Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2018

Verstappen needs to lose “raw edges” to become champion – Wolff

2018 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen will be a Formula 1 championship contender once he loses his “raw edges”, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes.

The Red Bull driver has been tipped as a potential rival to Lewis Hamilton for the championship next year if Red Bull are competitive after switching to Honda power units. Verstappen lost a likely win to Hamilton in Brazil after colliding with Esteban Ocon while lapping him.

“In Max you can see there is a future champion coming together,” said Wolff after the race. “Unbelievable talent and speed.

“And I think once the raw edges are off he will be somebody that would be a champion one day. In a few years he would look at the [race] footage and maybe have his own opinion whether that was the right behaviour or not.

“But you can’t accelerate these things. This is a learning process.”

Wolff said Hamilton did not put up a fight against Verstappen during the race because the team’s objective was to beat Ferrari and take the constructors’ championship. “Lewis was very clear that Max was not the enemy. It was about trying to beat the Ferraris.

“When Max appeared like a missile behind him it was clear that he wouldn’t fight him unnecessarily to lose race time, but trying to make it to the end of the medium tyre.

“So it is totally irrelevant from Mercedes’ side who would have won. The objective was to stay in front in front of the Ferraris.”

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  • 94 comments on “Verstappen needs to lose “raw edges” to become champion – Wolff”

      1. No doubt about it, Max threw away a sure win. Ocon was no threat to Max, and a more mature driver would have let Ocon by. But, Max, with his usual machismo (maxismo?) can’t allow anyone to pass him. Hopefully he’ll learn from this.

        1. And machismo is a flavor that we want to purge from the sport? You would like to see only vanilla drivers, doing things that optimizes point scoring, rather than bring entertainment? I laughed hard when Max did not let Bottas pass in Italy and I also like this attitude that it stings to let anybody pass. Even a backmarker.

          Besides, it has been made clear now that a backmarker should not mess with the race leader. If Ocon could have made a clean pass like Max on Ham on the straight, then it is okay. However, he went on taking things to the corners where he endangered the race leader. So it is Ocon who has to mature, it is also Ocon who has to learn to apologize properly after a race when receiving a 10 second penalty, rather than grinning in the face of a guy he robbed from a beautiful victory. Ocon must really think he is something else to do all this. Max apologized to Ric after Hungary and to Vettel after China. Ocon is something else though. He can laugh at people he wrongs and spoils race wins for.

          Well, if Ocon is so special, then why are there no teams picking him up? Max will have a seat in a top team next year, Leclerc will have a seat in a top team next year. Even Gasly. All young guys moving up. Ocon does not. Ocon is probably not even able to get a seat at Williams. Lol. At Mercedes they go on with Bottas and at Williams they picked up the next young talent in Russell with Kubica probably next to him. Why Russell and not Ocon? Hilarious. Due to mistakes the last races Ocon might end up with less points than Perez … again.

          1. Spectacularly wrong assumptions here
            – first, machismo, as you call it, needs to be purged not only from F1, but from the world in general. We don’t need gladiators, we need athletes.
            – secondly, Ocon is not overlooked, his talent is unanimously recognised by everyone in the sport. It is simply a money game, what with Stroll Sr throwing his piggy bank around to favour his sonny boy, and due to bad management by Merc in protecting their young driver.

            1. 1. Wrong. Machismo is the sense of being ‘manly’ and self-reliant, the concept associated with “a strong sense of masculine pride”. Now explain to me why that needs to be purged from the whole world. That is a pretty radical idea, but feel free to defend it.
              2. Overlooked? Show me where I use that word. I say that Max and Leclerc will be at top teams next season. Even Galsy will have a RB seat. So where will Ocon drive? Mercedes continues with Bottas, not Ocon. Russell will drive for Williams, not Ocon. Perez will be at FI, not Ocon. Perez will probably score the most points again for FI, not Ocon. Just like last season. It’s nice that Ocon outqualified his teammate (by very small margins all the time), but what about racepace? Hmm? Did Perez score a podium? Did Ocon?

              Ocon acts all smug, but reality is that younger kids get to top teams and he has no seat for next season. Even Russell has one. So stop focussing only on Stroll. That is you trying to make excuses for Ocon. Ocon has the arrogance to take out a race leader and act smug about it. The guy thinks he is something else, while he does not even have a seat for next season. Explain this all to me.

          2. You miss the whole point. It’s not about whether Ocon was right or wrong. It’s that smart, thinking drivers know that back-markers can ruin you race and give them a wide berth, to minimize the chance for a back-marker to wreck your race.

            1. No, how about you write down what you mean in a better way next time? It is still dubious what you say. I enjoy his mentality of not letting cars pass him and backmarkers should only overtake if they can do it in a save way. So how about Ocon becomes smarter and know his place as a backmarker, rather than thinking he can do whatever he wants against race leaders? That is why he got the 10-sec penalty. There is a case to be made for Max to also account for irrational drivers like Ocon in the future, but you did not make that point by also pointing to Ocon and his silly behavior. There was no balance in your comment.

    1. I wonder if Max reads or listens to all the things being presented about him. Do you think he might just reflect on what happened on Sunday (all of it) or do you think he just filters out the positive things like “In Max you can see there is a future champion coming together” and disregard the rest?
      If I recall correctly, when drivers like Senna and Villeneuve were new to F1, some pople thought they were arrogant and even foolhardy. Did they change, or do we only remember their brilliance?

      1. @nickwyatt Very good questions but I tend to believe that Verstappen is extremely self-righteous and also a pure racer. That is an awesome and somewhat frightening combination. He either does not believe that he is ever wrong or does not care about wrong or right and just wants to be ahead at the next corner. Maybe Verstappen’s youth is not a factor at all, at least not anymore. He might never lose those “raw edges” that Wolff is talking about simply because he disregards everything that is said or written about him and wants to race – what is the point of “growing up” anyway? That is my impression.

      2. Ahah, that’s a fun one, nick.

        However I think verstappen doesn’t care much about what everyone else says, see even that people like vettel have idols like schumacher and senna, verstappen doesn’t, he wants to be himself, aside from the fact he said schumacher was a winner, who would even take out the opponents to go for a win.

        And look at the case so far he reminds me of schumacher, and in a positive way since I was a schumacher fan for as long as he raced.

        What I see of similar is the following:

        1) Raw speed
        2) Aggressiveness
        3) Ability to defend position even with slower cars
        4) Going to great lengths to win (occasional crashes)
        5) Wet weather flair (different years, different circumstances, 2018 red bull doesn’t seem good in the wet, it’s not only verstappen, look at other years, and schumacher in 2006, especially with hungary conditions, had the 3 sec slower tyre, wasn’t like that some years before, and he still had a great performance in china)
        6) Up until now they had very similar careers: 1991 and 2015 as starting years with good results for the slow cars they drove, 1992-1993 and 2016-2017 with occasional wins and podiums with better cars, 1994 breakthrough year with finally a title contending car, verstappen was different for the first time in 2018 due to his many mistakes early season when red bull was particularly good and definitely the best car he drove, however also have to admit red bull wasn’t as competitive as the 1994 benetton, with a competitive engine it’d have.

        1. @nickwyatt @girts @esploratore A very interesting thread, Gentlemen! This is my take on the subject:

          I would say that Max Verstappen’s youth is very much still a factor. He has only just turned 21. He will feel bulletproof, invincible, total confidence. This changes as you get older and life hits you with its experiences. But Max is listening, although he makes out he is not. He has already matured quite a bit since 2015, although he will never admit it. He has the attitude, never-apologise-never-explain because doing so shows weakness to your enemies/competitors; that’s straight out some business executive psychological manuals and I am sure Jos taught him this type of thinking.

          I think Max got to F1 purely on raw driving talent. He didn’t need to think about anything else, he was that good. But you can tell that his eyes have been opening slowly. He appreciates more than he admits that here on the F1 grid there are a few other greats too. He still thinks he is better than all of them but he has begun to see that just being fast and aggressive will not be enough to win championships because too many mistakes creep in with this type of who-dares-wins attitude. Ocon is the latest event which will make him think and will further develop his tactics for the future. He knows it was completely Ocon’s mistake… but he also knows that if he had kept away from Ocon that mistake could not have happened.

          He is listening. He is thinking. He is learning. He is maturing. But he will never admit it!

      3. @nickwyatt Senna and Villeneue were considered foolhardy by some for their whole careers. So have any number of drivers whose careers either never got going, or stalled before they reached the heights they should have. Max is in danger of the latter, though by this point I think we can rule out the former.

        Max can think his way through this. He’s shown the signs previously. But he’s also shown signs of spectacular stubbornness. Can he harness them to become the legend of the sport his talent suggests he should attain? Or will he be defeated by the very traits that might have created such a legend?

    2. “Lewis was very clear that Max was not the enemy. It was about trying to beat the Ferraris.

      Doesn’t jibe at all with Lewis’ comments that he raced his heart out in the closing stages to stay ahead of Max.

      1. I can accept his seeming doublespeak here.
        Lewis wasn’t going to race Max as there was no real point, but, if you have been handed a win, then that changes the game doesn’t it?
        I dare say that if Max had got scary close then Lewis (and the team) might have thought it wise to let him pass but Lewis had clear air and a nice gap – of course he pushed hard.

      2. To me it was very clear that Hamilton meant Max was no threat to the constructors championship and did not need to race him, all he needed to do was beat the Ferrari’s, however when he was leading the racer in him want’s to win, lets remember Hamilton has won 5 WDC’s and not won a race in any season after clinching the title and being in the lead gave him the opportunity to out that right.

        1. One thing I noticed, foggy, hamilton is certainly a team player, like schumacher, and why did he win no races until now when he had already won the driver’s title?

          In 2015 mercedes had won the constructor’s title even before hamilton won the driver’s one, so his motivation went down, allowing rosberg to win all 3 last races.

          In 2017 mercedes again won the constructor’s before the driver’s, so in the last 2 races we had a mistake in qualifying and a final race where he was inferior to bottas.

          This year he wouldn’t have won brazil either in normal circumstances but he still drove flat out even before being passed by verstappen, cause the constructor’s was still open.

          Let’s see if the abu dhabi one is the real hamilton now that both titles are over.

          1. Very true, the problem I see now is motivation from Both Merc and Hamilton now there is nothing left to fight for in terms of championships.

      3. It does jibe however, bc Wolff was talking about the end of L39, when “Max appeared like a missile behind” HAM on 16L fresher, faster tyres, not after VER decided to clubber lang with OCO.

        Nothing to read into this comment, except if you’re seeing orange like coldfly.

      4. Yeah but he had an opportunity gifted to him in the closing stages, so went for the win. Before that Max was not a priority

      5. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        15th November 2018, 12:35

        Game changer when your rival just lost 10 seconds and half his floor, total game changer.

    3. Interesting.. They already feel the need to start mind games with Max.
      Including the

      So it is totally irrelevant from Mercedes’ side who would have won.

      1. It’s was though. Max 1st Hamilton 2nd still have them the championship. It’s not mind games it is a fact.

        1. The mind games are for next year.. already investing in possible opponents.

          1. If, or when, Max is closely contesting a WDC he’ll have to adopt a very different mindset. So far he’s had little to lose except a race win here and there. But cutting off and banging wheels with all his close competitors will cost him valuable championship points. Let’s hope he wisens up soon.

          2. Don’t think the whole Merc team, including HAM and BOT are so frightened of Max to that point. Sure Max has blistering pace, but these rough edges Wolff is talking about- are the reason why Ricciardo, despite not having Max’s ultimate pace, managed to get the better of him during their time as team mates (ahead in 2 seasons vs 1). Also, up until Monaco, Max was a handful of points ahead of Alonso who is driving a Mclaren. Hardly the stuff of nightmares for the more experienced drivers and their teams.

            1. Ricciardo, despite not having Max’s ultimate pace, managed to get the better of him during their time as team mates (ahead in 2 seasons vs 1).

              It’s 1 to 1; Max only did half the 2016 season and had to adapt to a new car and in 2017 Max had so many DNFs even I outscored him. Sure Daniel had his share of bad luck this season but even if he hadn’t Max would still have destroyed him. Max has clearly been the quicker driver of the two and that is exactly why Daniel decided to give up a possible bright future with many podiums for a lesser team the weak engine of which had cost him success in the past five years.

              Sure Max has raw edges but that’s exactly why you gotta love him. His motto should be “over my dead car”.

      2. The “So it is totally irrelevant from Mercedes’ side who would have won.” – part has nothing to do with playing mind games with Max for 2019, pfff. That bit was obviously meant in their ‘defence’ for the VER-OCO collision, and the following insinuations and accusations of Max-FBoys, like Marko.

        Why do you oranges think every single (sound) bit(e) in F1 revolves around Max?
        Ziggo perhaps? Hahahhaahahhaahahhahahahahahahah

        1. Lewis was racing to win, not to just win the team championship. When Verstappen was in 4th and 3rd, Hamilton was asking info on Verstappen’s laptimes and tyre situation. Not Vettel’s or Raikkonen’s or even his teammate’s.

          Then, when Hamilton won the race, he did not acknowledge that he inherited the win by luck at all. Instead, he pointed out Verstappen’s mistake of not giving enough room.

          Finally, he raced home the last few laps screaming on the radio about his engine and what not. Fearing he would not make it to the finish. If he really just cared about winning the constructors championship, he would have slowed down significantly and let himself fall back to a position that would have clinched the team’s title instead of risking it and trying to win the race.

          All those things tell me that Hamilton was trying to beat Verstappen rather than just doing enough to clinch the team championship. And in that light, the post-race comments regarding Verstappen (rather than Ferrari or Bottas) from Lewis and his team, to me, indicate they fear him and have indeed already started the psychological games in regards to next year.

    4. Verstappen needs nothing but a championship-winning car, at this stage. He’s fighting a Mercedes for fourth in the drivers’ championship. Since Canada, he’s been on an other level.

      1. Yes, and consider that, despite his early season problems being his own making, they’re still mistakes he could’ve easily avoided, so he could’ve been extremely close to vettel without them, he made serious mistakes, so possibly even level with vettel correcting all of them.

        But ofc that includes as many or more mistakes from vettel!

        1. Agreed, but you have to say that had the RedBull been in close contention with Mercedes and Ferrari this year, Verstappen’s mistakes at the start of the year (and Ricciardo’s absurd amount of DNF’s) would have probably cost them the championship.

          In that sense, Wolf has a point here, even though I think he’s only saying it to get into Verstappen’s head.

          1. But I also think that had Max a more competitive car he might not have had to take as many risks to compensate for his third place car. He might not have made as many mistakes if he was able to qualify higher on average and have less work to do on Sundays. Could have waited for better passing opportunities with confidence, rather than feeling he had to go for it now or never. That’s woulda, coulda, shoulda though, and it is what it is, but really…anyone think Max wouldn’t be a huge threat with a WCC car or a close second place one? A car he’d be more at one with like LH is with his? Really, it came down to lack of horsepower, and unreliability for DR of course, as unquestionably the car is great.

            What will be interesting too is that by the time Max has a WDC capable car the racing should be closer between drivers and between teams, after the first Liberty affected chapter of F1 begins, so it will be a great blast to watch.

    5. Just what I’ve been saying and still believe.
      Max could set some stunning records if he just learns to control and focus his aggression.

    6. Max needs a motor in his RB who he doesn’t need to overcompensate, that’s all! The “raw edge” talk/crap is just some little stabs from Toto!

      1. Keeping a cool head is vital to consistency. A cool head would have allowed max to avoid Ocon and win the Brazilian Grand Prix.

        1. @gufdamm

          Impossible with that amount of adrenaline flowing. Watch Snooker if you want cool heads.

          1. Just because it’s impossible for Verstappen doesn’t mean it is for everyone.

          2. Big Joe.

            Not at all. The very best drivers have managed to harness and control that adrenaline. Jackie Stewart talked a lot about that. Look at the best now, Hamilton. Max needs to learn from him. Whether he is able to do so remains to be seen.

        2. Ocon should have avoided Max.. do not turn things around.
          Max never expected him to do this stupid move.

          1. Max did the stupid move, turning in on a car that was right next to him.

            1. And again, as confirmed by the majority, including F1 itself, Max had no reason to expect to be aggressively challenged as the race leader by someone trying to unlap himself. Hence the penalty to Ocon. This was not just a normal everyday circumstance. Had it been, Max would have treated things differently. What precedence would there have been for Max to draw on such that he should have felt the need to treat a lapped car like a race was on with it? Like it was the same as if it was a duel for a podium spot? Going by the rarity of such an incident as occurred, Max had every reason to expect to not be dive bombed by Ocon, as supported by his penalty. To claim Max should have left room is to use pure hindsight and is to assume the new etiquette for backmarkers is that they can now challenge race leaders as aggressively as they want. For years now, F1 has instilled a blue flag mentally, as Peter Windsor called it. F1 doesn’t want leaders bothered by backmarkers from going about their day. That’s just the reality. Ocon did a very rare thing, and was penalized for it. It is unfair to castigate Max for not anticipating a move that so rarely occurs it wouldn’t have even been on his or any drivers radar. I suppose Max might treat things differently if this happens again, but moreso I would think Ocon’s penalty has confirmed for the other drivers what they already knew to do, and have been doing 99.99% of the time for years and years.

            2. @robbie you’re right that there was very little precedence for the situation, the main reason that it was unique was because Ocon was faster and for that reason, while race leaders should be respected, it’s harder to justify a blue flag mentality in that situation. Blue flags should be for slow backmarkers that would hold race leaders up. I admit that I’m not quite sure what position Ocon was when he came out of the pits, (was he 12th?) but being just outside the top 10 with the faster tyres, all it would have taken would have been an incident ahead and he could have been in the running for points. So I like the fact that he tried to push to get past, I want to be able to see the whole field race, not see them immediately have to throw in the towel because they happened to come out behind the race leader. Verstappen knew that Ocon was pushing, the video of Ocon’s onboard that was released on F1.com showed it. They both have to share blame for this incident imo

            3. @3dom Nobody has debated whether or not Ocon had the right to unlap himself. He did. I think few would debate with you that we want to see racing. We do. I don’t think anyone was necessarily even thinking Ocon had to ‘throw in the towel’ either. Ocon’s responsibility here was to use his pace to unlap himself without disrupting the race leader. He needed to wait for a straight, or a drs zone to unlap himself. His error was to dive bomb the race leader where he did. Even if the rules were that blue flags were no longer used, and any backmarker or lapped car could race the leader as hard and as aggressively as they want, this was still a clumsy way to try to pass someone. The penalty was for the way he tried to unlap himself, not for the fact that he tried. That Max knew he was pushing is irrelevant. There was still no precedent that should have had Max expecting to be bothered, at all, as the race leader. The precedents is that Max had every reason to expect nobody there when he moved toward that apex where contact took place.

            4. @robbie this is so interesting, I love good debate, and people were worried that we wouldn’t have enough to talk about after the WDC was decided early ;-)

              Ocon’s responsibility here was to use his pace to unlap himself without disrupting the race leader. He needed to wait for a straight, or a drs zone to unlap himself. His error was to dive bomb the race leader where he did.

              I’m open to opinion because, like I said before, it’s not very common for a backmarker to be significantly faster than the race leader and need to overtake them. In hindsight Ocon could probably have conceded turn 2, tried to stay close through turn 3, use DRS up the straight and try to get ahead before turn 4. But considering your quote above, what if he couldn’t get himself into a position to complete the move on the straight (feasible because he’s in “formula 1.5”, following in the wake of another car is difficult and the red bull is great through the corners that lead onto the straights)? If the only way for him to get past is to complete the move in a corner, should that mean that he can no longer race and his race is over?

              I get the feeling that Verstappen’s resistance to the overtake took Ocon by surprise too.

              Don’t get me wrong here. I feel that the race leader should get respect, I almost feel that because this situation is rare, it’s not clear how much leeway they should be given. Verstappen didn’t have to fight him, giving him a car’s width would have resulted in minimal disruption to Verstappen’s race, it may have cost him half a second.

              Even if the rules were that blue flags were no longer used, and any backmarker or lapped car could race the leader as hard and as aggressively as they want, this was still a clumsy way to try to pass someone

              Ocon had already overtaken using the same move, it’s just that when it’s for position, the defending driver has to leave space. The problem in this situation is that it’s a grey area, there doesn’t seem to be an agreed rule or consensus (I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with one after this though)

              Max had every reason to expect nobody there when he moved toward that apex where contact took place.

              Verstappen knew how deep into the corner Ocon had gone, it was naive to assume he’d yielded. I still feel like there’s blame on both sides, but it’s certainly interesting and because we rarely see this kind of thing, there will always be disagreement. Cheers for your views on this, really interesting :-)

    7. A driver with his level of ability doesn’t need to be a perfectly rounded driver. All he needs is a weak enough team-mate and a good enough car.

      1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        14th November 2018, 19:57

        Agreed. And I never expected expecte Daniel Ricciardo to be weak enough against Verstappen.
        I feel sorry for Pierre Gasly already.

        1. A real shame red bull didn’t take alonso, I think he and verstappen would make a great couple performance wise, even better than ver and ric, and they’d complete each other, alonso with experience and consistency that verstappen still lacks in comparison, he could’ve gone for some race wins before retiring.

      2. Doesn’t this apply to all the above-average drivers though? Don’t you honestly think that adding levelheadedness (on which he has full conrol over) to his raw pace will achieve significantly better results even without a weak teammate and a sub par engine (on both of which he has no control over)? Case in point, the latest tangle with Ocon.

        1. @rockgod

          Level headedness needs to be pre-planned. He couldn’t have planned for Ocon to want a fight over unlapping himself. It took him by surprise. There are too many scenarios. I imagine though he does employ a mind coach any way, like most drivers. A mind coach will ask him to visualise the race and various scenarios.

          1. Mind coach? – you mean they need to pay someone to teach them how to think?

      3. @neilosjames And to not defeat himself too often…

    8. Toto feeding people bull as usual, he’s following Lewis well in feeding nonsense for likes and views. Instead of giving feedback to Max why not give feedback to Bottas and Ocon? When your team isn’t the fastest on the grid you’ll have to come up with more excuses for Lewis cos he’s been flattered by his car for years.

      1. They started the mind games for next season already. Because they know that should honda make a big enough step, Max and not Vettel will be their main threat.

    9. F1 is too biased towards points racing, every win should be a hard fought for battle. If HAM was fighting for the win the race would have been better rather than just allow a rbr to cruise past on the straight (yes I know HAM was nursing a sick engine). If the wdc and wcc were decided by who has the most wins than who collects the most points, then we would see all the front runners pushing hard for the win every race, rather than playing it too safe and not trying to lose points.

    10. How many conversation angles can this theme have? It was a racing incident, no conspiracy, no ill intend. Certainly, a lapped car should never collide with the race leader, but at the same time, Verstappen has only himself to blame for not winning that race. Ocon felt he was faster and needed to take maximum advantage of his fresh tyres. He basically passed Verstappen on the straight already, but MV decided that he is the leader so couldn’t be passed, accelerated and braked late to defend. Ocon still had the inside line into the next corner and likely anticipated to complete the pass there…but MV slammed the door and that was that. No matter how severe the penalty to Ocon…even if he was banned for life…that win was gone right there and then. Simple.

      1. Thank you, at last another sensible comment ….. as an aside, everybody raving about how good Max is (who I admit is fast, but he never see’s the big picture) are forgetting about Leclerc who could be a real challenge to Max next year and in season’s to come.

        1. No, not sensible, as it was not a racing incident. A racing incident would not have resulted in a 10 sec penalty for Ocon. You talk about the big picture, but the big picture was that Ocon was a backmarker and Max was the race leader. Ocon has a right to unlap himself if it happens in a very save way, like how Max overtook Ham on the straight. He did not. He still fought Max in the corner and did not lift to prevent a possible accident from happeing like the one we saw taking place. That is on Ocon and so that is why he got a heavy penalty. Simple. For the future, Max will have to learn to consider what rational and irrational drivers do though. I did see something like that in Italy when he thought that Bottas would not be able to make the corner without running into him and so he made a little detour off track, but this idiocy from Ocon was not something he deemed possible. Now he knows it is and I am sure he will learn from it.

          Leclerc (2015) and Verstappen (2014) both drove for van Amersfoort Racing and Verstappen was far more impressive while having to retire more. A lot more. 8 vs 2 times. Max won 10 races vs 4 for Leclerc. Had 7 poles vs 3 for Leclerc. Max also finished higher, despite the issues I mentioned earlier. Max was picked up earlier by an F1 team and already faced serious opposition in Sainz and Ric, not somebody like Marcus Ericsson (who outqualified Leclerc in Brazil by 2 tenths). Let Leclerc first deal with Vettel.

          1. @TTP Stewards misreading the regulations can – and if they decided on the basis of Charlie Whiting’s line of argumentation, the penalty would have been applied for reasons not permitted by the regulations.

          2. As for the F3 situation, VAR had a lot of mid-season disruption in 2015 – arguably, it hasn’t fully recovered from it to this day – and the 2014 rookies who didn’t win or come third stuck around for 2015. Leclerc was still rookie of the year (something that eluded Verstappen, admittedly in a year where the rookie field was perhaps at its strongest ever). Red Bull (and even Mercedes) usually decides who will join it sooner than Ferrari and as far as I can tell, Nicolas Todt (Leclerc’s manager) was always steering Leclerc towards Ferrari alone. Max, being a free agent, was just looking for the first viable entry to F1, thus was open to the competing Mercedes/Red Bull offers.

    11. Verstappen needs to learn to be overtaken. He puts up a fight with anyone who tries an overtake. While it’s a good attitude in most occasions, sometimes he needs to play the long game.

      1. Nah, that would make him boring.

      2. You’re probably right on this, didn’t think of it: although unusual a lapped car unlaps itself, he should let them by if they’re actually faster, for the rest he’s a great defender, really hard to overtake.

    12. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
      14th November 2018, 19:55

      Verstappen’s temper and his behavior lately are painful and cringeworthy. Especially as a Dutch racing enthusiast I even feel a little responsible for his lack of compassion and respect. I almost expect him to do something really damaging in the near future (and I have his father’s history of violence in the back of my mind).
      But … I must say that I have actually never really seen his self control problems get in the way of his driving. Maybe in Baku it happened, but other than that I have always heard fire and fury on his radio but seen a very fast and consistent drive. That is something that I find intriguing.

      1. @hanswesterbeek I have a different view. I think the accidents with Ricciardo in Baku, Vettel in China and Ocon in Brazil are results of emotions that are blurring his mind. Everytime he was just overtaken or about to be overtaken and to me that’s the moment emotions are running high in his mind.

        1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
          15th November 2018, 17:15

          Thanks for reminding me of China. Forgot about that one. I guess that bulls out my second paragraph (“but…”)

    13. Senna was a slow learner at this type of mistake. He did have the capacity to learn from his mistakes which I don’t think Max has the capacity. Max seems like another more extreme Vettel. Just can’t control their impulses.

      1. He is 20 or 21 years old?

        I am 33 now and different than when I was 20/21 in some ways.

        People get wiser with years.

        Dont see why that wouldnt happen with VER

        In the usa he has just reached the age he is allowed to drink a beer

        1. Max learned from the start of the season and look he got even better. So he learns from his mistakes that is clear, I think he was suprised that Ocon was stil there otherwise he would kept room. Also i find it strange Ocon didn’t wait for the second DRS zone. Even de mighty Engine on the straights brought him just in front of Max but the Red Bull can break much later so Max would be there in the corner. So why didn’t Ocon slot just behind him and used the secon DRS so Max don’t get DRS on him.

    14. He would become champion racing at higher altitude. Lewis and Mercedes just couldn’t touch him.

      1. Perhaps he should enter in the ‘high altitude’ world drivers’ championship then.

        I am sure that is a really popular series!

      2. @Big Joe

        Quelle surprise.
        So let’s look at Max’s record this season.

        Up until Monaco, he was a handful of points ahead of Alonso in a slower Mclaren.
        Ricciardo could “touch him” in 2016 and 2017 despite not having his pace.

        Yet you think, with driving like that, Max would beat Lewis?

        For starters I don’t think Max has Hamilton’s 1 lap pace.
        He’s certainly no better than Lewis in the rain.

        So I would say on the balance of probability, if Ricciardo could
        handle Verstappen, so can Lewis.

        1. Indeed. And RIC has beaten VER in 2018 too.

          1. Oh not if you look at the Stats and if you look at the track Max even further ahead. You forgot the mention Ziggo btw

    15. So many still pinning their hopes for a Verstappen/Honda WDC. The Toro Rossos haven’t set the world on fire yet. Even though Paddy Lowe is at the top of his game, he can’t design a car that will go faster then the engine will allow. Realistically 2020/21 I think would be the target for that combination, similar schedule as Renault. Lets not forget that Merc and Ferrari are not going to just disappear also.

      1. @johnrkh I presume you meant Adrian Newey and not Paddy Lowe.

        1. (@ijw1) Yes stuff up on my part thanks for letting me know.

      2. No you have a point.. they have to prove themself.
        But

        The Toro Rossos haven’t set the world on fire yet.

        look at the level of development at Mclaren ( if any) with the same engine as RBR.
        So there is potential and we really need a third strong team to compete for WDC. (preferably more then 3!)

        1. I will remain in a wait and see mode wrt RBR/Honda. I think it will be a victory for them if they can, in year one of the relationship, match what they have just done this year. Honda has everything to prove yet. RBR have proven they can provide the car. Let’s see how the marriage evolves. At this moment I expect unreliability if they try to crank the engine into the competitive level they want. I sure hope I’m wrong and that they surprise us. At the same time I have never been one to heap an unreasonable amount of expectations on teams in year one of their chassis/engine relationships, nor on drivers new to teams. I expect teething issues.

    16. Level headedness needs to be pre-planned

      Yes, but it’s not practical to even attempt to plan for all the possible scenarios. But you can mentally prepare beforehand for not losing it and everytime someone tries to overtake you, backmarker or not in general.

    17. Other than a few years, it’s unlikely that a single car will completely dominate a series.

      Next year, if the Honda PU is competitive, the RBR cars will still be in a battle at the front with the Mercedes and Ferrari’s. This year, the horse had bolted before Max was truly fighting at the front.

      Hopefully we’ll see some true racing a the start of 2019, not the likes of Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas etc allowing heaps of room to protect WCC and WDC positions.

      The we’ll see if Max has the temperament to be world class.

    18. When Seb was at RBR he was quick, but also arrogant and brash under Marko and Horner, but since moving to Ferrari he has become IMO one of the most likable guys on the grid and if anything an even better driver, Max is just the same at RBR now and like other people here I can’t see anything changing soon as long as Marko and Horner fail to turn his undoubted speed and talent into a positive trait. I am trying hard to like Max because guys like him, Gasly and Leclerc etc are the future of the sport but I find his “me first’ and “don’t you dare pass me” attitude a little crazy for a guy who the talent to be a multiple WDC winner, he definitely needs to temper his aggression with common sense .. as the saying goes “to finish first, first you have to finish”. I know he is only 21 and a few days old and we all expect him to grow up, maybe too quickly but as this level you don’t get much time to grow up …. time will tell if he listen’s.

    19. Mercedes and Toto (and Ferrari too) should focus on improving their car and tyre management and let Horner and Co. worry about Max, after all the team lost points too, though the RBR car was a rocket in Brazil even with the horsepower deficit.

    20. First we see if the Honda engine comes good next year for RBR. If it does, we in for a cracker of a season. If it doesn’t, well we still gonna have a cracker of a season with the add-on of Horner and Marko creating Tsunamis at every corner

    21. There are only two drivers at the constructors most wanted list. Hamilton and Verstappen. The rest is basically Hamilton and Verstappen fodder. All the teams and all the experts now that. There is no point in denying.

    22. I have no concern about Max’s raw edges. Other multiple Champions have had them, including at higher ages. Let’s see Max’s career through, and also let’s see him in a top car that he is at one with, and I predict there will be a lot of eating of his dust, and a lot less need for the raw edges to show themselves.

      1. I basically agree with what you are saying, @robbie but I think it is getting concerning for Max fans that Max is still perhaps not really learning from his mistakes as readily as he might. I do think that in the right car, particularly once Lewis has retired, we could see a lengthy period of dominance from him though.

        1. @paulguitar Speaking for myself, I think we have seen him learning from his mistakes already, but yes for sure some people think things should happen at the snap of the fingers, or they forget his age. I don’t think Max will need nor want for it to take LH to retire before he wins a WDC, although for sure if LH remains in the dominant car and Max doesn’t get the necessary equipment, which is the WCC car, before LH retires, you could be right that he’ll have to wait for his period of dominance. If Liberty has their way though, and gets the cars and the teams racing as closely as they and we would like, I do wonder if we are seeing the last years of the kind of ‘locked in’ advantage Mercedes has had since the start of this current Pu chapter. Max et al may have harder challenges in terms of domination, and rather we may be seeing more and more seasons coming down to the wire rather than decided with three races to go. All speculation of course. I do believe Max is or will be as capable as any WDC has been.

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