Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber has said in a mid-season review that Dutchman Max Verstappen’s performance has been ‘flaky’ but he also admitted that the points difference is mostly down to the RB13’s mechanical failures. “Both of the [Red Bull] guys have driven well this year, but Max has probably been a bit flaky in terms of the build-up to the races through the weekend,” said the Aussie.
“He’s been going off the road a lot on Friday and Saturday, which puts pressure on mechanics getting the car ready. I’d like to see him on the road a bit more, but he’s pushing the limits. When it comes to Sundays, he hasn’t made many mistakes at all, it’s been a lot of high-profile reliability retirements where he’s lost a truckload of points, so that’s been hard for him to swallow.”
On the other hand, Webber also said that his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo has been the most reliable driver who made the most of an underperforming car. According to him, they expected a lot from the car but the team just haven’t delivered.
“With Renault [engines], it’s unfortunately a little bit of a broken record, ‘we haven’t got this, we haven’t got that’ – it’s been going on for five years. [Red Bull] have to make a car a second faster than everyone else, maybe.”
The Australian also heaped praise at McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso, calling him the best driver on the grid.
“It’s been a big shame for Formula 1, a big shame for Honda, a big shame for McLaren,” he said. They loaded their guns up and got Fernando back there waiting for the engine to fire, but it hasn’t happened. He’s been biting his tongue for the last 24 months, and he can’t drive the thing any harder. His stock is still incredible, and on Sundays he’s probably the best in the world. That’s the frustrating bit.”