Daniel Ricciardo has been comprehensively beaten by Max Verstappen on a Saturday in 2018 and he’s tried to explain his qualifying struggles.
“Through last year I wasn’t that happy with my qualifying. I thought the start of this year we started to improve some things.
I haven’t really got everything out of it, or maybe Max is just getting a lot better, I don’t know. I’m not done yet.
Honestly, not taking anything away from Max – for sure he’s fast and he’s been driving well – it’s not necessarily that he [had] bigger balls in that corner or whatever.
I feel like we kind of got left a bit last year as well. Some qualifying [sessions] I’m like ‘should’ve done that’ in terms of ‘should have gone up on the front wing six clicks instead of one or two’. It’s kind of been stuff in hindsight.
I’d like to be more pro-active on some things but more set-up. I feel just a lot of the time we understand it but it’s too late. I guess we’re still learning. But obviously he’s been getting on top of it more than I have.”
Following incidents with both Vettel and Raikkonen at Suzuka, Max Verstappen’s driving appeared in the headlines once again. The Finnish star defended the Dutchman following their contact at the end of lap one.
"In the situation where I was with him, it is a bit hard to say because I know sometimes when you come back over the kerbs it is impossible to turn the car when you bounce over them.
I don't know if that was the case.
I think if we were both on the circuit next to each other, I don't think he would squeeze because we all know what will happen from that.
But it was obviously a bit of an odd situation where we ended up. I don't think he purposefully tried to hit anybody, but this is what happened."
Stoffel Vandoorne’s short stint in Formula One looks set to come to an end at the end of 2018. According to crash.net, the Belgian is going to join the newly formed HWA Formula E team for the 2018-19 season. The new season is due to begin in Saudi Arabia in December.
Finally, it was confirmed today that Britain’s George Russell would be on the grid with Williams in 2019. The current FIA Formula 2 points leader and 2017 GP3 Champion will make his first start at Albert Park next march.
Russell revealed to motorsport.com he contacted Paddy Lowe to get the ball rolling about a possible drive with the team.
"I had a phone call with Paddy and I told him, 'I want to be in Formula 1 next season and I want to be in a Williams, can we have a meeting with yourself and Claire and discuss the matter further?'.
That was the real point I knew things were moving in Formula 1 and I needed to get in there before I missed an opportunity.
It was probably the Hockenheim weekend [that was] the first indication or point of contact with Williams and things started progressing from there.
I always feel it is better off coming from the horses mouth, rather than the likes of Toto or whoever from Mercedes making that point of contact for me.’’