Ricciardo not as good as Verstappen or Sainz – Tost

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo’s former team principal Franz Tost doesn’t rate him as highly as current drivers Max Verstappen or Carlos Sainz Jnr.

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Aussie Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo has been snubbed by Red Bull boss (Fox Sports)

"Tost, who has been team supremo at the Red Bull development team since 2006 after six years at Williams, says Ricciardo is just the fifth best driver he has worked with in Formula 1."

Thanks to Rulie Maulana for the tip

'We’ve got to put the spectacularness back in F1' (F1i)

"We’ve got to put the spectacularness back in to Formula One, and I think there’s a great opportunity to do that for 2017."

Sauber F1 team facing 'critical' races (Motorsport)

"We also have an update of our aero package for Singapore, looking towards the 2016 season. This race (in Singapore) will be critical to understand better the data that the car will give us, as it will apply to the concept for 2016."

Big update packages 'old fashioned' (Autosport)

"It turned into a package, it was the way it worked out, but the general trend is to bring a little bit at each race and that is what we intend to do from herein."

Le Mans winner and F1 star Nico Hulkenberg to race at ROC 2015 in London (Race of Champions)

"The German will now make his ROC debut and partner four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel for Team Germany."

Paperback Writer (The Buxton Blog)

"There are great gaping holes in the story, and elements to many of the political scandals which rocked the sport under his watch that I wish had been delved into far deeper."

Spa – the greatest circuit of them all (source)

"Ahead of me on the straight, Michael (Schumacher) had clearly not taken Eau Rouge flat, because I was now catching him at a rate of knots. As we approached Les Combes, ahead of us I spotted Ricardo Zonta’s BAR-Honda, which we were about to lap."

Belgium Grand Prix Betting Odds (Betting Expert)

The first of my new race weekend columns for Betting Expert.


Comment of the day

Do Mercedes need to be extra-wary of Ferrari in the last nine remaining races?

One thing also worth mention is Vettel’s tendency to have a very strong second half of a season. He did it in every season to date except for arguably in 2011.

Even last year, he seemed to match or beat his team mate a lot more than in the first half, and I’m sure that we all remember his incredible nine out of nine in 2013.
Craig Woollard (@Craig-o)

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111 comments on “Ricciardo not as good as Verstappen or Sainz – Tost”

  1. as usual, Mika nails it with his post. Very moving his references to Jules and Michael!. And about Tost ranking 5th to the Honey Badger. He may be right, but i wonder who is number 4 and number 3? (i assume that Vettel and Verstappen are in the first 2 spots)


      1. Sebastian Vettel

      2. Daniil Kvyat

      3. Max Verstappen

      4. Carlos Sainz

      5. Daniel Ricciardo

      6. Ralf Schumacher (Williams)

      1. Franz Tost spitting the hottest takes of the summer. Maybe these guys could possibly in the future be better, but not right now. Not to mention placing Ralf Schumacher 6th on list, tells you all you need to know about Franz Tost, after the guy has also worked with Montoya and Button.

        With these comments I’m surprised Scott Speed wasn’t 7th.

        1. Ahhh……after a quick Franz Tost Wikipedia journey, it seems as though he looked after Ralf while he was in Japan for Willi Weber Management. Makes sense now…..even though it doesn’t.

      2. It’s in the arcticle. as woody points out. I believe in Tost but I wonder if Tost isn’t just trying to keep Ricciardo’s stock down. In the end Tost has a point, Vettel can be super motivating, Ricciardo despite the smile is more realistic. Tost also has to uphold his younger drivers.

  2. Some major shade being thrown at Dani Ric there, and while I’m a fan of his I suppose you do have to pay attention to what Tost is saying, after all he has worked with him.

    The problem for Ric is that last year his stock went up very quickly by beating a 4 time world champion. Problem with that is, even though I’m not the biggest Vettel fan, I don’t think that RIC would beat VET this year. It was clear that Vettel had other things on his mind and like all the great drivers had a bad season. So RIC beat him when he was at his worst and not his best. Along comes Kvyat and the story has changed a little, they have both beaten each other and various points but RIC hasn’t driven anything like he did last year. The car isn’t great which has something to do with it, but he thought he would be fighting for a title this year, I’m not sure why though really given 2 out of the 3 wins he had last year were given to him from Mercedes, Only Hungary was really earned.

    Unfortunately for RIC he has been promoted at Red Bull all to late I fear. So he can either play the very long game at RB or get out quickly and hope hasn’t been forgotten about.

    1. Honestly I’m with Peter Windsor on Ricciardo. He drives like Rindt, he doesn’t look particularly expressive behind the wheel but looking at the pictures and slow motion, Riccardo show an ability to rotate the car with minimal slip whilst moving forward and without losing time. His driving style is perfectly concise. Ricciardo only shows how much he is in control when he overtakes, he incurs great risk yet he hasn’t really crashed out often.

      1. I agree and I think RIC is talented..the move he put on Vettel at Monza last year was impressive, but there is something that holds me back from supporting him completely. Cant really put my finger on it.

        1. I feel the same about RIC. Almost like he’s missing something or crossed a line that tells me, yes get behind this man.

          I love his cheerful smile and positive attitude, but I hate to think that his smile and attitude hold me back. I almost want to see the fire inside him boil to point that we have seen with Vettel and Alonso racing on track to get the victory.

        2. Not so impressive, and DR wouldn’t beat Vettel on any given year. Vettel’s ‘bump’ was… Wait for it… For the 100th time… TO FULFILL A NON-COMPETITION CLAUSE IN HIS CONTRACT BECAUSE FERRARI WAS IN THE WORKS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR. (and unreliability).

          1. Vettel fans will find any conspiracy theory possible. Seriously.. he got beat fair and square by Daniel.. just come to terms with it

          2. @todfod You’re right. He’s of the same calibre with the stats & records to back it up. A lemming will always be a lemming.

          3. Maybe you’re right. I think those 2 years in a Toro Rosso, Daniel should have won 2 WDCs. What a fool am I

          4. So how do you explain 2014? What you are saying has no logic johannes. You’re simply being a bias fan and you’re making a fool out of yourself

          5. Vettel is far too competitive an individual to do that. He was originally negotiating to join Ferrari in 2016 (after the end of his Red Bull contract) and they were prepared to wait for him, it was only later in the season that it became clear that he could activate his break clause and leave a year early. Yes, of course Ricciardo beat him “fair and square”, but I really don’t think Vettel was firing on all cylinders last year.

          6. @anon Vettel himself has said it was an exit strategy at the BEGINNING of the season. With that in mind, who in their right mind would give 110%, especially given his reliability issues? I’m not a blind fan, but one that healthily admits he had no motivation to overcome DR in 2014. What picks me is people like @mattypf1 & @todfod who don’t get the brass tax of what actually happened that year. DR isn’t in the same league as SV – no matter how you slice it. Seems Todt agrees.

        3. “but there is something that holds me back from supporting him completely. Cant really put my finger on it.”

          I would suggest that its because Ric comes across as a balls out racer, and not a calm boring test driver. The latter will always boringly get the job done, while the likes of Ric will always thrill, but finds it hard to clam down and get the job done.

          Not to say he cant, and wont. It just instinctively I feel “racers” like Ric, Ham, Alesi, etc find it harder. “Test drivers” like Vettel, Hill, etc will always get the fastest car home, job done, but rarely excite. Which is why when Ham is in front, we worry, while if Vettel is in front, we dont.

          Im talking 1% or 2% difference here. Hints of, not big huge differences.

          Just a thought, no science or stats involved.

          1. Why do you “worry” when Hamilton’s out front? If he can’t get the job done from there (and he has won a shedload of times), in the car he has, that’s nothing to do with being a “racer”, that’s just a lack of quality. Conversely, getting the job done, i.e. Vettel, doesn’t make you boring or a non-racer, by snu stretch.

          2. snu = any

            Terrible iPhone keyboard…

          3. I guess you worry about Hamilton and not Vettel because you in the case of the former you want him to win, while the latter you want to loose.

            Everybody is worried when their favorite is in front.

      2. Wasn’t Rindt the king of oversteer/powerslide? Not exactly Ricciardo’s style…

        1. Bio Rindt did oversteer but without the loss of time, Rindt was no ronnie Peterson, that man was always on opposite lock.
          @countrygent RedBull took Ricciardo for 2 reasons, the brand promotes youth and youthful events. Ricciardo is on a £2.5m contract rather than 16 million. To asnwer your question in my view Seb was not detuned. The 2014 car and I believe this gen, is not suited to Seb has much as is to RIC

          1. Well, if he didn’t loose time it was even better for him! Unfortunately I wasn’t even born at that time but my dad as a kid was standing at the Portier corner (just before the tunnel) during the famous 1970 Monaco GP and he told me that everyone on the standing realized when Rindt was about to come way before they were able to see him just because he was constantly using a lower gear than the others to be able to control the car on opposite lock through corners 7 and 8 (the lower Mirabeau and Portier) that’s why he was a fans’ favorite (especially younger kids) and probably why he close the gap with Brabham (more than half a minute) in the last part of the race building pressure on him, and won when the aussie driver made a mistake at the last corner.

    2. @woodyd91 @todfod @peartree Interesting debate guys; would you agree that Ricciardo has always been under pressure to silence the critics since he was, to the surprise of many, promoted to Red Bull ahead of Kimi Raikkonen? Even in 2015, for some, Ricciardo stills comes laden with some queries. Why was he outscored by JEV in 2012? Why did he fail to take the FR3.5 title in 2010? Why did he struggle for race pace in his Toro Rosso career? And, most importantly, just how detuned was Sebastian Vettel in 2014?

      Whilst it is true that some have always been suspicious of Daniel, comparisons aside, he scored eight podiums, three wins and two-hundred and thirty eight points in 2014 in a car that spent most of the season as the third best on track. My point is, regardless of how much of a shadow Vettel was of his true self in 2014, Ricciardo put in a truly magnificent season of performances, whilst under almost immeasurable pressure. In 2014, Daniel Ricciardo was a world champion in waiting.

      If there is a driver we ought to be suspicious of, I would argue it is Bottas. It appears to me that Valtteri is currently doing a less convincing job of beating a man that scored half the points of Fernando Alonso at Ferrari than Ricciardo did at beating a quadruple world champion. Of the three candidates for Raikkonen’s seat, I would rank Bottas as the least likely to be able to challenge Vettel, and Vettel’s new RoC teammate as the most credible threat. Bottas it is, then…

      1. Well..If Ferrari choose Bottas, it is exactly because they are looking for a driver who is not going to challenge Vettel. They need a driver that is good enough to keep drivers in slightly slower cars behind him, but still not have the pace to challenge Vettel. Bottas fits the bill perfectly

        If they wanted the best possible driver in that other Ferrari seat, then they would hire the guy who beat Vettel in equal machinery, or hire the Hulk.

        1. Ferrari do not have free choice of any driver that they want, Ricciardo for instance is on a multi year Red Bull contract and not available. Williams seem prepared to release Bottas because they know he will be a free agent in one year anyway (and if he moves then they will not get any compensation) and they would probably welcome the extra money. Ferrari though seem to have cooled on the Bottas idea.

          Autosport in a recent article on the silly season quoted a “Ferrari insider” as saying that when Hulkenberg was at Sauber they had access to all his data and chose not to sign him. This echoes the recent comments from James Allen that all the teams collect data on the performances of all the drivers and that there is a reason why none of the big teams have signed Hulkenberg.

        2. @todfod It is a finely balanced question: are Ferrari looking for a #2 to support Vettel? On the one hand, yes, Vettel is central to their restructuring plans and so is his status as team leader, but equally, Raikkonen was signed for 2014 to keep Alonso sharp and to maximize the team’s points haul. Ferrari need WCC revenue to fund their return to form, and Bottas will therefore be required to shadow Vettel closely; he will need to be on Vettel’s pace.

          A #1 and a #2 tends to work best if you have a car fast enough to ensure your #2 finishes second behind your #1. If you don’t have the luxury of a dominant car, a pair of more equally matched drivers tends to work better, as was the rationale with hiring Kimi.

          I think right now, Ferrari ought to be aware that Hulkenberg represents the short term option. He has plenty of experience, he is blisteringly fast, he is consistent, he is cheap, and he is unlikely to destabilize the team in any way…unless he starts beating Vettel, but then again, Seb had a good relationship with Daniel even at the midst of his humiliation. Whether Ferrari are looking at Bottas with a more long term perspective, or as a possible #2 to Vettel, I really can’t be sure.

      2. @countrygent I agree with everything you’ve said except for “…whilst under almost immeasurable pressure.”

        I don’t think there was that much pressure on Ricciardo when he was promoted to Red Bull. He could only do better than what was expected of him. Had he lost to Vettel, I don’t think people would have drawn too many conclusions since that was already expected.

  3. too much focus is been put on improving the ‘spectacle’ & not enough on looking at sorting out the racing so that we can finally get rid of the gimmicks & going back to some proper racing.

    the cars can be as fast & look as spectacular as they want… but if the actual racing is crap no amount of spectacle is going to keep the butts in seats.

    improve the racing and regardless of looks, noise & all that the fans will watch. Look at formula e as an example those cars are silent & not really that spectacular to watch (especially from trackside), but its drawn in fans who have praised the racing because the quality of the racing is key.

    1. @RogerA, keep dreaming. The racing has never been better. Need I remind you the New Turbo Era is ONLY TWO YEARS OLD!!!

      Did you think the V8 engines were amazing the first 2-3 years when they were spitting their guts out every GP weekend?

      The instant gratification culture of F1 fans is maddening.

      1. Yeeeaah, I’m gonna have to disagree w you on that. Hammy will win the next race. No competition. Merc races away w all others saying “duuuuh, how dey do dat?”

    2. My favorite era in F1 was between 2001 and 2005, V10s with massive downforce. I’ve watched that era live trackside a number of times and it was brilliant. It was spectacular, because there was nothing close it at the time, and to quote Mark Webber, the drivers “needed to have balls” to push through some of the corners flat.

      The thing is, nobody consciously dreamed up that formula, it was an evolution of technology from the previous formulas that got them there. This whole approach to dreaming up ways to make the sport more spectacular is very amatuerish and highly reactive. The problem with people who decide how to “improve the show” is that firstly they are extremely selfish and secondly, they have incomparable egos. If they are true to themselves, they should acknowledge where mistakes have been made, go back to the drawing board and address the fundamental issues, however, due to the aforementioned characteristics of the said individuals, this has been akin to one chasing its own tail!

      I think this has been said before, the only way to address the issues that F1 is facing from a sporting perspective is to have an independent body weigh up the options and make a call. And I believe this independent body is supposed to be the FIA, who sadly, have been found to be toothless!

      If Jean Todt doesnt want to get his hands dirty, fine, pay some one else to do it, just like any successful business man would do. Get a panel of former team owners/principals/managers and drivers to figure it out. The teams will get told, and that will be it.

      But this all makes too much sense and sounds too easy…F1 will never go for it!

      1. @jaymenon10

        My favorite era in F1 was between 2001 and 2005 […] nobody consciously dreamed up that formula, it was an evolution of technology from the previous formulas that got them there. This whole approach to dreaming up ways to make the sport more spectacular is very amatuerish and highly reactive.

        The mentioned era wasn´t a natural evolution at all, F1 was deeply into making rules for entertainment at least since they introduced refuelling back and forbid active-suspensions before the 1994-season. Both those changes were quite dangerous but put through to make things more “exciting”. And those changes failed heavily, with 2000 to 2004 being probably the most boring times F1 ever had. That was the only time I ever skipped watching races.

        1. Even 2003?

          1. 2003 had some good races (Brazil e.g.), yes. It also had a monaco-gp with no single on-track overtake and a couple of races coming close to that, and a title-fight that, despite being mathmatically open, never seemed like it could have another ending than it had. Also the field just lacked drivers to cheer for, Kimi´s personality didn´t yet really shine through, Sato only debuted towards the end of the season, but 6 different “oh no not him”-drivers won.

          2. @crammond

            2003 had some good races (Brazil e.g.), yes. It also had a monaco-gp with no single on-track overtake and a couple of races coming close to that

            Please give me a single season which did not have a boring race. Monaco always has very little overtaking, but at least we had a strategic battle that race.

            2003 had more than enough classics to make up for it. Australia, Brazil, Silverstone, USA and Japan were all great races. Austria, Canada, Nurburgring, and Hungary were also entertaining.

            despite being mathmatically open, never seemed like it could have another ending than it had

            Yes, that is easy for you to say in hindsight, but I clearly remember Montoya being the bookies’ favorite after Hungary.

            Also the field just lacked drivers to cheer for,

            That is incredibly subjective. Montoya had a huge fanbase back then, Raikkonen’s fanbase was growing and so was Alonso’s. All 3 drivers were driving either great or good cars.

        2. Mr win or lose
          19th August 2015, 9:08

          The ban on active suspension was one of the most sensible rule changes in F1. In the early 90s there had been quite some heavy accidents due to active suspension related failures.

  4. I think Ricciardo is an excellent driver, but I also believe his 2014 has made people to overrate him somewhat.

    I’m not going to take any merits from him, he drove fantastically last year, but seeing Vettel’s late 2008 to 2013, and this first half of 2015, it’s clear that Vettel was far from his very best. Analog to Hamilton vs Button in 2011 and 12, I think Vettel would have had the clear upper hand this year after the defeat the year before., especially considering how unspectacular Ricciardo has been this first half.

  5. I don’t really get this:

    He’s incredibly sensitive when it comes to the car,” Tost said of Ricciardo.

    “He is technically the most experienced driver, with whom I have ever worked with. He can suit every car perfectly to his riding style.”

    If you’re sensitive to the car, wouldn’t that inhibit your ability to suit every car?

    1. @david-a: You could interpret sensitivity as meaning “to be able to sense clearly what the car is doing”, a good thing. It could also be used to imply “a strong preference for a particular setup”, a bad thing. It’s not very clear which one is meant here.
      As for “riding style”… is Ricciardo secretly Casey Stoner?

    2. In the original source Tost used ‘abstimmen’ which was translated to ‘suit’ but I think ‘tune/set-up’ is closer to what he meant. (I’m no German speaker though)

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        19th August 2015, 13:13

        The whole translation form German was rather average. @shena @david-a

        1. @coldfly could you help with a little translation? Thank you in advance.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            19th August 2015, 19:00

            I can give you a quick and dirty version @celeste.

            The article is presented as a short description of each driver by Tost (short quotes it seems). And although the journalist presents it as a ‘ranking’ it is not clear if/how Tost presented this as such (or even intended this as a ranking).

            1. SEBASTIAN VETTEL: It was amazing, the way he won the first race in Monza for Toro Rosso in 2008, and how he before that had brought the team together technically. Not for nothing that he has become a 4 time World Champion.
            2. DANIIL KVYAT: He has a tremendous car control and is just like Vettel extremely focussed with a lot of determination. He’s from Russia; not a motorsport stronghold! As a kid he moved by himself to Italy. That makes what he has achieved even more impressive.
            3. MAX VERSTAPPEN: At 17 he has already an amazing overview and surprising level of maturity. He is extremely fast and has a high level of technical understanding – especially concerning the tyres. I’ve been fascinated by that since his first test.
            4. CARLOS SAINZ: He’s also technically very accomplished and an extremely hard worker. It’s also remarkable how focussed he is and how fast he can learn. His strong performance is the result of all these qualities.
            5. DANIEL RICCIARDO: He is incredibly sensitive in terms of the car. He’s technically the most accomplished driver I have ever worked with. He’s able to set up any car to his driving style.
            6. RALF SCHUMACHER: Pure speed wise he was better than many other drivers. On a good day he could outrace anybody. With Toyota he wasn’t in a team where he could become World Champion. However, he himself had the ability to become one.

          2. @coldfly so technically not a ranking… got it…

    3. I didn’t understand that statement either. He’s sensitive to the car setup, yet he can make any car suit his driving style?!?!

      Honestly, if we are talking about sensitivity to car setup and characterisitics, Vettel is far worse than Daniel. Without EBD working well for him, he was getting beaten by Webber in the 1st half of 2012, and only when the Coanda exhaust effect kicked in, he actually started beating Webber again.

      It’s hard to take Tost’s statements seriously.

      1. Well, lost in translation is what is at play here, I’m afraid.

      2. @todfod
        RE: 2012
        Webber beat him in only 3/10 races in the first half of 2012- China, Monaco, Britain.

    4. I had to read that bit twice myself, but he is actually talking about Danny, not Ricciardo…

      It’s just a poorly constructed sentence, or, the meaning was lost in translation…

  6. “More spectacular, harder to drive and faster” we wish, but like nearly all F1 efforts at improving the show there is a conflict in what they propose, faster means more grip, which means less spectacular and easier, not harder, to drive. However even if they can design cars to fulfill this desire it will all be just a colossal waste of time, money and effort if the winning strategy still depends on being gentle on the tyres rather than using that extra performance.

  7. Ricciardo, not as good as Sainz or Verstappen?

    Well Tost would say that, wouldn’t he? He’s hardly going to say the people driving his car are crap is he? He’s got to market them as good enough to replace Kvyat/Ricciardo or it makes the Red Bull Driver Programme and Toro Rosso pointless.

    Personally I think Ricciardo is pretty good, certainly one of the better drivers out there and better than Kvyat, Sainz or Verstappen. Whether he stays better remains to be seen.

    1. @rocketpanda

      Tost might say that for those reasons, though with your reasoning, he has no reason to rate Kyvat 2nd over his two current drivers, or Vettel as number 1 as he’s now with Ferrari.

      1. @uan He can’t do anything but rate Vettel as number one for the reason he mentions – he’s won 4 world championships!

        1. @optimaximal

          actually Tost could rate the drivers any way he way wants. After the results of last year, he could easily rate Vettel lower and folks wouldn’t have a problem with that.

          Whether he’s right or wrong, I think he’d say what he personally believes. Obviously we could go round and round with reasons why he wouldn’t, but at that point it just becomes meaningless (sort of like that scene in Princess Bride where Vizzini and Wesley are doing their battle of wits and Vizzini needs to figure out is the poison in the cup closest to him or to Wesley lol https://youtu.be/U_eZmEiyTo0).

  8. Very unfair because the Toro Rosso has been a better car than the Red Bull this year

    1. @dam00r It hasn’t. It absolutely hasn’t.

      1. Actually on average it has, although that’s not to say it is still now. Red Bull have made major improvements over the last few races.

      2. @dam00r
        No it hasn’t. In the vast majority of races, Red Bull have been faster than Toro Rosso. STR are also less reliable.

    2. He is not basing his judgement on this years Red Bull, he is basing it on the drivers he has worked with, seeing as he hasn’t working with RIC while he has been at RB (senior) then it doesn’t matter how good or bad his current car is.

  9. This years Toro Rosso is probably their strongest construction ever made, dispite the power unit issues. I don’t wish to underestimate Verstappen and Sainz, but a debut year with a car like the previous Toro Rossos, suffering at the back of the pack, Tost would maybe looking for new youngsters already. What this pair delivers this year must be respected, and they obviously show the talent, but the car obviously helps them shine, which didn’t really help Ricciardo, Vergne, Buemi, Alguersuari and the others.
    These are simply not fair comparisons, however, Tost worked with all of them, but not at the same time, not with the same car, not under the same conditions. It wasn’t really clear for an outsider why Ricciardo was chosen instead of Vergne to be promoted to Red Bull, as they were performing almost the same, only Vergne’s somewhat weaker one-lap pace used to be the difference. Ricciardo did shine last year, so it seems to be a good choice, but we will never know, maybe Vergne could have done the same or even better.

    This very strong statement from Tost feels more like a message to Ricciardo, applying some pressure on him, that the any Red Bull seat could be handed to the youngsters…

  10. What I think about the Mosely scandal, 5% of me is outraged by the invasion of privacy, 95% of me is joyous, for pretty much the same reason Ron copped it.

    1. 100% of me doesn’t give a [expletive deleted] about what gets him (or anyone) off with consenting adults. The other 100% is just really thankful for everything he (and to some extent Bernie) did for the sport and the drivers.

  11. Excellent account of Spa 99 from Mika, no mention of tyre or engine saving strategy.

    1. Or DRS or silly overtake modes or ERS charging, just racing. Beautiful.

    2. People hated 98 generation at first. 15 years later people are rejoicing the recollections from the period. I really like 98 and the short narrow wheelbase cars, I liked them at the time. I’m sure people will rue Pirelli. We had no refuelling and we have no refuelling again for the past 6 seasons, I wonder what that has led to in F1. Nothing is the answer, we keep shuffling F1. DRS is undeniable not racing yet I wonder how many will stand by that call.
      Ps: I don’t want DRS nor ERS nor race fuel, nor degradables but they’ve helped overtaking. These mesures are no way to fix F1 but they come and go. Fix aero and you’ll fix F1.

      1. Fix aero and you’ll fix F1

        If there was ever a statement to define “hitting the nail on the head”, there it is.

  12. I think Red Bull flattered Ricciardo last year. I cautioned everyone going goo goo ga ga over Ricciardo last year. He had a good year next to Vettel, but Vettel’s car was hardly reliable and consistent. And believe me I’m not a huge fan of Vettel so don’t take me for a Vettel apologist.

    The other thing I suspect is that Vettels move to Ferrari was well known by Red Bull for years. Vettel had been having secret meetings for years w/ Ferrari while driving for Red Bull. I won’t put it past Red Bull to feel a little snubbed and pegged down the performance of Vettel’s car a little.

    This would also be a huge psychological boost for Ricciardo to see that he can not only hold his own against a 4 time champion, but to actually beat him! Even if it gave Ricciardo a false sense of ability, it still helped him believe he can hang with the big boys.

    I think Ricciardo is a good driver, but he is still unproven. How he does this year will be a better marker for what kind of driver he really is. If he is as good as Vettel, he should beat Kvyat fairly well even though it looks like Kvyat has a healthy weight/height advantage over him.

  13. Do Mercedes need to be extra-wary of Ferrari in the last nine remaining races?

    I very much doubt it. Even if, to engage in some wild hypotheticals,, Hamilton and Rosberg encounter disaster in Spa and Monza and both wind up in a dead heat with Vettel with seven races to go … their car is still just too quick. It would take a string of bad luck/bad races for Mercedes plus a major step up in performance by Ferrari to take this down to the wire. I’d love to be wrong though.

  14. Very touching article from Mika…… Definitely worth a read….

  15. lolz.

    Anyone with half a brain can see Max isn’t even half the driver RIC is. Franz Toast. The only thing that is outstanding about Max is the media hype and irrational fervor trying to gin up sponsor interest.

    1. Totally agree.
      A few weeks back, there was an article about him being in contention for Ferrari drive next year but that contract with Red Bull is too tight to break, and that he is too good to be let go by Red Bull. Needless to say, the rumor itself must have been started by Red Bull or Jos Verstappen himself. At the moment, at least half a field drives better then him, if not more.

      1. I think the point with MV is that he is more than holding his own at 17. Could the other drivers have been on par with him at that age? Give him another 3-4 experience and see where he’s at.

      2. You’re just guessing things. Of course the Ferrari rumor was ridiculous, but it wasn’t started by RB or Jos. Jos Verstappen openly stated that it was silly and Max wasn’t ready or available for that.

    2. Fudge Ahmed (@)
      19th August 2015, 11:40

      Do you count mechanical unreliability as a measure of driver skill like all the ridiculous armchair pundits who labelled Hamilton a ”car breaker” at one point? Because if you don’t I really fail to see how you can so readily discredit Max. I was as sceptical as anyone but he was running in some very high grid positions in the early stages of this season with repeated and consecutive mechanical failures.

      You also have not even a tenth of the engineering knowledge and data available to you that Tost does because you know, he actually runs an F1 team! I would guess you need more than half a brain to do that job competently…

      Sainz is the real revelation for me this season, fantastic talent.

  16. Interestingly just noticed that Jenson Button’s name is not there in McLaren Drivers Heritage although he has been driving for the team in last 5 years.


    Error or a known omission ????

    1. @tmax
      Well he is still driving for them. :)

      1. So is Alonso and he’s there

        1. @f1freek …but then he left, remember?

  17. Watching the way Ric fought with Alonso, and the how tactical his overtakes are, you cannot say any of the RedBull youngsters hold a candle to Ric. Speed on paper isn’t all that it takes to be a racer, its tacticians like Alonso, Vettle, and Ricardo that make every driver sweat when their on your tail.

    Watch how hard the other teams try to avoid having Ricardo (when in a competitive car) behind their drivers. I’m no Ricardo fanboy, but the respect the other teams give Ricardo when there’s a chance he’ll be on their trail should be proof enough. They know if you give him an opportunity he will overtake. Now the great thing would be if next year both Ferrari and Red Bell are on the same level, that would give us some exciting racing.

    1. I seriously can’t remember any decent battle between Alonso and Ricciardo.
      For sure Ric is a good driver, but I don’t know where you got that:

      but the respect the other teams give Ricardo when there’s a chance he’ll be on their trail should be proof enough

      As for giving an opportunity, so will every driver?

      1. @spoutnik They had quite a good battle in Germany from what I remember. Could argue Hungary as well.

  18. That Tost ranking may be relevant within Toro Rosso, but outside of that team the pecking order is different. I think Kvyat is ultimately average and won’t last in F1. He only did 1 year in TR anyway. His promotion surprised me. I’m more interested in how Helmut Marko ranks them.

    1. its Tost ranking the drivers he has been with @selbbin, so its obviously going to limit itself to a small group of drivers. And I wouldn’t be much surprised if its largely influenced by the interviewer asking him about specific drivers too.

      Also, I do not think its really a reflection of how good they are going to get, but more a gauge of how Tost sees their potential – i.e. Verstappen being hugely impressive at young age means there could be big things in his future, likewise Kvyat being young and already very good, the same was true when he joined STR.

      All drivers evolve and develop over time, so the Ricciardo Tost knew from STR is not the same guy now driving for RBR for the second season anymore.

  19. Verstappen and Sainz better than Riccardo? Well, currently you can only judge them against each other, and seeing as they’re both rookies its rather difficult, so I think its difficult to judge them against Riccardo. Vettel better than Riccardo is questionable, they had one year as team mates, and anyone who denies that Vettel was beaten fair and square is wrong. Saying last years Red Bull as difficult to drive, and suited Riccardo is silly, last years Ferrari was a handful not the Red Bull. Despite this Vettel seems to have thrived at Ferrari, but I still wonder what Alonso could have done in the same car. Personally I think he would have challenged for wins more, but probably have not been any better in qualifying than Vettel.

    1. I still wonder what Alonso could have done in the same car

      But would it have been “this” car had Alonso been in the team? It is widely known that Alonso’s driving style is significantly different to Kimi’s. If in 2015, Alonso and Kimi were Ferrari drivers, Ferrari would again have made the car suiting Fernando’s driving style, and hence it would have been just a evolution of the 2014 Ferrari; which means it would not have been so fast at all.
      It is because Vettel and Kimi have similar driving styles, Ferrari could make a new aero-design and not just an evolution of the 2014 car. And hence now, the car is fast.
      Assuming the hypothetical scenario, the car is made to suit Kimi (even though Alonso is still in Ferrari in 2015), Alonso would have had trouble adjusting his car and would not have been able to assert his superiority over Kimi in 2015 as well as he did in 2014 (Statement 1) Now, statistics show that Vettel has been as dominant over Kimi (in terms of qualifying pace) in 2015 as Alonso was over Kimi in 2014 (Statement 2).

      So, combining statement 1 and statement 2, it can estimated that Alonso’s performance in 2015 Ferrari would have been a little below Vettel’s performance.

      1. Unless the Vettel move was actually pegged in before they started designing the 2015 car (possible, I accept), there’s not much chance they could radically redesign the car to suit a different driver, especially after the shakeup at the team.

        What’s more likely is that Allison finally got his teeth into the design and changed it to match the concept & ethos of his previous cars.

        1. I agree with you that Allison managed to change the aero-design of the Ferrari. But would Alonso have managed to work with this new car as well as he did with the old one? I have my doubts. Especially considering the fact that Kimi has said on record that the new car suits his style (which probably also means that it won’t suit Alonso’s style).

    2. @baz888

      Personally I think he would have challenged for wins more

      Where would these opportunities to fight for more wins have come from?

      1. Well, in the past Alonso has done some pretty incredible stuff, his 2012 season was one of the best seasons from one driver ever. I think that in races Alonso would have been stronger than Vettel, and therefore would have put himself in the position to fight for wins. But because we don’t have a direct comparison its difficult to prove or disprove, so it is just my opinion.

        1. I suppose it is your opinion, which I respect. At the same time, Alonso was also further than 42 points behind at this stage into 2010, when Ferrari appeared closer to the leaders than they are now.

  20. “Tost, who has been team supremo at the Red Bull development team since 2006 after six years at Williams, says Ricciardo is just the fifth best driver he has worked with in Formula 1.”

    Currently Ricciardo has 51 points, scoring points in 8 out of the 10 races so far this year. Verstappen has scored 22 points, getting those points in 3 out of the 10 races. Sainz has 9 points, getting them in 4 out of the 10 races.
    Looking at the chart on the Wikipedia entry for 2015 round of F1, Ricciardo has only retired once this year. Verstappen is listed as having retired 4 times, although some would argue it is 5 times because he didn’t complete one race, but earned a place because he had completed more than 90% of that race. Sainz retired 4 times.
    Thus Ricciardo scored more points, has more point scoring races, and completed more races, therefore he is the better of the three.

    1. Mr win or lose
      19th August 2015, 9:27

      Maybe you forgot it, but Ricciardo is driving a different car than Verstappen and Sainz, so you can’t compare him directly to the Toro Rosso drivers. Apparently the Red Bull is more reliable and usually faster than the Toro Rosso, so they have collected more points.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      19th August 2015, 17:48

      @drycrust, interesting way to rate who is better by measuring ‘races completed’.
      (besides ignoring the ‘different car’ fact as mentioned above)

      From my recollection Sainz had 4 technical retirements, Verstappen 3, and Ricciardo only 1. A bit harsh to judge their racing skills on that!
      Or do you think car reliability is caused by – or at least correlated with – racing skills?

      1. @coldfly : As I saw it, finishing in the points, regardless of the amount, is an indication that driver and team and car were above average for that race, because there are 22 drivers and points cover the top 10 places, so to earn points means you finished definitely in the top half of the field, therefore you were definitely above average for that race. In Ricciardo’s case, he completed 8 of the 10 races, so that proves he (and his team and car) were above average for 8 of those 10 races. How could they be not above average and still get those points? Conversely, persistent finishing out of the points shows that at best the driver and team and car were average, and probably below average in at least one of those areas.
        Regarding retirements, is it right to compare someone like Alonso (5 retirements) with someone like Maldonado (6 retirements)? The statistics don’t quantify why a retirement took place, but, as you ask, is it a fair measure of a driver to consider them? The lack of retirements is the point here: it indicates good discipline and good skill and good management. So Ricciardo’s 9 completed races out of 10 indicates a general pattern of good discipline and good skill and good management, which again reflects on the driver as part of his job is motivating his team.
        Sorry, I have run out of time for now on this, but I hope that helps explain my reasoning.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          19th August 2015, 20:19

          @drycrust, seriously???
          Thus (reversely) a technical retirement is due to poor discipline, poor skill and poor management.
          A bit far fetched mate!

          PS – technical retirements are in the statistics (just look it up on this site)
          PPS – 22 drivers?

  21. It is strange that some people think that they know more about F1 more than people working inside F1 let alone being a team boss

    1. Except that other f1 insiders ranked Ricciardo as one of the best ‘new’ talents around…. soooo….

      1. Those “insiders” hardly can know better than his former team boss.

  22. Tost rating his drivers as better than Ricciardo makes sense, as he would want to motivate his current drivers. But why would he rate Kvyat and Vettel both above Ricciardo (and also above his current 2 drivers!).

    Personally, I think Kvyat is nowhere close to Ricciardo. He has upped his game recently, but Ricciardo still has the measure of him. With regards to Vettel and Ricciardo, it is clear that something was wrong last year – the disappointment with the new regulations, Michael’s accident, becoming a father or complacency with regards to his new teammate, Ricciardo. It may have been a combination of these things which is why Vettel was what he was in 2014. So, using 2014 as a metric of rating Ricciardo has some flaws. My personal order between the 5 drivers would be – Vettel, Ricciardo, Sainz, Verstappen, Kvyat.

  23. I would not read anything into Tost’s list, he’s just looking out for his “drivers.”

    – Vettel at nr. 1 is just plain logic, because otherwise people would have thought he’s nuts
    – Kvyat at nr. 2 is, because he doesn’t want him lower as the Toro Rosso boys and Kvyat needs the confidence with Verstappen breathing down his neck, and he also wanted him higher as Ricciardo
    – Verstappen not at nr.2 is, because then he would have needed to put Sainz at nr.3, to make sure Sainz his confidence wasn’t effected too much, which also would have put Kvyat behind both Toro Rosso boys. He also wants his current drivers to still stay level headed
    – Ricciardo ranked 5th is nothing more as knowing he could take it mentally with his age and experience, and looking out for his current drivers

    The most interesting part is actually, him saying Verstappen’s understanding of the tyres already (very important in F1), him having a good overview (good analytical brain (also very important)), but most of all, the remarks of him about Verstappen his insane speed (and only mentioning it with him and not with the other drivers (he’s the one who sees the actual data)).

    1. I love how you rationalize every needed adjustment to get Max on top op that list.

      So basically, Tost actually rates Verstappen first, but he can’t tell because of politics. And only you have the capabilities to crack the code and get his ‘real’ list.

      By the way, the phrase “better as” needs to be “better than“. Through your one on one translation of Dutch to English I can see that you also make that mistake in Dutch. Het is beter dan, niet beter als.

  24. Meanwhile, yesterday…..

    Tost: I’ll talk you down a bit, would that be OK, Danny?
    RIC: Why not? Anything to keep those pesky reporters away from me!

  25. Such a nice post from Mika and the finale brought some tears to my eyes! Didn’t know Mika had such masterful command of written English (although I think some people help him)

    1. His English is quite good, living outside Finland for half of his life. But he uses English words that (I’m guessing here) only native speakers would use, so I think he gets some help. No biggie, it just makes me unsure if I’m really reading his stories or the ones written down by someone else.

  26. Very moved by the Mika Hakkinen post

  27. @keithcollantine

    I’m surprised there was no mention of the article on Honda eyeing to match Ferrari’s engine performance in Spa


    It made me chuckle.. that’s for sure.

    There was also an article from Luiz Garcia Abad stating that Alonso will be fighting for the championship in 2016.

    Needless to say… I ROFLMAO

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      19th August 2015, 18:00

      Arai told AUTOSPORT his company’s existing engine was “much better than Renault” during the most recent race in Hungary

      That means that the McLaren chassis must be a disaster as all (finishing) Renault engined cars were in front of them. @todfod

      PS – and Alonso would probably have to fight with Ralf for position 6 on Tost’s list ;)

  28. If you look at critics opinions of drivers and their relative performances you end up with a Penrose Stairs type of ranking, where each driver is both better and worse than their competitors.

  29. Tost also said that Ricciardo was not ready for Red Bull and should’ve stayed another season with TR.

    So, does really matter what this guy says?

    A team principal who punched a driver (Speed)? Whatever. It doesn’t matter.

  30. Evil Homer (@)
    20th August 2015, 14:11

    I would be surprised if Tost himself, let alone too many others actually believe this comment!

    On this site alone there were so many posts saying Daniel was not worthy of the Red Bull drive for last year, probably mainly the same as those that also justify why he beat Seb last year- “Vettel was distracted and had a bad year”! Really he dropped the ball last year in being preoccupied getting the Ferrari drive and was beaten by his team mate fair and square – the history book just reads “Ricciardo smashed his 4WDC team-mate in 2014”- I wont go so far to say he had the same “no Ayrton” clause Alain Prost had in the Williams days but Seb wouldn’t like to be beaten again by Dan in the same car!

    And for the Vettel fans please don’t take this as a go at him or his ability, I hated when people said he won just because of Newey’s car- the guy is top notch- just pointing if Dan can mix it with Seb then Tost’s comments just seem a bit silly!

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