Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

2017 F1 team mate battles: Verstappen vs Ricciardo at Red Bull

2017 F1 season review

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In the latter stages of 2016 it seemed as though Max Verstappen was beginning to gain the upper hand on Daniel Ricciardo, who he had joined at Red Bull at round five.

Verstappen built on that momentum during 2017, though it was Ricciardo who came away with the lion’s share of the points. And not for the reason which might be expected.

Late in the year team principal Christian Horner reflected that the team’s RB13 chassis had been “lucky for Daniel, unlucky for Max”. This observation contained a fair deal of truth at the time: Verstappen’s car had broken down more often than Ricciardo’s.

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But by the end of the season Ricciardo’s car had redressed the balance and then some. His hydraulic failure at Yas Marina on Sunday was his fifth non-classification due to a technical failure, one more than Verstappen.

Ricciardo’s only other non-finish was caused by his team mate, who hit him on lap one in Hungary. Verstappen had a further three DNFs due to contact at Catalunya, Red Bull Ring and Singapore, in all of which he was arguably blameless.

In the end Red Bull’s finishing rate in 2017 was so poor the cars only took the chequered flag together seven times in 20 races. Had that been better, Verstappen’s margin of superiority might have been reflected in the points tally. Perhaps the most telling detail was that Red Bull chose to extend his contract before Ricciardo’s.

Verstappen vs Ricciardo: The scores

Verstappen vs Ricciardo: Season results

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Max VerstappenQ
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2017 F1 season review

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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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  • 57 comments on “2017 F1 team mate battles: Verstappen vs Ricciardo at Red Bull”

    1. Verstappen showing that a bit of experience can help out immensely. A rather one-sided affair, this. Verstappen is still inconsistent, still makes too many mistakes (half the quali battles he lost were down to mistakes rather than pace) but in terms of pace he has Ricciardo down.
      The most interesting thing about this battle was seeing Christian Horner use his experience as the king of spin to try and give Ricciardo the same stature as Verstappen.

      1. The most interesting thing about this battle was seeing Christian Horner use his experience as the king of spin to try and give Ricciardo the same stature as Verstappen.

        And he still is Hahostolze:

        Kind regards,

      2. If the RB car would be rock solid like a Merc no one would be talking about Max’s inconsistency. It was not his fault the car broke down many times and the few mistakes Max was making this season could be counted on one hand. Get tired of people talking about Max’s mistakes or inconsistency but don’t pin point those so called mistakes / inconsistencies. They only can mention the Hungary mistake and then they go blank!

      3. Verstappen is quicker on average, but Ricciardo is incredibly efficient. Given that Verstappen’s mechanical failures cost him some very good results, they were very evenly matched in terms of race results.

        1. I don’t feel they were evenly matched. If on track together (which rarely happened) Max was ahead most of the time. With regard to the points tally, RIC ‘inherited’ most points and podiums from VER that was ahead when the technical failures occured. ‘

      4. pfew.. so when Verstapppen loses a quali session it’s down to him making a mistake rather than lack of pace..?
        How doesn that make Ricciardo look I wonder…? Ver 13 versus Ric 7.

        There have been 20 x 3 quali session, 60 in total. Verstappen was faster in 49 (!!) sessions, leaving a poor 11 for Ricciardo. Q1 and 2 don’t count, but c’mon these are shocking numbers for a driver that never lost a quali battle before.

        Verstappens average position when DNF-ed was P3.14 while Ricciardo’s average was P10.

    2. I thought it was RIC who hasn’t signed with RB yet, not the other way around like the article suggests in the last sentence.

      1. No the last sentence is accurate. Max is extended already, DR not.

        1. It is clear that RedBull and pretty much everyone thinks Verstappen is special and better than RIC but that last statement in the article is not accurate. Verstappen wanted to extend his contract and Daniel wanted to keep his options open, that is why Red bull extended Verstappen’s contract, not because they think Verstappen is better than Daniel.

        1. I understand VER got the extension, but I got the impression that RB was trying to sign RIC and he was holding out for next year since there will be some good seats available. I could, of course, be totally wrong.

          1. DR could be holding out as you say, and there’d still be plenty of time if he wants to wait until mid-2018 to see the lay of the land amongst the cars and drivers, before he decides. What if Ferrari becomes the dominant team next year for example? Hard to know from our armchairs. I think DR is in the tougher spot in a way. We know where Max is going to be, and DR knows that he has lagged against Max in 3 of the 4 categories in Keith’s chart above. How comfortable is he in going up against Max for more than just next year? Then again, how comfortable would he be if he replaced VB at Mercedes or KR at Ferrari after next year? Perhaps it would be smart of him at this point to see how things are shaping up over the first half of next season. And it’s also not just up to him. Let’s see what the teams are going to do too. Some may go after DR more aggressively than others, or simply choose someone else.

            1. Right, for 2019 moving teams may well not result in getting into a better car. Ricciardo will probably wait and see what happens with Red Bull’s PU Deal for 2019 and beyond.

              Ferrari must be interested in him for 2019, Kimi is the weak link in the team and with Red Bull likely to be closer in 2018 this will further highlight Kimi’s lack of pace vs the other five drivers in the top three teams. Along with that lack of pace goes any hopes Ferrari might have of winning the constructors championship.

        2. That’s what RIC gets for mouthing about moving to Ferrari.

    3. This battle was even more one-sided than I expected.
      The points difference seems to be the anomaly here.

    4. I know DR has a lot of supporters but I’ve struggled to be one of them. No issues with the guy whatsoever, but I just don’t see him as a WDC for some reason. Lot’s of career ahead for him though of course so he could easily prove me wrong.

      Max on the other hand seems to me to just be special, having an ‘it’ factor that I find extremely exciting, and it feels like he has only just begun. He’s been stamping his authority, making the other drivers aware of his presence and taking no prisoners. At this young age they already know he’s a strong force to be reckoned with…just see LH’s recent quotes on him. I think Max is fabulous and have no doubt he will be a WDC, with so much career ahead of him. Can’t see how he won’t be a WDC.

      1. Well the issue with your comment is that it is based on a lot of subjectiveness. The “it factor” can mean many things to different people. Personally I think Max is very good- but at this stage of his career he reminds me of one Juan Pablo Montoya. All the hype but eventually turned out to be ‘cubic zirconia‘ as opposed to a ‘diamond’.

        Time will tell how VERS ends up- but at this point I believe he still has a lot of tests to pass before being considered among established WDCs.

        1. For sure you are right. The ‘it’ factor is definitely subjective which is why I’m trying not to take too much away from DR. DR just hasn’t done it for me whereas Max does. That’s just me. And absolutely he hasn’t proven himself to be a WDC yet, nor has DR. I just think between the two, Max having finished ahead of the more experienced DR in quali, finishing races ahead, and laps lead, as the chart above spells out, is telling.

          1. I certainly agree that Max is the more exciting to watch and the fact that he’s out-performing Ricciardo already is very promising for him. I would say that I think Ricciardo has an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time… he’s somehow always there to pick up the pieces and keep racking up podium finishes and consistent points. You’ll also rarely find him in involved in a crash.

            I think Red Bull have a great blend if they can keep this line-up and I wouldn’t rule either of them out of becoming WDC’s in the near future just yet.

            1. I definitely agree with the comment train here! I really like Ricciardo he has great pace and race craft, capable of a WDC given the right circumstances, his next move is critical to his chances of achieving that.

              The hypothetical circumstances would be a team where the lead driver has just retired, a championship competitive car and a new driver that doesn’t immediately establish himself with the car or team……possibly why he appears so interested in Mercedes…..

      2. I agree with that @robbie. DR seems to be a really good driver, just like Bottas is a really good driver. Maybe even as good a driver of Rosberg, who showed that with dedication, hard work and just enough “luck”, he was able to beat Hamilton to it.

        But Max is already snapping at the heels of the top 3 guys in the sport.

    5. Based on potential alone and them getting into the right car etc etc, DR can surely be a WDC, I just think MV can be a multiple WDC. If MV was not picked up by RBR and it had been Carlos Sainz called up, I think nobody would doubt Ricciardo’s potential. But Max has the potential to be particularly special on occasion and that is sometimes the difference between good and great racers imho.

    6. Best pairing on the grid and unlike some other ‘equal’ pairings they actually drive each other to greater heights rather than drag each other down with infighting and bickering. A lot of that i’m sure is down to Dan Dare. Best overtaker in F1 and easily the first one on the ‘go for a beer with’ list. Max though….ooh eeeh, GOAT ? Nahhh but defo has the potential

      1. Hmm…couple thoughts…I’m not sure infighting and bickering drags the drivers down but rather should spur them on to beat the other guy. I’m reminded of what TW said when SV sideswiped LH intentionally…paraphrasing, he said it had been pretty lovey dovey between LH and SV up until then, but if we were to have an enthralling Championship fight the gloves were going to have to come off at some point. I think they always remained pretty civil anyway, even after SV’s track rage. TW said the same of VB…that if he was going to challenge LH or anyone else for the WDC he’d have to take the gloves off. This is why I believe so strongly in top teams having the very best drivers they can get, free to race each other all season until the math dictates otherwise. For the maximum show for the paying audience, we need to see the gloves come off rather than ‘after you…no, no kind sir after you…’

        I’m not convinced DR is the ‘best overtaker’ or if he is just someone who was usually starting further back than Max and therefore having some ‘easier’ overtakes due to them being lesser cars he was passing than Max who was playing with the bigger boys. I relate that to Brundles comments about DR being the last of the great late brakers…or was that just him desperate and needing to get past some much slower cars to make up for his lower quali positions. Don’t mean to take too much away from DR though…he’s certainly done some exciting things too.

        1. @robbie you mean like his overtakes on Raikkonen this year and Bottas last year into T1 at Monza? Those damn slow backmarking cars…

        2. Hmm…couple thoughts…I’m not sure infighting and bickering drags the drivers down but rather should spur them on to beat the other guy.

          Healthy strong, hard competition is great and does certainly raise the bar. But what your suggesting is destructive and self defeating in the long run. The win at any cost mind set is disruptive and corrosive in a team environment.

          1. @johnrkh I didn’t choose the words infighting and bickering, but I did play off them to imply I want to see real rivalries on the top teams, not #1’s and #2’s. I’m not suggesting I prefer ‘destructive’ nor ‘self-defeating’ nor ‘corrosive’ behaviour, but if some of that comes out between one or two of the drivers in a rivalry I’d prefer that to hand-holding. And as tense as some relationships have been throughout F1’s history, they survived it and so did we, so I think the descriptors you are using are overdramatic. Let em race hard and fair, knowing they’re going to push some boundaries and get on each other’s nerves and have a few explosive moments. Let them take their gloves off and in doing so spur themselves on to their very best effort, and our very best bang for the buck.

    7. VERS’ fans kept blaming reliability for the points gap to RIC during the season but now that the tables were turned and the shoe was on the other foot in the past couple of races, with RIC’s rotten reliability, they are quiet.

      Some say that “on pace VERS has RIC beaten“. Maybe. But in F1, you don’t always need to be quicker than your team mate to beat them. If your team mate is faster than you, but also very inconsistent and mistake prone (like Max) you can beat them.

      The same was true for Button vs Hamilton in 2011.

      Anyway this is the second season in a row that RIC has beaten his much highly regarded team mate. If 2018 produces a similar result then I think some quarters will have to re-evaluate how VERS is rated.

      1. I don’t think I got quiet. When Max had more unreliability earlier in the season, it was for higher points paying positions, ie. more damaging in terms of points, and it happened on more than one occasion that Max and others’ attrition helped DR to the podium. Hey, that’s racing, but it gave some luck to DR too…again, luck is part of the game. As is unreliability.

        By the time DR was having unreliability later in the season, to ‘even the unreliability race’ if you will between the two drivers, Max was still out qualifying him on average and playing higher up on the grid, so in spite of their unreliability ‘evening out’ over the season, Max’s unreliabilty was more damaging to his points tally, and DR’s unreliability didn’t help Max’s race placings nearly like Max’s unreliability made way for DR to advance, even to the podium a few times.

        This is one of those pairings where sure you can say DR ‘beat him two years in a row’ if you want to strictly look at the points and take nothing into account of how that happened, but I sure don’t see DR as the better faster racer. Last year Max started out at Toro Rosso so he was on his hind foot until later in the season against DR, but then as the article points out, got a handle on things. This year it is simply down to the timing of the reliability issues, as evidenced by Max beating DR in the charts above…in qualifying ahead, finishing ahead, and laps lead.

      2. “mistake prone (like Max)” ????

      3. I feel like you’re a second away from clawing at the points and going ‘but the points don’t lie!!’

        1. @blazzz mistake prone? Apart from bumping RIC off which was a clear mistake from Max, can you share where you feel he made mistakes this season?

          1. Don’t bother, you’ll never get an answer to that from people like him. They only like like to blurt out that Max is mistake prone or an accident waiting to happen. I asked that time and time again, but they then go very quiet. And they forget that Daniel F’ed up his own qualifying in Australia and Baku

      4. There is one stat that is not taken into the graph, but which would be very revealing.

        “Which driver was ahead when one of their cars broke down”?

        IIRC, Verstappen leads that one 10-3, even if you hand Hungary to Ricciardo…

    8. Proof that Kvyat is better than Vettel

      1. Ah but of course. RIC beat Vettel, but Kyvat beat RIC and therefore he must be better than Vettel. #Sarcometer turned up to 11

        1. flawless logic

          where’s the sarcasm button at Keith?

    9. Max beating Daniel 13-7 in quali? WOW!!!

      1. With all of Ricciardo’s penalties and mechanical issues in qual, not to mention Max getting the updated Renault engine that was 2 tenths quicker than Ricciardo’s, I’m surprised it isn’t more one sided.

        1. Take the punch as it comes, Verstappen was much faster in quali….nothing to do with the updated engine or penalties.
          From the very beginning on Verstappen kept on beating Ricciardo

    10. I did a comparison on the planet F1 Forum. I personally think it is a bit much to say either of them has done better than the other. I think Ricciardo is overall the better driver, but there hasn’t really been enough evidence to prove this over this season as they both have had such bad luck. Neither has there been enough to show Verstappen is clearly better overall.

      Here is the source: http://forum.planet-f1.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14331&start=560

      Here is what I wrote – it is long!:

      Well, unbelievably, there have only been 3 weekends where these 2 drivers have had no trouble over the weekend and have both finished the race. That was Monaco, Malaysia and Japan. I’m not counting all the others because in every one of them, either one of them got taken out or made a mistake or had a penalty at the start so it wasn’t a fair comparison. This is why I still feel really unsure who actually is the better of the two on the whole. There is no doubt about qualifying though and that goes to Verstappen.

      About the races this year taking into account all that happened:

      Australia, Ricciardo crashed in qualifying. That wasn’t a good start for his season for him. Verstappen clearly did better that weekend, but as Ricciardo had to retire, we just can’t compare their pace.

      China, Verstappen had problems in qualifying meaning he couldn’t get out of Q3. he clearly did better in the race, but comparing them when they started in a totally different position is a bit much. Verstappen was certainly better, but I think Many underrated Ricciardo at the end of the race. At that stage, he clearly was faster. But Verstappen deserved to finish ahead.

      Bahrain, Ricciardo did qualify 2 places ahead of Verstappen. Verstappen had a much better start. But Ricciardo did follow close behind until Verstappen pitted. It was just after Verstappen pitted that his brakes failed. So we don’t really know if Ricciardo could have got the better of him later.

      Russia, Verstappen got a good start here although he did qualify 2 places behind Ricciardo. But I feel a quite likely reason Ricciardo will have had a bad start and have about 4 cars pass him was because of his issue that made him retire.

      Spain, Ricciardo had a very large gap in qualifying compared to Verstappen and I think he was a bit lucky that day to get such a good result. But I personally thought Verstappen took a very big risk going on the outside of 2 cars going into the 1st corner and since Verstappen and Kimi retired and Bottas didn’t, I think either none of them are to blame or it is Kimi or Verstappen. Kimi took a risk but he couldn’t steer left because Verstappen was there. But I think it was a racing incident but it was unlucky for both who retired.

      Monaco, this was one of the races I mentioned above because neither suffered from any bad luck / reliability or crashes over the weekend.

      Canada, here, Verstappen took one of his risks that sometimes doesn’t pay off. But it worked really well this time. But he suffered again and ended up retiring. But just because he got a great start relative to Ricciardo doesn’t mean Ricciardo couldn’t have got him back at the end. So another race we just can’t compare them.

      Baku, like Australia, qualifying was a mess for Ricciardo. His race was most certainly lucky, but the fact that he started low down due to his mistake and also had to pit due to his air intake duct being blocked doesn’t make his result all down to luck. His drive was brilliant and his late dives are simply brilliant and never seem to result in any clashes. But I can’t deny that Verstappen had a much better weekend and almost certainly will have won that day if not for his retirement.

      Austria, Verstappen had a messy qualifying and very nearly crashed. Although he did what he needed to before hand and set a time pretty close to his team mates. The race start was unlucky for Verstappen and the fact that he got his was out of his control. Of course we don’t know, but I personally think Ricciardo will have managed to do better that weekend if Verstappen hadn’t had his reliability problems.

      Britain, Ricciardo had problems in qualifying which forced him out very early. Such a shame as he was looking pretty strong so far that weekend. In the race, I think Verstappen did the best he could. Ricciardo did a reasonable job at recovering to 1 position behind Verstappen. Another race we can’t compare their pace though.

      Hungary, Verstappen again did a better job in qualifying. But he seemed to not deal very well with the fact that he was seeing his team mate overtaking him. So he braked too late and locked up and caused his team mate to retire. This gave him a penalty point and a 10 second penalty. I personally think this was a rather negative race for him compared to any of Ricciardo’s even if his performance was decent.

      Belgium, Ricciardo was out qualified by a large chunk again. Yet again, Verstappen did have to retire. Ricciardo made the most and looked on excellent form near the end of the race. But just how many races are we at now where we haven’t had a chance to compare them?

      Italy, Verstappen outqualified Ricciardo again. In the race, Verstappen attempted to do an overtake on Massa that he easily could have waited for a bit to do. I know many will disagree, but given that Massa got away with it and Verstappen got a puncture, I think what Massa did will have been allowed. So it was a racing incident but I personally think Verstappen was being too risky and cost his team quite a few points because he didn’t wait for an easier place to pass. Ricciardo just seems better at managing passes without causing damage to his car. In my view, Ricciardo did better this weekend but as they were not racing eachother for most of the race, it is another lack of evidence of how good they are compared to each other.

      Singapore, Ricciardo was far closer in qualifying this time, but still behind. There was yet another incident out of Verstappen’s control. You can say Ricciardo was lucky with the result again, but another race where one of them didn’t finish.

      Malaysia, one of the races where we could compare them. Verstappen was better here in qualifying and by a decent margin in the race too.

      Japan, Ricciardo managed to beat Verstappen in qualifying this time. But in the race, Verstappen managed to beat him pretty comfortably.

      USA, Ricciardo managed to beat him in qualifying again here. This was a real chance for him to get a really strong result. But he had technical problems and had to retire. Verstappen made a very good recovery and a great race on the whole other than cutting the corner at the end. I’m not sure again who we can say was better.

      Mexico, Ricciardo did have a poor qualifying. In the race though, he started to have issues and had a retirement again. However, Verstappen IMO made a move that he was rather lucky to get away with without getting a puncture. As he overtook Hamilton, he pulled in front just before he got his car fully past. So he clipped his rear left tyre on Hamilton’s front wing. Due to this, Mercedes had to spend extra time in the pits replacing it. When a spinning trye contacts a front wing like that, it seems rather unusual that it didn’t blow. He was lucky, but from that moment onwards, he was flawless and dominated that race. Verstappen just takes risk that sometimes work out and sometimes don’t.

      Brazil, Ricciardo had another grid penalty. He got spun on the 1st lap which cost him a lot of time. But he did manage to finish 6th behind Verstappen.

      Abu Dhabi, Ricciardo certainly did look to have the upper hand on Verstappen over the weekend and even in the start of the race. I think it is likely that he will have managed to beat Verstappen, but again, we can’t be sure.

      So, the interesting thing is that Verstappen has had 7 retirements and Ricciardo has just had 1 less. From what Horner said, he said that Red Bull were by far at there strongest this year at Malaysia, Japan, USA and Mexico. Ricciardo had to retire in 2 of these which to me almost makes their bad luck even this year. Ricciardo certainly has had more reliability problems and one of his retirements was actually his team mates fault.

      Given that the points gap between them is 32 points, I really am not sure I can say Verstappen has clearly beatem him this year like many seem to be saying. This is my personal opinion, but I still think Ricciardo on the whole is the better of the two. His race craft and overtakes look better. he also has been one of the few drivers to keep away from getting any penalty points. But there is such a lack of racing between them this year that I don’t want to say Ricciardo IS the better of the two. Because Verstappen has shown such an improvement over last year (especially over qualifying) that I think he could well clearly show to be better next year. But their bad luck really hasn’t been that different to me and I don’t think that 1 more retirement for Verstappen can cost him 32 points. He’s even had 2 wins unlike Ricciardo and still isn’t that close.

      Sorry to be against Verstappen. I agree he’s had a brilliant season, I just think he has been very over rated when in comparison to his team mate.

      1. Great analysis. I think it is very close between them. I think the reliability problems swayed the qual results in Max’s favor and swayed the race results slightly in Ricciardo’s favor – although I do agree that Max could have avoided at least two of his retirements. Next season will be very interesting.

        1. I can’t look at the three out of four categories Max lead this season as anything but Max being the better faster driver. DR has his work cut out for him next season to reverse the trends.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        2nd December 2017, 14:55

        I think there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Daniel belongs in the Red Bull car and the same goes for Max. These guys have earned their seats and they are multiple Gran Prix winners. As for comparing them, I think it’s fair to say that Max has beaten Daniel this year but the match is not over by any measure. I hope it’s just round 1 and next year will bring us even more excitement between the two of them.

        If the Red Bull is not a WDC contender, I sure hope these guys are on top of each other in every race like the Force India guys were.

      3. Ben Rowe, just tried to write a book , but often refuses the draw any conclusion….
        At RBR the drivers are NOT closely matched, they are as far apart as Hamilton and Bottas, or Vettel and Raikkonen are. Both Bottas and Raikkonen are awefull good drivers, but like at RBR they can not cope with their team mates.

        5 DNF versus 7 DNF is a very simple math, but looking closer they seem much further apart.
        Ricciardo had 5 DNF’s, his average position was P10 > Ric was 2 times in front of Ver
        Verstappen had 7 DNF’s, his average position was P3.17 > Ver was 6 times in front of Ric

        Verstappen has overtaken his team mate 5 times, Ricciardo never has been able to overtake his team mate (not even in 2016). Ricciardo overtook Raikkonen twice, Bottas once. Verstappen overtook Raikkonen, Bottas, Vettel numerous times and was the only driver to overtake Hamilton this season.

        Ricciardo often loses positions at the starts, From the 7 times he qualified ahead Verstappen was in front 5 times within 12 laps. Verstappen however often gained positions at the start.

        Consisten versus incidents… Ricciardo crashed twice in quali, Verstappen got hit 3 times, Spain, Austria and Singapore… the latest two undisputed, Spain was considered as a high risk move… which was in fact comparable to what Ricciardo cost his race in Hungary. Monza, both got caught up in incidents…Verstappen and Grosjean took damage, Masse, Ericsson and Ricciardo no damage.

        I’ll say it again… they are not closely matched at all, to become a title contender a driver needs gridposition, needs to maintain his position after the start, needs better racepace. Ricciardo is on the short end of the straw on those departments.

        1. And you are criticising my comment without reading it all or what Keith wrote… Keith wrote at the top that Ricciardo hasn’t been classified to finish the race just one less than Verstappen. Therefore that is 6 DNF’s for him. You comment on mine without carefully reading it all….

          The basic fact is that Ricciardo has had just one less retirement. Horner said Red Bull were by far at their strongest over Malaysia, Japan, USA and Mexico. 2 of these, Ricciardo had to retire in. And Verstappen won 2 of them so who knows what Ricciardo could have done – We just don’t know.
          By the end of the season, the points gap was 32. Over a race win. It is so difficult to draw any actually conclusion between them when there is such a lack of evidence just as I explained!

          You are right in that Verstappen is usually in front when one or other of them retire. But it is true that Ricciardo has had more grid penalties this year. And since they have only had 3 races without anything going wrong at all, we can’t do a fair comparison with them. You never know what Ricciardo could have done later on in the race. He may have had a great race if he could continue or have make a mistake. Same with Verstappen, He could have had some great results had he not had so many DNFs, but he also could have made a mistake or two in that time we haven’t seen. During the races, It is Verstappen who has made bigger, more costly mistakes than Ricciardo this year. Basing that Verstappen will do better just because he had a better start is just predicting too much. Ricciardo often has been stronger than when he starts later in the race over the last few years.

          5 of Ricciardo’s DNF’s have been down to his engine. So he’s had more than Verstappen in that sense. Then his other retirement was caused by Verstappen. That has to be a negative point towards Verstappen. Then in Italy Verstappen further affected his race by attempting to overtake Massa early when he could have waited until later. And in at leased one of Verstappen’s retirements (Spain) He did partly put himself in the situation. As he didn’t need to overtake Bottas and Kimi at the same time. But he chose to take the risk and Kimi and Bottas didn’t have enough room on the inside due to Verstappen being on the outside. 3 cars turning inwards doens’t really work. All drivers played a part in this, but Verstappen could have avoided it by going wider. I don’t want to blame him thought as I do just see it as a racing incident. In Italy, I can’t see how Verstappen wasn’t at fault for what he did with Massa. He attempted to get past in an awkward place when he easily could have waited a bit. Massa had all the right to do what he did and as Verstappen suffered and Massa didn’t and no penalty was given, it is either a racing incident or Verstappen to blame. Then later in that same race. He overtook Grosjean and turned in a fraction too early, clipping a bit of Grosjean’s front wing off. Verstappen just takes risks a bit too often IMO that could result in damage to his own car. Even in Mexico when he overtook Hamilton, he contacted Hamilton’s front wing with his rear left tyre. He was very lucky to get away without a puncture. But Hamilton had to spend extra time in the pits due to this as they had to change his front wing.

          I don’t believe there is a bigger difference between Verstappen and Ricciardo. But I think it is a bit unfair that you think it is obvious that Verstappen is MUCH better based on the tiny amount of track time they have had without any penalties or incidents affecting one of their races.

          I just said that in my opinion that I believe Ricciardo is still the better one, but only marginally. I never said Ricciardo IS the better driver. I also said that it would well be the case that when we do get a fair comparison such as next year, it could well be the case that Verstappen is a lot better. But the only area we can conclude that Verstappen has been a fair bit better is qualifying.

          You really should stop complaining that I’ve “tried to write a book” without drawing any conclusions. There were plenty of conclusions in there. It somehow is looking like you don’t care and have just scanned through it. Somebody else thinks it is a great analysis.

    11. I find it a bit frustrating seeing the two being directly compared as they have very different driving styles. Verstappen is a very exciting driver to watch and can be very fast. I’m not sure how much he thinks about a race before hand. He definitely does not over think his overtaking maneuvers. He is a balls and all type he just throws everything at it and and no doubt fully expects to come out the other end in front.
      Ricciardo has been slower in qualies than Verstappen a few times but Ricciardos race pace shows he is just as quick.
      Ricciardo is a very clinical driver, he thinks much more about how and where he makes his moves. He does not always look fast and flashy but when in a reliable car he is the one more likely get the job done in my opinion, he reminds me a bit of Prost.

    12. Not sure why it is ‘frustrating’ to see them compared when they are on the same team, equally treated. DR was not slower than MV in quali just ‘a few times.’ The fact that MV qualified higher nearly twice as often means we have to consider who Max was fighting with off the start lines, not to mention his incredible starts alone, when we consider race maneuvers etc.

      1. Ricciardo had one less dnf than Verstappen. If you take one dnf away from Verstappen and give him a win instead he would still be behind on points. One of Ricciardo’s dnfs was cause by Verstappen.
        Verstappen is a exciting driver to watch but he is still a bit reckless, he makes more mistakes than Ricciardo. Ricciardo has shown he makes more out of a given situation than Verstappen given equal machinery, or as in the last three races not quite as equal. Thats what the points difference show.
        Lets see how it goes next year.

        1. Nope, Daniel beat Max in number of mistakes (2australia/Baku-1Hungary). People keep saying that Max makes many mistakes, but repeating that over and over and over again doesn’t make it any more true…..

        2. Ric average P10 when DNF
          Ver average P3.15 when DNF

    13. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd December 2017, 14:49

      I was a big critic of Max’s when he entered F1 at such a young age. I still think he’s still a bit of a dangerous driver although he has made more mature decisions on track this year and his risky moves were many times tactical moves based on the other driver’s position in the WDC.

      I expected Daniel to be in the fight of his life with Max this year but I still expected him to outqualify Max. I’m not sure if the new cars favor Max in terms of one-lap pace but he seems to be the better qualifier over Daniel which was one of Daniel’s main strengths as his race pace seemed to suffer on many occasions over the years.

      Obviously they are both extremely talented drivers and it’s great for Max to have a partner like Daniel who is both talented and just a super guy to have on your team. Daniel’s got to up his game this year as he has to match Max or do better than him especially if he wants to look for another team where he can be a WDC contender.

      Can Daniel do it? I sure hope we get to see the Dundee version of Daniel Ricciardo this year :-)

    14. I wasn’t surprised to see Max start out qualifying Dan.

      Dan made it pretty clear after the first few races that setting the car up for ultimate 1 lap pace wasn’t going to be optimal for the races as their car just wasn’t good enough.

      Let’s see if RBR can deliver a much better car next year. Providing it’s not built around what Max wants only (and that’s likely) I think we’ll see a much more balanced competition between both of them.

    15. The way Max dominated Dan in Q, it makes me wonder if he would be number 1 in Ferrari and Vettel his number 2.

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