Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2016

2016 British Grand Prix driver ratings

2016 British Grand Prix

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Silverstone produced some of the most difficult racing conditions so far this year and some drivers rose to the challenge better than others.

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton – Headed all three practice sessions and smashed the track record on his way to pole position. The only wrinkle on Saturday was losing his first Q3 time to a track limits violation. He was mighty in the rain, streaking away from Rosberg and able to start nursing his engine long before the chequered flag appeared.

Rating five out of five

Nico Rosberg – Only fractionally slower than Hamilton in first and third practice but was confined to the garage by technical problems in the second session. However when the serious business started in Q2 it became clear his team mate could access levels of performance Rosberg couldn’t reach. The same appeared to be the case in the opening wet stages of the race as Rosberg dropped back and was passed by Verstappen. However as the track dried Rosberg picked up pace and took second off Verstappen, though it proved temporary as he was penalised post-race for receiving radio assistance to fix a gearbox problem.

Rating three out of five

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2016
Vettel had a trying weekend
Sebastian Vettel – A second consecutive five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change ensured he went into the race on the back foot, but a scruffy Q3 didn’t help matters.
He made an early switch to slicks but lost time with a spin, then picked up a five-second penalty after forcing Massa wide while passing the Williams.

Rating two out of five

Kimi Raikkonen – Dissatisfied with his car’s pace on Friday and only just made it into the top ten shoot-out after two mistakes in Q2. Despite that he beat Vettel for ‘best Ferrari’ honours, starting fifth. Perez jumped ahead of him by pitting during the Virtual Safety Car period, but Raikkonen easily took the place back later in the race.

Rating four out of five

Williams

Felipe Massa – Struggled in Q2 and failed to make it into the final ten. He moved into the points during the race, despite being elbowed aside by Vettel, but made an extra pit stop for softs which dropped him out of the top ten.

Rating three out of five

Valtteri Bottas – As last year, the Williams looked a handful in the wet and Bottas found it more of a struggle than his team mate. He spun at Club and went off again later in the race as he plummeted from sixth to

Rating two out of five

Red Bull

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2016
Verstappen’s pass on Rosberg was a stunner
Daniel Ricciardo – Out-qualified by his team mate for the first time this year, Ricciardo reckoned Verstappen had found a faster way through the slow Vale chicane. He made an early switch to intermediates but lost out because of the Virtual Safety Car and had to catch and pass Perez. Appeared to be the highest-placed driver who did not go off during the race.

Rating four out of five

Max Verstappen – Grabbed third with a super-committed lap yet the one second gap to Mercedes showed Red Bull still have much work to do. He was on a mission from the word go in the wet conditions, taking the fight to Rosberg with great verve and producing a stunning pass for second place. Rosberg inevitably re-passed him with DRS, but despite a minor off Verstappen still finished close enough to benefit from the Mercedes driver’s penalty.

Rating five out of five

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg – Beat his team mate into Q3 but was stripped of his best time after running wide. Much as was the case in Monaco Hulkenberg lost out strategically to his team mate. He showed immense car control not to hit Massa while trying to pass on the wet line at Woodcote, and after getting free of the Williams he recovered to finish on Perez’s tail.

Rating four out of five

Sergio Perez – Concentrated on his long-run pace and narrowly missed the cut for Q3. However he jumped up to fourth after delaying his switch to intermediate tyres and being helped by the Virtual Safety Car. He was never going to keep Ricciardo behind but Raikkonen might have been kept at bay had he not spun.

Rating three out of five

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Renault

Kevin Magnussen – Took the Renault into Q2 and escaped censure for holding up Kvyat on his qualifying lap. Despite the car’s lack of downforce he switched to intermediates at the first opportunity but it didn’t pay off and he slipped to the rear of the field where he eventually retired with a broken gearbox.

Rating three out of five

Jolyon Palmer – Didn’t make it beyond Q1 at his home track. In the race he jumped ahead of his team mate due to the VSC but at his second pit stop he was released with an unfastened rear wheel and copped a ten-second stop-go penalty. The retired as a precaution after also experiencing gearbox problems.

Rating three out of five

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat – Lost time behind Magnussen in Q2 and failed to accompany his team mate into the top ten shoot-out. However he salvaged a point from the race despite going off at The Loop after switching to intermediates.

Rating three out of five

Carlos Sainz Jnr – After a tough Friday Sainz was pleasantly surprised not only to gain a place in Q3, but start a strong seventh after penalties. Despite two mistakes in the race – including a dramatic slide at Stowe – he grabbed more points for eighth place.

Rating three out of five

Sauber

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Silverstone, 2016
Ericsson missed qualifying after this crash
Marcus Ericsson – Ran Sauber’s first upgrade of the season on Friday but smashed the car up against the barriers at Stowe in the drying third practice session. The team rebuilt a car for him and he took the start, still sore from his accident, but a loss of power forced him out early on.

Rating two out of five

Felipe Nasr – Felt his car’s balance changed significantly in qualifying and ended up at the back. He stayed out of trouble in a treacherous race and even passed Bottas at one point, but points seemed impossible for Sauber.

Rating three out of five

McLaren

Fernando Alonso – Was the first to run McLaren’s new floor and looked committed from the word go, consistently taking the car into the top ten. He delivered on that potential in qualifying, but was bumped back a couple of places after losing his fastest lap due to exceeding track limits. He produced a brilliantly combative performance in the wet but wanted his team to take be more aggressive with the strategy. Given the lack of options available to them it’s doubtful that was a possibility, and Alonso’s costly spin at Abbey left him out of the points

Rating four out of five

Jenson Button – A rear wing problem kept him from making a second run in Q2 and he was knocked out by Kvyat. His pace was on a par with Alonso’s in the tricky conditions but the Honda’s lack of grunt kept him stuck behind Bottas in the second stint and lost him a place to fresh-tyred Massa towards the end.

Rating four out of five

Manor

Pascal Wehrlein – Driving at Silverstone for the first time, Wehrlein was pipped by Haryanto by a few hundredths in qualifying. Switching to intermediates at the first available opportunity in a chassis not renowned for its downforce levels proved a gamble too far – he spun out when he reached Abbey for the first time.

Rating two out of five

Rio Haryanto – This was a track Manor expected to struggle at and Haryanto was disappointed they only had the Saubers behind them. He made it further into the race than his team mate but spun out after switching to slicks.

Rating two out of five

Haas

Romain Grosjean – Like Force India, Haas seemed less comfortably in windy conditions. Both drivers found their cars a handful when the gusts picked up in Q2 – Grosjean had a moment at Stowe and had to settle for 13th. A transmission problem ended his race early.

Rating three out of five

Esteban Gutierrez – Like his team mate he wasn’t able to get into Q3. A slow first pit stop dropped him to the rear of the field after which he lapped quicker than the Renaults but came home last.

Rating three out of five

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job throughout the race weekend?

Who got the most out of their car in qualifying and the race? Who put their team mate in the shade?

Cast your vote here and explain why you chose the driver you picked in the comments:

2016 British 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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29 comments on “2016 British Grand Prix driver ratings”

  1. ColdFly F1 (@)
    11th July 2016, 14:55

    Good ratings and agree with most.
    Only Sainz should have a 4 IMO. He was punching above his (car’s) weight, was as committed as Alonso, and both made a similar mistake in the race.

  2. I’m bored so I’m gonna do this again:

    Mercedes:
    Hamilton – 5/5 – Fastest in every session, took pole position by three tenths, and was much faster than Rosberg in the wet.
    Rosberg – 3/5 – Much slower than Hamilton in qualifying, was off the pace in the wet conditions and had an annoying Dutchman in a slower car keeping up with him for most of the race.

    Ferrari:
    Vettel – 1/5 – Surprisingly bad performance from Vettel. Much slower than Raikkonen in qualifying, and he only made up two places from his 11th place start after a spin and two trips off the track. His clumsy pass on Massa earned him a penalty too.
    Raikkonen – 4/5 – Is he starting to find form again in 2016? So far, this season has been much better than 2015 and 2014 and is ahead of Vettel on points. But he has been the luckier of the two drivers which has helped. Still, a good performance at Silverstone out-qualifying Vettel and finishing in 5th which was probably the highest position that the Ferrari could manage.

    Williams:
    Massa – 3/5 – Unfortunately for him the Williams was rubbish here so a points finish was out of the question. Still, he was running in the points for a while and finished ahead of his teammate.
    Bottas – 2/5 – Poor performance from him in the race as he spun out early on and finished behind his teammate. His Williams was quite bad to drive though.

    Red Bull:
    Ricciardo – 4/5 – He was outqualified for the first time by his teammate, but in the race he produced a quiet but decent drive. He was one of the drivers to be unlucky with the VSC and that costed him a lot of time to the top three.
    Verstappen – 5/5 – Stunning performance by him throughout the weekend beating his teammate in qualifying and keeping up with Rosberg in a slower car and making a brilliant pass on him. Top drive and my driver of the weekend.

    Force India:
    Hulkenberg – 4/5 – Faster than his teammate but was unfortunately not rewarded as he somehow finished behind him. He was unlucky with the VSC which costed him a lot of time to his teammate. Despite this, he managed to finish just behind Perez.
    Perez – 3/5 – Not as fast as Hulkenberg this weekend and was very fortunate with the VSC. He still did a solid job and brought the car home in the points. Average.

    Renault:
    Magnussen – 3/5 – Got into Q2 with the slow Renault unlike his teammate but unfortunately retired with a gearbox issue.
    Palmer – 2/5 – Slower than his teammate in qualifying, got lucky initially with the VSC but he also retired from the race with gearbox problems.

    Toro Rosso:
    Sainz – 4/5 – He is having a great season with consistent point scoring at the moment. Got into Q3 and finished the race ahead of his teammate and Vettel.
    Kvyat – 3/5 – Finally scored a point with 10th place but was behind his teammate. Not bad but not great either.

    Sauber:
    Nasr – 3/5 – Points were once again out of the question for Nasr, as his Sauber is now the worst car on the grid. He at least didn’t crash though, unlike his teammate.
    Ericsson – 2/5 – Crashed out in practice, so that’s -1 point straight away. He retired from the race.

    McLaren:
    Alonso – 3/5 – Got into Q3 with a good performance in qualifying, but the big spin costed him the opportunity to score points.
    Button – 3/5 – Problems hampered him in qualifying. He was having a decent race but his low starting position did not allow him to score points.

    Manor:
    Wehrlein – 2/5 – He didn’t have previous experience with this track so I won’t give him a 1, but this weekend was much worse than the one before in Austria and he crashed out early on so it’s a 2.
    Haryanto – 1/5 – Pretty much delivered the same performance as his teammate in the race crashing out. A bad weekend for Manor.

    1. Oops, forgot about Haas!

      Grosjean – 3/5 – He couldn’t get into Q2 and retired from the race early.
      Gutierrez – 3/5 – Also couldn’t get into Q2. Unlucky with the pit stop and he finished last.
      Not a great weekend for Haas either. I don’t see them scoring anymore points this season. Still, 28 points is pretty good for a brand new team!

    2. @ultimateuzair, How come Wehrlein gets 2 but Haryanto gets 1?

      1. I just gave the reason there. Wehrlein had never driven around the track before the weekend, but Haryanto had a lot of experience at Silverstone in GP2. @trublu

  3. My opinion

    Hamilton 5/5 – Perfect job all weekend and hardly put a foot wrong

    Rosberg 3/5 – Average performance which ended in thid with the penalty. Showed potential in the race

    Vettel 2/5 – Outqualified by Kimi and only finished ninth in a frustrating race

    Raikkonen 4/5 – A solid job outqualifying Vettel and scoring some good points

    Bottas 2/5 – Many errors in a weak race which scored no points for him and the team

    Massa 2/5 – At least beat Bottas but didn’t have the pace to score any points

    Ricciardo 3/5 – Completely falling behind Max now that his teammate has got used to the car. The VSC didn’t help but didn’t close the gap in free air

    Verstappen 5/5 – This guy is special. Put his weakness aside and outqualified Ricciardo and delivered a stunning overtake on Rosberg and finished second

    Perez 4/5 – VSC helped out but was quick in the rain and was set to hold onto a fifth until a spin which flatspotted his tyres but still a strong sixth

    Hulkenberg 4/5 – Showed good control to keep his car in a straight line as those ahead made mistakes and finished just behind his teammate who benefited from the VSC

    Magnussen 2/5 – Making Q2 was good, however nothing went on in the race and was running last when he retired

    Palmer 2/5 – Outqualified but ran ahead of Magnussen early in the race before a problem in the pits and then a gearbox failiure spoiled his race

    Sainz 4/5 – Some good points although a spin which could have cost him a top-five finish. An impressive qualifying though

    Kvyat 3/5 – Sainz had the edge all weekend, but scored a point in an average race

    Nasr 3/5 – Terrible qualifying which dropped him behind the Manor’s VSC propelled him to 14th and although he looked racey, the car never had enough pace for p

    1. *points

      Ericsson 1/5 – Crashed in FP3 and early retirement. Good he’s alright

      Alonso 3/5 – A Q3 appearance was good, but lost a shot of points when he spun it into the gravel

      Button 3/5 – A really ‘meh’ weekend for him. Eliminated in Q1 after a rear wing failiure and 12th wasn’t a bad comeback

      Wehrlein 1/5 – Outqualified by Haryanto and spun out early on

      Haryanto 1/5 – Crashed out in the first half of the race after two earlier spins

      Grosjean 3/5 – Early retirement put him put of contention when running out of the points

      Gutierrez 2/5 – Long pit stop but dead last was a pretty bad result

      1. Surely Button should get more than Alonso? Qualifying issues weren’t his fault and he made no mistakes in the race – if he started where Alonso did, I think he’d have finished in the points.

        1. Mainly because it is out of five. If it was rated out of ten then I would have given Jenson a 7 and Fernando a 6

      2. @lolzerbob Button’s weekend wasn’t “meh”, it was just “oh, it’s Silverstone this weekend”.

        JB’s luck at Silverstone must be comparable to Rubens’ luck at Interlagos.

  4. We don’t know how good or bad that Renault really is. I hope they get at least 1 experienced driver for 2017.
    Jenson would be awesome. I can’t imagine that Renault as a back marker machine.

  5. @keithcollantine do you have a tally going on? a ranking based on these points?

    1. That’s a great idea! @keithcollantine @magon4

      1. @magon4 @ultimateuzair

        Well I was bored so I decide to do it! Of course we are lacking the first four races, so these are from Spain to now

        1. Ricciardo – 23/30
        = Verstappen – 23/30
        = Sainz – 23/30
        = Alonso – 23/30
        = Button – 23/30
        6. Hamilton – 21/30
        = Perez – 21/30
        8. Vettel – 20/30
        = Hulkenberg – 20/30
        = Wehrlein – 20/30
        11. Bottas – 19/30
        12. Kvyat – 18/30
        = Nasr – 18/30
        = Grosjean – 18/30
        15. Rosberg – 17/30
        = Raikkonen – 17/30
        = Massa – 17/30
        = Gutierrez – 17/30
        19. Magnussen – 16/30
        20. Palmer – 15/30
        21. Haryanto – 14/30
        22. Ericsson – 13/30

        I think the McLaren’s are way too high along with Hulk, Nasr and Kvyat and Rosberg, Raikkonen and Massa too low. We can’t really judge until there are ratings for the first four races

        1. Wow, both McLarens in the top 5? And I think that Rosberg would be much higher up if this started from Australia. @lolzerbob

  6. “We don’t know how good or bad that Renault really is”

    Yeah we do, it is pretty bad. Magnussen is hardly inexperienced and during his time as a McLaren driver achieved a higher GP finishing position that Button did (2nd in Aus).

    “I can’t imagine that Renault as a back marker machine.”

    But it isn’t really a Renault. It is basically whatever scraps they could find on the Lotus factory floor bolted together. Wait to see what they produce next year. At least that will be a car they had some real input into.

    1. That was in response to @dutchtreat above. I wish the break between the last comment and the general reply box was more obvious for dunces like me lol

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

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      11th July 2016, 21:33

      annoying!

      1. Such level of commitment deserves a better cause

    2. Hehe! Ya know what @jorge-lardone, you’re growing on me. Keep up the good work! Hahahahaha. :)

  8. Wasnt it Q1 button was eliminated during??

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      11th July 2016, 21:34

      It was Q1 but there was a reason for that. His rear wing wasn’t attached correctly. Something very similar anyway and they didn’t have time to sort it out. Button said he was pretty surprised that he managed to qualify as well as he did considering the situation he was in. He started from further back than Alonso, didn’t make any mistakes during the race and finished ahead. Not sure about over the entire weekend but I definitely think Butten did better than his team mate during the race overall.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        11th July 2016, 21:36

        *Button

        I am often too late to notice my mistakes!

  9. Not quite sure how you can give McLaren drivers 4 (finishing well outside the points) and Perez 3. Obviously he had some luck, but he still had to bring the car home 6th and only lost 5th because of DRS.

    1. Perez and Sainz only scored 3’s which was the same as Palmer, too low. Button is always overrated in these ratings, scoring 4’s in Spain, Monaco, Baku and here

  10. I don’t see how Alonso deserves a 4. Regardless of pace, he made a catastrophic error and was only fortunate that he was able to resume his race.

  11. This guy’s ratings are hilarious.
    3 for Perez and Sainz and 4 for Button and Alonso.
    Always the same story. Especially Button’s ratings are well non deserved.
    Let’s face it. British site, british owner, british fanbase.
    It’s very hard to be openminded.

    1. @KeithCollantine is a fair journalist. I’ve frequented this site on and off since 2008(ish) and it baffles me when people claim that keith is partisan towards British drivers, he just plain isn’t.

      I guess people see what they want to see…

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