Verstappen vs Ricciardo: Is this the other teammate duel for 2016?

It may not be as tepid or expensive as the Mercedes teammate duel but if you read between the lines, things might be a little frosty over at Red Bull between Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen managed to keep Nico Rosberg behind them but it was Ricciardo who claimed second place in Germany today with Verstappen in third. The race strategy was split between them and this left Max marking Rosberg and Ricciardo marking Rosberg’s teammate Lewis Hamilton.

It was in interesting start as Ricciardo said he wasn’t happy with himself for letting Verstappen pass him at turn one but for Max, the finish isn’t exactly what he would have wanted:

“I definitely think I took one for the team today,” said Verstappen. “But that’s alright.

“I think Daniel and I have a good relationship so we can do that. The most important thing was for us to be in front of Ferrari. That definitely worked today and we were even challenging Mercedes. We kept Nico behind us on fair pace, so that was good.

“You have to earn that trust as well, ’cause I’m quite new still. For the team it was a very positive day.”

Verstappen knows he was on the second strategy but is that how it would have turned out had Nico not blown the start? If Nico would led the race and Verstappen had held his position, having gotten around Daniel at turn one, it may not have ended in third…or would it? I’ll let you parse the lap times and charts to discern Red Bull’s strategy but as it eventually unfolded, Max knew he was on a slower strategy.

It’s a side of Max that we’ve seen from his days at Toro Rosso with Carlos Sainz. Max isn’t keen on playing second or nursing a teammate’s strategy. He’s here to win and singularly focused on F1 titles. There’s a few drivers on the grid like that with Lewis, Fernando and Sebastian coming to mind. Max and Carlos created a chippy situation at STR and now it could be an even more chippy situation at Red Bull and we will see how Ricciardo does when put under pressure.

It was interesting, to me anyway, that the stewards found nothing wrong with Max’s running off track in turn 1 to make the pass stick against Ricciardo. Turn 1 was supposed the be the turn that was verboten according the FIA. Regardless, people love to see this young man drive, pass and be aggressive.

Hat Tip: Motorsport