Webber says Verstappen is "flaky" on GP weekends

Mark Webber says Max Verstappen's "flaky" approach to grand prix weekends is putting pressure on the Red Bull Racing squad.

Webber says Verstappen is "flaky" on GP weekends
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing
Mark Webber
 Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
 Fernando Alonso, McLaren, sits in an official car

In a mid-season review piece for Red Bull in Australia, the former RBR driver claimed that the Dutchman has been "going off the road a lot" during Friday and Saturday running.

While labelling the performance flaky, Webber did concede that Verstappen's points deficit to teammate Daniel Ricciardo was down to mechanical failures rather than mistakes on race day.

"Both of the [Red Bull Racing] guys have driven well this year, but Max has probably been a bit flaky in terms of the build-up to the races through the weekend," said Webber.

"He's been going off the road a lot on Friday and Saturday, which puts pressure on mechanics getting the car ready. I'd like to see him on the road a bit more, but he's pushing the limits.

"When it comes to Sundays, he hasn't made many mistakes at all, it's been a lot of high-profile reliability retirements where he's lost a truckload of points, so that's been hard for him to swallow."

Webber added that Ricciardo is the most reliable driver in the sport, and has made the most of an underperforming RBR package.

"Daniel is just so solid on Sunday afternoons, he's the most reliable driver in F1 in that you know what he's going to deliver week-in, week-out," he said.

"He's always got the most out of what they've given him and it's hard to see how he could have done much more.

"We all expected such great things from this car this year, but it came out the box very poorly. They had a lot of catching up to do.

"With Renault [engines], it's unfortunately a little bit of a broken record, 'we haven't got this, we haven't got that' – it's been going on for five years. [Red Bull] have to make a car a second faster than everyone else, maybe."

Hamilton best qualifier, Alonso best racer

Webber's assessment of the F1 field also concluded that Lewis Hamilton is the best qualifier since Ayrton Senna.

"Both he and [Sebastian Vettel] have driven awesome this year, and Lewis particularly in qualifying has been very strong," he said. "He's the best since Senna over one lap – he's very special on Saturdays."

As for Alonso, Webber said the Spaniard is still the best racer on the grid: "It's been a big shame for Formula 1, a big shame for Honda, a big shame for McLaren.

"They loaded their guns up and got Fernando back there waiting for the engine to fire, but it hasn't happened.

"He's been biting his tongue for the last 24 months, and he can't drive the thing any harder. His stock is still incredible, and on Sundays he's probably the best in the world. That's the frustrating bit."

shares
comments
McLaren faces engine dilemma as Honda gets Ilmor boost

Previous article

McLaren faces engine dilemma as Honda gets Ilmor boost

Next article

McLaren confirms Vandoorne for 2018 season

McLaren confirms Vandoorne for 2018 season
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Prime

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Prime

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship.

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021