Ricciardo and Verstappen tightly matched, says Coulthard


Former Red Bull driver David Coulthard believes that there is no clear stand-out at Red Bull Racing among its drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Given his exceptional precocity and potential to develop, many believe that it's only a matter of time before Verstappen leaves his team mate on the side of the road, but Coulthard argues that F1's new cars could see one man emerge over the other.

"I don't see it as one versus the other in terms of Red Bull," said the Scot and Channel 4 commentator.

"Of course, they're very much in competition, but I don't think Max is clearly better than Daniel or that Daniel is clearly better than Max.

"I think that they're both exceptional because all the drivers in Formula 1 are good, but bthat's not enough to really make a difference.

"You need those exceptional performances. And I think that Daniel delivers exceptional qualifying and overtaking.

"Where Max has stood out and been exceptional is his consistency of race performance and his ability facing adversity."

Coulthard pointed to the Dutch prodigy's performance in Abu Dhabi and Brasil as a clear indication of his greatness.

"In Abu Dhabi, he cut to a one-stop strategy and made it work. As we saw in Brasil in the rain, he found racing lines that you would normally never take and made it work. So he's brave and he's intelligent. Bring those two together and you have something that is super-human".

Coulthard agrees that Verstappen margin of progress surpasses that of Ricciardo, but he could also suddenly be thrown off course by an inability to get the most out of this year's cars.

"As we get into this new Formula 1, with a lot more physical demands, with wider cars and what have you, then it may suit one over the other because every single driver has his own little characteristic in driving that maybe he gets more out of a car than the other.

"Today, we just don't know which one it is going to be."

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