Daniel Ricciardo Credits 2017 F1 Cars for Max Verstappen’s Radical Transformation as a Driver

Published 12/17/2020, 7:16 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Race winner Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference after the race FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Max Verstappen has come leaps and bounds since his debut in 2016 with Toro Rosso. He is now the leading driver for Red Bull Racing and a potential championship candidate for the future as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

But at the beginning, Verstappen was naturally not as polished as he is now. He needed to adapt to the workings of an F1 car and with time, the racecraft has become better than before.

His teammate Daniel Ricciardo believes that the 2017 version of cars contributed a lot to Max’s development. And there was a feeling that those cars suited the Dutchman better.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Daniel Ricciardo thinks the development of Max Verstappen started in 2017

Speaking in a podcast, Ricciardo stated, “I felt he did a large step of his development through 2016 and then 2017. I also felt like the new cars, when we changed to the bigger tires and all that in 2017…”

“I felt like having more grip actually helped him or suited him as well. I felt like he obviously was doing very well, and those cars actually was like more for him as well.”

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the garage before qualifying FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Verstappen got involved in quite a few collisions with rival drivers in his initial years in F1. But Ricciardo feels that once he had rectified and reduced those mistakes, Max brought out a high level of consistency in his racing.

“So 2017, I think already the speed was there. And there were still the mistakes which he needed to clean up, even through a bit of 2018.

“But once he cleaned that up, you know how he’s just got that high level of consistency with few mistakes. But I saw that already start in 2017,” concluded Ricciardo on the subject.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Verstappen had a good 2020 season, often challenging the Mercedes pair

This year, the Red Bull Racing star driver was largely expected to contend for third place on the podium. But with some stellar performances, he showed that he was equal to challenging Hamilton and Bottas.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili

With a much more powerful car next year, Verstappen could well give a tougher fight to defending champion, Hamilton. But that said, it is important to laud his development and fine-tuning of skills, as he heads into his seventh full season in Formula 1.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT