lamo wrote: Lotus49 wrote:
F1 MERCENARY wrote:An easy look back the races starting with the Spanish GP last year and outside Monaco where Ricciardo was untouchable, Max has had the edge over Ricciardo. And though I think Verstappen was a bit over the edge in several instances, when he was pulling off some of those moves, he was more often than not comfortably ahead of Ricciardo. Mind you he was thrust into the senior team in a moments notice and into a completely new car and was immediately on pace and won his maiden race in such a scenario.
Hypoerbole?... I don't think so.
Of course it's hyperbole if you think outside Monaco Max has been comfortably ahead since they've been partnered. He was out-qualified over those 17 races last year, finished behind more often, had less podiums and scored less points.
This year Max has looked better though, he's up 5-3(2 really, China shouldn't count) in Qualy and has been ahead and quicker in most races before his troubles hit.
But even this year it's been overblown how badly Dan is doing, they've had two full races where they both finished and in China Max looked considerably quicker in the first half and Dan in the second half and the gap at the flag was 0.9s. In Monaco Dan didn't fudge his pit stop and made the over cut work with some rapid laps and the gap at the flag was 2.9s
1-1 and both close at the flag and that's it as far as facts go, everything else is hypothetical based on a handful of laps each race.
Hang on... with regards to last year. Max was dropped into a car he had never driven in a new team, mid season with no testing. Compared to a settled Ricciardo. That is not really a fair comparison and Max still held his own.
Yes Ricciardo did out qualify Max, but the score went like this....
Ricciardo was 9-2 up and from that point on lost to Max 4-2 over the last 6 races. Max got stronger and stronger after just being dropped into a car mid season. He has continued were he left off in 2016. His race pace was up with Ricciardo from day 1 and improved through the year generally.
I actually don't like Max and a bit of a Ricciardo fan but that is the way it is unfortunately.
Verstappen has been in control of the pace and as a result been on the better strategy which is usually given to the better/faster of the 2 drivers for every team. in 2016 max made a few mistakes that cost him, which while loses him brownie points, in between those mistakes he drove better than Ricciardo. Where they finished come the end of races only shows that one driver made it to the end. It does not say where each driver was relative to his teammate during races. Ricciardo had 3 really impressive races that I recall in 2016 whereas Verstappen enjoyed well more than a handful of them, regardless of him crashing out. At Brazil in particular he was outpacing everyone simply because he was able to figure out a better line and throttle/brake control than anyone else and that made him feel as though he could push just that much more, but once he did he spun and was extremely fortunate he didn't end up in the wall.
Ricciardo is an excellent driver and the ONLY thing I dislike about him in ANY capacity is his habitual over ambitious dive bombs down the inside of drivers which forces them to take evasive action which is what has kept many of those incidents from ending in retirements for both drivers.
When both drivers crossed the line (since Spain) in 2016, this is how it broke down.
– Verstappen crossed the checkered flag some 43+ seconds ahead of Ricciardo in his very first race in the car, having never driven it before that Friday's FP1
– Verstappen finished some 10 seconds ahead… Then Europe Max finished 1 second behind Ricciardo
– Verstappen finished 1.5 seconds behind Ricciardo
– Verstappen finished 25 Seconds ahead of Ricciardo
– Verstappen finished 18 Seconds ahead of Ricciardo
– Ricciardo finished 21 seconds ahead of Verstappen
– Ricciardo finished 6.5 seconds ahead of Verstappen
– Ricciardo finished 56 seconds ahead of Verstappen
– Ricciardo finished 9 seconds ahead of Verstappen
– Ricciardo finished 70 seconds ahead of Verstappen
– Ricciardo finished 2.5 seconds ahead of Verstappen
– Verstappen finished 27 Seconds ahead of Ricciardo
– Ricciardo finished .5 seconds ahead of Verstappen
– Verstappen finished 43 Seconds ahead of Ricciardo
– Verstappen finished 3.5 Seconds ahead of Ricciardo
And less we forget that Verstappen made overtakes than anyone which delves further into him having the upper hand between the Red Bull Drivers. The points tally at the end of the year mean little here, especially if you consider Verstappen ran a few races in the Toro Rosso before moving to the senior team.
Overall, I have to give the kid the nod for finishing ahead of the guy the team put all their eggs in the basket for, more often. It's not by an absurd margin, but if you factor in how nothing of the car was built around him and the fact he'd never even sat in it before FP1 in Spain, what he accomplished over the remainder of the season is seriously impressive.
And while Qualifying doesn't mean the world, even that shows that the kid has the upper hand on Ricciardo. If Ricciardo out-qualified Verstappen over the season and Verstappen came out on top when both cars finished, I think that is indicative of which driver was better. Sure he made mistakes when pushing, but he's young and still learning and improving and that should be a brow raising proposition for Ricciardo fans because it wont be long until Verstappen is made the defacto #1 it RBR, unless they ship him off to Ferrari.
So I don't think it's an exaggeration to say the Verstappen had the edge over Ricciardo comfortably outside of Monaco.