Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 2018

Verstappen a “potential great” in the right car – Ricciardo

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen can become one of the great Formula 1 drivers if he has a sufficiently competitive car, says his former team mate Daniel Ricciardo.

What they say

Ricciardo was Verstappen’s team mate for most of the last three seasons:

For sure there’s a lot of potential. For sure some potential greatness for Max. I think it’s all about the trajectory. He keeps improving, he was quick from day one, but I’m convinced he’s got quicker than his first win with Red Bull.

I’m sure he’ll keep improving but it’s probably going to be more of a scenario/situation in terms of if he’s going to be with a car that’s capable of winning. That’s probably what’s going to dictate what levels of greatness he’s able to achieve.

And obviously if that goes through a course where it’s not happening then you might get the frustrated version [of him]. But as far as obviously his ability and that goes, he’s obviously very talented.

I’ve enjoyed the challenge with him and the rivalry. I think we’ve both grown as drivers. It’s been beneficial to both our careers.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Could Formula 1 and Formula E merge in the future? Neil says it won’t be any time soon.

At the moment, an F1/FE merged would be like merging the Renault Clio Cup with NASCAR. ‘They both have four wheels and a roof, so hey, why not?’

Much as Formula E likes to talk itself up, it currently occupies a small niche in the motorsport world and survives largely on marketing. The tracks are a joke, the cars look slow even on enclosed circuits, the technology has lost its ‘wow factor’ and the quality of the racing isn’t particularly good. I like that it races in cities, but it can only do that because the cars are so slow. The only two things it really has going for it are manufacturer involvement (though reliance on manufacturers isn’t necessarily a good thing) and a high-quality driver field.

In the future? Maybe a merger could happen, but FE would probably need to give up its unique selling point (electric cars in big cities) to become relevant enough to be an ‘equal partner’ in a merger. It’d need to evolve into a (popular) series with quick electric cars, and that means they’d have to ditch the crap little Mickey Mouse tracks and use real circuits. Quicker will most likely mean more expensive, advanced technology, and leaving cities will mean they have to be able to attract fans out to real tracks to watch the racing.

Only, I get the feeling that by the time (if it ever comes – doubtful) they get to the point of being able to do that, someone else will already be doing the Silent 24 Hours of Le Mans and FE won’t have a niche to evolve into.

But we’re all crap at predicting the future, so perhaps I’ll be paying SkyLiberDisney £500 a month in 2035 to watch the first Formula On-E world championship…
Neil (@Neilosjames)

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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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52 comments on “Verstappen a “potential great” in the right car – Ricciardo”

  1. My prediction on the future of Formula E lies on exactly what COTD mentions, that reliance on manufacturer involvement is not always a good thing. One day they will start leaving the series because the rules are too tight for them to make a difference against their competitors, and if FE listens and relaxes their rules, one manufacturer will start winning consistently and the costs will raise too much.

    I think FE works well right now because it’s ridiculously cheap good marketing: electric cars in the heart of the city with “we are thinking of the future” slogans, accesible technology for the manufacturers, and plenty of sponsorship involved. One day that’s going to stop, either the novelty of watching those cars racing, the marketing value of it all, the “good, healthy competition” we see or the costs involved.

    I’m not saying electric cars are not the future, but companies don’t care one bit about anything other than what’s good for themselves. If the numbers don’t add up, it’s going to the bin.

    1. Except that electric cars will always be dramatically cheaper to produce than ICE machines, and that is an advantage which will never go away.
      They will get quicker as battery technology improves – certainly incrementally, and quite possibly dramatically, if solid state rechargeable technology matures.

      1. Wait until you get a high demand of precious metals to build all those batteries and the rest.

        Electric vehicles have been pushed by Tesla and diesel scandals but there is no way to make everyone drive electric within the next 15 years as claimed by some (vehicle and electricity production won’t allow).

        Once a method to produce cheap hydrogen will be developed, there is a big change the focus will shift and that will make a lot more sense for F1 to take on that path instead (or eventually compressed natural gas if hydrogen doesn’t come soon enough)…

        In other words, some alternatives to go green and be at the pinnacle of technology without going full electric.

        1. Ah, but electricity production isn’t the problem.
          To electrify all road transport takes less electricity than domestic housing does. Which is only a fraction of what the industry and government use. So while it would mean an increase in electricity production levels, it falls well within current net capacity levels. Maybe add 10% to be sure.

          Battery technology is evolving quickly, too. Tesla uses cells in its Model 3 that have only 10% of the Cobalt other batteries have (a Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt ratio of 8:1:1) which makes them smaller, lighter and cheaper. Honda is developing a battery that uses fluoride instead of Lithium ions; the first such that can operate at room temperature. And there are way many more initiatives that look very promising.

          There is no way to produce hydrogen on the cheap, because basic laws of nature prevent that. It simply takes a lot of energy to break the bond between a hydrogen and an oxygen atom. On top of that, current electrolytic splitting methods are quite ineffective; it is cheaper to make hydrogen by heating natural gas…
          Research hints at better ways using cobalt, nickel and gold particles, but whether it ever gets on a par with gasoline remains to be seen. Even if it does get that far, it still is a conversion starting from electricity, so it would have to beat the source-battery-motor efficiency of electric cars to be viable. As the latter can be up to 70% efficient it is a tall order.

          But hydrogen for Formula 1 cars, yeah that could be something. Except that the gas tank would be under extreme pressure and you don’t want to carry a bomb into a 350 km/h crash, so that would need to be in a super safe container.

          1. As the latter can be up to 70% efficient it is a tall order.

            I guess that this percentage you give is achieved in an experimental environement?
            Didn’t we read some time ago that Mercedes achieved a 50% efficiency?

          2. I guess the gap isn’t THAT big then?

          3. @spoutnik
            Mercedes “claims” they achieve 50% but that is not from the source. Electric engines can be >90% effective and combine that with nuclear plants pretty much nothing can beatv it.

            I find it extreamly hard to belive cars would make up less that domestic housing, where is those numbers from? Are you talking about houses in the arctic direct heated by electricity or what?

          4. @spoutnik: I was comparing electric and hydrogen for road cars, the setting which @jeanrien was writing about.

            Yes, the 50% efficiency of the Mercedes is impressive.
            Bear in mind though that it is the maximal efficiency the engine can deliver, which for an F1 car will be at wide open throttle at medium to high revs.
            On the street, the Prius engine is winner with over 40% efficiency, and more importantly that efficiency is there art relatively low revs and on partial throttle. Still, like any engine, when demand is really low (say constant speed in the city or moderate highway speed) then efficiency drops to 20% or lower.

            Hydrogen electric vehicles (converting hydrogen to electricity to power the motor) use fuel cells which typically are 60-70% efficient. That doesn’t sound too bad, but the fuel cells need to be properly cooled so hydrogen cars need big radiators, and as a consequence they have more aerodynamic drag than a comparable EV would have, or even an ICE car.
            But for now the losses at generating hydrogen are still prohibitive.

          5. I find it extreamly hard to belive cars would make up less that domestic housing, where is those numbers from? Are you talking about houses in the arctic direct heated by electricity or what?

            My friend has an electric car and it is a tiny percentage of his household use. He recently got solar panels which to my surprise took up an extremely small percentage of his roof in a not so sunny part of the world. He got a loan for them where he pays the same as his average electric bill. I think the excuses for people not being all-renewable electric nowadays are simply excuses. Maybe it would be different if the majority of the worlds rich people that own electric cars lived in San Diego, CA.

          6. @spoutnik, in the case of that dyno test, it was indicated that they were running under special conditions that enabled them to hit those efficiency figures, which is why it was noted in that article that they had not actually achieved those figures on track.

            It has also been questioned whether those high figures can actually be sustained for an extended period of time (i.e. whether the MGU-H was harvesting under those conditions or not), so it is questionable whether they could actually achieve that on track.

        2. @jeanrien , do not forget all the hydrogen cars drive electric. They use Hydrogen to make electricity and drive electric!!
          There is no development path running hydrogen in ICE engines at the moment

      2. Electric power train including battery is still >> normal petrol car. It needs volume. In 2024 predictions are 1M / yr full electric car sales, from there on it becomes cheaper and cheaper. But that still means many petrol and hybriy being sold in the 10s of Million per year in 2024. So electric isn’t coming THAT soon. It’s easily 10 years from being biggest market share.

        That’s all due to cost of powertrain. Apart from that no current automotive company wants to rush to depreciatetheir current engine production lines in <5years..

        There is a lot of buzz around electric, of course, everyone wants in, and wants the share of the new thing. Don't let it confuse from the reality that companies like tesla are marginal volume producers currently (and look at the struggle).

        VAG, Toyota, GM and RSA-Nissan pump out close to 30-40M cars a year combined…

        1. Electric vehicles are not 90% efficiency, only the motor is. Lots of loses in charging, battery efficiency, power conversion etc.

          The merc engine 50% is test bench peak efficiency, throw in a transmission and the general stuff that a car needs to drive of the crank shaft (pumps, cooling, aircon, etc) and you are down to 25% on vehicle level.

  2. CotD – Neil – Very well debated…!
    Though I’d love to see a Clio at NASCAR… ;-)

    1. Clio wins any night race. Unless NASCAR find a way of illuminating the stickers they use for lights

  3. Why doesn’t Zak just keep quiet…!?
    Is he a compulsive attention seeker…?

    1. He’s a marketing man. Enough said.

      1. And he won’t shut up as long as people keep on printing (bitting) his hollow phrases.

        1. Yup. He is BY FAR, my least favorite person in all of f1. Dont blame Honda, blame zak…

          Dude can’t even spell his name right…

    2. “Why doesn’t Zak keep quiet?” Once again, in this comments section, we come across posters who don’t seem to understand that every statement by Zak Brown and every other team principle is an answer to a question posed by a journalist. They aren’t just sitting in an empty room trying to annoy commenters on F1 websites. The F1 team leaders are directly responsible for hundreds of millions of pounds, thousands of employees, and have to do it under immense pressure on the global stage. It’s no wonder their answers sometimes come across as careful or light on substance. And as far as poking fun at Zak Brown for being a mere “marketing man,” take a few minutes to peruse his Wikipedia page. He is the only, and I mean only F1 team principle who has a lifetime of a hard core racing pedigree…behind the wheel, not just in the pitlane.

      1. “Once again, in this comments section, we come across posters who”… seem to be related to the subject in question.
        So, I never realised people were answering questions… and know nothing about how the media works… Yeah, sure… I’m really that naive… Hahaha.

  4. Brown’s marketing one-liners lose their appeal really quickly.

    1. But Wait! There’s more, @faulty! Zak’s marketing will appeal to you or your money back! Back into the McMarketing sound-bite budget.

      1. You forgot that the 2019 McLaren F1 car will be new and improved, @jimmi-cynic .

        (Also, new year’s greetings to you and yours)

        1. And New and Improved New Year’s Greetings to you and yours, @phylyp

          1. How can James Key be the “Father” of the Mclaren car when he was not involved at the conception?

    2. Zak & Co always used protection? Besides, noone wants to admit to being the father of the last few cars, they were such a disappointment to the McLaren family.

  5. I wish coverage for FE would stop. It’s just sooooo cheesy. I don’t think it will ever become a respected category. There’s more chance of F1 bringing back a V10 using biofuel. I can dream.

    1. I nominate this for cotd, which it will never get.

      Can we get a mirror that removes all the FE excuses?

  6. Just a brain teaser for 2019. How do you define ‘biofuel’?

    Is it only biofuel when the plants were grown less than a year ago?
    Or is chopping up a 20yo tree still biofuel?
    And what about that tree falling over and decaying over many many years.

    1. Should be a reply to BMF66

    2. excellent comment, with too many thnhs nowaday a “suggestive tag” is added to a product and people jump on the bandwagon without actually seeing what that tag really means, like biological food for exampel, european laws dictate that just 1 component of a finished product has to be biological for the entire end product to use that tag.

      biofuel would have to be extremely well defined in the rules for it to mean anything.

      1. Another one: is my car hybrid when I drive it on the starter engine when in gear?

        1. Not really. First, because you can’t use it in any meaningful way, and secondly, because your starter will burn out very quickly.

          1. you can’t use it in any meaningful way

            Tell that the bus driver who used the start engine to move the full school bus away from the approaching freight train.

        2. @coldfly
          Yes it is hybrid , when you run it on the starter you are using electric via battery and withing 30 seconds you will be running on petrol (or diesel , or gas , or hydrogen , or plasma)

  7. Got to agree with Ricciardo on this point. If Verstappen is able to manage his frustration problem of not having as much horsepower like the Mercedes and Ferrari he will be the special one. I think in 2018 second position in the WDC was possible if he was not that frustrated at the start of the year. This problem will fade away naturally by getting older but Ricciardo is spot on in identifying the limiting factor of Verstappen.

    1. I think the only thing that will limit Max in his career will be his car. Almost always, the WDC needs the WCC car, or at least a very close second place car in the WCC. Even if Max somehow miraculously doesn’t learn and mature, which is highly unlikely, having the WCC car would certainly give him less work to do by starting more often on the front row. So yeah, the better the car, the less reason for frustration.

      1. He may need to wait for Lewis to retire/take Vettel’s place at Ferrari. Only him and Lewis can win a WDC in the 2nd best car IMHO though of course Max hasn’t proved he can stay consistent for a season yet. He could quite easily end up the 2nd greatest driver never to win a WDC, it could happen. (After Moss of course)

    2. Max knows he can and knows the problem is the car…even on competitve days the car kept ruining his possible poles…
      Singapore and Mexico both down to poor performing software…not even lack of power.
      Ricciardo was punching holes in walls…about self controle.

      One driver isn’t much different than the other when it comes to be frustrated about inferiour material.
      Lewis has had his off weekends and when things aren’t going his way he is consistantly on the radio over analysing each and every minor detail.

      Given a car that’s able to qualify row one on a regular basis will completely change the approach of a driver, no need to take risks, pick your battles and bring the car home. Lewis life looks a lot like Max in Mexico.

      1. Ricciardo was punching holes in walls…about self controle.

        Meanwhile Verstappen was running into people/forcing his right of way even when he had control of the race. It’s not just his anger control issues, it’s him making poor choices and refusing to take responsibility. Also his tantrum in Mexico after missing out on poll, again someone elses fault… never his.
        If the Honda does not produce as some think or hope (which is likely) in 2019 Verstappen is going to struggle emotionally.
        Throw in to the possibility that RB are no longer leading the aerodynamics race, we could see them battling with HAAS, Racing Point and Mclaren as mid field runners.
        Testing will shed some light, but the first few races is when all the cards are on the table.

    3. Max will never be a wdc, he rages too hard.

      The ocon incident is proof, he had nearly an hour to cool down, and still thought that was a good idea… which is embarassingly bad self control/judgement. World champions let people like max thru, to avoid torpedos piloted by children (based on maturity, not age)

      Quote it today, tell me I am right later.

      1. Yeah, thats why team bosses, current F1 drivers, most of the media, pundits and what have you all voted Max the second best driver this year. But hey… i guess you know better.

        1. I think everyone keeps forgetting that he’s still 21 years old. He’s a hot head but some of that will die down over time. Once that starts to happen I think you’ve got a very scary driver on your hands.

          You’re better off being a fast driver that needs to learn down than a very sensible driver with limited pace.

          1. *that should say “learn to calm down”

          2. Ocon is an idiot. To become a Worldchampion you don’t give a damn about what everybody is talking, you’ll be merciless, have a killer instinct, know exactly everything of your car, think I am the best and you move aside or get moved and drive like hell no matter what. There you have Max.

          3. @leadfoot

            You’re better off being a fast driver that needs to learn down than a very sensible driver with limited pace.

            I don’t agree with that statement, but no time to really reply.
            At this point in time Max seems more like his father, he never did calm down…never became a WDC.
            But we will see.

    4. First he should learn how to beat his teammate.

  8. I agree with DR on Max as well as the COTD. BTW, I wonder which ‘tropical’ place is that in the image of Nico Hulkenberg’s tweet.

  9. Happy 50th Birthday Michael Schumacher. I’m thinking of you.

  10. Happy Birthday to Michael Schumacher!

    If Max is a World Champion it remains to be seen, the guy has the talent but he needs show this over a season, Daniel would be a safer bet just for now.

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