2016 Canadian Grand Prix driver ratings

2016 Canadian Grand Prix

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Did anyone manage a perfect weekend in Canada? Here’s F1 Fanatic’s verdict on the drivers.


Lewis Hamilton – Having been comfortably quickest on Friday Hamilton looked less assured on Saturday and admitted his fifth pole in Canada was not one of his finest laps. He made another indifferent start, losing out to Vettel, and kept Rosberg behind firmly but legally. When Ferrari let victory slip through their fingers Hamilton was perfectly placed to collect it.

Nico Rosberg – Well off Hamilton’s pace on Friday (with, curiously, a much higher top speed), but after scrutinising his team mate’s data Rosberg ran him close for most of qualifying until he got too greedy in the turn one braking zone on his final run. He left himself vulnerable to Hamilton at the start and should have expected his team mate to give him as little room as he did two years ago. After that his progress was hampered by a puncture and a penultimate-lap spin while trying to pass Verstappen.


Vettel’s early pit stop put him back in traffic
Sebastian Vettel – Having been quickest in the disrupted Saturday morning practice session he produced a surprise with his second run in Q3, finding half a second to get within two-tenths of the Mercedes. Vettel then made a blistering start to take the lead, though he nearly lost it when he slipped up at the end of the first lap. Ferrari’s decision to pit him under the Virtual Safety Car cost him the win, and though he made a couple of further errors it had no effect on his eventual position.

Kimi Raikkonen – Spent Friday chasing a balance but couldn’t find one and was a long way off Vettel’s pace in qualifying, complaining about understeer in turn ten. In the race he continued to struggle with tyre temperature. He was further compromised by Ferrari’s pit strategy, though that didn’t account for the majority of his huge deficit to Vettel.


Bottas gave Williams their first podium of 2016
Felipe Massa – Crashed in the first practice session because of a fault with the DRS on a new-specification rear wing, which left him unable to run some new parts. Nonetheless he qualified close to his team mate. He slipped back from Bottas in the first stint and was given the opportunity to pit first, but he still dropped behind Rosberg. Soon after Massa’s car began to overheat, ending his race.

Valtteri Bottas – A Montreal specialist, Bottas was happy with his car from the word go and put it seventh in the grid. He had great pace at the end of his ultra-soft tyre stint and was closing on the Red Bulls, which he eventually got in front of by pulling off a one-stop strategy, something few others managed.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo – After Friday he said he’d be content to get within half a second of Mercedes in qualifying. He managed that with another superb lap. At the start he left Verstappen plenty of room at turn one but paid the price as they came out of the second corner and found Rosberg’s car in front of them. His first pit stop dropped him behind Raikkonen, compromising his strategy, and a lock-up meant he had to make an early second pit stop.

Verstappen resisted fierce pressure from Rosberg
Max Verstappen – Beaten by Ricciardo in qualifying but got ahead of him at the start. He managed his pace at first, then got a hurry-up from the Red Bull pit wall. Like his team mate he couldn’t stretch his first stint out long enough to one-stop. However his defensive driving against Rosberg in the final laps was superb and made the difference between fourth and fifth place.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg – After a solid Friday he snatched a place in the top ten shoot-out. He dived past Rosberg on lap one but was unable to keep the Mercedes behind for the rest of the stint. However a trouble-free run in which tyre management was an ever-present preoccupation delivered points for eighth.

Sergio Perez – Took ‘new tyre pole’ after being edged out of Q3 by his team mate. He tried to make an alternative strategy work, starting on the soft tyres, but found it difficult to warm them up and ended up stuck behind the McLarens. He also got away slowly from his second pit stop and fell behind Kvyat, but passed him to take the final point.

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Kevin Magnussen – Hampered by a gearbox problem on Friday then crashed heavily in Saturday practice which kept him out of qualifying. Having started last in a newly-built chassis he tangled with Nasr on the first lap. Starting on the soft tyres, Magnussen found it hard to generate heat in them and was passed by Haryanto on lap seven. However he stuck to the strategy and one-stopping moved him up to 16th.

Jolyon Palmer – Some way off Magnussen’s pace on Friday at a track where he didn’t run during practice last year, but came close to reaching Q2 as Renault’s sole representative in qualifying. He used ultra-softs at the start but also found tyre warm-up difficult and was overtaken by Ericsson. His race was ended by a water pressure problem.

Toro Rosso

Sainz bounced back from qualifying crash
Daniil Kvyat – Ran ahead of his team mate at the start of the race and used a similar strategy but never managed to get out of traffic. Described his race as “boring” after spending much of it stuck behind other cars.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – Of the two Toro Rosso drivers Sainz looked more likely to get into Q3 until he hit the wall. However from 20th on the grid he made up four places at the start and a well-timed first stop put him in contention for points. He built up enough of a gap before his final stop to make it without losing position, claiming a fine ninth.


Marcus Ericsson – Said he was “not fully satisfied” with the car after Friday practice and although he out-qualified his team mate his penalty from Monaco left him at the back of the field. Almost had the pace to get in front of Grosjean in the second half of the race but narrowly fell short.

Felipe Nasr – Like his team mate he missed some running in first practice due to technical trouble, but there was no explanation for why he ended up a second off Ericsson in qualifying. In the race he was tipped into a spin at the start but having finished the first lap six seconds behind his team mate he lost over half a minute by the chequered flag.


Fernando Alonso – Said he might be better off if he missed a place in Q3 and started 11th with a free tyre choice. However thanks to a tow from his team mate he did get a place in the top ten. He couldn’t produce the same in the race, but after a radio request for a late pit “stop” he at least entertained himself by passing Kvyat.

Jenson Button – Power unit problems in qualifying left him without the latest hardware in the race. His old unit then packed up, making this a wasted weekend.


Wehrlein almost reached Q2
Pascal Wehrlein – Both Manor drivers had some familiarisation to do in their first event at Montreal. But Wehrlein looked least in need of it, particularly after a brilliant first run in Q1 which put him in contention for a Q2 place, which he eventually missed by just 0.15s. He held onto his place at the start but floor damage compromised his car’s performance and he lost a place to Ericsson. However he beat the delayed Nasr to the flag.

Rio Haryanto – Much more ragged than his team mate during qualifying and eventually crashed at turn four. In the race he finished almost three-quarters of a minute behind but a slow pit stop and endless blue flags explained part of the deficit.


Romain Grosjean – Continues to be puzzled by the problems Haas are having with their tyres and lined up behind his team mate for the second race running. He went off at one point during the race and suffered another broken front wing on his way to 14th.

Esteban Gutierrez – Did a solid job in qualifying to take 13th on the grid which was where he finished after an uneventful race.

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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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24 comments on “2016 Canadian Grand Prix driver ratings”

  1. ”Having started last in a newly-built chassis” – Wrong, they didn’t change the monocoque/survival cell (aka chassis) of his (Magnussen) car. Had they done that he would have started the race from the pit exit, but he started the race from the grid like everyone else, and furthermore: had this happened it would have been confirmed on the FIA website.

  2. Yes it was a newly built chassis. It was Palmers from the last race… 🤗

    1. Like I stated above: they didn’t change it. Here’s a link to the website where you can read the technical reports and the stewards decision regarding Magnussen which don’t mention anything about a change of survival cell (aka chassis).

      1. ”decisions”

      2. Yes, it was changed: Fri/Sat chassis 04, Sun chassis 01.
        The chassis change was made prior to qualifying (the crashed car was never under parc ferme rules), so the conditions of sporting reg 23.2 do not apply.

  3. My rankings:

    Hamilton – 5/5
    Rosberg – 3/5

    Vettel – 4/5
    Raikkonen – 2/5

    Bottas – 5/5
    Massa – 3/5

    Red Bull:
    Ricciardo – 3/5
    Verstappen – 4/5

    Force India:
    Hulkenberg – 4/5
    Perez – 3/5

    Magnussen – 2/5
    Palmer – 2/5

    Toro Rosso:
    Sainz – 4/5
    Kvyat – 2/5

    Ericsson – 2/5
    Nasr – 2/5

    Alonso – 4/5
    Button – 3/5

    Wehrlein – 3/5
    Haryanto – 1/5

    Grosjean – 2/5
    Gutierrez – 2/5

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      13th June 2016, 20:18

      @ultimateuzair, thanks for your ratings.
      However, rather than just giving us a long list of names/numbers it would be more interesting to see where you differ from Keith and especially why.
      I don’t understand why you ‘upped’ the 2 Merc drivers; this is a driver ranking in the end and not ‘total package’ ranking. Hamilton’s weekend was not from flawless. And I’d stick Rosberg in ‘below average’ (=2) due to his Q mistake, poor first corner/lap, and inability to overtake the RBR (he should have learned what Verstappen’s trick was on his 2nd attempt).
      I stopped after that, as I have no idea what your rational is for the ranking.

      1. @coldfly
        Hamilton – He was very clean, made no mistakes apart from the slightly sluggish start. Took the pole and win. Good tyre management on his second stint too. I can’t give him anything lower than a 5.

        Rosberg – Did a better job than Monaco (where I gave him a 2), but was still poor as he made a mistake in qualifying as you pointed out, made a very poor start in the race and was also struggling to overtake Verstappen and nearly took him out in the process with the spin. However he was unfortunate with the puncture and was driving well after his pit stop until he caught up to Verstappen.

        Vettel – He put in a superb qualifying lap which was instantly worthy of a 5 and made a flying start to the race, but after that he was a bit scrappy in the race, locking up several times and also cutting the final chicane three times, two of them costed him the race win so that’s -1 point.

        Raikkonen – ….yeah.

        Bottas – Got the absolute maximum out of the car and did not make a mistake. He delivered a great podium for Williams after a long time. Cannot fault him.

        Massa – He was very unlucky this weekend with the DRS failure in FP1 and the retirement from the race, but a forgettable drive from him this weekend.

        Ricciardo – Pretty good performance from him in qualifying, but for some reason he was not able to capitalise on that in the race. Being stuck behind Raikkonen didn’t help either.

        Verstappen – Not brilliant in qualifying, but he made up for it in the race with decent and consistent pace and his great defence from the much faster Rosberg in the end.

        Hulkenberg – Very solid performance from him. Had the measure of Perez all weekend. Good effort from him to get into Q3 too.

        Perez – Not much to say about Perez. An average performance with no mistakes, but nothing special either. An average 3 for him.

        Magnussen – He crashed.

        Palmer – He was slow.

        Sainz – He was the only one to hit the wall of champions in qualifying, but he did a very good job in the race climbing up from 20th to 9th. My driver of the race.

        Kvyat – A forgettable race for him. Starting ahead of his teammate yet somehow finishing behind him is not what you want to be doing, especially if you are a Red Bull/Toro Rosso driver.

        Ericsson – I didn’t see much of him, but he wasn’t really involved in the action.

        Nasr – Was not as good as Ericsson but the same applies for him.

        Alonso – Great effort from him to get into Q3, but unfortunately his car was not fast enough in the race and narrowly missed out on points in the end.

        Button – Got outqualified by Alonso, but was doing a decent job in the race until his engine decided to become a barbecue.

        Wehrlein – Decent performance from him. Almost got into Q2 in the slowest car in the grid and utterly humiliated His teammate. That’s not really a hard thing to do though.

        Haryanto – Without doubt the worst driver of the weekend. Crashing out in qualifying and finishing last in the race AGAIN.

        Grosjean – He has been underperforming in the past few races and Gutierrez is matching him. Pretty disappointing.

        Gutierrez – Outqualified and finished ahead of his teammate but could not really attack the faster cars ahead.

        1. Grosjean was past Esteban and en route to the points when his front wing broke alone. Again. Not a bad drive and certainly not a two.

        2. Verstappen3355
          14th June 2016, 16:32

          2/5 for Ericsson? He deserved atleast a 4/5, getting that Sauber a 15th place starting almost last, outqualifying Nasr with 1 second, arguably the worst car on the grid in Canada. Still finished before the Manors, Magnussen, 33 seconds before Nasr and almost caught the Haas cars at the end. People tend to overlook drivers in uncompetitive cars that’s not fair at all.

  4. How could Hamilton get the same grade as Vettel when Hamilton was clearly better(no off track excursions)?

    Hamilton’s start was bad but it was the same as Rosberg’s and that was because of the car not the driver.

    1. Vettel was forced to push to the limit due to poor team strategy giving away his advantage so small mistakes more likely.

      1. Always excuses for the fraud time world chump, Vettel makes far too many mistakes to be taken seriously, good driver but not one of the greats, plus he is too scared to race anyone next to him in the same car.

        1. 4 time champion says he is the greatest of the drivers on he grid at the moment. He won in a Torro Rosso no other driver has before or after. He is top level alongside Hamilton. Verstappen has the potential to be better than them all beating his teammate for the 2nd time in 3 races this time with no excuses from The Grin.

    2. I can…. Look Hamilton dominated 2/3rd of the grand prix that is for sure and was the deserved winner. But Qualifying, well he should have been better. Yes, he got pole, but it was hardly a lap that demanded us to sit up and watch. He did just enough in the best car and others fell around him. I kind of feel like Rosberg could have beaten him, so it was not domination, just a decent lap.
      In the race, he was beaten in the first corner. Ferrari decided not to try and win the race as seems to be their way over the last decade, so Hammy was left out front to use the superior Merc to win. Look, he deserved to win more than anyone else at Canada. He also gets my vote for Driver of the Weekend. But it is a weekend of doing just enough in the best car rather than one of domination. It’s a weekend of no dominant performance by anyone. Therefore the results are correct.

      1. WillOfTheSupremo
        14th June 2016, 21:28

        “Decided NOT to try and win the race..last decade”

        Savage. I loved it. It’s not even failure any more. It’s incompetence. Heads need to roll-again. Looks like Ferrari are doomed to stay 2nd best-at best for the next 2-3 years at least.

        Have fun.

  5. I can’t see how Hamilton who was almost flawless throughout the weekend get the same score as a man who clattered his car into the wall of champions, and another man who had a number of off-track excursions?

    1. exactly correct

  6. I hope this is the last year of Kimi in Ferrari. He was a great driver and a good champion. But it is time of young people now. Bottas, Ricciardo, Grosjean or even Sainz are what Ferrari needs, I think.
    But Ferrari boss thinks other way, perhaps.

    1. What a lot of people are forgetting is the Ferrari team want to develop. They have a world class driver in Vettel and they also have someone who used to be fast, but still has all the experience and knowledge to go with him in kimi. If they bring in a young fast driver they lose that experience and potentially cause balance upset within the team.

      1. I think it’s quite a misconception that a driver with 2-3 years experience in Formula 1 cannot help Ferrari develop a car. It depends on the feedback the driver gives, and that could be given by a driver who knows how to communicate his requirements to the engineers. While experience is a bonus, it is in no way indicative of how good a driver will be in helping overall team develop a car.

  7. “He slipped back from Bottas in the first stint”

    Massa was shadowing team-mate Bottas throughout the first 15 laps of the race with a car that should have been 0.2s slower, I suspect he had to deal with his overheating engine after that, then undercut by Rosberg.

    “Nonetheless he qualified close to his team mate”
    He should have out-qualified Bottas by 0.1s.

  8. Well Ham’s move doesn’t look good on anyone and shouldn’t be endorsed. I think he could had done it without it, at least I would respect him for that. Forcing a car of the track is taken with leniency during race starts and I respect the for a lack of a better concept legality, of the move. Harsh score on Button, I guess someone did not account for Bottas poor qualifying result.

  9. My ratings:
    Hamilton – 4
    Did nothing wrong despite the bad start
    Rosberg – 2
    Bad positioning at turn one, not too impressive during the race
    Vettel – 4
    Great qualifying, a couple of smaller mistakes in the race
    Räikkönen – 2
    Four tenths off Vettel in quali, unimpressive race
    Ricciardo – 4
    Again strong quali, one mistake with the flat spot. I´d give him a 3.5
    Verstappen – 4
    Great race and defended well from Rosberg, still outqualified
    Bottas – 5
    Good qualifying, great race, no mistakes
    Massa – 3
    Outqualified, did nothing special until he retired
    Hülkenberg – 4
    Good qualifying, good race, close to getting a 5
    Perez – 3
    Nothing special
    Magnussen – 1
    Crashed in quali, tangled with Nasr
    Palmer – 2
    Barely faster than Wehrlein in quali, retired very early in the race
    Kvyat – 2
    Another weak weekend, finishing behind Sainz
    Sainz – 3
    Weekend ruined by the crash in qualifying
    Nasr – 2
    A second off Ericsson in quali, finished behind Wehrlein
    Ericsson – 4
    Again clearly faster than Nasr
    Alonso – 5
    Overtook Rosberg and Hülkenberg at the start, defended from them until DRS was enabled
    Button – 3
    Couldn´t show much
    Wehrlein – 5
    Faster than Sauber in quali, finished ahead of Nasr despite having a damaged floor before the start of the race
    Haryanto – 2
    Crashed in quali, finished last
    Grosjean – 3
    Outqualified in Q1 and Q2, mediocre race
    Gutierrez – 3
    Like Grosjean, uneventful race

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