Ricciardo or Verstappen: Who is number-one driver at Red Bull?

Wednesday, 11 july 2018, 10:41 , by Matthew Scott

Daniel Ricciardo is happy to remain at Red Bull, even if he is not guaranteed the position of number-one driver in the team. Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have been allowed to race as equals during their time together, arguably at odds with the treatment meted out to drivers at their rivals Mercedes and Ferrari.

Both the Silver Arrows and Ferrari have apparent hierarchies, with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel enjoying favour over Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, although the statuses are not quite as explicit as some in the past - notably Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello at Ferrari in the early 2000s.

Ricciardo is expected to sign a new deal at Red Bull before the mid-season break at the end of July, having seen reported interest from Mercedes and Ferrari fizzle out.

Verstappen is seen as the golden boy in Red Bull, and has claimed that he is Helmut Marko's next title-winning "project" after Vettel, but Ricciardo sees no reason to feel inferior to the Dutchman despite a failure to score a podium since winning the Monaco Grand Prix.

"Not that I don't want that [number-one status] but I don't need that, it's all right," Ricciardo said.

"Obviously Max is driving well but I genuinely think there have been things every weekend since Monaco which have just been a bit of a disruption or a bit of bad luck.

"Like the front wing and all that with Paul Ricard. Just pisses me off."

A last-gasp big-money offer from McLaren is thought to be the only thing standing between Ricciardo and signing fresh terms at Red Bull and the Australian admitted ahead of the British grand Prix that the lack of an offer from the team's biggest rivals had surprised him.

"It's obviously looking more likely I'll probably remain, but there still hasn't been any pen to paper" said Ricciardo. "[I'm] still trying to get a few last things sorted.

"Not every door is closed, but it's looking more and more likely that the other top teams will probably remain with their line-up.

"I don't have the facts on that, but you kind of just read between the lines and you feel that's probably going to remain."

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Comments (27)

  • Mitch Curry
    They're both brilliant drivers in what has to be said is an underperforming car and team of late. Daniel is smooth, Max takes risks. But nobody in the field can overtake like Daniel. So clean and from so far back. Nico Rosberg said in an interview with Sky there was only 1 person he hated having behind him, that was Daniel because of what I said previous. So for me it's Daniel, he's the whole package. Max is young and will be a world champion in years to come tho, don't you worry about that
  • Garry Ball
    Hard to say. With trying to manage engine parts limits to avoid penalties they are quite often not running the same car. Then throw in different car setups, strategies and tyre management as well. Daniel is a cleaner racer than Max but Max takes more risks which gives higher rewards but also more chance to have a crash. If everything was equal I would have Daniel.
  • Sash Stewart
    Dan is a better driver. You can't say max is better when he crashes so many cars. The point is both to finish well and not write off your car If I claimed I was a great pilot but binned my planes I wouldn't be a great pilot for long.
  • Valdet Veliu
    I think Ricciardo is the best,and much more responsibility than verstappen is. I don’t like kind of drivers like the franch one,i don’t remember his name,and Kyat how they’re special to chrash and destroy others drivers race
  • Mark Andrew
    If Ricciardo is the best driver, how come there wasn't a queue to sign him up? However much it pains me to say it, if Verstappen had been available he may have had more suitors..
  • Hugh Doran
    I think both are great drivers but I think Daniel just edge it with the experience behind him
  • Jody Harrison
    Wait for the end of the season then we'll go over the numbers and stats.
  • Riki Smith
    Dan. He has been there longer. Max needs to mature a bit. Both excellent drivers.
  • Luis Madrigal
    One brings the excitement the other one brings the points, so by the results Ricciardo
  • Markus Saksa
    Verstappen, Red bull likes number 2 drivers from australia
  • Jimi Ja Stofsky
    Red Bull has Verstappen as there Number 1 i believe ....
  • Rohan Mostert
    Dan is Red Bulls best driver, but Max is Helmut's number 1 driver ...
  • Reynaldo Cazamarez
    Verstappen is the number one for the administration
  • Laurence Barnes
    If you ask such question then you clearly dunno shit bout RBR.
  • Vee Dubb
    Daniel for consistency and talent
  • Bryan Stanton
    Verstappen is clearly faster and more talented.
  • Eva Fariou
    Dan is the man!!!!!!!!
  • Slobodan Lon?ar
    How can you even compare them?
  • Barbara Gouin
    Both are equal
  • Rafal Czepulkowski
    Daniel no doubt

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