Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2018

Verstappen against plan to add ‘Q4’ to qualifying

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen isn’t in favour of adding a ‘Q4’ session to qualifying.

What they say

The Red Bull driver argued in favour of keeping qualifying short so drivers don’t have endless chances to improve their laps.

I would keep it like it is. Otherwise you are running so much it’s just more and more practice.

I think qualifying should be a shorter session where you don’t have that many opportunities to do a lap otherwise what’s qualifying for? It’s just another practice session where everybody can get into a rhythm. What I always understood in qualifying is that you have to go out, have a few shots at it and that’s it. But if you start to do more and more and more everybody at one point starts to do a good lap.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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1993 McLaren-Cosworth MP4-8, Donington Grand Prix Collection
1993 McLaren-Cosworth MP4-8, Donington Grand Prix Collection

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Comment of the day

Just how good is Daniel Ricciardo?

I like Ricciardo’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 with 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, Verstappen (through his talent and style) is around two-tenths quicker than Ricciardo. But in the race, they’re just about even with Ricciardo slightly edging it through consistency (similar to Alonso against Hamilton in 2007). The problem is, I think Ricciardo’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 capitalise on Brawn GP’s early dominance and therefore challenge Button’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 Button was diligent enough to look into different configurations/set-ups and found the right one early on.
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  • 45 comments on “Verstappen against plan to add ‘Q4’ to qualifying”

    1. How about Q3 turns into a top 10 shootout. 1 Driver at a time. 1 chance.

      You could see a top driver make a mistake, and a midfield driver like the Torro Rossos or Haas in a random P2, P3 position, which would spice up racing.

      Or… hear me out. Scrap qualifying and have grid positions as per last race finishing position. More incentive to get a better race result rather than conserve and make do with x amount of points.

      Or get rid of FP1, make FP2 and FP3 60 Mins each, that will give teams less data to get the perfect setup.

      The sport can be spiced up without destroying it, but its those darn teams that give us the show in the first place that kinda take it away from us, haha. Bernie was right, F1 needs to be a dictatorship.

      1. That sounds nice and all, drivers will get their air time and I’m sure sponsors would love it. But for racing, I don’t see how the teams would go for this. Changing track conditions being my primary argument against 1 driver qualifying at a time. The track becomes faster as the guys lay down rubber. The last guy will always benefit the most. Also if rain is expected, how is it fair?

        Last race position = grid position is not good either for fair competition. What if you dnf in first? You just cost yourself two race and not one.

        I love your last idea I like less data. Less data will make things more organic, make the drivers matter more. Take away tire sensors like in F2, have the drivers guessing the life of the tires and how to work them.

        1. Nice idea but how would it work when you consider the greatly increased wear on already limited power unit components.

      2. I think the top 10 shootout is the only way to improve the qualifying. I think it is fine as it is but if someone wants to change something then that could be it. I doubt it would change the racing at all though. The division 1 cars will always finish finish in the first 6 positions regardless where they start but it would be great to see some new faces in the front row if the division 1 team drivers make mistakes.

      3. Top 10 shootout – one word BORING. Each driver needs about 6 mins to do out lap, timed lap, in-lap. And don’t forget time added on for crashes etc.

        Last race position – as mentioned dnf’s

        Teams do a lot of testing in FP1 & 2. There is no other opportunity these days to test correlation between design, cfd, wind tunnel (limited) and track. At least this way each team gets the same track time for testing. If you get rid of FP 1 & 2 then again the top financed teams and those with own test tracks (Ferrari) have big advantage.

        If you want to spice it up a bit have FP1 be driven by teams reserve and the upcoming protege’s only. Include a set of wets and inters available for FP1 only, encourage them to get out at the slippy times.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          12th October 2018, 7:00

          Don’t forget that the next driver is doing their outlap while the current driver is setting their hotlap.

          1. Not always, in some instances they only have one competitor on track at a time, so that the competitor joining the track is not held up because of track cleaning, break down of previous etc. They like to see it is as fair as possible for everyone.

            1. just a after thought. With only one timed lap/driver and with reference to last w/end. “how many would have gone off at Degner 2? and brought gravel etc. on to the track?”

        2. Yes, I agree with the notion that the reserve driver should be given some track time. I suspect some don’t get to sit in a car for months at a time.

      4. Top ten shoot out sounds sounds like an excellent idea, just what F1 quali needs.

      5. @chris

        Q3 shootout is actually a very good idea.

        1) It seperates boys from men, because the pressure is on for 1 lap.
        2) Also Q2 gets more value for the top drivers, because it gives you the opportunity to earn the last lap of Q3 qualifying.
        3) Even with changing conditions it gets interesting, in Q2 teams can speculate on the deterring conditions by not proceeding fastest into Q3 on purpose.

        In one word: brilliant!

        1. I have alway had the same view!!

      6. one lap/single car qualifying is & always has been boring to watch be it for the full field or just the top 10.

        right now the final seconds of qualifying are super exciting as the order can change several times as can the pole/front row. with single car/lap qualifying there is no real tension or excitement at the end, especially if after the 1st or 2nd sector you can see the car is behind the fastest times.

        i also remember been at the track during some of the single lap sessions from 2003-2005 & it was worse than watching on tv as you were only seeing 1 car on a fast lap every 90+ seconds which was just not that fun.

        dtm used to do a top 10 shootout but moved away from it as fans found it boring, the aussie supercars series do it for bathurst out of tradition but stopped doing it elsewhere again because people found it boring to watch. the single car/lap format simply doesn’t work in terms of been interesting or exciting to watch on tv but especially from trackside which is why it’s a format that isn’t used much now.

    2. What’s with the McCarthyite article from Miami Herald?

      1. Nothing whatsoever to do with F1 and not relevant to this site, looks like he is just making a political statement.

        1. In other news, in the land of the “free”, twitter and facebook have just removed over a 1000 pages which don’t tow the mainstream narrative in one shape or another. Even Stalin would envy the obedience and efficiency that these sites are showing towards the US government.

          1. Comments like this indicate that you should probably pick up a history book every once in a while. Or any kind of book, for that matter.

          2. but are you related to Banksy or not?

          3. Twitter and Facebook prefer to promote pseudo-investigative info from Bellingcat that has received grants from Google Digital News Initiative, and the Open Society Foundations.

    3. So Nico’s going to Mars?

      1. As far as I can tell a ticket to Mars is a single, not a return.

    4. GtisBetter (@)
      12th October 2018, 3:20

      Re:CotD I think the difference between ricciardo and verstappen is that ricciardo wants more then just F1. If you read all his interviews you get the idea he loves racing, but is not the all or nothing guy. Maybe he was at one point, but not anymore. Verstappen eats, sleeps and breaths racing. Thats the 2 tenths.

      1. Yeah from a few things I have heard DR say, I agree that he seems to love racing but does not love some of what comes with the territory such as frustrations or bad luck etc. I think he pretty much implied that there are some moments when he ‘hates’ racing, in the sense that it can be cruel on the emotions sometimes. I’m strictly paraphrasing but that’s what I took from his wording. But I’m sure all drivers must experience that at times.

        But I also don’t think ‘that’s the 2 tenths.’ For me it is never just about one thing. Sure if Max is hungrier, that can help, but I’d like to think there is no issue of motivation for DR, or that he would just leave it at that without trying to do something about it. A lot of people are spending an awful lot of money to entrust a car in the hands of these drivers for them go out and make millions doing what they love. For the relatively short time they have in the pinnacle, they better be pretty dedicated, and all should be eating, sleeping, and breathing it. They owe that to their teams and it’s sponsors. No I think for DR it is also about setups as he has said, and if that is partly because Max is a better or more dedicated student, then DR could always try some of those setups, for after all it is a whole team and they all need to be advancing the car. Yet DR still says Max has better setups. Methinks the issue is that Max is a notch above the average F1 driver, and darn hard to have as a teammate. There’s a reason he is where he is at his young age. Most drivers spend more time on lesser teams, like DR for example.

    5. There is nothing wrong with the current qualifying. This is just more pointless meddling to justify paying the idiots in charge. They tried changing it a few years back, it was a disaster. What other ‘sport’ feels the need to change the rules every 2 weeks? The sooner F1 dies the better.

      1. +1 Dividing into 3 works fine. 4 would just take the edge off the other rounds.

        If you wanted to tweak it, maybe narrow the time for Q2 so drivers have only one hot lap, keep the rules about which tyre you have to start on, but drop the rule about it having to be the actual set used in Q2, so drivers can at least push. That would make Q2 interestingly chaotic and undoubtedly catch out some of the front runners, adding some ‘mixture’ to the grid. Q3 should be all about the fastest car, tyres and driver.

    6. Maybe do an average? The verge of Q2 and Q3 determines the actual starting position. It would push drivers towards a lap that is more to the limit than now in Q2. And a mistake can be ‘corrected” or can haunt you.

      1. Interesting. It would definitely dissuade the likes of Mercedes & Ferrari from running Q2 on the harder tyre to gain a race advantage.

    7. Also icw the tyre rule the top teams would have to think harder about strategy since they need to start the race on the tyres from the best Q2 lap.

    8. Re: COTD, I think drivers get categorised and stereotyped too much and too quickly. At the start of his career, Ric was super quick in quality but questionable in races. Now apparently it’s the opposite. He was THE driver of the year by many (including this site) in 2014 and 2016. Now he is maybe not even in the top group. At the start of the year Verstappen was highly criticised, and it was all praise for Ricciardo with many suggesting he had (or should have) the free choice of a Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes seat. A few months later and now that has completely reversed.

      The same story could be painted of so many drivers. It’s all knee-jerk reaction and flavour of the month stuff as far as I can see.

      Think about this. Verstappen appears to be a couple of tenths quicker than Ricciardo in quali. Ricciardo himself had a couple of tenths on Vettel in ’14. Vettel had two or three tenths on Webber. Webber out-paced Rosberg when they were in Williams. If you agree with this and take it literally then simple maths would tell you Verstappen might be over a second faster than Rosberg. The same Rosberg who almost matched Hamilton on one lap pace, one the greatest qualifiers of all time. It doesn’t stack up because the reality is simply not just black and white.

      1. @aussierod it’s a good point. circumstances change all the time and of course it’s very possible that drivers will improve/regress within a single season. and as you say if you follow the “x was faster than y who was faster than z” logic you get some really wacky conclusions (even if you follow the alonso-massa-stroll path I think it’s unlikely stroll would be that much slower than alonso in equal cars….or would he??).

        regarding verstappen and ricciardo, I always think points per finish is the best metric (qualifying is an excellent measure of speed, but they’re here to score points and that’s it). currently verstappen is on 12.35 and ricciardo is on 13.27 – very close but ricciardo edges it.

        1. Agree with you both. There are reasons and circumstances for everything. When you try to defend a driver that another person doesn’t care for as much, then suddenly you are making excuses, not giving reasons. When that same person accusing you of making excuses wants to defend his/her favourite driver, suddenly they are giving reasons, not excuses, for an off day or an off season by his/her driver.

    9. Is it just me or did anyone else read Mission Winnow logo on Kimi’s chest as “Missing Winning“? Thought it was a personal statement.

    10. I agree with both Verstappen (although like I’ve stated before; Just keep it as it is. ”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”) and Rosberg in principle.
      – Regarding the De Telegraaf-article: A sensible decision by RBR.
      – Interesting COTD. I can agree with its points.

    11. I thought the only reason for qualifying in this format was for the fans, spectators and enthousiasts. The teams have other options in mind.

    12. Whenever new Quali formats are discussed, I keep promoting this one:

      Q1: drivers qualify by beating only their teammates.
      Q2: slower Q1 teammates qualify for spots 11-20;
      Q3: faster Q1 teammates qualify for pole to P10
      – this is one of the few ways to ‘celebrate’ the driver rather than just the car.
      – we get weekly overtaking races like Verstappen in Sochi.
      – Q1 will finally be exciting; all drivers will have to go twice.
      – Q2 will be a competition throughout the field to get the best starting position, rather than 3 teams just saving tyres.

      The criticism that some teams will ‘send’ their #1 to Q3 is valid but should be limited to only those teams with a #2 driver ‘without balls’. And if Bottas (others) starts from 11th then at least he cannot be used as a ‘wingman’ blocking other top drivers.

      1. Also an interesting suggestion. It means being a number one driver in a mediocre team is better than being a number two driver in a top team. Good choice by Danny Ricc to move to Renault then!

    13. On the Donington Museum closure, the weekend of the 3rd and 4th, there are two track days, operated by BookATrack (£275) and Javelin (£179). I’ll be going to the Sunday one in my Clio, and checking out the circuit museum on the Saturday. Should be a fun weekend!

    14. Since we are in silly season I have a plan to spice up qualy.

      Have all the drivers line up on the start line on foot, do a 400 metre dash – the order in this footrace dictates the place on ‘qualifying’ grid – qualy 1 will be a 15 lap mini race – all cars on track :) The top 10 finishers from the previous race must do qualy 1 on the hardest tyres (the others free choice). The order of this race dictates the main race start position of the bottom 6 for the main race on Sunday, and for Qualy 2 for the rest.
      Qualy 2 Top 8 from Qualy 1 must use the middle hardness tyre (the others free choice) – for a 10 lap mini race – dictating main race position for places 9 -16, and starting position for Qualy 3.

      All must have a minimum amount of fuel in each qualy race
      Free choice of tyres for all in qualy 3 – 5 lap mini race.
      Unlimited use of drs in all sessions and free choice of tyres in the main race.

      I know probably unworkable for many reasons, but more cars on track throughout qualy and more overtakes and more flatout racing – works for me :)

    15. I know it is probably just a fantasy, but what about a race on saturday between all drivers, but in equal cars, like porsches, ferraris etc.
      A simple race that determines the starting positions for the sunday race, the grid for the ‘pre race’ gets decided by lottery or something. Every raceweekend different cars and such…

      1. @wbravenboer – While I can spot a few issues that would keep this from being easy to implement, it would be a great idea if they could do it. Would be fun to watch as well—like old Top Gear F1 drivers in the Liana.

      2. I suggest to take this one step further: The car in every GP would have to be locally produced.
        I guess some camel riding lessons would be handy then.

      3. I’d like to see some more of that.. yes please

        Or maybe this

    16. Scrap the three qualifying rounds and have a Saturday sprint race to qualify. Each driver gets a Saturday grid slot pulled from a hat in a random lottery. They then have a 30 minute sprint race to determine the Sunday grid for the Grand Prix.

    17. I miss the one hour with 3 sets of sticky tyres and spare car.

      Now I only watch the last 10minutes the rest is filler

    Comments are closed.