Wet race at Silverstone leaves many cold

2016 British Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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A downpour 20 minutes before the start at Silverstone raised prospects of an action-packed race.

But for many the British Grand Prix didn’t live up to the promise. F1 Fanatic readers gave it a surprisingly low rating of 6.4 out of ten – the third-lowest so far this year.

Was that too low for a race which featured Max Verstappen’s remarkable pass on Nico Rosberg and some of the trickiest driving conditions so far this year? Or have inevitable long Safety Car periods taken the unpredictability out of wet races?

Here’s what you had to say about the British Grand Prix.

The Virtual Safety Car disadvantaged several drivers
Promised a lot, delivered little. What is the point of wet weather tyres if they aren’t going to race on them? Safety Car start, perhaps, but they needed two laps behind it not five. As usual everyone dives into the pits to jump onto the inters.

The Virtual Safety Car early on decided the race. Hamilton benefited massively from that.

The highlight was Verstappen passing Rosberg where nobody is supposed to overtake. But DRS ruined the Rosberg versus Verstappen battle.

So disappointed. A great track in treacherous conditions, only to have little action with easy DRS fly-by overtakes and no battles for the top points.

This is the first wet race I’ve watched and that I remember that was rubbish.
Owen Smart (@Smartez)

Safety Car start, then straight to intermediates? This is not Monaco, there is run-off, acres of run-off. That pretty much took away any fight for race lead to easy Hamilton win.

Imagine a race if Verstappen took Hamilton on start, and we would have a mighty scrap for the lead.

That being said, racing was good, start was poor, end of race was undramatic, but it was always gonna be like that with Hamilton in clean air.

I used to love rainy races but after this season I dread them because of the Safety Car.

The disappointment of not having a standing start seemed to spoil the afternoon’s contest for many, but others were bemused by criticism of the race:

I don’t get the negativity. Okay, for wet weather it wasn’t the best, but still a good show.

The Rosberg-Verstappen fight was great. Lots off people spinning, going wide and struggling with the circumstances. And some very good fights in the midfield.
Jim Manna

Rosberg and Verstappen provided the race’s best action
Verstappen made the race for me after race control once again ruined a nice possibility for an exciting wet race.

I understand that they start behind the Safety Car in wet conditions. But just release these guys after one or two laps. Otherwise we can just keep those full wet tyres in Italy.
Ronald (@Mosquito)

And on a weekend where Mercedes beat their rivals by a full second in qualifying, others felt the blame for the lack of competition belongs elsewhere:

The non-Mercedes teams and engine suppliers should be ashamed of themselves. After almost two and a half years of this hybrid engine formula, they’ve made next to no impact on the dominance of the brilliant Mercedes team (and their superb driver in car 44).

Even teams with the same engine are nowhere (and in the case of Williams, seemingly getting worse as time goes on). The only times that they tend to luck into a win is when the Mercedes drivers have a collective brain fade or when the silver cars hit reliability problems.

These non-silver teams employ hundreds and hundreds of talented people and have hundreds of millions of Euros/dollars to throw about, yet Mercedes still can easily be a second a lap faster. So we get all-time greats like Vettel and Alonso fighting for scraps, whilst Hamilton could probably win even if he started one lap behind everyone else or if he drove in reverse.

However it seems those who attended in person didn’t feel short-changed:

The television coverage and spectacle is secondary to appreciating the other aspects of watching live motorsport.

The driver skill around Club corner was spectacular to watch today with slippy conditions for two-thirds of the race.

2016 Rate the Race Results

Race Average score
2016 Spanish Grand Prix 8.706
2016 Austrian Grand Prix 8.097
2016 Chinese Grand Prix 7.853
2016 Australian Grand Prix 7.757
2016 Monaco Grand Prix 7.747
2016 Bahrain Grand Prix 7.382
2016 Canadian Grand Prix 6.583
2016 British Grand Prix 6.478
2016 Russian Grand Prix 5.396
2016 European Grand Prix 4.728

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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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41 comments on “Wet race at Silverstone leaves many cold”

  1. I feel many gave low ratings because of what could have been (no safety car etc). I understand that but I found the race quite entertaining.

    1. @matthijs I agree. I may also add that the fact that the leader went unchallenged once again may have also detracted from the ratings a little bit. No ‘race for the win,’ i. e. we knew the name of the winner from pretty much the first stops onwards, hurts. The lack of unpredictability – or predictable nature – hurts.

      (Imagine what would have been if it was Hamilton, Rosberg and Verstappen who pitted before the VSC and Ricciardo, Raikkonen and the others who pitted during the VSC – as it was, it was the frontrunners who benefited from the VSCs’ lower pit loss and spread out the front of the field, while in the above scenario, it would have been the next line and the quickest guys would have had to climb back up through the field. For a surefire 7.5+ race.)

      But yes, the racing product as it was, down the field (actually even from 2nd place down), was great. Even DRS was not overly powerful here, contrary to some of the moaning Keith cited in the article; it actually struck a fine balance. (See how much Rosberg had to work on Verstappen to finally make a DRS-move stick.)

      1. Also, don’t think it was prominent on TV, but Verstappen seemed to have made a little error / loss of traction on getting on to the straight when Rosberg over took. DRS was thus not the problem.

      2. @keithcollantine @atticus-2 Keith, every race some people rate the race a 1 or a 2 because they are very disappointed. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it lowers the overall rating. More than a very high rating, since the overall score is normally closer to a 10 than a 1.

        Can’t you work with an ‘average median’ or something? Or is that unfair to those who gave a very low rating?

        1. I agree the results can sometimes be skewed by extreme votes but it’s the same for every race so this system should still give a fair comparison.
          That’s obviously ignoring votes based on things other than the race which unfortunately will always affect voting.

        2. The problem with changing the way a race is scored is that once you do it, the results cant really be compared to previous years. F1Fanatic has had this system for many years and looking back at the results is very interesting.

          It could be a good idea to open the poll a day after the race when people have had time to calm down and reflect on the race a bit.

    2. @matthijs I think it’s normal to see differing scores, I don’t think it was just because of the safety car start, UI think it was also because of the outcome of the VSC and the fact that Lewis was so dominant. I know Max did a great job but you can’t just look at it from your driver’s perspective, some people do some don’t and that’s why there’s diverging opinions.

      1. @peartree What do you mean by “I know Max did a great job but you can’t just look at it from your driver’s perspective”?

        1. @matthijs Max is your driver… You are Dutch therefore you support Max, I think other people didn’t take the natural patriotic support the same way, everyone has a different opinion on what makes a race good.

  2. @Jules-Winfield I disagree with your comment as tokens are entirely responsible of the freeze in the pecking order of the top teams. And one cannot ask a team like Williams which has less than half the budget of mercedes to perform equally. But let’s wait for 2017 and the tokens to be scraped!

  3. I was there, sitting track side at Stowe. Loved it.

    I have been going to Silverstone since 2011 and have never not loved it to be fair.

  4. Given:
    Rain before race starts : bad for race rating due to no race start euphoria specially first corner meelee
    Rain during race : good for race rating due to additional excitement/race strategy deviation it creates

    1. Am I the only one who doesn’t like watching half the field butcher itself going through turn one?

      I love standing starts, but I hate the inevitable safety car that follows, especially on a damp track. Had the race started with a standing start, there would have been a safety car on lap 2 anyway.

  5. Matt (@hamiltonfan1705)
    14th July 2016, 13:46

    Honestly the Rate The Race results have been a bit weird so far this year.

    I think a lot of people judge races based on how it compared to their expectations, I don’t do that. I thought the British Grand Prix was a good race, but probably the least exciting race out of the three races I’ve been to but still exciting. Baku I didn’t think was a bad race, but it only got such a low rating because everyone expected so much after practice, qualifying and the GP2 races. If I could rank the races, and this is based on the race alone, not the expectations, this is how I’d rate them.

    Spain – 8.1
    Australia – 7.9
    Austria – 7.8
    China – 7.7
    Monaco – 7.5
    Britain – 7.1
    Bahrain – 7.0
    Europe – 6.4
    Russia – 6.0
    Canada – 4.9

    1. I thought Canada was quite a good race. Lots of action at the start, plenty of fights along the field during the race and some masterful defending from Verstappen at the end. That battle between him and Rosberg (in a much faster car and on fresher quicker tyres) drove Rosberg to such despair that he completely spun off. That was the best battle of the season so far.

  6. Keith –
    It’d take a bit of work, but you might want to gather some additional data points about raters for a few races.
    For example:
    – Have raced cars/karts?
    – Attended race?
    – F1 races attended this year?
    – Total auto races attended this year?
    – F1 races watched this year?
    – Total auto races watched this year?
    – Years followed F1? (which I believe you already have).
    – Telecast watched? (C4, Sky, NBCSN, etc.)

    Personally, I’d have no problem supplying that info, particularly for a few races.

    1. It would take a huge amount of work! That’s not something I’m able to do at the moment I’m afraid.

      1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
        14th July 2016, 15:05

        Nor should you have to Keith, general opinion of the race is general opinion of the race! Thank you for all the insight you already provide.

      2. Keith –

        Thanks for considering my suggestion, and the courtesy of a reply.

    2. Fudge Ahmed (@)
      14th July 2016, 15:04

      Horrifically OTT imho. It is what it is, safety car start was a bummer. The end.

      1. I would go as far as to say somewhat prejudiced too…

        I live under 20 miles from a BTCC circuit, yet, I cannot afford to attend a race day… I also only live a handful of miles to my nearest stock car circuit, but, again, I cannot afford the entry to watch…

        I know for a fact that I am not the only one on this site who would love to raid part in any form of motor racing, but, find the cost prohibitively expensive…

    3. I can’t remember the amount of auto races I’ve watched this year! Such a large number.

    4. I wouldn’t go that far but at least once I’d like to know what people base their ratings on. For example I draw from all the F1 races I’ve ever seen which goes back to the 70’s.
      If it’s up there with the best races I’ve ever seen it will get a 10
      If it wasn’t one of the best ever but I tell my friends they have to catch the replay it was so good, that’s an 8 or 9
      If it was good but not memorable it’s a 6 or 7
      Meh and below are 0-5.

      1. @velocityboy I haven’t been watching for as long as you (mid nineties is when I started) but your summary of how you vote is pretty much the same as mine

    5. Absolutely!

      All these ridiculous armchair/keyboard commenters would have a very different view if they had ever tried racing on a puddle covered track with a flat floor a few millimetres off the ground. I have raced there. In the wet. It’s tough.

      Other circuits like Brands or Lydd drain off. Not there.

      I mean what is wrong with you people? The cars of ‘back in my day’ simply were NOT skating along the surface by about 2mm for aero reasonswhere there is absolutely no possibility to run until the puddles are clear. it’s not the wets – it’s the ground clearance that is the issue. Why does everyone want half the grid off the road on a standing start as its entertaining! Particularly as so few of the moaners were actually there. Anyone who was there will tell you apart from a couple of laps too long behind the safety car, it was a blindingly entertaining race. Do we have the LH winning stuff brigade out again?

      It is ridiculously tough and a lottery to race on a soaked circuit until there is a racing line. Unless you set your car up an extra inch off the ground. Not only can’t they do anything like that, they have a surfboard under the car and it kills all of the racing once dry. You fancy that?

      Jeez you moaning lot annoy me! Why not go do some racing in the wet and come back with a revised view on just how difficult it is.

      Guy in front – no idea what he is driving into or any idea of grip level. Guys behind – can’t see c£(p yet somehow the great race between MV and NR is ‘boring’ – because of a few laps behind a safety car?

      Get used to it.

      1. Exactly!

        They could not have started without a safety car. There was standing water in lots of places.

        They could have waited for that water to go away, but running a few F1 cars around speeds that up by a huge amount.

        So all it really did was speed up the start of the actual race.

    6. I’ve driven a kart. Does that mean my opinion of the race is more important?

      I liked it and I drove a kart and you didn’t so you not liking it doesn’t count?

      I think rate the race is seeking opinion of the race, if we try and exclude anyone you don’t think has the credentials to rate it as you see fit, then you’ll get a warped view of how the race was actually perceived by fans.

      1. I suggest you read my post again. Nowhere do I suggest excluding anyone. The rating method would have remained the same. Those who didn’t object would have been asked anonymously for additional personal information. I tried to suggest factors which IMHO might affect peoples ratings.

  7. The race probably lost 1-2 points just because of the interminable safety car start. Had the race began off the grid, or after 1 lap, the order would definitely have been mixed more.

    1. Equally it gained for other reasons, some people voted 9 and even 10, which even in a very positive mood this race was not.

    2. Michal (@michal2009b)
      14th July 2016, 17:34

      Maybe and also we should not forget about VSC which hadn’t helped. But many of races gains/loses points because of something – surprise winner, team orders, off-track controversy etc. Sometimes after the race the rating may be less objective too. The most underrated race on this site is 2013 Malaysian GP – a cracking race featuring a lot of action and drama but voted down a lot because of Red Bull controversy.

  8. Race should have started in virtual safety car for 2 laps and 1 lap of yellow flags and should have let them race. Safety car ruined the fun.

    1. That is an interesting comment @dev having a virtual safety car start. That could allow the time between checkpoints to be altered according to the conditions, but this would likely be faster than the safety car could manage so that it’s easier to get temperature into the brakes and tyres and the standing water is cleared from the racing line more quickly, and thus allows the proper racing to start sooner

  9. The safety car start was also a bit of a letdown, but the main problem was probably that for quite some time it was impossible to overtake. That should not always be a huge problem, but it can lead to very static races. Given the large speed differences the race became quite uninteresting. The Verstappen-Rosberg battle was quite interesting, but Ricciardo, for example, had lost too much time behind Pérez to get involved in that battle too.

  10. Well it was exciting to watch. Onboards were epic…

    Watching masters at work is always a pleasure… but track action in terms of position fights were not really all that great or interesting.

    1. @jureo @ju88sy after complaints about camera positioning at some other tracks, I really appreciated some of the angles that they we able to provide at silverstone. The one showing the cars coming up the international pit straight into copse is always epic, particularly when there’s spray. And the cars looked great into maggots and becketts. I agree some of the onboard spooked fab too.

      we were at the race, and sat on the exit of club corner and I completely agree with @ju88sy, the cars looked extremely skittish through there, every lap it looked as if several drivers could lose control at that corner. Unfortunately this wasn’t captured as well by the tv cameras and so it was hard for the viewers to full appreciate how much skill was employed by the drivers during this race. It was a marvel to be at the race to see it, shame that it wasn’t as obvious on television

      1. Oops I meant “national” pit straight into copse

  11. My Wife and I agreed that as a TV spectacle we can understand how
    this years race may not have been as exciting as others this season, however attending and watching the drivers in those conditions is a very different experience from the curated TV delivery. I enjoy following each driver as they take different lines through a corner and watch their hands as they work to position and control the car.

    On the safety car laps I could hardly see the cars as they headed up the international pit straight due to spray, during the race watching the cars sliding and twitching around was a fabulous demonstration of the drivers supreme skills.

  12. This was a race of 3 parts dominated once again by the tyre regulations;
    Part 1: 5 laps behind safety car on wets, boring.

    Part 2: Intermediates , drivers on dry line virtually unpassable due to water offline but drivers taking care not to wear out/overheat their intermediates before the track was ready for slicks, frustrating.

    Part 3: Slicks, drivers on dry line virtually unpassable due to wet track offline but drivers taking care not to wear out/overheat their tyres before the finish as time lost on an additional pitstop could not be recovered by any new tyre performance advantage, tedious.

    1. @hohum Yes, tyres get more grip when the track is dryer.

  13. Like a safety car start ruins the whole race. People need to get a life!

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