Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Hockenheimring, 2018

Verstappen’s qualifying superiority not down to “bigger balls” – Ricciardo

2018 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo believes his deficit to his team mate in qualifying is down to his set-up choices rather than how he drives it.

Ricciardo has been out-qualified 13-2 by Max Verstappen in sessions where both drivers set lap times so far this year. He admitted his team mate has been able to extract better pace from the RB14 over a single lap.

“Through last year I wasn’t that happy with my qualifying,” said Ricciardo. “I thought the start of this year we started to improve some things.

“I haven’t really got everything out of it, or maybe Max is just getting a lot better, I don’t know. I’m not done yet.”

Ricciardo believes the key to improving wasn’t necessarily looking at how his team mate is driving his qualifying laps.

“Honestly, not taking anything away from Max – for sure he’s fast and he’s been driving well – it’s not necessarily that he [had] bigger balls in that corner or whatever.

“I feel like we kind of got left a bit last year as well. Some qualifying [sessions] I’m like ‘should’ve done that’ in terms of ‘should have gone up on the front wing six clicks instead of one or two’. It’s kind of been stuff in hindsight.

“I’d like to be more pro-active on some tings but more set-up. I feel just a lot of the time we understand it but it’s too late. I guess we’re still learning. But obviously he’s been getting on top of it more than I have.”

Ricciardo led Verstappen 11-6 in qualifying during their first partial season as team mates but was beaten 13-7 last year.

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100 comments on “Verstappen’s qualifying superiority not down to “bigger balls” – Ricciardo”

  1. Ricciardo beat Verstappen 11-7 in their first year together but the trend towards the end of 2016 was already Verstappen qualifying ahead equally if not more. Clearly it was an acclimitisation issue, because he’s not looked back. Ricciardo was considered a quali monster: either Verstappen is an even bigger monster or that view needs updating. Either way, the stats this season are bad. If you check Karun Chandhok’s twitter, only the McLaren and Sauber battles were more one-sided both in head to head and average quali gap. In case people were wondering why the lead driver of Renault is all Ric could get…

    1. The only people who ever was wondering was the conservative fans who couldnt accept a junior rising so quickly, It had nothing with his performance to do.

    2. In case people were wondering why the lead driver of Renault is all Ric could get…

      I was taking your comment seriously before that. Ricciardo has consistently got the maximum he can out of races, rarely crashing into other cars (and not admitting fault). The quali stats do tell a story that Max is faster than Ric, however I’m yet to see the evidence that Max is a better race driver.

      1. @ John H,
        Maybe this: RIC will be driving a low midfield car in 2019, MV will drive a top 3 car.

        1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
          11th October 2018, 23:48

          Mercedes was a midfield car when Hamilton switched…

          1. And you really expect Renault to build a top 3 car next year?

          2. Erikje: I think his point is rather that the argument who has the faster car next year is invalid

      2. @ John H,

        Maybe this: RIC will drive a low midfield car in 2019 while MV is driving a top 3 car.

      3. @john-h I think for a better comparison we would have had to see DR more consistently starting higher up and fighting with the big boys, like Max has tried to do, rather than lagging in qualifying and ‘impressing’ people with dive bomb style passes on lesser cars that he should have outqualified to begin with. Yeah Max has been more ragged, we’ve all seen that, but for his age and eight fewer years experience than DR…yeah I think by the time Max is DR’s age he’ll have taken his F1 career to the moon and back. He already has more than half the wins DR has. Let’s give Max the eight more years that DR has had to hone his skills.

        1. He just keeps on fabricating his own coloured facts, doesn’t he?

          The reason why RIC didn’t qualify higher up on the grid the last races, is bc of technical issues. Aside those technical issues and Hungary, where Stroll crashed and he had to abort his lap after which it began to rain, he’s qualified outside of the traditional top-6 just twice. Do you know how many time MV has done the same? Four times, one of them he even needed the courtesy of the stewards to start the race, you remember, that weekend in which RIC took pole, in “that 3rd best car on the grid”, he always mentions whenever excusing VER for his driver induced DNFs.

          LOL, they just keep on downgrading VERs teammate. RIC not fighting with the big boys? Hahahaaha, guess those victories came by battling with some wannabees. Having qualified in 5 of them between 4-6, his victories came by beating his competitors on track, including a man-to-man-battle on track for the win with Max. Only HAM had to DNF (twice maybe) in order for him to win. One crazy victory in Baku’17 coming back from 17th or so, and one emphatic win in Monaco from pole. So keep on spreading that false orange propaganda.
          If you would compare that to the 4 wins of VER: In two of them he needed both of the Mercs to DNF including one of them in which he also needed RIC, who was leading, to be set by his team on a false strategy, in a time in which RIC was about half a second faster than VER (his debut for RB). Even hahostolze, one of the orange armada, admits that. In the other two wins only Kimi DNFd once. All in all, not a bad comparison for RIC I would say.

          And don’t bring up the age difference as a valid excuse (I see he changed it from nine years to eight). Deceiving, very deceiving to phrase ‘life experience’ as “experience”. Prost has 42 years on VER. So would he have an advantage over him? Better bring in Stewart.
          They’re both should be in their primes. RIC has only 3 or 3.5 years on Max in terms of F1-experience, just like he has in total motorsport experience. He was beating a four-time-WDC in his third full year and in his first year at the team. Third year, so that’s like 2017 for VER, albeit it was VERs second year with the team. But I haven’t seen the same display between the latter two as with the former two.
          And speaking of which, many of the champions were already fighting for championships in their 4th year or were champs already by then. HAM-champ, ALO-champ, SCH-double champ, SEN, PRO competitive from the get go, to name a few. Fast drivers don’t need much time to adapt.

          Again, you can be as deceptive as you want by saying VER already has over half the wins as DR, but you ‘forget’ to mention he also already has over half the GPs. It’s all about when you get your break and Max got his at a very early age, even going as far as pre birth, something RIC did not. Why getting into possible future exploits, while we just had them in the past 2.5 seasons as teammates? Or is that a little bit too specific for your liking; you prefer the possible scenario’s instead? If you want to compare so bad, this is the time. And if you want to talk about that, without those orange glasses on, the data speak in favour of RIC.

          And hahostolze’s “In case people were wondering why the lead driver of Renault is all Ric could get…” could be easily rebuffed by the whining and disguised blackguarding comments of Horner and Marko, after he left them, and not the other way around. They wanted him to stay. Would RB be willing to have a guy who, according to the misleading second sentence of this article and hahostolze’s ever spiteful comments targeted against VERs teammate, gets thrashed in quali, all his demands seemingly being met, to stay for yet another extended period of time at their team? I’d think not.

          1. @krxx +1, nicely balanced. To just support: Verstappen has spent a higher percentage of his career in a top tier car than Ric has, 75% vs. 65%, so no surprise that the stats are tracking higher faster… 11 of Ric’s 50 first starts were for HRT for crying out loud, before he even made it to TR (for whom Ver only did 23 starts in total). Ric has always delivered when the RB was not as incredibly fragile as it is now. I fear Renault will not pull-a-Mercedes and dominate (at all), but with both his racecraft, stability and one lap speed (having matched Vettel) he doesn’t have to excuse himself to anyone.

          2. You’re welcome Thomas. And I agree on the percentage part (though I’d say VER has a 70% stat but rising more rapidly than RICs, whose % will probably even be declining in the next two seasons), RIC and the REN prognosis.

            And about my above comment, I totally forgot about VET who also was already a double-champ, and vice-champ, and the youngest in doing so too.

          3. But in 2017 Max out qualify DR. DR is a good driver but the question is is he better than Max. The only awnser you can give is that DR is more consistent in de race but on pure racecraft he aint better. Racepace is equal or Max is the better one. DR choses to go to Reanult he has 18 million reasons to do that and he knows that with al the young and upcoming drivers on the grid a championschip is becoming very difficult.

          4. Always funny to see fact bending in action.
            It’s also nice to see that the total points, so important for you last season, are lost in your arguments.
            But at least give Danny the credit he deserves in his own explanation about the difference.

          5. Ha erikje, I was already missing you in this thread. Talking about your orange lies and fact bending, show me just one comment of mine last year (or any year for that matter), in which I placed that kind of emphasis on points scored.

        2. @robbie Just for balance, saying Daniel has eight years more experience than Max is disingenuous. Max has 77 F1 starts and Daniel 146, twice as many or in F1 terms around four seasons more experience.

          1. @ju88sy Fair comment. I didn’t detail that very well likely because Max would have started his F1 career at a much younger age than DR, which actually is a bit telling in itself, however, is the reality.

        3. You don’t like him robbie.
          We get it.

          1. No I’m fine with him. I just like Max more. And I just don’t buy the rhetoric around here about DR beating Seb in 2014 like that is written in stone and would happen any time they might be on the same team together in the future. That was a unique circumstance that saw Seb with an off year, and then in 2015 Kvyat outpointed DR, so…I just don’t see DR as the same level of driver that some do. I certainly have nothing against him, but I’m sure I sound like I do when I point out things like why DR beat Seb beyond just that he did indeed outpoint him. I like to look at the circumstances and it never comes down to just one thing. By that I mean if someone were to say to me DR beat SV in 2014, full stop, then it would be fair game to say Nico beat LH in 2016, full stop. Few around here would not love to point out what LH’s season was like in 2016, so it is fair game to point out what Seb’s was like in 2014 too. And it wasn’t just that suddenly Seb forgot how to win, and DR suddenly became a WDC beater. But the same ones accusing me of promoting Max while shading DR’s achievements, will also shade Max or Vettel in order to promote DR.

        4. In the next 8 years, Max would have won at least one WDC, and in that same period of time the, same can’t be said for Ricciardo

          1. @samouri, actually that can and can’t be said about every driver. A prediction is by no means a fact, and it’s absurd to suggest otherwise.

      4. I posted this somewhere else, but look at the intrateam-battle of laps led (and yes I know that DR qualified behind Verstappen all the time, due to mechanical failure, but still….): since Canada (11 races), the pair has raced together for 470 laps. Out of those 470 DR has led just 19 laps, all of which were after Verstappen had pitted and DR had not.

        In all the races this season (768 laps together) it was 172 for Ricciardo and 596 for Max. I think the only races that DR really led Max were Australia (after max made a mistake in the race), China (after max made a mistake in the race), Azerbaijan (for just 7 laps), and Monaco.

        Ofcourse it’s easier to have this statistic in your favour when you out-qualify your teammate but it says a lot in my opinion. It’s not down to sheer (mis)fortune.

        1. And as we know with these cars so harmed in dirty air, qualifying well is crucial. It’s not just about oh well he’s faster on a single lap but they are closer on Sunday. By Sunday, a good Saturday is huge, and well worth focusing on and outdoing one’s teammate.

          1. 2016 Ver – Ric 6-11
            2017 Ver – Ric 13-7
            2018 Ver – Ric 14-3

            2016 people expected Ricciardo to be very dominant as Verstappen was new to the team and 100% unexpierence in the car. Verstappen needed about 6 races to find out how the set-up his own car instead of copying Ricciardo’s set-up. From 2016 Spa on he started beating Ricciardo on a more and more frequently base. In 2017 only Stroll and Palmer got beaten more frequently, in 2018 only Vandoorne scores are worse against Alonso.

            Over the last two season the score in quali is 27 against 10, more concerning for Ricciardo (and his loyal fans) out of these 10 times Ricciardo was ahead on the grid he got overtaken 6 (!!) times by his team mate within 10 laps. Verstappen being dominant is not preserved for quali alone, he seriously outsmarts and outraces his team mate…. who was know as a ‘qualibeast’ and the driver that beat Vettel quite convincingly

          2. So yeah, this

          3. Orange propaganda, wishful thinking and lies. Can you say ziggoooooooooooo?? Hahhahahahahahahah

          4. @krxx if you look at the stats your very right.. Totally Orange propaganda :)

    3. Alonso is not the fastest in quali, yet a monster in the race. On the contrary Trulli was mega in quali but poorer in race. I am saying that maybe Max has a 1/10 over Ricci but I consider Ricci a more complete driver, especially in overtaking, strategy, brain (for sure). So i’d take a slower guy in quali but a super solid racer for the Sunday.

  2. I will take this a frank assessment of his qualifying performance although one would expect his side of garage to do better as time goes on with all that hindsight. I doubt if that has really happened.

  3. There is only 1 driver on the grid that can rival max in qualifying if they had the same car, and that’s Lewis, and even him would find it hard to beet him.
    If Verstappen gets a dominant car soon he will beat all the records (I hope not lol)

    1. I would not count out Vettel and Alonso.

      1. I might be mistaken, but I thought Alonso himself admitted (some years ago, possibly in his Ferrari days) that he is not the best qualifier. Of course, he more than makes up for it with his blindingly good starts, and ability to make up positions in the race.

        1. @phylyp
          Fernando is not the best qualifier, however he is there and not very far from the very best. His records against two qualy specialists (Trulli and Lewis) are not embarrassing at all. Another thing is that Fernando has demonstrated over the years that he can extract some speed in qualy due to his technical ability to wok with the car’s set up.

    2. I would count Vettel in as well. He has done some fantastic laps this year in qualifying as well as last year.

      1. Ricciardo has also done some fantastic laps, especially against Vettel.

        1. @rethla
          We should also count Rosberg as well who has done some fantastic laps (30 poles) especially against Hamilton.

          1. @tifoso1989

            Sure Rosberg could put in some deacent laps on a good day but he aint on the current grid which @mfalcao was talking about.

      2. Stephen Gooden
        11th October 2018, 10:38

        Agreed. Vettel is pretty good at pulling out that qually pole lap. He is currently the only one directly after Ham in number of poles for their generation.

      3. Vettel would have a very hard time in qualifying against Max, Alonso is amazing at extracting everything from the cars he drives, but even he admits that qualifying is not his greatest strength, but of course he wold do a decent job against Max, but in my view the best qualifiers on the grid are Max and Lewis, then Vettel and Alonso.
        Rosberg was amazing at qualifying also, he was up against Lewis in his prime and managed 30 poles that’s a great number

        1. @mfalcao
          My theory is that Hamilton/Verstappen are the two fastest drivers on the grid, and Vettel/Alonso are about 0.1 seconds slower. Obviously this depends from circuit to circuit, but that’s my guess.

          I don’t know about Ricciardo. He could still be faster than Vettel, which would imply that Verstappen must be an absolute monster. However, my theory is that Ric just doesn’t suit this generation of cars as well.

          We will find out next season against Hulkenberg. If he loses against Hulk in qualy, then his status as a top driver is under serious threat.

          1. That’s my opinion too. There is o good example on the grid of that difference, that’s Ocon and Perez, Ocon is a tiny bit better in qualifying, and they always so close but Ocon always beats Perez.
            Next year will be really interesting because there’s not been a driver shake-up this big in many years, and we will be able to measure something midfield drivers against supposed too drivers like Kimi and Ric (Hulk is a great bench mark especially in qualifying).

    3. I don’t know if he could beet him, but I’m pretty sure he could potato him

      1. You’re a real has-bean on the stand-up comedy circuit, aren’t you? Anyway, lettuce not take shots at one another, and end this conversation in peas. ;-) @johnmilk

        1. orange you glad we are fellow racefans?

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            11th October 2018, 13:24

            @johnmilk @phylyp Lol, DR is a salad driver but he needs to beet MV in qualifying. On the other hand, MV doesn’t like to leave mushroom on the track now does he?

          2. @freelittlebirds – it is often said at if you leave a gap, you might as well not turnip at the track. Case in point, his collisions with the radish cars last weekend.

          3. I had a peeling you guys were going to keep this sup. Oh grate. Just souper. I mean…cheeze whiz. Cut it up won’t you? Ah…what the kale…rye not. It’s all ingest.

          4. you guys realise that I’m not native in English, at some point my puns will be less than pear-fect and you will stop carrot-all

          5. I guess we’ve bean trying to johnmilk it for all it’s worth.

          6. robbie my name like that deserves a COTD

          7. @johnmilk – never fear, your puns have been peachy thus far. And that’s it from me, no more fruits and veggies, I need something more substantial.

            So, until we meat again in the comments, I’ll be on the lam(b). @johnmilk @robbie

          8. ok @phylyp I will leaf you alone, you know what you are doing

    4. VERS has a long way to go to prove that he could rival Lewis in qualy nevermind in races or the wet.

      1. @blazzz I think Max is only a WCC level car away from proving that he could rival anyone on the grid. He’s already shown he has the right stuff from an ability standpoint. Max, were he in a car that fits him like a glove and is dominant, like LH has had for a long time, would be formidable. He simply hasn’t had the car yet to prove it and as we know the car is the majority ingredient to winning. To do what he has been doing in a lowly third place car should have everyone on the grid worried for when Max has the best car on the grid, let alone if he were to have a steady number of years with the WCC car. But sure, he still has to prove it. Does anyone really doubt at this point what he could do with the best car though? A car he is much happier with? More at one with? Is more responsive to his setups that DR claims are his secret?

        1. Max has undoubtedly shown he has the speed to be an elite F1 driver. But as I have said many times on these forums, VERS’ still a rough diamond. He won’t be winning championships in a close championship colliding needlessly like he did with RAI and picking up penalties. Or potentially getting tangled in race ending incidents. It takes alot more than speed to make it to the top in F1.

          1. @blazzz No question, it’s hard to argue what you have said. I just envision this rough diamond as being honed constantly, but also I envision that the only way anyone wins the WDC is with the WCC winning car, almost always. So I just don’t see Max in that level of car needing to be as ragged, nor taking as many risks, nor even needing to pass as many cars once starting the majority of the time on the front row. Let’s even just consider that if he (and DR of course) had the extra 50 hp or whatever it is that they lack vs Merc and Ferrari, they wouldn’t have to shave wing off and be less stuck to the track. They could come out of corners faster and be less susceptible at the ends of straights. For sure you are right Max would have squandered a WDC with his driving this season, especially earlier, but then if he had a car that capable, his season would have gone far far differently. He’ll learn, he’ll grow, and of all drivers I am sure that in a small number of years he’ll be in the WCC car vying for his first WDC, with that much more experience behind him.

          2. People should imagine how Verstappen would be doing with 70-80 hp more than Ferrari and Mercedes… that’s the pure advantage they have. Not equal cars, but Verstappen in a car with the same deficit, but turned around.

            We’re always talk about equal cars… the cars aren’t equal, far from that. In an equal car Verstappen does no longer have to defend his position, in a car 70-80 hp ahead like Ferrari and Mercedes have at this point, Verstappen would be cruisin’ instead of racing.

  4. I believe that Ricciardo has beaten Max in Monaco every season (a drivers circuit) Unfortunately for Daniel he’s getting the Vettel treatment, which is a double-edged sword given that he was on a pedestal for doing the same to Vettel. Renault is now Red Bulls primary nemesis for the foreseeable future and they have focused development for the foreseeable future as well, they’re not going to give anyway that can be transferred to them via the expat.

    1. Nonesense, Daniel is good with street circuits while Max loves real circuits. And Max wasn’t slow at Monaco rather fast but made just a mistake in FP3.

      1. So simple isn’t it, to just dismiss a comment as nonsense while providing nothing to support your dismissal.

        2015 – Outqualified by teammate SAI and DNFd in the race bc he rammed GRO from behind, accusing GRO of brake-testing him in the process while the data clearly proved otherwise. Gets a grid-penalty for next race. Teammate in the points
        2016 – Crashes in Q1, subsequently gets outqualified by RIC and crashes yet again in the race. Teammate only came in second and not first bc of his pit crew having the wrong tyres ready for him so it took a long time to switch to the good ones
        2017 – First and only time he outqualifies his teammate but in the race gets outraced by teammate again. VER 5th RIC podium.
        2018 – Crashes out in FP3, unable to qualify so needed the stewards’ discretion to even participate in the race, finishes 9th in it. Teammate RIC meanwhile topped every single practice, qualifying and race with 75% of the power bc of a faulty MGU-K.

        I don’t think there’s any topdriver that has this kind of record at a specific track, especially compared to his teammates. So no, no nonsense at all, just blind orange FBoyism of macleod’s side.
        Can you say ziggoooooooooooooo?? Hahahhahahahahhahahahahahahahaah

        1. Just like there is no top driver who has been out qualified 13-2 by his teammate in sessions where both drivers set lap times. So following your logic, Ricciardo is just as crap as Verstappen and everything but a top driver.
          And this specific line made me wonder: I don’t think there’s any topdriver that has this kind of record at a specific track, especially compared to his teammates.
          Verstappen has been outqualified once and never beaten in the race in Japan. The one time DR outqualified him, Max overtook him on lap one, as usual. Max didn’t need favourable pit stops to get ahead (There are also no TOP drivers who get overtaken by their teammate EVERYTIME they outqualify them.)

          I can Ziggooooooo a lot, hahahaha.
          Orange rules!

          1. 1] “And this specific line made me wonder: I don’t think there’s any topdriver that has this kind of record at a specific track, especially compared to his teammates.
            Verstappen has been outqualified once and never beaten in the race in Japan” – a) What I said doesn’t mean no topdriver has some specific track on which he ‘defeated’ (just quali) his teammate just once (though I don’t know anyone who actually has such a record). What I meant was a record at a specific track with that many crashes. Learn how to read
            b) There are many drivers who have never been beaten by their teammate at a specific track, especially if there have been only 4, VER certainly isn’t the only one. And even here you got it wrong. Sai qualified in front of VER. So out of his four outings at Suzuka, he got outqualified twice. And I’d also add that while VER finished 3rd and RIC 4th last week at Suzuka in the race, RIC was (highly probably) faster
            c) Funny you started to talk about Suzuka and VERs supposedly out-of-this-world record there, RIC has in fact a record in qualifying compared to his teammates that’s much better: He’s 0-0 with Liuzzi (Liuzzi’s car broke down, so no fair comparison possible), 2-0 with Vergne, 1-0 with Vettel and 1-1 with Max (this year no fair comparison bc RICs car didn’t work in Q2, he set no time in it). So nice try (to be complete he only finished ahead of his teammate twice and behind his teammate six times, though last week we know why

            2] “Max overtook him on lap one, as usual. There are also no TOP drivers who get overtaken by their teammate EVERYTIME they outqualify them.” – Statement 1 simply isn’t true. Just like statement 2. RIC hasn’t outraced and outscored VER by getting himself overtaken by him. In fact, in all of the three direct duels between them on equal terms (I can think of right now), RIC was the faster one: Malaysia’16 (fight for the win), (slightly less ‘direct’) China’18 (RIC overtook Ham and Vet where VER couldn’t) and Baku’18 in which RIC overtook VER and flew away only to get stuck behind him again bc of a very slow pit stop, and caught him again on pure pace and we all know what happened then. So you can spread out all the BS you want, true fans can see right through it.

            3] “Just like there is no top driver who has been out qualified 13-2 by his teammate in sessions where both drivers set lap times. So following your logic, Ricciardo is just as crap as Verstappen and everything but a top driver.” – a) There have been top drivers who have been outqualified worse than 13-2, like Prost by Senna and Lauda by that very same Prost. I consider both Lauda and Prost as better drivers than RIC and VER.
            b) RIC actually has not been outqualified by his teammate with 13-2. You can repeat this whole 13-2 narrative all you want, but it doesn’t change the given that in a lot of instances there was no fight. Sure RIC set a time (you try to trick me by saying that, bc it would imply a level playing field), but the truth is very different though. In many qualis RIC had a preknown penalty so he only participated in Q1. In theory he could just not set a time at all (and then those quali-figures would be a lot less skewed), but every team sends their driver out, to check whether everything is working properly bc it is the last time they can check it before race start.
            How many times did he have this and VER not? 3 times.
            You also had JAP last week in which RIC had a broken car so he couldn’t set a time in Q2. That’s 4.
            Then we had Russia in which both of the drivers had a preknown penalty. They both were set to do one lap in Q1. RIC was faster. Max couldn’t stand that (he probably wanted the ‘quali-streak’ not to end), so while RIC came in as was planned, Max did another one in which he went faster. This was done under yellow, so he got a penalty. I don’t know whether this ‘officially’ counts as a win or loss, but I do know that they used to strip any times that were set ‘illegally’, so then it would be a loss for VER. Maybe they changed the rule and they nowadays let the set time stand, and only apply a penalty after quali. Either way, it’s pure an administrative thing and RIC was in their only planned lap the faster one.
            In HUN there was just plain bad luck for RIC. In Q2 Stroll went off track causing a yellow and RIC was right behind him so he couldn’t finish his lap (while he was well underway into the top-10 of course) and when he went for it a second time, it started to rain, so it was impossible to beat the slowest time in the dry.
            Britain’s quali was hampered by DRS that didn’t work.
            Belgium was a bit weird, RB misjudging the weather conditions in Q3, so they only had one run in sub-optimal conditions, but VER was faster in it, so that’s one for VER. Singapore RIC was way off the pace (+0.662), which is really strange (avg gap is a little more than 0.1), so you would suspect there was something wrong with the car. But lets not deprive VER of this one either.
            On the other hand I would give RIC Monaco too. VER didn’t participate in quali bc of his FP3-crash, but it was his own doing that caused him not being able to, not a technical issue. Every driver since the inception of FPs knows not to crash in them right before quali in Monaco.
            So what do you get then? 8-3, or 8-4 if you count Rus in favour of RIC.
            Furthermore, since RIC announced his departure, he’s been left out from some briefings/updates and so on.
            So there hasn’t changed a lot in comparison with last year in terms of outright quali-speed.
            c) If that’s the conclusion you draw by “following my logic”, you simply haven’t understood it.

  5. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
    11th October 2018, 11:00

    Kind of sad but Ricciardo has been pretty anonymous both on track and in the media since his Renault announcement. I hope he hasn’t made a really bad decision.

    1. probably RBR shutting him off, I think it is normal, after all he will go to a competitor and won’t be a face for the team anymore. I would suspect he won’t be getting as much info related to next year, and parts that are intended for testing will surely go to Max.

      Standard situation in my opinion

      1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        11th October 2018, 11:54

        Yes true, also can’t help not knowing exactly what is going on in your own car even if he is getting all the new developments.

    2. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      11th October 2018, 17:26

      Also a factor in his 2018 performance may be his unsettled mind as he tried to find a new home. He was clearly unsettled by RBRs coalescence around Max. Don’t give up on him but I think until Lewis or Vettel retires or Renault build a decent chassis engine combo, he’ll be providing last minute overtaking entertainment in the mid-field. I think Lewis put it best when he said of the two, “You’ve got one very fast and one very consistent.”

  6. Ricciardo is extremely lucky, if it was down to “bigger balls” and he was paired with K-Mag he wouldn’t have a chance

    1. So that’s why drivers require seat fittings!

        1. @johnmilk – I’m not clicking that while I’m at work. Oh no, you don’t trick me that easy. 🙈

          1. @phylyp not that bad, but yes I don’t know your work environment so better wait for a coffee break. I work at home so I don’t have that sort of problem

        2. @johnmilk LOL, that might be standard fitment for any racer 👍

  7. I think DR nailed it when he said “maybe Max is just getting a lot better.” The rest of his quotes have him verbally dancing around the issue with the luxury of hindsight.

    The rate at which Max has been outqualifying DR has only accelerated since he joined RBR part way into 2016. I think that is very telling. He puts it down to set-ups for the most part, but, time and time again? The thing is even being better at setups is an indication of a better driver. It can also be a sign of bigger balls. If you generally run less wing (and therefore drag) to make up for lack of hp, that means driving is more challenging in corners. But Max pulls it off.

    Has DR (his side of the garage) never tried to duplicate Max’s setup just to see? I find it hard to believe they never have. If Max isn’t a braver and better driver, he is at least certainly better at working with his crew and with setups which has had him consistently starting higher and that is huge in these cars. DR should be taking lessons (he did say he is still learning as I’m sure Max is too) so the same does not happen to him at Renault. Deciding after the fact that a few more clicks in the wing would have been better, well, that’s why hindsight is 20/20, and too late in racing.

    1. @robbie
      You are correct Robbie. Daniel is an exceptional F1 driver, he beat Seb, and I think he could do again, many may disagree but I think he can hold his own with Lewis and beat all others, except Max. I hate saying this as a Dan F1 nut but Max is just that little bit quicker, I think Max would beat Lewis this year and he will not be matched by the older generation (Lew, Seb, Dan & Kimi) and hopefully the new Gen (Ocon, Leclerc, Gasly) can be as great.

      1. @garns Still it is going to be interesting and exciting to see what DR can do at Renault. As far as I know they continue to pour resources into growing the team. And they are a factory team. I’m sure they have big aspirations, especially now that they won’t have RBR as their flagship team.

        1. @robbie
          F1 has changed since Renault entered F1 last, but they always do well.
          Dan will have a frustrating year next year, but maybe also show how far a mid-tier team can do with his hands. I suspect a little better than expected.

          Alain Prost has also entered more in a full time advisor role. While I a am an Ayrton fan I would be stupid not to say Prost is one of the best of all time, a great mind in F1. He and Dan will be great. Lets not forget the Hulk, great driver who needs more success !!

      2. @garns I find your sentiments rather amusing. Max, up until Monaco was crashing into barriers and other cars and making mistake after mistake. Up until Monaco Max was trailing RIC on merit and yet, you think with performances like that he would be beating HAM? Vettel at worst has made as many mistakes as Max and is comfortably trailing HAM in the standings yet you think Max has outperformed these 4 time champs… I’m afraid you’ve fallen into the VERS hype. I’m sorry to say but for me VERS is more on the Montoya trajectory as opposed to the other great drivers like Schumi or Senna. He still has

        A LOT

        to prove to even be mentioned alongside Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso.

        1. +1 @blazzz Verstappen is clearly very fast and aggressively audacious. However I think he lacks Hamilton’s level of precision in close racing and obviously lacks his judgement. The latter he can learn. That extra bit of control? I don’t think so. He may not need it to win championships, but against Hamilton in level cars (almost an impossibility between different terms) I think both factors would go against him.

        2. @blazzz
          Sorry for slow reply, haven’t been on in the last few days. I don’t think I have fallen for the Max hype, I just see the kid getting better and wonder how far he will go. I am a Danny Ric fan so don’t like seeing Max our qualify or race him, its the last thing I want to see. If anything I should be ‘anti-Max’ as he is beating my favourite driver (yes Dan had more reliability issues) but he cant beat him on Saturday at the moment.
          Point taken on Max beating Lewis, and that’s fair, Lewis has been pretty awesome of late. Maxx did make a very lousy start to the year but the way he is racing now, in equal cars I think close.

  8. Sigh, why do people have to drag some big balls into this again (see the question Ricciardo had to probably answer) – I always imagined big balls getting in the way horribly in that tight cockpit!. I think it is just that we see the trend of Verstappen getting better at it continue. And Ricciardo is not improving his driving as much as Max in the last 12 months.

  9. Ricciardo is increasingly starting to sound like he’s got a chip on his shoulder. Don’t go there Daniel, there’s more to life! :)

    1. I don’t think he has a chip on his shoulder at all, he said Max is getting faster.

  10. As driving a f1 car already requires one to be incredibly brave, it is hard to see how DR would somehow not dare the x% extra.

    I think max is really that fast, and DR was hampered by uncertainties and now perhaps some doubt that may affect his concentration. And perhaps the RB is simply more suited to max’s driving style.

    I feel for DR though. He would have beaten bottas in a merc i think. Good luck to him.

  11. DR is racing history. He knew it would be 200% MAX and Honda next year. Even for Honda he was irrelevant maybe at the most a second choice. Lets hope he can score a couple of points for Renault next year. I wish him luck, it is a nice guy and a great racer with excellent mentality.

  12. After Monaco belly flop Dan’s balls should’ve swelled to epic proportions – he could easily swing any driver along with his car from the track just by doing the hip shake. He could have been listening too much to AC/DC:

    Some balls are held for charity
    And some for fancy dress
    But when they’re held for pleasure,
    They’re the balls that I like best.
    And my balls are always bouncing,
    To the left and to the right.
    It’s my belief that my big balls should be held every night.

    But speaking dead seriously , if you need to go faster through the high speed Esses, you need smaller balls…

  13. I like Daniel’s personality, and I rate him highly as a racing driver (one of my favorites in this generation). How high however and where he places amongst this current grid’s top ranked drivers, I’m not so sure.

    On some days (China, Monaco and Hungary) I think he’s from the same mould as Fernando Alonso: perhaps an above average driver in qualifying at best, but highly intelligent w/ a very brilliant race craft that more than makes up for it on Sundays. However on certain days, he can come across as post-2007 Kimi Raikkonen (or 2012 Mark Webber or pre-2009 Jenson Button, if you like): solid in qualifying and in the race, but as you’d expect him to be given his obvious talent and the car he is driving.

    I think over a single-lap, Max (through his talent and style) is around two-tenths quicker than Danny Ric. But in the race, they’re just about even with Daniel slightly edging it through consistency (similar to Alonso against Hamilton in 2007). The problem is, I think Daniel’s consistency on Sundays is not always carried through from one weekend to another.

    Maybe he’s on to something: he’s not slow, but he’s lacking the necessary diligence on the technical side of things; wherein he’s not as open/patient to try and explore new set-ups. He implied it himself a couple of times, e.g. “….Max is a racing nerd” and “I’d rather have no practice sessions, just qualifying and the race”.

    If so, he needs to be careful. Remember in 2009, one reason Rubens Barrichello failed to capitalize on Brawn GP’s early dominance and therefore challenge Jenson’s supremacy, was because he insisted on running with a brake set-up that later proved to be outdated for those generation of cars; whereas Jenson was diligent enough to look into different configurations/set-ups and found the right one early on. Similar story with Nelson Piquet, where he was able to nullify Nigel Mansell’s raw speed through dint of hard work (e.g. agreeing to single-handedly develop Williams’ active suspension, and banning Mansell from using it once he got it to work).

    1. @rafael-o Nice observations. The fact that the racing nerd is also the most risk-taking driver, and the fast but careful race plotter isn’t (he implies) into the technical side is a strange reversal in some ways.

  14. I think Max is absolutely ruthless and takes more risk. Daniel is smooth and fast but maybe more careful.

  15. It underlines how brilliant Max is that he is consistently faster than Daniel who is better than Seb.

  16. I find it really quite odd that the editors will happily completely overlook Dans brilliant drive from 15th on the grid last week, but are happy to add orange coloured click bait like this.

    1. Brilliant drive? Hmmm, a week before his teammate started 19th on the grid and led most laps of the race.
      What exactly did DR do to call his drive brilliant?

  17. I thinks there’s a couple of things that we should consider.

    Firstly, when they started testing this year it was again apparent that the Red Bull car was not going to be a contender for either the WCC or the WDC. I think at that point Dan’s motivation took a hit – I don’t think he really cares all that much about Max qualifying 4th and him 5th. If it was a case of them having a real chance of qualifying on the front row (like Monaco), he switches on – otherwise I don’t think for this year, and knowing that he was not staying, he was 100% fully switched on.

    Secondly, his team mate during practice spends almost as much time flying off the track as absolute rookies do. Whilst that is (I assume) home testing the absolute limits of the track, drivers from earlier eras (yes that includes Dan) actually learned the hard way that going off track = potential huge damage.
    These days with tracks being so sanitised, there’s no real penalty for overdoing it – the older drivers (more experienced ones) need to realign their conservative approach and take more risk when setting up their cars, something that’s a bit foreign to them, because I think they’re missing a risky setting or two that drivers like Max don’t because he doesn’t care at all about how many times he’s off track if he thinks it got him into the corner a tenth quicker.
    There is nothing longer a risk of injury or death, driving styles for some need to be adjusted and be less conservative that was the case a few years back.

    1. I can read what you’re writing but why are those things needed to be considered? Basically you’re telling that DR is an old-school driver that can’t/won’t adept to the new F1 and on top of that having motivational problems? (please correct me, cause that’s not how I see DR). If that is the case, then it would be better if he just retired…

    2. Did DR drove back in the 70’s? I have no recollection of him in any era that was deemed dangerous. (That era ended in the early eighties, every death afterwards was a freak incident.)

  18. I reckon Daniel is livid at being designated as the No.2 driver at Red Bull. Then he got snubbed by Mercedes and Ferrari. So he took a punt on Renault but they seem to be drifting slowly backwards. So now he must face the fear that he might have ‘Nandoed it, and could spend the next two years fighting for 12th place with Saubers and Toro Rossos. Let’s hope Renault can find some more grunt to challenge the Mercs, Bulls and the four Ferraris!

  19. If it’s not bigger balls, it must be bigger brains then!

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