First victory of the German pilot at Suzuka: behind him Verstappen who defended from the move up of Lewis Hamilton. As said before, another great race performed by Nico Rosberg, which is going together with an horrible start done by Hamilton, capable just to end 3rd behind the two pilots of Mercedes and Red Bull. This is allowing Rosberg to increase his advantage to 33 points when there are just 4 races left, leaving the championship team to Mercedes. Below the podium, there are the Ferraris with Vettel 4th and Raikkonen 5th. They were bright to handle the racing in a good way, but it is possible they were not supported strategically by their team in the same way. We can basically see the same story with Ricciardo and his team: this time he was 6th.
Another good result is the one got by Force India with Perez not too far from the leading area and 7th, followed by Hulkenberg 8th: this is a result which is giving 10 points of advantage over the Williams which were not capable to push Massa and Bottas over 9th and 10th place. The Renault was close to fondle the idea to get some important points, but they have to accept a second-rate result (Magnussen 14th). In any case, much better than what they got in Toro Rosso and McLaren. This time the contribution of Alonso and Button was not enough, even if there was another update in Honda’s power-unit. Another time is impossible to evaluate Sauber and Manor.
About the RB-12 project, it is clear a constant evolution was the key factor to move the team from the third bargaining power to a team capable to overcome the Ferrari. The match was won giving a great importance to the development, so to allow Red Bull to become the second team in order of importance. The capability to evolve and improve a project, it has always been one of the strenght of this Formula 1 team: even the numbers are proving it. At Melbourne, Ricciardo was suffering a delay of 24 seconds against Rosberg, while right now this difference was radically reduced. Ricciardo acknowledges to his team to have worked very hard like never before:
“Whatever we have place in our car, perhaps with the help of our suggestions, looked to go in the right direction. Since I am in Red Bull, this is the best year ever experienced”
If we do not remember the many drop-outs of Vettel with his Ferrari, it is evident like the technical liveliness of Red Bull has made a big difference in the recovery to the second place. RB-12 has gone through an evident improvement in regard to last year.
Verstappen was meant to destroy him but in reality, Daniel is going to tar the Dutch pilot. This year, it is not Rosberg the one going to be the biggest revelation but Daniel Ricciardo: 27 years old, 104 GPs performed and 4 races won. Particular signals: he loves to break-up tulips.
This spring everybody were aiming their thoughts to Max Verstappen and from a certain point of view they were right. Jos’ son is strong, reliable, effective, fast when we do not take into account there is another pilot driving the same car, in the same conditions which made him capable after 12 GPs to give a stunning amount of 9.3 poins on practicing session, followed by a painful 8 vs. 4 points on racing, ending with 168 vs. 134 of total points in this championship. It is true, this season is not over yet. Even so, there is no doubt the Australian is doing better…
What is going with Max, it was the victory obtained in Barcelona, where the box and him were good to use an opportunity created by the crash of Mercedes’ cars. Ricciardo was not lucky until Malaysia, so nobody talked too much about him for this season. He was in a difficult position after the step back of Kvyat from Red Bull to Toro Rosso. Daniel was believed to be just another victim on the path followed by the Dutch pilot. Many believed, it was better for Daniel to simply become a good squire so to avoid to be destroyed by Verstappen. In reality, when we look at results, it is clear Daniel is proving to be more reliable and effective than his team-mate. Sometimes, he is the only one capable to beat those rockets called Mercedes when they are on the track and not only when they have drop-out. In fact, in the last five races he got one victory, three second places and a fifth.
What shall he achieve to be called a marvel? Perhaps, his problem is about the fact his Dutch team-mate is more useful to mass media. Daniel is not an aggressive champion, dialectical provocative or looking for an argument every single day. He is more a simple and funny guy. He likes to smile while when things are not working, he has no problem to show he is not happy at all. This natural life-style made someone to believe he is a bit naive but they are pretty wrong. Ricciardo, from 2014 until today, he is the only one capable to create some problem to Mercedes and its domination of Formula 1. Very fast during practice, he is even more effective during the race. Together with Lewis Hamilton, he is very good to perform a fast and effective overtaking.
Helmut Marko bet some money on him, because he thinks Daniel will win a F1 championship in the next two years:
“Yes, I bet some money on this: Verstappen will be champion in about three years, Ricciardo will be a F1 champion in less than two years. They have different ages and origins, but they are very strong while their peculiarities are completely different”
Many times in F1, it is not important the pilot capable to win by surprise a race but those who are brilliant enough to do not become a sacrified victim of his team-mate. It is important to be capable to prove an effective performance to become sooneer than later a champion, instead to be a predator just once in a while. That is the reason Daniel Ricciardo is,so far, the most effective in Red Bull until today.