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2020 threw us into uncharted territory with a completely new calendar, with some tracks we hadn’t been in a long time, and this season we still have replacement tracks due to the travel restrictions caused by Covid. So, I thought, what would be my dream calendar to have? So here are my picks for a 20 race season.

Bahrain

Starting the season off in Bahrain as we did in 2021 was what a start it was. I love this track as it has everything a modern f1 track should have! Long straights for DRS, breaking zones where drivers can send it, corners drivers can go side by side, YES PLEASE! We’ve had some superb races in recent years, and back in 2014, Hamilton and Rosberg had an almighty battle in the desert, making this the perfect starting track to kick off my dream calendar.

Malaysia

Sepang is probably one of the tracks I think I miss the most in recent years. Sepang was great for battles with iconic 2 straights that go round the grandstands. For me, this track also reminds me of Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull era.

China

This may not be a favourite for everyone, but I really enjoy China! Maybe because it’s one of the tracks I quite like on F1 2020 as it’s one of my better ones, but I think it throws something different into the calendar vs the other tracks.

The Netherlands

Even though we still haven’t seen Zandvoort in action yet, playing it on F1 2020 makes me really excited for it later in the season. It’s an old-style track that will punish drivers when they make mistakes. I think qualifying will be amazing here, too, as it’s tough, and not to mention the Dutch atmosphere will be amazing, meaning it’s a must for me!

Spain

Valencia is my choice of the track as I think there should be a Spanish GP as Circuit de Catalunya, on the whole, isn’t the most action-packed race. There is a lot of love out in Spain, with, of course, Alonso and Sainz really driving the love for the sport out there. The last race in Valencia was in 2012 and was won by Alonso! Unfortunately, the F1 track is now abandoned, so that we won’t be seeing any time soon…

Portugal

The last 2 races at Portimao did not disappoint! The rollercoaster effect of the track brings such a unique feel to it. Drivers also love this track which is exactly what we like to watch as a viewer! Not to mention Portimao isn’t a bad holiday destination either!

Monaco

Monaco stays on the calendar for the Glitz and the Glamour. It may not be the best track due to little overtakes, but qualifying is one if not, the best to watch. Strategy can be fascinating to watch here, too, so for nerds like me, Monaco can be great! And that I have a dream to watch the GP on a yacht to live my best life, but we don’t need to mention I got my invite rejected when a guy found out I am a Liverpool fan, swiftly moving on.

Baku

I love Baku! I think it’s the best street track in terms of racing, and Baku loves to bring the spice!! The race in 2017 lives rent-free, and if you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend you do. On top of this, Baku normally provides us with some beauties of radio clips.

Canada

Canada’s weather is somewhat unpredictable, which is fabulous! It provided us with the race of the century in 2011 and good for growing the North American following, too, so it’s on my calendar!

Austria

Austria is one of my favourite tracks and always one I really look forward to. More recently, it has provided some epic racing up and down the grid, especially in 2020. Not to mention the scenery is amazing!

Great Britain

So I may be biased here as a Brit, but Silverstone has to be on the calendar! There is so much heritage to Formula 1 in the UK, with the most successful driver of all time in Lewis Hamilton and the extremely popular Lando Norris and George Russell, with a British atmosphere; it’s just a must! Maggots and Becketts is an amazing set of corners, too, a great asset to the calendar.

Hungary

Hungary is a solid track in the calendar, providing solid races year on year, especially the first corner, allowing drivers to “send it”, as Danny Ric would say! Really great fan track to being in the middle of Budapest, being one of the cheapest tracks to go to!

Belgium

Do I need to say anymore? This is absolutely my favourite track ever! I’ve been 4 times, and I can’t stress enough how I think every F1 fan should go if they have the opportunity. Eau Rouge is just the most beautiful corner with the track in the most scenic place in Belgium. I will stop fangirling now, but I LOVE SPA!

Germany

How we have a 4-time German World Champion and a Schumacher back in F1 and no German GP?! It’s just a crime against F1! In my opinion, there just has to be, and my choice is the Nürburgring. We went here in 2020, and it is a better track than Hockenheim. There is so much love in Germany for the sport, and with so much success with German Drivers and Mercedes, there needs to be a German GP!

Italy

Monza is a dream of mine to visit! The power of Tifosi is just something I would love to experience as their passion and excitement is a joy to watch! Monza also creates great races, with 2020 being a favourite of last season. The drama of qualifying to the overtakes down to DRS all adds to this fantastic race and the best podium too!

Singapore

I have to include Singapore! The night race just brings something so special, especially in qualifying. How difficult it is for the drivers in terms of humidity brings another layer into showing who’s a good driver and who’s a great driver.

Japan

One thing I love about Suzuka is the fans! Japanese fans have so much passion for the sport, which is amazing to watch, and it will be great to see the reception Yuki Tsnouda gets at his home track. It’s a really demanding track showing off drivers’ skills which I enjoy.

USA

This may be an unpopular opinion, but COTA is really up there for me in terms of favourite tracks. I really look forward to coming here every year, and it is great fun on F1 2020. I love Miami as a destination for a track, but so far, I’m not convinced about the layout of the track just yet.

Mexico

I love the grandstand section on the track. It really brings a unique feel to this race and better interaction with fans. Overall, the track is good for racing, and a fan favourite, making it a penultimate track.

Brazil

Finally, the showdown must be in Interlagos. I think it would be a much better end to a season allowing drivers to actual race rather than it being an anti-climax to end the season, with Brazil 2008 showing why it should be the last race of the season. Even in recent years, the racing has been superb, with no one forgetting the 2019 podium or Max Verstappen nearly squaring up to Estaban Ocon a few years ago. Can you tell I like drama!!

Some notable tracks are missing out, but I think this 20 race season would be amazing in terms of great racing! Let me know what you think!

As some of you may know, I became a fan of Formula One in 2011 when I couldn’t find the TV remote! Back in the days of BBC coverage, I fell in love with the sport by complete accident and have never looked back. Whether you’ve been a fan for decades or are relatively new to F1, these are some great races from the archives to watch in your spare time!

Gentleman, a short view back to the past…

2011 – Canadian Grand Prix

If you haven’t seen this race, you need to! Arguably, one of the best races of the decade! This race has everything an F1 fan loves- rain, drama and an underdog. I’ve watched this race a few times, and I’m still not too sure how Jenson won! The first 4 laps started under the safety car before Lewis Hamilton hit Mark Webber going into turn one. Shortly after, Button and his teammate, Hamilton, collided on the start-finish straight, ending Lewis’ race. Jenson pitted and then had to serve a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane, so at this point, you’d think getting points would be hard to achieve. Suddenly, monsoon rain arrived, and the race was red-flagged. Once the action restarted, Jenson collided with Alonso and had to pit AGAIN, but luckily this time, it was under the safety car so he could catch the pack up. As the track dried out, Button went onto the slicks and climbed up the order. It was overtake central! Another safety car gave Jenson what he needed to see out the victory. He had the need-for-speed and won- simply incredible!! This race never gets old.

2012 – Belgian Grand Prix

Not the most memorable race from this year, but the crash is something many of us remember to this day as it was manic! Romain Grosjean hit Lewis Hamilton heading into the first corner, causing his Lotus to fly through the air and straight over the top of Alonso- all at turn one! Perez was another victim of Grosjean’s madness, causing a shower of debris. How no one was seriously hurt, I have no idea.

Although we did get the superb radio from Kimi of “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing”, which is a personal favourite radio message! For the second time in my memorable races, Jenson Button took the top step of the podium!

2013 – Malaysian Grand Prix

MULTI 21 SEB. I remember watching this grand prix and just loving every moment of it! How ruthless Sebastian was in that race was truly mind-blowing, as a relatively new fan. Completely ignoring his team’s instructions to stay ahead of his teammate so he could win the world championship? Yes, please! Drama in the cool-down room followed when Mark Webber confronted Seb, repeating in a strong Australian accent, “Multi 21 Seb, Multi 21!” with Vettel just shrugging it off like it was nothing! It is one of the funniest moments of the last 10 years and a conversation that now lives so rent-free in my mind; it’s unbelievable!

2014 – Belgian Grand Prix

For me, this is my favourite race of all-time as it was the first ever Grand Prix I attended! On race day I sat on Kemmel Straight and was one of the only teenage girls in sight. The start of the race was a classic Mercedes one-two. I was team Nico all the way and wanted him to beat Lewis. Boy, was I in for a fabulous race, and probably the catalyst of the biggest rivalry in recent years.

The start was amazing, hearing the cars gallop up Eau Rouge onto the Kemmel straight. Nico was getting closer to Lewis, DRS activated a few laps in, as they tussled all the way to the end of Kemmel Straight, and BAM – THEY’D HIT. I saw that move with my own eyes! Both cars got damage but Lewis’ was too much, ending any chance of winning this race after losing so much time. Then came Daniel Ricciardo, who overtook Sebastian Vettel after he went wide. As Nico made his way through the traffic, he got a piece of string-like debris attached to his car! A crazy race with Daniel Ricciardo winning, my favourite driver at my first race!! What are the odds!

2015 – Hungarian Grand Prix

This year wasn’t the most memorable for the racing, but this race was extremely fitting. This was the first race after the tragic announcement that Jules Bianchi had passed away after his accident at Suzuka in 2014. This was very emotional for me as a 15-year-old whose first car I saw live on track was Jules at Spa the year before.

The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both got the jump on the Mercedes at the start. There was lots of overtaking into the first turn causing, plenty of drama! Later on in the race, Lewis got understeer into the first turn and ended up whacking into Ricciardo’s Red Bull and subsequently went down the order with damage. Ricciardo got caught up in more drama with the Mercedes that race after going for a late dive on Nico Rosberg and making contact. Even with all the tangles, Ricciardo ended up 3rd. After a fabulous drive, Sebastian Vettel won in the Ferrari, which was rather fitting as Jules was part of the Ferrari Academy. Always in our hearts, Jules.

2016 – Spanish Grand Prix

At the time, I don’t think any of us knew how much this race would give us a glimpse of the seasons to come. This was Max Verstappen’s debut race for Red Bull after being promoted from Toro Rosso mid-season, replacing Daniil Kvyat. Remarkable, considering he was only 18 at the time! At the peak of the Lewis-Nico rivalry, we saw the two Mercedes hit each other again. This really put the final nail in the coffin to any friendship they had. But who was there to pick up on their mistake? Max Verstappen! Initially, he was behind teammate Ricciardo, but Max won, having opted for a two-stop strategy rather than his teammate’s three-stop. Little did we know how good the Dutch wonder kid was, which opened the chapter of the ‘new era’ of drivers.

2017 – Baku Grand Prix

Where do I start with this one?! One word- MADNESS. It all started with first lap drama, with Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen colliding. Daniel Ricciardo had to pit early and was forced onto a long run on the hard compounds whilst Max suffered engine issues in the other Red Bull. A slow safety car led Hamilton to break-test Sebastian, causing Seb to retaliate by pulling up alongside Lewis and whacked into the side of the Mercedes on purpose. Sebastian’s head was clearly gone in the championship battle with this desperate move. A red flag brought out for debris on track sees Daniel Ricciardo fifth before he overtook two cars at once down into turn one, showing just why he is one of the best overtakers on the grid. Lewis had a loose headrest, so he had to pit for safety reasons. Sebastian then received a 10-second penalty for the earlier incident with Hamilton, promoting Daniel Ricciardo to the front before winning the Grand Prix, having started from 10th position! Lance Stroll also got on the podium in a Williams at the age of 18!

2018 – Monaco Grand Prix

Redemption. In 2016, Daniel Ricciardo lost the race due to a team error in the pit stop, where I’ve never seen him so annoyed! He qualified pole again, so it really was his to lose. The race came, and the Australian got the perfect start. The pit stop went great too, but he suffered a loss of power, and Lewis quickly closed. Was he going to lose another Monaco GP? He just about managed to keep his lead, helped by the fact that Monaco is almost impossible to pass, but he did it, and it was fabulous to watch!

2019 – Italian Grand Prix

The thing I love about this race was the podium reception. Charles drove all weekend fabulously following the tragic events of the previous weekend where his close friend Anthoine Hubert passed away. But like a true star, Charles drove all weekend spectacularly with and prompted the now-iconic line from Crofty ‘He won in Spa, he wins in Monza’. It had been an awful long time since a Ferrari won at Monza on their home turf. Once the Italian national anthem started to play, wow, it gave me goosebumps, exactly why I love F1. The Tifosi are the most passionate fans, and you could hear the power, excitement, and joy in their voices as they sang the national anthem. Quite frankly, it lives rent-free in my head (alongside Multi 21!). I really hope one day I can be at Monza with a Ferrari win to experience that moment- it would just be incredible!

2020 – Italian Grand Prix

This race was equally crazy! Hamilton penalty, red flag!? There is no way anyone would have predicted how this race would pan out (minus the one person in Iceland who put a 25p bet on it!). This race was the best for unpredictability- the impact of the red flag meant that some of the midfield pack who hadn’t already pitted gained 20 seconds from, effectively, a free pit stop. The red flag also meant a free choice of tyres, so the battle was between Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz, both in midfield cars… WHAT?! After both fighting for their lives, Gasly held out for his first race win. What an emotional podium, exactly a year and a week since his best friend Anthoine died; you could see how much that meant to him and was a fitting end to a thoroughly entertaining race.

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as I did! What are your most memorable races of the last decade? Let us know!

2021 is shaping up to be the most competitive and hard-fought constructors battle since Mercedes asserted their dominance in 2014, with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen looking likely to be the two main contenders for the driver’s title. Lewis versus Max is the old boy against the new blood. The apprentice is taking on the master in the age-old battle of experience vs young talent.

Lewis Hamilton’s driving ability needs no introduction. The most successful driver of all time in terms of records, with a legacy that will last for as long as the sport continues. This is Lewis’ 15th season in Formula One, and with seven world drivers’ championships to his name, he has collected the ultimate prize in exactly 50% of the seasons he has competed in the sport. Simply incredible.

But Lewis is by no means invincible. He was, of course, famously beaten by his teammate, Nico Rosberg, in 2016 and before this, Jenson Button got one over his fellow Brit in 2011 when the two paired up at McLaren. In recent years, Lewis has not been pushed to the limit by his teammate Valtteri Bottas in the same way we all expected when he joined Mercedes in 2017, following Rosberg’s shock departure. The question is, has Lewis passed his peak? He is now 36 years old, which is at the more senior end of the spectrum for a modern F1 driver, with Lewis only junior to the longstanding Kimi Raikkonen and the returning Fernando Alonso. Hamilton has been at the top of his game for over a decade now. Is this where the fatigue of succession will disadvantage the champion in ways even he cannot control?

Hot on Lewis’ tail to break his records is the Flying Dutchman. Since Max entered the sport at the tender age of 17, he made his presence shown. He is the youngest ever driver, to date, and the youngest winner of a grand prix, following his debut victory for Red Bull at the Spanish 2016. Max’s raw talent is exceptional to watch, and you often hear Martin Brundle comment, “He is going to be a future world champion”, but is this reasonable to say?

This is Max’s seventh season, and he currently has 10 wins, four pole positions and 43 podiums to his name at the age of 23. He has proven that he is one of the toughest teammates out there, leaving Alex Albon’s F1 career in tatters, as well as making Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kyvat look very ordinary. Max is known to be hot-headed at times, and with such an aggressive driving style, he is more likely to make costly mistakes resulting in collisions and ultimately leading to a DNF. Max often seems to be caught up in the on-track drama regarding car issues, whether this is reliability or tyres. His impatience leads him to make otherwise avoidable mistakes, with Turkey 2020 being a recent example of this case. Will his lack of maturity in the car be the downfall to his chances of winning a world championship?

One question that F1 fans would love to know the answer to is given equal machinery, who would come out on top, Lewis or Max? It would be remarkably close, that is for sure! Max hasn’t had a fully competitive teammate since Daniel Ricciardo; it is difficult to say how the Dutch sensation would get on with the best-of-the-best in Lewis. Based on his pure speed, in my opinion, Max is quicker than Lewis. But Hamilton’s ability to look after his car and manage the tyres is one of the fundamental reasons he has achieved so much in the sport and continues to do so. Lewis knows how to grab situations where he isn’t in control, but the pressure of this gets to Max mainly from a lack of experience in these situations. Mind games are something we haven’t particularly seen from Max yet, but when we do, boy, do I think it’s going to be explosive! Max takes no nonsense from anyone, which is probably an impact of his upbringing, but Lewis knows how to get under his closest rivals’ skin like Nico did. I can’t see tensions rising to boil point this season, but you never know what individual tactics certain drivers will deploy to in an attempt to get one up on their opponent.

Although, if we look at the history of the last (and only other) seven-time world champion, Michael Schumacher, he made back-to-back unsuccessful attempts to clinch his eighth crown by losing to the younger generation the form of a juvenile Alonso in 2005 and 2006. Will history repeat itself? I don’t think so. Lewis has the advantage that his team continue to be the best on the grid and are more consistent in the season-long battle. But if any year could be the year for Lewis to be dethroned as world champion, this might well be the year.

It has been eight years since Red Bull last won both the driver and constructor championship. In 2010, the four year back-to-back titles began for the team and their then driver, Sebastian Vettel – who now drives for Aston Martin.

Since 2014 when the Mercedes domination started, Red Bull haven’t looked anywhere near their former selves to challenge for the title. Of course, Red Bull have had some defining wins. With 2014 being Daniel Ricciardo’s “year that got away” and not to mention Max’s 70th Anniversary win at Silverstone last year. However, is this the year Red Bull can finally have a championship run?

From a constructors championship outlook, this year could be their strongest year yet. It’s no secret Red Bull have struggled with their number two driver since Daniel Ricciardo left. Kyvat, Gasly and Albon have all struggled to reach the consistency of Max Verstappen.

Alex Albon, fighting for 8th in most races last year, was never going to help you win a constructors championship so they had to replace him for the sake of constructors points. The obvious choice, as a proven race winner, was Sergio Perez, who is exactly what Red Bull need for consistent points. The Bahrain Grand Prix wasn’t the best of starts where a strategic error in qualifying landed Checo with a P11 start. However, Red Bull gives you wings and with Checo managing to get P5 – this is something Alex Albon couldn’t do. When Checo eventually gets the opportunity to qualify well, I think he can challenge Bottas on a regular basis in order to get the team points to beat Mercedes.

At the age of 23, Max Verstappen has broken records of the youngest driver to start at 17, and youngest to win at 18. It’s crazy to think this is Max’s seventh season already, so in terms of F1, he is extremely experienced against other drivers of a similar age. He has phenomenal talent, but will his hot-head be his downfall over the season?

Even with Red Bull having one of the strongest line ups they’ve had in years, one crucial issue will be the reliability of the car. We all know that the Mercedes is one of the most reliable cars on the grid with Lewis having zero DNF’s since 2018, whereas Max DNF’d in all 3 Italian Grand Prix’s last year alone. Generally speaking, starting in the second row you are more likely to be in amongst the ‘drama’ of the first lap, which Max has been a few times. Mugello was a great example of this, when he got hit by Charles and went straight into the barrier.

A strong driver line up will allow them to play team strategy battles with Mercedes and give them proper wheel to wheel action. They have a chance of beating them, whereas in previous years would have only been winning out of luck. The Bahrain Grand Prix shows Red Bull have upped their game and ready to take on the fight. I think fundamentally, the title will be won or lost on the reliability of the cars rather than the consistent wins Red Bull can get.

This weekend showed us the battle that all F1 fans have wanted for years. Max vs Lewis. Since Nico Rosberg left the sport, Lewis hasn’t been pushed to the same extent. Ferrari couldn’t push Mercedes to a fierce enough battle, with hopes given up mid-way through the seasons of 2017-2018.

If there was a year in which Red Bull could win it, it’s this year. Honda have made leaps and strides with their engine. They have to be at the top of their game and not making errors like Checo missing Q3. Crucially where Red Bull have their advantage is their pit stop speed. Another sub two second pit stop could really give them an advantage.

All I can say is, we will have to wait and see how it plays out as it looks like we are in for one hell of a season!

Drive to Survive divides die-hard motorsport fans on their portrayal of the sport. With season three out and binged by the majority of fans, it’s time to take a look at who I think were the winners and the losers.

My one-word review of series three is: average.

Nothing about this series ‘WOW’ed me. 2020 was the most exciting season in recent years and DTS could have shown that, but in true NetFlix style it was overdramtized. Do ‘causal’ viewers really want to knows the ins and out of the sport? No. So you can tell it’s very much aimed at those who know a little about F1, and with this in mind, for a global audience is very well done – but I was disappointed as I don’t think it was as exciting as the previous seasons.

So, who looked good this season? My first thought, Christan Horner. The Red Bull team principal loves the drama and so do we. From previous seasons, he has always been a big character that NetFlix focuses on and this year was no different. You can tell just how much respect Toto Wolff and himself have for each other with the videos of them talking at race weekends. They are the only two people who know what it’s like to lead a team at the very top in the last decade and it really shows. On top of that, there was that exchange between Christan Horner and Sebastian Vettel which for a lot of us, hit us where it hurts. Christan was giving advice to Vettel regarding his future and Seb said “and then come home” with Christans response being, “exactly.” Drive To Survive would not be the same without him and this season was no different.

Sticking with team principals, I thought Cyril Abiteboul had a very poor display. He came across very immature, with constant whining and negative vibes. He was obviously upset by Daniel leaving, but the way he kept going on about it? You only signed Daniel for 2 years and he did what you asked. I think it summed up his year at Renault.

I don’t think there was a stand out driver who looked really good, but it did reflect on how well Ricciardo and Perez’s seasons were. Checo came across very humble and down to earth which is a side I don’t think we see often. Ricciardo seems to be that driver that leaves a mark on all teams.

What can I say about Alex Albon. Drive To Survive showed his season how many of us fans saw his season: disappointing. Fundamentally he didn’t perform to the level he should have and doesn’t have that ruthless mentality that Red Bull are after. They need someone to push Max rather than be Mr Nice Guy as in F1, that isn’t going to get results.

Someone who did impress me was Lawrence Stroll. Maybe its the business girl in me but boy – would I love to talk business with that man. I’m not sure if my respect has grown for him due to his professionalism surrounding business or knowing what could have been for Force India in terms of Nikita Mazepin’s Dad and Rich Energy which would have been…well… interesting for the sport.

Finally, I was very disappointed with some of the story lines that DTS missed.

There was nothing on Max Verstappen apart from Christian saying how much he is Red Bulls wonder child. No mention on any of the drivers contracting Covid-19 or George Russell’s Mercedes debut at Sakhir . Lewis got all of 5 minutes at the end for his active role in fighting for equality and BLM. I think he deserved more. Although I think the most frustrating thing was the lack of recognition for Williams! Nothing about Frank, Claire, George?They have been at the pinnacle of the sport for years, won World Championships, brought the best drivers into the sport and quite frankly – they deserve so much more but got nothing. Equally maybe Williams didn’t give NetFlix the access, regardless, as a fan it was very disappointing.

On the whole, it was my least favourite series of Drive To Survive. I think there could have been more coverage on the events that mattered rather than the irrelevant rivalries between Lewis and Valtteri or Carlos and Lando. I think it is good for a global audience and bring new fans into the sport, but for long term fans it can be frustrating to watch due to the twisted truth.

Anyone who knows me or has followed me on twitter for a while knows just how much I support (or as some people say, obsessed with) Daniel. However, he is now the 5th oldest driver on the grid at 31 years old, and yet no world championship.

Is he actually an overrated driver with a big personality? Is it down to his machinery rather than his ability itself?

Daniel Ricciardo’s first GP was in 2011 for HRT, so next year will be his 10th year in F1. So how much has he actually achieved? In his time in F1 he has had 7 wins, 3 poles, 31 podiums and obviously, no World Championships. All of these achieved were done in his Red Bull minus the 2 recent podiums with Renault.

When he joined Red Bull, his teammate was the current world champion at the time, which was of course, Sebastian Vettel who had just won his 4th world title so it’s safe to say, not as easy environment to enter into. 2014 seemed to be Daniel’s best year in F1, his first race in Red Bull he finished second but later got disqualified due to illegal fuel flow. He later redeemed himself but achieved his first win in Canada 2014 starting from 6th. That year, he finished third in the drivers championship behind the very dominate Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. He also ended up 3rd in 2016 – showing he is a consistent driver.

From seven of Daniel’s wins, six of them have been from starting outside of the top 6. Including starting 10th in the crazy race which was Baku 2017. When you think of F1 winners you always think ‘its done in qualifying from pole’, however, Daniel really proves this theory wrong. He doesn’t get these by luck either. His race craft, especially his overtakes, are the best that I have witnessed and the equal threat of him lunging late on the breaks (best remembered at the hairpin in China or at Turn 2 at Hungary) highlights his race craft.

Another reason, which doesn’t get talked about enough is his performance vs his teammates. His noticeable teammates have been Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and more recently Esteban Ocon. In 2014, he beat Sebastian Vettel by 70 points – many may argue, that his head wasn’t in the championship as he was going to Ferrari, but ultimately, he still finished 70 points ahead which could have been more without his disqualification in Aus.

In recent years we have seen the real talent that Max has, not only in qualifying but his race pace. Alongside him, Gasly and Albon have really struggled to be on that same level. However, when Daniel was his teammate, he was there. Their qualifying pace was very similar in 2018 with Daniel’s average gap to Max being 0.145. Although on average Daniel was slower, when you compare it to recent years, no one has been that close in the same machinery to Max. When Daniel did outqualify Max, he got 2 pole positions that season with a standout lap in Mexico being a personal highlight. Although Max did better in the overall driver’s championship, it has to be remembered that Daniel had 8 retirements this season vs Max’s 3.

Nevertheless, this season has showed truly why Daniel deserves to be in top machinery. The Renault is a midfield car, yet we have seen truly stunning performances getting everything out of his car that he possibly can. Two podiums in three races is thoroughly impressive when Renault have waited since 2011, and I’m still waiting for Cyril’s tattoo! Luck does play a part in F1, but he has been there to capitalise being best of the rest.

So my overall thoughts? Daniel Ricciardo is by no way overrated. Given the machinery he would win a world champion. Hopefully with the regulation changes coming in 2022, Mclaren will be at the front of grid and Daniel can what he deserves!

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