Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Hamilton: Verstappen out-performed Ricciardo last year

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen out-performed his Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo last year, despite the latter scoring more points.

RaceFans 2018 F1 season preview

The first race of the 2018 F1 season is less than two weeks away and in the week ahead we’ll take a look at how all the teams have prepared for the new championship.

Throughout pre-season testing RaceFans took every opportunity to hear first-hand from all of the drivers and spoken exclusively to team principals and other leading figures in the sport. We’ll be sharing everything we’ve heard with you on the site between now and the first race weekend, beginning with a series of previews for all of the teams. Keep an eye out for the first of our exclusives coming up later this week.

We wouldn’t be able to bring you our coverage if we weren’t at the track to do it, and we’re able to do that thanks partly to the growing number of RaceFans supporters. We believe in independent, original motor sport coverage and are very grateful to those of you who are helping us to create it.

To help us continue, please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter for just £1 per month (or the same in your currency):

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up

What they’re saying

Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Suzuka, 2017
Hamilton expects a threat from Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton assessed the competition during the launch of the new Mercedes:

Last year Red Bull were over a second behind at the beginning. And their rate of development, because they had development to do, was far steeper than everyone else’s: Us and Ferrari’s, for example.

Will they continue on that slope into this season? If they do it’s a challenge for Ferrari and us to follow in that development. Who’s going to be the fastest? We have no idea. Obviously we’re hopeful we’ve done enough. I do anticipate, it is a smaller step with this car than it was a brand new car, the rate of development we saw at the beginning with a brand new car. It’ll be interesting, I have no idea.

Last year, if you look at Max, if he had a more reliable car he’d’ve finished ahead of Daniel, he out-performed him pretty much throughout the whole year. So you have to respect he’s going to be strong again. But then Daniel might be strong.

And Sebastian I think Ferrari will be up there with us. I really can’t predict any more than that.

Is Hamilton right? Here’s how Ricciardo and Verstappen compared last year:


Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Nice, 2018
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Nice, 2018

Conditions were described as “torrential” for Renault’s demonstration run in Nice last weekend. “It was a shame the weather was so bad but I saw a lot of people with smiles on their faces,” said Nico Hulkenberg, who drove the team’s 2012 car at the event. “I think we put on a good show and hopefully gave people a taste of what’s to come with the French GP.”

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

Start, IndyCar, St Petersburg, 2018
IndyCar produced a thrilling season-opener
Does how IndyCar’s new aero kit performed in its first race of the year yesterday show F1 the way to go?

I hope that some of the decision-makers from F1 were watching this race to see what happens when you remove downforce from the cars, much closer, tighter racing with drivers having to work hard at the wheel. Please can we do the same with F1 and get rid of a lot of the aerodynamic froth.

I forget who it was that said it but the quote goes something like ‘ For good racing you need more power than grip’ So F1 the example is there, do you have the gumption to heed it or will be a case of ‘not invented here’ syndrome.
John Toad (@Ceevee)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Daniel, Garf, Michael Griffin, Monkzie, Nitin24, Obi-Spa Kenobi, Dodge5847 and Gerulf Dosinger!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

  • Defending world champion Keke Rosberg beat the turbos to put his normally-aspirated Williams on pole for the season-opening race at Jacarepagua today in 1983

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

85 comments on “Hamilton: Verstappen out-performed Ricciardo last year”

  1. A) Re Cotd We just returned from a lower downforce formula last Year that failed to win people’s hearts. Everyone was riffing on the way too many overtakes and stuff. Now all off a sudden it’s like it’s 2008 again and people act as if we had little overtaking and huge downfdownforce for decades. It’s ridiculous. F1 finally got most of it right last year, lets Enjoy the Glory before the engines get mutilated in 2021 and development frozen again. And what a Glory it was, at least looking at 17 alone.
    B) i often see this Renault show car (insert rant about repainting historic f1 cars, damn i hate when they do this) and it is always dubbed 2012/E20. But it has the additional air intake of the e21. Anyone knows what’s going on there?

    1. if your on about the additional intakes either side of the airbox they were there later in the season

      1. Just found a picture. Interesting though how in late 2012 they were open while (at least for most of) 2013 they were covered.

    2. @mrboerns

      We just returned from a lower downforce formula last Year that failed to win people’s hearts. Everyone was riffing on the way too many overtakes and stuff.

      You confuse close racing with overtaking. What @Ceevee is referring to is close racing, possibly resulting in overtaking. Nobody complained about too many overtakes in 2016 and before, people were complaining about easy highway-overtakes aided with DRS.

  2. The main issue for f1 is the hybrid engine. The hybrid engine makes the cars heavy and because the hybrids were so slow in 2014-2016 the engine manufacturers did not like what that implied so they wanted enormous amounts of more grip to make the cars and more importantly the engines look quicker. Massive increases in tires and downforce (and massive reduction in spectacle and quality of racing) were direct result of this engine manufacturers whining and holding f1 hostage to their whims.

    Just so the toto wolffs can now claim the cars are quicker than the 2004-2005 real beasts. And what a joke of a accomplishment that is. Make a car faster with the double of the amount of downforce and get more from the ground effects so not only are you creating more downforce but also less drag. And when it comes to tires the 2004-5 cars had grooved slicks. Top it off with oil burning and drs and all you have left is lies and misdirection.

    The saddest thing is everybody knew adding this amount of downforce is a mistake. 2021 they are again taking it away I’m 100% sure. I hope they come to their senses and ditch the hybrids as well.

    1. @socksolid You and your fantasies again especially the unnecessarily constant complaints towards the current engine formula. For example, they aren’t the only reason (far from it) that the minimum overall weight is significantly higher these days than it used to be. There’s far more to it than just the current V6 turbo hybrids. #AlwaysBeingDelusionalAboutCertainThings

      1. Here comes the insults. Always a class act jere.

        Hybrid and electronics is the biggest reason why f1 cars are heavy. There is just no way around it. Sure other things have been added since that have increased the weight but even with the massive minimum penalty increases the teams can not even get their cars to minimum weight. Before the hybrids the teams could afford to have ballast weights to come up to the minimum weights.

        The numbers show it clearly.

        1. The 2014 PUs were 50kg heavier than old engines which did affect the centre of gravity

          1. Wrong. Read race car engineering 2013 issue about the engines. V8 was 120kg which includes 5kg MGU and 20kg ancillaries. 2014 engine is 145 kg for the engine and 35kg for the battery. Then add 20kg for the ancillaries. Hybrid engine is quoted to be 80% heavier.

            Hybrid: 200kg
            V8: 120kg.

            And this is straight from renault. Race car engineering 2013 engines special edition page 10 I think. Look, I have actual sources! But who cares, right?

          2. Oh I see where you invented that 50kg. You assume that because the minimum weight was increased 50kg (48kg) that is the weight change of the engine. Adorable.

          3. Calm down. I read 90kg for the V8 and approx 145kg for the new one.

            Funny thing is you never mentioned actual weights or sources in your whiny bad tempered OP and now you’re on your high horse with sources.
            So, youve corrected me by 30kg after carrying on about the weights being a “joke” and theyre all very ‘sad’ , telling ‘lies’ and need to ‘come to their senses’

            Yet nothing at all to add on the challenges of centre of gravity, just whining about the extra 50-80kg that increaesd thermal effeciencey from 29% to 45%

        2. The engines are not heavy because nobody is ABLE to build them lower, but because the FIA stated a minimum weight for the blocks – to avoid manufacturers using too expensive materials an too fancy construction methods, which would push up the cost even further.
          Sure, the batteries etc are heavy. But on the other hand the fuel tank is a lot smaller now. Another factor in the weight are the larger tyres – that makes about 10 kg of difference too, for example.

          1. Just like fia did with the V8s.

    2. What you are saying about the hybrids is pure bunk, the hybrid cars for 2014 were actually lighter on the start grid than the 2013 cars, by way of carrying much less fuel than the 2013 cars.

      The 2014 cars were not slow, they actually broke several track records such as in Bahrain and Monza. The cars were fast, it was the tires that were made highly conservative because Pirelli was not sure of their ability to withstand the much higher torque loads that the hybrids would produce.

      Everything you stayed was an outright lie.

      1. How difficult was the extra centre of gravity to work with? the new PUs were approx 50kg heavier

      2. @F1 Engineer ”The 2014 cars were not slow, they actually broke several track records such as in Bahrain and Monza.”
        – Wrong, the 2014 cars didn’t break the outright lap records in Bahrain and Monza.

    3. If there ever was a problem With f1s engines it was the V8s. Weak, petty, outdated. The engine freeze was the dumbest rule ever and the closest f1 ever got to losing its so called ‘DNA’.
      Yeah cars became heavier. So what? The new engines are more powerful. They broke the outright speedrecord, held by the v10s, before the drag was Added. ThEy had also reclaimed big chunks of the lost laptime even before the 2017 rule changes. And all that using a fraction of the fuel.
      Those things are spectacular marvels and the most exciting formula since i’ve been following f1 (99) and probably even since the 1600 bhp BMW Turbo Qualifying engine.
      Yes i’d scrap the 5/4/3 engine per season rule if it was me but anyways, It’s high time people started embracing what we have, even more so as we are about to lose it all again so soon.

    4. @socksolid, your post seems to rather contradict your attitude in previous posts when you previously said that there was nothing wrong with the current aero regulations, and indeed took the attitude that the regulations on aerodynamic development should be opened up because you have stated that you believe that only the chassis should be a performance differentiator.

      Are you now changing your position again and prepared to accept that there are issues with the current regulations on aerodynamics? Or, as everybody else seems to rather wearily expect, will you simply refuse to accept that there can be a different position to yours?

      1. Show me where I say we need more aero.

    5. @socksolid,
      in late 2015 Andy Cowell mentioned that with all of its components combined (ICE + MGU-K + MGU-H), the entire V6 Power Unit was already more powerful (and efficient) than the final generation of V10s engines.


      The aggressive aero and tire regulations were introduced in 2017 because cut backs in downforce through the years (from 2009 – 2013 and 2014 – 2016), together with the introduction of high-degradation Pirelli tires (2011 – 2016), restricted the drivers from pushing to (and beyond) the limit and forced them to preserve their cars during races instead.

      1. Sure. The peak power of hybrids is more than what the v10 could do. Sure the efficiency of the hybrids is better than the V10s. The hybrids even burn more oil. More is not always better. The V10s had traction control. So do the hybrids because the driver has no control how and where the hybrids use their power. But the V10s had all their 900hp in every single corner available to the driver. The hybrid maybe uses that magical 1000hp in two or three places on the circuit (in qualifying). Rest of the time it is something like 650hp I’d guess.

        The tire issues can also be tied to the weight of the car. When the cars become so heavy and stay heavy throughout the race it puts more wear on the tires. When you add the increased need for fuel saving with the hybrids you have the fuel saving formula now that the hybrids are. The 2014-2016 downforce was fine. Racing doesn’t get better when you add more downforce. But because the hybrids the cars were so slow, easy to drive and couldn’t be pushed f1 felt the need to do something about it. Say what you want about the V8s but nobody complained that those cars were too easy to drive or too slow for f1.

        1. Yeah these engine maps which are programmed to track which corner they’re on need to go. Didn’t Alonso stuff his mapping at Spa because he had the balls to take a corner flat which the mapping didn’t expect?

          Ban those smarts. Ban any form of traction control. Unleash all the power, all the time. Allow the driver to dictate how much power she needs and when. Much more room for error and real champions to thrive.

  3. COTD might be right but as we saw in 2016, a lot of the drivers wanted less aero and they got more because “F1 rulemakers”.

    I still mantain that the target to be 5 seconds a lap faster at Barcelona wasn’t correct. Drivers struggling for grip is a lot more fun than cars going on rails.

    1. F1 teams will always find a Way to increase downforce. These clampdowns never Work except for producing godawful looking Cars (09-16 f.e.)
      If You really Wanted to fix a ratio between mechanical and Aero Grip you’d have to specify how much total downforce a car is allowed to produce at a specified speed. And you’d Need to Monitor constantly.

    2. @fer-no65, and how many times did we see people on this site complaining that the cars were far too slow or spread misinformation such as the cars being slower than GP2 cars (they weren’t, not by a long way)?

      1. Pretty much every time Bernie, RBR and the Sky broadcasters brought it up Anon. It was people getting pulled along in the battle Bernie (and Red Bull) were waging against the formula/FIA. Off course RB wanted more Aero, since they still have Newey in the team.

    3. Yeah I really enjoyed watching the cars step out on the corners. That’s exciting. More of that!

  4. Re COTD, the same thing I believed happened in 2009 and 2014 when F1 reduced downforce (2009) and increased power as well reducing downforce (2014). I really enjoyed F1 in both those years as the fights through the field were close (when you delete the top teams of those years.)

    The difference between F1 and Indycar is that in both those seasons, one team did a better job than the others through individual car design. Which is something I personally would not trade for close racing.

  5. COTD is correct despite the incessant howls from the ” x seconds a lap slower ” crowd who parrot Bernie’s every utterance as though they were carved in stone and personally brought down from the mountain by Bernie. I think it must have been part of Bernie’s sales spiel that “F1 is much faster” and he worried that any increase in lap-times would be used to negotiate down the fees.

    1. @hohum i’ll take fast, exciting to watch cars over slower/more challenging cars every day of the week.

      The ever slower F1 cars of the past decade have been boring & unexciting to watch. The increase in performance of 2017 cars brought a lot of the excitement & spectacle back in watching F1 cars.

      If they can drop downforce while keeping current performance then fine, But any drop in downforce that reduces ultimate performance should be a no-go.

      1. @peterg, It’s not about slow cars, in fact speeds on the straight would likely be higher but some speed through the corners would be lost, Eau Rouge may once again require skill and bravery but the increased lap time would only be like the difference between fuel loads and still be on a par with recent years. Without massive aero gains the teams may well find gains elsewhere bringing lap times equal to the best while still allowing better racing.

        1. Eau Rouge may once again require skill and bravery

          That (and 130R) should be the main target.
          Secondary should be the desired lap speed (I didn’t really notice the notice the difference in speed last year).
          And you can achieve both by increasing the output of the PU (increased fuel flow and/or more ion deployment). The power unit should always be 1 step ahead of the combined car-downforce/driver-skill-level equation to offer exciting racing.

          PS – leave the MGU-H. The increased weight is nothing compared to the (weight of the) saved fuel. If anything try to make the package even more efficient to get more grunt out of the same amount of fuel.

      2. Do you think V8Supercars are boring & unexciting to watch? Boy they are slow compared to F1.

        1. Yes i do. Absolutely can’t be bothered. Same goes for any sort of touring car. And WEC. WRC is the only exception.

        2. Boy they are slow compared to F1

          They are slow compared to a Formula Ford.

    2. ” x seconds a lap slower ” crowd who parrot Bernie’s every utterance

      Not saying OP is wrong (though I have made a comment in the tone of disagreement, but anyway) but strawmanning people isn’t a good way to argue. I appreciate the idea of a faster car (with a higher width-to-height ration too, something @keithcollantine also quite like afaik) but it’s not like I’d be trying to bring back V8s if I had the power to do so (besides, the V10 sounded way better anyway)

  6. COTD, I think its far too early to say f1 should follow indycar because I don’t see the ‘much closer, tighter racing’ from to days race that they do.

    The field was very spread out on longer runs, Far more so than F1 & the only time the racing was any closer or we saw much more passing is when you had drivers on different compounds or strategies. When you had cars on the same compounds or strategies the cars were running no closer and passing was just as difficult as in the past.

    As to drivers working harder, Yes it’s fun but it won’t last long because even in indycar the teams will be on top of it soon enough & it will be back to looking easier & that will happen even faster in f1. Cars looking harder to drive, drivers seeming to work harder on the wheel isn’t just down to less downforce, it’s down to engineering & eventually they will figure that out.

    1. @peterg, you just said it yourself, the speed will come back.

    2. I dunno. Some of the best overtakes yesterday were opportunist moves when two cars battled, driver B eventually got past driver A cleanly without contact, but then driver C got past them both!
      Happened 3 times yesterday. Once with Newgarden (no replay strangely), can’t remember the other two.

      When did that last happen in F1 (without contact)?
      At least the reduce in aero allowed them to be that close in the first place, otherwise the moves couldn’t have happened.

  7. The tyres played a big role on that Indy race. Hamilton hates Ricciardo, so many digs at him. RB made a rb9, of course this time the aero is alright. Ferrari is showing what they were supposed to show last year, meh car. I guess Ferrari’s 2017 car was design before the collapse of the technical team.

    1. I think Lewis knows Daniel is the frontrunner to Valtteri’s seat and maybe expects a relationship similar to the one he had with Nico so he’s starting the mind games early.

      Of course this is just speculative journalism on my part.

    2. @peartree
      Hamilton does not hate Ricciardo. He called him one of the best drivers he’s ever raced against after Monaco 2016. He’s just saying it as it is. Verstappen did outperform Ricciardo last season.

        1. and a bit of early mind games as @faulty mentioned above.

          1. No doubt it’s mind games. Ricciardo is likely to have a pre-contract agreement with Merc.

      1. Speaking behind someone’s back is something Ham has done a bit. I think sometimes it comes out as an impulse, otherwise it’s just plain rude I’m sure he isn’t innocently doing it, dismissing Ricciardo, again, the first time he didn’t include him on the possible championship opponents, now this. @the-chequered-flag

        @kingshark regardless, I think @faulty and Egonovi are on point, It’s pretty basic. Ham doesn’t want Ricciardo as a team-mate.

    3. Ricciardo had 9 podium finishes compared to Verstappens 4.
      Verstappen had 7 DNFs to Ricciaedos 6 (1 caused by Verstappen). Verstappen did not out perform Ricciardo. Don’t bother with the oh but Verstappen was faster in qualifying. there is no world championship for the qualifying.

      1. @johnrkh Looking at the scoreboard will not change Hamilton’s perception that in 2017 Verstappen was better.

      2. @johnrkh Hamiltons comments are about actual performance and not the useless stats that always gets thrown around in these comments. Watch pretty much any race from last season and its clear who had the upper hand in RB but both drivers are indeed formidable.
        Hes right about Ferrari aswell, its a one car team as far as the driver champonship goes.

      3. With that logic, Gilles Villeneuve and Stirling Moss were terrible drivers.

      4. Ricciardo had 9 podium finishes compared to Verstappens 4.

        How did they fare when both reached the chequered flag? @johnrkh

      5. You are right, but when Max had a DNF’s he was mostly racing for a top 3 position.

    4. Hamilton does not hate Ricciardo he is just playing mind games. He knows that Ricciardo could well be hiss team mate next year if Bottas does not lift his game and that obviously gets to him.

      1. Yeah. That was smart jabs. Twice already he said something like this. To disrupt 2017 RB harmony and to put pressure on his next teammate candidate. Two birds with one stone. Maybe three on implying Bottas would be ousted next year.

        1. Unfortunately it wan’t ‘smart jabs’ at all. As always with Hamilton, unfortunately his attempts at mind games are far too obvious which in itself nullifies the attempt.

          Of course that doesn’t stop the blinkered keyboard warriors falling for it and draggin up the same old arguments as I am sure we can see even here on this page.

          1. Like Ricciardo, Hamilton just says it like it is most of the time. Of course Verstappen drove better last year. At the same time, Hamilton is careful to acknowledge that Ricciardo could be strong this year. Is that mind games? Or intended as mind games? It can just as easily be taken as an incentive to Ricciardo, not intended to weaken him at all. Indeed, if Red Bull are competitive this year, it helps Hamilton if Ricciardo and Verstappen can take points off each other.

            To be honest, I think Hamilton was too praising of Verstappen last year – a bit too honest. It probably just added to the confidence of his emerging main rival.

            Lastly it would be good to see some evolution from such anti-Hamilton petulance. It’s about a decade old and interminably dull to read.

    5. @peartree, well, there were a lot of people on this forum who were constantly banging on about how superior Verstappen was and saying much the same thing as Hamilton just has. When he repeats a position that seemed to be pretty much accepted as gospel by a great number of posters on this site, is he really “hating Ricciardo” or simply repeating what everybody else was saying for most of 2017?

      1. One thing I’ll say for starters is that when people just throw out the words hate or haters, projecting those descriptors on people be they F1 drivers or posters on this site, it is like fingernails on chalkboard to me.

        I don’t think LH is playing mind games wrt his opinion on Max, he is just speaking the truth. He also acknowledges DR could be strong this season too. Max outperformed DR the majority of the time, but with both drivers only finishing together in 7 races there ended up being a points deficit that favoured DR. But that is not a sustainable thing. A driver would not normally, nor sustainably season after season, get out qualified twice as much, nor be lead in races by more than double the laps, nor finish behind in 5 out of the 7 races they finished together, and still outpoint his teammate.

        Amongst the various pressures that drivers will feel to varying degrees based on their circumstances, DR should be feeling fairly big pressure to reverse the trend that has Max dominating him, and personally I don’t think anything will change. I think Max has only just begun.

        1. Yes, indeed, outqualified him, outraced him before car broke and actually if we go correct for mechanical DNF verstappen comes out slightly ahead in points too.

          Slightly cause he’s an all or nothing driver, sometimes that doesn’t pay off but there’s no doubt he’s faster.

  8. Hamilton: Ricciardo scares-me the most this year

    1. If he has the potential to beat Verstappen then then no doubt he is someone to watch out for both in an RB and in an Merc.

    2. 🤣🤣🤣 you’re funny. Hamilton is not Vettel

      1. Yeah you’re right, Vettel Never lost the WDC to his teammate :D

        1. And Hamilton has never lost to somebody who was in their first year with a team. :D

          1. Ahah, good ones, both.

            Let’s say in hamilton’s favor, he was the best mercedes driver of 2016, had reliability issues that were determinant.

            And also rosberg was still a strong team mate, even if not a top driver, vettel had only ricciardo of similar ability as rosberg and he got destroyed, ofc it may have been an off year, but in general vettel didn’t face as competitive team mates as hamilton did, that includes alonso and button!

  9. DarkSChneider
    12th March 2018, 9:02

    Hamilton NEVER plays mind games.
    Everyone know that.

    1. doesn’t necessarily always make him wrong though.

    2. A quick comment about the competition. “Hes playing mindgames”!!!!

      Yeh right….

    3. It was almost funny at times when hamilton tried to play mind games with rosberg. Every time hamilton tried to ruffle up his team mate in the press he only ended up ruffling up himself.

  10. RiccIardo isn’t as good as Verstappen and Hamilton wants to make sure everybody knows it.

    1. Webber fan: The only people who don’t know this are female and doe eyed.

      Ricciardo is overrated, and always has been. He does have a nice smile though.

  11. he is the one
    12th March 2018, 11:14

    yes he is right. MV out-performed Ricciardo last year with some margin. But everything start over again this year. MV must be at the top of his game to beat DR again.

    1. I think I would word it that DR must largely up his game if he is to beat Max on the track this season. MV’s game, to me, is only improving. He’ll only be stronger this year than last.

  12. For two seasons despite Verstappen seeming to have the edge, Ricciardo has still managed to come out on top. It makes it hard to really rank them against each other.

    I’ll reserve judgement until this season plays out. If Ricciardo still finishes ahead I think we have to start considering it’s not just bad luck for Verstappen and that Ricciardo maybe plays his hand better even if Verstappen has him on pace.

    1. @philipgb Let’s recall that Max’s first year vs DR was one that had him start with RBR after the first 4 (or was it 5) races of that season. So he hadn’t the pre-season testing, nor the first handful of races to get acclimatized with the car and the team. Advantage DR. And Max only got stronger as the season went along. So, not really a fair comparison there.

      Last year one could easily argue, as has been assessed by this very blog, that Max outshone DR in all but points, and while one could make an argument that points is all that matters in the end, I highly doubt that DR is sitting there thinking that all he has to do is get out qualified in double the races, get lead by more than double the laps, and finish behind Max in 5 out of 7 races, and he’ll prevail.

      You speak of DR playing his hand better, like what we saw was some winning strategy that he had in mind all along. I don’t think it is a strategy to get strongly outperformed by one’s teammate, and hope that the attrition of said driver and of others is a sustainable way to the top. I will always give a driver benefitting from the attrition of others some credit for being there to take advantage of the situation, but I think if you average things out, if DR is to finish ahead of Max this season it will have to be by being faster than him, and being ahead of him more often, which is the way it usually happens. I suspect DR is in for a tough season, however, if he indeed can raise his game and somewhat nullify the Max effect, that will be an awesome feat and great for F1. Like VB, it’s up to him to step it up and show us. I hope the reliability is improved.

      1. I agree with that. I think Verstappen has the same kind of attitude Hamilton had early in his career, he makes things happen on track. That was evident at a lot of races last year. It’s high risk, sometimes you get a Malaysia start, DNFd by a Vettel and Raikkonen self-consuming sandwich, sometimes you get a Mexico start and grab all the points. Ricciardo is fast and a superb overtaker, but he’s much calmer in style. I’m not sure he should change, but, despite his speed and talent, it leaves him vulnerable to someone like Verstappen who just takes those extra risks. For us outsiders, it’s great having such a match in the same competitive team. Looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

      2. @robbie

        Go count the points from those first four races and then look at the points they finished on. Ricciardo still outscored Verstappen from Spain on. And Verstappen seemed to have the measure of the car almost immediately, he’s astonishingly talented.

        I’m not suggesting being outperformed by a teammate is Ricciardo’s strategy. I’m saying Ricciardo simply achieves the best results he is capable of, and often times Verstappen is capable of better results but can lose those results even when it’s not him to blame by being involved in incidents. Mexico was an amazing drive, but it could so easily have been undone had Vettel punctured him. That wouldn’t have been Verstappen’s fault, but those are incidents Ricciardo manages to avoid and ultimately brings home a greater haul of points. It’s easy to look at races like Singapore and conclude Verstappen was blameless and couldn’t have done anything. But when you see a pattern forming over several seasons where Ricciardo tends to keep out of that kind of trouble I think there is merit in the argument he’s playing the hand he has as best he can.

        I think ultimately Verstappen will go on to be far and away the better driver when put up against Ricciardo in the years to come. It took Hamilton until 2012 to really find his feet as a consistent driver who couldn’t be accused of beating himself.

        1. @philipgb That’s fair enough. I still say a Max that would have started 2016 alongside DR, including testing with him beforehand, would have prevailed over DR, including after the first four races. If Max had the measure of the car almost immediately, imagine what he would have done with that extra experience that DR had over him. As to Max losing results, I think that comes from his aggression, but also from the fact that on average Max was playing more closely with the top 3, and DR playing moreso with the lesser teams, which is how I account for Max’s closer calls, and DR’s reputation of passing and ‘last of the late brakers.’ It’s easier to appear that when you are passing lesser cars having started further back on the grid.

          I think we are basically on the same page especially wrt Max, and for sure we will have another season to see a comparison between them, and hopefully it won’t just be 7 races they finish together.

          1. @robbie

            I have no doubt that by 2020 Verstappen will be fully into his stride and as Hamilton’s career starts to wind down no one will be able to touch him provided he has the right car under him.

            The last two seasons it’s definitely felt like he’s been outperforming Ricciardo despite the points tally, but if it happens again this year I think we need to concede Ricciardo is, despite probably being less talented, playing things smarter and beating Verstappen fair and square.

      3. Jeroen Valkema
        13th March 2018, 22:51

        Max is a Cruijff kind a thing. Attacking is the best defense. All or nothing. Call it however you want, but i love to see it. Not just a fanboy, love Fernando, Lewis and Daniel as well, but ive got the feeling he really can bring something special. Ive already seen some things never shown before

  13. Mark in Florida
    12th March 2018, 13:23

    In reply to the cotd, the racing at the St. Pete GP was interesting but there were too many yellow flags stopping and starting the race. That was one of the factors that cost Wickens the win. The cars look better for sure but they removed 1000 pounds of down force when they removed the aero kits. Most of the down force is now generated from the undertray. This may work great on the ovals because the air is less dirty but the knock on is lower traction at slow to moderate speeds. The cars were sliding all over the place so Indy needs to either increase the mechanical grip or give more wing to the cars for the road courses. Hopefully they will make adjustments as the year goes on. I don’t want Indy to become NASCAR with everyone beating and banging into each other because the rear of the car is so loose.

  14. Lance Stroll and Lewis Hamilton should do a podcast together. They could have a weekly guest segment with Jacques Villenuve, Eddie Jordan, etc.

    1. Seriously, Hamilton and Villeneuve in the same studio? I wouldn’t recommend it…

  15. On one hand I love to see the innovation in aerodynamics and designers really pushing the regulations to get every last thousandth of a second. On the other hand, I hate that cars/drivers can cruise up to the back of each other and then their progress is halted by the aero wake and we see less overtaking or even attempts at overtaking, which can be as equally exciting.

    So I have a bit of a radical idea for F1 that appeals to both hands…

    What if teams had full on aero developed cars for qualifying that can grab every last shred of lap time, purely set up for qualifying without any concern for race pace, qualifying tyres supplied, low fuel and drivers pushing for everything.
    Then come race day, everyone gets into their “race cars”, which have much less downforce, but similar power units and race spec tyres that allow them to get closer together.

    Cost caps would go out of the window as each team would need twice as many cars, transportation, engines and probably engineers. So we’d be left with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull in a 6 horse budget war for the championship, but maybe we’d see insane qualy laps and regular close racing for a change!

Comments are closed.