RB13 has been ‘lucky for Daniel, unlucky for Max’ – Horner

2017 F1 season

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Christian Horner says Max Verstappen’s setbacks during 2017 have been down to nothing more than misfortune.

Verstappen has retired from six of the 13 races so far this year. These include four stoppages due to technical faults and two first-lap collisions in Spain and Austria.

“Unlucky for some” was Red Bull’s launch slogan for its RB13
His team mate Daniel Ricciardo has had half as many retirements and finished on the podium six times to once for Verstappen. Car problems forced Ricciardo out in Australia and Russia, and in Hungary he retired after being hit by Verstappen on the first lap.

Horner dismissed suggestions that Verstappen’s problems were linked to the crew working on his car. “It’s nothing to do with the pit crew,” he said at Monza.

“When we called this car RB13, our 13th car, we said ‘unlucky for some and lucky for others’. It’s been lucky for Daniel, unlucky for Max.”

“But hopefully that can change. Max deserves a change. He’s been driving so well this year. He should have been on the podium in many, many races.”

Verstappen said “you can’t call it bad luck anymore” following his retirement at Spa. However Horner said his driver’s remarks were borne out of frustration.

“Any driver that ends up retiring from a great position in races, particularly your home race, he’s only going to be upset,” said Horner.

“I think Max is a young guy, he is performing at a really high level and I hope we can give him a great car so he can realise his potential.”

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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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60 comments on “RB13 has been ‘lucky for Daniel, unlucky for Max’ – Horner”

  1. What an odd article…..

  2. Red Bull have two top drivers and I really hope they have a competitive car for next season. Ricciardo has had the better share of the luck this season but you still need to take advantage of it which he has done at every opportunity. Roll on 2018 and let these two battle it out, this is a teammate rivalry waiting to explode.

    1. Indeed. We already saw glimpses in Hungary when Max took out RIC.

  3. “It’s nothing to do with the pit crew,” he said at Monza.

    “When we called this car RB13, our 13th car, we said ‘unlucky for some and lucky for others’. It’s been lucky for Daniel, unlucky for Max.”
    Verstappen said “you can’t call it bad luck anymore”

    Follow the money, people! Ricciardo is clearly tampering with Verstappen’s car! You heard his comment about how he “likes them vulnerable” in the last race.
    The guy is all smiles and nice-guy vibes, but he’s the most vicious driver out there. He ran Vettel out of the team because he was better than him and now he’s trying to do the same to Verstappen! Open your eyes!!!!

    1. Assuming this is sarcasm, right…?

      1. I am DEAD SERIOUS! O_O

      2. Why? You dont like conspiracies?

    2. No, please, do not open your eyes too much! You might see flashes from 2016… with Tolo and Piki “tuning” HAM car to give the win to Zosberg… ’cause he’s a jerman. Or he’s half-finnished?

      1. Please don’t use my comment to spread your wild conspiracy theories and slander the good name of Our One True Champion.

        1. I feel like a peice of fruitcake!!!

    3. Bahahahaha, this is the biggest tin-foil hat comment I have read in ages. Thanks for the laugh!

      1. the laugh!

        whcih I’m inclined to think was rather intentionally created

    4. If this is meant to be sarcasm, it’s so deep in crazy territory that it’s indistinguishable from bona fide lunacy.

    5. I doubt Riccairdo is messing with his car.

      But the possibility is real. As fans we have no way to assess the events. If I was Versappen or Horner I would consider sabotage when investigating the reliability problem.

    6. Of course.
      It looks like Max has had a lot more failures but actually that’s because of Max’s on track clashes and the timing of the failures, it’s nothing suspicious.

    7. Lol. The money!! Ricciardo is not from a rich family, he got there on talent unlike the Stroll’s of the world. The Verstappen camp would have way more money than the Ricciardo camp… Not that this is even viable.
      I seem to recall max abusing his car at Austria (Friday put it in a wall, and Saturday extreme high speed through a gravel trap) then guess what, his car failed at the start of the race… I say he is creating some of his bad luck by going over the limit.

      1. Makes you wonder how Ricciardo took P1 in Baku, trashing his car in Q3… doesn’t it?

      2. You must have seen a very different race to everyone else then – Max retired from the Austrian GP because Kvyat crashed into him and Alonso at the start.

    8. Oddly enough when Seb V. was driving for Red Bull it seemed that Daniel R. had all of the ‘bad luck’ as Daniel’s car often broke while Seb merrily drove off with winning 4 championships….. this is from memory so it may not be 100% accurate. Thanks, Racer Norriski

  4. For Max to have several power unit failures, when Dan isn’t having them gives a clue. The engines will be the same from Renault. They go into either car, so it’s the driver who is making the difference. I’m sure it’s not obvious, but there have to be things they do differently. In F1 as Muray often said: to finish first, first you must finish.

    1. So…many boil LH’s 2016 season and failure to win the WDC down to 1 dnf, forgetting all the other variables that occurred. I guess you blame LH for his dnf then?

    2. Verstappen having power unit failures and Ricciardo not having them? Ricciardo has had 3 retirements during the race. One of them was clearly nothing to do with his engine but was Australia and Russia nothing related to it? In that case, Verstappen most certainly didn’t have a “power unit” failure in Bahrain as it looked to just be his breaks. So the maximum of power unit failures Verstappen can have had during the races is 3 I think which is only one more than Ricciardo. And even Ricciardo had problems with his power unit qualifying in Austria resulting in him not being able to continue. It clearly isn’t just Verstappen that has bad luck with the power unit.

      Not that all these drivers use Renault engines, but Palmer, Kvyat and Alonso have all had loads of engine problems this year resulting in retirements.

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        11th September 2017, 19:37

        Thank you! Max has had as many chassis failures as he has had engine failures, and I’ve always said that RBR have no right to say that it is Renault who has been holding them back. Have a look at these numbers for confirmation.

        For the sake of comparison, retirement stats of the other drivers using the Renault engines –

  5. Horner: “Max deserves a change.”
    Toro Rosso?

    1. He deserves better than that. Make it Sauber.

      1. It would be nice to see a Sauber on the podium indeed ;)

  6. He ran Vettel out of the team because he was better than him

    Now… remove tinfoil and go back and check the records. Daniel gave Seb a lesson in adapting to a difficult car, and Seb didn’t like it, so he jumped ship to Ferrari. Similarly he is giving Max a lesson in the ‘to finish first, first you must finish’ dept. Hare and tortoise is an exaggeration, but leaving that little margin for error.

    Far from being vicious, Daniel is one of the most clinical overtakers on the grid, I struggle to think of an occasion where he took another car out [cue hordes of examples following ; – ) ]

    1. I don’t think DR gave SV a lesson on anything. I’m sure if DR had just come off of 4 WDCs in a row, in a car that fit like a glove, he’d have also struggled in a car that was not only entirely different feeling but was also underpowered and unreliable. Yet it was the best car DR ever had up until that point and he was in a no pressure, just go for it situation…do worse than SV and it’s no surprise…do better and it’s gravy.

      Seb ‘jumped ship’ because the opportunity came up at Ferrari, and because the shine was off the apple at RBR with a difficult car that wasn’t looking to improve much any time soon, Seb hearing all season long Horner slamming Renault.

      Between SV and DR, whose in the better spot now?

    2. *adjusts tinfoil hat*
      Ricciardo clearly tried to take out Verstappen in Hungary! I laughed so hard when it backfired!

      (For the record, I’m with you 100%. He’s a great driver, a pleasure to hear and watch and a lovable goof that can act professional when it counts (unlike certain people he allegedly “viciously ran out of his team”). I hope they can give him a car that allows him to challenge the front runners at every race soon.)

    3. Actually, hare and tortoise is spot on.
      Except that in the fable the hare takes it easy and loses through negligence, while Max had a whole string of odd failures: oil pump, clutch, rear brakes, energy store, sensor/software glitch.
      The clutch and brakes were just as bad on Ricciardo’s car, causing him to retire once too and have a prerace change (clutch) where RB decided not to change Max’s identical clutch – which ruined his start and threw him back in the path of Kvyat.

      None of the failures had anything to do with how hard the car was driven. It was indeed all bad luck.

  7. Horner’s been on Twitter. The launch motto has been a running joke on there for a while.

  8. The car itself hasn’t exactly been much better for Ricciardo than Verstappen in terms of reliability. Ricciardo has had 2 retirements related to reliability alone and some issues in qualifying recently too. Verstappen has actually retired during the race 4 times with reliability being responsible for the retirement. Although that is twice as many retirements as Ricciardo, it isn’t significantly more. You could add that Verstappen did have issues starting the race in Austria but was his retirement to do with this or Kvyat hitting him?

    I can’t say the RB13 has been lucky for either of these drivers as overall, it has had loads of problems for both drivers over practice, qualifying and the race. I think Red Bull has still quite easily had the leased amount of track time during the race than any other team this year. About the only weekend where neither driver suffered bad luck or reliability problems was Monaco. You could add the latest race but Verstappen created his own bad luck there and attempted 2 slightly optimistic moves which both resulted in damage to himself or another driver.

    I just know that many people will disagree with me here, but I still think Ricciardo is still overall better. Maybe not in 1 lap pace in qualifying though. But Verstappen’s great starts have several times resulted in some sort of contact. Not that this is always his fault, but if anyone blames Bottas for braking too early in Spain, then it sort of Verstappen’s fault for having a better start than others and attempting a risky overtake. Sometimes they work out well, but Ricciardo’s more careful start usually pays off later in the race. Verstappen had had many reliability issues that have prevented us seeing what he may have done, but in 2 races that Verstappen has finished, he was responsible for causing Ricciardo to retire in one and cost himself a whole load of points in the latest race. Ricciardo may have messed up in qualifying on a couple of occasions by crashing, but just by winning in one of these races somehow makes up for that. It is the race that counts.

    I do think Verstappen is very close and often better, but I think some of his moves are a little too risky.

    1. Hard to argue with what you are saying. I just wonder if Max’s thinking is not only to try to win races, but also to try to pass cars at the start knowing that the car isn’t quite there for them this year. I love how he just goes for it, and of course you’re right though that keeping it clean can bode well for a driver most of the time too. So I hear what you are saying but at the same time I hope Max doesn’t change. He’s the most thrilling to watch at the starts. Other drivers beware…he stamps his authority on his moves.

      1. This seems to be overlooked by many. There is nothing for RB to gain this year, besides race wins. There’s nothing to loose as well. They will be the 3rd team.

        Towards the end of last year, when they were in a fight with Ferrari, Max’ moves at the starts became more risk averse. And he often started behind Daniel, so he would have had an extra reason to do risky moves. Why didn’t he do so?

        I think he is very well aware of the situation this year, and he takes bigger risks because of it. The incident with Daniel excluded, that one was clearly overambitious and shouldn’t have happened.

        Also note that none of his actions have been outright dangerous this year. Compare that to some other youngsters, like Sainz, Kvyat and Ocon.

        Then there is Stroll who I’m sure now has many fans in the safety-first camp. But man, is it boring to watch when you know that he will bail out of any overtaking opportunity outside of the push-to-pass kind, because it’s already marvelous when you bring the car back home.

    2. @thegianthogweed

      This is some well-written truth you seldom see on other places on the net nowadays.
      Already said it, Max shows signs of Grosjean in his Lotus days. We’re waiting on the point his frustrations will lead to a heavy accident.

    3. Max is just young. He’ll learn it’s more important to finish races than to always go for the banzai overtaking moves. Lewis Hamilton was the same when he just got to F1, & it was after repeatedly tangling with the ever unflinching Massa & Webber (and others, throwing away lots of points) that he calmed down & took a more measured approach to his overtaking. Max’s speed & race craft is what got him here. Now he needs to learn a little bit of patience while not running at the sharp end.

      1. I find it so incedible that Max is still only 19 while Lewis was “already” 22 at his debut.

  9. I really like these guys, they’re great fun. They started to make jokes even about their cars. Just 1 of them tho. And VER is always picking it, therefore RIC really big smile after every race. Basically, Horner turned VER into RIC’s laughing stock. Works for me…

    1. BTW, every time VER retires, RIC should ask him: Why so serious? Ahahahahaaaa.

      1. Yeah, sounds pretty mature to me.

  10. Max himself already said he rather removes his lower threshold warnings on his dashboard for his Engines following Renault’s recommendation during the spring season then to needing them to reset them during a GP last week on Dutch TV.

    Following this question
    ”But isn’t Renault too safe? Because if you need to reset the car like this every time, it doesn’t make any difference to blowing the engine?”
    MAX said:”Yes. Renault wants to play it safe to avoid blowing the engine, but I prefer blowing the engine then to slowing down and needing to reset it during a GP”

    So he does use more risky settings.
    Very curious… why hasn’t this been covered Keith?

    1. It has been aired @xiasitlo, as Horner repeated it to Sky, but, what was meant was that Verstappen (and the team) were frustrated that the engine from Spa shut itself down to prevent harm, and could be easily restarted again in the garage w/o issue, so with a bit more risk taking, perhaps a warning and a need to cool engine for a bit, Verstappen might have finished the race.

      To reiterate: what Verstappen said had nothing to do with him choosing to driving the engine differently, but rather with how it feels when Renault sets the engine too cautiously and things like Spa happen, versus a ‘good’ definite bang, or a warning and need to tiptoe for a bit while the engine cools some.

      1. @bosyber

        You don’t need that risk. You’re wasting mileage and purposely tarnishing your suppliers name. RB disabled the warning on the car, Renault already warned them months ago and he chooses just for his ego not to become 8th but rather blow it up. That’s his fault. That’s their own fault. Not Renault, not luck, they choose to do this time and time again.

        I’m done with this kid and his whining to his loyal supplier that made Vettel the biggest champion since MSC long before he got his driver license.
        So just cool the engine, try to work on the aero (as Ferrari overtook them), listen to your supplier and finish the race as 8th. End of discussion.

        1. Renault is not able to build a reliable engine. Not for Palmer, not for TR and not for RBR.

          There are no different settings on the engine for RIC or VER. You’r interpretation is false.
          There is a ( much used by all teams) setting fail 1 or fail 0 to override bad sensordata. But even that part is unreliable on Renault engines. The fact Prost made excuses to VER should tell you all.

        2. Lol, maybe you can also use caps lock to make your point

          Max said that the engine stopped because of a non existing issue. Because Renault put safety measures in te software to protect the engine. He literally said he’d rather blow the engine instead of this situation

          1. Max also told on Dutch tv that redbull got brand new engines from Renault with already broken crankshaft.

            He is clearly very frustrated with these kind of things

        3. Jules,
          You’re not getting the point..at all.

          Verstappen took his fourth engine at Spa, a brand new engine… before FP1 (yes before) the mechanics discovered the crank shaft was broken (new engine!!).
          After 7 laps nothing else, but software is what stopped the car… no single part was damaged, overheated, just a software fault. Verstappen was on the radio trying all kind of setting, cause in fact Renault (yes Renault!) installed software to overrule the safety software… didn’t work either.

          Back in the pit a mechanic removed the sparkplug and put the same one back and the engine started.
          The software was keeping the car in safety mode (shut down), removing the sparkplug was the only way to reset it.

          In an interview the day after the race Verstappen highlited the many issues they had with Renault…we only see what they want us to see…

        4. Hmm, interesting. Didn’t know that. But, to be honest, started to think already that might have something to do with VER/RBR “driving style”. Renault is behind Mercedes and Ferrari in the engine department and RBR tried to recover the “lost HP” compared to the competition by “overclocking” it. It makes sense and could be true, I mean RBR fit the description of a mercenary team, capable of things like that. They’re the Alonso of the teams: every time things don’t go their way, they start to bash partners. They said from day1 in F1 that they’re here to win, not to fill the grid. So, we have see the negative side of such bold statement: how far (cheat too?) are they willing to go in order to achieve their goals?

          1. If redbull would be doing this, we would know. Renault would tell us right away.

          2. What @anunaki says seems very likely @corrado-dub, @jules – if you have actual proof of what you are saying, I’d really like to read that, and I am sure keith would be interested too. Until then I have to say you both sound a bit too eager to think everything bad of Verstappen.

            Now, I wouldn’t rule out Red Bull being willing to put the engine in a riskier setting than Renault likes, because as it is Renault doesn’t gain much from Red Bull winning, but their reputation suffers from the engine going, so there could well be discussions between the team and supplier. But Verstappen doing that on his own just isn’t likely. Also, Ricciardo often had reliability issues too, just not in the races.

            Is it really likely, or even reasonable DR tries it on Friday, then switches back to ‘Renault approved’ for races and no one told Verstappen so that he can keep having DNFs to annoy his fans?

          3. I doubt there is that much of a difference, since Riccardo has had failures himself. As others have noted, it’s just that a number of those breakdowns happened in practise sessions or qualifying (such as his turbocharger failure in qualifying for the British GP) – in reality, his reliability record isn’t that much better, as evidenced by the fact he has used a similar amount of engine parts and will be taking more engine penalties later this season.

  11. Has redbull ever really proven they can mail two equal cars? They are a bit like Ferrari, one car minded. Merc can do two good cars. McLaren in the past (and one could argue now also, they fail equally well).

  12. When did the drivers actually stopped on track…and why?
    FP: none. Q: CHI > engine
    BAH > brakes , ESP > crached RAI/BOT, CAN > battery, AZE > engine, AUS > clutch / crash ALO/KVY, BEL > software, ITA > incident MAS
    Mechanical 5x, Crash others 1x, Incident 1x

    FP: GB > gearbox, HUN > gearbox, AUS > turbo, Q: AUS > crash, AZE > crash, GB > turbo
    AUS > faulty sensor warm up lap / engine failure, RUS > brakes, HUN > crash VER
    Mechanical 6x, Crash self 2x, Crash others 1x

    In terms of being involved in incidents they are very close as well…
    ESP > hit by Bot/Rai
    CAN > incident opening lap with Vet
    AUS > hit by Alo/Kvy… but that didn’t really matter as his clutch was already broken
    HUN > crash on Ric
    ITA > incident with MAS
    AUS > crash in Q3
    BAK > crash in Q3
    MON > hitting the wall after restart
    GB > incident opening lap with Haas
    MON > incident opening lap with Grosjean

    In term of racecraft, a few races highlited
    CHI > Ver going from P17 to P2 in 15 laps, overtakes Ric in lap 10
    BAH > Ver overtaking Ric round the outside
    RUS > Ver overtaking Ric on the inside… Ric was going 3 cars wide into the first corner and lost his position
    ESP > Ver crashed out by BOT/RAI
    CAN > Ver going from P5 to P2
    AZA > Ric overtaking 3 cars at the restart
    AUS > Ric making balsy move on RAI (touching
    BEL > Ric, great restart once again
    MON > Ver goign from P13 to P8

    The RBR drivers aren’t shy of a bit of wheel banging, both have shown some great action on track.

    1. Thanks for your post – as I have also pointed out, when you take into account the practise sessions, Riccardo has broken down just as frequently (in fact, slightly more frequently, which runs against the idea that he is more gentle to his car). The only difference is that most people aren’t able to watch those sessions, so only see part of the problem.

      1. But then engines breaking down during practice tends to be more expected. They are running engines with high mileage then. Probably even on purpose up to the point of breaking. So they can study where it failed.

        For the race you’d assume they use an engine which should last the whole race.

        1. @Patrickl.
          Every driver has 4 engines for the season, for every extra engine they have to take penalties.
          These engines are used in FP, Quali and races, sometimes they may run an older engine indeed, but the total amount of engines remain the same.

          Fe, Verstappen took a new engine in Spa, right out of the crate the crankshaft was broken, in the race the software failed… on top the overrule software failed as well. This wasn’t a high mileage engine, but a ‘monday-morning’ product.

  13. The last sportsman who visited Max just a few weeks before he died was worlds most famous nr.14…… so next year!

  14. Now seriously the 13 bad luck phenomenon is real. This car is not a good car and probably the worst they’ve built ever since 09.

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