Verstappen says his Red Bull future depends on the team’s performance

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen says he won’t stay at Red Bull long term unless the team become more competitive.

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Return of the Legend, Red Bull Soapbox Race, 2017

Red Bull’s Soabpox Race was won by a team dubbed Return of the Legend who styled their entry on a Benetton B193 as raced by Michael Schumacher and Riccardo Patrese in 1993. Check out the attention to detail – right down to their ‘Bulleton’ team shirts! Verstappen was on hand to get a closer look:

Comment of the day

It looks like Formula One’s official eSports tournament faces a difficult job to win over the online racing community:

I owned and ran for many years, and at one point, I believe we had 13 different F1 201x championships. I’ve owned all but one of the Codemasters F1 games. I am an avid sim racer, and have extensively played the likes of Assetto Corsa, rFactor, iRacing, Race 07, Project Cars, Dirt series, and much more.

While I have loved Codemaster’s F1 series, and have had many great moments with it, most would not consider it the best racing game, or even close to it.

First of all, it’s not a sim, while most of the others I mentioned are. Codemasters is a very arcade-y game with few sim options, no laser scanned tracks, and a poor handling/physics/damage model. Furthermore, there are cheats available to download for these games, their ‘equal’ car setting has never been equal, and their netcode is atrocious. So I don’t see how an eSports league will have any integrity to it.
PJ Gaudie

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On this day in F1

  • Juan Manuel Fangio won his second championship today in 1954 at Bremgarten’s last F1 race

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53 comments on “Verstappen says his Red Bull future depends on the team’s performance”

  1. Although the concept of a driverless ‘E-safety car’ would represent and promote the automotive brands cutting edge technology, it seems to me to be a gimmick that would only detract from the spectacle and create more problems than it solves.
    The purpose of the safety car throughout the various sessions is to assess the course and make sure it is in a fit state for racing, to control the pace during full course cautions (consider Lewis’ constant complaining about the pace of the safety car) and during changing weather conditions assess grip levels and gauge wether track conditions are suitable for racing.
    All are tasks that require the skills and nuance of human eyes on the road, human hands on a wheel and a human bum in a seat!

    1. Travis Oreali (@)
      22nd August 2017, 0:44

      Completely agree.

      All I can envisage is the driverless safety car wiping out half the drivers when it doesn’t calculate a turn correctly.

    2. Indeed. Just let a human drive the safety car, there is absolutely no problem to be solved. If F1 continues down this track Formula E will have them for breakfast in 10 years time.

  2. The driverless safety cars is one of those things where you realize that you only have a rule to fix another rule, and instead of bringing a third rule, you can just scrape the first two instead.

    Let’s think about why we have a safety car in the first place?

    We have it, because at that moment, the conditions on the track are too hazardous to even let drivers take caution on their own. Even too dangerous for virtual safety car!

    So if the conditions are so dangerous that even, for example, that a twice as slow, some super-caution virtual safety car, isn’t enough, and that drivers wouldn’t be able to be safe or cautious enough on their own, how is some driverless car going to exercise more caution than 20 conscious, high-level drivers, driving super slowly and carefully?

    It makes no sense. I can only see it running over marshals or colliding with a stricken car it was supposed to save us from.

    That is, until AI becomes real AI.
    But at that point, if Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are right, it might decide to ran over the marshals on purpose! :)

  3. Looking at the soapbox photos, maybe Ayrton Senna was onto something when he was suspicious of Benetton cheating with their launch control.

    1. Evil Homer (@)
      22nd August 2017, 12:40

      Of course Benetton were cheating – they had the traction control software loaded in a hard to find spot on their steering wheel menu (but apparently didn’t use it??!!) Good photo though.

  4. I think max is a little arrogant with that statement. He got to where he is because of red bull and making comments like that after having a single bad season is plain disrespectful.

    1. In six weeks, he’ll turn 20. He knows time is running out if he wants to be champion.

      1. Youngest ever driver to retire without a WC

    2. Yeah it is Arrogant, but i would say hes exactly right. Dont think Red Bull are going to give him a winning car yet so he needs out as soon as he can

    3. I think max is a little arrogant with that statement. He got to where he is because of red bull and making comments like that after having a single bad season is plain disrespectful.

      I think he is more than a “little” arrogant but that’s what I expected of him. He is already gotten rather too big for his boots.

    4. No, it’s just honest and straight to the point. (just an Dutch thing) I find it not arrogant but i know a lot people of other countries find it arrogant.
      He just says that things doesn’t stall the next 2-3 years he stays (which could means he is staying till 2020 at Red Bull.)

      1. I’m Dutch and I find it arrogant too.

      2. You mean a Belgian thing no?

    5. “I’ve always said that there’s no reason to leave when I have a competitive car,
      “At the moment we are not there where I want to be, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up straight away. You have to work hard.
      “But after two, three years without improving, that would be a different story. We are working hard to improve but after next year we will see what happens in the future.”

      Yep, those statements shout ‘arrogance’ to me.
      Just as most comments above shout ‘no prejudice’ ;)

    6. I don’t think it is arrogant at all. I read the complete article at, and what he is saying is he expects RBR to improve the coming 2 years, i.e. be more competetive. When they do, he does not see any reason to look around for a more competetive seat after his current contract. But if they don’t improve, he will.

      1. @demercer, as you say, there is a subtle distinction between “I am prepared to move on from the team once my contract runs out” and “I want to break my contract with the team”.

    7. GtisBetter (@)
      22nd August 2017, 8:21

      people don’t seem to know what arrogant means. He is saying that he want a car that can win titles. Every f1 driver wants the same. Max is just good enough to get one (but more drivers certainly are good, but there are limited seats). How is that arrogance? He is here because he is a great driver. He could choose between Mercedes en RB in F3, but went with RB, cause they could put him in a F1 car right away. They had the best offer when he was a hot driver. He is telling RB to get their act together, which is fair. Ricciardo is feeling the same way, i can guarantee that.

      1. Spot on. He gave RB a chance and they have let him down, especially this year. If he had gone with Mercedes he probably would be on the career path that Ocon is on now and he may be in the works Mercedes team within the next couple of years. If Ocon is fighting for a WDC before Max then he will feel that he has wasted those impactful first years. I fully understand his frustration.

      2. I bet Ricciardo is feeling the same. But he has good enough manners to not downtalk his current and future team, before there is even a problem big enough to complain about. Red bull are a solid #3 and clawing back performance. No for him need to make comments like this publicly.

        1. @colinchapman

          I bet Ricciardo is feeling the same. But he has good enough manners to not downtalk his current and future team

          Are you serious?! Is Ricciardo’s smile really that blinding?!!

          Ricciardo has already mentioned several times he’s not prepared to wait for Red Bull to get their act together. Even lamenting the fact he’s approaching 30 and still hasn’t been able to compete for a title…

          Oh and he outright said the team sabotaged his victory after Spain and Monaco ’16.

        2. GtisBetter (@)
          22nd August 2017, 14:42

          But it’s the truth and Horner already acknowledge it. Why can’t you say it? RB knows it, Max knows it and we know it. It’s business and we are all grown men. This was supposed to be the year RB would fight for wins, but again they have plenty of reliability problems and are almost always off the place. For a team with a virtual unlimited budget i don’t see how they can suddenly turn it around. Everybody keeps developing and Renault is not gaining enough to compete this year. Every time it’s “next year we’ll compete” but unless Renault suddenly catch up with something every rival overlooked i don’t see it happen. That is a big problem if you want to win championchips.

    8. What is wrong with being arrogant if you want to be a world champion as a formula 1 racer? He has no ambition to be a world champion as a diplomat. And further more… is it not a little arrogant to call someone an arrogant? Who are you to judge someone else from behind your humble hidden screen?
      The only sticker that you can put on Max Verstappen is AMBITION and that’s a dirty word for people that feel a lack of it themselves while suffering from jealousy.

    9. People still seem to see a 17 year old entering F1… the fact is Verstappen is talking about 2019 when he will be 21 with 4 years of F1 under his belt. After 4 years of F1, being rated a top 3 driver, it is expected any top team will want to sign him.
      To stay with RBR if the are stil; the #3 team on the grid is just highly unlikely.

    10. I can’t stand his or Sainz’ daily dose of “I deserve a winning car”.

      Well, there was a vacancy last year but Bottas beat you both to it. Oh, yeah you weren’t desirable enough to get Kimi’s either.

    11. Jeesh – how ungrateful and arrogant – both him and his father. He’d better hope Marko isn’t getting tired of hearing it.

      Where does he think he can go? Ferrari isn’t in the business of potty training. They would rather have Ricciardo anyway but as long as Vettel performs that won’t be likely. Hamilton will likely stay at Merc and is happy with Bottas.

      Maybe Max sees some other young bloods up and coming who could crash his party such as Leclerc, Lando and then there is Ocon who has beaten many times him in the past.

      Be careful Max, you may get what you are asking for.

      1. Lol, everything in your comment expresses a complete lack of knowledge.

    12. could not agree more

    13. It’s political, it’s F1.

      He’s publicly lighting a fire under them. It’s a hurry up. He knows he’s a great driver capable of some great opportunities.

      It’s just how it is. Perfectly normal.

  5. While I do not think we need a human driven safety car, I don’t think it’s something the FIA should really worry to much about — Maylander is responsible for exactly zero of F1’s safety car related challenges and occasional ineptitudes.

    As a fan, it’s of no interest to me. Just means we’ll see a pointless in car camera shot for a few seconds every time the SC’s out to advertise that there isn’t anyone in there. An irrelevant gimmick, but at least one that isn’t actively detrimental.

  6. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
    22nd August 2017, 6:47

    Just a little shout-out to one of the sponsorship messages on the pictures of the Red Bull Soap Box Race. The ad for Bison glue, well positioned on a set of stairs and a ramp (designed to thoroughly test the soap box’ sturdiness) reads “everything can break, luckily there’s Bison glue”. Made me lol a bit.

  7. Well, since Formula One is increasingly focused on showcasing automobile OEM technologies (as opposed to ‘wowing’ fans), perhaps the cars could be required to fit cup-holders, hot-and-cold seats, and automated parking functionality for pulling into the pit boxes.

  8. If you want to win in the cut throat world that is F1, Max’s attitude is what it takes. Senna was never a shrinking violet and he was also never backwards in coming forwards with his opinions. Max has got the skill set and the self belief all the top teams need and he is simply stating a fact. It’s not necessarily a ‘Dutch’ thing but an attribute shared by the world’s top sportsmen. Nigel Mansell won his championship and many races because of his enormous self belief and he was in no way as naturally gifted as Max.

    1. Evil Homer (@)
      22nd August 2017, 13:04

      @baron – agreed with your Mansell comment- he didn’t have the natural talent of Senna, Prost and even Piquet but forged his way through sheer determination which made his wins even better really (his 1992 car didn’t hurt either :)

      As for Max’s comments I see no issue with them really. It wasn’t the ‘bite the hand that feeds’ that Sainz tried and failed with not long ago but just pointing out he wants a top car, Daniel does too and they all do.

  9. Regarding COTA..

    I’m baffled he came to this conclusion. “No laser scanned tracks”? F1 2017 has rescanned America and Suzuka, and as far as everyone else is concerned, all the tracks are perfectly accurate.

    “Poor damage engine” is not only unfair but a lie. Codemasters cannot get the licensing required to construct a proper damage engine. But despite this, the damage is not only good but accurate. Tap your front wing and a bit will chip off, causing understeer, brush against a wall and you can have a puncture, hit it hard enough and you’ll break the tyre; the game has wheel tethers, run over debris and you’ll get a puncture and in the new game, if you’re hit hard enough from the behind or by the side, your gearbox can get damaged forcing you to retire… how is this poor and not proper simulation?

    And then he says the physics engine is poor… the crashes are realistic; bang wheels at high speed you’ll spin, be too aggressive on the kerbs and you’ll unsettle the car. Without assists, it’s a very difficult game. It’s so easy to spin the rear wheels up and completely lose it; Codemasters are praised for producing cars with very accurate handling.

    I believe COTA is very uninformed. People are skeptical of this Esports thing when they don’t realise there’s already a league of the best drivers competing on Codemaster’s games. It’s called AOR Online Racing, and they have some of the best drivers and upcommers. They expand on all platforms and have different Tiers; the top tiers for the best and lower tiers for the not so best, and this changes every season. They are currently in Season 13, with Season 14 being their first season on F1 2017, migrating from F1 2016.

    I don’t get the stigma at all with this Esports thing. F1 2017 has been praised by beta testers, Codemaster games are not arcady at all; they lean to simulation over the years and they’re leaning even more with this game’s release. I, for one, am pretty exciting by this prospect

    1. Regarding COTD*** oops..

    2. I have to say, the tyre modelling on F1 2016 was pretty amazing and made me understand the Pirellis more last season than any article or TV feature. The thrill of chasing down the leader but taking chunks out of your tyre wear and ultimately having to either pit and go hell for leather OR back off and accept a podium place as you nurse the existing set home was amazing.

      That said, you can easily take outrageous shortcuts on many tracks without penalty and the AI didn’t seem to understand the fundamental concept of throwing a faster car down the inside line to overtake (not a concern for an esports competition)

      Let’s just wait and see what the 2017 edition offers before writing it off eh?

    3. Michael Brown (@)
      23rd August 2017, 19:48

      It’s still not the hardcore sim esports would want. Also you admitted yourself that the damage model is not proper.

  10. If I may contribute:

    Fantastic short piece on Ferrari driver policy during Enzo’s era.

    I’d imagine the Old Man would be quite fond of Vettel, but he wouldn’t have any help from the team! I’d also imagine that Raikonnen’s seat would be occupied by a more capable driver.

    1. Yes I’ve always thought Enzo Ferrari would have never allowed the MS/Ferrari era to happen. Actually contracting drivers to not compete against the designated number one.

      1. Question is, who made that the defacto culture at the Scuderia? Jean Todt or Luca?

  11. Yeah, Verstappen should be lucky to be at Red Bull. It was his only possible way of getting into F1, and he should reward that with undying loyalty.

    Or not. Considering that every team wanted him before he signed for Red Bull, he has the choice to be competitive in his decisions. The arrogant little sod, wanting something that will reward his talent!

  12. Roboracing is going to be great. At first, there’ll be glitches and crashes all over the place – good fun. However, once the AI and cars start getting close to perfection, the races will be incredible. Driver-less cars means “who cares about safety?” These beasts will be going round the track at 1000 kph!

  13. Max once again is saying all the right things like someone more mature than his age would suggest. A future WDC.

  14. And where in the Hell does Max think he is going to go?? That’s what puzzles me. Perhaps a slower car.

    1. May depend on who would be prepared to put up with his father

  15. Any upgrades that Renault bring in can surely help Max with his more power quest this or next season….
    He stays at Red Bull next year because there is no other choice….and if he carries on taking out his team mate….he should be very careful, as when you hear Christian Horner talk, I think he favours Daniel more….

  16. Max seems like a nice young fella infront of the camera, some these garbage statements which are unnessary while he is under contracr to RB, surely have to be his fathers words coming out of Max’s mouth

  17. I was led to believe that the safety car driver aint hanging around (obviously using a degree of safety so that they don’t create an additional accident). I know very little about the progress with autonomous cars, but assume that driving at legal road user speeds is very different to driving at racing speeds. Would an autonomous cars be able to drive quickly enough in heavy rain? Obviously it would send a poor message if they were only trusted in “certain conditions”

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