Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017

2017 F1 driver rankings #2: Verstappen

2017 F1 season review

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Max Verstappen is arguably the most spectacular driver in Formula One today. So it was especially unfortunate that he completed the fewest racing laps of any full-season driver.

The 20-year-old superstar’s critics would have you believe this is because he is reckless. But he shouldn’t be blamed for any of the seven occasions he failed to finish in 2017.

Max Verstappen

Beat team mate in qualifying13/20
Beat team mate in race5/7
Races finished13/20
Laps spent ahead of team mate371/527
Qualifying margin-0.31
Points168

Four of these were caused by technical failures, which had a habit of striking when he’d worked his way up into competitive positions. Such as when he was holding second in Canada, or leading Daniel Ricciardo in Azerbaijan where his team mate went on to win. His other three retirements were first-lap incidents, in none of which was he a guilty party.

In what was usually the third-quickest car, Verstappen finished at least fifth every time he saw the chequered flag, with a single exception. This was Monza, where a tangle with Felipe Massa while recovering from a power unit penalty in qualifying spoiled his day. It was a rare exception to a season where he usually blended aggression and speed with the flair of a seasoned veteran.

Round two in China was a superb example and one of his best drives of the year. From 16th on the grid (power unit problem again) he made rapid progress, passing Kimi Raikkonen in style and putting one over his team mate too. A slight mistake while Sebastian Vettel was homing in on him was the only slip-up on his way to an excellent third.

Astonishingly, that was his last visit to the podium until round 15 in Malaysia, where he won. The intervening races included all of those seven retirements and a handful of points scores. No wonder he began hinting about life outside Red Bull.

This period also included his most significant error of the year, when he knocked Ricciardo out of the race in Hungary. Ricciardo’s fuming reaction “sore loser” on the radio said a lot. He had manoeuvred his way ahead of Verstappen at the start, putting himself in a great position to beat his team mate. At this point in the year Verstappen was 2-1 up on race finishes over Ricciardo, having followed his team mate home in Monaco after a strategic error dropped him behind. Perhaps that rare ill-judged lock-up was borne from desperation not to let Ricciardo draw level.

It took until the second half of the year for the team to really find its way with the RB13. Once they did, Verstappen delivered with that breakthrough win, a battling second in Japan and another win in Mexico where he upstaged the title contenders with a magnificent move to take the lead at the start.

Then there was the matter of Austin, where he carved his way through the field to take fourth place. This had been third on the road before his (correct and consistent) penalty for cutting a corner to pass Raikkonen.

These typically small errors are not a great price to pay for a driver of Verstappen’s extraordinary speed and flair for racing. And he’s still getting better.

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Over to you

If it wasn’t for his awful luck the most of the year, I’d say he would have the same amount of points as Ricciardo, maybe even more, since Malaysia his form has been brilliant, and if reliability holds he may be a threat next year.
@Arobbo

What’s your verdict on Max Verstappen’s 2017 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than him? Have your say in the comments.

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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 “2017 F1 driver rankings #2: Verstappen”

    1. As much as I like Verstappen and know that he will achieve great things in F1, I do not think that Vettel was worse over the full year.
      Vettel showed more how he can switch it on to another level on Saturday, and was sublime during the first part of the year on Sunday. Verstappen had great Saturdays and Sundays (Mexico), but not as consistent throughout the year as Vettel.

      1. I don’t think so. Vettel doesn’t seem to as well. When Verstappen was near him, he just cracked. Singapore, he crashed. Mexico, ran into verstappen and then Hamilton. Whatever it is, Vettel seems to make uncharacteristic mistakes when Verstappen is near. Every wheel to wheel has gone to Verstappen, even when he had a much slower car (Silverstone).

        Verstappen had great Saturdays and Sundays (Mexico), but not as consistent throughout the year as Vettel.

        Hmm… Probably due to Red Bull DNFing so much. But for the 1st half of the season he was constantly beating Ricciardo when they were both running and the 2nd half just speaks for itself. He also didn’t make a habit of running into rivals.
        Seb has arguably been the better qualifier but hasn’t really been the better racer of the 2. Seb had a fair chance and car to win: Australia, China, Bahrain, Russia , Spain, Monaco, Canada, Baku, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico and Brazil. Out of the 16, he won 5. Some of this races where stolen by his rivals (mostly Hamilton, but also Bottas and Verstappen) who were better that day, some were car failures and some he just blew himself. Had he driven better wheel to wheel he would have gotten 14 points off Hamilton from Spain and Spa. Yes, he was spectacular when passing Ocon or Bottas, but when it got to the big guys he rarely won. To be fair, did overtake Ricciardo in China.

        Verstappen had the chance to win Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Mexico. He drove the machinery he had been given better. At no point did it feel that any other driver stole his points by outracing him. He also beat his highly ranked teammate more often than not.
        This is not to take anything from Vettel’s season, but Verstappen simply looked better this year. He won 2 races in a Red Bull while Vettel won 5 in a Ferrari. If they had equal machinery we could have a better picture but for now Verstappen seems to have an edge. At least according to me, Keith and all the fans that voted him ahead of Vettel. Just saying.

      2. I’d go along with Egonovi – verstappen was very good this year, just about shading ricciardo (though i do put a lot of store by the points victor) but vettel had a tremendous year, especially the first part. his errors were laid bare because of his championship situation, in the way that verstappen was less visible.

      3. I would have agreed with you had Vettel been more clinical in his passes and had better judgment. We find Vettel many times with 3 drivers side-by-side or pushing drivers off or hitting drivers twice under the safety car for lord knows what reason.

      4. Verstappen also cracked when Vettel was closing him in in China. Also, taking out your teammate in turn 3 in Hungary is unforgivable. 1st corner, at the start, stuff happens. But RIC nailed it, he is a “sore loser”. Vettel I can understand, he is fighting for a title, but VER was fighting for nothing.

      5. “Vettel showed more how he can switch it on to another level on Saturday”

        So true, the talent he has within is unmatched, he seems to be ultra focused and supremely motivated on saturdays, but it is a shame he just cannot tap into it on race days where even the slightest of things can get to his head.

        Once over team radio there was a message “stay calm Sebastian stay calm” pretty much summed up what he needed to do to bag the title.

        1. Mercedes and Ferrari are able to get more hp out of their PU’s in quali…. Renault simply can’t.

          Singapore showed us what’s possible with that magic button, until Q3 Ferrari was unable to match the RBR’s…. then like magic in Q3 Vettel squeezed his magic button and goes for pole….. killer lap obviously, but could he have done it without that magic button remains the question

          1. I think ferrari were sandbagging the whole weekend in singapore and it was obvious, even Q1 and Q2 in my opinion. But he-ho we didn’t see it in the race

    2. I don’t think he has been that great, really. Top 5, no doubt. Top 2, maybe a little too much.
      At the end of the day reliability has affected both cars and he still lagged behind by more than 30 points.

      The kid is pure potential, but still, the main goal there is to score points. He had the excuse of the breakdowns all year long and Red Bull looked like trying to compensate him somehow and out of nowhere Ricciardo inherits his bad reliability and he still didn’t catch him.

      1. @eddfire Bahrain, Spain, Canada, Baku, Belgium and Singapore.. Every time, exept for Austria, Verstappen was in front of Ricciardo when he retired. This is why Daniel grabbed so many podiums, including his faultless driving.
        When Daniel Retired, he was only ahead of Max in *Hungary (we all know what happened) and Abu Dhabi.

        1. @jesperfey13, in Bahrain, Verstappen had only been able to open up a gap of six tenths of a second ahead of Ricciardo before he made his pit stop, so I would not say that Verstappen was significantly better than Ricciardo in that race.

          If anything, there is an argument that Verstappen was slower than Ricciardo and holding Ricciardo up in Bahrain given that, as soon as Verstappen pitted on lap 10, Ricciardo’s lap times immediately improved by half a second on lap 11, whilst on lap 12 he was eight tenths faster than Verstappen had been on lap 10 (for reference, the pattern goes lap 10 – 1m 37.5s for Verstappen and Ricciardo, then 1m37.0s for Ricciardo on lap 11 and 1m36.7s on lap 12).

          The fact that Ricciardo was able to stick to the back of Verstappen so closely for the opening laps, and then start going significantly faster as soon as he was in clear air, suggests to me that Ricciardo was actually the quicker driver at the time and Verstappen’s performance in that race was less impressive than his fans claim it was.

          I’d also have to heavily question whether you can really include the Spanish GP or the Singapore GP given that Verstappen’s race ended at the first corner in both instances, so we have no idea whether he would have actually finished ahead of Ricciardo at the end of the race or if Ricciardo might have beaten him instead.

          1. In Bahrain Verstappen overtook Ricciardo at the start (as for China, Sochi and Japan).
            Ricciardo pitted 2 laps later than Verstappen, the front 5 driver still in a train, when Verstappen dropped away Ricciardo was in ‘free’ air for some time…

            A F1 car, less than 2 seconds apart reduce the downforce drasticly… the talk of the 2017 cars.
            Ofcourse Ricciardo was faster in free air… the reason why DRS got introduced.

            Singapore, Spain or any other GP where Verstappen is in front of Ricciardo are highly to likely to finish in that order as Ricciardo has never (ever) been able to overtake Verstappen since they are team mates.

    3. You really hope he’s getting the car he deserves over the next two seasons. Vettel and Hamilton both had title-winning cars within three years of arriving in F1, and for history’s sake it would be fun to see the record books re-written. The idea that if the Red Bull is not good enough next season, he might not even be the youngest pole-sitter in history… It’s funny really, not sure many people thought that’d be the case after 2015.

      1. Just goes to show how important having a good car is. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him jumping ship to Mercedes for 2019 if the Red Bull isn’t up to it next year.

        1. Even though his team deny it, I’m certain his new contract, other than giving him no 1 status and a lot of money, also give him the Vettel-type outs. I think you’re right. Hamilton will relish the challenge, he’s already annointed Verstappen his successor.

      2. Well for Vettel there wasa good reason to gie him a winning car (monza 2008) but Hamilton was a grab in the dark and it worked

    4. Vettel let himself down with Baku, which, is one of the worst sportsmanlike issues of conduct I have seen in F1 for a good few seasons.

      Verstappen has had a cracking season, which saw him make some stunning drives and only really was let down by PU… In my viewpoint he is easily the most capable driver in the current crop of F1 drivers and just needs a reliable and competitive car to prove it…

    5. I do not like Ver at all. Words that come to mind are – arrogant, dangerous, sore-looser, bully, racist. I will only admit he is good once he actually wins the F1 title. (Just f.y.i. the racist is as a result of him apologizing to the Brazilian people for his comments, I don’t think he is a KKK kind of racist, just the casual kind who makes flippant remarks about people based on their ethnicity)

      1. @aliced When did he make racist remarks? I only remember him saying that ‘you cannot really talk to Brazilians’ referring to Massa. He shouldn’t have said that but the comment is not racist.

        There are many reasons to dislike Verstappen (you named a few), but not admitting he is good just because you dislike him is a bit strange.

      2. Antoon van Gemert
        19th December 2017, 20:43

        @AliceD. Well there’s not coming much into your mind, isn’t it? You seemed to dislike Max Verstappen for all the wrong kind of reasons. Especially that last one is way below the belt and taken out of proportion. ‘arrogant?’. If you would know him better you should know he’s quite down to earth (typical Dutch I guess) in everything he does. Remember Abu Dhabi 2016 when there was a special live-stream program organised, hosted by David Coulthard, and visited by Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Max Verstappen? They all left before the program had ended, except Max who had the decency to stay right till the end and had fun with David. “dangerous?” Well, let me surpirise you: Formula 1 is dangerous! But I guess you mean his aggressive racing style and never-giving-up attitude. That’s what F1 needs! (Ross Brawn: “F1 needs more Verstappens”). Just read the first sentence of this article! If you can’t handle danger, please watch another kind of sport! “Sore Loser?” That’s quite easy. You stole that line from Daniel Ricciardo! “Bully?” I guess, nothing came to mind already at the moment you wrote this word down. And the last wrong reason? Just be very carefull with saying things like this, especially when they are not true.

      3. Or the kind that make remarks about young people they do not understand, like you?
        arrogant, : most ( if not all) arrogant people are very uncertain people and use arrogance to hide this. Non of that behavior is seen in VER. He is always friendly to his fans and reporters (unlike some others) but very sure about his gaols. ,aybe that’s what confusing for you.

        dangerous, : Yep, he passes drivers on the most unlikely places and redefines the laws of gravity it seems.. very dangerous.

        sore-looser,: once.. and he apologized for it (unlike some others again, like VET in Baku)

        bully, : No sure what you mean by that… his remarks now and than are not the way the standard PR puppy in F1 answers. But i think it’s refreshing.

        racist.: come on… apart of the fact he was right about Massa, he is no racist. You have to dig deep is see to find ways to “not liking him”.

      4. Oh dear @aliced. You were doing fine until you got to this bit: I do not like Ver at all. Words that come to mind are – arrogant, dangerous, sore-looser, bully, racist. I will only admit he is good once he actually wins the F1 title.

        But that is your opinion and you are entitled to express it despite your somewhat wonky conclusions.

        Verstappen is so much like Senna in attitude it’s scary. The boy has what it takes, and that IS what it takes, which is why ‘Mr Smiley’ will never be WDC.

    6. Best driver in F1. Bad luck and a not so good car let him down this season but it didnt stop his qualities from shining through.

        1. – 34…
          He sure has the speed and potential to be, but I really he still has some maturity to find, and gain some experience. He is raw speed, and youthful aggressiveness, but I believe that will bring him into more and more trouble next season, as other drivers will start to put their foot down – against his defending most particularly. I’m sure he will continue to develop as his huge talent as time passes, and become a more refined driver.

          1. Two mistakes Verstappen made this year, of which one was highly doubtfull
            Hungary a shame, hitting Ricciardo
            Monza a shame Massa was overly aggressive

            The rest os the season was rather spotless with maximum results when his car lived to see the end.

            Which other driver made less mistakes….?

            1. +1 Fernando probably was the only driver to make less mistakes than Max this year though

    7. Although it’s hard to compare because they are in different cars with different speed and reliablilty, let’s compare the performances of Hamilton and Verstappen of the 2017 season:
      Only looking at the performance of the driver, not the car.
      – AUS: HAM underperformed in the race / VER did the maximum he could.
      Winner: Verstappen
      – CHI: HAM and VER both drove astonishing this weekend
      Winner: Both
      – BAH: Both defeated in qualy, VER maximised the race before DNF.
      Winner: Verstappen
      – RUS: HAM off the pace / VER decent race
      Winner: Verstappen
      – SPA: Both great qualy and race maximised, VER unlucky by BOT’s fault
      Winner: Hamilton
      – MON: HAM bad weekend / VER good qualy, bad strategy by the team
      Winner: Verstappen
      – CAN: Both maximised qualy and the race
      Winner: Both
      – AZE: Both good qualy, both maximised the race, both unlucky
      Winner: none
      – AUT: Both defeated in qualy, HAM decent race / VER unlucky DNF
      Winner: none
      – GBR: HAM outstanding weekend / VER decent
      Winner: Hamilton
      – HUN: HAM defeated in qualy, decent race / VER major mistake
      Winner: Hamilton
      – BEL: Both insane qualy, both maximised race
      Winner: Both
      – ITA: HAM insane qualy and faultless / VER difficult race
      Winner: Hamilton
      – SIN: Both maximised qualy and the race
      Winner: Both
      – MAL: Both good qualy, VER great race
      Winner: Verstappen
      – JAP: HAM good qualy / VER good race
      Winner: Both
      – USA: Both impressive drives
      Winner: Both
      – MEX: Dominant VER / HAM good recovery
      Winner: Verstappen
      – BRA: HAM major mistake / VER faultless
      Winner: Verstappen
      ABU: Both off the pace, VER more than HAM
      Winner: Hamilton

      Result:
      Hamilton: 10
      Verstappen: 12
      These two drivers are absolutely insane, and were both astonishing this season.. Hopefully more to come next year, when they’re both in a competitive car..

      1. Nice analysis. Some are arguable. I would argue some were more Hamilton than both but giving it a + – 3 and it should be good. I think by drivers of the weekend points Hamilton wins though.

      2. Sing both win?

        That’s just one example of wishful thinking in this list. He did not do a single lap. Ham stayed out of trouble and drove the 5th fastest car to a win in the wet…

        Yes VES drove well but you forget – he had nothing to lose – ever – at all.

        If you think that he could have got past Ham in MAL if the title was not on the line then you need to go back and watch BAH 2014.

        He is fast but at this time we have absolutely no idea how good until he is under championship pressure with his team mate and other teams all looking to pinch points.

        Then we will see.

        1. @Drg I too subscribe to the ‘let’s see how they do when the pressure is at it’s greatest’ mantra. But my gut also tells me that won’t be an issue for Max.

        2. @DRG
          Things get a lot easier when your cr is 1.5 – 0.5 seconds faster over a season, especially when it’s equipped with that powerboost button for that one fast Q3 run. Singapre showed us the difference, Ferrari down on pace until Q3… was that Vettel or powerboost… I think the latter.

          Driving from pole with a dominant car is by no means more difficult than battle against 4 potential faster cars… nothing to loose… donno if that matter, Hamilton risked his car in Mexico and lost… it was not his fault but also not his battle.

      3. This is a very good way of viewing it. I may have tried to do like +2’s if they were exceptionally better at one of the weekends than the other driver, but that just makes life too difficult.

      4. This is a very good overview, but it also goes to show how this is a subjective business. I think Verstappen had a better season than Hamilton, but some of your conclusions could easily swing one way or the other.

    8. Can’t hold his horses yet. Top 5, yes. Full of potential and brilliant future yes. But most of this year was just “sore-loser”. I have present that Perez was ahead on points most of this year until Max (and Tag Heuer haha) got some of his stuff together.

      1. one “sore loser” moment and a lot of bad luck or overactive Bottas actions..
        The fact Perez was ahead as a result of the reliability issues VER had.. not sure what your point is there..

    9. #1 to listen to on the radio.

    10. Having him ahead of Vettel is … questionable at best. I mean, he was behind a Force India in the standings for a significant part of the year and that was not due to car failures alone. Renault engines did not force him to get involved in a lap one collision in Spain. And for all of Vettel’s mistakes this year, the Hungaroring collision with Ricciardo is way worse, given as he intentionally ran into his teammate. That is literally the one thing you do not do in Formula One and he did it. Amateurish beyond belief. I am impressed by his efforts, and he is going to do great things and we will be seeing him for a long time in F1 – unpleasant as that is, given his personality (although in fairness, most people are insufferable until they turn like 21, so I have hope that this will work out) – but he was not ahead of Vettel at all.

      1. explain to us why Bottas running into Raikkonen who bumped into Verstappen was a high risk move while Ricciardo trying to overtake Verstappen in a double 180 corner was not…?

        Accident will happen in F1 and some are at fault others aren’t… Verstappen caused one crash, Ricciardo two

      2. you mean like Vettel did with Kimi in Singapore..
        Not sure why you do not like VER but at least you will have to cope with that for years to come ;)

      3. for all of Vettel’s mistakes this year, the Hungaroring collision with Ricciardo is way worse, given as he intentionally ran into his teammate

        You seriously find a braking error (VER vs RIC in Hungary) way worse than steering into another car after you accidently bumped into its rear (VET vs HAM in Baku)? Okay …

        we will be seeing him for a long time in F1 – unpleasant as that is, given his personality

        Unpleasant for you perhaps, since you for one reason or another have some problems with “his personality”. I myself don’t have any issues regarding that aspect, and find him a really refreshing addition to the grid. On track and off track.

    11. I can agree with virtually everything said about him. But I still think 2nd is a little too high. But I certainly wouldn’t rate him more than 2 places lower. I still think that the F1 fanatic ratings are the closest to what I would do compared to any other people’s I’ve seen. There is one or 2 I’m unsure about. I don’t see how Grosjean has been better than Massa this year at all.

    12. Although the Dutch media are insufferable, I do think this guy is the greatest driver F1 has seen since Vettel & Hamilton joined in 2007.
      I also very much love how people call him overrated or overhyped, only to have Verstappen make these people eat crow after every new great performance.

      Let him have the WDC in 2018. Vettel & Hammi had enough for a while. ;)

    13. Verstappen hasn’t got that love-facor some season veterans have..he’s new and controversial, with an elbows out attitude.
      Some love it, other less….

      Verstappen was often labeled as a high risk driver, rough…but it doesn’t translate to above averga incidents… yesin Hungary Verstappen overshot the corner, was to eager, next to Monza his only flaw all season. Not many other drivers have been able to get such a clean sheet ver a season.

      Elbows out has resulted in many mind blowing good starts… Verstappen was ranked in 3 out the 5 best starts of the season… elbows out works also fending off other drivers like for example Vettel, Bottas and Raikkonen, usually no match for Verstappen or a handfull the least.

      In a lesser car Verstappen has been the only driver to overtake Hamilton…twice, apart from Ferrari versus Mercedes he was the only driver to succesfully fight off or even overtake Vettel and Hamiilton…. on multiple occasions Raikkonen and Bottas where no match despite their faster cars.

      China, Malaysia, Japan and Mexico where some epic performances… Singapore should have been a near sure win as Vettel wouldn’t not have been able to keep Verstappen behind on a wet Singapre track.
      DNF’s 7 times with an average P3.15 position…. Spain, Canada, Baku, Singapore and US all races with great (podium)potential ruined by mechanical issues.

    14. Blistering pace but made too many mistakes for number 2. I’d rank him 3rd or 4th. Bottas is way too low on the rankings. To put Bottas that low and Lewis that up is a paradox.

      1. @peartree Only mistakes were in Hungary and Italy.
        After Alonso, he probably made the fewest mistakes of any driver, and was always on the pace, unlike Ricciardo. Hamilton had weekends where he was way off the pace like Russia and Monaco, and we all know which stupid mistakes Vettel made.
        If you’re ranking him below Hamilton or Vettel, then that’s your opinion. But at least find some good arguments to do so.

        1. @jesperfey13 Good arguments? more mistakes than you mentioned, particularly judgement, you don’t make contact that often without making bad choices, Vettel made a bad choice in Singapore, it’s risk vs reward. Not to mention you can’t rank Max against either Vettel and Hamilton because Max had no championship pressure and no other car ran the pace of the RB.
          @baron Hamilton isn’t too high, but Ham’s not number one to me. Off weekends, being at times outpaced by Bottas, and some mistakes are considering Ferrari imploded not what I expect of the Mercedes Lewis. I’d say Lewis has had better championships with Mercedes, even the one he lost.

      2. @Peartree – I’d have put him lower to be honest, he seems like a sleepyhead, but if you’re saying that Hamilton is too high (@#1), I’d be really interested to know who you would put in the numero uno spot. Not that I would disagree but I’m just curious.

    15. I believe this article does not really highlight why Verstappen is the 2nd best.

      Red Bull is off pace with Ferrari and Mercedes.
      However, Verstappen can mix with Mercedes and Ferrari.
      His win in mexico was so dominant and without any luck.

      Ricciardo has always been seen as a qualifying monster,
      However, Verstappen beat him this year fair and square in qualifying.
      Just have a look at their lap times.

      Now, at sudden, Ricciardo is the overtake monster.
      However, he didn’t overtake Mercedes or Ferrari as Verstappen did.
      Ricciardo is simply much too far behind on the grid, which makes him look good (or look better than Verstappen on certain disciplines). It is not truth, Verstappen is much better in overtaking (and defending).

      The few races they both finished, Max beats Ricciardo 5 out of 7 times.
      It shows also that Max’ race pace is simply better, without even mentioning that Max was most of the time ahead of Ricciardo when he had a DNF.

      And then, Max hit Ricciardo one time? That happens!
      Really, the sore loser is rather Ricciardo than Max, because Ricciardo himself could have avoided that situation. Other teammates met each other on the track as well, nothing really to be so upset about.

      Simple facts.

      I expected a lot of Bottas when he went to Mercedes but to be honest, he is not in the mix for being with the five best drivers on the grid. He should be replaced by Ocon straight away, who is much underrated in my opinion.

      Raikkonen is not even worth words. If Verstappen would have been with Ferrari, they would have won at least the constructors title.

      Vettel started good, but he lost himself. At a sudden moment during the season it looked like he was fighting Verstappen instead of Hamilton. Hamilton is cool (I’m not a Hamilton fan), but Vettel is not cool. Vettel is not focused. Actually Vettel (and Raikkonen) scare Verstappen already from the moment that Verstappen was in the Torro Rosso.

      Verstappen is not arrogant, he is determined. He has no respect for anybody else, because his only goal is to win. It doesn’t matter who he beats, as long as he beats them. The perfect mindset for an ultimate champion. Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Schumacher, Senna, bla bla bla …. won’t think differently.

      Pity that Vettel was just that fraction quicker and disallowed Verstappen his first pole in F1. I believe if there had been a bit more rain the last season(s) during qualifying, Verstappen would also have achieved that already.

      I believe Verstappen deserves 2nd and in a car with a better engine he maybe even would have made first place. Renault have to address their unreliability issues (and get a bit more pace) and then it will be a really interesting season next year with also McLaren/Alonso and even the Renaults (who have fine drivers) in the mix.

      1. Mark, Your comments re: Bottas are interesting. For the life of me I do not understand why anyone could think he’s a match for Hamilton when his showing at Williams was lacklustre to say the least, with only brief flashes of excellence. I just don’t think he’s ‘feisty’ enough to be any better than he is, consistently, and that is the key word. Hamilton just swatted him away when he needed to. I think 2018 will be his final season for Merc in fact I’m surprised they signed him for next year anyway, although perhaps that was part of his orgininal deal. 6th place in the rankings flatters him.

    16. On the topic of Verstappen, Helmut Marko says Verstappen signed a new deal after the Red Bull team took a trip to Honda’s engine factory to show them what alternative options they have, and he was convinced by the facilities and opportunities.
      So, that pretty much confirms Red Bull-Honda 2019.

      1. @hahostolze do you have a link to an article or video about that?

    17. Talented and fast? Yes. Likeable? Not for me. Hard to approve of someone who always pushes the edge of what’s acceptable and then act surprised and indignant and lashes out at the powers that be for standing firm.

      1. You do not have to like the best driver on the grid.

        It is weird how podiums go wrong, never say that is firm.

      2. @joey-poey We need someone like Max who pushes the edge of what acceptable and what’s not! Otherwise F1 will be even more boring, although it hurts to say that..

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