Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2018

Why Renault’s power unit frustrates ‘Vettel-like’ Verstappen more than Ricciardo

2018 Mexican Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

An ecstatic Max Verstappen celebrated his second victory of the season on Sunday. But 24 hours earlier his mood had been a glaring contrast.

Verstappen led all three practice sessions at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. But in Q3, seemingly from nowhere, his team mate Daniel Ricciardo snatched pole position by less than three-hundredths of a second.

Any driver would be frustrated to lose out to their team mate in such circumstances. However Verstappen was especially aggrieved that his time loss was due to a recurring problem with how his Renault power unit affects the balance of his Red Bull.

Verstappen carried his momentum from practice into qualifying. He was quickest of those who did a single run on hyper-softs in Q1, then headed Q2 after switching to the harder ultra-softs to gain a strategic benefit.

He then did an out-lap and an in-lap on hyper-softs at the end of Q2 to check his car’s handling ahead of the decisive top 10 shoot-out. But despite looking competitive, Verstappen had concerns about how his car was going to perform on a maximum-attack lap in Q3:

Verstappen’s radio after Q2 ultra-soft run

To Verstappen:And that put you P1. Top six on ultras, 15.6, saw you lost quite a bit of time in sector three as well and it’s still looking a little bit neutral into some of the low-speed turns.
Verstappen:Yeah, very neutral.
To Verstappen:Is that just balance or engine issues?
Verstappen:Well, a little of both.

Verstappen’s radio after aborted Q2 hyper-soft run

To Verstappen:Abort, Max, abort. So just make sure your dash is negative on the way in and box.
Verstappen:How did it look?
To Verstappen:From outside it looked reasonable, certainly sector two through sector three. How did the car feel?
Verstappen:Yeah, same issues still.
To Verstappen:Understood. You were purple again in sector two. Looked like your sector three was again a step up.
Verstappen:Yeah I have a lot of rear locking under braking as well which is not helping.
To Verstappen:Which corners?
Verstappen:One a little bit but especially four.
To Verstappen:OK we’ll have a look, thank you.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Sure enough, after leading the first runs on hyper-softs Verstappen was unable to improve on his second run and Ricciardo took pole.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2018
Verstappen suffers more from Renault’s engine braking
“I was struggling the whole qualifying with the same problems I had in FP2,” Verstappen explained afterwards. “I had a lot of rear locking on the down-shifting and when I come off throttle. Somehow the behaviour was not correct.”

As a result Verstappen didn’t have the confidence to push the car to its limit. “I just had to lock a lot of tools, go forward on the brake balance to try and stabilise the whole car. It’s not how you want to do qualifying, normally you go more aggressive and be more aggressive on all the tools.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the problem is common to both drivers’ cars. The difference lies in how Verstappen wields his RB14.

“Max is more sensitive to it from the entry speed he takes into a corner than Daniel,” said Horner. “That’s always been the case.”

The difference between the two lies in the higher entry speed Verstappen carries into corners. Verstappen relies on having stability from the rear of his car to do this, and is unsettled by how power is fed into the transmission as he changes down gears.

“It’s the throttle control on the downshift: Getting the right throttle control on the blip on the downshift and the right torque engagement basically into the gearbox,” said Horner. “It’s a mapping issue.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2014
Vettel was beaten by Ricciardo in qualifying in 2014
Intriguingly, Horner indicates the same trait was apparent in Renault’s first generation of V6 hybrid power units when Sebastian Vettel still drove for the team.

“[Verstappen] takes so much speed into the corner he relies – a little bit like Sebastian used to, Sebastian was always more sensitive to it than Daniel – particularly with Max’s driving style when he carries so much momentum into the corner, if he doesn’t get what he expects it unsettles the car, catches him out. And then you have to under-drive the car at that point in time.”

Vettel solved his problem by leaving the team and joining Ferrari. Verstappen hopes his problem will be solved when he gets his hands on a Honda next year. Ricciardo, meanwhile, will stick with the Renault power units which don’t frustrate his driving style in the same way.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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

73 comments on “Why Renault’s power unit frustrates ‘Vettel-like’ Verstappen more than Ricciardo”

  1. It’s great to hear something else than spin out of Horners mouth, I knew he could be interesting and insightful! He should really try it more often :)

    1. The insights of the article/quotes are vey interesting.
      Not who is better/worse but some nuggets about driving styles.

      I’m not Verstappen ;) but hate it as well when I cannot use engine braking (into corners).

  2. Interesting to read the radio chats from Q1 and Q2. During the qualifying session I remember only 1 chat being broadcast between Max and the engineer and there was no complain there so when he complained afters it appeared to come out of nowhere so looked like an excuse.
    But now we can see that he complained about engine braking before although he does say it affected him more in turns 1 and 4 AND from the chat it seems sector 3 was not as good as sector 2 (and if I recall correctly, it was due to Daniel’s good sector 3 that he “stole” pole-position)…

    I do like how you end the article, showing how the drivers work-around their issues with Renault engine :-D

  3. So Max was complaining all the way through qualy and not just afterwards. And there was actually something wrong with the car that held him back.

    Nice insight on the difference in driving styles

    1. Quite. But as the article states, and as Horner stated, both cars had the same issues. Ricciardo just drove around them better.

      1. @blazzz Well, yeah, for that one lap in Q3. Not so much for Q1 or Q2, or the practice sessions or for the race itself.

        1. @robbie No, that’s a fallacy. Verstappen was quicker in general, but his not handling the issue in Q3 meant he didn’t extract his potential, whereas Ricciardo, handling it, did. FPs, Qs and race just prove that Verstappen was a few tenths quicker, when he was handling it.

          1. @hahostolze Where’s the fallacy? Sounds like you’re agreeing with me. DR handled it better for one key lap in Q3, Max, the rest of the time.

          2. @robbie yeah pretty much the point I hit ‘post comment’ I realised that I wasn’t sure why again that was a fallacy. Sorry.

          3. What I meant was: Ricciardo drove around them better consistently, only in Q3 did it actually help his time.

      2. Hhahahaaha, two notorious VER-FBoys performing this charade for us. Not for the first time, now is it and most likely not the last.

        FPs are there for testing, setting the car up, both for quali as for the race. If you would connect FP-results with actual points or grid positions, you would have a totally different points standings. I can give you literally dozens of examples, each season, in which the ‘quicker’ guy in FP is beaten in quali. In Q1 and Q2 you only need to get in the top 15 and top 10 to proceed. Just as in FP, no points and no grid positions are being handed out there. Every single driver knows this and acts accordingly. Don’t try to enforce some little competition that only exists in your little tiny heads, just bc it fits your narratives.

        Radio comment 2 actually says it was a good run, he was purple in sectors 2 and 3. A driver will almost always mention ‘issues’, regardless.
        And there was another radio exchange, after the second, which was broadcasted on tv. “Everything looking fine” (paraphrasing) according to VER. And sure enough, his fastest lap in Q3, his first, was a mere 0.026s slower than RICs fastest. In his second run VER was about a 1/4 of a second slower than in his first, 0.006s faster than RICs first lap in Q3. A lap of which RIC said he didn’t pull it all together. Even in his pole lap he said he lost something in sector 1, but knew he was on top of it in sectors 2 and 3.
        So it was just a matter of putting it all together in one lap. Both RIC and VER lost about 0.25 or 0.3s in one of their 2 laps. VER came close nailing it in his 1st run, RIC in his 2nd and he just came a little bit closer, that was just it.
        This whole thing is just an attempt of certain people try to make it sound as if VER had a faulty engine. But in reality it is not a malfunctioning engine that’s hindering him, it’s just an engine characteristic with which VER has, apparently, difficulties coping with. Strange however that this story emerges now, after VER has been in the team for almost 3 years.

        The way it is penned here in the article is misleading, bc it shows the two radio comments, and doesn’t mention the 3rd “Everything’s fine” comment, and then proceeds with “Sure enough, after leading the first runs on hyper-softs Verstappen was unable to improve on his second run and Ricciardo took pole.” If you don’t follow the chronology of the events closely here, you might think that after those radio comments, VER couldn’t improve his time anymore (and implying it was bc of that ‘engine issue’). But that’s not the case. VER set his fastest time of the weekend right after those radio comments.
        Just like it’s misleading to use the sentence “In qualis in which both drivers have set a time, VER is clearly leading by 13-2” or so, which was used in earlier articles over here. Misleading, bc of the grid penalties RIC was forced to start at the back of the grid while at the same time he was obliged to set a lap time just in order to qualify within the 107% (hence ‘quali’). There was no qualification battle, so why assign wins and losses in those circumstances? True q-battle is more like 8-6.

        1. KRXX, your usuall bible-ecs epistle
          Please elaborate how on earth you think the true quali battle ‘is more like 8-6’ while Ricciardo has beaten Verstappen in only two sessions…? Baku by 0.083 sec and Mexico by 0.026 sec.

          For once I leaning towards agreeing with you on most of your post regarding driving around the poor drivability of the Renault engine… though surely both car won’t behave exact the same at exact the same time.
          On Saturday Max was unlucky in Mexico, Ricciardo lucky… on sunday it gor reversed… both partially engine related.

          Though ending with your absurd quali statement kind of wipes away your complete post… try a be a bit more realisitc

          1. 1] Matn, to back up a particular view, it’s inevitable to use more than just two or three words like VER-FBoys like to do, like the clown who calls himself ‘oconomo’ with his “MV is driving in circles around DR”. Everybody can type those words, yet they’re meaningless if not backed with data. Funnily enough, you ask me to elaborate right after your epistle-complaint.

            2] You say that “surely both car won’t behave exact the same at exact the same time.” But that’s the thing here; the ‘issue’ with the REN-engine is not a question of the engine malfunctioning, it is an intrinsic characteristic of this engine. So yes, I am inclined to believe it did behave the same all the time for both drivers in quali, it did behave exactly how it was designed to.
            You mention Sunday. Did RIC experience some kind of trouble during the race with the engine? I’ve already read about his clutch issue.

            3] Now quali. It’s astounding how much of a blind spot you oranges got when it comes to these kind of comparisons. You just simply turn away and forget most of the times RIC won the battle, amazing how the human brain works, how it bends clear cold outside signs (data), just to fit one’s narrative. Well, here we go (and BTW, not for the 1st time). First the obvious ones:
            VER outqualified RIC in AUS CHN ESP CAN FRA AUT BEL SIN (8)
            RIC outqualified VER in BAH AZE MON USA MEX (5)
            Now in anticipation of your reply that VER crashed out in Q1 in BAH and USA (in the USA RIC had even a faster Q1 time), I say that that’s his own doing. Do you want to give drivers who crash out of quali or the race, a bye or their virtual points back? In that case we would still have a championship on our hands. And Maldonado would still be in F1. The criterion you should apply is whether the driver had every chance to qualify as high as possible. VER had every chance to do so, yet he crashed his car in Q1 in BAH and USA and in FP3 in MON. Everybody knows, ever since the inception of F1 or FP in F1, not to crash your car on Saturday morning in Monaco, VER included. It was his responsibility to set himself up to be able to fight with RIC to fight for pole in Q3, and he’s got nobody else to blame. RIC qualified on pole, VER needed permission of the stewards to even start the race, so however you wanna put it, VER got outQUALIFIED by RIC.
            Then we also got RUS. Now this is a telling one. In RUS both had a known back-to-the-grid penalty. Therefore they were set to only do one FL in Q1 to qualify within 107%. VER had an excessive-mentioned in the media ‘streak’ of not being outqualified since that very same MON or according to some factbenders, even AZE. VER was set to continue this so called streak, he didn’t want to break it. So they did their lap, but RIC was faster. RIC came in, as was agreed with the team, but VER did not. He did a cooling down lap, went for it another time and bettered RICs time with almost 0.2s. It didn’t do anything in terms of grid position, but it was all about prestige. It says a lot about VER, about his mentality. And for sure this was just one example of many. Just think about this year, he’d rather have a (double) DNF than have his teammate pass him (he even said this last year: “I’d rather die than be overtaken”) in AZE and in ITA he refused to give way to Bottas in order to hold Vettel at bay. That’s his mentality.
            So I give RUS also to RIC. Besides, VERs 2nd time was set under yellow bc somebody had crashed, so his time was/should be deleted anyway, just like this has happened in the past.
            We’re now already at 8-6.

            In the rest of the quali’s, no fair comparison is possible: 3 times (GER ITA JAP) RIC was the only one with a grid penalty, meaning he only went out in Q1 to do a lap within 107% (and BTW in Ita RIC actually was faster than VER). In HUN he was caught out due to Stroll crashing out right in front of him (session stopped) and the weather change (rain) after the session resumed. And in BRI, RIC was handicapped with a non-functioning DRS.

            So 8-6.
            Data, no Ziggo.

          2. Oh yeah, and by using common sense and deduction, I also conclude RIC has outraced VER this year. For the 3rd time in a row.


          3. Matn,

            in case you did not notice; someone who opens a reaction with

            “Matn, to back up a particular view, it’s inevitable to use more than just two or three words like VER-FBoys like to do”

            is clearly not capable of critical thinking, self reflection, or detecting the terminal argumentation in his own words.

        2. @KRXX
          The winner of this years Nobel prize for fictional literature goes to KRXX for his emotional young adult book:
          Ramblings of a delusional cry baby who can’t seem to grasp reality!

          Just to rub it in:
          MV is driving in circles around DR, waving everytime he passes him! (Just like he did the last time DR outqualified him, whahahahahahahahahaha.)

          Orange is the new black!
          Gimme me more oranges!!!
          I love orange, and so does everyone else!

          But atleast you’re very funny xD

          1. I love oranges too. I just squeezed a couple of them myself right now; I’m having myself a nice cool glass of OJ, hahahahahhahaahahhaahahahah.


          2. KRXX,
            Wow… at least you have a theory about your own logic.

            So if I am not mistaken we delete all quali’s Dan suffered from issues or took gridpenalties and add the ones where Ver suffered from issues to Dan stats + if Dan sets a better time in q1 or 2 we add those as well.
            Even after this absurd theory Dan is still behind…. wonder how you will twist and bend a theory to get that sorted as well.

          3. @krxx

            You hit the nail directly on the head. Only intelligent people notice these kind of things and are willing to dig deep and come up with the facts. Most people will rely on the media and just copy what they have been told. “The masses elevate fools to rich heroes”.

            Not that Max is a fool, he’s great, but the media can’t help themselves try to elevate him further. Why? Because it gets them hits, gets people talking, argumemts and friction.

            But the thing is to just ignore it, this website is like a very smutty tabloid and the regulars here are mostly obnoxious as can be seen from the replies to your posts.

          4. Matn,

            1] So if I am not mistaken we delete all quali’s Dan suffered from issues or took gridpenalties: Ofcourse, not only his, but everyone in those circumstances. Those issues (2) and gridpenalties (5) were all out of his own control, or weren’t they? So it makes no sense comparing ones (VER) Q3 time to a Q1 time set by a driver who’ll have to start at the back of the grid bc of those kind of issues and who gets out solely to comply with the 107%-rule. This ‘logic’ makes perfect sense.

            2] add the ones where Ver suffered from issues to Dan stats + if Dan sets a better time in q1 or 2 we add those as well. – Nope, you only read what you want to. I’ve never done that. Ahhhh, wait, now I get what you mean. Those ‘issues’ VER suffered from as you call it, were driver errors. These ARE within a drivers control. Seriously, are you equating tech-issues that RIC had with the driver errors VER had? Hahahahahahaha, no wonder you come to those ludicrous figures. The game is called QUALIFYING. If you crash during qualifying (or in FP3 in Monaco), you’re not really helping trying to outQUALIFY your teammate, now does it? RIC outQUALIFIED VER in those circumstances bc he did a FASTER LAP. Do you even understand the format of QUALIFYING??
            Furthermore, why do you do assign driver errors to Vettel for example or indeed Sainz? 3 times in 2015 Sai crashed out of (pre) qualifying and you oranges all counted that as a win for VER and now you changed your criteria? Hahhahahahhahaha. Delusional, orange-bias.

            3] Even after this absurd theory Dan is still behind – It’s not a theory and it’s not absurd, no matter how many times you proclaim it to be; it’s how non-biased people assess. And yes, Dan is behind. I’ve got no need to have him in front, like you want VER to be, ignoring all facts.

            4] wonder how you will twist and bend a theory to get that sorted as well. – Don’t worry, I won’t. I’ve looked at the data as objectively as can be, and came to an assessment. I don’t wish to ‘reason’ anything into a particular outcome which I would like it to be, something you do practice.

          5. BMF66, thanks for your support.

          6. @krxx

            Dan is behind. I’ve got no need to have him in front, like you want VER to be, ignoring all facts.

            Ah, so you do not understand how F1 works. That’s probably the reason for your rants ;)

  4. Very good, this.
    If you have time, the Mark Hughes article over at Motorsport magazine is also very good in explaining the difference, for instance in the pole lap. Ricciardo deals better with the (perceived) issues in engine braking. Explains why Verstappen was frustrated and thought it was an issue, also explains why Ric had a better lap.

  5. This is a great article! I do wonder if these modern power units the driver can still have part throttle on corner entry and not upset the hybrid powertrain, or if you have to lift off entirely to get the benefit of regeneration. That and I don’t know if drivers still two foot brake in some instances. For example, one can drive with a hair of throttle at the end of the braking zone to keep the rears from breaking loose on a neutral/slight oversteer setup.

  6. This also reminds me of Seb and Webber pre-hybrid era when it was exhaust blown diffusers that suited SV more, and that had to do with car behaviour after the throttle was released going into corners. Different physical thing on the car of course compared to mapping as Horner describes it for Max these days, but yet I would not have been surprised if Horner had brought up the SV/MW difference in preference as well.

  7. Interesting article, good read to try and understand the different approaches by drivers and how it influences what car they “need” to be most successfull

  8. It’s interesting to compare the different driving styles of drivers. According to Prodromu, Vandoorne has a similar driving style to Vettel as well, in that he like to turn the car in one motion and gain time on corner entry, and rely on the traction provided by the car to accelerate out of the corner. If the driver isn’t able to get on the power early though, their corner entry advantage becomes eradicated, and they end up with slower acceleration out of the corners. Which could explain why Vettel struggled with the RB10, and Vandoorne likewise with the MCL-33. Both these drivers need a strong rear-end in order to support their driving styles, and the moment they don’t have that, their advantage is gone. Now you have someone like Alonso who tends to be more aggressive, and instead of one sweeping motion, he likes to bully the front end of the car with several inputs in order to coax more from the front tyres. This driving style makes him less sensitive to a loose rear-end. Which is why I personally believe that Alonso is maybe the best driving in F1 at coping with understeer. Due to these reasons, someone like Alonso is far more adaptive than the likes of Vettel and Vandoorne, as his driving style is more about bullying the car, instead of coaxing it. When the car is perfectly balanced, however, that’s when his less smooth driving style might not be as good as Vettel’s, as more inputs equals less time gained. Could be a very plausible explanation for why Alonso doesn’t get as much from qualifying as some others perhaps.

    1. @Mashiat this. I’ve always felt that there is no ‘best driver’. Certainly I maintain to this day that Vettel, with a car that he likes, is the fastest (and best) driver in F1. Equally, Hamilton can drive in more types of car close to that level (and by close, I mean neigh on), whereas Alonso is rarely the outright fastest, but he can handle pretty much all types of car and conditions. It’s a testament to Alonso that he can do a 2012, manhandling that Ferrari to a title challenge. I don’t think an Alonso (or even a Hamilton) would have beaten Vettel in 2011 or 2013. Naturally, this is just an opinion, but I think it shows that cars are important. Are you the best if you are the outright fastest if your car suits you perfectly, or are you the best if you are the most adaptive? Well, Vettel has four WCs…

      1. @hahostolze That’s the question I’m afraid you’ll get different answers to. For some, your ceiling in perfect conditions defines you as a driver, for others, it’s the adaptability and consistency of the driver in question. Someone like Raikkonen is likely superior to Alonso in perfect conditions, but would generally be slower in anything but. Which is why he won’t have the same consistency over a period of time but will have higher peaks. Might go some way to also explain why Alonso has 32 victories to Raikkonen’s 21, but Raikkonen has 46 fastest laps to 23 for Alonso. Over the entire stint, Alonso would probably be faster, but during that lap or laps where the balance of the tyres was perfect, Raikkonen was quicker. This was generally towards the end of the race for Raikkonen when the rear tyres would wear at a faster rate than the fronts, meaning that he had a car actually more suited to his liking on worn tyres than on new ones.

      2. A favorite example of this of mine is 2009 Brawn. Early season it suited Button, in particular in that the tires heated plenty well even under ultra smooth driving. Late season, Button waned, Barichello was faster, and Button barely hung on for championship; because the Brawn became less capable of getting the tires up to temperature, and Barichello’s style put more heat into the tires.

    2. *loose front-end

  9. More than anything else, Verstappen cannot stand losing from his teammate. We saw it in Australia 2016 (with Sainz), Hungary 2017 and Baku 2018. In that case he he seems unable to keep his cool. Good for him it doesn’t happen very often ;)

    1. Then again…he showed team mates much more respect then reversed….
      In Australia Sainz admitted keeping up Verstappen was payback for Singapore 2015, it ruined Max realistic shot at P5 in the race (with a TR) instead it got P10. After the Aus GP Sainz got spoken to by his team.
      Hungary 2017.. Ricciardo showed his true colours waiting a full lap just to give his team mate a middelfinger, after the race Max sincerely apologised.
      Baku 2018, while Verstappen insisted on a rac incident and mostly felt sorry for the team, Ricciardo openly spoke to the media and said ‘let the fans decide’ ofcourse knowing it would shift the blame.

      In all 3 examples you mentioned Max remained absolute cool.
      In general Max races a bit harder then most drivers do, in general he keeps his position better and in general he scores better points.

      1. In Australia, Verstappen’s frustration was more directed at the team, as they pitted Sainz before him, despite him having track position. In Baku, there was nothing wrong with Ricciardo’s comments. He was merely saying that fans can decide for themselves who they want to blame, but he wasn’t going to apportion any. I doubt there was an ulterior motive with those comments, as Red Bull probably would have told him to refrain from saying anything controversial.

        1. Mashiat,
          RBR has done arguable strategies before…
          – Australia 2015, Sainz got the undercut although Verstappen was in front
          – Germany 2016, Ricciardo got the undercut although Verstappen was in front
          – Monaco 2017, Ricciardo got the undercut although Verstappen was in front

          After all three races Max was fuming, more so cause the team has strict internal rules, about who gets to pit first.
          During quali n Austria this year there was a discussion between the two drivers about giving each other a tow, in fact it was Ricciardo asking. Verstappen, being 20 years of age, told the team ‘discipline guys, discipline!’.

          At RBR both drivers often gets the same chances, only very rarely one driver gets a benifit. This equal treatment has led to arguable near lack of taking dicisions… Baku fe. was a good example of two team mates going both overboard and the team would have been better off interfering as it looked like an accident was gogin to happen all race long (and it takes two to crash into each other)

          1. @Matn Two of the three examples you have chosen are incorrect. Ricciardo in both Germany and Monaco did not get the undercut on Verstappen. He pitted after Verstappen both times, and did simply did a better job of saving tyres. So no, the team did not favor him in those races, but it was Ricciardo beating Max on merit.

          2. actually Mashiat you are wrong when Monaco 2017 is concerned .. yes Max got the undercut because he was in front of Ricciardo but that time the undercut didn’t work out because Max got stuck behind a very slow Bottas and therefore the overcut of Ricciardo worked because he was in free air and that is why he got in front of Max in 2017 .. it had nothing to do with saving tyres .. in hindsight it was the wrong strategy for Max that year (if you don’t believe me watch the race back)

      2. Matn:

        In all 3 examples you mentioned Max remained absolute cool.

        Well afterwards maybe, but not when it happened!

        @coldfly The best winners are often the worst losers.

      3. matthijs and matn:

        Ziggo, hahahahahahhahahahaahahhahahahahhaaahha

        1. @KRXX

          The most coherent post you ever made.

    2. Any driver who accepts losing from their teammate as normal doesn’t belong in F1.
      Some are more vocal than others; some have an endearing grin hiding the frustration.

        1. I recall him smashing into his P2 placard pretty forcefully after that race. I’m sure he was unhappy about it, in his Finnish way.

  10. Ontopic: my comment is a bit off because it’s not about the frustrations he felt during the qualifying but after Q3.

  11. I think the article is missing this radio after Max first run on Q3:
    To Max: “How was the balance, how was the grip, on the rears, through the whole lap?”
    Max: “I have it better like this”
    To Max: “And through the final corners?”
    Max: “Yeap”

    It seems to me Max had a lap in Q3 without issues and that the setup changes from Q2 to Q3 went well. So I don’t buy this point:

    As a result Verstappen didn’t have the confidence to push the car to its limit

    On the contrary, Ricciardo had a bad first Q3 run and he had been slower in all sessions. So, if we are going to talk about “lack of confidence in the last run”, I think it is fairer to apply that comment to Ricciardo who nonetheless took the pole.

    Also, I see it a bit disrespectful towards Ricciardo to talk more about why Max didn’t get the pole than about Ricciardo merits on that pole.

    1. Glad someone else caught that. I also recalled distinctly Sky broadcasting an exchange where Horner specifically asked Verstappen about his S3 in Q3, and Verstappen said it was fine. Lo and behold, this is where Ricciardo beat him, by ekeing out a better exit from the two stadium corners. This is also why I found it odd to hear Verstappen moaning about the engine braking after the qualification and why I didn’t give it much credence.

    2. Do not forget the second attempt by VER was 0.3 sec slower. So he obviously had (more?) problems that lap.
      But RICs performance was a nice surprise ( although not for VER;)

      1. Yes, VER was about 0.25s slower in his 2nd run. In the first run, RIC was even 0.3s slower than in the 2nd. What’s your point? VER is the best driver ever? Hahahahhhahahahahhaahhaahah. Ziggo.

        1. No means Max was faster but second run of Riccardo was faster and Max couldn’t improve his second run due his problems. And i hope you will keep the tone more serious and adult like.

          1. No, you orange. It means you can’t look behind your orange-bias. It also means RIC lost 0.3s due to making some mistakes in his first run/not putting it all together. Just like VER did in his second run. And RICs 2nd run was faster than VERs first, just like RIC was faster in the accumulated two runs, and just like RIC having the best sector times. VERs ‘problems’ stemmed from his relative inability to drive the car RIC could, not bc of a car problem. So in every way, RIC beat VER, on merit, and you just can’t handle the truth, hahahahahhahahahahahaha. Unfreakingbelieveable, even when their boy gets beaten they try to spin reality into a win. Sad.
            And if you consider yourself to be serious, then you’re a serious delusionalist.

            Ziggo, hahahhahhahahahahahhaahhahahahahaahaha.

          2. (@macleod) I thought it was made clear both had problems.

          3. @johnrkh That was clear both have the same problems. I say only Max in his second run had problems to evade the problems during that round as the mapping isn’t a constant where it’s going to interfear the drivers. It reacts everytime different and the driver has to drive around it so if you get it on the wrong moment then before it catches you out.

    3. @az Setup was not the problem. The mapping was.

  12. Makes less and less sense everyday, Ricciardo to Renault. His driving style seems to suit the RBR setup so well.

  13. “Makes less and less sense everyday, Ricciardo to Renault.”
    Hi James… I’ve mentioned this before here but, in my view…
    RIC has achieved his ambition to reach F1, and to win races… Now he’s aiming for the championship which I don’t feel is too ambitious…
    However, with VER clearly the favoured flavour at RB RIC will always be on the back foot. So, he sort of ‘had’ to leave… It’s just unfortunate there was nowhere better for him to go… but staying was not a realistic option… In fact I would call it a defeatist option…
    I just hope he can out-perform HUL or his reputation will fall dramatically… As usual, time will tell.

    1. I’ve only seen DR have every opportunity that Max does on the team so I don’t buy the ‘back foot’ theory. Several around here happily point out how DR beat Max last year and the year before and has double Max’s points for a few races after Monaco, so…where’s this back foot? If that is DR on his back foot perhaps he should have stayed and stamped his authority over Max. And DR did tell Marko and Horner only two days before the announcement that he was staying with them. Then he changed his mind. This was obviously a tough decision which indicates he was not unhappy at RBR. It is possible for a team to love and support two drivers. Doing everything they can to help Max (and what team wouldn’t) does not preclude them from doing the same for his teammate. It’s not like they have to decide a one and a two because they’re fighting for the WDC and don’t want to rob points from one of them.

      1. @robbie

        No but it also aint so easy to keep (satisfy) two top drivers. It makes sense to place your bets on the future and Daniel clearly aint their future when they have a younger and faster driver locked in. Letting Daniel go and get that spot ready to groom Verstappens successors makes perfect sense.

        Everyone knows Verstappen is faster and Daniel has been trying for 3 years to change that but its just tipping more and more towards Maxs side. RB dont want Daniel since he cant step it up and Daniel needs a number 1 spot in a team to breathe. Theres a reason Ferrari and Mercedes is keeping Formula B drivers in their teams to let their top driver breathe.

        1. @rethla Yeah that’s fair comment although I had the impression RBR did everything they could to keep him, as in, gave him what he was asking for contractually.

          But I agree it isn’t always easy, example Lewis and Nico, but they managed it and they continually locked out the front row doing it that way, and they had re-signed Nico for more of the same ‘uneasiness’ through 2018 had he not retired. That they have a ‘B’ driver is only because of Nico leaving. I don’t believe having a 1 and 2 is always the best way to go and it certainly robs the audience of some racing between blokes in the same car, but of course I get how it is easier to manage drivers that ‘know their place.’ It’s just not best for the global audience. I will always respect Wolff for letting LH and NR race it out on the track, for if he hadn’t it would have just been more of the MS/Ferrari snooze fest. I prefer 1’s and 2’s to be decided after both have had a fair shot and the math come the last third of the season dictates the prudent thing for the team to do, but of course that is always complicated by what the competition is doing too. Letting the top guy breath is one approach, but I prefer (in a perfect world) to see him challenged in the same car whenever possible.

          1. @robbie Yeh it was fun but its the same Wolf that is keeping Bottas in there taking away all the inteam challenge for Hamilton. At the same time hes crying to the media that Ocon doesnt have a seat…

      2. My dear Robbie – if you would just once read the post with which you are disagreeing, and think for a moment before bullying your opinions to the fore again you might just have worked out that I was (quite clearly, in my view) referring to RIC’s future with Renault… and: “… RIC will always be on the back foot…”
        The operative word is ‘will’, which is future tense. For you to continually repeat yourself with these rants, until you have battered everyone with your views is not the way to win arguments and your examples of past experiences are totally irrelevant here.
        And why on earth do you keep using the same unconfirmed quote of Horner & Marko…? Did you witness RIC’s conversation…? Your naive belief in the remarks of these two verbal con-men is just more repetition of uncorroborated fact… because it suits your opinion.
        I previously wrote here: “You’ve stated your point(s) – some people agree with you, some do not… That’s how it goes. That’s life. Grow up.”
        Do you take nothing onboard of what other people have to say…?
        I don’t care whether you agree with me – it’s not obligatory – but if you want to discuss my comments please try to answer the points raised, and not use me as a springboard to spout your own thoughts…

        1. Lol, how rich…and typical. So in your world, if I had just said up front that I have given my opinion before but here it is again, like you just did, then I’d be good to go? But ‘bullying’ my opinions? Oh please. I have an opinion and I sell it with arguments to back my points, fully there to be ignored, agreed with, or disagreed with. But you don’t read me insulting people on here for there’s, nor spewing venom at those in F1, assuming that they are con men without a word of theirs’ to be believed. Let’s just call them liars when it suits our argument better, is that it?

          In fact, you were not clear at all, in spite of your opinion otherwise. “However, with VER clearly the favoured flavour at RB RIC will always be on the back foot. So, he sort of ‘had’ to leave.” You used the word ‘will’ and for me that just sounded like many posters here for whom English is not their first language, and the improper use of the word, because you have made it sound like how it would be for DR if he had stayed, hence the quote of yours I’ve provided.

          So you are saying that because DR ‘had’ to leave RB, he will now always be on the back foot? That makes so little sense that I had to assume you meant ‘would have always been.’ You’ve left no room for DR to stamp his authority on the team at Renault and help them build it up into something competitive?

          Anyway, quite rich of you to be allowed your same opinion over and over, but I’m not allowed mine. That truly is a sign of someone that needs to grow up. As is your insulting, judgemental manner and your choosing to simply ignore what people say and call them con men instead, like that adds substance to your argument and proves something.

          1. Hahah… Truly amusing… I rest my case. ;-)

  14. I don’t see Ricciardo not out performing the Hulk, but I think he may be frustrated by the Renault chassis not being as good as RB.

    1. True, but then that’s the exciting part for DR too…let’s see what he can contribute with this fresh new chapter for him and a Renault team that unquestionably wants to continue to grow and improve and has resources. There’s continuity for him with his Renault Pu experience, so perhaps that will help them focus on the chassis.

  15. Interesting article.

    It also suggests that drivers have identical engine mapping. Can anybody confirm this @keithcollantine ? And if so is it forced upon them by their suppliers (that mapping has to be the same for both cars)?

    If that’s the case and PU’s are being mapped to suit one particular drivers style, it may explain why in some therms there’s been a huge tilt in qualifying.

    1. It may also, at least in part, explain why one driver is impacted so heavily by engine failures whilst the other is not, and that this failure rate can therefore change by changing the type of engine.

      1. Possibly, possibly not, which was why I raised the question.

        I’d ageee if each driver and his team can individualise the mapping’s to suit that driver but if they have to have the same, it would suggest that it’s just bad luck, although wheel locking would hardly be good for a PU/gearbox.

        1. I do think this is typically driver preference and comments by verstappen last year seem to confirm that. Also:

    2. @dbradock Just because Ricciardo is able to “drive around it” without complaining doesnt mean he wants it that way. I dont know the answear to your question about driverspecific enginemappings but this right here is a defect none of the drivers would want.

  16. I watched the replay comparison between Max and Daniel:
    Max was 0.2 sec ahead after section 1, but he lost that because he didn’t use the track as effective as Daniel in section 2. Also last corner Daniel won 0.1 on Max.

  17. This is not the first time a pole position did not lead to a win. It is sad for Ric but Ves was on the champagne when he was taking a shower. In the end it is a mechanical sport.

    1. For sure but also DR squandered his pole start with wheel spin that saw him get swallowed up. He lost the race by the first corner.

  18. Good on this also (slightly vindicating Verstappen)

Comments are closed.