Mark Webber Calls Daniel Ricciardo 'The Most Reliable Driver in F1'
That's big praise for the young Aussie.
Despite a string of car troubles through 2017, Red Bull F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has performed exceptionally well on Sundays. His ability to push the struggling RB13 to a handful of podiums during the first half has caught the attention of fans, and one former driver -- Red Bull great Mark Webber. The Aussie complimented his fellow countryman's consistency throughout the year, giving him some especially high praise. According to him, Ricciardo is one of the best in the biz, and if he had a better car, you'd be seeing is name in the winner's circle even more.
Webber amplified Ricciardo's talent by pointing out the issues they've had with the car's Renault-sourced powerplants.
"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," he explained to Motorsport.com. "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."
This, however, has not phased Ricciardo's steady pace. He even scored a win in Baku with the hobbled machine, proving that he could do much more with a suitable car. He currently sits in fourth place for the drivers title behind Ferrari ace Vettel and Mercedes' pair of Hamilton and Bottas.
"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," Webber noted. "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."
Ricciardo's Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen has perhaps suffered worse from the car's reliability issues. There was a stretch earlier in the year where the young Dutchman had 5 DNFs in 8 starts with all but one being at the fault of the car. Webber admitted this problem, backing up team boss Christian Horner's statement earlier in the year that Verstappen has been especially mature for his age.
"When it comes to Sundays, [Verstappen] 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."