No Verstappen/Ricciardo favouritism at Red Bull – Webber

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In the round-up: Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber doubts Red Bull play favourites between its two drivers.

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Surely it finally has to start going right for Honda in 2018?

As eternal optimist, and hoping positive wishes go both way, I actually hope they succeed; and the same for McLaren-Renault.

How good would it be if we had four or five big teams driving four different power units from 2019.

Bring it on.

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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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53 comments on “No Verstappen/Ricciardo favouritism at Red Bull – Webber”

  1. The only thing we know at this point is Mercedes will win 2018. Done deal. Sorry. That and the fact it will either be Williams, Honda themselves or Haas that will be last and the team that will be last will tell you about which engine will be top-dog as best of the rest. Ask any historian, a performance gap like we saw in the latter half of 2018 cannot be closed with these sporting regulations.

    3 PU-rule, so the last gains Ferrari and RBR made from the fall has been compromised significantly; Who wins? Mercedes.
    Additional components rule which orders more reliability again in development. Who had the advantage and wins? Mercedes.
    Starting slot rule-change which will make the cutting the aero-tactic Vettel; utilizes much less beneficial. Who has the best power deployment and will gain from this rule at circuits such as Sochi and Monza and… wins? (he and Alonso use certain ”aero-cutting-tactics” in first laps to create understeer as DRS doesn’t gain it back in the first lap of races) Mercedes.
    The tyres are getting softer again so heavier cars will get shorter stints, therefore oil supplier and performance engine modes will get utilized more often, and who has the upper hand and therefore who does that favour? Mercedes.
    The only question experts needs answering at this point is what the hell are RBR and McLaren doing to actually avoid getting stalled by Renault purposely covering up known advanced technical details of the PU.

    ”Ah nah that didn’t happen.” Many journalists lie about these shady backgrounds and people (a.k.a you) buy into it.
    But hey every-time a whistle-blower comes out for example the Lotus CEO Carter admitting Mercedes gave Lotus an additional engine mode for example in Spa in ’15 which was raided from Lotus thereafter to never see a Lotus-eye again (which is an violation of 2 FIA sanctioned regulations) then everyone forgets that these things actually happen. Use your search engine. This happened and will continue to happen as money rules F1.

    1. The latter half of 2017, that is.

      1. So the bottom line is Mercedes are still a threat, like we didn’t already know that as they are the defending Champions. And I thought that special engine mode was for one stint of one race and was not a mode that favoured reliability and so was only used for one unique time. Nothing to see here. People have been saying since 2014 that Mercedes has a locked in advantage, but at least the token system was lifted a while back. I look forward to a new F1 when the influences of the BE era become less and less apparent but for now Brawn knows he needs to gradually pull away from it or else the lesser teams will be caught out yet again trying to adapt to too big reg changes too quickly.

        For now, there’s a reason they run all the races of a season and don’t just hand the trophy to the team and driver someone assumes will dominate. And at least last year Ferrari and RBR started to make it look interesting now that there isn’t the rivalry at Mercedes that there was.

    2. ”The only thing we know at this point is Mercedes will win 2018.” Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Way too early to jump to definite conclusions.

    3. Many journalists lie about these shady backgrounds

      So Trump is right; most news is fake news.
      We should only trust guys like Trump and other weirdos (aka you).

    4. @xiasitlo I think the only thing we know at this point is that you really have a huge bias against Mercedes!

    5. Better refill your glass. Not only is it half-empty, but the tinfoil’s slipping.

    6. I’m not as confident of Mercedes as you.
      I’m curious what the clamp down on engine oil burn, breather fluids must exit the vehicle and engine plentum air minimum temp will have. Sounds like some were using qualifying oil and then changing to race oil last year as well. No more of that either.

    7. The way F1 works is it is the responsibility of those chasing to try and catch the one in front. This doesn’t just apply on the race track, it applies everywhere. The way a race finishes is determined in part before the race starts. Below average preparation will probably result in a below average finish (i.e. out of the points). An above average preparation will probably result in an above average finish (i.e. in the points). Mercedes won last season because they turned up at every race with a race winning car and team. The same will happen this season: they will turn up at every GP with a race winning car and team. Whether they will win or not is another matter. If the other teams arrive similarly prepared then winning won’t be easy for Mercedes.

  2. Thanks for the COTD.

  3. Oh and this promise I forgot:
    And while my name is Mr. Honda (which is solely added half a year ago to inspire the British fans when it turns out I was right about the next)

    Yes. I’m still very convinced Toro-Rosso Honda will overtake McLaren, as I predicted 7 months ago, as until they announced it, many technical heads from within McLaren convinced me they still believed Ron Dennis was right and Honda had actually made more progress then Renault in the same 3 year period (zero-concept etc) and believed Boullier and the team was just being hijacked by Alonso. People seem to forget that Toro Rosso out-qualified Force India as best customer (minus RBR) at the first 3 races of the season, so Toro-Rosso is able to build a good chassis.
    Can’t we not put a bet on it? If McLaren defeats Honda. I’ll delete my account.

    1. I’m afraid you’re gonna be without account soon, there’s no comparison between the chassis mclaren has (and I’m even one of those who sustains it’s not as good as they say, but above average) and toro rosso’s, it’s a b team after all.

      Even for the engine, I doubt, I think renault is better both performance and reliability wise, we’ll see soon I guess.

    2. With statements like that, I doubt anybody here will miss you.

    3. @xiasitlo, I like your comments. F1Fanatic readers are a bit too sensible and measured in the comment threads. Good to haves something different once in a while.

      1. @praxis It’s better to be sensible and measured than unreasonable and or delusional about things, though, LOL.

      2. Hahhahahahahah the passive aggressiveness, I love it

    4. Of course honda made more progress. It is easier for honda to improve from a total failure than it is for renault to improve something that already works. And renault stopped their whole engine development for 2015 which also made it easier for honda to improve faster (and for ferrari and mercedes to get permanently away). But despite honda improving faster their engine was still miles and miles behind renault and light years behind mercedes and ferrari. Honda engine in 2018 is still worse than what renault had running in software dyno back in 2013.

      |Can’t we not put a bet on it? If McLaren defeats Honda. I’ll delete my account.
      I’m quoting this.

    5. @xiasitlo – the problem last year was not Alonso. The problem was that McLaren had the worst start of the year in their entire F1 lifespan. That tells a lot of things, for example, Honda was worse in 2017 than in 2015. Honda made a very silly mistake with their oil tank design. Honda was able to gain no more than 20 bhp starting from January and up to September – it’s nine months. Honda claimed that they bring a super update to be on par with Renault, and yet they didn’t bring that update.
      As for McLaren, they were faster than Red Bull in the second sector at Interlagos while having the smallest rear wing to improve the straight-line speed. That also tells something.

  4. Never missed you Bernie. Until now. rolf

    Bernie Ecclestone: “These girls did nothing harmful to anyone.”

  5. Regarding ”On this day in F1:” Today’s Gasly’s birthday as well.

  6. Formula E wants Hong Kong E-Prix to replace ‘grid girls’ with the ‘Grid Kids’ policy also adopted by F1 (South China Morning Post)

    From saying F1 copies things from “us” to copying things from F1 once more, the circle is round again.

  7. ‘No Verstappen/Ricciardo favouritism at Red Bull – Webber’, so just like there was no Vettel/Webber favouritism then – Vettel was just better (no sarcasm intended, this is what I actually think).
    Also, while I’m being bitter, does this mean Formula E is having to follow Formula 1’s lead on something (grid girls)? I thought it always was the other way round (sarcasm intended) :D

    1. It’s hardly F1’s lead though, since other categories have been dropping grid girls before.

    2. @olliej Webber’s comment doesn’t apply to his time at Redbull as he was saying that there won’t be any favouritism because they both came through the Redbull junior program, which Webber did not!

      So in a roundabout way he was just repeating that there WAS favouritism towards Vettel during their time together.

    3. Just because webber says something doesn’t make it automatically true. Only benefit vettel had at red bull was his lighter weight. The rest is down to skill.

    4. @olliej – Red Bull took the new front wing from Webber’s car and put it on Vettel’s car. If that’s not favouritism, than what is?

      1. The wing Webber did not want? That wing?

  8. I think this year’s Max vs Dan battle is going to be with gloves off. I agree with the comparison of Webber vs Vettel to Ricciardo vs Verstappen.

    In 2009, Webber and Vettel had a healthy relationship as they were just an outside bet for the WDC. It’s similar to Dan & Max’s relationship in 2016 and 2017. It was a healthy rivalry overall. They wanted to beat each other but the battle hardly got off the track, and the Red Bull team weren’t forced to throw their weight behind one driver.

    In 2010, when Red Bull had a championship winning car, is when the Webber and Vettel battle got really intense. There was Turkey, wing gate and a lot of team management problems. In 2010 itself there was a breakdown in the relationship between Webber and Vettel. In 2018, if Red Bull build a championship winning car, I expect a lot of the same problems to occur, and most probably Dan will be getting the short stick.

    I completely agree with Mark, when he says the best thing Dan can do is beat Max. It’s easier said than done though. After all, Mark just had to beat Seb.

    1. A lot will depend on how the car performs.

      If they deliver as badly at the beginning of this year as they did in 2017 then I suspect we’ll see very much the same as last year. It really looked as though Dan wasn’t overly fussed about Max’s performance once it was clear they weren’t going to be competing for a WDC.

      If they’re competitive (given their PU that’s a big if) I think we’ll see some tempers on both sides, and some contact between their cars.

      Bring on testing :)… and please RBR don’t turn up with rubbish like you did last year.

      1. Completely agree. It all depends on how competitive the car is.

        My gut tells me that Red Bull will be stronger than Ferrari next year despite a slightly weaker PU. Red Bull’s driver line up will also have the edge on Ferrari, so let’s see how it shapes up.

        I’m pumped about the car unveils and testing already!

        1. LOL @todford Much like you said last year no?

          You really can’t stand Ferrari since Alonso got the boot can you!

          1. @asanator
            Funny to see you laughing… You said Ferrari and Vettel were going to win the championship .. LMAO

          2. @todfod

            And how many championships has Alonso come close to since joining McLaren?
            I can still remember Keiths article about Alonso’s and Vettel’s chances. Now that was a good laugh.
            But hey, I’m sure Alonso will win something now that he’s got no competition in WEC.

          3. Of course I did…and they came close……and I am a Ferrari fan

    2. ‘If Red Bull build a winning car’ – that is key. And they won’t, so there won’t be any problems between the drivers. They will win 5 GP’s (Max 3 and Daniel 2) and that’s it. All others will be won by Mercedes and Ferrari.

      1. Hmmm….isn’t 5 wins an indication of a winning car? So if they can improve by a couple of wins (as in get back some
        reliability that was particularly costly to Max), and Ferrari can improve by a couple of wins too (also just with a bit more reliability) then we could well have the wins split a third a third a third amongst the top 3 teams. We weren’t that far from that happening last year.

        1. Oh come on, Redbull only won when Ferrari and Mercedes had problems last year, as every year since the introduction of these PU’s!

          1. Malaysia ?

          2. @asanator Perhaps, but that’s racing no? If RBR and Ferrari can just get a little closer to Mercedes they might force them to run at higher settings for longer and thus force some unreliability their way. We’ll just have to see who can put pressure on who in terms of both drivers and teams. If they (the top three) have converged in performance even a bit over last year, that could have big consequences toward pressure drivers will feel, and on car reliability. And of course as we know some tracks will favour some cars over others.

          3. @Thierry

            Ahh Malaysia, was that not the race when the fastest car was the Ferrari in which Vettel started from last due to a PU failure (and almost overtook Ricciardo for 3rd at the end) and Kimi pulled over before the start with the same PU issue?

      2. Well, 5 wins from red bull would be great for an interesting season, considering they only had 3 the past year and definitely could challenge ferrari and mercedes at times. There’s people who say mercedes is gonna go back to dominating, so 5 wins from red bull why not!

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      7th February 2018, 14:47

      @todfod They don’t need to be fighting for the championship next year for the gloves to come off. They must come off next year for Daniel. Despite his brief time at Red Bull and young age, Max has pretty much established himself as the better and driver with the most prospects at the paddock if the pit bosses rankings are a good indicator of that. Daniel wants to either win a championship next year, assuming the car is going to be fast enough, or get himself in a team that can win them – either way he must be quicker than Max and put in some stellar performances as he has in the past. Matching Max is also an acceptable outcome, especially if it’s he does so in terms of ability and perception more than points.

      We need to see the Rocky Balboa side of Daniel, not so much the Dundee side – he’s gotta come out ready to fight. I hope he and Max still remain friends and continue to respect each other but once they are in the car and the lights go out, it’s hammer time for both drivers!

      1. @freelittlebirds Agreed and we’ll said.

        1. ‘Well’ said…thought I had already corrected the ‘we’ll’ so it must have autocorrected again on me, lol.

  9. Oke I guess it’s up to me to say something sensible

    lets start with mister Honda
    1. The past is irrelevant, so different now then before you were born (probably)
    2. Ferrari closed a big engine power gap last year and they can do it again, they need better drivers
    3. you makeup a lot of stuff, dunno where to start

    now on topic about the Max vs Ric relation
    nobody has any idea we just have to see but personally I think the relation can only be broken if there is no clear understanding of who is faster, I think Ric will more easily accept it if he is beaten by Max and if it’s the other way around it will probably be more problematic.

  10. A lot also depends on who the car suits more, Verstappen or Ricciardo. How is handles, and who can make it work better. A lot was made of the Ferrari years ago not being to Kimi Raikkonen’s liking in terms of suiting his driving style, so its worth considering with Red Bull.
    I just have a suspicion that Red Bull will favour Verstappen more in a bid to satisfy him and placate any possible advances for other teams. Max is the hottest property in F1 at the moment, and a huge draw in terms of marketing and revenue. Ricciardo is a great driver, proven winner, and well respected by his peers and the fans, but I feel it is only a matter of time before he walks and goes to another team. If the Red Bull challenges this year, and both drivers are fighting one another, and Daniel feels that he is being shafted then that will be that.
    We have seen the two fall out, Hungary last year springs to mind, so plenty can happen to spoil the broth.

    1. Fair comment. Personally I think that Max is special and we just saw him dominate DR without any question of one driver being favoured, so I expect to see Max continue to dominate DR, only now it might get spun or might look like Max is the favoured driver. I think he is just the better driver. But we know DR is good too so as you say let’s just see how it shakes out. I’ll just be really surprised if the trend in the numbers doesn’t continue where Max dominates in all categories on the track, but I suspect he will also outpoint DR this time. Just feels to me like it is onward and upward for Max.

  11. Webber calling Ricciardo a Red Bull product… I mean he’s not wrong, he knows what he’s talking about, just an odd stating of the fact. I wonder how much value Red Bull feel they are getting out of Vettel even now that he’s left for Ferrari, the image of his famous finger in the Red Bull colours are seared into my memory. I wonder if Ricciardo’s smile will have the same effect.

  12. I remember that Webber interview from a few days ago on

    The “there will be no favouritism” remark stems from a truth perhaps, but it’s based on the idea that Ricciardo will beat Verstappen. So yes. If Ricciardo proves the better of the two they will not put Verstappen ahead. Reality is that Verstappen has proven to be the better of the two.

    Also, the team is supposedly being formed around Verstappen so at least the car design would be favoring Verstappen’s driving style better. Already putting him a bit ahead of Ricciardo.

    It’s just like there was no favouritism at Red Bull until things started to go sour. Only when Webber showed in 2010 he could almost match Vettel and started to be a hindrance to Vettels title aspirations did Red Bull intervene.

    It’s not like they sabotage the no 2 driver, but it’s all the little things that add up. Things like car design direction and race strategy will start to revolve around the no 1 driver. For instance in Webber’s case they never bothered to give him a working KERS system. It was working for (the lighter Vettel) so why bother.

    Some mechanics are better than others and guess for which driver the better ones end up working. Less support overall. It’s not an anchor, but all of it does ad up.

    They won’t set out to keep Ricciardo back, but he already starts a little on the back foot and he will have to truly beat Verstappen to sway the favor back to him.

    1. @patrickl
      Vettel beat Webber comprehensively. How many engine failures did Webber suffer in 2010? 0. The only reason he was “a hindrance to Vettels title aspirations” was the amount of points Vettel lost through reliability issues. “Bu.. bu..bu … Webber’s KERS… ” lmao.

      Webber lost his only chance because he drove into the back of a Lotus and crashed in Korea, then sealed his fate by hitting the wall in Abu Dhabi ruining his tyre and his strategy.

      Vettel came out on top because he was better. If not for his engine failing he would have clinched the title with ease regardles of whether Alonso had passed him for the win in Korea.

      But I’m not surprised you still cling to that reasoning. Funny though, that reasoning completely changes when Vettel turns into Hamilton and Webber into Rosberg.

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