Verstappen vs Ricciardo: Is this the other teammate duel for 2016?

It may not be as tepid or expensive as the Mercedes teammate duel but if you read between the lines, things might be a little frosty over at Red Bull between Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen managed to keep Nico Rosberg behind them but it was Ricciardo who claimed second place in Germany today with Verstappen in third. The race strategy was split between them and this left Max marking Rosberg and Ricciardo marking Rosberg’s teammate Lewis Hamilton.

It was in interesting start as Ricciardo said he wasn’t happy with himself for letting Verstappen pass him at turn one but for Max, the finish isn’t exactly what he would have wanted:

“I definitely think I took one for the team today,” said Verstappen. “But that’s alright.

“I think Daniel and I have a good relationship so we can do that. The most important thing was for us to be in front of Ferrari. That definitely worked today and we were even challenging Mercedes. We kept Nico behind us on fair pace, so that was good.

“You have to earn that trust as well, ’cause I’m quite new still. For the team it was a very positive day.”

Verstappen knows he was on the second strategy but is that how it would have turned out had Nico not blown the start? If Nico would led the race and Verstappen had held his position, having gotten around Daniel at turn one, it may not have ended in third…or would it? I’ll let you parse the lap times and charts to discern Red Bull’s strategy but as it eventually unfolded, Max knew he was on a slower strategy.

It’s a side of Max that we’ve seen from his days at Toro Rosso with Carlos Sainz. Max isn’t keen on playing second or nursing a teammate’s strategy. He’s here to win and singularly focused on F1 titles. There’s a few drivers on the grid like that with Lewis, Fernando and Sebastian coming to mind. Max and Carlos created a chippy situation at STR and now it could be an even more chippy situation at Red Bull and we will see how Ricciardo does when put under pressure.

It was interesting, to me anyway, that the stewards found nothing wrong with Max’s running off track in turn 1 to make the pass stick against Ricciardo. Turn 1 was supposed the be the turn that was verboten according the FIA. Regardless, people love to see this young man drive, pass and be aggressive.

Hat Tip: Motorsport


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Jack Flash (Australia)

“F1 track limits” : Choose your own Adventure over the ‘barely there’ curbs and tarmac carparks.

F1 Rules Governance is an absolute ‘bad joke’ nowadays.


It’s allowed to pass the track limits if you’re basically forced off the track or there is no room to stay on the track. It wasn’t even under investigation, so none of the teams filed a complaint to the stewards.

Jack Flash (Australia)

That was part my point.
No investigation… probably becuase Stewards turn a blind eye at first corner after Start Historically. But anyway… who FORCED Max off track at turn one lap one. Nobody. He just created his own outer track extension, and got away with it.

john hope

a driver is allowed to go over the track limit three times during a race…so even if it was his fault, there would only be an investigation after three times exceeding track limits at that corner, and probably Verstappen only did it there at the start of the race…end of discussion….


“a driver is allowed to go over the track limit three times during a race”

Without gaining a position in process…end of discussion…

Jack Flash (Australia)

Good work D4. Beat me to the salient point of the Rules.
You cannot ‘gain a position’ by going outside of track limits. Not ever (supposedly). That is exactly what Max did on turn one, but was not penalised (typical race start Stewrds grace). When on your own in ‘designated corners’ – when no advantage gained in position, only time gains – you have a few mis-demeanours grace before penalty now.

It helps if the full Ruleset is understood by those with whom you like to converse.


They changed the white line rule over the weekend. they were allowed to go four wheeles over at turn one, but had to stay on the curbes (wich he did) and not go onto the astro turf. look at qualifying, most of them did it there.

Jack Flash (Australia)

How is the more aggressive RBR SuperSoft-SuperSoft-Soft-SuperSoft (SS-SS-S-SS) strategy for Verstappen happen to get labelled the “second strategy”? Verstappen boxed first on Lap 12. Ricciardo boxed second on Lap 13. It turned out that the less 1st-stop aggressive SS-S-SS-SS was a better 3-stop Race plan for Ricciardo, but the team made the choice to both pit Verstappen as leading car first (fair), and put Verstappen on the faster tyre to gap Ricciardo and pressure Hamilton on undercut (also fair call, but proved in error due to several race factors). You can’t learn after making priority decisions like that, and suddenly… Read more »


“You can’t learn after making priority decisions like that, and suddenly
rename the “first strategy” the “second strategy”, just because it did
not work as the Team and Verstappen expected.”

That’s exactly what the teams do. You can’t know in advance how a strategy will work out in the end, especially since other teams will have their own tactics which might have an effect on how yours plays out. In Spain it was clearly in Verstappen’s favor in the end, here it was in Ricciardo’s.

Jack Flash (Australia)

Huh? Stop arguing my point, as though I said something contrary. At the point of executing the Strategy Decision at Verstappen’s stop – he got the Best RBR Tyre Strategy they had “at that instant in time, and knowing what they did to that moment in time”. My follow up point was… “Don’t go changing the view of Strategy at the End of the Race, pretending like you got the short straw”. Just like Spain, the Favourability of Strategy flipped due to emerging race developments from other competitiors and the unexpected behaviour of SuperSoft tyres on high fuel load cars.… Read more »

Guy Fawkes

If it’s frosty it certainly didn’t seem that way in the cool down room after the race. Seemed quite chummy to me. Seems Max is now officially “The Future Of Formula 1”. A youngster taking it to the older, experienced drivers is quite a storyline. And the sport needs storylines. Storylines put eyes on screens and butts in seats. Since this story is true, there seem to be a few…uh…allowances being made in certain areas (the rules) in order to accommodate the new storyline. We ALL know the “rules” are flexible, at best. The kid is certainly talented. And as… Read more »

John Hope

“But I hope that the other drivers will start pointing out this seeming bias in favor of Verstappen”….

Sorry to say, but i don’t see any bias towards Verstappen…the contrary he received 8 penalty points last year, so this doesn’t support your statement…what it does support is your argument that ‘Storylines put eyes on screens and butts in seats.’….


“he received 8 penalty points last year”

Your analysis would be better if you look at how many total questionable situations (like the one yesterday and one in Hungary) were there out of which he received (only) 8 pts.

Guy Fawkes

Last year with TR? Yes. This year? He’s made some enjoyable but arguably ugly moves in defending against Raikkonen AND Vettel this year. And, as C3 points out, there were quite a few more situations where certain other drivers would have been penalized and Verstappen walked away clean. The move yesterday was a bit iffy but the move on Raikkonen in Hungary was BLATANTLY a double move while defending.


Similar to other commenters here, I didn’t see any frostiness at all. They hugged after getting out of their cars, and were quite happy talking in the cool down room. When Max was promoted to RBR and won the Spanish GP after Dan’s strategy was changed mid-race, I like many others thought that Max may be getting preferential treatment & we could be in for another Vettel/Webber scenario, but that simply hasn’t happened. I can’t see any evidence of either driver having #1 status, rather the team give preference to whoever’s fastest on the day in order to maximize results… Read more »

Jack Flash (Australia)

Excellent analysis.


ever thought of adding fuel loads into the equation? Max had SS with higher fuel loads whereas Ric had SS towards the end of the race


Sure, fuel may have had an effect in the 2nd stint, though I’m not technically qualified to say what that effect would have been. However, in the final 2 stints they were both on SS and Max couldn’t maintain the same pace as Dan, almost certainly due to deg issues which seem to be the primary factor in determining which of these drivers is faster on a Sunday from one race to the next.


I can’t say I saw any frosty Red Bull intra-team relations in this race. There may of course still be some behind closed doors, but outwardly, both drivers seemed happy to achieve the team’s pre-race goal of finishing ahead of both Ferraris and the opportunity of keeping Rosberg behind them, which presented itself during the race. The cool-down room – which more often than not this season has been quite an awkward affair (with both Mercedes drivers present) now seemed to have a much more relaxed atmosphere. Max did mention “taking one for the team”, which I suspect had to… Read more »

Formulaic One

I think Max was posturing to show how much of a team player he was in Silverstone. He was likely to be overtaken by Ricciardo anyway at the pace Ricciardo was catching him, and Hockenheim’s hairpin was creating a good spot for overtakes. By letting him by, Verstappen curried favour with the Red Bull team and perhaps hopes they will return it further down the line.

Here’s a good assessment of how their battle is going so far