2016 Monaco Grand Prix driver ratings

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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Which teams’ drivers got full marks for their performance in the Monaco Grand Prix? Here are the ratings for every driver.


Hamilton jumped ahead of Ricciardo and stayed there
Lewis Hamilton – “My final attempt was what should have been my banker lap,” said Hamilton after missing his first run in Q3 due to a fuel pressure problem and qualifying behind Rosberg. He was clearly furious after his third technical problem during qualifying in the last four races. When Rosberg waved him by on lap 15 he was 14 seconds behind Ricciardo, a deficit he trimmed by just over a second in the course of the next six laps. What really brought him back into contention was staying off the intermediate tyres, saving a visit to the pits, which put him in position to benefit from Ricciardo’s slow stop and take the win.

Nico Rosberg – Also had a fuel pressure problem during qualifying but was held in the pits and managed to get two runs in. That allowed to to grab second on the grid behind Ricciardo, but as the Red Bull disappeared up the road it was clear Rosberg was holding Hamilton up. Rosberg was at a loss to explain his lack of speed – “possibly a brake issue” – but said he had no qualms with the “simple decision” to let Hamilton by, in spite of the damage it did to his points lead. He slipped behind Alonso in the pits and was mugged by Hulkenberg in the last-lap drizzle. He took the flag a minute and a half behind his team mate and never looked like someone who had won this race three times before.


Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari’s mystery loss of grip in qualifying continues to plague them. Vettel was specially unhappy having run strongly in final practice. In the race he made a bold early move off wet weather tyres but his reward was to be stuck behind Massa’s slow Williams. That ended his podium hopes, but while he blamed himself for being unable to find a way past he was trying to do the near-impossible.

A mistake at the Fairmont hairpin ended Raikkonen’s race
Kimi Raikkonen – There’s nowhere worse to have a gearbox change penalty than Monaco so it was tough for Raikkonen to have to start 11th having been within two-tenths of Vettel. However his departure from the race was entirely his own fault and he was fortunate not to be penalised after dragging his battered Ferrari through the tunnel with its front wing hanging off.


Felipe Massa – His Thursday crash was a rookie mistake. After being shaded by Bottas in qualifying, Massa took advantage of his team mate getting stuck behind Wehrlein to move ahead and ran a long stint at the end to nab the final point.

Valtteri Bottas – Neither Williams driver made it into Q3, but a top ten start and Kvyat’s early problem made points a possibility for Bottas. However an early stop for intermediates dropped him behind Wehrlein, and by cutting the chicane as he passed the Manor Bottas left himself needing to let Wehrlein through along with Verstappen, who had just made a pass of his own. By the time the Manor had pitted Bottas had lost three places, and though a last-lap pass on Gutierrez restored him to 11th he was given a ten-second penalty for tangling with the Haas driver and moved back down the order.

Red Bull

Ricciardo tried everyhing to regain his lost lead
Daniel Ricciardo – Signalled Red Bull’s potential on Thursday, demonstrated it on Saturday with the first pole position of his career, and led masterfully in the wet conditions on Sunday. But for the second race in a row a win got away from him and the blame lay back in the pits – this time with his crew who failed to get his tyres out on time for his final pit stop. On his in-lap Ricciardo had been over two seconds quicker than Hamilton in the middle sector so this was a clear victory opportunity blown.

Max Verstappen – Arrived in Monaco making all the right noises about staying out of the barriers but didn’t come good on that aim. By the chequered flag he’d made three trips to the wall, one of which condemned him to dropping out of the running in Q1 and another putting him out of the race. Prior to that he’d made some great passes and was flying after his switch to intermediates. But his Red Bull career now reads: one excellent weekend, one miserable one.

Force India

Perez took Force India back to the podium
Nico Hulkenberg – Qualified an excellent fifth, pipping Raikkonen by six-thousandths of a second and beating both Toro Rossos. But like Vettel he fell into the ‘Massa trap’ during the first stint and the time lost allowed Perez to get ahead. He showed tremendous opportunism on the final lap, however, demoting Rosberg for sixth place. Even so it’s hard to disagree with his assessment that the race was a “a huge missed opportunity” and the early pit stop “ruined my race”.

Sergio Perez – Backed up Hulkenberg’s qualifying effort with a time less than two-tenths slower than his team mate’s. His race strategy was pin-sharp, jumping ahead of Vettel and Hulkenberg at the first round of stops and getting on to slick tyres a lap before most of the front runners to get into a podium position. He duly delivered an excellent third place for the team.

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Both Renault drivers did quite a bit of this
Kevin Magnussen – The winner of the Jean Alesi award for being the first driver to get rid of the wet weather tyres: Magnussen was in as soon as the Safety Car period ended. He clipped the barrier at Tabac which the lapped Kvyat took as an invitation to launch down the inside at Rascasse, causing contact. Magnussen hit the barriers again later and retired in the pits.

Jolyon Palmer – Tabac, Swimming Pool, Sainte-Devote: The three scenes of Palmer’s crashes during a bruising first weekend as an F1 driver in Monaco. His pace was not too bad, giving away three-tenths of a second to Magnussen in Q1. His race-ending crash began when he spun his wheels in fifth gear while going over a pedestrian crossing in front of the pits.

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat – Was disappointed with his Q3 run which was almost half a second off his time from Q2 and a similar margin down on his team mate’s effort. An electrical problem dropped him off the lead lap but he got too ambitious trying to un-lap himself from Magnussen, earning himself a grid penalty for the next race.

Out of luck at the start, Kvyat then hit Magnussen
Carlos Sainz Jnr – Got his Toro Rosso onto the third row of the grid and brought it home eighth but said he was disappointed to have lost places at both his pit stops. Sainz was among the last to switch to intermediates and was back in for wets just ten laps later. Described racing around Monaco in the wet as “the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life” but copes with it better than most.


Marcus Ericsson – Missed the cut for Q2 by a mere four-hundredths of a second. In the race he made an early change to slick tyres and struggled for pace at first which allowed Nasr ahead of him. Nasr appeared to go through the same phase and was quickly caught by Ericsson. The team ordered Nasr to let Ericsson past but he refused. Ericsson then took matters into his own hands but a clumsy passing attempt at Rascasse put both Saubers out.

Felipe Nasr – Having been unable to set a time in qualifying due to an engine failure, Nasr got onto his team mate’s tail during the second stint and moved ahead by waiting longer to switch to slick tyres. The pair were running close together but closing on Wehrlein and Grosjean, which explains Nasr’s unwillingness to let his team mate past. He was then turfed off at Rascasse by Ericsson.


McLaren beat a Mercedes thanks to Alonso
Fernando Alonso – Snuck his McLaren into Q3 but didn’t follow his team mate’s early switch to intermediate tyres in the race, the result being he maintained position through the first round of stops. The second pit stop played into his hands beautifully as it jumped him in front of Rosberg an Hulkenberg. He weather pressure from the Mercedes driver for the rest of the race and saw him off, holding on for an excellent fifth.

Jenson Button – Two-tenths down on Alonso in Q2, Button started 13th. Despite struggling with constant rear locking he made a typically gutsy early switch to intermediates but was thwarted by Wehrlein running long on wets. He made the switch to slicks early as well and that lifted him ahead of Gutierrez and up to ninth at the flag.


Pascal Wehrlein – The only driver besides Hamilton to avoid running on intermediates, Wehrlein played himself into a potentially strong position. He was partly undone by Bottas passing him illegally off the track and holding him up which allowed Verstappen by. However more of the damage was self-inflicted, with ten-second penalties for speeding during a Virtual Safety Car period and failing to obey blue flags.

Wehrlein used Hamilton’s strategy
Rio Haryanto – Used his Monaco experience to beat Wehrlein in qualifying but after an early switch to intermediates it took him a while to start lapping quicker than his team mate who stayed on wets. Wehrlein generally showed better pace in the race but Haryanto stayed out of trouble.


Romain Grosjean – Was beaten in qualifying by Gutierrez for the first time and blamed the Mercedes for holding him up in qualifying while he was trying to get heat into his tyres. His race was ruined when Raikkonen, who had just hit the barrier at the Fairmont hairpin, pushed him wide. That left him stuck behind Wehrlein, though the Manor driver’s penalties meant Grosjean was classified ahead.

Esteban Gutierrez – Achieved his best starting position of the year so far with 12th but wasn’t able to use that as a springboard to a points finish. The timings of both his pit stops were on the conservative side which put him at a disadvantage, and he was passed on-track by both Williams drivers.

Over to you

Who was your top driver during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend? Cast your vote here:

2016 Monaco 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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43 comments on “2016 Monaco Grand Prix driver ratings”

  1. I would give Max a 3 he did overtake the most drivers that race but would be a 4-5 if he stayed on the dry line.

    1. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
      30th May 2016, 16:30

      To be honest, I would give Max a 1 because he crashed out in practice, qualifying and the race. Is that a record?

      1. But Keith scores is what i would give the drivers, but i rate the drivers for the entertainment they generate.
        Maybe for the youngest but of the amount if my old memory remember i think Massa (or was it Rubens) who did the same.

        1. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
          30th May 2016, 18:01

          In my opinion, it is not about the entertainment. It is about what performance they deliver. The fact is, Verstappen delivered a great performance in Spain and it was worthy of a 5, but he delivered a Maldonado-esque performance in Monaco, and this is not worthy of anything more than a 1.

          1. Your right performance should be the prime, I said entertainment when my friends and me watching the races they are really boring (even Spain was boring for us and i am Dutch)
            The rain is something we (my friends and me) love because the real racing starts.

          2. Captain Sorbet
            31st May 2016, 19:10

            A Maldonado performance in Monaco, also a Maldonado performance in Spain last time. Let’s hope he is more of a Spain Maldonado than the every other race Maldonado!

      2. l agree Uzair Max was a train wreck

    2. Mutton a 4 !!!!!! you can’t be serious Keith?

      1. Why not?

  2. Agree to the overall, that Perez and Hulkenberg deserved a 5.
    Alonso also great driving, getting 5.
    Ricciardo just after, though not of his own fault, he should have won to get the 5 as the car was there, both quali and race.
    A bit harsh me thinks to drop Magnussen to 2, (same as Kvyat). It was not Magnussen who caused himself to clip the Tabac barrier or hit the barriers again later. It was Kvyat who bumped him. Not once, but twice in a row, last plowing both himself and Magnussen into the barrier to a full stop at the Rascasse. As the judgement by FIA also confirmed in writing earlier today…

  3. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
    30th May 2016, 16:44

    I like this feature very much Keith! :) I’ll give it a try:

    Hamilton – 5/5
    Rosberg – 2/5

    Vettel – 3/5
    Raikkonen – 2/5

    Massa – 3/5
    Bottas – 2/5

    Red Bull
    Ricciardo – 5/5
    Verstappen – 1/5

    Force India
    Perez – 5/5
    Hulkenberg – 4/5

    Alonso – 5/5
    Button – 3/5

    Grosjean – 2/5
    Gutierrez – 2/5

    Magnussen – 1/5
    Palmer – 1/5

    Ericsson – 1/5
    Nasr – 1/5

    Toro Rosso
    Sainz – 4/5
    Kvyat – 1/5

    Wehrlein – 3/5
    Haryanto – 2/5

    1. This chap’s got it right in my opinion. :)

      1. Nick Bailey
        30th May 2016, 17:13

        Yeah, these are great. The only one of these I might change is Kimi who I’d demote to 1.
        After hitting the barrier he proceeded to park in front of Grosjean then speed through the tunnel with his front wing hanging off. If he had left his wing in the tunnel and the next driver coming through had run over it at 180mph I hate to think what would have happened.
        But anyway, great scores here.

      2. Both SFI deserve a 5, it was strategy that separated them. Massa was very slow and Bottas didn’t behave 100%, I’d give them the same score, 2. Both Renault’s were clumsy but Palmer was dreadful, Pal 1 and Mag 2. Vettel was on the edge 4, and Kimi 2. Ham made a questionable move on the chicane, so 4. The Manors, both had the same pace but Wehrlein is a little childish, he was an enormous nuisance for the leaders hence he finishing so much better than Haryanto for that I would give him both a 3.

        1. Magnussen advanced early in the race and would have got top 10 spot if it hadn’t been for kvyat.

        2. “Massa was very slow”? Why?

          Massa wasn’t slow, he was just 1 tenth slower than Bottas in the qualifying; and had the overall quickest time on the inter, matched Alonso’s pace on the dry, overtook GUT on the track, which Bottas couldn’t do cleanly.
          You might see some slow laps from Massa, but that’s because of the blue flags.

        3. Massa finished only 3 seconds behind Button who had the same amount of blue flags, but he was 17s behind JB after he overtook Gutierrez. Massa also finished nearly 60 seconds ahead of his teammate.
          So where did you get the impression that he was very slow?

          1. Julis Worry
            31st May 2016, 5:12

            Right on point!! That was exactly what I was going to say… These guys from the UK media clearly don’t like Massa, it happens the same on S K Y sports, it doesn’t matter how good he races, he always gets a 6.5 score (JB who was slow as f the whole race got a 7). He was just overpaced by the top 4, he was faster than most of the top 10 for a long time on the dry, faster than Bottas, who was on ultrasofts (Massa on super), overtook Gutierrez on track, chased JB and took a 17sec dif. to 3, scored the fastest time of the race when everyone was on inter.. So of course the description comes from someone who only watches the race on TV and only pay attention to the frontrunners, who doesn’t check the laptimes on the livetiming and after the race. Your answer was right on point.

        4. Button and Massa should have the same score for me.

    2. Mark (@melmgreen)
      30th May 2016, 18:25

      Why magnussen 1??

    3. That’s much better indeed.

      Although I don’t see why Verstappen gets a 1 and Raikkonen 2. At least Verstappen showed some overtaking.

  4. If I was giving Ham a 4 I’d be giving Rosberg a 2. He was hopeless.

    1. Nick Bailey
      30th May 2016, 17:16

      Yeah, there is no way their scores should be a point apart.
      Although kudos to Nico for letting Lewis past. Probably 8 laps later than he should have done but if the positions were reversed I can’t see Lewis being so nice.

    2. Agree bobby Nico had a shocker for the car he was driving l would give a 1

  5. Sauber and Renault are behind on their driver line-ups. It’s just not good enough, if they want to go forward.

    Force India is so much stronger in that regard. Perez is performing great this season, and Hulkenberg too when he doesn’t get into trouble. Toro Rosso is strong as well, at least with Sainz. Kvyat needs to reset his mind-set.

    1. Kevin have more points than jenson button in a mclaren, so renault needs to change palmer. They can earn more points and sponsor-money without palmer. But they should keep kevin magnussen.

  6. Just a thought about Rosberg’s overall performance: Qualifying was rather strong. But on race day, it all went horribly wrong. He’s obviously clueless as to what held him back in the race, and it might’ve been a very minor setting that prevented him from getting anywhere near enough temperature into his tyres. He did look like a hobby racer in the first few laps, but I can only imagine it must’ve felt horrible inside the cockpit. Monaco is already pretty scary in the dry with those twitchy torque monsters, and I believe it must be horrifying to find yourself in the wet in Monaco with tyres that just won’t switch on, giving you the feeling you’re driving on black ice, with the walls coming way to close in every single corner. And it became even worse from there, with his botched pit stop that couldn’t have gone much wronger, and again a nightmarish final lap in the drizzle on stone cold tyres with the ultimate humiliation of Hülkenberg simply driving past him on the pit straight.

    P7, 19 points lost, only just escaped being lapped by his team mate.
    Yet, under those depressing circumstances, he showed great sportsmanship. Giving way to Lewis was an extremely mature decision when he could’ve tried to cling to his 2nd place. He might’ve been able to salvage 18 points by blocking Hamilton lap after lap and getting the first call on new tyres. It would’ve been borderline ridiculous, but the sky’s the limit if you have track position in Monaco.
    But no. He did it for the team, without a hint of bitterness. He voluntarily gave Hamilton the opportunity to take away as many points as possible from his lead, and he still showed no signs of resentment after the flag dropped and his defeat had become crushing. Instead, he gave very level-headed, fact-orientated interviews. And all that just two weeks after crashing out with Hamilton, after which all the motor sports journos on the world seemed to write about how much they must hate each other. Well, they were wrong.
    Nico’s attitude is exactly what I want to see from a racing driver. Not keeping his eyes solely on his own advantage and behaving like a borderline psychopath as soon as the opportunity arises. Not going to mention any names, but yeah, we’ve had quite the opposite as well.

    In fact, it wasn’t a huge thing. It was just a small gesture under very difficult circumstances. But it warmed my heart.

    1. This is ridiculous. He’s out of contract, massively slow and his bosses are watching. What options does he have for making a good impression? How does he behave when he’s not under those constraints?

  7. 4 for Button, He was okay 3, just because he didn’t make a silly mistake or a crash earns him anything, especially considering how other drivers got 3 for their rather valiant efforts. Button was slow and unimpressive.

  8. Bad ratings, let me fix it for you, i don’t think you watched the race or understand the teams.. Sorry but bad ratings you’ve got there.

    Hamilton – 5/5
    Rosberg – 1/5

    Vettel – 3/5
    Raikkonen – 2/5

    Massa – 2/5
    Bottas – 2/5

    Red Bull
    Ricciardo – 5/5
    Verstappen – 1/5

    Force India
    Perez – 5/5
    Hulkenberg – 4/5

    Alonso – 5/5
    Button – 3/5

    Grosjean – 1/5
    Gutierrez – 2/5

    Magnussen – 5/5
    Palmer – 1/5

    Ericsson – 2/5
    Nasr – 2/5

    Toro Rosso
    Sainz – 4/5
    Kvyat – 1/5

    Wehrlein – 4/5
    Haryanto – 2/5

  9. 3 for Rosberg seems extremely generous given his dreadful pace during the race.

  10. ….and the characteristics you rightly praise are unfortunately why Nico is unlikely to ever be a WDC.

    1. @nase. Lost the context there!

  11. Michal (@michal2009b)
    30th May 2016, 20:00

    I generally agree with the ratings, looks like another great feature on this site! However I would give Rosberg a 2, because he was very slow in the race. Only a one-score difference between the two Merc boys is not very fair IMO. Also I am not sure about the grades for the FI, Perez was outqualified by Sainz so definitely a 5 for the race but not necessarily for the weekend. Button’s rating looks too high as well, he was nowhere near Alonso. I doubt JB have done a better job than Massa.

  12. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    30th May 2016, 22:39

    Rosberg was practically lapped by his teammate in the race and looked slower in qualifying (though benefited from Hamilton’s technical problems in Q3). I’d give him a 1, given that the Mercedes pair looked possibly the most mismatched of all the teams on Sunday.

  13. Rosberg 2, otherwise I would agree with these. Shame Alonso won’t be on the dotw podium. He should be.

  14. I agree with most scores Keith. Maybe you scored Kimi a little highly. 2 is very generous for a guy of his experience binning it so early. I’m probably around the zero mark for that performance. Same comments regarding the next big thing. I saw nothing worthy of a 2 all weekend. Anyone can drive in the dry.
    Good feature Keith. Thanks.

  15. “The pair (Nasr and Ericsson) were running close together but closing on Wehrlein and Grosjean, which explains Nasr’s unwillingness to let his team mate past.”
    That’s not really true. Ericsson had caught Nasr at lap 39, while Nasr only started to catch Wehrlein after lap 41. Prior to that, Ericsson was some 5 (!) seconds per lap faster.

  16. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    31st May 2016, 10:22

    Some thoughts on a stellar weekend of driving performances: https://opinionatedmotorsportfan.com/2016/05/31/driver-of-the-week-daniel-ricciardo/

  17. Too nice to Rosberg. And that brake problem quote is a bit disingenious I might say. There was no confirmed brake problem, but it was obvious it was a setup related problem which Hamilton managed to work around. It appeared again Hamilton’s outlap, where he was almost 7 seconds a lap slower than Ricciardo, but yet again Hamilton managed to work around it with a great defense. I give HAM a 5 because he did the maximum of what his car was capable of.

  18. Disagree with Rosberg and Magnussen. Rosberg’s pace in the conditions was horrendous. He was slower than Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Vettel, Perez and Sainz. And then starting dropping back from Alonso at the end. His quali was solid, but not stellar. Would give him a 2.

    Magnussen was punted into the barriers by Kvyat, and that collision caused damage to his floor which was a very big factor in his crash Mirabeau. Made it into Q2, which was the best he could hope for – and wasn’t anywhere near as embarrassing as Palmer. Would give him a 3.

    Other than that, I agree.

  19. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    31st May 2016, 15:39

    I would rate all drivers:
    * Hamilton 5/5 – Guess who’s back?
    * Rosberg 1/5 – Performed too poor.
    * Vettel 3/5 – His race just became trash after a trash qualifying.
    * Räikkönen 2/5 – Made his former teammate Romain Grosjean angry.
    * Massa 3/5
    * Bottas 2/5
    * Ricciardo 5/5 – I absolutely hoped for Ricciardo to win the Monaco GP, but a bad pitstop, near-collision with Hamilton, angry team radio and falling off the pace in the last few laps was a total blow.
    * Verstappen 2/5 – Argh Bleep!
    * Hülkenberg 5/5 – Great drive from that guy.
    * Pérez 5/5 – He’s still good as his “beast” 2015 season.
    * Kevin Magnussen 1/5 – His team radio was deemed to be 100% angry on the Kvyat collision.
    * Jolyon Palmer 1/5 – Crap weekend this driver had.
    * Daniil Kvyat 1/5 – Made Vettel angry previously in Russia, and now made Magnussen angry. His reputation just gone from bad to worse.
    * Carlos Sainz 4/5
    * Marcus Ericsson 1/5
    * Felipe Nasr 1/5
    * Fernando Alonso 5/5 – At first, I thought Nico Rosberg would have an advantage against Alonso’s McLaren, but later it was “all denied” in the end.
    * Jenson Button 5/5 – Not bad for him, but his race was something that I would say “no problem” to.
    * Pascal Wehrlein 2/5
    * Rio Haryanto 3/5
    * Romain Grosjean 1/5 – Next up we will have a compilation of Romain Grosjean’s angry team radios.
    * Esteban Gutiérrez 3/5

  20. Sergio Perez what a fantastic job. best strategy of the race and great work keeping Vet at bay.

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