2016 Austrian Grand Prix driver ratings

2016 Austrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Which drivers got the most out of what they had at the Austrian Grand Prix? Here are the ratings for all 22 of them.


Hamilton fought back to take win from Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton – Having been off his team mate’s pace on Friday he sussed the drying conditions magnificently in qualifying to claim pole position. He was on course for a straightforward win when a slow pit stop dropped him behind his team mate. An attacking strategy change put him on Rosberg’s tail in the closing laps, and he’d lined the other Mercedes up for a last-lap pass when Rosberg shoved him wide. He survived the contact and took a deserved, gritty win.

Nico Rosberg – Headed the times on the first two days of practice but on Saturday morning suspension failure put him in a barrier, leading to a gearbox change penalty. He had the pace to beat Hamilton in qualifying – his sector times were better – but coped less well with the tricky conditions in Q3. From sixth on the grid he moved to the front with little difficulty, though his first set grained more quickly than Hamilton’s. He might have taken the win had Mercedes left their drivers on one-stop strategies but Hamilton took fresh tyres and put him under pressure, and on the final lap Rosberg buckled. Though he also had a brake-by-wire problem and debris from Vettel’s puncture to contend with, his move on Hamilton was cynical.


Vettel was leading when his tyre blew
Sebastian Vettel – Felt he would have been able to push Mercedes in a dry qualifying session, and was unhappy with his conservative final effort on the quickly drying track. A gearbox change penalty dropped him behind Raikkonen. He ran a long opening stint in the race which might have brought him into contention but his right-rear tyre exploded without warning.

Kimi Raikkonen – Out-qualified by a Force India and – astonishingly – a McLaren. He passed Hulkenberg immediately at the start and got by Button after a few laps as well. However he fell behind the Red Bulls when he pitted and although he managed to get past Ricciardo, Verstappen held him off until the end.


Bottas struggled with tyre degradation
Felipe Massa – Didn’t get out of the pits early enough at the end of Q3 to be able to do a third run on slicks, and ended up at the bottom of the top ten. Making matters worse, a front wing change on Sunday morning consigned him to a pit lane start. He looked on course to recover some points until a puncture forced him in for an extra pit stop, and he retired soon afterwards with braking problems.

Valtteri Bottas – Felt he would have qualified better had it not rained – a Williams weakness of late – but was promoted to seventh by Vettel’s penalty. He lost two places at the start and struggled for tyre life in the race, slipping back to ninth.

Red Bull

Verstapen resisted Raikkonen again
Daniel Ricciardo – Only had time for a single lap on slicks at the end of Q3 and although he produced a good effort Red Bull clearly missed an opportunity. Verstappen got ahead of him on lap two but Ricciardo lacked his team mate’s pace, particularly after the Safety Car period. He passed Button for fifth but wasn’t close enough to take advantage of Rosberg’s penalty.

Max Verstappen – Damaged his car on the kerbs twice in first practice. In qualifying he also only had a single run on slicks at the end of Q3 – and was over a second off Ricciardo’s time. His race was much better, however: he passed Ricciardo early on then jumped Raikkonen through his pit stop and held the Ferrari off to the flag for a strong second place.

Force India

Great qualifying, terrible race for Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg – Committed early to slicks in Q3 and reaped the rewards, setting a time good enough for second with his third lap. He was cleared of going too quickly through yellow flags and kept the position. However his race was a disaster: the Force India chewed its tyres and Hulkenberg pitted three times. He was in trouble with brake wear as well, which eventually forced him out.

Sergio Perez – A vexing weekend: Alfonso Celis drove his car in first practice, which made the rain in the second session a greater inconvenience. A suspension failure in Q1 kept him from taking part in the second phase of qualifying. And then in the race a brake failure put him out with two laps to go.

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up


Magnussen said weaving penalty was “fair”
Kevin Magnussen – A place in Q2 might have been possible but he slipped up at the final corner on his best run. His race chances were harmed by a five-second penalty for weaving in front of Wehrlein, which he admitted was “fair enough as I did move more than once and you’re not allowed to do that”. That dropped him behind his team mate, but once again this seems to have been a weekend where points weren’t on offer for Renault.

Jolyon Palmer – Also happier with his car, Palmer was just two-hundredths of a second off Magnussen in qualifying. However he was bumped back three places for failing to slow sufficiently in a yellow flag zone. Leading home Nasr in the race was a reasonable result.

Toro Rosso

Kvyat paid a high price for hitting the kerbs
Daniil Kvyat – Got a bit greedy with the kerb at turn eight in qualifying and paid a heavy penalty as his suspension gave way, spinning him out. His race never even got going – he was out soon after the start with an as-yet unspecified mechanical problem.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – Sixth in both sessions on Friday, he then had a luckless Saturday. An electrical problem in final practice forced a change of engines, and the replacement unit failed during Q2. He started strongly, climbing four places to tenth, but fell back to 17th when he pitted under the Safety Car. However he made it to the end from there, passing Alonso on his way to a decent eighth.


Nasr had a better race for Sauber
Marcus Ericsson – Pipped Nasr in qualifying and by avoiding a yellow flag speeding penalty moved up to 18th. The race was a long grind, however: struggling with his front tyres he slipped to last at one stage and finished a distant 15th.

Felipe Nasr – Unlike his team mate Nasr did cop a penalty, and lined up last. However he produced one of Sauber’s most convincing performances so far this year, starting on softs and rising to seventh at one point after the Safety Car period. His tyre change eventually dropped him out of points contention, however.


Button held second in the early running
Fernando Alonso – Not best pleased after Q2, when he did his initial run on a set of used tyres then on his new tyre run had to back off for a yellow flag. It had been caused by his team mate. His bad luck continued in the race, which was hampered from the early stages by a battery problem and eventually led him to retire.

Jenson Button – Despite his Q2 slip-up Button grabbed a place in Q3 and then performed some of his trademark damp-track magic to qualify fifth ahead of both Red Bulls, the Williams pair and Raikkonen’s Ferrari. Penalties for other drivers then promoted him to third, and the surprises continued in the race when he moved up to second at the start and stayed there for six laps. He inevitably slipped back but sixth place was a fine result.


Wehrlein claimed his first career points
Pascal Wehrlein – Clearly revelling in a track he knows well and enjoying the benefit of Mercedes power, Wehrlein took Manor to the rare heights of 12th in qualifying. He accidentally lined up tenth on the grid but had the presence of mind to reverse his car into the correct slot. He steered clear of the super-softs in the race, running two stints on ultra-softs then going to the end of softs. This paid off handsomely, and Perez’s late retirement promoted him to tenth for a point.

Rio Haryanto – Couldn’t hide the fact he’d left quite a bit of performance in the car following his team mate’s Q1 heroics, and to make matters worse he was penalised for speeding through a yellow flag zone. An electrical problem didn’t help matters in the race, but even so the gulf in performance between him and Wehrlein was stark.


Grosjean took points after qualifying error
Romain Grosjean – Slid into a gravel trap during Q2 and by the time his floor was repaired the rain had arrived and he was out. The start didn’t go well – he was squeezed wide and lost places – but he persevered long enough on his super-soft tyres that his eventual pit stop coincided with the Safety Car period. That moved him up to seventh, a position he kept despite a five-second penalty for pit lane speeding.

Esteban Gutierrez – Hampered by various problems during practice, he nonetheless came within six thousandths of a second of reaching Q3. However he undid that good work with a poor start, falling to 18th after his engine went into anti-stall. He recovered to finish just outside the points once again.

Who was your Driver of the Weekend?

Do you agree with the ratings above? Vote for your Driver of the Weekend here:

2016 Austrian Grand Prix

Browse all 2016 Austrian Grand Prix articles

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

37 comments on “2016 Austrian Grand Prix driver ratings”

  1. summed up very well, +1

    1. I am a bit confused. Isn’t this driver rating?? I mean if a driver drove well or not ??

      How is Hulk rated 2??

      Had a brilliant qualy. Couldn’t do anything cuz of brake and tyre issues. But that wasn’t necessarily his fault as the driver ???

      1. Which drivers got the most out of what they had at the Austrian Grand Prix?

        @keithcollantine Was that Hulk’s fault ??

  2. My driver ratings:

    Hamilton – 5/5 – Despite Austria being Rosberg’s supposedly strongest track, Hamilton managed to get pole in damp conditions, set the fastest lap of the race, and managed to survive Rosberg crashing into him to take a well deserved victory.
    Rosberg – 1/5 – He was good in practice, but he did not do well in Q3 with a lap half a second slower than Hamilton, and then bottled the win on the final lap with a poor attempt at defending from Hamilton which resulted in a broken front wing for Rosberg and a penalty.

    Vettel – 3/5 – Didn’t do the best job on Saturday qualifying behind a Force India, but was making progress in the race until his tyre exploded. Unlucky.
    Raikkonen – 2/5 – This may seem like a harsh score as Raikkonen finished on the podium, but he was terrible in qualifying as he was slower than a Force India AND a McLaren which is rather embarrassing. He did not do a good job in the race and pretty much lucked onto the podium after Vettel’s blowout and Rosberg’s antics. It took him a long time to pass Button in an inferior car which doesn’t help his score.

    Massa – 4/5 – He was unlucky with the pit lane start, but was doing a good job in the race to get back into the points before his unfortunate puncture and brake failure.
    Bottas – 3/5 – A quiet weekend for him. Wasn’t as good as his teammate in the race and was almost passed by a Manor. Yes, a Manor.

    Red Bull:
    Ricciardo – 3/5 – Good in qualifying, but in the race he didn’t really mount a challenge on the cars ahead.
    Verstappen – 4/5 – Despite his mishaps in practice, and being outqualified by his teammate, he drove a good race, finishing ahead of the Ferrari of Raikkonen.

    Force India:
    Hulkenberg – 3/5 – Did a brilliant job in qualifying setting a lap that was faster than the two Ferraris. However, his race was a complete contrast and unfortunately he had to retire.
    Perez – 3/5 – Unfortunately his weekend was plagued with mechanical failures, so I can’t give him a high score, but I can’t give him a low score either so I will go with 3.

    Magnussen – 2/5 – His defending from Wehrlein was not very good. He finished behind his teammate.
    Palmer – 2/5 – Was outqualified by Magnussen once again, and had a quiet race but finished ahead of him.

    Toro Rosso:
    Sainz – 4/5 – He was very unlucky in qualifying, and drove a very good race to finish in the points. Good effort from him.
    Kvyat – 2/5 – He crashed in qualifying after running wide onto the kerbs. If it wasn’t for that, I would have given him a 3 as he was very unlucky in the race.

    Nasr – 4/5 – He was in a points position for a long time in the race which was good, but the slowness of his Sauber let him down and he finished out of the points but comfortably ahead of Ericsson.
    Ericsson – 2/5 – He was nowhere.

    Alonso – 3/5 – His car did what it does best – it retired.
    Button – 5/5 – A fantastic and flawless weekend from Button, qualifying a brilliant 5th and was promoted to 3rd after the penalties. His car was clearly slower than some of the cars behind him, but he managed to finish an excellent 6th.

    Wehrlein – 5/5 – A flawless performance from Pascal, making it into Q2 and then was challenging for 9th behind Bottas. He picks up Manor’s first points of the season. A brilliant drive from him. My driver of the weekend.
    Haryanto – 2/5 – Why is he still in Formula 1?

    Grosjean – 3/5 – Solid performance scoring more points for the Haas team in it’s great debut season. But nothing special.
    Gutierrez – 2/5 – He was beaten by a Manor. Enough said.

    1. Heisenberg Anderson
      4th July 2016, 14:30

      Raikkonen was only a tenth slower than Vettel in qualifying and was simply faster than him in the race(check the lap times), your assessment is terrible. it makes no sense to rate him lower than Vettel also the only reason the Feraris were slower than FI was because then track was drying up fast and the McLaren and Force India came out last.

      1. It’s just my opinion. I wasn’t impressed by Raikkonen in this race and he would have finished 5th at best if it was a normal race. You are also entitled to your opinion.

        1. Heisenberg Anderson
          5th July 2016, 5:55

          It is not an opinion it is a fact. In a normal race Vettel would still have not passed Kimi even if you weren’t impressed by Kimi as Vettel was slower than Kimi and behind, in the race Raikkonen would have probably finished 2nd if there was one more lap or there were no yellow flags because of Perez or if Ferrari didn’t completely mess up the strategy.

          1. It is an opinion. Unless you are some sort of fortune teller and you know what would have happened/what will happen in the future.

      2. I’m pretty sure Vettel would have only stopped once (as Hamilton should have), which would probably have meant finishing third behind Hamilton and Rosberg. Why third? If Vettel would have staid out for a one-stop, Hamilton would have done so as well. Thus there would not have been a crash between Hamilton and Rosberg, but Rosberg would probably have been able to pass Vettel easily (probably while Vettel would have been in his first pit stop).

    2. Yeah, very objective scores.

      – 2/5 “why is he still in f1?” without explaining anything else.
      Same grade for Ericsson, although if he was “nowhere” he should’ve deserved 1/5, not 2.
      Also Alonso, 3/5 without explaining anything about his race.

      While i respect your opinion, i suggest if you’re gonna make this a regular thing, make it a little bit more detailed.

      1. Rio Haryanto has not done anything this season that shows that he deserves an F1 seat. He has finished last in almost every race this season, and has been utterly destroyed by Wehrlein. He is currently last in the world championship. He was mediocre in GP2 as well winning only 3 races in his four-year stint.

        I didn’t see much of Ericsson, so you can blame the TV director for that, not me. His score is based on where he finished and the fact that he was never really in a top 10 position unlike his teammate.

        The comment about Alonso was a joke. You didn’t need to take it seriously! I gave him a 3 as he was hampered by issues, so I decided to go for the number in the middle.

        1. Manor are broke. Very nearly. Haryanto’s family has a very large pile of gold
          in about thirty bank accounts. Haryanto has shown that he can at least keep an
          F1 car pointing in generally the right direction. And his daddy loves him.
          What’s not to like ?

          All this fantastic scenario is brought to us by the wonders of CVC Capital Partners
          GREAT MAN…one Bernard Charles Ecclestone. BCE the inventor of Favoured
          Car Maker bonuses. Guiding principal is….if you look really good to joe public
          no matter how you actually do things, we’ll pay you a huge bonus every season simply
          for being there. Just because you make us look good. And the small fry…..oh..
          they can sink or swim as far as I care….they are of zero importance to F1.

          Such a wonderful system…innit ?

  3. Heisenberg Anderson
    4th July 2016, 14:55

    Since some off the ratings here just don’t make any sense I will try to rate the top team drivers in an objective manner just using qualifying lap times and lap times in race but on a 10 point scale.

    Apologises for any typing mistakes in advance as I am typing on my mobile.


    Hamilton – 10/10 – Was miles quicker than his teammate in qualifying and did a great first stint on the ultra softs and pretty much no mistakes throughout the race.
    Rosberg – 5.5/10 – Poor qualifying and start to the race but his 2nd stint was quite impressive but then he just crashed into Hamilton. You just wants be finishing higher than 4th with a dominant mercedes.


    Vettel and Raikkonen – 8/10 – Pretty much identical pace between the two over the weekend , in the race Raikkonen was a bit faster and in qualifying Vettel was a bit faster, no big mistakes from both these drivers. Raikkonen did well to show similar pace to mercedes towards the end of the race despite having 50 lap old tyres? A shame Ferrari messed up with the strategy for both.

    Red Bull

    Verstappen – 8.5/10 – Dreadful qualifying but an excellent race much faster than Ricciardo throughout the race and had some brilliant tyre management. Just managed to keep raikkonen behind.

    Ricciardo – 6/10 – A pretty average performance, didn’t have much pace in the race and had some poor tyre management his tyres fell off pretty quickly.

  4. 5 points for Ham is a bit high. Knowing that even HAR can win an race in that mercedes.

    1. @seth-space

      Did you watch the race?

      He out qualified his team mate by half a second, he drove his opening stint perfectly dragging more life from the ultra soft than anyone thought he could, he lost several seconds through slow pit stops and wound up losing track position to his team mate through strategy, kept his head together and attacked a team mate who was on faster tyres until he looked sure to make a pass, survived either a dirty tactic or blunder to take a much deserved win.

      Yes any driver on that grid could have won a race with no pressure from a team mate, but only a handful could have won this race with the challenges that presented to them.

      1. The quali was a tombola.. even button did it ;)
        Ham did deserve some points here.. but 5 for driving a Merc.. no not really.
        As said even HAR can win an race in that car.. or even ROS ;)

        1. I think a driver who gets his crap car in front by perfect judgement is worth a lot, its the drivers choice when he wants to change to slicks and then being able to deliver, its not a tombola for me, its guts and skill!

        2. @seth-space

          Button, Hamilton and Vettel pull these kind of results out of the bag too often to be luck. Haryanto might win in that car with no team mate sure. And Rosberg does evidently win when under no pressure. But he didn’t win this race, because he has Hamilton as a team mate, who despite ending up on the weaker strategy and being victim to Rosbergs accident still managed to overturn the result and win in style. Sometimes the results are the gift of the car, but this year 2 of 3 of Hamiltons wins have been him digging deep and finding that little extra to put right a set back he’s had.

          1. And as i said, they do deserve points but not the max 5!
            Driving a merc should be enough to substract 2 points.
            Put Ham and Ros in a Manor and see the real value of a driver.

  5. Your Verstappen rating is a joke (again).

    1. I think it is pretty fair.

    2. So when you manage to not finish (Vettel and Massa) you get equal ratings as somebody who started 8th and finished 2nd???

      1. if your dnf isnt your fault? and until then you did a good Job + a better qualy. … yes

        1. Vettel was to blame for his DNF, he damaged his tyre on the curb and tyre management is on the driver as well.

          1. Pirelli has already said it wasn’t his fault actually – check your facts, they clearly stated that it was just an unlucky puncture not Vettel’s fault

  6. Señor “Crashgate” Alonso: Button was better than you, again…

    1. jeez dude, chill, you are just as annoying as those lewis/nico hooligans

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      5th July 2016, 10:24

      I prefer the broken record!

  7. I’m having a hard time accepting GUT and GRO have the same rating…

  8. I disagree with Kvyat. He was absolutely at fault in qualifying and done nothing in the race because of car failure. Yet he still has three, like Grosjean who had a good race to finish ahead of Bottas.

    But, as always, most of the grades are spot on.

  9. I can’t understand how on Earth Vettel gets 4/5 and Kimi only 3/5. Yes, Kimi’s Q3 effort could’ve been stronger, but he was only a tenth slower than Vettel and Hülkenberg and Button greatly benefitted from the changing conditions. “Astonishingly” out-qualified by McLaren with a MASSIVE margin of 0.001s.

    In the race Kimi’s pace was slightly faster than Vettel’s and he fell behind RB’s only because Ferrari kept him on track too long during the 1st stint. Kimi’s 2nd stint was actually superb, matching the pace of the Mercs at the closing stages. Would’ve finished ahead of Verstappen but yellow flags caused by Perez prevented him from making the move during the final lap.

    1. If both Mercs would’ve DNF’d or had to slow significantly after contact and if Perez’s break endured the whole race, then Kimi would’ve won the race. It’s all about the little details…

      1. *brakes

      2. if 21 drivers fail to qualify the remaining races, Kimi will get anonther wordchanpionship this year.. itś all about the detalis ;)

    2. @huhhii

      A win was possible for Kimi on paper if he hadn’t been stuck behind Vettel and Verstappen for so long. He didn’t deliver.

      1. *I mean stuck behind Button and Verstappen

  10. Perez Hulkenberg is funny, Perez gained as many places as Hullkenberg lost.

    Great job in quali. He outperformed the car a lot… But in the race… Dayum.

    And finally Kimi… How do we rate this guy, he had a meh start, meh stints yet finished on a podium. If Ferrari had Perez, like racer, they would lead the table right now.

Comments are closed.