Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Verstappen working on qualifying deficit to Ricciardo

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says he’s been working on how to get better one-lap performance out of the Red Bull chassis.

Despite being out-qualified by team mate Daniel Ricciardo by four-tenths of a second at their first race weekend together in Spain, Verstappen went on to win the race.

Asked during today’s FIA press conference about how his pace compares to his team mate, Verstappen said: “As a driver you always feel you are the faster one.”

“I think Daniel is a great driver, you can clearly see that. From my side I was still getting used to the race, even in the race I was still getting used to the car because it was the first time I was doing a race in the car.”

Verstappen added he made more progress during last week’s running at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“In the test after the race I learned again some very important things about the car, how to get it better for me in qualifying terms,” he said. “That’s all a process and it will only start to get better. Even here I will learn again and it will take a few races before you are fully comfortable with all the systems.”

Following his breakthrough win Verstappen was cautious over his prospects for the rest of the season.

“I won the race, we’ll see what happens now in the next few races. I just stay calm, try to do the best I can and from there on we’ll see what position that is.”

“Of course Mercedes is still very strong. It will be difficult to beat them at the moment but we will do our best.”

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Verstappen working on qualifying deficit to Ricciardo”

  1. To the Max !
    25th May 2016, 16:14

    In the race you drive to the limit of the tyre and in qualifying you drive to the limit of the car. He already knows the tyres, but he’s still coming to grips with the car.

    In testing after the Barcelona GP he did a lot of short runs with different set ups to see which ones he prefers. Having a better set up + being more confident with the car and he will also close the qualifying gap with Ricciardo in the next couple of GP’s.

    1. digitalrurouni
      25th May 2016, 16:35

      Yes the Monaco weekend will be very exciting for sure. Max winning last race and Ricciardo out to prove a point. Lewis and Rosberg binning. Rosberg has the momentum and he won last year due to a Lewis brain fart. REALLY is exciting.

  2. Again, that s quite onimous. Ricciardo must feel a bit better for having the better engine this time around

  3. ” Even in the race I was getting used to the car”

    Omg what is this kid capable of ?

    1. That’s normal, no? It was his first race and he had never sat in the RB12 for that long in one go before as his only prior running was in free practice on friday and saturday morning.

      I think the experience of 100+ laps during testing last week was crucial in getting on terms with the new car/steering wheel/setups/procedures and not to be underestimated: his new engineers and other team personel.

      After the test he has been dragged around by his sponsors and dutch tv, wich to this extent was also new to him. He seems to be handling it very well imho and seems to stay very level headed and down to earth (I feel that comes across better in dutch than english) because it must be hard to do if everywhere you go people praise you and go all crazy.

      1. Damn F1 is booming here now in The Netherlands! Finally done with the Verstappen graveltrap jokes, man.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          25th May 2016, 23:46

          Jos the Gravelmeister.

          Good for Max there’s no gravel traps to master now.

      2. Yes it is normal, but I was pointing out that even though he knew only 80% of his machinery, he was able to maintain his race pace and keep that Ferrari behind him. In the interview he said ” I found how to handle the car much better during the spanish testing days”. So I was wondering just how much of a more better time he would be able to put up if he understood his car completely.

  4. James Allen said on his website that RIC, after being slower than VES in Q1&2, added more front wing for Q3 in an effort to beat his new teammate. This benefitted him in the final sector where he did considerably better than VES on their respective final runs.

    However, the added wing hampered RIC in the race as the added downforce pushed his front tires into the ground harder, creating more scrubbing. You could see in the timing app that VES was closing the gap to RIC at the end of the first stint to <1 and despite VES losing 4.5sec due to RIC pitting a lap earlier, RIC again lost his gap towards the end of stint two.

    Thís was the main reason according to Allen, RedBull went for the 3 stopper with RIC. Ferrari just made the mistake of feeling the need to cover RIC off with VET and then compounded on that mistake by making VET 's final stint way too long just to get track position on RIC by undercutting the Aussie and thus taking their eye off the other RedBull….

    So both RIC and VET made their race more difficult than needed imho and could (should) have been better imho. VES did the rest by out 'tire-managing' one of the best tire managers in F1 in RAI and didn't crack under pressure while doing that.

    1. Guybrush Threepwood
      25th May 2016, 21:49

      Incorrect. Ricciardo was quicker than Verstappen during the first stint and pulled out a gap. The second stint Ricciardo was held up by Grosjean for 3 to 4 laps when he exited the pits and then Haryanto. You could see Ricciardo was simply maintaining a 1+ second gap during that stint to save his tyres and possibly fuel management.

      1. To the Max !
        26th May 2016, 1:03

        You do realize everyone can look those things up, right ?

        Ricciardo overtook Grosjean after just one lap and lost not even one second, and Haryanto wasn’t even near him at that time. Ricciardo also wasn’t pulling away in his first stint and managing anything, Verstappen stayed at about 1.5s to not run in the dirty air to conserve tyres.

        I know it can be a bit difficult to grasp Verstappen is a fast driver and Ricciardo is not going to crush him as a fan of Ricciardo, but you’re only fooling yourself in thinking Ricciardo didn’t put on a too much downforce for the race just to qualify ahead of Verstappen.

      2. Dear heavens… WHY do readers keep questioning the team and the best analysts around.
        VES was faster from lap 15-26 that made RBR change their strategy.

    2. Cannot the front wing be adjusted during the race?

  5. Ricardo did copie the faster turns from Max in the qualyfing.
    That made him 0.4 sec faster.

    He wil do the same in Monaco in the last lap from the qualyfing .

    1. Leen (@leendert82)
      26th May 2016, 9:01

      And if he needs to have an additional stop due to that then it would be pointless.
      Monaco is about 2 things:
      1. Strong Qualifying (Cause its hard to overtake.
      2. Not needing an extra pitstop (as this would put you back in the field).

  6. According to the speed-trap data, Ricciardo ran much higher downforce&drag than Verstappen in qualifying in Spain. Goes to explain the 4 tenths to some extent. Ricciardo could’ve used a bit higher top speed when trying to overtake Vettel, but i guess that’s a trade-off each driver must make. Laptime vs top speed. At Monaco however, everyone will run maximum downforce, so it should be interesting to see if Max is any closer (while keeping in mind the engine difference).

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