Ricciardo was looking for change of “culture” after Red Bull

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo shed more light on his decision to leave Red Bull for Renault in 2018, ahead of his later move to McLaren.

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In brief

Ricciardo left Red Bull over concerns he’d grow ‘complacent’

Speaking in an interview with Australian telecommunications company Optus, with whom he has a partnership, Ricciardo said a desire for a change of culture was partly behind his decision to leave Red Bull three years ago..

“The culture is a big one because like the culture dictates your happiness, your feeling, your enjoyment, your sense of belonging,” said the McLaren driver. “So I think there was a lot of little reasons which left me feeling like leaving Red Bull or moving on from Red Bull was the right thing at the time.

“I was kind of concerned with the culture but also what my place in the culture looked like moving forward. I’d felt like I was going to become slightly more frustrated, probably more complacent, everything was just a little bit too easy. So it plays a big role. Absolutely.”

Lotterer and Wehrlein retained at Porsche Formula E

Pascal Wehrlein and André Lotterer have been retained for another year with the Porsche Formula E team.

Lotterer joined the team – mostly made up of the WEC LMP1 squad he previously raced for – after two seasons in Formula E with Techeetah. He took Porsche’s first pole and podium but has had a difficult season this year, including several collisions.

Wehrlein joined Porsche for the current season and nearly took the manufacturer’s first win in Puebla. After crossing the line first, Wehrlein was disqualified as the team have failed to declare which tyre sets they used.

Mortara still hoping to challenge for title in Berlin

Mortara is “optimistic” over his title chances
Edoardo Mortara, one of 18 drivers still in contention for Formula E’s first world championship title, is also one of only a handful who have led the standings this season.

The Mercedes-powered Venturi driver is currently 21 points adrift of leader Nyck de Vries. Mortara said racing the Tempelhof track in both its conventional and reverse direction will be “a new challenge for everyone in Formula E.” but I’m feeling quite optimistic for Berlin,” he said.

“I’m excited to get back into the car. Being part of group two qualifying should benefit us because we’ll avoid the usual difficulties that come from group one.” Group two has been the most advantageous position at the majority of rounds this year. “I think if we can qualify well, we should be able to score a big haul of points in both races and consistency is my main aim for the weekend.

“If we can establish a strong performance baseline, we should be able to perform well and given the pace we have shown at points this season, I think we have the potential to challenge for podiums.”

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Comment of the day

Formula E draws to the end of its first season with official world championship status this weekend in Berlin. However, for motorsports trivia fans – and who isn’t – Alan Dove points out that there was actually a previous series known as the Formula E World Championship?

The answer to “what do you mean?”

The 1983-1995 Formula E world championship was the class name for 250cc twin superkarts.

I can’t wait for the pub quiz question “who won the first Formula E world championship?” and I get to smash out ‘Martin Hines’.
Alan Dove

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 39 comments on “Ricciardo was looking for change of “culture” after Red Bull”

    1. Like he forced Vettel out and showed him for what he was so the cycle continued and Max showed him the door. No shame in that.

    2. It was becoming very clear that when push comes to shove, Red Bull would push max up the grid by shoving Daniel back down the pack on race day.

      Red Bull spend a fortune on driver development, but they haven’t found a way to run two number 1 drivers in the f1 team.

      1. No team has figured out how to run two number 1 drivers in an F1 team.
        Its all fun and games when you aren’t competing for wins or championship, like Ferrari is currently doing.

        The moment push comes to shove you have 2 drivers that both think they are the best drivers in the competition and should win it virtually at all cost.
        Good luck trying to contain that…

        Reply moderated
        1. We should not just accept that a fixed hierarchy is the default decision in a title fight. Some teams have made honourable decisions in the past.
          McLaren and especially Williams usually let their drivers fight in a title race. In fact, even Brawn let Barrichello take the fight to Button.

          This has cost them titles (certainly in 1981, 1986, 2007) but as a fan, I will always applaud them for letting their drivers fight.

          1. Quite, and lets not forget that with only a few rather obvious exceptions and “moments”, Mercedes have done a pretty decent job of having 2 Johnny Big Balls at the same time, treating both the Lewis / Nico and Lewis / Valtteri relationships fairly when it mattered. Obviously there have been moments when they either dropped the ball or decided to favour one or the other, but generally they’ve done well on that front over the years


          2. Brawn certainly did not let Rubens fight for the title in 2009. You’ve clearly forgotten that season and the fiasco of Spain, where Brawn sneakily made Rubens do an extra stop. It was to give the appearance of allowing them to race. Most observers (most people are not smart) got fooled – like you. You need to be good with mental arithmetic and have good IQ. Otherwise you get fooled by astute spinners like Ross Brawn.

      2. I really wonder what drives people to think that a team, any team, would actively force one driver into Number 2 status, unless the championship is at stake. Which was not the case when Ricciardo was at Red Bull.
        Each team is split in two subteams to support each driver. There is no reason for half the garage to not do their best.

        I do see how an upcoming driver can be perceived as a threat to the championship ambitions of others, and supporters of those others may search for ways to deal with it. Maybe that’s where all the nastiness comes from.

        1. Which driver follows and which one leads coming out of the pits in Q3? Which driver gets to pit first during the race? Which driver gets the alternative strategy during the race? And at some point during the season which driver has the most points so when the team has drivers in 2 consecutive positions, which driver should get the first position points?

          1. Red Bull has always divided those decisions evenly over its drivers, at least when Daniel was still in the team. One driver would get the tow in the odd races, the other in all the even races.

        2. Bart, whilst you say that, teams with a strict hierarchy have often existed in F1, even in cases where the driver might not be battling for the WDC.

          For example, the team currently known as Alpine, in a number of its former guises, quite often preferred to have a No.1 and No.2 driver system, even in years where they were more of a midfield pack team than a front running team – driver line ups like Kubica and Petrov, or Kimi and Grosjean, followed that pattern.

          Whilst you are right to note that “Each team is split in two subteams to support each driver. There is no reason for half the garage to not do their best.”, that doesn’t necessarily mean that both of those sub-teams are necessarily equal in terms of experience and resources.

          There have certainly been cases where teams have chosen different staff to crew their sub-teams, with the team choosing to concentrate the engineers and mechanics that are their most experienced and best staff into the sub-team for one driver. Those in the less experienced team might still be trying their best, but that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily perform as well as their more experienced counterparts on the other side of the garage.

    3. Ricciardo considered by many in F1 as one of the best and very much a WDC contender with the right car leaves RB. Since then three very good drivers have tried and failed to make a go of it in the car. A few Verstappen fans some of whom are F1 journalists simplistically put his down to them crumbling in awe and fear of the mighty Max Verstappen greatest driver in the known universe ever :))
      Rubbish, the team openly back Verstappen as the number one driver and while they continually say they have done everything in their power to assist the driver in the second car, the results show otherwise. Because of the high rate of driver turnover in the second car it means that Verstappen is also the one who gets most of the input on how the car is setup.
      So obviously it will favour his style of driving and a driver new to the car has a very steep learning curve on top of the pressure from within the team to perform. RB are already putting a bit of pressure on Perez publicly about the security of his position for next year.
      I can’t see RB changing while Marko and Horner are running things, so it will continue to be a one and a half car team. And Verstappen as good as he is will have to try and win a WDC with little support from the other car, and this year is probably his best chance.

      1. It’s so weird the reputation he has managed to get so far. He is definitely good enough for F1, no doubt about that, but I think there are around 12-13 drivers faster than him in current grid.

        1. I really think you’re a bit harsh on ricci. He really is a great driver but not able to adapt as fast as some.
          His recent career moves do not help in that department.

          1. @erikje Oh what I thought @huhhii was talking about Verstappen, silly me :))

            1. Welcome to the club, I thought he was talking about perez!

      2. Which is a bit silly because when Max joined RB he was driving the second car and Max was from race one up to speed with Daniel says a lot of Max not Daniel a car goes as fast as it can. When Max joined RB were going faster much faster then the year before and that included Daniel.

        There is nothing in the second car that makes a driver drive much slower then number 1. What Max seeks is a driver who challange him to the limited because he gets better from that. Also such driver will take a lot of points away from the rivals and that is what RB wants too.

        There is nothing to do RB want the second driver behind Max that is silly and poor for the results.

      3. Daniel is simply not as good of a driver as he thought he was.
        The 1 second gap to Lando Norris, and the inability to get on top of the current Mclaren tell you alot about Ricciardo’s ability, ability to adapt and learn quickly…

        Reply moderated
        1. Davethechicken
          13th August 2021, 9:11

          Since Daniel out scored Max in nearly every meaningful metric before he announced he was leaving Red Bull, what does that say about Max? Would he be any better against Lando?

      4. Yes, good summary John, RB are creating their own issues without a no.2 driver in the right place to mount a WDC win. That said, this year is still in the balance.

        Personally I respect Max but he’s far from likeable as a person. Unlike virtually all of the other drivers in my time following F1 he’s not relatable at all. Not someone I’d enjoy having a meal with if you know what I mean.

      5. Maybe you think that Mercedes is developing its car to suit Bottas, or Ferrari used to do so for Barrichello, but that would not be a very smart decision*.
        I think RBR made the right decision to develop an ‘on the edge’ car to be able to fight for wins, instead of having a more complacent one to mingle in the mid-field.

        *although both had the luxury during some years to do this as they were so far ahead of the competition.

      6. RB wants the WCC. They want the WDC as well, but slightly less. So this doesnt make sense at all. RIC ran away from a fight after seeing the steep curve and data of Max. We might just overrate him a bit given we overrated Vettel. Lando certainly doesnt seem to have any problems with him. But Ricciardo is the one you want in your team given his overall personality, for sure. I just wish he was a bit faster.

        1. There’s no way ricciardo however is performing at the red bull level currently, you could see it in races like singapore 2017, he was maybe a tier below hamilton but he wouldn’t get 1 second a lap from him, and norris is a top driver but can’t be that much better than hamilton, ricciardo should be a lot closer to norris imo if he was driving at his peak.

      7. I used to believe in Ricciardo but now not so sure. Norris is on the simulator day and night, while Ricciardo is traveling and watching cage fights etc.

        Of course he’s been unlucky with the car change now, which according to Stella ‘requires some special adjustments in the driving style … the complete opposite of what Daniel was used to before at Renault’

        Btw, another super interesting tidbit from Stella in the latest Auto Motor und Sport: “Daniel prefers to roll into the corner quickly and not be as aggressive on the brakes as our car requires.” That’s certainly contrary to popular belief where Ricciardo is supposed to be the late of the late brakers deep in the corner.

        1. Complains when TV shows accidents in case drivers are hurt.

          Watches Cage Fights.

          The guy is a moaning hypocrite who’s taking up a seat someone better could have.

    4. Re Ricciardo: To this day his departure was still the right choice.
      Re COTD: Nice bit of trivia!

      1. Agree, 100% the right choice by Daniel to leave when he did. Red Bull’s only target at that time was to make Max the youngest WDC which they failed to do. Had they focused on building a balanced car, without driver favouritism, and with less politicking off-track they could have been able to source a Mercedes engine and taken a WCC at least with Max & Daniel.

        1. The Dolphins I’m quite sure their target was to make a WCC and therefore WDC level car, and their failing in doing so was largely down to the pu. A Mercedes pu was nothing Mercedes was ever going to provide to one of their biggest threats, so it has taken until this year for RBR to finally have a Championship worthy Pu. It is not about driver favouritism or otherwise Max would have struggled when he first joined the team and drove what would have been DR’s car, right? Since you are so convinced this is a ‘driver favouritism’ team, then surely Max stepped into DR’s car?

          DR could have been in a WDC/WCC level car by now, potentially doing an LH/NR and blocking out the Mercedes guys from front row opportunities. But hey, he didn’t have a crystal ball at the time, so what’s done is done and he made his choices based on what he felt was the right thing to do at the time. But sure, with the perfection of hindsight, I would say he did not make the right choice for Max is sat in a WCC/WDC level car and DR has only set himself backwards. But that said, I try not to use the perfection of hindsight, and rather, respect DR for making what he said at the time was the toughest decision he had ever had to make with what his gut was telling him at the time.

    5. How nice of Motorsport UK to help UK Motorsport Academy with some free press.
      I immediately looked them up, and it is interesting indeed to be able to do some training and racing at much lower costs.

      1. Thy seem to be the same type of semi-mafia origination as the racing org here. Up until a couple of years ago they could give you a punishment, revoke your license if you ever raced for any other organisation, or even raced for fun under no organisation at all. Gladly they lost in court so people can now race and drive with whomever they want. But they are still pretty awful and have very little contact and and understanding about grassroot level racing.

    6. Matthew Stephens
      12th August 2021, 10:27

      I’ve heard these quotes so many times. He ran away from Max – that’s the bottom line. Pretty sure that’s what Horner says in Drive To Survive. Ric continues to dress it up in all sorts of ways but the truth is pretty obvious.

      1. @Matthew Stephens Yes and Horner is known for his honesty :)

        1. Horner is certainly far more honest than wolff, most of his comments are then proved on track, wolff proves the opposite of what he says on track.

      2. Yes harsh but probably the truth

      3. I think the Baku crash was the turning point, Dan was quicker that day and Max was dangerously defended and RB didn’t address issue to his satisfaction.

    7. Interesting info on Albon. I wonder if IndyCar might be a career move for him if/when he doesn’t become a regular F1 driver again for next season.

      Nice trivia in COTD. I was wholly unaware previously.

    8. So Lotterer gets another season in Formula E. Hmm. It was exciting to see him at the start: a proven and versatile driver, with Porsche in his blood, who seemed initially to be adapting to the new series. But he’s been a liability more recently. OK, in FE pretty much everyone bumps into someone else or has a rash moment at some point so you can’t really knock him for the odd incident, but he’s been driving like some teenage hot-head far too often – and not a particularly quick one either. Not much good for the team, and a menace to the other drivers. This seems like a strange decision.
      Am I being too harsh?

      1. (confession time: I’d forgotten his Techeetah years, though he did ok then. But after a great start when he switched to Porsche and a decent season overall, this year at least he seems… less than great)

        1. @picasso-19d-ftw even at Techeetah, crashes at the wrong moment tended to be why he wasn’t further up in the championship, wasn’t he? Yeah when he came in I was intrigued, but while he still showed speed, he never really seemed in his place in Formula-E racing to me.

          1. @bosyber yep, a 40ish minute sprint (disregarding DNFs) on a tight track must be light-years from the WEC world, or even the various single-seaters he raced before. I reckon the battery management must be frustrating – endurance racing has its own management challenges, but not much like those in FE.
            Well, let’s hope he makes a better job of the next season! Hell, I guess he’s technically in with a shout this weekend too. Go André!

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