If you listened to our recent TP Podcast reviewing the Bahrain Grand Prix, then Daniel Ricciardo’s comments on the Max vs. Lewis incident will sound strangely familiar as our own Paul Charsley said the same thing. Daniel said:
“I’ll be honest,” said Ricciardo. “It didn’t deserve a penalty so that was fine.
“But it reminded me a little bit of me and [Nico] Rosberg in Budapest [in 2015] where he kept coming and I was on the exit kerb and had nowhere else to go.
“Max had the move [completed] already, I just don’t think he needed to run all the way to the kerb.
“Regardless Max would have stayed ahead, he was just a little too greedy.”
As Paul explained on the podcast, you can push but pushing a little too much when had the move completed and Lewis wasn’t set up for the next turn is where things may have gotten a little wrong. Paul also spoke about the notion of pressing a competitor out and the notion that they can lift or run off. As Paul has discussed in the past, that’s not always an easy thing to do and Daniel agrees with him:
“I heard some people say Lewis could have lifted but you’re there, unless he turned off the track or braked…it’s easier said than done,” he said.
“Lewis was so tight [to the outside of the track] as well, he wasn’t going to make Turn 2 with any form of speed.
“Even if Max had hung around the outside [through Turn 2] Max would have had him regardless.
“He squeezed him a little too much in my opinion.”
Lewis’s post-race comments about respect were, in my opinion, speaking to the very same thing. Having some respect for the other driver and executing your pass without having to hit o run another driver off.
Having said that, it is this kind of aggressive driving that made Daniel, Lewis and other veterans the hard-charging, successful F1 pilots they are. This is what Verstappen fans like about Max—he takes no prisoners and shows no quarter for anyone regardless of how many titles they may have.
For me, Max is still honing his race craft and while he may not admit that, I believe F1 demands an even higher level of balance, respect, execution and skill than most forms of motorsport. In my mind, we can afford Max the teeth-cutting years in order to become a more complete driver. They’ve all done it. Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen, and Ricciardo. Was Max a little too greedy? Probably but then that’s how you want Max…in time, that greed will be tempered with race craft to form a champion…at least that’s the plan.
Hat Tip: Autosport