Mark Webber feels Max Verstappen’s approach to the early part of Grand Prix weekends can be ‘flaky’, with the Dutchman often pushing the limits too early on in practice.
Despite this, the former Red Bull Racing driver believes both the Dutchman and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo have driven well in 2017, and Webber acknowledges that the fifty-point deficit Verstappen has on his team-mate is down primarily on mechanical woes rather than driver errors.
“Both of the 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 in a mid-season review article for Red Bull in Australia.
“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 feels that Ricciardo is perhaps the most reliable driver on the Formula 1 grid, and feels that Red Bull know just what they will get from his fellow Australian, and it is up to the team and engine supplier to give him the car to challenge for regular victories and championships.
“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,” said Webber. “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.”