Who will win the team mate battles of 2016?

2016 F1 season

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Teams mates: the great F1 misnomer. Because while a team’s drivers have to pool information to improve the car, neither of them can stand being beaten by the other.

And with eight of the eleven teams in the field keeping the same driver line-up that they had last year, there is no room to hide for those who get beaten for a second year running.

But who will come out on top? Cast your vote below.

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton vs Nico Rosberg

Will 2016 be the third year in a row in which the drivers’ championship goes to one of the two Mercedes drivers? If so Nico Rosberg will have to raise his game as he hasn’t been able to beat Lewis Hamilton over a season yet.

At the end of last year it seemed Rosberg might have finally turned the tables. The number six Mercedes took pole position for each of the last half-dozen races and won the final three. Hamilton’s explanation was that he lost motivation after clinching the title at Austin, though he certainly seemed to be giving his all at the time.

Which Mercedes driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Nico Rosberg (33%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (67%)

Total Voters: 564

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Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel vs Kimi Raikkonen

In his first two years back at Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen has been out-classed by the driver in the other car. However he has been measured against two of the very best in the sport – Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel – and had spotty reliability from his car.

But Raikkonen is a world champion too and at times that hasn’t been obvious from his performances. Will Ferrari keep him on for another season? A lot will rest on whether he closes the gap to Vettel.

Which Ferrari driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Kimi Raikkonen (7%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (93%)

Total Voters: 569

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Williams: Felipe Massa vs Valtteri Bottas

Entering his fourth season of F1 Valtteri Bottas has yet to lose to a team mate over a full season. However last year Felipe Massa closed the gap and showed him the way at times.

Bottas had a disrupted start to last season due to a back injury. But even accounting for that he needs to put Massa more conclusively in the shade than he did last year if he’s to seem an obvious hiring choice for a top team.

Which Williams driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Valtteri Bottas (82%)
  • Felipe Massa (18%)

Total Voters: 565

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Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo vs Daniil Kvyat

If there was any team where the 2015 points totals was a poor reflection the efforts of the two drivers it was Red Bull. Daniil Kvyat had a solid first season with a top team but Daniel Ricciardo consistently extracted more from the RB12.

Kvyat is under no illusions about the his team mate’s qualities and recently hailed him as the best driver in Formula One. That was a smart comment to make having edged him by three points last year.

Which Red Bull driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Daniil Kvyat (16%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (84%)

Total Voters: 565

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Force India: Sergio Perez vs Nico Hulkenberg

Force India’s two drivers have contrasting strengths which serves the team well: Nico Hulkenberg excels in out-and-out performance while Sergio Perez has a way of massaging the best out of Pirelli’s high-degradation tyres while asking the least of them.

Last year just 17% backed Perez to come out ahead. But he hit a great run of form at the end of the season and out-scored Hulkenberg, reversing the situation of 12 months previously. That makes this one of the most interesting intra-team battles on the grid.

Which Force India driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Nico Hulkenberg (56%)
  • Sergio Perez (44%)

Total Voters: 563

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Renault: Kevin Magnussen vs Jolyon Palmer

On paper this doesn’t look like being much of a contest: Kevin Magnussen already has a full year of racing under his belt in which he acquitted himself well alongside a world champion. Rookie Jolyon Palmer may have an GP2 title to his name but it took him four years to get the job done.

Palmer, however, has the added benefit of having spent all of last year with this team during which time he drove the car in most free practice sessions. Perhaps this won’t be as one-sided as it seems?

Which Renault driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Jolyon Palmer (8%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (92%)

Total Voters: 562

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Toro Rosso: Max Verstappen vs Carlos Sainz

Another of the must-watch contests. Toro Rosso’s sophomore duo go up against each other in the hope of landing a promotion to the top team. Max Verstappen won last year and that would have been the case even if Carlos Sainz Jnr’s car hadn’t broken down so often.

With a proven, reliable Ferrari motor behind them this year, and a promising-looking chassis, this could be the best year for Toro Rosso since Vettel giant-killing performances in 2008. Just as was the case 12 months ago it’s Verstappen who’s getting all the hype but Sainz is not to be underestimated.

Which Toro Rosso driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (29%)
  • Max Verstappen (71%)

Total Voters: 566

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Sauber: Marcus Ericsson vs Felipe Nasr

Rookie Felipe Nasr beat his more experienced team mate Marcus Ericsson last year.

However the Sauber drivers only rarely made it into the points and when they did it was often because other drivers had dropped out. If they are more regular points-scorers this year the outcome may be different.

Which Sauber driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Felipe Nasr (85%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (15%)

Total Voters: 560

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McLaren: Fernando Alonso vs Jenson Button

McLaren didn’t deserve to have two world champions on their books last year, so far off the pace was the MP4-30 and its underpowered, unreliable Honda engine.

Its successor has run much better in testing however. It remains to be seen how much of a threat the team are going to be – they may only have made it as far as the midfield. It will hopefully be enough to sustain the commitment of two of F1’s elite drivers.

Which McLaren driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Jenson Button (39%)
  • Fernando Alonso (61%)

Total Voters: 566

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Manor: Pascal Wehrlein vs Rio Haryanto

Once again Manor heads into a new season with a pair of rookie drivers. Their contrasting backgrounds make for an interesting match-up.

Pascal Wehrlein was climbing the single-seater ladder until he was picked up by Mercedes and diverted into the DTM. He spent the last three seasons there and clinched the title last season. Rio Haryanto’s path was more conventional but a largely unsuccessful spell in GP2 and the Pertamina cash backing his seat does not invite the view that a major talent has been discovered.

Which Manor driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Rio Haryanto (4%)
  • Pascal Wehrlein (96%)

Total Voters: 557

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Haas: Romain Grosjean vs Esteban Gutierrez

Esteban Gutierrez has been given a second chance at F1 but he’s going to have to prove himself against one of the rising stars this year. Romain Grosjean gave Pastor Maldonado a hammering at Lotus last year.

In his two previous seasons Gutierrez had a very tough season against Hulkenberg in 2013 but was neck-and-neck with Adrian Sutil in 2014.

Which Haas driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Esteban Gutierrez (4%)
  • Romain Grosjean (96%)

Total Voters: 561

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Past team mate battles

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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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106 comments on “Who will win the team mate battles of 2016?”

  1. The only ones probably remotely interesting are Toro Rosso and Force India. I really hope Rosberg continues his form of the last six races because I’m in serious doubt Ferrari will ever match them in 2016.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th March 2016, 13:45

      Agree on STR (that’s because both are extremely talented) and FI (Perez has impressed on many occasions), @xtwl

      However, I’d include two more teams. Not because I think both teams have drivers of equal standing, and not because I think the ‘lesser driver’ will grow a lot in 2016. But for both teams the more talented and ‘quality’ driver could drop the ball in 2016. That could be for emotional reasons if somebody or something gets into his head, or for motivational issues if the car is not good enough to close to the top.
      One team drives silver car and the other black ones!

    2. Rosberg may very well continue his form from last year but Hamilton will be competing for WDC points again and with Ferrari probably being closer this year Rosberg will have more duties as number 2.

      1. Really the onus is on Rosberg to prove he can take the fight to Hamilton, especially in Melbourne, where there isn’t any points already on the board.

        1. Yes. This. First race, stomp on Hamilton… Unless Vettel wins… Now thatd be a shocker.

  2. Who voted Haryanto? Fess up.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th March 2016, 13:47

      It wasn’t me, @hahostolze. But at least they could argue that both drivers are ‘unknowns’.
      I’d like to know why some people chose GUT over GRO.

      1. @coldfly, I voted Gro>Gut. Personally I rate Grosjean highly. I think he had a bad start to his F1 career, but has performed very well over the last couple of seasons. He started putting things together in 2012, performed well in 2013 and has firmly beaten Pastor Maldonado since. I probably rate him equal or higher than Bottas even, I think he simply is that quick.

        As for Guttierez, he got beaten so bad by Hulkenberg..

      2. Gutierrez didn’t disgrace himself against Sutil. If Haas are on the fringes of the points it’s quite possible he could be the one in position to capitalise on the lucky break, even if overall he is unlikely to perform better than Grosjean – who has the edge on talent, experience and “freshness”.

        1. According to the F1 metrics model Gutiérrez was the worst driver of the last seasons (he was demolished by Hülkenberg in 2013 and he was part of a non-scoring Sauber team in 2014).

    2. Me. For very subjective reason. But then again for objective reason I still choose unpopular choice. I choose Massa, Perez and Button over their team mate.

    3. u know Indonesia have the fourth largest population in the world…so u do have some followers from there..;)

  3. A german will win the title this year, though which one.

    1. Well Hamilton’s Mercedes car is technically German, so that one ;)

    2. I see only 3 Germans on the grid this year that can beat his teammate which is step one if you want the title.

    3. So german car WCC, and german driver WDC?

      1. No WCC only WDC ;)

    4. Ya HULK will..why because he is green on the top..!!

  4. It’s nice to see so many teams with 2 strong drivers, it should make for some interesting battles.

    Rosberg and Hamilton I think could still go either way. Rosberg looked thoroughly beaten mid season but then he made a comeback and Hamilton didn’t seem to be able to do anything, hopefully that continues into this season.

    Much as I would like raikonnen to improve I can’t see him regularly beating vettel so it’s looking like a 3 way championship battle again but I think there’s going to be a great fight for mid grid positions.

  5. Mercedes
    Hamilton will beat Rosberg by a slim margin. Rosberg will have extra motivation after his late season charge

    Vettel will trash Raikkonen. Simple, Vettel is on his prime, while Raikkonen always screws up in every available attempt.

    Bottas will beat Massa again. Bottas is getting stronger by years, and Massa is way over his glory days. The margin will probably widen.

    Red Bull
    Ricciardo will outrun Kvyat more than getting outrunned. Kvyat won last season because Ricc was unlucky, he had lots of failures. Ricc will dominate like he did against Vettel in 2014.

    Force India
    Perez will manage to barely beat Hulk. Hulk is higher rated, and had a better start. Meanwhile, Perez beat him last season, due to the improvements Perez made. Perez will win if he can be more consistent.

    Magnussen will win. At least one season in F1, he’s much more experienced than rookie Palmer. Still Palmer can give us some surprises.

    Close call, Verstappen will narrowly beat Sainz. The latter had more engine failures, but doubt he’ll finish ahead of the teen if his car didn’t broke often.

    Alonso will. Button is getting older, and the second oldest driver after Kimi. At least, he didn’t screw around as much as Kimi.

    Wehrlein will dominate. I’m an Indonesian but I’m not really sure Rio can beat him. He won sprint races, not feature races. Meanwhile, Pascal won DTM which literally has no sprint races like GP2 did.

    Grosjean will send Gutierrez back to Mexico. The latter barely can beat Sutil, and Hulkenberg destroyed him. Will expect the same from Grosjean

    1. @vince04: Button is the third oldest driver after Massa and Raikkonen and guess who is the 4th oldest?

      1. Massa was born in April 1981, Button in 1980. The fourth oldest driver is Alonso who was born in July 1981.
        Why Button will probably lose against Alonso? He’s 36 and Alonso 35.
        Button will have to work extra hard to beat his age, as drivers even the best ones like MSC and Kimi tend to slow down as they get old. I’m not saying Button won’t be any good, but he’ll have to work harder than Alonso. Skill-wise, Alonso is slightly better. 2 world champs in Renault, with Ferrari and McLaren as their closest competitors. Meanwhile Brawn (now Mercedes) are just too superior for McLaren and RBR to beat. Don’t even mention Ferrari as their 2009 car sucks

        1. And McLaren’s 2009 car didn’t? It came good, but far too late to matter.

        2. Brawn gp was too superior for Red bull to beat until Silverstone. After that Red bull and Mclaren caught up.

    2. Sauber
      Nasr easily. Ericsson isn’t the best driver for Sauber. Nasr just needs to be more consistent. He’s pretty okay actually

      1. Nasr clearly beat Ericsson the first half of the season and Ericsson clearly beat Nasr the second half. Nasr had his top during the time when the Sauber car was able to score and thats it.

    3. Ricciardo will outrun Kvyat more than getting outrunned. Kvyat won last season because Ricc was unlucky, he had lots of failures. Ricc will dominate like he did against Vettel in 2014.

      Vettel was just unlucky in 2014 too. Granted Ricciardo was the better over the season but hardly that much. Ricciardo is a very good driver but also very overrated to the extent Kvyat thinks he’s the best on the grid…?

  6. Mercedes: I went for Hamilton. I feel that Rosberg will be a lot more of a formidable challenge than he was for most of last season though.

    Ferrari: Vettel. Slam dunk really.

    Williams: Unless injury or Ferrari rumours or just general off-key days hamper him again, I expect Bottas to have the edge over Massa again.

    Red Bull: I think Kvyat will push him again, but Ricciardo should hold him off.

    Force India: One of the more intriguing ones. Hulkenberg really needs to bounce back from a poor 2015 (his win at Le Mans aside), and I think he has every potential to do so this year.

    Renault: I rate Magnussen higher than Palmer, although the latter knows the team better so might start off a bit stronger. Both are race rusty after making a total of zero race starts between them last year in any category.

    Toro Rosso: I expect the points battle to be closer, but Verstappen is the safe option here.

    Sauber: I am not expecting anything spectacular from Sauber this year, but Nasr was able to deliver the strong results when it counted, so I went for him.

    McLaren: With a car which might actually work this time, I’m expecting Alonso to try a bit harder than he did last year.

    Manor: I don’t rate either of these two drivers, but Wehrlein is highly regarded by Mercedes, so I’m guessing he is probably the better of the two.

    Haas: Grosjean. No brainer.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th March 2016, 13:55

      agree with all the assessments, @craig-o.
      Still went with ROS though. I think/guess that he’s still on a roll based on last year and testing.
      And even though HAM is the better driver (IMO), I’m sure something will happen for him to lose focus. Could be anything from a bad strategy call, sick atmosphere between the drivers, or a poor review of his debut album!

    2. I agree with what you said apart from I think Perez will beat Hulkenberg and I think this will be Rosberg’s year. I think because Hamilton has won the 3 world titles and emulated Senna he will have less motivation however Rosberg was on top form. Also, I don’t agree with the argument that it was Hamilton’s failings that lost him the last 3 races because remember Hamilton wouldn’t have won in Russia if Rosberg hadn’t retired and the same with the USA if Rosberg wasn’t unlucky with the safety car (he had a 10 second lead). Remember that he hadn’t won the championship by Russia and the USA (although he did win the campionship there). I think that the driver that will be the most dominant over his team mate will either be Vettel over Raikkonen, Grosjean over Guttierez or Wehrlein over Haryanto. If I had to pick one I would go for Wehrlein over Haryanto however. If you’ve seen this before in the comments it is because it wouldn’t post when I tried.

  7. I do believe Rosberg will beat Hamilton this year. I don’ think Hamilton has the same drive and motivation as he once did, and as he’s quite an emotional character I think that counts for a lot. Rosberg is a very, very good driver that has buckled once or twice, but has also shown he can keep his cool. The pendulum only needs to shift a tiny amount, and I think it will happen this year.

    1. Wishful thinking, whether you’re pro-Rosberg or just want to see some competition. Hamilton has had enough motivation to win the title two years running, last year very easily. What more has he needed? It might actually do him some good if Rosberg wins the first races, but anyone who thinks that will cause Hamilton to give up, rather than kick into another gear, would be completely deluded. And Rosberg still won’t be able to match.

      1. I do think we should look into the last six races of last season of which Hamilton most likely would have won none, and if Rosberg can pull that line through into 2016 Hamiton may have all the motivation he wants but he still might lose out.

        1. @xtwl “Hamilton most likely would have won none”

          Well you can only really say that about 1 of the last 6 races that Hamilton won, Russia. Given that Rosberg car failed him and looked to have the same pace as Hamilton out in front so challenge was never likely. USA you cant say that because Rosberg simply made a mistake/big gust of wind, although Hamilton was not far behind him and the wind never effected him, they never found anything wrong on the car so Rosberg mistake there. Japan, Hamilton got the jump at the start and Rosberg lost places, but Hamilton’s pace through the race was quicker than Rosberg, so cant say he likely wouldn’t off won the race, he won that fair and square. We will never really know if Mexico, Brazil & Abu Dhabi was down to Hamilton easing off or Rosberg finding extra speed. Brazil though I happen to think that it’s one of the races Hamilton wants to win so badly that he either makes errors or in the past had issues that prevent that from happening and that causes him to over try which almost always end up with the race win going away from the driver.

          Various parts of the season where luck went both ways, in Hamilton’s favour at Hungary where he had an appalling race, Monaco in Rosberg’s favour where he was being trounced by Hamilton or in a few races where Rosberg was pitted before Hamilton to safe guard place against Ferrari which put him closer to Hamilton. It never really works to say if this then that in F1, the results are the results.

          The media are having fun playing out the last 3 race result card and creating headlines, it gets a discussion going for sure but how important it really was/is I’m not sure. I also don’t buy this Hamilton isn’t or form or as hungry going into this season because the last 3 races or the fact he is now a 3 time champion and therefore reached his goal of matching Senna. I think when the lights go out in Melbourne as a super competitive person like all the other drivers he will race to win or race to get the best position possible from the car. Remembering that the media tried hard for the last 2 years to say Hamilton was distracted by his outside F1 life which would cost him wins or the championship, that proved to be wrong so they really don’t have a good track record of predicting how Hamilton will perform.

          Rosberg is a very quick driver, Vettel is a top driver in what looks to be a great car, let’s wait and see how everybody performs. However unlikely it may be a part of me wants Kimi to come back strong and put Vettel under pressure. Vettel needs to be a team he is committed to and focused on with a tough teammate, he hasn’t had that yet. I doubt Kimi is that guy but who knows.

          2016 could be very exciting.

  8. In my opinion Toro Rosso has the most exciting driver pair on the grid. Hard to choose, but I expect Verstappen to win in terms of points.

    Also, and I might be in the minority here, but I expect a return to form for Kimi Raikkonen. He won’t beat Vettel over the season, but he might take a win.

  9. watch out for Palmer I say

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th March 2016, 13:56

      As in being the new Maldonado? @alfa145

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        6th March 2016, 13:59

        PS @alfa145. Of all the great Alfa Romeo’s you picked the 145 as your User ID?

        1. Any Alfa becomes glorious the moment it is your everyday car.
          16yr old machinery still running, wouldn’t exchange it for anything until it’s crashed or stolen =)

          1. You are happy in your Alfa as long as you dont know what you are missing ;)

          2. ColdFly F1 (@)
            7th March 2016, 6:44

            Any Alfa becomes glorious the moment it is your everyday car.

            Agree @alfa145

            PS – my first Alfa was stolen; I still mourn the loss.

  10. I’m largely expecting the same result; Hamilton to have the edge over the season but Rosberg just dominating him over several races. Vettel is likely to score more points than Kimi even if the latter finds his 2012/2013 form, but I hope Kimi will be closer this year. I half expect Massa to beat Bottas this year, they seem to be pretty close in terms of pace.

    At RBR I think Kvyat might surprise us and keep up with Ricciardo a lot better and maybe get a few over on him. Hulkenberg versus Perez will probably continue down the path of Hulk getting more points finishes, but Perez better results. But with 21 races, Hulk will probably score more. At Renault, it has to be Magnussen. I don’t expect him to walk all over Palmer, but wouldn’t be surprised at a Grosjean/Maldonado dynamic in pace and actually scoring points.

    Verstappen and Sainz might be down to reliability again, though I expect that battle to be much closer as well. Nasr over Ericsson, Grosjean over Gutierrez and Wherlein over Haryanto seem safe bets. The only thing I’m not sure about is McLaren. I think Alonso might be more likely to grab spectacular results, but Button is a safe pair of hands on his own. Will probably come down to reliability but I think Button might outscore Alonso again.

    I do find it pretty fitting that, at the time of my votes, more people thought Haryanto can beat Wherlein over Gutierrez beating Grosjean. Is anyone happy Esteban is back?

    1. Should’ve been Vergne. He’s much better but Esteban has the bucks

    2. Both Rosberg and Hamilton will have something to prove going to Melbourne. Rosberg wants to prove the victories at the end of last year weren’t simply Hamilton letting him win, and Hamilton wants to prove he hasn’t lost his skill.

  11. Hamilton, Räikkönen, Bottas, Ricciardo, Perez, Magnussen, Sainz Jnr., Nasr, Button, Wehrlein, Grosjean

    1. Raikkonen?????

      1. swisshutless
        7th March 2016, 2:51

        never underestimate kimi

  12. I do think either Hamilton has lost his edge in qualifying, I think Rosberg has a nothing to lose mentality in qualifying as he’s up against someone most people consider to be the outright fastest so if he beats him great but I don’t think he sweats it where as Hamilton feels a weight of expectation on his shoulders and he definitely has a tendency to choke if he expects too much from himself. But looking at the race simulation times from testing I think he has it in the bag.

  13. I think most of the teammate battles are fairly straight forward – At the front Lewis will beat Nico again, but maybe not as convincingly as last season. Vettel with beat Kimi comfortable. Bottas will beat Massa, Mag will destroy Palmer, Wehrlein will beat Haryanto on every race weekend (and probably in every session) and Grosjean should obliterate Guttierez. If the Mclaren isn’t as fragile and slow as last year, we should get a good battle on our hands, but over the course of a season I think Alonso should definitely beat Button as well.

    The interesting ones were the Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Force India. I think it will be close between the Dans at Red Bull, I might say that Kvyat will finish ahead this time around. Toro Rosso, I expect Max to come out on top but by the narrowest of margins. Force India, I expect the Hulk to finish ahead just due to his sheer consistenct thoughout the year. My prediction is that these 3 teams will have the most interesting inter team battles for the upcoming season.

  14. This is my bold prediction – Verstappen would do worse than many people thought and Sainz would beat him. I also expect Kimi to considerably improve but taking on Vettel and possibly Merc is going to be really hard. What I am really interested in is how Grosjean in Haas would do, it’d good to a relatively strong new team in F1 now.

    1. *to have a relatively strong new team in F1 now.

  15. Seems we all agree,.. I only answered against common prediction. Twice.

    1 Nico Rosberg will beat Hamilton.
    2 Jenson Button will beat Alonso.

    So here is me on record, amateur pundit. Hamilton will fall pray to his jetset lifestyle.
    Alonso will drive to a delta. Jenson will drive to stay in F1 in case 2017 rules become good.

    For sure Danil and Seinz Jr. Have capacity to overturn our popular oppinion, but others not so much.

  16. Hamilton has yet to find a solution to the tyres and feel of the current Merc suspension IMO, both of which sound a bit soft for him. I don’t think it’s about motivation or emotion. I have no feel for which way it’ll go though. He’s been looking good on mediums, not on softs.

    I’m expecting Jenson to suffer now the cars can (hopefully) do a pair of problem-free races.

    I reckon Gutierrez and Eriksson are a bit underrated, and are better than their first seasons showed. I’m not quite convinced about Grosjean, I have an idea the Lotus flattered him.

  17. Only 17% of people are putting Kvyat ahead of Ricciardo despite Kvyat winning the battle last year.

    1. Ricciardo was hampered by lots of mechanical issues. More than Kvyat

    2. You will also find that pretty much all the major F1 publications – including this one – ranked Ricciardo ahead of Kvyat and up near the top because anyone could see despite the points Ricciardo had the worse luck of the two and was the better/faster driver, especially when those problems would have easily got him the points ahead of Kvyat over the season.

      The only real races IMO where Kvyat was stronger than Ricciardo were Canada/Mexico. The rest of the races were either fairly even or in favour of Ricciardo e.g. Hungary > Ricciardo qualified 0.5s quicker than Kvyat. Despite being clashing with Bottas and losing positions at the start ended up almost a pitstop down the road ahead of Kvyat. Safety car + retirements helped Kvyat catch up. Ricciardo racing for the win and clashes with Rosberg while Kvyat ends up with more points with everything falling his way despite being slower the whole weekend. Had it been a normal race with few problems, Ricciardo would be gunning for the win/podium while Kvyat would have been struggling in the points.

      This is much like when everyone went on about JEV vs. Ricciardo in 2012. Blinded by the WDC table and race results, Ricciardo smashed him in qualifying in terms of H2H + avg qualifying gap and then the races painted a better picture for JEV when it really wasn’t. It was mixed conditions where JEV got the majority of the points.

      TR and FI will be this years interesting team-mate battles again and McLaren now they are more reliable. Better indicator of Button vs. Alonso.

      1. Blake Johnston
        7th March 2016, 10:49

        Finally, someone with some sense.

      2. to be fair, the whole renault situation makes last year a hard year to judge both drivers. Just as the STR drivers couldn’t really compete with each other, cause of so many technical problems and engine penalties. While the STR situation looks good, i am not so sure about the RB engine. STill i think RIC is a better driver than KVY, but people do underestimate the russian. He still has plenty of room to grow.

      3. The problem for Kvyat was he was sucked up the chain too fast because of the vacuum created by Vettel leaving and the ‘need’ to get Verstappen in a car to prevent Mercedes poaching him.

        His first season was ‘good enough’ but the management panicked – the logical consideration would have been to move Vergne up on a one-year deal to see if he performed better – but everything was up in the air anyway as the main team were in a crisis because of their engine situation.

  18. Apart from the common opinions: I really think Rosberg could beat Hamilton this year. Historically, it doesn’t happen often that the reigning World Champion’s team mate wins the championship – Alain Prost was the last one to do so in 1989 – but with Hamilton’s poor form late last year I think Rosberg has a chance.

    Sainz vs Verstappen should be an interesting one. I can’t help but feel Sainz has done way better than people give him credit for in 2015. If the 2016 Toro Rosso is indeed a big step up from last year and is able to fight for top 5 finishes consistently, I think Sainz may be a bit more consistent (or at least less greedy) than Verstappen. But still, I think it will be a close battle.

    1. I agree. I also give more chance for Rosberg this year than this time last year – but I still voted for Hamilton and I still think he’ll come out on top. Last year, I ‘d have said 95% he’ll be ahead, this year – about 75%. Ish.

      And I also very much agree with your assessment of the Toro Rosso youngsters – I think Sainz would actually win most of the driver battles on the grid, bar versus Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Bottas and perhaps Alonso. …And, of course, Verstappen. I can’t see him getting one over the Dutchman, sadly. And I really hope he will stay realistic, won’t beat himself down for it and – most importantly – that his career won’t end up short because of it.

    2. I think Mercedes will be more like 2014, only it’ll be Rosberg’s performance rather than Hamilton DNFs that keep it closer than 2015.

      I voted Verstappen over Sainz, but only because there’s no “Too close to call” option. Same with Red Bull.

  19. Only Force India and McLaren seem tight and rightly so, I think.

  20. Rosberg- could see him finally winning the champiomship.

    Vettel- In the bag can’t see Kimi beating him.

    Massa- tough call.

    Kyvat- really needs to prove a point or its possibly over.

    Button- If McLaren come up short again I think it will sap the morale of Fernando and he’ll go on the economy mode again.

    Grosjean, Sainz Jr, Nasr, Magnussen, Perez, Wehrlein.

    1. *Championship

  21. If McLaren get their act together watch out for Jenson Button. Always remember experience counts.

  22. To the Max !
    6th March 2016, 17:14

    Most team mate battles are probably pretty straight forward, but lower down the order an occasionally good result can influence it heavily.

    The only way I can see it getting interesting at Mercedes is when Hamilton will be more unlucky with reliability/strategy, and Rosberg will be really good with qualifying.

    The Force India battle can be interesting because of one driver being fast but not so good with keeping his tyres alive, while the other one is really good in keepings his tyres in a good condition.

    If McLaren can regularly score more points, I would expect Alonso to take it.

    If Kvyat improves and has more strong weekends, he could again make it somewhat difficult for Ricciardo.

    I was pleasantly surprised with Nasr’s wheel to wheel battle skills last year, something which was overshadowed by the Sainz hype. On the other side, I wasn’t that impressed with what Ericsson was showing regarding small mistakes.

    There was only one race (Bahrain) in which Sainz had more race pace as Verstappen last season, and that was when there wasn’t anything right with Verstappen’s car, so that battle isn’t even going to be close.

    For Grosjean, Magunssen, Wehrlein, Vettel and Bottas, losing the team mate battle would be terrible and should be avoided at all costs (and I think they are capable enough to do that).

    1. Sainz made too many little errors and has had more than his share of bad luck.
      Numbers show that your statement about Sainz and Verstappen being one sided is quite untrue.
      But he will have to be more consistent to be able to beat Max and maybe we’ll have some nice battles.

      1. To the Max !
        6th March 2016, 23:41

        Sainz ended up ahead a few times in races, but that wasn’t due to having a better race pace.

        – In Spain Sainz ended 2.5 seconds ahead because the pit stop of Verstappen went wrong (+2.5 seconds) which made him ending up for several laps behind Hulkenburg costing even more time, Verstappen needing to do an engine reset, him again losing time because of letting Vettel and Rosberg go by (another +2.5 seconds), all the while he was driving on the wrong (slower) tyres the last stint and having a slight set up problem (oversteer)

        – In Canada it was the stop and go penalty due to engine change, and later getting stuck behind the Ferrari engine of Ericsson making Verstappen ending up behind Sainz (again not on race pace)

        – In Monza it was the stop an go penalty for losing the bodywork making Verstappen ending up behind Sainz (at Monza the differences between similar cars are always very small due to the nature of the track)

        – In Russia it was a badly dammed car which made Verstappen slower as Sainz (Hulkenburg spinning at the start and Verstappen unable to avoid him)

        – And finally, in Abu Dhabi it was Verstappen flat spotting his tyres making him end up behind Sainz

        And the rest of the races, Sainz never had a better race pace (except Bahrain, which got effected by a bad set up of Verstappen due to brake problems in FP2 and doing his set up in the heat of FP3, + again engine problems).

        So, at first sight it might have looked Sainz has been quicker a few times, but when looking closer into it, not once it was because of better race pace.

        1. Teodoro James
          7th March 2016, 9:07

          You must be Jost!! This is like a Joke, I like Max, but to be so partial and so unfair to Carlos, this is not serious. Carlos has also 1000 problems in the races where he finish, like slow pit stop, damage car,engines resets, brakes… The difference is that Max when he gets beaten he always has one excuse. This 2 guys are amazing but Carlos deserve much more credit, i think in pure speed is faster and one of the quickest of the grid. Both have the space, no need to kill the other one. I think this year Sainz will surprise more than one.

          1. No doubt Sainz’ a great racer, in the right car even WC material someday but boy does Max have something out-of-this-world special about him. My prediction is that he’ll beat Sainz in a landslide. If he works his harder tires during race stints like last year, we’re in for great races and first stop is revenge time in Australia!

            Last year, Max could’ve gotten on podium if that damned French piece of garbage didn’t quit on him.

        2. With a title like ‘To the Max!’, you’ll have to forgive us for assuming bias.

          If you’re looking to play the percentage game, you have to accept that Sainz Jr. *also* retired from several races where he was also in a good points position – Silverstone springs to mind.

  23. Found myself voting for the same driver as the majority does in all cases except McLaren. However, I think both Red Bull and even Williams could go the other way and aren´t as clear-cut as the votes indicate.

  24. Most of my votes were the same as the majority, except for Force India, Renault and McLaren. I can see Perez still having the edge on Hulkenberg, and I just have a feeling Alonso will get the brunt of the bad luck at McLaren…. I know I’m in a tiny minority saying Palmer will beat Magnussen, though. Now, I’m a big fan of Kevin and was delighted to see him get the seat — and was underwhelmed to see Palmer get his. But I’ve got a feeling Palmer is really going to surprise us. Sure, we can say that Palmer took four years to win the GP2 title, but if you look at it another way; Palmer has four years of racing experience on designed-to-degrade Pirellis, something which he had clearly mastered during his title year. Also, he spent most of last year nicking Romain Grosjean’s seat for practice — I’d say that Palmer is as well-prepared as a rookie can be.

    Having graduated from FR3.5, getting to grips with the Pirellis was one of Kevin’s biggest weaknesses in 2014, and he got next to no seat time last year, aside from a few pre-season test sessions and doing a few corners on his way to the Melbourne grid. So although I do rate Magnussen as a better driver, I think the current situation will marginally favour Palmer this year. I certainly think it’ll be closer than the votes currently suggest.

  25. Kvyat bus really empty, lol

  26. I think this will be Rosberg’s year. I think because Hamilton has won the 3 world titles and emulated Senna he will have less motivation however Rosberg was on top form. Also, I don’t agree with the argument that it was Hamilton’s failings that lost him the last 3 races because remember Hamilton wouldn’t have won in Russia if Rosberg hadn’t retired and the same with the USA if Rosberg wasn’t unlucky with the safety car (he had a 10 second lead). Remember that he hadn’t won the championship by Russia and the USA (although he did win the campionship there). I think that the driver that will be the most dominant over his team mate will either be Vettel over Raikkonen, Grosjean over Guttierez or Wehrlein over Haryanto. If I had to pick one I would go for Wehrlein over Haryanto however

    1. @bluebill77 “Remember that he hadn’t won the championship by Russia and the USA”

      He didn’t need to beat Rosberg at that point in the season, he could of come second to him and still picked up the championship.

  27. Rosberg is more hungry and with Hamilton’s eye off the ball I think he just might do it (unless there’s a new booing episode). Ricciardo will pull a podium or two out of the bag to beat Kvyat, and Hulkenberg will go for consistency to pip Perez. Sainz might beat Verstappen with consistency, but I expect his bad luck to continue. (silly I know, but some people seem to have the rub and others just don’t). Nasr’s brakes and temper will get the better of him fighting with the Manors, while Ericsson will be happy to beat him overall with steady performances and makes it.

  28. I am not saying Räikkönen will win against Vettel this year but I think he will be alot closer this year. It is just gut feeling, and a little what we saw in the tests. I think most of you underestimate him this year. ;)

  29. I don’t understand why Kimi was beaten so painful by Alonso and Vettel in previous years.. in his mclaren, lotus and first ferrari years he was so competitive and had relative strong team mates. I think that the pushrod suspension could help kimi a lot this year (they used 2014 + 2015 pullrod). he has often said that he would like to have a stabilised front suspension… so hopefully he gets his chance this year and can prove beeing a proper driver even at his career end

    1. He had back surgery before his move to Ferrari if I remember correctly. I wonder if he’s just worn out.

  30. A lot of these are who will be the biggest slam-dunk. Grosjean will destroy Guiti, no doubt. Esteban couldn’t beat a 6″ Sutil in an overweight car…

  31. Raikkonen, Rosberg, Magnussen, Alonso, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Wehrlein, Bottas, Kvyat, and Nasr.

  32. Would be quite an embarrassment for Hamilton if he couldn’t do 3 in a row in the most dominant cars in history.

    Would also instantly rank him below vettel.

    1. “if he couldn’t do 3 in a row in the most dominant cars in history”

      Because as we all know kids there is only one driver a year who gets to drive the most dominant car. What? Teamates? No they’re not a thing.

      “Would also instantly rank him below vettel”

      Maybe when Vettel wins the championship with more than one team it would :)

      1. @Martin

        When vettel has the fastest car he won every championship possible. If Lewis cannot do the same, that says a lot. (Technically he already did lose with the fastest car, 2012)

        I agree that the mark of a champion is winning with multiple teams.

        Lewis has this mark, but if he loses with the most dominant car, it counts against him.

        If 2014 counted against vettel, a theoretical loss in 2016 with the W07 will count against Lewis even worse…. Especially if it’s against rosberg LOL.

        Lewis really has the most to lose this season as far as respect goes.

        1. “Technically he already did lose with the fastest car, 2012”

          You can have the fastest car, but if it breaks down then it’s pointless. Fastest doesn’t equal best.

          “but if he loses with the most dominant car, it counts against him.”

          All signs point to the Mercedes not being the dominant car it has been the last 2 years.

          “Lewis really has the most to lose this season as far as respect goes.”

          To be honest, the guy is a 3 time word champion, most successful british driver in in terms of race wins of all time, a multiple world champion with multiple teams, 3rd on the all time winners list only below Prost and Schumi, Also 3rd on the all time pole sitters table. I don’t think he has anything to prove to the grid, the paddock or true F1 fans.

    2. @Mr. X- “Would also instantly rank him below vettel” He was always ranked below Vettel on pure raw pace.

      1. That can only be determined when they are both in the same car at the same time, until then it’s pure opinion, which in reality is meaningless.

  33. Doubtful that Kimi can beat Seb over an entire season on equal terms, but it’s always possible that he will reclaim some of his lost form from 2013 and earlier. He had a couple of moments where it shone through last year, but he just seems incapable of maintaining that high performance and impeccable consistency from his Lotus years.

  34. Its going to be another Lewis Hamilton show may be more dominant against the some silly rosberg odds.Rosberg may have won races but cannot handle Hamilton over a season Rosberg can be close only if more mechanical failure’s for Hamilton’s car like 2014 but looking at mercs reliability in pre season test it sounds like he will easily walk away with 4th world championship.
    At Ferrari vettel wil beat Raikkonen.even with the help of team orders and no 1 priority at Ferrari vettel cant take fight to Hamilton.
    In Williams Bottas will beat Massa but point tally will be close .
    Redbull Ricardo comfortably beat kyat as their reliablity is looking good as speed is still lacking.
    At McLaren Fernando Alonso will outscore button as Alonso having some good battles at midfield and may get some podiums also.
    In force India hulkemburg will win the battle.as he may register his first podium and Perez will come close to him in final tally.
    Toro roso we will seen sainz getting better of max verstappen many times it will be a close 50/50.going with verstappen.
    Lotus it will be Kevin magnussen,predicting some good strong point finishes for Kevin.
    At haas Romain grosjean more dominantly outperform gutierez.
    Sauber it will be felipe nasr
    and finally at Manor pascal wherlein has some surprises in the bag may be another future star.

  35. I love these kind of surveys…

    So far I have read Hamilton lacks focus, motivation, drove poorly at the end of last year and chokes when under pressure?

    That would seem to apply more to his team mate frankly.

    I appreciate there are Rosberg and Vettel fans here but at what point in the last two years, despite some astonishingly bad reliability and team mate tactics, did any of the above apply?

    Further, if LH had finished all of the races NR got pole in behind him, he would still have won the title handily. We quickly forget that he made not a single race ending error last year. Unlike some.

    It may be a tight year, I hope so, but the tactics Ferrari use of focusing on one lead driver will be more of a threat to Mercedes than any of LH apparent faults. That will also be NR,s major failing. Pressure from behind or possibly in front. After all he certainly did not show much mettle last year when behind until it was far too late.

    And don’t get me started on those that keep trying to tell us Saintz is a bad driver not fit to clean his team mates boots and that six race ending technical faults would have made no difference!

    1. It’ll be interesting to see how well Rosberg can start the season, that seems to have been a problem for him previously

      In their 3 seasons together Rosberg hasn’t managed to finish ahead of Hamilton before we hit the European races. Last year this gave Hamilton a good enough start that he held the championship lead for every round of 2015. If it weren’t for his engine failure in 2014 he would have done the same thing then (and I wonder how differently people would rate Rosbergs 2014/2015 title challenges if he had never, even once, led the championship in 2 years).

      To me the key for Rosberg would be a much stronger start to the season. If the first few races go the way of previous seasons then I just don’t see him winning it this year either.

      1. Appreciate your sentiments but actually NR has never beaten LH across a season since they were kids in karting…

        To the extent his father used some financial muscle to get his son out from under and as we know, into the ‘other’ feeder series which he did not win wher LH absolutely dominated the F3 series, and then into the first GP2 year and thus into Williams F1 for some ‘training’ long before LH. We know how that went. (And for the record – for those that think LH somehow had ‘thousands’ of miles testing, a year and a bit in a top F1 team is a lot better than 6 days of testing and time in a simulator all while undertaking a GP2 series and winning it)

        Now the Rosberg of today is a much much better driver, clearly being a bit of a slow burner and nothing wrong with that but on an equal year I really do not think he has a hope of besting Hamilton.

        It’s just simple – while a very very good driver, he is up against one of the very top. All with years of coming second best and to add to it, no experience of a proper four or five drivers able to win at the last round type season. One where for example you have had the second or third best car and battled for every point. Rosberg has only experienced overwhelming car superiority in his possible champ years of F1 and thus would, given his behaviour when he has such, likely fold.

        No – if Ferrari have half a car and all reliability is equal then only three drivers are in the final chase. And two of them have won their championships with either compliant and helpful teammates. (Many of the critics while commenting on LH winning by a single point in 08 kind of forget Massa moving over in Brazil for Kimi to win by… 1 point) or team mates at the end of a career that have been overwhelmed by politics changes, you name it. Such as Webber.

        That is the issue – how will Mercedes handle a year where they have to get behind a driver and work very hard on strategy? Not so good on form to date bluntly.

        1. “Appreciate your sentiments but actually NR has never beaten LH across a season since they were kids in karting…”

          I know, I never said he did :/

          1. Apologies I know you did not. Your comment seemed to indicate F1 experience together

            I was just saying why I don’t think it will happen this year but we never know.

  36. Kyvatt to beat Ricciardo which will be Ricciardos 3rd loss to a teammate in 5 years and he can no longer hold on to his one season wonder 2014, with Verstappen needing to be promoted Ricciardo will be out at RedBull. Thats my left field prediction.

  37. RaceProUK (@)
    7th March 2016, 14:47

    Mercedes: Rosberg
    Ferrari: Vettel
    Williams: Bottas
    Red Bull: Ricciardo
    Force India: Perez
    LotusRenault: Magnussen
    Toro Rosso: Verstappen
    Sauber: Nasr
    McLaren: Alonso
    Haas: Grosjean
    Manor: …does someone have a coin I can borrow?

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      8th March 2016, 12:46

      Finally decided.

      Manor: Wehrlein

  38. Went against the Establishment majority in 4 of the cases Marcus Ericsson @ Sauber, Carlos Sainz Jr @ Torro Rosso, Sergio Perez @ Force India and Jenson Button @ Mclaren. I once foolishly bet against Button in his team mate battle with Lewis…. :) I don’t want to make the same mistake this time. Both Alonso and Button have great talent and both have managed to find the bad cars during most of their career.

    But otherwise it seems to be a pretty much straight forward.

  39. At the time of my votes I have picked the more popular choice for every team. I am surprised by just how many people have gone for Bottas over Massa, 81/19 in the Finn’s favor at the time of this comment. I thought the Williams pair would be closer than that, at least 65/35 if not closer.

  40. Before i start, yes i’am from Holland. Every generation got his own icons; Senna, Schumacher, Vettel, Hamilton and i like to think that Verstappen is the Messi of this generation. Sainz is not a bad driver but that’s applies also for Massa, Coulthard, Irvine but they always were second driver in the team. In a couple of years we realise that we have seen the start of a new champion. Verstappen will beat Sainz over a whole season with ease.

  41. Mark my words: Hamilton does a three-peat with Mercedes. Let the games begin…

  42. In order of most to least decisive:

    Vettel > Kimi
    Pascal > Rossi > Rio Olympics
    K-Mag > J-Palm
    Felipinho > Marcus
    Grosjean > Esteban
    Daniel > Daniil
    The Bandit > Carlitos
    Lewis > Nico
    Checo > Hulk

  43. Here are my predictions on who will come out on top in the team mate battles in 2015.


    It looks as once again Mercedes will be the team to beat so the drivers champion may well be whoever wins this inter-team battle.

    I still believe that given equal machinery, reliability and both drivers performing to their best that Hamilton will come out on top over the course of a season but with Rosberg having some weekends when he is the faster of the two.

    However the big question is will Hamilton be fully focused and motivated for the whole season or will his party lifestyle catch up with him. If Hamilton is not on top of his game than Rosberg will finish higher than him this season.


    I don’t see any reason why Raikkonen will be more competitive in comparison to Vettel in 2016 than he was in 2015, he might beat Raikkonen now and then, but out of the top teams this will probably be the biggest gap between team mates.


    I think Bottas should finish ahead of Massa in the championship again but unless he does so more convincingly then last year he will probably lose any chance of being considered for a top drive.

    Red Bull

    Although Kvyat finished ahead of Ricciardo in last year’s standings I think that was more down to Red Bull’s reliability woes, although I was impressed by Kvyat in his first season with the team.

    I think Ricciardo should finish ahead but that Kvyat will also have another good season.

    Force India

    I think it could be close again between the two Force India drivers, but that Perez will finish ahead of Hulkenberg in the championship.


    With his prior experience Magnussen should outperform Palmer. I thought Magnussen did well in his debut season with McLaren and it was only because McLaren signed two former World Champions for 2015 that he was dropped, so I expect him to have a good season this year.

    Toro Rosso

    Although it is always hard to judge from pre-season testing it seems that Toro Rosso could spring a few surprises this year. In most other years I think Sainz’s debut season would have got a lot more praise but is was just that his team mate was Verstappen who lived up to the hype and had one of the most impressive starts in F1.

    Verstappen should again finish ahead of Sainz in the championship this year.


    I think that Nasr will again beat his team mate Ericcson this season.


    This season should be better than last year for McLaren but that isn’t saying much considering how 2015 went.

    I think that Alonso should finish ahead of Button in the championship but it should be close.


    Considering their routes to F1 and how much each driver is rated if Wehrlein doesn’t convincingly outperform Haryanto this year it will be a big surprise.


    In my opinion Haas went about entering F1 the right way in starting work on the project over a year before they are due to race and using as much Ferrari tech as possible should also help then considerably, the main worry apart from normal first season problems will be how they cope with having their headquarters in America and a second base in the UK.

    Unless it was a big manufacture coming in to the sport you would normally expect a new team to be at the back the whole season however I don’t think anyone would be surprised if that was not the case with Haas, but to score points would probably still require a big slice of luck.

    As for their drivers, Grosjean should come out on top against Gutierrz.

    When you get further down the grid it becomes easier for a driver’s final championship position to be decided by one abnormal result, for example in a race with lots of retirements a driver may manage to finish significantly higher than usual and that one result means he is higher in the championship than his team mate who had reliability problems but had outperformed his team mate all season.

    Because of this I wouldn’t be surprised if at the end of the season a driver may finish higher in the championship than his team mate even if it is generally agreed that he is not ther better of the two.

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