THIS TEAM AIN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE BOTH OF US?
DANIEL RICCIARDO VS…
In his time at Red Bull Racing, Ricciardo
outperformed Vettel, suffered the bulk of
RBR’s reliability woes against Kvyat, and
is now going toe to toe with Verstappen.
…SEBASTIAN VETTEL, 2014
…DANIIL KVYAT, 2015
…MAX VERSTAPPEN, 2016*
* From Spanish to Belgian GP. Verstappen
drove for Toro Rosso in first four GPs.
about his tactics – less from the perspective
of him not approving of them, but the
knowledge that always dancing on the
edge of legality means things go wrong
eventually. After the first-turn incident at
Spa, damage to the floor meant
Verstappen’s car was around 1.5sec per lap
slower than it should have been. In public,
Horner’s response was to back his driver.
“With all these things, what goes
around comes around,” he noted.
“Drivers tend to sort these things on the
circuit. Max has pushed the limit today,
he’s been right on the limit, but the
referees were happy so there are no
more comments really from our side.”
When asked directly whether he was
happy with it, the response was telling. “It
was right on the edge,” Horner said, “so I’m
sure he’ll take a look and learn from it.”
The question is whether the nature of
Verstappen’s relationship with Red Bull –
which has gone out of its way to get him
signed up for the long term – along with
his youth, means he’s taking onboard any
internal criticism as seriously as a driver
should, no matter how good they may be.
“If people are talking about you, you’re
doing something right,” says Verstappen.
“Of course I’m always on the limit, but that’s
how you become successful. If you’re under
the limit, you’ll never achieve what you’re
capable of. [Criticism] doesn’t really change
a lot. I will drive exactly the same as before,
because there is nothing wrong with it.”
If Red Bull does has a title-contending
car next year, its driver lineup could be
the ultimate blessing, or a terrible curse.
Ricciardo probably knows he needs to assert
himself; Verstappen certainly does. Those
are the ingredients for flashpoints, and
Red Bull will know it. It’s possible for two
top drivers to achieve a sense of equilibrium,
but it’s desperately rare. So far, Verstappen
“I feel I’ve driven well from
the start of this season, and
perhaps we’ve both really
pushed each other now?”
arrival at Red Bull
with a point in the
season when Daniel
catch a break. Max’s
RBR debut earned
him victory at the
Spanish GP (LEFT),
as Daniel was left
to a strategy error.
Ricciardo then took
another hit when a
pit stop bungle cost
him a near-certain
win in the Monaco
GP (ABOVE LEFT).
As Vettel floundered in 2014, Ricciardo took
the first of three career GP wins in Canada.
Ricciardo took two thirds in ’ 15, but Kvyat’s
second in Hungary was RBR’s best result.
RBR’s 2016 German GP 2-3 result finished
in favor of Ricciardo over Verstappen.
A T CIRCUMSTANCES...