Very high rating for US GP as Mexico’s return falls flat

2015 United States Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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The United States Grand Prix received one of the highest ratings since Rate the Race began seven years ago. Just five races have received higher scores.

However the Mexican Grand Prix became the latest in a series of new or returning tracks to have less than spectacular debut races. Here’s how you rated the two most recent grands prix.

2015 United States Grand Prix

Red Bull took the fight to Mercedes in Texas
Aside from a few quibbles about how often the Safety Car or SC was called for, most of you raved about the United States Grand Prix.

There was nothing I could fault. Action all through the field for the entire race, plenty of attrition, differing strategies. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole race.

All in all, it ranks among the best races I have ever seen, and is certainly the best I have seen for a long time.

The first laps were quite exciting, with the Red Bulls pushing the Mercedes hard and all the action that was going on behind. But even in the dry part of the race there was a lot of action and the battle for the lead was very open between Rosberg and Hamilton (and you could say that Vettel had an outside chance as well).

I’m just incredibly annoyed by how it ended. There were only a few laps remaining, Hamilton was catching Rosberg, I would have loved to see a battle, but Nico gifted Lewis the victory once again.

Also I’m not sure that the long back straight needs a DRS zone. For the Mercedes guys passing was completely effortless.
Yoshisune (@Yobo01)

I don’t understand why some debris needs a Virtual Safety Car and a car on track in a fairly safe location needs a real one. If anything I’d say it should have been the other way around. Did shape the race massively.
PorscheF1 (@Xtwl)

Everything about this race was packed with excitement. Red Bulls swapping the lead with the Mercedes early was incredible – and I’m thoroughly impressed impressed with Daniil Kvyat, even though he binned it late. Vettel coming from the back to challenge Rosberg for third.

Rossi and Nasr didn’t get any TV time but they swapped places a lot. And nothing will take away the feeling I got cheering on Rossi with all my mates in our home grand prix. It seemed, at least to us, that Rossi had the points in the bag with six to go, being ahead of Ricciardo and Alonso losing power, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Still one hell of a race. Totally unpredictable. Never seen anything like it. Well deserved title by Hamilton too.
Alex Williams (@scuderia-alex)

I’d been to all the COTA races thus far, cancelled this one for various reasons including the weather. Friday and Saturday that seemed like a good decision. Today it seems like like an epic mistake. Best race of the season by far.

2015 Mexican Grand Prix

Mexico: Big on fever, short on action
Does an enthusiastic crowd make up for a homogenised track and an underwhelming race? Many of you were divided on this, but there was a lot of optimism about the future of the revived Mexican Grand Prix.

After the thrill of last weekend this was back to pretty much the 2015 ‘standard’ race. Not totally dull, a few overtakes, but nothing particularly exciting with the leader in control and not much else going on down the field. I don’t think the track helped, being so green and with all the mess on it, so hopefully 2016 is better.
Simon (@Weeniebeenie)

This was a very dull race. I was expecting a lot due to lack of grip, high altitude and being a totally new venue. What we got was almost no overtaking, and small amount of component failures. The only example which spiced the whole thing were the Ferraris which failed to finish and a Sauber of Nasr losing its brakes.

There was not a lot of overtaking, and DRS was a bit embarrassing (even allowing double overtakes for the Williamses) on Button and Nasr).

But the track seemed tricky enough that almost all drivers made some (small) mistakes. And that (if not overtaking) is what I want to see; drivers at the edge of grip fighting with the track.

An enthusiastic crowd does not make for a good F1 race, or we might as well start watching football and pretending the players are cars. I was very disappointed by the track. Hardly any racing, no signature corners that really show what F1 cars can do, and seas of tarmac at the only mildly challenging sector. Mercedes dominated like it was early 2014.

Packed grandstands! Grass! Walls near the track! Proper kerbs! Stadium section! 12 out of 10 for the track, just an incredible event to witness – loved it all weekend. Mexico has shown almost all the other circuits how things should be done.
David Reid (@Unicron2002)

Race Average score
2015 Australian Grand Prix 4.754
2015 Malaysian Grand Prix 8.369
2015 Chinese Grand Prix 5.721
2015 Bahrain Grand Prix 7.366
2015 Spanish Grand Prix 5.154
2015 Monaco Grand Prix 5.627
2015 Canadian Grand Prix 5.545
2015 Austrian Grand Prix 5.602
2015 British Grand Prix 7.949
2015 Hungarian Grand Prix 9.115
2015 Belgian Grand Prix 6.391
2015 Italian Grand Prix 5.636
2015 Singapore Grand Prix 6.552
2015 Japanese Grand Prix 5.208
2015 Russian Grand Prix 6.969
2015 United States Grand Prix 9.096
2015 Mexican Grand Prix 5.437

2015 United States Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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42 comments on “Very high rating for US GP as Mexico’s return falls flat”

  1. 9/17 races with a score of 5 or less.

    That’s a pretty sad stat :(

    Doubly sad that the media were repeatedly saying Mexico is how to do a GP, and Austin really got hammered financially. Despite the quality of actual racing (what F1 should all be about) being the exact opposite.

    1. I think that the reason for the lower ratings are due to people being especially frustrated with several aspects of F1 especially since 2014. I mean, Australia and Spain were pretty damn boring races, but were they any less interesting than…say European GP 2008? Or perhaps most of the 2002-2009 races (e.g. 2007 Australian GP, 2006 Malaysian GP etc.)

    2. Well, the weather is what made the US GP so good isn’t it? That’s not exactly controllable.

      It’s impossible to remove circumstance from the ratings also, so, they need to be taken with caution. For example, the medias claims that Mexico did it right is largely on the back of the fanatical fan base, which wasn’t really a result of intention anyway.

    3. Honestly I don’t think you should look at it that way. 2/17 in the 9s, four others between 6.9 and 8.4. That accounts for 6/17 that were good to outstanding. If you’re realistic with the circumstances we have being one dominant team, rarely a fight for the lead, a very predictable field, DRS overtake galore that’s a pretty good stat.

      That being said some of those 5’s surely deserve better had they been looked at individually and not in a dreary season many experience as awfully boring. Sure it could have been better but races like COTA, Hungary, Malaysia is why we watch F1, and you can’t have those kind of races all the time or we’d vote them down to 5’s too unless a jet fighter comes in to spoil the race and a unicorn wins the race.

      1. There’s always an argument to be made for glass half empty VS glass half full.

        the circumstances we have being one dominant team, rarely a fight for the lead, a very predictable field, DRS overtake galore

        That pretty much sums it up I think… Although I’d put pay driver city in there too, or at least replace it with the predictable field (I don’t think predictable’s necessarily correct).

      2. If all the races were great then the current definition of great would actually then be average so US and Hungary would be 5 if every race was the same as them. You need the average races to give a contrast to the great race and enable them to achieve a score of over 9.

      3. unless a jet fighter comes in to spoil the race and a unicorn wins the race.

        Oi! Don’t give Bernie any ideas…

      4. Compare your thoughts to 2010, where there were only 4 races under 6.0 rating, and 6 races with a 7.5 and over.

        In 2012, 10 races rated 7.5 and over, and only 5 races under a 5.0.

        In both these years, there was no single-team dominance (an advantage RBR enjoyed in ’11 and ’13). There is surely a correlation between competition at the front and the rate-the-race outcomes.

  2. I am seeing a development that the old-school popular tracks as Melbourne, Silverstone, Suzuka, Montreal, Monza and Spa produce less interesting races than the usual boring races as Hungary and Bahrain. Is that because of Pirelli and DRS?

    1. Maybe, maybe not.

    2. @matthjis Well, Silverstone races in the past haven’t been too dull.

      2010: Fairly interesting race with a JB, Vettel and Alonso comeback, not to mention the Red Bull controversy

      2011: Intermediate/Dry weather with a unexpected win and good battles all through the field.

      2012: Was an OK race, then came alive in the last 7-8 laps.

      2013: Pirelli you beauty!!

      2014: Bottas and Alonso made it a very exciting race, then the Alonso/Vettel battle.

      2015: Williams getting in the mix with the Mercedes, then the changable conditions made it exciting.

      Thus, all Silverstone races in the last 5-6 years have been worthy of at least a 8/10

    3. Yes. Traditionally Hungary was an easy race on tires because the cornering speeds were low and there are not a lot of big braking events. Now Hungary is a race because the cars can push for the race. The more traditional circuits like Silverstone are very hard on tires because of fast and long corners and big brake events. Drivers need to drive conservatively to make tires last. Difference in Qualifying to fastest lap is 5% at Silverstone and just over 3% in Hungary.

      I thought the Mexican GP was entertaining- seeing the cars with less grip made them lively and you could see the divers working. It is a shame that the 2 mercs ran off- if you look at the race behind them it was actually pretty ok. I think it was unfairly penalized being a week after a cracker of a race in Austin.

      1. agree; because the Mercs were untouchable, and with Ferrari out of the race, it was not gonna be exciting.
        but if you look at the times Mercs were doing after the Safety Car on 5 laps old mediums vs the times they did in Q1 on new mediums, i think they were very close; i know the track had rubbered in a bit by then, but still; very close lap times to Q1.

        1. But only the slowest cars try hard in Q1, the rest just set a respectable lap.

    4. Mr win or lose
      10th November 2015, 14:03

      Yes, the Pirelli tyres have made races on tracks like the Hungaroring and Barcelona much more interesting as the different tyre strategies induce a lot of overtaking. The traditional tracks usually lack tyre wear (Montreal, Monza) or overtaking spots (Melbourne, Suzuka) so the racing is rather unimpressive.

  3. I’m surprised it got such a low average rating, especially ranking it below the likes of China (highlight was Hamilton backing Rosberg into Vettel), Monaco (Mercedes costing Hamilton with a hilarious blunder) and Austria (Rosberg actually winning a race on merit…).

    Mexico had at least a fairly entertaining four way battle for the podium, Vettel making a bit of a cucumber of himself (sadly, since I like the guy) and various drama and intrigue (the resumption of rai v bot, Hamilton’s pit call). Maybe it’s because the championship has been decided now.

  4. DK (@seijakessen)
    9th November 2015, 14:32

    This has been a generally very forgettable season outside of Hamilton winning his third title…and even the entire process that it took for him to win was rather devoid of any suspense. Last year at least he had to work for the title, this year Nico rolled over and died.

    Total lack of competition up and down the grid makes for dull racing at large. I can’t say any grand prix outside of the Hungaroring even stood out for me, but this is the first time in awhile that I felt a lack of interest in the proceedings, I watched races more out of routine than with any real interest. Kind of interesting that my most favorite race was on a circuit that’s been long lamented as a place that produces dull racing lol.

    Biggest issue for me is that in years gone by, even if the racing was average, I could take a great deal of interest in the cars. Now the cars have become so uninteresting because of how little technical freedom exists, I can’t even get excited over this all that often.

    1. With 4 respectable teams running the best engine there should be a lot more excitement as those cars fast down the straight push to the limit (and beyond) in the twisty bits to catch the likes of RBR and pass them on the straights (without DRS) but they cannot do this without ruining their tyres and losing time and position doing extra pit-stops. The medicine is worse than the disease.

  5. Apex Assassin
    9th November 2015, 16:43

    Considering how the media browbeat the public with their Mexican Grand Prix success story I am pleasantly surprised to see a large amount of support for my opinions on the event. Thanks people! That gives me hope that F1 can recover to something resembling the sport I’ve dedicated my life to.

  6. In a city of 21+ million people who are F1 crazy and will fill the stands with warm bodies doesn’t really make the “race” or the track a success. I will admit that having that many people go to a race makes it a success for Mexico and for the ocal businesses.

    Sunday at CoTA was a hug success to the USGP and the fan base. People have to understand that having that many people show up on race day is never a bad thing.

    As a fan, I’m glad to see more races…

  7. If all (bar one) races are rated over 5 regardless of how dull the season has been, perhaps a new scale of rating out of 5 may be worth considering instead of the current 10?

  8. This season we’ve had 1 absolute classic, 3 great and another 4 good races. There have been a couple of poor races and then a bunch of average races but it’s to be expected. I mean the typical race should be average which explains the swathe of ~5/10 races.

    To be honest even a lot of the 5/10 races I have considered 6-7 out of 10, they’re just being pulled apart by people who can’t get over Mercedes and Hamilton winning again and basically have a binary scoring system where by anything less action packed than an all out battle to the finish line with an unexpected winner gets hated on. And then of course anything Hamilton wins is good to lose a mark. I mean Hungary was a great race, but better than USA? Really?

    1. Mate, I agree with that. USA was.. at the edge every time!!!!

    2. Wasn’t Hungary one of those races where a late safety car restarts the race with too few laps for the drivers to need to conserve the tyres ?

  9. Seriously.. How can Hungary be rated higher than the US GP????? In Hungary there was no battle for the lead, that being said after the start… During the US GP we had a battle for the lead, and the US GP was more intense than Hungary… I expected a 9.3 or higher for the US GP..

    1. @krichelle Vettel, Rosberg & Ricciardo battled in Hungary after the safety car. The same teams in the same order as the 2014 race, interestingly. And just because the leader held on doesn’t mean there wasn’t a battle.

    2. @krichelle Hungary had the finishing line as a climax to the race, whereas the USGP had the last VSC as an anti-climax before the end of the race. The early Red-Bull-pace was entertaining, but predictably going to end with the track getting dry, and Vettels shot at victory was over with said VSC, so the last couple of laps we had to live with Merc upfront, the race was kind of over before it was over. The race of the 1988-season was Monza, and the same way the race of the 2015-season can´t end up being a Merc-win, the dominating team winning yet again is just not exciting.

      1. That’s just an arbitrary reason to down grade it. That it was the seasons most prolific winning driver and team doesn’t change the quality of the action that was happening. Up until Hamilton passed Rosberg we still had no idea who from Rosberg/Hamilton/Vettel would win, and until Rosberg crossed the line we had no idea if the championship was decided.

        Not liking the result is not the same as not liking the race.

        1. @philipgb Vettel wasn´t going to win after that VSC ruined his strategy. Whether it´s Hamilton or Rosberg upfront isn´t relevant enough to be interesting for anyone but the Hamilton-fans, both are Mercs. So it´s not about the result, it´s about slightly switching of interest during the last couple of laps, as there weren´t many fights behind that (the midfield-positions) either, whereas in Hungary the positions 5 and downwards were hard-fought for even within the final lap, including many surprise-positions and slower, vulnerable cars ahead of faster cars. And adding to that Hungary features the tension provided by gravel and barriers, which just makes infights more interesting, but isn´t there in Austin.

        2. @philipgb I kinda disagree. If Hulkenburg or Button win a race, it is that much more exciting because they are the underdogs? Right? I think that’s safe to say.

          So it goes that if the most likely to win driver wins it, it is, less exciting due to that.

          1. @mike

            I’ll agree a lights to flag race with one driver leading without challenge is dull, favourite or not.

            But if the race itself is spent in uncertainty, with exciting battles and lead swaps throughout where you honestly don’t know who’s going to win, that isn’t diminished by the eventual winner being the favourite.

  10. For me, Hungary had as good racing as US with an added bonus of not having a Merc in the podium. It was so refreshing to see young Kvyat there.

  11. what races were rated higher since 2008?

    1. @sato113 Only the top five – Brazil 2012, China 2011, Canada 2014, Hungary 2014, Hungary 2015.

      1. It’s also interesting to note that of the eight races scoring above 9 (US 2015^, Canada 2011, Bahrain 2014), five are from the ‘hybrid era’ (and all in the ‘Pirelli era’).

  12. Cocaine-Mackeine
    9th November 2015, 22:41

    @keithcollantine I can’t really understand why Hungary has better rating than USA. I mean yes, it was a very good race after the sad events that happened before but hey,if those things hadn’t passed, it could stand well under Malaysia this season. USA 2015 was one of the most intense and heart-stopping races I’ve ever seen, and I can’t believe I watched that on 2015, knowing the poor quality of the races this season!

  13. Looking at ratings… It seems only when Vettel wins or Mercedes gets challanged, do we get a high rating..

    Funny since 2013 Vettel wins were a snoozer.

    1. The point is about eight feet to your left

    2. @jureo,
      I believe people have lowered their expectations a lot. Such is Mercedes dominance that every time someone give them a run for their money that grand prix gets 2 extra points. I can think of many races being rated much lower in the past that were many than Malaysia 2015 for example. If you would compress the race action from Sepang it won’t be a massive amount to look for.

  14. I didn’t see the Mexico Grand Prix, but i can see, it’s not problem.

  15. The coverage has been terrible the last 2 races what with missing Rosberg’s mistake and being passed by Hamilton for the lead at COTA and following the mid pack do nothing of note for the last 20 or so laps in Mexico made a boring race even more boring. At least they could have shown Hamilton attempting to catch Rosberg for the lead ?!?! When did 8th place become more important than the lead in anyone’s mind other than a 2016 McLaren driver? Oh and waaaay to many cutaways to crowd and random people in the pits. While I’m venting please show passing maneuvers from the outside the cars first then show the in car as a replay. When you cut to an in car during the pass you are by default removing half the participants in said pass.

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