Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2018

2018 F1 driver rankings #5: Ricciardo

2018 F1 season review

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At the end of the Monaco Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo stood on the nose of his RB14 bearing an expression of grim relief. He’d avenged his lost victory of two years earlier, and he’d done it with a tremendous drive, overcoming an MGU-K failure which deprived him of 25% of his car’s power.

What’s more, he’d seemingly cemented his position as a bona fide championship contender. He’d already won in China after a Safety Car period played into his hands. Ricciardo’s measured aggression allowed him to capitalise on the opportunity to greater effect than his team mate, who was running ahead of him when the race restarted.

When Max Verstappen skidded off trying to pass Lewis Hamilton, Ricciardo nipped through. After a few more coolly-executed new-tyre passes, victory was his.

Ricciardo left Monaco with Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in sight despite failing to score in two of the first six races. A total electrical failure halted him in Bahrain then in Azerbaijan he tangled with Verstappen. Ricciardo had already passed his team mate once, only to drop behind again through the pit stops, and the muturally destructive crash looked inevitable long before it happened.

So six races in it was unthinkable Ricciardo would end the season without finishing on the podium again. Yet that is exactly what happened.

Plain misfortune had a say in the matter. Ricciardo had few trouble-free weekends after Monaco and suffered more race-ending technical failures than any other driver. From Austria to Italy he posted just two finishes from six races.

A case study in Ricciardo’s ill luck: He was on course to complete a Red Bull one-two behind Verstappen when a clutch problem struck him down in Mexico, having pipped his team mate to pole position. Plus, a marshal who attended to his car squirted extinguisher foam into the turbo, meaning Ricciardo had to take a grid penalty at the next race to replace it.

Daniel Ricciardo

Beat team mate in qualifying5/19
Beat team mate in race4/12
Races finished13/21
Laps spent ahead of team mate217/963
Qualifying margin+0.179s (adjusted)

Prior to the summer break it seemed the questions over his future were becoming a greater distraction. Austria was a strange case: Ricciardo found himself in dispute with the team over which driver would gain the benefit of the slipstream. In the race Verstappen delivered his first win of the season while Ricciardo’s exhaust broke, putting him out.

It may have been Vertappen’s clear edge in outright speed this year which prompted Ricciardo to look elsewhere. But his dependable points-scoring made him an asset the team will be worse off without.

He wrapped up his Red Bull tenure with a fine drive to fourth in Abu Dhabi, which might have been third had his strategy not dropped him behind his team mate. It was an unfortunate way to say goodbye, and fairly typical of a season where fortune wasn’t kind to Ricciardo.

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Over to you

Easily the unluckiest driver out of the Top 3 teams, thanks to his countless DNFs. His win in China was one of his finest wins along with his deserved win in Monaco, after Monaco he couldn’t respond to Verstappen’s form.

What’s your verdict on Daniel Ricciardo’s 2018 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

Add your views on the other drivers here:

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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...

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85 comments on “2018 F1 driver rankings #5: Ricciardo”

  1. Absolutely way too high. Surely he suffered from mechanical DNF’s like no one else, but when his car kept running (rarely, but anyway) he was nowhere near Max’s level. I reckon Hulk will beat him next year unless Ric can step up.

    1. @huhhii actually i think way too many people overlook the fact that Max’s first part of the season wasn’t just not as good as the second, but was a complete and utter trainwreck and all on his behalf. Ricciardo, well, when he ran he was mostly good i think.

    2. I agree. In a season that Max totally dominated to the point that Ricciardo decided to move on, it’s a bit weird to rank him 5th.

      1. When ricciardo announced he’d leave red bull he was by far the best red bull 2018 driver; only at the end did verstappen overtake ricciardo and that’s not on pace, but on balance: if you are 1 sec faster than your team mate and crash every race you’re useless.

        1. Sure, Max made mistakes which Ricky did well to capitalize on. But fact of the matter is that in most all of those cases he was behind Max on-track. So it’s debatable whether it was merritt that gained him that performance, or just Max’s mistakes. This is very evident after Max got on form, he completely outqualified him, he ran ahead of him in every race, and while Max was grabbing podium after podium without so much as an inkling of performance issues at Merc or Ferrari to help him get those positions after the mid-break, Ricky was generally competing for what most assumed was the RBR’s natural position of 5th. There just isn’t much of a case for Ricky this year, he certainly deserves to be ahead of the Merc and Ferrari second drivers, but he was still very much RBR’s second driver based on performance this year.

          For the record, by the time he decided to leave (which seems to have been just before the midseason break), he had his two wins (which, again, where arguably due to Max giving them away), against Max’s 1, but he also had no other podiums, to Max’s 3 (excl. wins), and only edged him about a dozen points iirc, despite all of Max’s missed points. It just wasn’t that close between them this year.

    3. As well as I’ve not been too impressed by Ricciardo bar some highlights, when looking behind I don’t see many drivers more worthy of this 5th place.

    4. If Hulk beats Ricciardo next season. This would surely cast doubt on a recent statement that Daniel had made regarding Max. When he said, ” Just our personalities and our self belief. I really believe he thinks he’s the best in the world, and I believe I am.”
      The next time Ricciardo has a podium finish. He really needs to forget about those shoey’s.

  2. RIC<VER? Laughable.

    1. Indeed, that’s why he is 5th and VER 2th.

      1. Verstappen won’t be 2nd unless there’s some very odd ranking again like hulkenberg 12th, too many mistakes.

        I think he’ll be 4th, if keith is really generous 3rd.

        1. To much focussed on the few unfortunate races at the beginning of the year…the media did his work good I guess.
          Aus Max spun after a fin sheered of and the car was hard to controle…
          People blame Verstappen, he was to hard on the curbs… though the part didn’t break on a curb data showed and it was not the first time…in the wintertests this has happened before due vibrations.
          people label it as crash… cause Verstappen crashed in 6 races right…?
          Verstappen was nursing his car home at high speed, taking all the risk to maintain his otherwise lost position.

          Bahrain… mapping problem, yet, the media and even other drivers knew better.
          Though everyone ignored the reason to why Verstappen had to a calbration lap…
          The mapping of the RBR has been a problems all year long

          China, yep, that was drivers fault
          Baku, both drivers at fault

          Monaco same mistakes as Ricciardo made in Spain, though the fact the team could not get his car finished was quite dramatic, the race itself though was quite good….

          though more important Verstappen showed exceptional performance over the season… 11 agains 2 podiums compared to his team mate

    2. Ricciardo is better than Verstappen. Max is faster in qualifying and has great race pace but he doesn’t like staying on the track at crucial moments.

  3. Way too high but that was to be expected. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, but I bet next year that this year’s # 12 will be right up with # 5, showing how odd their respective rankings are.
    Also, for someone so comprehensively outpaced by his team-mate, fifth is so high. Vettel and Hulkenburg both beat highly rated team-mates, but are below Ric? Just funny.

    1. If beating your teammate was the only metric, you might be on to something, but that would mean that the rankings would just divide the field into winning teammates and losing teammates. You might as well just rank the winning drivers 1-10 and then assign their teammates the corresponding 11-20 ranks.

      1. He has a point, though. Ricciardo’s season was very similar to Bottas’ or Raikonnen’s with the exception that Lewis didn’t make the same mistakes that Max or Vettel made. Hulk arguably deserves to be higher than Ricciardo in the rankings.

        I’m not sure how Ricciardo could end up above Vettel unless we are ranking them on personality.

        Also how can Max end so far ahead of Hulkenberg? He made so many mistakes at the start of the season and Hulkenberg beat a seasoned Sainz more convincingly than Max did at Toro Rosso. You could easily put Hulk at the same rank with Max based on pace and mistakes.

        1. @freelittlebirds, I guess that it could be argued that, in the case of Ricciardo, most of the problems that he encountered in the races in most of this season were ultimately not self inflicted, but as a consequence of problems with his car.

          After all, in the latter half of this season, Ricciardo did not finish in 5 of the final 11 races – that is a 45% DNF rate. Now, if you exclude his crash in Belgium, that is still a mechanical failure rate in excess of 36% – we haven’t seen mechanical failure rates that high for a front running team for a long time now.

          We have seen and heard how Ricciardo’s team mate, Verstappen, reacts to mechanical failures, and there were those who felt that Verstappen was not driving at his best in early 2017 when he experienced those set backs – now, Ricciardo’s mechanical retirement was even worse than Verstappen’s rate was in the first half of 2017, and yet it feels as if there is less latitude being given to Ricciardo than was given to Verstappen in that period.

        2. Who says vettel is faster than ricciardo? But we know he made a lot more mistakes, that’s a worse season.

        3. If you’re ranking based on pace and mistakes, as you describe it, Vettel must rank lower than Ricciardo – the Ferrari was the quickest car in the field for at least part of the season, and Vettel cruelled their chances of a WDC and WCC through driving errors – he didn’t get as much out of his car as he should have.

  4. Too low. VER should be well behind him.

    1. Because?
      He crushed RIC in Quali ( even without the failing team)
      He had more points.
      More podiums
      Faster on track
      More laps in the lead
      etc etc…

      But Ricis smile is wider.. that’s true.

      1. That’s about all !!

      2. I see the mistakes verstappen made are conveniently ignored by those who want him 2nd!

        1. @esploratore Then why rate Hulkenberg ahead of Ericsson? He’s had more crashes.

  5. I sadly think Renault seat could prove to be the beginning of the end for his F1 career at the sharp end. Can the yellow team produce a competitive reliable engine, and a chassis /aero package to match the current Big 3? If not then Dan needs a lot of luck on his side.
    The road to FE is paved with good intentions.

    1. From what we know it did seem like a very tough decision for DR. Two days prior to his Renault announcement he had told Horner and Marko he was staying at RBR. The default reasons would be the pace of Max, which was evident even in 2016 and 2017 when DR outpointed him. And then there’s the concerns over Honda, who imho have everything to prove yet in terms of producing a Pu that can both be cranked up to be competitive and be reliable at the same time.

      If we take the driver-building-the-team-around-him approach, I would think DR would have to acknowledge Max’s pace and racecraft (when he’s not overdriving) and see that it would be hard for him to dominate Max and be the team’s go-to guy, whereas moving to Renault while they are in the position they are, gives him a better chance of building a team around himself.

      I’m assuming DR is banking on more years for Renault with stability in the Pu regs seeing them get better, and the reset for 2021 potentially helping too. They may nail their package for 2021, and as well if Liberty has their way the teams will be closer to each other and the drivers will be able to race more closely on track.

      1. I suspect the collision at Azerbaijan and Red Bull’s handling of the collision between Max and Daniel was one of the reasons Daniel left for Renault. The only surprise really is he left for Renault, I was sure both Ferrari and Mercedes had arranged their “Number 2” driver contracts so as to coincide with Daniel’s contract expiring at RBR.

        1. Many around here seemed sure that DR had his pick between a Merc and a Ferrari seat, almost like Merc or Ferrari weren’t invited to the negotiation table, and that it was solely up to DR to take his pick, lol.

          I thought RBR handled the collision well, deeming it a racing incident, both drivers admitting they got too greedy. At least, a few races later Max and Danial were yucking it up with a Sky reporter and teasing her for still going on about something they had already put past them. At least we were shown that the two drivers were allowed to race each other and that there was no favouritism, so that needn’t have scared DR away from the team.

          1. @robbie, on the other hand, it wasn’t exactly in their interests to say otherwise, was it?

        2. @anon Sure but they truly seemed at peace and past it. It is not like they were stone-faced and looking like being untruthful. They were on a boat in the interview I refer to, and genuinely seemed relaxed and in good moods with each other. I found that healthy for themselves and for the team.

  6. WHAT?!!! How is he higher than Vettel?

    Sure he had reliability issues, are we ignoring that after winning the Monaco GP, he was getting destroyed by Max? This rating is more out sympathy than on actual performance.

    This is bulljive!

    1. This rating is more out sympathy than on actual performance

      Fernando Alonso likes this

      1. That’s true

    2. Perhaps, just a suggestion, mind you, mistakes could have a negative impact on keith’s ranking, they would on mine as well!

    3. KGN11
      Because he kept driving so well despite his car seemed to stop working in the last 8-10 races.
      I love Vettel but unfortunately he made too many mistakes in the season that he had a car that he should have beat Lewis. That’s why.

      The best driver in an year in F1 isn’t always the World Champion, the champ always has a great car- the best driver may not. Other guys drive better but don’t win because of the car- Senna 1984, Leclerc 2018?

      Write that down KNG- it may help you understand F1 in 2019 :)

  7. “a fine drive to fourth in Abu Dhabi, which might have been third had his strategy not dropped him behind his team mate”

    This about sums up Ricciardo’s year at RBR…. unlike the suggestion strategy is what cost him a podiumposition in Abu Dhabi it was lack of pace… Verstappen fell way back on the grid due to another engine stall… but just showed better pace than his team mate. Verstappen behind on the grid in Baku, Monaco, Hungary, US, Mexico and Abu Dhabi ended up in front of Ricciardo 4 times..

    The difference between Ham and Bot, Vet and Rai are smaller than between Ric and Ver, yet he got rated 5th…
    Ricciardo excelled in only two races, ironicly Verstappen failed in these same two races… Ricciardo is not fully in controle of making his own succes, he needs others to fail to get on top. Where did Ricciardo ever beat his team mate on merit, truly outdrove him on racecraft….without either of them making a mistake?

    1. Baku, guess abu dhabi would’ve been one as well.

    2. Ricciardo beat Verstappen in 2016 and 2017. If his car had not failed all the time he would have beat him in 2018 but it wasn’t to be. Daniel stays on the track and doesn’t make mistakes. He’s able to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Max is fast but continually makes stupid mistakes. As he matures he’ll get better, but for now he’s not on the same level as Dan. Not by a long shot.

  8. The unluckiest driver of the season on the grid, although even when his machinery was running fine, he wasn’t really a match for Max. It’ll be interesting to see how he’s going to fare out against Hulk in equal machinery. Renault should be more competitive next season than they were during this campaign, so perhaps he could still at least occasionally challenge the Mercedes, Ferrari, and RBR-drivers despite the change to a team that has been inferior to RBR so far.

  9. Now I can say, I agree with your top four. They are the standout drivers this year. No driver outside the top 4 has been performing consistently through the whole season so drivers from 5 to 14 are really hard to rank.

  10. RIC>VER, so no-sense-making here.

    1. Based on what?

  11. Here are my new driver rankings:
    1 Lewis Hamilton
    2 Max Verstappen
    3 Charles Leclerc
    4 Fernando Alonso
    5 Sebastian Vettel
    6 Sergio Perez
    7 Esteban Ocon
    8 Kimi Raikkonen
    9 Daniel Ricciardo
    10 Nico Hulkenberg
    11 Valtteri Bottas
    12 Pierre Gasly
    13 Carlos Sainz
    14 Kevin Magnussen
    15 Romain Grosjean
    16 Marcus Ericsson
    17 Stoffel Vandoorne
    18 Lance Stroll
    19 Sergey Sirotkin
    20 Brendon Hartley

    1. Vettel is in a more realistic place than I’ve seen before in most user’s ranking here, but verstappen still too high, others seem reasonable.

  12. I would go with:
    1 Lewis Hamilton
    2 Max Verstappen
    3 Fernando Alonso
    4 Charles Leclerc
    5 Sebastian Vettel
    6 Esteban Ocon
    7 Sergio Perez
    8 Nico Hulkenberg
    9 Daniel Ricciardo
    10 Kimi Raikkonen
    11 Pierre Gasly
    12 Carlos Sainz
    13 Valtteri Bottas
    14 Kevin Magnussen
    15 Romain Grosjean
    16 Marcus Ericsson
    17 Stoffel Vandoorne
    18 Lance Stroll
    19 Sergey Sirotkin
    20 Brendon Hartley

    1. Ok Fine, if everyone’s doing it, my 2018 Ranking:
      1 Fernando Alonso
      2 Lewis Hamilton
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      18 Sebastian Vettel
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne
      20 Stoffel Vandoorne

      1. Where’s Lastname?

        1. Don’t be ridiculous, it was clearly the Car. Constructor-PUsupplier had a real worldbeater this year and nothing to show for it

    2. Again verstappen too high, I’m sure you’ll find out soon!

  13. I love Ricciardo and I would probably put him in my top 3 drivers when it comes to personality and marketability. Yes, he was unlucky and experienced more than his fair share of unreliability but I feel that those circumstances were the best way for him to bow out of Red Bull.

    I’m not sure how Ricciardo could best Vettel in a Red Bull but fail to keep up with Max when Sainz was as quick as Max at Toro Rosso and Hulk was quicker than Sainz and scored more points despite having unreliability.

    The equation is as follows:

    Hulk > Sainz = Verstappen > Ricciardo > Vettel

    Yet, Hulk is at the bottom of the rankings.

    1. @freelittlebirds So you say that from now on you can say Sainz = Verstappen, just because they were quite even in their rookie season? I think its quite obvious that Max has had an extraudinary developement as a driver and as a personality. Sainz has developed but not as much as Max. Red Bull would have signed him for 2019 if he had.

      1. @jesperfey13 I don’t know how much Verstappen has developed over Sainz since their rookie season – we all saw Verstappen make more mistakes in the 1st half of the season that he did as a rookie so I don’t know how much he’s developed. If I also recall in the 2nd half of the season, there were a few moments that went in Verstappen’s favor and could have put him on tilt.

        I’m not sure if Red Bull would have signed Sainz. There are many factors at play when it comes to Sainz.

        To list a few:
        1. He was Max’s teammate at Toro Rosso and they are both competitive
        2. Sainz hasn’t been a happy camper at Toro Rosso since Max’s promotion and he wanted a divorce
        3. Gasly had a great 1st half of the season making him a great prospect
        4. Sainz’s salary requirements must have been higher than Gasly’s – maybe close to Daniel’s and Max’s
        5. Hulk was quicker than Sainz, lowering his appeal compared to Gasly vs Hartley

      1. @colinmcrui Lol. Sums up the type of logic @freelittlebirds and others at times like to use.

        Strange, or telling, that he didn’t bother to throw in that in 2015 Kvyat > Ricciardo, by his own style of logic.

      2. @colinmcrui nice joke but not sure how it applies to this. If you told me that Nadal is as good as Federer and Federer has beaten a player, call him Colin for the sake of this example, 12 times in the 12 matches they’ve played.

        Would it be illogical to say that Nadal is a better player than Colin? Sure Colin might have a chance to beat Nadal or Federer in a single match – it’s an unlikely result but possible. However, Colin’s extremely unlikely to beat Nadal and Federer over their respective careers, right? Unless Colin were to become as good as Nadal/Federer or Nadal/Federer were to become worse players.

        1. @freelittlebirds I think it is illogical to compare athletes who compete on their own, without a team, and without any equipment advantage or disadvantage to F1 racers.

          Given that you have brought tennis in for comparison, I continue to be surprised you aren’t appreciating all the nuances that can and do occur in something so complex as F1. You can’t simply boil it down to what one driver did in one season as something that is then written in stone. Ask yourself….did SV suddenly forget how to win races and Championships in 2014? Did DR suddenly become a beater of 4 time WDCs? Or in fact was 2014 far more complex than that. If he did suddenly become a beater of 4 time Champs, how did Kvyat manage to beat DR in 2015? Why did you exclude Kvyat besting DR in 2015 in your formula?

        2. The joke points towards flawed logic @freelittlebirds. I agree that Carlos and Max were closely matched during their debut, but while Max was growing a lot for a season and a half at RBR, Sainz was still at STR, and while Hulk had the Renault car developed around him, Sainz was on his first season driving that car, on loan from RBR which may have not helped as well. As well as in tennis players driver development and form vary over the years, so it is flawed to draw the conclusion you did.

          1. @colinmcrui Isn’t it flawed to assume that Max was growing at RBR while Sainz was merely still at STR?

            Actually Sainz moved to Renault last year so isn’t it flawed to assume that the Renault car was developed around Hulk… Maybe you should go back and read that joke when you post something here, because your logic is a lot more flawed than mine :-)

            I’m just pointing out that Hulkenberg should not be ranked #12 when Ricciardo is ranked #5.

            Why do you think there was a hurry to promote Max to RBR midseason? Because 2-3 seasons with Sainz and Max ran the risk of being Oconed – that means no drive for him and possibly for Carlos too…

          2. @freelittlebirds

            Isn’t it flawed to assume that Max was growing at RBR while Sainz was merely still at STR?

            My affirmation does not imply that Sainz was not growing either, just not at the same rate. And that is not flawed to assume since changing teams earlier (and to a front running team) would have given Max much more space to grow than staying at STR.

            Actually Sainz moved to Renault last year so isn’t it flawed to assume that the Renault car was developed around Hulk… Maybe you should go back and read that joke when you post something here, because your logic is a lot more flawed than mine :-)

            That was not an assumption. Maybe you should read the news with more attention :). Ink has been put on paper about this here on RaceFans and others.

            I’m just pointing out that Hulkenberg should not be ranked #12 when Ricciardo is ranked #5.

            Not that I disagree entirely with this, but the fact is that you weren’t just pointing out this. Take a better look at your conclusion in the form of an “equation” for a summary on what you pointed out.

          3. @colinmcrui

            And that is not flawed to assume since changing teams earlier (and to a front running team) would have given Max much more space to grow than staying at STR.

            But what evidence is there that Max has grown since moving to Red Bull? He won his 1st race almost immediately after moving to Red Bull. Given their 1st year together, it’s possible to say that Sainz might have won that race too. Would the statement that “both Max and Carlos had grown to be Gran Prix winners at Toro Rosso” be illogical?

            That was not an assumption. Maybe you should read the news with more attention :). Ink has been put on paper about this here on RaceFans and others.

            I read the link to the article you sent and my own summary is that Carlos complimented Hulkenberg for being very fast (explaining that his deficit is not that great) and having a lot of tricks and knowing the car. That was in April and I think there was the expectation that Sainz would have gotten up to speed by the end of this season.

            Take a better look at your conclusion in the form of an “equation” for a summary on what you pointed out.

            My equation was of course not supposed to be 100% accurate or to be the definitive ranking – it wouldn’t have Vettel as the very slowest driver. It was simply supposed to question Ricciardo’s ranking vis-à-vis Hulkenberg’s this season.

            Personally, I was disappointed with Ricciardo this season and if I’m being honest I was disappointed by Hulkenberg – he should have done better but in the rankings we are comparing him to other drivers, not what the expectations for a driver are.

    2. Michael,
      Where did you get the idea Ver and Sai were near even at TR..?
      Sainz was close in quali, but not so much in races, Max had him covered in all areas quite easily

      1. Sainz was close? He beat VER in quali.

        1. Close in quali, but in races quite further apart, like in 2017 people refuse to look into races either driver DNF-ed in.
          Sainz DNF-ed more often, but that kind of saved his statistics as he was usually the driver behind.

          Rating on racefans are really nice and all, but there’s really only one relevant rating, wich is the one by team bosses who rated Verstappen 4th in 2015…Sainz didn’t make it to the top 10.

          We can do all kind of statistics but 4 years later no teamboss will ever consider Ricciardo or Sainz over Verstappen

    3. By the transitive property, Hamilton was beaten by Rosberg in his last year, who was beaten by Webber at Williams, therefore Webber is a better driver than Hamilton. Which is nonsense.

  14. I think 5th is about right for ricciardo. I think mny have under rated him this year. His luck has been just awful I will admi that it is very, very clear that Verstappen vertually always has better 1 lap pace. One reason why he is better in qualifying. But I don’t think there have been more than 5 weekends without one of the drivers at Red Bull making a mistake/ suffering issues or Verstappen being given the better strategy or ricciardo team orders. the last 2 seasons on race day have been crazy for red bull. I would probably say it is 10 r 12 weekends in total over these two years that were error / reliability problem free for both of them. I think Ricciardo is a much ceaner racer. His overtakes always look neater and very rarely result in crashes. Verstappen’t driving looks awful sometimes. What he did on Ocon in Abu Dhabi would have been a heavy crash without ocon diving out the way. Overall, I would say verstappen ahs been better this year, but certainly not by much. In at least 5 weekends this year, he has done something which has really ruined the teams possible result. Ricciardo may not have had anywhere near as many impressive races, but there have been none even close to as bad as Verstappen’s bad races. I don’t think Verstappen should be higher than 4th personally. His overtakes may have looked impressive, but he seems to totally rely on other drivers moving right out the way, which several times, they haven’t had the right to do. And once or twice, the race could have ended like some of his early ones did if it wasnot for the avoidence skills of those drivers. Verstappen’s best skill is the speed he can do one lap. And his ability to use unexpected likes to pull off overtakes is certainly impressive. But if he keps taking risks lik this, he will/keep having accidents. Points wise, he has managed to recover a huge amount f his points this year. but he’s wisted so many and we don’t really know how much his team mate hasl lost due to bad luck.

    1. @thegianthogweed I won’t bother getting into the Abu Dhabi thing as it was Ocon that was penalized and that should say it all.

      As to Max’s strength being down to one lap pace, while he sure has that, we also saw him have incredible pace on incredibly used tires, so I would say he has excellent long run pace too. He must, to have challenged the secondary Merc and Ferrari as much as he did and to have come so close to third in the WDC standings when the best he should have been able to do in a third place car was fifth and well behind both Mercs and Ferraris. Of course, they had their issues too.

      1. Ocon got no penalty for what I’m talking about… On lap 6 Verstappen lunged into him. Ocon had no right to move. It will have been left as a racing incident or Verstappen to blame if either had damage. That was clearly avoidable. he looked like he was just making a point about the previous race.

        I do think he’s good at long run pace yes, but his overtaking moves are not consistently clean. And that has cost him many points and several near misses too.

    2. Ben, without maybe realising you may have pin pointed the situation… ricciardo is a cleaner races, mostly considered as one of the best likable drivers on the grid and always in for a laugh… though where Verstappen usually doesn’t hide his emotions, Ricciardo did his crying in the rain….wich have cost RB a few walls.

      The only reward for a clean overtake is a nomination for ‘the overtake of the year award’ wicht ironcly went to Ver three times and twice to Ricciardo. Verstappen btw responded quite cool about it… ‘overtaking Bottas who left the door wide open is not worth an OoTYA’.

      What really sets Ver apart from Ric is pace…not just one lap pace, but racepace + racecraft, not just racecraft, but the ability to overtake at any point possible as quick as possible. Verstappen is in a complete different league…usually with elbows out, but it got him 12 top 3 finished against just 2.
      Russia, US, Hungary, Abu Dhabi all showed us how fast Verstappen can recover from being a long way down on the grid. Brasil showed us it takes Ricciardo all race long to come close to P4…yes Ricciardo was further down the grid, but behind 1.5 sec behind Vettel after lap 4.

      Ricciardo is good, but on true pace, like 2017 he’s not capable of fighting either Vettel, Hamilton or Verstappen.
      Comparing Ver and Ric and insisting they are close is closing your eyer for reality…. Bottas wasn’t close to Hamilton either

      1. I don’t like the way you say I’m insisting Ricciardo is close. What I’m saying is that a mixture of luck or loads of messy races over the past 2 years has given us a very limited number of races to compare them fairly. When they were together and the reliability was better, in the races, there was not much difference. I do think Verstappen has got better since, but i don’t believe he’s in a different league yet as he just doesn’t seem to be able to manage a consistent season. I’m not convinced that Ricciardo would be far behind in points at all this season if it wasn’t for his misfortune. That isn’t insisting he’s close.

        1. Ben,
          They are close cause the 4th team on the grid is so far away, in terms of fighting the two better teams and especially the two top drivers at the better teams Ricciardo falls short massively. Ricciardo in equal conditions hardly every fights Vettel, Hamilton or Verstappen…he didn’t overtake either of them in 2017, in 2018 he did occassionally.

          Ricciardo lacks a bit of pace compared to Verstappen, but maybe more important he misses the aggressiveness Verstappen usually gets criticised over…the number ot times Ricciardo got overtaken by his teammate is quite impressive. It’s so ironic people keep mentioning the points Verstappen wasted by being to aggressive, how about the points wasted by Ricciardo…he was only in realistic podium position 3 times this season

    3. Pretty much covers it @thegianthogweed

      The only thing I’ll add is that everyone seems to have forgotten that Ricciardo’s forte when he first arrived was his qualifying lap speed.

      I still think this year in particular was an aberration (partially brought on by the realisation that again the RBR car was not close to being competitive) and I expect to see him back to qualifying form next year.

      As for the difference in racecraft. Yep, next year we’ll see far less drivers getting out of the road for Max and lots mor flying carbon fibre.

  15. Personality? LOL, this isn’t a personality ranking.

  16. Ricciardo is a hard one to place. His first half of the season was really solid and better than Max’s first half. His speed didn’t seem as good as Max’s speed in the second half of the season but his reliability seemed to hamper any kind of momentum he was trying to build so it’s a really difficult call on where you put him in the rankings. Behind Max overall feels right but ahead of Vettel feels less so

    1. I agree it’s pretty much right.

      The one that seems out of lace to me is Alonso. I really don’t recall him doing anything out of the ordinary at all this year.

      I’d have at the very least swapped hm out with Vettel and made him 6th and Vettel 4th as bth Vettel and Ricciardo to me we’re better than Alonso.

      1. No way, alonso would’ve done better than ricciardo in the red bull, would’ve completed verstappen in a way, and vettel vs alonso isn’t even a comparison, alonso had almost a perfect season, it’s just he had an uncompetitive car in many races, while vettel made so many mistakes.

      2. Anything out of the ordinary? Besides scoring 80% of the team’s points (50 vs 12) and dragging his car up to 11th in the championship even though the Mclaren, taken over a whole season, was the second worst car only being better than the Williams? Just because their car really couldn’t compete anymore the last couple of races plus Alonso’s motivation going away doesn’t mean he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary this season

  17. Blame the unreliability on the Austrian GP qualifying fallout.

  18. Guys tell me this, Ricciardo had most technical retirements in 2018 season right ?

    I checked this on Wikipedia and it seams they were actually equal with Alonso or the info there is wrong ?

    Riciardo v Alonso

    Ret: 8 v 8
    Technical Failure 6 v 6 (7:6 ?)
    Collision 2:2 (1:2 ?)


    1 Bahrain: Electrics
    2 Azer: Collision
    3 Austria: Exhaust
    4 Germany: Power Loss
    5 Belgium: Collision damage (should be treated as Technical Failure ?)
    6 Italy: Clutch
    7 USA: Battery
    8 Mexico: Hydraulics


    1 Monaco: Gearbox
    2 Canada: Exhaust
    3 France: Suspension
    4 Germany: Gearbox
    5 Belgium: Collision
    6 Italy: Electrics
    7 USA: Collision
    8 Mexico: Water Pressure

    what do you think ?

  19. Once RB knew they hadn’t signed him, his season went downhill.

    Not conspiracy, just fact. Make of it what you will.

    Christian, Marko and Deitrich are not forgiving characters.

    1. Yes, this is weird, I like red bull and it sounds weird they’d for example make ricciardo’s engine explode, sacrificing a red bull 1-2 on merit that didn’t happen since 5 years, in mexico, but still, why does it happen that every time a highly ranked driver who has been for long at red bull says he’s leaving, he gets a very bad season? Vettel 2014, ricciardo 2018.

      1. @esploratore: Just a coincidence. Don’t look at the bulls behind the Red curtain.

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