2018 team mates battles: Verstappen vs Ricciardo at Red Bull | 2018 F1 season review

Why did Daniel Ricciardo decide to jump ship from Red Bull, the team which brought him into Formula 1 and made him a race winner, and join Renault?

For some the answer can only be a question of what he leaving rather than what he is joining. Which is to say, that hanging around in the same team as Max Verstappen is not going to do his career or his market value much good.

Comparisons between the pair since Verstappen was parachuted into Daniil Kvyat’s seat five races into 2016 is telling.

Ricciardo beat him on virtually every metric in 2016, though Verstappen was clearly on an upward swing at the end of that year. Over a 2017 campaign where both suffered many retirements, Verstappen led on every count except the all-important points tally. This year the statistics leave little room for doubt he was the team’s top performer.

That didn’t look like being the case six races into the year, by which point Ricciardo had two wins and Verstappen seemed incapable of getting through a weekend without hitting something, usually one of his rivals. But from trailing Ricciardo 72-35 at this point, Verstappen ended the year ahead 249-170.

Undoubtedly that margin is exaggerated by the dreadful unreliability Ricciardo suffered: six race-ending mechanical failures to Verstappen’s two. If there is any aspect of Ricciardo’s game which Verstappen can still learn from, it’s how dependably Ricciardo brings the points home when his car is working.

Perhaps that’s why team principal Christian Horner rues losing what he calls the best partnership the team has ever had.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Max Verstappen vs Daniel Ricciardo: 2018 Red Bull team mates performance comparison

Season scores

Who was ahead?

The table below shows at which races Verstappen qualified or finished in front of Ricciardo:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season review

Browse all 2018 F1 season review articles