Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Horner lavishes praise on Ricciardo and Verstappen

2016 Spanish Grand Prix

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Christian Horner was full of praise for drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen after they claimed the second row of the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of the two Ferraris.

“An amazing performance by both of our drivers today,” said Horner after qualifying.

“It was a phenomenal final lap by Daniel Ricciardo, he only had one set of tyres in Q3 but he made the most of them and nailed the best lap of the weekend to line up third.”

Ricciardo was pushed hard by his new team mate who was quicker than him in the first two phases of qualifying. Horner said Verstappen “has proved to be the sensation that we know he is”.

Verstappen said he was surprised by how quickly he has got up to speed in the Red Bull. “I didn’t expect to adapt to the car so quickly,” he said.

“I didn’t expect to be on the second row, so it’s a positive feeling. We are close to a podium and hopefully we can keep our positions in tomorrow’s race.”

2016 Spanish Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Horner lavishes praise on Ricciardo and Verstappen”

  1. Daniel loving the car just like in 2014, he killed it today.

  2. What an astonishing display of talent of these guys. Loved the qualifying.

  3. Spencer Brandsen
    14th May 2016, 16:15

    Me too.

  4. Just feeling for Sainz now, he was on a pretty steady footing with Verstappen. Perhaps not quite on the exact same level, but in the same ballpark. Hope his future is brighter than JEV, Alg etc… Deserves better than to be discarded to Formula E.

    1. Over 23 races he was about equal in quali but over 40 points behind VES

      Yes Sainz had quite alot of reliability issues but so did VES to be fair (just this last race retiring from 6th last race for example) especially in qualifying, setting him back in the pack. The difference in points can’t be explained away by that alone imho.

      Also Verstappen had standout drives and manouvres in China, Monaco, Hungary, Singapore, Japan, USA and brazil from memory. I can’t really recall any such standout manouvres and drives from Sainz other than his 5th place in quali in Spain (beating VES in 6th)and his awesome double overtake in the harpin on lap 1 at Abu Dhabi.

      If you then take into account that Sainz has well over a 100 Junior series starts in 4 years prior to f1 compared to only 1 season for VES, I think that Verstappen is the better prospect by quite some margin tbh. Or am I not seeing something you see?

      1. I disagree. Verstappen is highly overrated in my opinion, especially compared to Sainz.

        In 2015 Sainz had 7 retirements to Verstappens 4 – nearly twice as many.

        And yes, the points difference can be put down to that and lucky results.

        Just look at Button and Alonso. This season Alonso currently leads Button by 8 points to 1 which is ENTIRELY down to Alonso cutting the first corner chaos in Russia while Button was forced to go through it.

        Pure luck and good fortune.

        Yes Verstappen is good, but nowhere near as good as everyone is going on about!

      2. Hes ‘s Spanish, they have been underrating Verstappen since he came to F1.

      3. JeffreyJ, Sainz has suffered from significantly more reliability failures than Verstappen – in 2015 alone, Sainz retired from seven races, all of which were down to mechanical failures. By way of comparison, Verstappen had five retirements that year, two of which were due to driver error (Monaco and Silverstone) and three to mechanical failures – barely half what Sainz had that year.

        Some of those retirements robbed Sainz of potentially quite good finishing positions – he was running in 6th place before he started to lose power in the Hungarian GP, which probably would have become 5th place due to the Rosberg-Ricciardo clash. He was also on course for finishing 6th in the Russian GP later that season, only to be forced to retire due to a brake failure – just those two races alone would have given Sainz another 18 points.

        Because he broke down during those races, I feel that his efforts in the Hungarian and Russian GP’s have been rather overlooked – he did also put in a decent performance at circuits like Monaco (where he originally outqualified Verstappen, only to be stripped of his times after missing a weight check) and in the USA as well, where he’d originally finished only three seconds behind Verstappen (although he was penalised for speeding in the pit lane, dropping him behind Button).

        I do think, therefore, that you are perhaps a bit harsh with your judgement on Sainz and that the difference in points doesn’t really reflect the ability of the two drivers – Sainz strikes me as being more closely matched to Verstappen than the points picture would suggest had reliability not been such an issue.

        1. Agree with you Anon!!!

        2. @Anon if you both given them points for the races they didn’t finish, then VES would still be ahead in points. And while SAI is known for beeing quicker over 1 lap they actually finished about equal in quali with VES having more issues in qualifying that cost him… if you then take VES impressive racecraft at 18 years with signifantly less experience (indicator of his potential) then SAI and imho VES clearly makes for the better prospect (its cool with me if you dissagree btw, its just my opinion)

  5. Tomorrows race will be interesting. Max strength lies more in his race craft then 1-lap performance in my opinion. He should be able to give Daniel a good fight for his money. The Ferrari’s will probably be all over them as well. Daniel Ricciardo, as always, was able to pull something out of the bag in qualifying. His emotion over the radio right after his Q3 shows just how happy he was with his lap.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      14th May 2016, 17:44

      Problem is that VES so far has been a very poor starter of the line. Although he normally does make up for some of it during lap 1.

      1. Indeed. Though I suspect he’s being risk-averse in lap 1 deliberately and relies on his race-pace and ability to manage the tyres.

    2. Do the Max fans forget what Ric in his move from TR ? He mashed a 4 times world Champ and won 3 races in a under preforming car…never really heard why Seb was smashed by Ric?

  6. Verstappen says he hasn’t even found the limit of the car yet, but Ricciardo still had to dig deep to beat him. And people are still questioning if Verstappen is the real deal.

  7. Sergey Martyn
    14th May 2016, 17:09

    Has anyone noticed how relieved and happy RIC was after he has been told that VES is behind – never heard those boyish babbling from such a seasoned fighter – please compare his reaction for P2 in China. No wonder Daniel is studying driver market right now.

    1. Not a fan of the guy, but I think he was just happy he put the perfect lap in.

      1. Yeah. Some people make everything about VES…

    2. Daniel can take his pick of any team on the grid…contract allowing..Ferrari would buy him out.

  8. When the lights go out tomorrow I will be hoping Max doesn’t make any contact in the first corner. I agree with @me4me, I want to see his race craft develop…..but you have to have a clean first lap. Fingers crossed….

    1. Since his accident in Monace, Max has not even damaged a front wing on his car, eventho he had to start in traffic every race.

      1. I’m afraid you forgot about Australia this year then, where he rear-ended his team mate, due to several lock up mistakes made (so I wouldn’t blame VES for it..). Still..

      2. Yup, VES made a real mistake in Monaco, spun off at Silverstone and flatspotted his tyres at Abu Dhabi. Other than that he never seems to make major mistakes like KVY at Japan and USA last year or like Sainz in quali in Russia last year and at USA as well.

        To be fair I think VES will have his fair share of accidents over time, otherwise he aint human. Lets just hope he won’t make one tomorrow

      3. As a matter of fact he did damage his front wing in Melbourne this year when he was stuck behind Sainz.
        Sainz made a braking mistake and Max couldn’t react quick enough and touched Sainz’s left rear wheel. Sending a piece of his front wing end plate into the grass and spun out.

  9. Sergey Martyn
    14th May 2016, 17:21

    Told it before but can’t wait to hear “I’m much faster than carlos, oops, sorry, Ricciardo!” on Max radio.

    1. I can’t wait to see the blue flags waving for Daniil and Max annoying himself that he looses speed….

    2. Sergey keep dreaming!!

  10. Max keeps surprising me.
    I’ll try to not be surprised if he is on the podium tomorrow.

    1. What’s surprising?

      Oh hang on, I know! Is it because he’s further behind Ricciardo than Kvyatt was in qualifying??

  11. Have RBR got a ‘mark 2’ engine from Renault this race? I’m sure I read somewhere that Renault have updates?

    1. Renault have a big update that they will run in the mid-season test next week, but it won’t debut in a GP until Canada because it won’t be of much use in Monaco

      1. Cheers Jeffrey. That makes today’s performance even more impressive then. They could be really in the hunt if the engine upgrade delivers.

  12. René (@renevdkooij)
    14th May 2016, 22:28

    What a fantastic first quali for Max. I was laughing of excitement and astonishment of Max’s Q1 and Q2 laps, both being faster than Ricciardo.. I was afraid this was already a sign that RIC is going to have a hard time keeping up with VES. But whát a mightily impressive lap of RIC in the end. I guess it’s game on then! Hope they will make it a great fight this season! Can’t wait for the race tomorrow!

    1. Ric did the same thing with Seb and Jev in quaily 1 and 2…. sandbag!!! Still not sure what Max did that was so much better than daniill???.he was still nearly half a sec behind Ric and the ferrari’s where ordinary..which flattered his time even more.

  13. Was nice of them not to show any of RICs Q3 lap – seems the TV director had assumed he was out of it. Well done under pressure and he’s been great this year – no more Mr Nice Guy when it comes to racing. Max is clearly a talent for one so young and Redbull has a stellar driver lineup. With upgrades plus change in regs it’d be great to see multiple trams and their drivers winning races – not the Mercedes procession we are seeing for the third year in a row.

  14. I love how everyone was wetting themselves with excitement during practice about how fast VES was only for him to lose when it counted. Isn’t his time to Ricciardo about the same as KYV and he got dropped. Hmm. As for racecraft, Ricciardo has it in spades so don’t hold your breath there, VES fans.

    1. KVY was 0.750 behind RIC in 2016, so almost double that of VES in his first quali

      Also, VES was only .1 behind RIC after the first 2 sectors and than did a slower S3 than he had done before. Imho the gap isnt saying that much, but the fact that RIC could do a stunner when it counted does imho. RIC is legit and in the right car he could be a world champion for sure.

      On the whole RIC has always been mighty over one lap. Verstappens biggest feature is his racecraft/pace so that should make for an extremely exciting intra-team battle at RBR this year!

    2. You can’t really compare KYV times with VES, because it was only the first few laps for VES in a RedBull car. RB and TR might be sister cars but the differences are pretty important in aero, engine, steering wheel buttons layout, etc

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