt to re-join the track, rather than sailing off in the distance.

95

He’d be daft to move. He has an Adrian Newey chassis and the only weak link is the engine, which is being changed and now looks to be no worse than the Renault unit.

96

Maybe there’s a twist to this which nobody has picked-up on.

At the beginning of the weekend, Max was asked about the Honda deal. One of his comments was something like – “this engine wasn’t in my contract” – strange to say it in a contractual sense. Even though he did flippantly say, “it’s ok”.

Not very convincing!

F1 drivers have plenty of “get out” options in their contracts so if you are in an independent team which buys its PUs, that would have to be a huge consideration. Especially if that PU is unsuccessful and being taken on a great deal of hope rather than rock-solid results.

Does this now give Max an option to have his contract rewritten?

If it does, can he walk away from it?

Has Dan been waiting so long for the Honda deal to see what Jos and Max will do?

Will Dan become the new No:1 RBR pilot and have Gasly beside him or will they drag Sainz back into the camp?

Decisions decisions decisions…

On another note:

Alfa Romeo’s marketing budget is obviously massive and the Sauber is coming along nicely. What it needs now is a pro driver in there to help develop that car into a front runner. Marchionne hasn’t done this for giggles, he wants both Fiat marques having success at the pointy end.

Could Alonso or Dan end up at Sauber?

Will they make that massive step into the top 6 next year if the Honda powered RBR falls on it’s Katana?

This is why I love the driver silly season even more in the Hybrid era …. it brings out all manner of weird and wonderful hallucinations and opinions to spice up what is a terribly boring and dreary on-track show these days.

Thank god Seb did a Kvyat at the start in France or it would have been even worse!

It’s just a pity Bottas doesn’t have the power to run to Marchionne and slag Seb off bad enough to have him relegated to Sauber! 😉

Then we might have some really fun conversations about Dan going to Ferrari and the myriad of ramifications it might kick-start.

97

@ Jack…Off the wall. Interesting. The fact is that Red Bull at [ presumably ] great expense took the Verstappens on a first class trip and tour of Honda last year. Now that wouldn’t have been for nothing as it was Verstappen’s contract renewal time ? Also interesting to note that Ricciardo doesn’t appear to have been invited along either? I wonder why?

98

@kenneth

A ‘first class fishing trip’ is all well and good but the sticking point is performance, reliability not so much – because the resilience of the electrics the Renault Hybrid system is still an ongoing concern.

Performance clauses are the drivers’ best friend when they need to ‘manufacture’ an easy way out. Just ask Seb!

RBR have jumped from an almost ‘guaranteed’ 3rd best car at every race, to a very much unknown entity which displays only ‘hope and potential’.

If things were flipped 180 degrees and this was a driver we were talking about, it would be the same deal. No proof of performance or skill at the pointy end would certainly be a cause for consternation.

I’d say Jos and Max would be biting their fingernails while rereading the contract with very little certainty or confidence that the next 2 years will be successful or even properly competitive.

If that’s how they feel, it’s time to get a contract lawyer and send the manager out on a Merc, Ferrari and Renault fishing trip of his own!

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