Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Verstappen doubts Ricciardo has made the right choice

2018 Belgian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says he was surprised Daniel Ricciardo decided to leave Red Bull and doesn’t believe his team mate has made the right decision.

“I think everyone was surprised,” said Verstappen in today’s FIA press conference when asked about Ricciardo’s decision to join Renault. “But at the end of the day, he has to feel good about his decision, I think that’s the most important [thing].”

Ricciardo admitted he had “a few sleepless nights” weighing up whether to stay at Red Bull to drive their Honda-powered car next year. Asked whether he’d switched teams because he wasn’t convinced by Honda, he said his decision hadn’t been motivated by a single factor.

“There are a lot of unknowns with everything,” said Ricciardo. “Obviously even the move where I am going to be next year. There is still a certain amount of risk or unknowns. Nothing was really that clear cut.

“Sure, Honda still really need to prove themselves at the front. But honestly there wasn’t really one key factor other than really myself and wanting to have a change of scenery I guess.”

But Verstappen remains unconvinced Ricciardo has made the right move.

“Everybody has moments in their careers when you’re frustrated or you’re not happy with the current situation. I think everybody here wants to win races or wants to win championships.

“But sometimes it’s not like that and you have to really be patient and work hard for it. And sometimes you need the whole package to come together and I think that’s what Red Bull is working on at the moment and I’m confident that they can deliver a car that is capable of winning every race. We just need the whole package and we’re working towards that.

“So that’s why it was also a little bit of a surprise for me that he left. If it then is a change of scenery, I’m not sure if it’s the best scenery to go to.”

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Keith Collantine
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41 comments on “Verstappen doubts Ricciardo has made the right choice”

  1. How hard did they try to keep him, was he offered the same salary as Max?

    1. Horner said that they had offered Ricciardo everything he asked for, so I guess that includes salary.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      23rd August 2018, 22:26

      @ace I dunno, we heard from Lewis that a top team made him an offer and now Alonso has said the same. Obviously Ferrari didn’t make an offer for Lewis and neither Mercedes or Ferrari made Alonso an offer so if their claims are true, then Ricciardo made the right choice.

      Also if it’s the case, Horner is checking his breath and smelling his armpits to figure out why everyone is running away from Red Bull :-)

  2. Of course he’d say that. Ricciardo is leaving the team he’s in. He’s not going to say the move was a good one.

  3. The next team to win after the Mercedes era will most likely be Ferrari. Maybe this year, next or 2020. The next team to win after that is a bit of a lottery. It’s actually more likely that both of these drivers will be at different teams (again) before any other team wins the drivers title. So whoever they race for, it will only be for the odd win here and there anyway.

  4. Biased point of view, of course. I think if Daniel was going for a gamble this is the best play in hand he could’ve played. Renault is a good team, they will get there, they are taking the necessary steps and it’s a good alternative in the long term.

  5. Lets say you are Red Bull and frustrated about your current engine, you go to Honda and what do you ask? Suppose you are Honda and you’re asked by Red Bull for a more competative engine. You know you cannot built one, would you still say yes to Red Bull (and lie) and make a fool out of your self in front of the whole world? No I am pretty sure Honda has guarantied Red Bull that they will have the engine they want. So Ric made the wrong move.

    1. I think you will find that Honda made that same promise to McLaren…..

      People also seem to be missing the point here and only looking at Honda as the key to RB’s performance next year. It’s much more than that. RB have a massive task in front of them before next year.

      Fairly late in the year, they have moved to a new engine manufacturer. That means a significant change to the chassis and aero. On top of that, there are new aero rules as well. RB also have to learn to work with a new supplier. It’s a massive task for them. RB are up to the challenge though, but their late engine decision puts massive pressure on their engineers and that is when mistakes happen.

      However, everyone assumes that if the Honda engine is good, that RB will be in the mix again next year. If Honda is a match for the Renault next year, I still can’t for the life of me see RB closing the gap to the front runners. They will still be 3rd best car, but the gap to Merc and Ferrari will not get less unless something goes wrong in those teams.

      In 2020, RB might be able to have a crack at the WDC. But I doubt it will be a full tilt. It will be more like this year. IMO, 2021 is the next year that anyone outside of a Ferrari or Merc seat will have to challenge for a WDC. Unfortunately.

      1. I think you will find that Honda made that same promise to McLaren…..

        As pointed out by Red Bull, this is a deeply flawed argument given that McLaren asked for an engine to match their highly restrictive specifications, while Red Bull have more or less said, build us the fastest engine possible, we’ll design a car around it. And they’ve got one Adrian Newey to do that designing. That sounds a much healthier approach than McLaren’s.
        So was Ricciardo right to leave? I’d say the chances are he’s made a serious mistake. Although he referred to Hamilton’s switch to Mercedes, the impression given is that his decision to accept Renault’s offer was much more spur of the moment, a solution to a problem – Verstappen – that he’d have been better attempting to resolve on track.

        1. Hahahhha.. still delusional, ain’t ya? Nothing I didn’t espect though, it’s one of your properties of you lot.

          If one, RIC knows he can handle VER. If he didn’t think he could, I guess he wouldn’t have extended his contract with two years back in 2016 after VER was already in the team. And he’s been doing exactly that for the last 2.5 seasons, handling him, this season better than ever.
          HUL is more of an unknown to him.

          RIC is heading for REN bc of , I think, the combination that he doesn’t expect RBR to be in the WC fight next year and the enormous increase in paycheck. He doesn’t necessarily expect REN to beat RBR next year, but he’s done settling for just the occasional race win. A WDC, or at least being able to fight for it, is the only thing that counts to him at this stage of his career.

          1. Hahahhha.. still delusional, ain’t ya?

            Still craving attention? I’m happy to debate any point, it’s what I enjoy here, if and when you act like a minimally functional adult.

          2. Adult? Debate? You just dismiss the reasons that DR gave himself for his departure, simple deduction and the fact that he has beaten MV for the past 2.5 years in the same car. Instead you hold on your ‘safe world thought’, that MV can’t be beaten. Except maybe by Ham. Just like you always talk Ferrari up and Vet down, to make your point that Ham is the best. Latest episode is you accusing Fer of foul play, simply bc your hero implied so. Neither you, nor Ham could be that informed or is there a Spygate II in the making?

    2. @pietkoster I am sure Honda made the same guarantee to McLaren four years ago. Did Alonso make the correct move?

      Only time will tell us whether Ricciardo made the wrong move or not

      1. Yep, let’s hope that we, the spectators and fans, are the greatest winners here.

  6. No one knows whether it was a good move or bad move at this point.
    If Renault outperforms Red Bull in the next year or two, it’s a good move.
    I think VER, like Red Bull, was stunned from RIC’s decision to bolt and also the uncertainty of his performance against Gasly.
    On a side note – if it’s true RBR wanted Alonso (as Newey has in the past), Honda evidently “forgave” ALO for his negative comments aimed at them.

  7. Most said the same thing about Hamilton when he moved from Mclaren to Mercedes.

    Whether it was a good move or not won’t be known for at least 12 months.

    RBR and Max can be a surprised as they want but I’m sure RBR management knew deep down that it was highly likely Dan would go elsewhere from the moment the “we’ll build a team around Max” resigning took place.

    1. I think that concept of building the team around Max is overblown, and if it was highly likely DR had concerns about this for a year, his move now wouldn’t have cost him sleepless nights. Had he re-upped with RBR they’d be talking about continuity as they proceed forward with Honda, both drivers working hard toward improvement of the package, and about theirs being the best driver pairing on the grid. Nothing has prevented DR from outpointing Max, so why would DR have any paranoia about them building the team around Max? A renewal of contract by DR would have given him and the team a fresh shot of energy, zeroing the scales and going for a new chapter with everyone commited with Honda.

  8. Ricciardo has made the right joice. He has just turned 29 years old and he’s secured himself the leading drive in a team with a huge amount of racing pedigree who are on the up and up. His long-term future at Red Bull was never going to offer that dominant position with Mr. Verstappen in the other car.

    Ricciardo now has several years to help build the team up to the point that they start winning championships. Then he can retire.

    Was that opportunity available to him at any other team? No. This is a class move which, if all comes good, will be compared to Hamilton’s ballsy move to Merc in 2013. And if he never does win a championship, I still think he won’t regret taking this risk. Staying at Red Bull was pointless when the team so clearly favour Verstappen.

    1. Still waited to see this clear favouritism toward Max. Oh of course with Gasly Max already has the upper hand in experience on the team and what not, but where is this supposed favouritism that’s supposed to have helped DR make the decision he did?

      1. Robbie still looking away when people throwing links at him:
        You might also want to look at the actual races if you want to see examples of clear favouritism.

        Also note VERs last two quotes. There goes another of your theories, hahahah.

        1. An article from March that centres around quotes from Max is not proof of anything. Nor do I see how watching the races has shown favouritism towards Max. DR should love this kind of favouritism towards Max that sees him leading Max in points and having two wins to Max’s one. If there are any similarities to Max and when SV was there, it would be that both drivers were/are faster than their teammates, but equipment wise and opportunity wise there is absolutely nothing that prevented MW or DR from stamping their authority on their teammates. By all accounts Newey’s blown diffuser work was something SV liked and excelled with moreso than MW, and I don’t perceive any one aspect of the current car itself that seems to favour Max over DR. Max is an up and coming superstar, and he is the one that went to RBR to re-up his deal last year, showing 100% commitment to the team. If they are reciprocating by showing they are fully behind Max, that makes sense. But that does not mean they would hobble Max’s teammate to do so. They will be fully behind Gasly as well, supporting him 100% too. Meanwhile Max’s pace and his commitment to the team do make him someone to be coddled, no question.

          1. An article from March that centres around quotes from Max is not proof of anything. – Actually I agree, but as soon as RIC starts quoting, you suddenly do take it as proof. That’s why I gave this link. It seems like you kind of cherry pick your quotes, for convenience reasons, to make your point.
            And you didn’t go into those last quotes of Max about his mental approach this year, disclaiming your saying that he was overdriving the car in the beginning of the season, in order to win.

            Nor do I see how watching the races has shown favouritism towards Max. – Maybe you are looking away. I don’t agree with others that claim it’s at the level of a number one and two like with Fer and Mer at the moment. But when the two of them have been racing each other and the (timing of) pit stops have a decisive say on the outcome, it has been more often favourable for MV than DR.

            DR should love this kind of favouritism towards Max that sees him leading Max in points and having two wins to Max’s one. – This is no argument. Did it occur to you that he could be leading despite the favouritism?

            Max (..) is the one that went to RBR to re-up his deal last year, showing 100% commitment to the team – Max’s contract was ending, Dan’s not, so it’s only natural that DR waited for negotiations and MV had his last year. And DR is the one that has been part of the RB family for 10 years. That has to count for something in terms of commitment too.

            If they are reciprocating by showing they are fully behind Max, that makes sense. But that does not mean they would hobble Max’s teammate to do so. – True that, that’s why I like to watch the races themselves to base my opinion on and put that what is said (by drivers, team managers etc) into perspective.

            On a side note, bc you started to talk about Vettel. What is your take on what happened in 2014 between him and DR?

  9. Well, this is all speculative. But news yesterday was that F1 would delay the 2021 simplified engine rules. Which if so would be terrible news for Ricciardo and Renault.

    1. Excellent point

    2. That doesn’t make ricciardo move unlucky, it was already a silly move from the start, if renault is gonna become good in 2021 and that’s a big if, you move for 2021, not for 2019, especially when you already have one of the few teams able to fight for wins currently.

  10. What Verstappen is really saying is that he prays Ricciardo made the wrong choice.

    Verstappen and Gasly is a poor line up.

    I think multiple reasons pushed Ricciardo to Renault.

    If Horner and Marko weren’t so dismissive of him in recent months he might have stayed loyal to RBR.

    But they tried to poke him in the media, publicly saying over and over that he had nowhere else to go. This would suggest also that they felt they had the upper hand and didn’t have to pay him the same as Verstappen.

    It’s not like Ricciardo is running from Mercedes or Ferrari. RBR hasn’t been close to being in championship contention in 4 seasons. In fact, they look further away this year than last.

    1. I think what Max is really saying is what he literally said. And you think DR left for multiple reasons, beccause that is what DR literally said. I can’t recall Horner and Marko being dismissive of DR. You’re way overstating this alleged public poking, and if they actually thought they could get away with offering him less money than Max then you’d think DR’s decision wouldn’t have had him with any sleepless nights at all. Not buying your needless invention of the storyline.

      1. “I don’t think Daniel is in a good position,” Marko told at a promotional event ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

        “Daniel is in a situation where he has no sporting alternative to us. He probably imagined it differently,” added the Austrian, making clear that Red Bull wanted him to stay but “not at any price”.

        These comments were made in June. Really antagonistic. Serves no purpose other than to remind Ricciardo that we own you, you have nowhere to go, you will take what we offer you.

        1. I think you are reading more into it than existed. ‘making clear that Red Bull wanted him to stay…’ doesn’t sound too antagonistic to me. ‘But not at any price’…is something that must come up often. Of course he was never going to be able to just call his own dollar value…they would draw a line if he started to get unreasonable with the money talk. They aren’t saying we own you, just that to think about it as there’s nowhere else sporting to go. And apparently what they offered him was everything he asked for, so no issue there. If anything Marko is reminding DR of the facts, and that he is wanted where he already is. DR has chosen to go with a ‘non-sporting’ team (as in not top 3).

          1. There’s no reason to say these things in public. The only purpose is to belittle and antagonise.

    2. Anon, I’m not sure how far they are in points, but I absolutely disagree on red bull being more competitive in 2017 than 2018, they were close especially in race pace from the start this year, last year they were like 1 sec off in the first races, even as late as canada they were much slower than ferrari, now they could keep them behind just fine in a race, the problem is they start behind them!

  11. I mean this is exactly what Hamilton did, although he timed it a little better with the new engine regs (only 1 season before instead of 2+). Time will tell if it was the right move or not.

  12. We all doubt all choices other than towards Ferrari or Mercedes

  13. I can’t get out of my mind the thought that RBs move to Honda was not totally based on logical/sound facts. The ongoing feud with Renault and the fact that Honda are supplying their engines for free must certainly contributed to the decision.
    As the previous season performance by Honda surely could not be used as a basis for budding a championship winning car around.
    But we will see soon enough in the first few races next yr.
    As for Verstappens questioning Ricciardos choice for next yr. I’m not sure he is just towing the company line.
    As I’m pretty sure he and Ricciardo got on well enough, there did not seem to be any animosity between them. Although that may change now as Ricciardo may be considered the “enemy”. Obviously Ricciardo will be locked out of anything but the most basic car information.
    I think Verstappen may have looked up to Ricciardo, and maybe he doesn’t like the idea of a new team mate.

    1. Verstappen is on a hiding to nothing next year. He’s expected to beat his teammate comfortably.

    2. Well there’s baggage there with Renault of course, and they have not been given any reason to believe they’ll be worse off with Honda. Renault have made just as many promises of gains as Honda did with Mac.

      As to Max, he like most seemed convinced DR was staying. This site called DR’s move a shock. I don’t think Max is towing any company line.


    Says it all really. Just do what’s right for you and it might work out, it might not. But if you know you’re not going to be happy somewhere you won’t be driving at the top of your game.

    1. True and I don’t even know if DR knows that he would be happier elsewhere, but this is the direction he has gone. He can barely explain it himself other than ‘change of scenery.’ Factually Max has consistently outqualified him and lead him during races two (or more) to one. And made more mistakes. And factually DR has still managed to outpoint him. He can’t really claim the team is Max’s. One would think his struggle to decide teams shows that. He’s obviously got every bit the same equipment and opportunity, and yet lags in pace to Max quite often. RBR/Honda will be almost like a factory team, and certainly Renault is a works factory team and we know that is crucial these days.

  15. The other thing what Max said was

    1. Was more interesting. When Stroll said he would like to have more street circuits, Max said he would actually like to have less. You could just read what was on his mind: because real racers race on racecircuits :-)

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