2016 German Grand Prix weekend driver ratings

2016 German Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton led all the way in the German Grand Prix but there were plenty of other strong performances in the field last weekend.

Here’s F1 Fanatic’s verdict on all 22 drivers.


Hamilton grabbed his sixth win of the season
Lewis Hamilton – Was clearly unhappy with being beaten to pole position by Rosberg after locking up at the Spitzkehre. But Hamilton showed again he has got on top of the problems he experienced with his starts at the beginning of the year and took the lead as soon as the lights went out. As early as lap two he had the engine turned down as he cruised to victory.

Nico Rosberg – Fastest in all three practice sessions, Rosberg’s pole chances took a blow when an electronic problem forced his to abandon his first run in Q3. However, despite having a couple of extra laps of fuel on board, he beat Hamilton to pole. However a tardy start threw it away and left him scrapping with the Red Bulls. He was unlucky to lose time at his first pit stop, but a repeat of his Austria defensive move while trying to pass Verstappen led to another penalty. The damage was amplified when Mercedes held him in his pit box too long, and Red Bull’s pace in the final stint was quick enough to block him from the podium.


The Ferraris were in a race of their own
Sebastian Vettel – Admitted he hadn’t got a balance he was happy with in the Ferrari after being out-qualified by Raikkonen. However a quick start meant he led the Ferrari charge, though he wasn’t able to capitalise on Rosberg’s slow getaway. Vettel’s pace slowed at the end of his first stint on softs which explains why he was reluctant to pit early to undercut Verstappen ahead of his final pit stop, extending his run to the chequered flag on softs. He also queries his team’s strategy in Baku following their slip-up in Canada, suggesting some trust has been lost.

Kimi Raikkonen – Seemed more comfortable in the Ferrari in practice and lined up fifth on the grid. However he had wheelspin at the start and fell behind Vettel, and a slow pit stop killed his chances of recovering fifth. His sixth place was never under threat, making this an unexciting race for him.


Bottas rued Williams’s strategy call
Felipe Massa – Needed a late effort in Q2 to reach the final ten after being held up by Sainz. In the race he was tapped by Palmer early on and suffered damage which compromised and eventually ended his race.

Valtteri Bottas – Promoted to seventh on the grid by Hulkenberg’s penalty, but was unable to keep the place in the race after the team gambled on sticking to a two-stop strategy. It didn’t pay off: Bottas was struggling way before the end of his final 33-lap stint which allowed Hulkenberg and Button to capitalise. Given the rate with which his pace was dropping off over 15 laps before the end it is mystifying that Williams didn’t pit him again.

Red Bull

Verstappen accused Rosberg of pushing him off
Daniel Ricciardo – Beating either of the Mercedes didn’t seem possible but Ricciardo got within four tenths of a second of them in qualifying. Gained a place from Rosberg at the start but lost one to his team mate. Nonetheless Ricciardo’s pace on the super-softs was better, and it could have been an interesting fight between the pair had Red Bull not needed to ensure both stayed ahead of Rosberg. Ricciardo’s path to second place was therefore made easier than it might have been, but both Red Bull drivers did well to capitalise on Rosberg’s problems.

Max Verstappen – Attacked the Hockenheimring with gusto when track limits were not enforced in first practice, running wide at turn one on 14 occasions. That knowledge of the grip levels at the corner served him well at the start, where he passed a surprised Ricciardo with millimetres to spare. However his race pace wasn’t quite as good and he came under attack from Rosberg, who incurred a penalty while passing the Red Bull. Verstappen therefore reclaimed the place but yielded second to his team mate: “taking one for the team”, as he put it.

Force India

Perez fought his way back from a poor start
Nico Hulkenberg – A grid drop – however small – seemed harsh for what amounted to an administrative error by his team which did not confer a performance advantage. He started eighth instead of seventh and held that position early on before using the undercut to get ahead of Bottas. While the Williams ran to the end Hulkenberg easily had the pace to make another pit stop and get ahead of him.

Sergio Perez – Was eight-thousandths of a second away from starting two places higher on the grid. But his start was very poor, wheelspin losing him seven places and leaving him with a lot of work to do to get back into the points. He picked off Sainz and Grosjean with little difficulty on his way back through the field, and capitalised on Alonso’s slowing McLaren to claim the final point. His team mate was almost half a minute up the road, however.

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Palmer made a rare appearance in Q2
Kevin Magnussen – Palmer edged him by eight-hundredths of a second in Q1 which meant Magnussen progressed no further. In the race the team committed to a two-stop strategy and realised too late it had been the wrong way to go. He finished where he started: 16th.

Jolyon Palmer – Ocon drove his car in first practice but Palmer was soon up to speed and beat Magnussen into Q2. But he spoiled his race on the first lap by locking up his tyres at turn two and then hitting Massa which forced an early pit stop and, later, a front wing change. A weekend which had started promisingly ended up with 19th place.

Toro Rosso

Saturday was tough for Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat – Hit a low in qualifying with an error-strewn lap which was only good enough to beat the Saubers and one Manor. His race pace was better, however, and he had his team mate in sight at the chequered flag despite losing time when he made his first pit stop.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – Another recipient of a tough qualifying penalty after holding Massa up briefly in Q2. He started well and got up to 12th but he too had slow service in the pits which ended his chance of beating the Haas pair.


Nasr made a fighting start before hitting trouble
Marcus Ericsson – The main positive of the weekend was being able to use the team’s new rear wing in the race. However the two Saubers qualified on the back row and Ericsson brought up the rear. He battled with Haryanto after passing him at the start but never got on terms with the other Manor, finishing behind it.

Felipe Nasr – Joined his team mate on the back row and took advantage of other cars holding each other up at turn one to grab 16th place. However Sauber brought him in for an early first pit stop which proved very slow, and after another slow stop he retired with a loss of power.


Button qualified and raced strongly
Fernando Alonso – Was held up by Vettel in qualifying but later admitted it hadn’t cost him a place in Q3 at a track where McLaren believed they should have been more competitive. However he moved up two places at the start and then overtook Massa’s hobbled Williams to run behind his team mate. There he remained until the final laps when, struggling with worn tyres and a shortage of fuel, he fell prey to Perez and Gutierrez and lost his grip on the top ten.

Jenson Button – Had to visit hospital due on Friday to have some debris removed from his eye, but despite that setback he qualified ahead of his team mate. A rapid start moved him up to ninth place and impressively he had gained another position by the end of the race. Button eked out better tyre life on the super-softs than Alonso managed in the closing laps and grabbed an excellent eighth when Bottas hit trouble.


Wehrlein again showed form on a track he knows
Pascal Wehrlein – As was the case at the Red Bull Ring, Wehrlein put his track knowledge from the DTM to good use and briefly looked like snatching a place in Q2. However he was shuffled back two places at the start which left him fighting Ericsson. He finished ahead of the Sauber as well as Palmer, but the other Renault was much further ahead.

Rio Haryanto – On a weekend when Haryanto was fortunate to be in the car given his financial situation, hitting his team mate wasn’t a prudent move, though the damage was slight. It hasn’t been particularly close between Manor and Sauber in qualifying and Haryanto easily beat both of the blue cars. But in the race he slipped behind both and finished almost 50 seconds behind Wehrlein.


Haas had some success with stop-stop strategies
Romain Grosjean – A water leak in second practice hindered his race preparation and a gearbox change penalty demoted him to 20th place. However using a two-stop strategy he climbed to seventh at one point and at the chequered flag he was only one place (and eight seconds) behind his team mate – a solid recovery.

Esteban Gutierrez – Charles Leclerc drove his car again in the first practice session but Gutierrez showed good form by qualifying ahead of Grosjean in 11th. That was where he finished as well, once more missing out on points after a decent drive including a long opening stint on softs.

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 below and explain why you chose the driver you picked in the comments:

2016 German 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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17 comments on “2016 German Grand Prix weekend driver ratings”

  1. Much better ratings this time. Here’s my take

    Hamilton 4/5 – Lead every lap of the race, but if he had got pole position it would have been a 5
    Rosberg 2/5 – Dreadful start and was unable to get on terms with the Red Bull’s after his penalty

    Vettel 3/5 – Average race where nothing really happened. What were Ferrari thinking when they thought they were going to undercut Verstappen?
    Raikkonen 3/5 – Better pace than Vettel all weekend but lost out at the start and never challenged from then on

    Bottas 4/5 – Should have been seventh which was the maximum result but Williams messed up the strategy
    Massa 2/5 – Collided with Palmer on the first lap and never looked the same as his downhill run of races continued

    Red Bull
    Ricciardo 4/5 – A strong performance by Ricciardo to get back ahead of Verstappen, but was too cautious at the start and lost the place to his teammate
    Verstappen 4/5 – A brilliant move at turn one for second, but after letting his teammate through played second fiddle

    Force India
    Hulkenberg 4/5 – Maximised the result. Seventh was the best they could hope for. A much needed result for the Hulk against Perez
    Perez 3/5 – Shocking start where he fell near the back, but recovered well to finish tenth

    Magnussen 3/5 – Solid showing in pace, but a shame the team put him on the wrong strategy
    Palmer 2/5 – Clumsy on lap one, locking up and colliding which left him at the back for most of the race

    Toro Rosso
    Sainz 2/5 – Didn’t look like himself all weekend long, getting himself a penalty and finishing down the order
    Kvyat 2/5 – Feel for the guy, almost got a 1. 19th was a very poor result and an average race followed

    Nasr 2/5 – Really poor race for him as he ran near Haryanto for most of it after a good start
    Ericsson 2/5 – Better than recent, but he could have defended from Wehrlein

    Alonso 3/5 – Average race, put himself in contention for points but didn’t get there
    Button 4/5 – Nearly a 5, but I though he should have got 11th in qualifying. Tiny margins I know, but the McLaren was clearly quicker than the Haas. Strong showing

    Wehrlein 3/5 – Beat Ericsson and Palmer in an improved performance
    Haryanto 1/5 – Should have not even come here. Half a minute down on the nearest car and crashed into his teammate

    Grosjean 3/5 – Bad qualifying compounded with gearbox issues, so 13th wasn’t bad but Gutierrez has got the better of him of late
    Gutierrez 4/5 – Impressive performance. He’s beaten Grosjean in the last two races now

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      1st August 2016, 16:49

      Not sure if I’d give Rosberg only 2/5.
      He made ‘only’ 2 mistakes (start, hairpin) and disappointingly stopped attacking in the early (albeit on instructions from his team) and latter parts of the race.
      He still ruled Friday and Saturday, with especially his pole effort being very impressive (it is a Weekend Driver Rating after all).

    2. @lolzerbob How exactly does being shunted by a Renault at the hairpin mean Massa deserves a 2/5? Granted, it wasn’t a standout weekend, but it’s hard to drive a car that’s been damaged beyond repair by someone else’s stupid driving.

    3. Keith , Dan was driver of the weekend and race according to most pundits and websites, l cannot see how you rated button above him?

  2. My driver ratings:

    Hamilton – 4/5 – Never had the outright pace of his teammate on this track and qualified second, but drove a very good race, leading every lap and was never under threat.
    Rosberg – 2/5 – He did a great job in qualifying, taking pole position despite being hampered with an electronic issue on his first lap in Q3. However, in the race his performance was dismal, and he even finished behind the two Red Bulls.

    Vettel – 3/5 – An average weekend for him, nothing amazing but he did a solid job in the race as his Ferrari did not have the pace for the podium, but he finished in the top 5. However, he was slower than his teammate and was outqualified by him.
    Raikkonen – 3/5 – He outqualified his teammate, and could have finished 5th if it wasn’t for the slow stop.

    Bottas – 3/5 – The Williams was a hard car to drive all weekend, but despite this he managed to score points in it with a 9th place finish. Decent drive.
    Massa – 3/5 – He was also in a bad-handling Williams, and he was also unlucky in the race when he was hit by Jolyon Palmer which further hindered his pace.

    Red Bull:
    Ricciardo – 5/5 – My driver of the race and the weekend. He outqualified his teammate and started a strong 3rd. His pace in the race was excellent, and he was not only faster than his teammate, but was also faster than the two Mercedes. Great drive.
    Verstappen – 4/5 – He was slower than his teammate, but still managed to finish on the podium and got the job done. Solid weekend.

    Force India:
    Hulkenberg – 4/5 – He was faster than his teammate throughout the weekend. He pretty much got the maximum out of his car, finishing only behind the Mercedes, Red Bulls and the Ferraris.
    Pérez – 2/5 – Not a great race for him. Had the car to finish in the top 8 but only managed 10th.

    Magnussen – 3/5 – Was outqualified by Palmer, but was much better than him in the race. He also didn’t crash into Massa, which is good.
    Palmer – 2/5 – Got into Q2, but it all went downhill from there. He hit Felipe Massa and finished down in 19th, way behind his teammate in P16.

    Toro Rosso:
    Sainz – 2/5 – First weekend where he didn’t score points in a while. He impeded Massa in qualifying, which earned him a grid penalty. He still finished ahead of his teammate, but was nowhere near the points.
    Kvyat – 2/5 – His qualifying was terrible, not making it through to Q2. His race wasn’t all that brilliant either, as he finished behind his teammate. I genuinely feel sorry for the guy, as his demotion to Toro Rosso has left him as a demotivated man.

    Nasr – 3/5 – He outqualified his teammate, but unfortunately nobody else. His race was equally terrible, but it wasn’t his fault as he retired from the race.
    Ericsson – 2/5 – He qualified dead last and only finished ahead of a Manor. Not great is it.

    Button – 5/5 – Superb weekend from him, qualifying ahead of Alonso. He finished in a brilliant P8, and passed Bottas in the closing stages.
    Alonso – 3/5 – He was outqualified by Button, and was not able to score points in the race with worn tyres at the end.

    Wehrlein – 3/5 – Beat his teammate in qualifying and the race by big margins. He also beat a Toro Rosso in qualifying. Decent job by him.
    Haryanto – 1/5 – He was outqualified by his teammate, and in the race he finished last, AGAIN.

    Grosjean – 3/5 – He was beaten by his teammate Esteban Gutiérrez, who is not exactly the best driver in the world. Not very good from him.
    Gutiérrez – 3/5 – If I was leading a race, I would hate to lap him. Apart from that, a solid job as he beat Grosjean. This man is my favourite, I love this guy.

  3. Ericsson had a better weekend than Nasr and was p11 in pt1 which is a great performance in the worst car on the grid.
    Bad qualification after locking up but a better race than Nasr and gaining 4 places during the race. So I don’t really get why Ericsson was given 2 and Nasr 3. Nasr had one ok lap the whole weekend the rest was really bad all weekend for him..

    Just my 2 cents as a Sauber-fan..

    1. You have to see why after the start Nasr got behind Ericsson. Just because Sauber called him really early, for another bad strategy, which took 12 seconds allowing Marcus to go way ahead him.
      Yes, Ericsson did a really good job in the practices, but we all know he has not delivered in the past few races when it really matters. Moreover I’ve never seen Marcus pulling out a maneuver like the one Nasr did in the start. Actually, when you are at the back with a bad car and your teammate is 4, 5 positions ahead it is really hard to make up and finish ahead.

      1. Agreed thats Marcus has had a few bad races but I think he did a good job during the race this weekend managing his tyres and bringing the car up a few places.. Also when driving one of the worst cars if not worst, you have a tougher job and are more likely to push over the edge..

        Nasr wasnt fast of the line but got a bit of a present at the first corner. But after that it was not good even if he lost a few seconds in the pits.

        I think a 3 for Nasr when you are dead last is very generous. I would give him 2 for outqualifying his teammate. Otherwise he would have got a 1 considering the race..

        I’m looking forward for the upgrades that are coming to Sauber, hopefully that will up their pace a bit!

        1. In the end you do have a point. Maybe Nasr didn’t deserve a 3 compared to Ericsson’s consistency.
          As you said, let’s just wait for some upgrades, they need to at least finish the championship ahead of Manor.

  4. Rosberg looked great all weekend until the actual race.
    I really thought this was going to be his day but after a bad start he never really showed the pace to challenge the Red Bulls.
    Whatever your opinion on the controversial overtake on Max, he really should have been closer to them throughout the race. I give him 2/5. The 2 for great practice and qualifying. I would give him 0 for the race.

  5. Evil Homer (@)
    2nd August 2016, 14:35

    Rosberg 2/5 a bit harsh guys, he made a mistake at the start then only when he mistook Max for his teammate :)

    Daniel was 5/5 “for sure”- solid practice, quali and then a good race- what he was short of a perfect weekend he made up for with his “Shoey”, what a champ! And to quote Nico “and, um…that’s it!” LOL

    1. Or his ‘Schuey’, being allowed past his teammate?

      1. Duncan Idaho (@)
        2nd August 2016, 23:49

        Surely there would have been a “No” if he thought he was faster.

  6. How do you know if a redbull, Ferrari, Mercedes or a Williams driver rating in a race if they have the equal amounts of errors and gains. I pose the question because it seems more often than not the better the car the less points the driver gets.

    To me a lot of times the absense of data/evidence is just that, absence!

    1. This is an opinion piece and a bit of fun. You don’t know for sure, that’s what makes discussion interesting.

  7. Rosberg 2/5. It doesn’t matter what you do in qualifying if you drive like Schumacher in Jerez during the race.

    And Wehrlein should be 4/5 I think. Otherwise, looks pretty spot on to me.

  8. Button did a good job, but I think that one of the reasons he struggled less than Alonso on the SS at the last stint was that he was on a fresh set, whereas Alonso’s had already done several laps in qualifying

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