It was the most intense season of my career

ricciardo__farewell

Daniel suffered a lot in this 2018, a year started well with the victories of Shanghai and Monaco, but then studded with numerous retreats.

In the first part of the season, thanks to the victories in China and Montecarlo seemed to fight for the title. But after the GP of Monaco the season began to become painful for our Daniel Ricciardo: the failure to renew the contract with Red Bull (in 2019 will be at Renault) and a very long series of failures and unlucky events that have kept him away from the podium for the rest of the season. Just because of these highs and lows, this season was the most intense in the career of Daniel.

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After all this effort, however, comes the well-deserved rest and Ricciardo, quite strange for someone like him who loves the Movida, confesses to want to detach from everything and everyone:

It was the most intense and tiring year of my career. He also mentally fatigued me, but I think that all this will make me stronger, even on the track. I can not wait to get home and turn off everything. I guess, I will not even tell my friends that I arrived, I will go to the country and stay for three days alone to recover

Meanwhile, in the archive go the title of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes. It is an unnecessary reasoning of the championship that we would have lived with a Red Bull powered by a Honda engine if they had got the same performance of a Mercedes or with a Ferrari without the errors made by Vettel and the transition to vacuum in development after the Summer break.

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Christian Horner is well aware of the usefulness of arguing hypothetically. Now that the collaboration with Renault has come to an end, a new chapter is opened, full of ambitions and supported by the development path conducted by Honda. The questions about how much they manage to extract performance from the power unit ensuring high reliability are central to say if Red Bull-Honda will be fighting for the world already next year.

Horner looks to the reliability from another point of view , keeping in mind the Renault experience. It is worth imagining a situation similar to what was said during winter when that rumours indicated a Honda already higher than the power unit Renault 2018:

Reliability is not something we had this year, we suffered 11 or 12 retreats and it was our biggest Achilles heel. The percentages we need to make are those when there is a withdrawal of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull was able to fight for the victory at the beginning of this year and, more consistently, in the final. It just lacked a real boost in qualification that allowed Verstappen and Ricciardo to make the possible progress to Ferrari and Mercedes, this will be a central element also next year and Honda has already appeared more competitive and has put wings to Toro Ross with the Spec 3 on their engines: it proved to be more competitive than Renault. An encouraging clue.

It is always easy to win with the if, but and may be… But if we had more than horses in our car, this season would have been quite different

Fifty horses is in fact a great extra evolutionary step to allow to fight even on motor tracks and not only where aerodynamics and chassis climbed in the chair. The RB14 has confirmed a project at the top in these areas and Horner is pushing  this concept:

Down the hat at all in the factory in Milton Keynes for having realized probably one of our best frames ever. When you look at other customers with the same engine there is a world of difference

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The FIA has decided to do not waste time and published out to his subscribers with the official names of teams, pilots and numbers for the next season. The change of name from Force India to Racing Point, it stands out and the full name chosen by Maranello’s team is quite funny: Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow.

Curiosity for the numbers of the new pilots on the grid: Antonio Giovinazzi will have the 99 on his Sauber; The alive Robert Kubica the number 88 on his Williams and his team mate George Russell the number 63; For Lando Norris (McLaren) there is the number 4. Only Alex Albon (Toro Rosso) must choose his number for next year.

This is the list of the team and pilots for the next season:

Amg Petronas Motorsport: Lewis Hamilton (44), Valtteri Bottas (77)

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow: Sebastian Vettel (5), Charles Leclerc (16)

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing: Pierre Gasly (10), Max Verstappen (33)

Renault Sport Racing Limited: Daniel Ricciardo (3), Nico Hulkenberg (27)

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team: Romain Grosjean (8), Kevin Magnussen (20)

McLaren F1 Team: Lando Norris (4), Carlos Sainz (55

Racing Point F1 Team: Sergio Perez (11), Lance Stroll (18)

Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team: Kimi Raikkonen (7), Antonio Giovinazzi (99)

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda: Daniil Kvyat (26), Alexander Albon (*)

Williams Racing: George Russell (63), Robert Kubica (88)

The team would like to wish happy holidays to you, Daniel and everybody else. It is time to close this difficult and tough season, once and forever… A season we will not remember too much.

See you next year…