Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

Shanghai win shows why Ricciardo should stay at Red Bull – Horner

2018 Chinese Grand Prix

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Daniel Ricciardo would be best off staying at the team in 2019 providing they can continue to give him a competitive car.

Ricciardo’s contract expires at the end of this season and rumours have connected him to rival teams such as Ferrari.

Asked after Ricciardo’s Chinese Grand Prix victory about the importance of keeping him at the team next year, Horner said: “Look at Kimi [Raikkonen’s] race. You know, I didn’t understand that strategy.

“I think Daniel’s happy in this environment. If we can provide a car like we did today why would he want to be anywhere else?”

Horner praised Ricciardo’s pass on Lewis Hamilton after his team mate Max Verstappen went off while trying to pass the Mercedes.

“Max had a grip advantage, he got better drive. He found himself on the outside there and decided to hang it out with Lewis who is never going to concede in that corner easily.

“[Hamilton] was more generous with Daniel in the braking area but Daniel picked his time differently to where Max decided to have a go.”

Ricciardo’s victory showed he’s “a very rounded driver”, said Horner.

“He’s absolutely at the top of his game and he has been for the last couple of years really.

“He’s got that balance of experience and pace. He’s one of the best overtakers in the business. And his judgement is impeccable in terms of judging a gap, getting the car stopped and getting it rotated. I really feel that he’s in a different part of his career to where Max is at the moment who’s very young and fresh and going through that experience.”

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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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93 comments on “Shanghai win shows why Ricciardo should stay at Red Bull – Horner”

  1. Ricciardo is one of those drivers that is just an amazing passer and shows some real race craft when he needs to pull something off. It’s almost a raw talent for him that is a rare gift in a race car, and even more rare in F1.

    That pass he pulled in turn 14 from as far back as he was is just icing on the cake. I didn’t think he would have a go but you could tell from his body language in the interview that he was probably just as surprised as everyone else that he made it stick.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th April 2018, 16:59

      @docnuke Ricciardo only won because of Lewis:-) And what Lewis did today is the best move I’ve seen from anyone in F1 EVER!!! Masterclass to take out Vettel, Max, Ferrari and get Mercedes back on the WCC and himself on the WDC.

      To have Vettel and Ferrari passed by Alonso and McLaren on the last laps was just the icing on top of the cake – Magisterial Lewis!!!

        1. Daniel ‘who comes from under the horizon’ Ricciardo!!!

          1. I can understand what Horner is saying, but the difference is Ricciardo is better than Vettel, as opposed to Kimi. As soon as Ricciardo starts flogging Vettel (again), Ferrari will drop Vettel as No.1 so fast his head will spin.

  2. Justin (@boombazookajd)
    15th April 2018, 16:20

    Actually, it’s proof why he deserves a top drive. Ferrari ought to come along and say “Hey, you liked that? How about being able to do that every race!” Realistically, Red Bull will have a poor Renault or an unproven and unspectacular Honda in the back.

    Ferrari should move to secure Ricciardo quickly this year.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      15th April 2018, 16:30

      Personally, I’d like to see: Hamilton and Ricciardo at Mercedes, Vettel and Bottas at Ferrari, and Verstappen and Gasly at Red Bull.

      1. Agreed, solid all around lineups. As much as I like him, Bottas would be unfortunately be another perfect Barrichello candidate for Ferrari.

      2. 2019
        Fer: Vet/Ric
        Mer: Ham/Oco
        RB: Ver/Sai

        1. probaly your right… or Mercedes comes with a offer Richardo can’t refuse.

        2. bennie johnston
          16th April 2018, 12:25

          What about RB: ver/alo
          He has the ability to race a car above it’s ability. The the red bulls would be fighting for wins more often.

        3. digitalrurouni
          16th April 2018, 13:15

          I think Bottas will be gone and Ric will join Lewis

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th April 2018, 17:01

      He’s a great driver – this was his day and Daniel didn’t win this – Daniel was behind Max. Lewis won the race for Red Bull and Daniel and did so intentionally.

    3. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      15th April 2018, 21:06

      Would hate to see Ricciardo end up at Ferrari and play second fiddle to Vettel the entire time. Lewis & Daniel would be an amazing lineup at Mercedes.

      1. Anthony Blears
        16th April 2018, 0:08

        Absolutely agree. Ricciardo has said this though:

        “But if you were in that negotiation process with a team then that’s the first thing you’d talk about. Equal equipment, no playing second fiddle.

        “Obviously I’m in a position where I believe I should be fighting for the front. If a team said, ‘We’ll sign you but you’re going to play bridesmaid to this guy,’ 100 per cent I’m not signing there. It’s something you’d talk about in early negotiations.


        In which case seeing him against Vettel again would be mighty interesting. I hate the clear number 1/2 driver management Ferrari do.

      2. @braketurnaccelerate He wouldn’t play second fiddle to Vettel. If they sign Ricciardo, it is to be the guy who could get them that first WDC in 12 years.

        1. Wes (@flashofsilver)
          16th April 2018, 15:09

          @mashiat I agree. Ricciardo has one thing going for him that would be a huge plus at Ferrari. He has Italian blood and the name. Vettel might have the WDC’s but I believe fans in Italy would flock to an Italian name in their beloved Ferrari.

    4. Justin (@boombazookajd)
      16th April 2018, 3:16

      Fair points all around

    5. Horner mentioning Kimi was talking to Ricciardo: “go to Ferrari and they will make you Seb’s #2”. TBH, what Ferrari did to Kimi yesterday, so early into the season with him driving so well, is disrespectful. Kimi deserves better.

  3. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    Horner in desperate driver-retention mode.

    Granted, RBR pull off various smart and timely strategy calls, but that often cannot compensate for an underperforming PU, or worse, an unreliable PU.

    I know Mercedes haven’t had some great strategy calls recently, but I’m sure they know it, and are devoting resources to solving it. Remember last year when they had car setup issues at the start of the season, and they threw manpower at resolving/minimizing those issues? I’m sure such a “tiger team” has been formed now for strategy.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th April 2018, 16:57

      @phylyp yeah but Mercedes doesn’t really need a strategy team – they have Lewis Hamilton! You start with Lewis, you have the best strategy in-race in the history of this sport!

      He totally undid Mercedes’ mistake… I’ve never seen anything like that EVER in my life and we can watch F1 for 1,000 years and we’ll never see it again. And the way he did it was just sublime.

      He crushed Vettel, Max, Ferrari without even get his car next to them… What on earth did we just watch today?

      Good job from Daniel – Lewis made the right call with him!!!

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        15th April 2018, 17:05

        I’m just not following what you are saying. Is it sarcastic? Hamilton struggled this race quite a bit.

        1. @thegianthogweed – I too am lost. It’s either sarcasm, or it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. :-)

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          15th April 2018, 17:21

          @thegianthogweed that’s why Lewis is at a different level – if you follow F1 and I know all of you do, this was Lewis’ best race and possibly the best drive I’ve seen!

          To see him mature to this level that he can undo his team’s mistake and change the entire race more than the safety car without touching wheels, it was a magical trick like nothing I’ve seen before.

          This was beyond words…

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            15th April 2018, 18:01

            Now I’m even more lost. This wasn’t a good weekend by Hamilton at all. If you are saying the team made a big mistake, then Bottas somehow had to also do the remaining of the race with tyres just 1 lap newer and he did that at a faster pace than Hamilton.

            The only way I understand that Lewis was at a different level was that he was a level behind his team mate who is generally rated a lot worse than him…

            I still feel you may be saying this to see what sort of reaction it causes. If you actually mean Hamilton had a great race, then I totally disagree and I am certain the majority of people here will too.

          2. @thegianthogweed
            The one thing you should now about Michael is that his ‘little birds’ are a tad too ‘free’.
            He’s basically trolling to discredit a stance he perceives as omnipresent. Give it a day or two, and he’ll drop it. Not much earlier, though.

          3. if you follow F1 and I know all of you do

            Hah, I got you there. I only come to this site for the interesting tea facts, I don’t watch F1 at all!

          4. @freelittlebirds, no offence, but continuing to try and hammer home a joke that wasn’t really that funny to begin with comes across more as irritating attention seeking at best, and frankly detailing a more interesting discussion at worse. Look, we get the point – frankly, I’d rather be discussing Ricciardo’s performance than hearing the same joke repeated at me ad nauseam until I get sick of both the joke and the person it is coming from.

        3. It’s sarcasm, but in the ‘slap in the face with a wet fish’ style. Not terribly subtle.

        4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          16th April 2018, 1:42

          @thegianthogweed I agree that Hamilton was struggling – he wasn’t really off the pace, he was very slightly slower than Bottas in quali and then was blocked I believe at the start of the race and the rest is history.

          When you talk about strategy and reliability, while they apply to Mercedes, they don’t necessarily apply to Lewis. Yes, he has won championships but not because Mercedes did him any favors.

          We’ve seen Lewis correctly question their strategy and see him make calls that were absolutely fantastic.

          He questioned them today during the race and argued post-race that it’s immaterial and said it wasn’t the right call mostly because he would have stolen the victory from Bottas. That’s nice and dandy and that’s Lewis for all of us.

          However, no one else would have agreed to losing a victory and been ok with it but Lewis has lost so many that he doesn’t care one bit as long as the team is doing their best, he’s happy.

          So Lewis is in P4 with 2 Red Bulls closing in so what does he do? He can let Max easily by like everyone else let Max and Daniel through (well, almost as Vettel wanted to let him as he said in the interview but for some reason didn’t). Look what happened.

          Now you all moan about the races being boring and the safety car spiced the race up but, not in a genuine way. Sure Red Bull would have had P1 and P2 and Daniel would have been out of Red Bull and maybe that’s somewhat entertaining but it all depends where he ends up – if he ends up at Williams, it’s not funny at all.

          Lewis, however, spiced up the race the way it needed to be spiced up and none of you have mentioned anything which is pretty interesting.

          Even more so, you haven’t realized the championship repercussions. And all it took was a small calculated move.

          That’s what champions do – if you can’t pass because you’re condemned on the same tyre, you try to make things happen. Just ask Vettel what happened to him after Max tried to undo his 1st mistake – you make another one, of

          Bottom line, Mercedes P1 in the WCC and Lewis almost in front of Sebastian who was headed for 3rd victory. Magical, nothing less.

          1. @freelittlebirds: Looks like this is not sarcasm, but then I’m also lost. What exactly did Ham do that was so brilliant? Letting Verstappen overtake him? Not crashing with him? What?

          2. I get what this dude is saying. I don’t agree with it, but I get from whatever planet he’s coming from. He thinks HAM deliberately let RIC and MAX past to help HAM close the gap (points wise) to VET in the WDC.

          3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            16th April 2018, 13:35

            @alonshow seriously, you did not see it?

          4. @freelittlebirds: OK, let’s see if I get it.

            In lap 38 the race situation is: 1-BOT, 2-VET, 3-HAM, 4-VER, 5-RIC, 6-RAI. BOT, VET and HAM have the weakest tyre (medium, 20 laps old), VER and RIC the strongest (soft, new), and RAI is somewhere in the middle (medium, 9 laps old). Assuming everybody just tries their best to attack or defend, the most likely outcome seems to be:
            – HAM: Not enough pace to overtake VET, will finish behind and lose more WDC points.
            – VET: Will finish ahead of HAM, increasing WDC lead. Small chance of overtaking BOT and increasing his lead even more.
            – VER and RIC: Faster than everybody else. Both almost guaranteed to pass HAM, but their tyres will be older when they reach VET, so they might struggle to pass him. If any of them fails to pass VET, VET increases his WDC lead even more.

            Summarizing: The prospect at that point is that VET will increase his championship lead over HAM by either a few points or a lot of points.

            What you’re saying is this: In order to reverse this situation, HAM plays with VER’s psychology to have him not just pass VET, but also ruin his race. He knows VER is very aggressive and hot headed, and he’s already had a few clashes with VET. When VER tries to pass HAM the first time, HAM does a “nasty” move to anger VER and increase his level of aggressiveness. He fakes trying to crash into him, to which VER instinctively responds by moving away and going off track. The second time VER tries the overtake he’s ready to fight for it as hard as it takes, but this time HAM doesn’t defend at all, he just lets him sail through. VER is still angry and full of adrenaline, but he can’t direct his anger at its source (HAM) because he’s already past him. The result is that VER, who has a lot of history with VET, ends up behind him in a faster car and in a state of anger and hightened aggressiveness. Unsurprisingly this leads to him crashing into VET and ruining VET’s race.

            Apart from that, HAM also lets RIC breeze past to make sure he has plenty of time and tyre grip to also overtake VET. He doesn’t play any mind games with RIC, though.

            Is that it? Did I get your point?

          5. Alonso, makes sense what you said, guess that’s what he meant.

            Complex plan by hamilton if that was deliberate, and could’ve worked and not worked.

          6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            17th April 2018, 2:31

            @alonshow – You did – I’ve explained it in other comments I believe. The move was meant to throw Verstappen into tilt or for Daniel to catch up with Verstappen. Either of those events, had the potential for massive changes upfront. All Lewis needed to do afterwards was step aside and release the 2 bulls onto the front-runners.

            Obviously Max falling behind Daniel and seeing the victory being snatched is something that he couldn’t mentally recover from. We saw it with Marquez in MotoGP who got the drive through penalty while leading the race and then ran into 2 drivers including Valentino Rossi.

            I’m not even sure that Lewis sat down and came up with a masterplan. They instinctively do these things and this was instinct from Lewis, instinct from Max, instinct from Daniel and even instinct from Vettel in not being able to steer clear off Verstappen. Even Kimi instictively took advantage to pass Lewis. They all reacted to the chain of events that Lewis set in motion.

          7. @freelittlebirds: OK, makes sense, but you have to explain it if you want us to follow you! ;) I just got what you mean because I saw another comment of yours in an unrelated article where you say something about VER’s tilt. And still it took me quite a while to get the picture. If you explained it in another comment, I didn’t come across it.

            By the by, do you know about any forum thread where they discuss this idea? Here, in the middle of the comments of an article about a different topic it gets lost so quickly…

    2. I beleive Dan knows where he driving in 2019.

  4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    15th April 2018, 16:54

    Actually, Horner meant that Shanghai shows why Red Bull should have signed Lewis, not Daniel :-)

    1. I don’t agree with hamilton’s move being anything special, he almost pushed verstappen out of the track.

      He was struggling with tyres all race, if anything vettel was unlucky verstappen made a mistake and damaged HIM and not hamilton, but that’s nothing to do with hamilton.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        16th April 2018, 0:42

        He did not push him off the track – he moved slightly out toward Max very quickly to engage Max’ reflexes. Max reacted to the fast move and ended up going off course. Max had half track to move to but he couldn’t keep it on track as his brain told him that they were about to crash.

        1. Marble was that he couldn’t follow Lewis and came next the track.

  5. Horner: “Listen, Daniel. Just look on how Kimi now had become a sacrificial lamb. Do you really want to be in a team like that?”

    1. I though the same.

      1. And yet It’s pretty clear that Horner wants Ric as a solid no.2 driver for days like this when their child prodigy, Max, fails to live up to expectations (yet again).

        1. well it’s still way better to be the second option then to be the guy who is there merely to get in the way of the opposition, like Ferrari is treating Kimi.

          For vettel to get a shot at bottas they threw him from 4th fighting for 3rd to an alone 6th. unbelievable.

          The SC saved their faces for the day at least.

        2. Max to Mercedes?

          1. I beleive Merc will be more honest with Dan and not use him for Lewis’s benefit..l dont trust ferrari or redbull where he might become a shotgun driver.

    2. @ruliemaulana

      That’s exactly what Horner was going for. He’s going to try his best to keep Ricciardo saying that their ‘treatment’ is superior to Ferrari’s. Maybe Dan won’t remember wing gate and that hell sign with RB.

      Toto and Maurizio would be foolish not to have one eye on Daniel. Personally, I don’t think Ferrari will give him equal status, and I find it highly doubtful that he’ll go to Ferrari without a contract that exclusively states that he gets the same level of support as Vettel. So it will be interesting to see whether Ferrari changes their racing philosophy by getting Dan on board, or whether they get a compliant #2 driver on board… Maybe a Sainz or hulkenberg to replace Kimi.

      1. to get a Ferrari drive with equal status, he needs Vettel to lose one more time this year.
        If Vettel wins the WDC there is no way Ferrari would give him the same treatment as the guy who just one a WDC.

        If he fails to do so, it will be his fourth failure and the team will start to try new things to get that title back, like bringing him and giving the same treatment to both drivers.

        1. Completely agree with you. Vettel will get the Alonso treatment at Ferrari if he fails to win the title this year. Kimi was brought in to the Ferrari stable to destabilise Alonso (even though he got thrashed by Alonso). It was the team’s way of saying we’re going to hedge our bets on other drivers.
          Ferrari have made their best challengers if the past decade with their last year’s and current cars. If Vettel can’t seal the title for them, he just isn’t cut out for the job. They should get Dan in to give it a crack and stop throwing all their weight behind one driver.

          1. @todfod

            One thing we have to remember is that Sergio Marchionne means business. He doesn’t seems to afflicted by the romanticism that surrounded the LdM era. Sergio is a straight shooter, and he isnt afraid of making unpopular decisions.

            Ferrari have already won twice this year, I’m pretty sure Sergio will be expecting nothing less than a championship. If they fail, which Ferrari have proved to be quite astute at in the recent past, I’m sure Sergio wont be afraid to shake things up. He must sign Dan. Seb might not like it, but for Ferrari, its the most sensible thing to do.

            We all love Kimi and he has been great this year, but unlucky. The thing is that when Kimi gets sacrificed for Vettel’s benefit, he drifts off, seems almost disinterested, which leads him giving up points to rivals, which may prove to be telling in a tight championship fight.

            Dan is the Man!

          2. If they fail, which Ferrari have proved to be quite astute at in the recent past

            LOL, @jaymenon10

            Ferrari have already won twice this year, I’m pretty sure Sergio will be expecting nothing less than a championship.

            I think Sergio hasn’t sent the Ferrari pitwall the memo about which championship he wants to be seen winning. If anything, Kimi’s improved performance this year has shown that Ferrari should be chasing after the WCC, and only focus on the WDC if things seem to be going one driver’s way. However, their actions on Sunday by leaving Kimi out that late spoke of an intention to focus on Vettel.

            If I had seen that fair behaviour, I’d be rooting for a Vettel + Ricciardo combination at Ferrari. However, right now, it looks like Mercedes can offer a fairer drive (2016 conspiracy theories notwithstanding).

        2. Yeah Ed they have shafted Kimi’s strat alot so far this season…must be a hard pill to swallow for a world champion

      2. @todfod, there were a few reporters who caught Verstappen being rather publicly rebuked by Marko in the paddock after this race, so the political situation within Red Bull may not be going entirely in Max’s favour right now.

        I agree that both of those teams will be keeping tabs on Ricciardo right now, particularly as both of those teams have drivers who are coming to the end of their contracts as well – at the very least, having Ricciardo in the background as a potential threat is a useful negotiating tool.

        With regards to Ferrari, there is the question of where he could fit in to Ferrari’s longer term ambitions around Leclerc – if Leclerc does prove himself to be a competitive driver, then you would assume that Ferrari’s long term objective is to bring him into the team. Ferrari might want to hedge their bets and offer only a short term deal, which might not necessarily be attractive for Ricciardo (particularly with a major rule change coming up in the near future). The internal politics of Ferrari have never been especially easy either, though on the other hand the fact that Ferrari seem to be on the ascendency in recent years would be a strong lure.

        I’d agree that Mercedes is likely to be a tempting potential target, though again there are questions about what will happen with Ocon in the longer term and whether Mercedes might look to promote him to the parent team in the longer term.

        I suppose the other aspect that must be playing on his mind will be what is happening behind the scenes on negotiations for regulations post 2020, and to a lesser extent for 2019 too (with talk that Brawn is already trying to renegotiate some parts of the 2019 aero regulations). I don’t think that any decision will be entirely clear cut for Ricciardo whatever way he chooses to go.

        1. I think Merc may have peaked which is why Lewis has yet to re-sign his contract and may actually be looking to go to Ferrari.

        2. I think you miss what Marko said after he seek for Max: “Yes, it was a mistake from him. He apologised. That can happen in racing.”

      3. @todfod At least Red Bull let Daniel win. Not just trying to ruin his pace while it didn’t do any good for the number one anyway.

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th April 2018, 20:13

      Very sad to see Kimi in that position – so glad that he ended ahead of Seb. Sure Seb was the better driver but Seb pushed Kimi to P3 at the start of the race and then Ferrari pushed him to P6 and made him look like a roadblock as Sky Sports called him. Really sad to see him in that spot this season after 3 great races.

      1. Wow, a post where you’re not preaching the transcendence of Lewis over the entire F1 world!

      2. @freelittlebirds Yeah, it’s not like Lewis has ever crowded out a teammate at the start and force them to lose even more positions right? Oh, wait a minute…

  6. Dis boy’s a-goin’ to Ferrari.

  7. Ric Wil goto Mercedes.
    RBR will get a Honda engine next year, that means less power and a new car. They will tank just like McLaren.
    Ferrari showed today what they do to the nr2 driver.
    Bottas showed that Ric is just faster.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      15th April 2018, 18:12

      Bottas showed that Ric is just faster.

      This claim is just silly. Of course Ricciardo was faster at that stage. He was slower that verstappen at the start of the race who was also falling behind Bottas. So actually a lot slower for the majority of the race. It was basically only the last 25% of the race when he was faster than Bottas. And he was only suddenly faster than Bottas when he switched to brand new tyres that were a softer compound than Bottas. As well as being 12 laps fresher. That clearly gave him a huge advantage as his pace wasn’t not close to this before hand. That does not mean he had a bad race at all, but Bottas had a better weekend. Bottas didn’t have the luck Ricciardo did. If he had the chance to pit and did so, he would have come out ahead of Ricciardo and pulled a much bigger gap than Ricciardo did over him. Red Bull did just what they needed to, and Ricciardo managed it perfectly. But Bottas did some great overtakes and got from 3rd to 1st with no benefit from the safety car. And also, Bottas was faster than his highly rated team mate in both qualifying and the race. Ricciardo, although unlucky in practice, was outqualified by Verstappen and most of the race, didn’t do anything that impressive.

      1. True to a point, Ricciardo is ‘solidly fast’, maybe, not spectacularly so. However he executed the RB strategy to win when they had the chance, which was THE job of the afternoon, the only one that really mattered. And Verstappen botched it, running off track and then smacking Vettel in another collision. That’s not a 1-0 to Ricciardo, it’s a 5-0, picking up a race win when they have the chance.

        1. Seb would be very nervous about Rics pending decision, being beaten by him as teammate already.

      2. Ric actually wasn’t slower than Max at the start, he just started from the dirty side of the track. As the race progressed Dans lap times were on par with Max’s.

  8. So he should stay to pick up the odd win when Verstappen messes up his own race?

    One would assume/hope that Verstappen starts learning though and stops making these overly risky moves.

    Ricciardo had his own season where he ended up taking too much risk too often and he ended up even behind Kvyat on points. He seems to have improved on that front since.

    1. @patrickl And whether he goes to Mercedes or Ferrari he’s the second best driver in both teams, so why bother. He’s better off at Red Bull and should hope Max goes elsewhere.

      1. Max can’t go elsewhere until 2021.

      2. He beat Vettel in their only season as team-mates, and never faced Lewis on equal cars, so we he might as well be the best in either team, who knows…

      3. @flatsix Ricciardo annihilated Vettel when they were together, so he’d be fine at Ferrari.

        Hamilton, Alonso or Verstappen is perhaps a bit out of his league, but he’s shown he can come close to those too. Even if just by keeping a cooler head and staying out of trouble, bringing the car home.

        At Red Bull they pulled Verstappen in with the promise that they will build the team around Verstappen. That hasn’t had much impact yet perhaps, but that will take more and more shape over the years and it will start to grind away at Ricciardo’s confidence at some point.

        So I feel he would have more of a fair chance going up against Hamilton or Alonso than when he stays at Red Bull.

        Ferrari would be his best bet though, but I doubt they are willing to put Vettel under pressure like that. Perhaps if Vettel throws away another championship, they will start looking for a better #2 driver.

        1. @patrickl My bad, I should’ve seen your username and scrolled right down instead of commenting.

          1. @flatsix Yeah, you really set yourself up for that one. Even you must realize it’s true though.

      4. @flatsix how is Ricciardo going to be a number 2 to Vettel when he beat him in his first year at RB and has improved tenfold since then?

        1. So just to be clear, if a driver beats another driver one season, then that is written in stone, and shall remain the case forever? Doesn’t matter the circumstances nor that circumstances change every year, as drivers change teams, as cars change year to year? Nico beat Lewis in 2016, and thus shall forever remain the better driver!

          2014 saw Seb with a Lada compared to the WCC and WDC cars he had just enjoyed the 4 previous seasons. All the pressure on him as the defending Champ 4 years straight, and no longer the car. DR gets promoted to RB and finds himself in the best car/opportunity he’s ever had in a no pressure situation. Be bested by SV and it’s no surprise. Best SV and it’s gravy. Anybody believe that suddenly SV forgot how to win in 2014? Or that DR was suddenly better than a 4 time WDC?

          To suggest DR would go to Ferrari and best SV because of 2014, is to suggest one either knows little about how F1 works, or simply chooses to pretend not to in order to support a point.

          1. @robbie Well Ricciardo didn’t just score a “few” more points than Vettel. 71 in fact. Vettel was completely outclassed by Ricciardo and was beaten in almost every race. Ridiculed in some even (Monza). Besides it was Ricciardo’s first season there, so it stands to reason he has even improved since then.

            Rosberg did not beat Hamilton in 2016. He scored only 5 points more while, when both had a working car, Hamilton outperformed Roesberg by a huge margin. Despite all the technical difficulties, Hamilton scored more wins, more poles etc. Yet those technical issues cost Hamilton several races. Of which just the engine failure in Malaysia cost him 28 points vs Rosberg. Overall Hamilton lost well over 50 points due to technical issues. So those 5 points are nothing.

            To pretend that these situations are even remotely comparable indeed shows a huge lack of F1 insight.

          2. @patrickl Yes, you have picked up on the ridiculousness of it. Nobody would say that Nico was overall better than LH, just because Nico beat him in 2016, and nobody would believe SV suddenly forgot how to win, nor that DR suddenly became a WDC beater, in 2014, that can’t be explained with reasons other than to do with their talent. And Seb hasn’t lost to a teammate since, whereas DR has been bested by a much younger driver, Max, newer to the team, in all but points last year. Or would you claim DR annihilated Max last year?

            So this all to say that just because DR beat Seb in 2014, it is moot, and has nothing to do with them being in Ferraris in a different season in the future, and they would simply have to live the reality for us to see, just as every season has to play itself out.

          3. @robbie Ricciardo annihilated Vettel. There was simply no contest between the two. Vettel didn’t stand a chance. It’s ridiculous to assume/pretend that that whole season was just a fluke.

            Ricciardo did to Vettel what Hamilton did to Rosberg and now to Bottas. Of course they can fluke into a season with more points, but they need a ton of luck. Which is why Rosberg chickened out when he got his fluke.

            The reality is that if there is any top team where he has the best chance of becoming #1 driver it’s Ferrari.

          4. @patrickl I never said the whole season was a fluke, and I have already stated what I think happened with SV that year, namely he had gotten accustomed to a car that fit like a glove and won him 4 WDC’s in a row only to then be handed a Lada for 2014. Nothing of that is comparable to LH/NR or LH/VB.

            You have a lot more faith in DR than me, that is clear, but it is ridiculous to assume that DR is so much better than SV because of that one season, especially after we just saw DR get outperformed by a relative rookie last year.

            As to the ‘reality’ of DR going to Ferrari and becoming a number 1? That presumes that Ferrari would allow that to happen and most people around here seem of the opinion that Ferrari is Seb’s team. Amazing how that can happen eh? DR “annihilates” Vettel yet the folks who are not just in their armchairs pontificating hire SV and make him their number one.

            If DR ends up at Ferrari I think until we see otherwise most will consider that to guarantee DR number two status on the team, there to be given strategies meant to help SV, not help DR become #1.

            When DR has 4 WDCs perhaps then he will have earned number one at Ferrari. Or Mercedes. Meanwhile he’s got his hands full enough with 20 year old Max, who just needs to be a bit more thoughtful of his moves and then he will truly annihilate DR like he did last year.

  9. Both Kimi and Valtteri are on contracts that expire at the end of this season. That’s not by accident, it is deliberate, and one very obvious reason is those teams have a better driver in mind, and the most obvious candidate is Daniel. I can’t see Daniel going to Ferrari unless he’s guaranteed to be No 1 driver or equal driver status with Sebastian, which he would be guaranteed at Mercedes.

    1. Yes, I’m not one of those who buys into the number 1 and 2 driver concept, as in that if the number 2 shows to be faster than number 1 he wins races instead of him and is more likely to win the title, but if you look at this year, they’re using raikkonen as a number 2 from the start even if he looks better this season, the tyre mistake in bahrain, once in practice and once in the race, why does this never happen with vettel?

      And then using him to slow bottas to make vettel try a move, he ended up 10 sec behind ricciardo after his pit stop, something tells me he wasn’t supposed to lose 1,7 sec per lap for several laps on old tyres.

      Otherwise, I think australia is just bad luck, had the SC come slightly earlier this race, raikkonen’s strategy to stay out for longer could’ve helped as he could’ve pitted under SC, but again that didn’t happen due to bad luck.

  10. Cannot see Danny Ric sticking around. Horespower is king at the moment. Issue for Redbull they will be with Honda next year and they wont have the horsepower or reliability issues sorted. Renault wont help them out. They can have the best chassis but fact remains without power it is no good.

    My tip is Ham will go to Ferrari, he it out of contract. Danny and Alonso or Bottas at Merc because Merc will want a ace driver and Alonso is that next to Danny ric it will be a huge win. Alonso is not stupid he will have a get out clause in his mclaren deal.

    This will be a political acquisition for the Ferrari boss. Think about it, Ham is the biggest name in F1. Ferrari is the biggest team in f1. two 4 time world champs in one car. Senna/Prost all over again. Thats what f1 needs the battle will be huge, the get liberty over a barrel because they need both top line drivers. Ham is the key to the american market.

    1. An Alonso/Ricciardo pairing vs a Hamilton/Vettel pairing would be all my F1 dreams come true!

  11. I think Ric will either stay or take Kimi’s seat. DOnt think Mercedes will drop Bottas as he’s going solid at the moment

    1. I agree with that.

  12. I think where Daniel ends up will depend a lot on Renault.

    Dan knows that if he wants to be a WDC, in reality he needs to be aligned with a manufacturer team.

    I really can’t see either Ferrari or Mercedes wanting to alienate their top divers by hiring him, and I think he’s had enough of Red Bull and their Max worshiping.

    That leaves Renault, who frankly don’t have a “top”driver and are a year or so away from getting their development right.

    For mine, that would be the team that should be waving a huge cheque book at him, and probably will be his best option if he chooses to leave RBR. It’s a manufacturer team with “aspirations” that would be prepared to build a team around him, just like Merc did with Hamilton.

  13. I don’t really buy into the idea that Ferrari will give up on Seb if he doesn’t win this year. I think he’s still likely to have their focus and he won’t want Daniel bedside him.

    If Daniel leaves RBR I think he’s more likely to go to Mercedes. This would then leave Bottas to go to Ferrrari perhaps. He would be OK in the no. 2 role and is faster than Kimi these days. I don’t see that Leclerc is going to be ready for that spot yet.

    I really cannot see Seb and Lewis at Ferrari. If Lewis’s went there I think Seb would want out.

  14. I think Ricciardo might go to Ferrari but I can’t see Bottas losing his seat at Mercedes.

    If Ricciardo does switch to Ferrari it would be interesting to see if Red Bull choose Carlos Sainz or Pierre Gasly as his replacement. Carlos Sainz was very quick during his time at Toro Rosso but has been overshadowed by Nico Hulkenberg since he joined Renault. Pierre Gasly did a brilliant drive at Bahrain but the rest of his career has been unspectacular and he has often been behind Brendon Hartley. It all depends on what happens in the rest of this year.

    However, I think it is most likely that Ricciardo will stay at Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen will stay at Ferrari

  15. Is Riccairdo really going to do better than Vettel at Ferrari? he got some quicker tyres and a safety car to get the bite at the faster cars that isn’t going to happen in every race, but can’t seem to catch Max until Max makes a mistake. Vettel’s weak point seems to be not playing the long game with points. His drop of form at Red Bull was suspicious and out of character coinciding with Mercedes producing an unbeatable car.

    Daniel needs more in his favour. Like doing a Schumacher and take his best strategists/engineers with him to either Mercedes or Ferrari with a fresh start behind them.
    When will he need to sign a new contract by? Red Bull have until the end of Summer iirc to chose Honda or Renault. Red Bull are a sleeping giant with a fair gain in engine performance to bring them back to the front. Mercedes still have the fastest car and will leap ahead as soon as they get it to work the tyres properly. That’s the best bet for him.
    Ideally I’d want Lewis to go to Ferrari to set Riccairdo up at Merc.

  16. Actually, I think this race illustrated why he should switch teams. All of Ricciardo’s wins have been steals. No discredit to him, they were great drives, but if you want to win the championship you need to start from pole and win boring races. From P6 on the grid he will only win the odd crazy race.

    Red Bull provided him with a pole-win car once, in Monaco 2016, when ironically they messed up his win in the pits.

    1. +1

      Exactly and let’s face it RBR these days are all about Max, which is not surprising given the ludicrous amount of money they signed him for.

      I still think Renault is his best bet, particularly if Renault poach a few more aero/engineering and support staff – it will give him an opportunity to build a championship winning team.

  17. In a fantasy world lewis and daniel would be a great team but, not in this world .
    Those who have said that DanIel with Lewis at Mercedes could work are forgetting what happened just a couple of years a ago when Hamilton was paired with another driver who ( like Lewis )had an ego and a desire to win the WDC -remember Nico Rosberg -remember the Spanish GP or at least the 2 turns that made up Mercedes’ part of that race?.
    Hamilton and Bottas work because Bottas is such a low key ,polite guy who wants to win ( as all drivers do) but, who is willing to take a step back and collect his pay check while being the de facto #2 driver. Nico would not settle for #2 and Lewis could not live with that. Daniel will not settle for #2 and that will lead to constant battles on and off the track.
    Think back if you will to the last race where Rosberg was in position to win the WDC and Hamilton tried to back him into the charging Ferrari’s in hopes of Red car passing Nico and knocking off enough points from Rosberg’s total to give Hamilton the point lead. Patti Lowe “ordered ” Lewis to stop doing that because they ( Mercedes) wanted another 1-2 finish . Mercedes wanted the most points they could get -and they still do . Lewis only cared about cared about his own point totaL and refused to listen to Lowe’s directives.
    What happened because of that incident ? Lowe left Mercedes . The official explanation was a better $ deal for Patti but, the word and logic indicate that Patti would not stand for Wolff and Lauda siding with the driver,Hamilton and so Lowe left.
    Wolff and lauda don’t have what it takes to stand up to Hamilton ( don’t ask me why -Lewis is a top notch driver but he needs Mercedes’ car Much more than they need his driving skill. Any good driver will win with a great car and the Silver Arrow’s were and still are great cars with a 1,500 person support team . Heck put me behind the wheel and I’ll almost have a chance with that rocket on wheels .
    So.. the bottom line is Mercedes does not want a driver of Ricciardo’s skill and experience because Hamilton’s ego can’t stand the competition and Wolff and Lauda don’t want the headaches they had when NIco was there competing with lewis.
    This IS reality . It’s fun to fantasize but, Ricciardo and Hamilton will never be a viable team .

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