Start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

2016 mid-season driver rankings part two: 12-6

Driver rankings

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Part two of F1 Fanatic’s mid-season driver rankings features seven drivers who’ve impressed in more ways than one – but not enough to gain a place in the top five.

12. Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2016
Button ran second in Austria

Jenson Button

Beat team mate in qualifying3/12
Beat team mate in race3/6
Races finished9/12
Laps spent ahead of team mate239/544
Points17

Button has been a more regular visitor to the points than his fellow world champion team mate but Fernando Alonso has managed to drag the McLaren further up the top ten when he been in the points.

This is partly down to the car’s patchy reliability letting its drivers down: Button was in good shape early on in Bahrain before suffering a power unit problem and another ended his race in Canada. A curious strategy choice by the team in Australia squandered a potentially very good points scoring opportunity.

When the car has held together Button has produced some excellent drives, Austria being by far the best as he claimed sixth place having lined up an improbable third on the grid. But on other occasions Alonso has shown him the way, notably in Russia.

Over to you

Has shown he is still a safe pair of hands, but needs to be a match to Alonso.
@Omarr-pepper

What’s your verdict on Jenson Button’s 2016 season so far? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

11. Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016
After sixth in Australia, Grosjean went one better in Bahrain

Romain Grosjean

Beat team mate in qualifying8/12
Beat team mate in race3/8
Races finished10/12
Laps spent ahead of team mate318/604
Points28

Haas and Grosjean peaked early with top six finishes in the first two races of the year. At the time it seemed they had sussed F1’s fickle Pirelli tyres beautifully: Grosjean cannily one-stopped thanks to his team mate’s crash in Austria, then employed an aggressive three-stop to take big points in Bahrain.

A first-lap error in China which damaged his car marked the beginning of a downturn and the team haven’t been able to hit those highs since, which is only partly to do with other teams getting their act together and developing more quickly since the opening rounds. Grosjean’s radio frustrations have revealed his bemusement about how the team appears to have lost its way with tyre performance, and he’s had confidence-sapping brake and front wing problems too.

However Grosjean’s flair for qualifying has still been apparent – he almost eliminated in Lewis Hamilton during Q2 in Hungary. And he’s responsible for all four of Haas’s points finishes so far.

Over to you

Been a bit off as of late, but still done magic in that Haas.
@Craig-o

What’s your verdict on Romain Grosjean’s 2016 season so far? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

10. Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Monte-Carlo, 2016
Hulkenberg qualified a strong fifth in Monaco

Nico Hulkenberg

Beat team mate in qualifying7/12
Beat team mate in race5/10
Races finished10/12
Laps spent ahead of team mate294/637
Points33

In terms of sheer results Hulkenberg appears to have been eclipsed by Sergio Perez but you don’t need to look far beneath the surface to discover that’s not entirely fair. Both have managed seven points scores.

Perez being two-nil up on podiums gives an impression he is performing at a higher level. But in Monaco Hulkenberg did a superior job in qualifying to start fifth only to luck out with his strategy, dropping behind Perez. Without that the pair would be level on podiums too.

It’s been an often-frustrating half-season for Hulkenberg at times having twice been hit by Esteban Gutierrez on the first lap. But at times he’s let himself down, and never more conspicuously so than in Baku where a spin meant he failed to reach Q3 while his team mate did and set the second-fastest time.

Over to you

Has come out on the wrong end of strategy calls a lot, most notably in Monaco and at Silverstone. Still one of the quickest out there.
@GeeMac

What’s your verdict on Nico Hulkenberg’s 2016 season so far? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

9. Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2016
Just one podium for Williams so far in 2016 thanks to Bottas in Canada

Valtteri Bottas

Beat team mate in qualifying10/12
Beat team mate in race5/10
Races finished12/12
Laps spent ahead of team mate378/669
Points58

Williams clearly haven’t got as competitive a car as they enjoyed over the last two seasons and consequently it can appear as though their drivers aren’t performing as well as they should be. So while Bottas has reasserted himself over Felipe Massa this year that isn’t always readily apparent.

Show the FW38 a track with long straights and it flies, with Bottas usually taking the most from it. He gave Williams their only podium of the year so far at Montreal, a track where he reliably excels, and was on it in Russia too. His luck deserted him in Baku, where having been quick throughout Friday his Saturday preparations were wrecked by a loose drain. Even so he came away with more points for sixth place.

Only two other drivers have been classified in every race so far this year, and only on his off-weekends at Monte-Carlo and Silverstone did Bottas fail to score. That tendency to be a safe pair of hands usually extends to starts, where he has lost out in the past. An attempt to be more aggressive cost him in Bahrain, where he tangled with Lewis Hamilton and collected a penalty.

Over to you

Has coped with the decline in Williams’ performance much better than Massa and beat him comfortably both in qualifying and in races. Still somehow underrated but in my opinion ready for next step.
@Montreal95

What’s your verdict on Valtteri Bottas’s 2016 season so far? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

8. Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2016
Rosberg’s Sochi win was his fourth in a row at the beginning of the year

Nico Rosberg

Beat team mate in qualifying5/11
Beat team mate in race5/11
Races finished11/12
Laps spent ahead of team mate337/682
Points198

Eighth may seem a very harsh verdict on a driver who’s won five of the twelve races so far. But with a car which is still substantially quicker than the opposition and a team mate who has hit trouble several times, there has been more than one occasion where Rosberg has had to do little more than show up on time to collect maximum points.

This is not to say there aren’t several points Rosberg deserves credit for: he susses the new start procedure more quickly than Lewis Hamilton and that won him some races early on. He drove superbly in Baku and his most recent two pole positions were from the top drawer, however controversial the one in Hungary might have been.

But he’s been found wanting in wet weather: notably in Monaco where he went backwards and at Silverstone where he was humbled by Max Verstappen. And as Hamilton has closed in Rosberg’s defensive driving has gone from desperate to cynical and started getting him in trouble.

Over to you

Great first four races before he has completely bottled a 43 point lead to 19 point deficit
@Lolzerbob

What’s your verdict on Nico Rosberg’s 2016 season so far? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

7. Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez, Force India, Baku City Circuit, 2016
Perez passed Raikkonen on his way to his second podium of the year

Sergio Perez

Beat team mate in qualifying5/12
Beat team mate in race5/10
Races finished12/12
Laps spent ahead of team mate343/637
Points48

Podiums in Monaco and Baku were the obvious highlight of the first half of the season for both Perez and his team. But third place in Baku might have been even higher had he started from second place, where he qualified, instead of seventh. The penalty resulted from a gearbox change due to a crash in practice.

Although Perez hasn’t yet got the measure of his team mate in qualifying, he has been more convincing compared to Hulkenberg this year. However there’s still room for improvement.

Those two podiums are his only top-five finishes so far, yet another was on the cards at Silverstone until he spun. A poor start in Germany left him well behind Hulkenberg at the chequered flag, so while the best results have gone Perez’s way he and Hulkenberg have finished in front of each other the same number of times.

Over to you

Took two well earned podiums this season and has been outperforming his teammate in most races.
@UltimateUzair

What’s your verdict on Sergio Perez’s 2016 season so far? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

6. Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monte-Carlo, 2016
Alonso shone at a wet Monaco

Fernando Alonso

Beat team mate in qualifying8/11
Beat team mate in race3/6
Races finished8/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate305/538
Points24

Given a more competitive McLaren to wield we’ve seen more of Alonso’s ferocious commitment this year. Taking fifth at a wet Monaco ahead of Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes was a highlight.

Russia brought a fine sixth place having started eight places back and took advantage of the first-lap incidents. And seventh-to-seventh in Hungary was the limit of what the McLaren could get on a day when the Mercedes, Ferraris and Red Bulls all finished.

However at time he’s arguably pushed a bit too far. At Silverstone he queried McLaren’s strategy on a day when their choices were limited, then spun away a potentially better result than he achieved.

Over to you

Starting to seem a bit more Alonso-like. Had some really good runs such as Hungary.
@Craig-o

What’s your verdict on Fernando Alonso’s 2016 season so far? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

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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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  • 108 comments on “2016 mid-season driver rankings part two: 12-6”

    1. I don’t see any reason other than some sort of intangible, subjective feeling for Alonso being so far ahead of Button.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        18th August 2016, 14:27

        @hahostolze – In a sport full of circumstantial and car-related distortions impairing any kind of perfect comparison, the intangible, subjective gut reactions of an experienced petrolhead is often the most reliable barometer. I certainly sense that the relentless, remorseless competitor we know and love is making a comeback this year, having been dormant for much of 2015.

      2. @hahotolze Alonso has been better than Button. And it’s odd to accuse a Brit of favoring Alonso.

        1. Where did nationality play into this?

      3. @hahostolze I too would see these two as virtually equal and thus those six places seem big. However, I also believe that, due to the professionalism and the overall high level, the differencies between drivers are a lot smaller than it used to be some time ago, and putting them into a ranking will always produce seemingly artifical big gaps between some relatively equal performances, just due to a lot of drivers being there or thereabout.
        Or to put it in a wild guesstimation: If you´d put Senna/Prost into a 2016 Red Bull, there were maybe 3-5 other drivers on the 1990-grid that would have secured the title in a Merc. If you put the two best drivers today (whoever that might be, there´s about 6 or so candidates) in the Red Bull, there´s about 15-18 drivers on the grid who´d finish ahead in the championship in this years Merc.

        1. Alonso has been better than Button sometimes, noticeably in qualifying. Button has never really been that amazing over one lap in the last few years.

          However, six places better! I don’t think this is a very fair reflection of their relative performance. Alonso has sometimes pushed too hard and made silly errors. I think overall Button has been more consistent without Alonso’s occassional flashes of brilliance. A couple places better maybe but 6 in my opinion is very exaggerated.

          1. Agree. Button actually outperformed Fred more than not. So…having trouble understanding this ‘objective’ driver ranking process. Oh…wait..it matches the F1’s political inanities very well. Summer break doldrums. Carry on.

    2. 6. Rosberg – After the first four races he would have been first on my list. Now he is only sixth because of his catastrophic bottle job of the lead.
      7. Pérez – Took two well earned podiums this season and has been outperforming his teammate in most races.
      8. Raikkonen – He’s actually been pretty decent so far this season. He leads Vettel in the points but his car has been slightly more reliable.
      9. Alonso – He’s done pretty well so far picking up solid points on three occasions in the slow McLaren.
      10. Button – He has also done well finishing in the points quite often. Has been quite close to his teammate.
      11. Bottas – The Williams has been a tricky beast to tame this season but he has done a good job even finishing on the podium at one stage.
      12. Hulkenberg – Still behind his teammate but he is getting closer to his 2014 form.

      1. I respect your opinion Keith, but I think that the gap between Alonso and Button is a little too big.

        1. Liam McShane (@)
          18th August 2016, 13:53

          I would generally agree with this. Perhaps swapping Rosberg and Perez around. I think button and Alonso have been pretty much even this year and I really don’t understand the gap as you outlined.

          1. Alonso crashed out in Australia….no points. He was then deemed medically unfit to participate in Bahrain….no points. He has since had 3 more DNFs. 5 races no points. Button has had 3 DNFs so far. #:)

            1. Yes, Alonso did crash out in Australia, and that should count against him. It was a stupid accident and arguably Alonso’s fault.

              Button has only started 1 more race than Alonso this year. These rankings are a joke.

    3. Rosberg 8th may look as shots fired but seems fair too. 2016 was ‘his’ year to win the title but he’s not been that regular.
      He scored 100 points in the first four races, then only 93 points in the last eight races – driving the most dominant car in the field.

    4. Strange to see Alonso so high on this list considering he also made a mistake at Hungarian Grand Prix quali and did amateurish and outsandingly dangerous mistake at Melbourne, letting go a precious chance to score points in Bahrain in the process.

      1. @huhhii It’s simple isn’t it? If he hadn’t made those mistakes, he would’ve been higher up.

      2. I don’t think that qualifying spin is as damming as you’re trying to make it out to be. Sainz, Hamilton and Vestappern (who will all be ranked above Alonso) have made worse errors in qualifying, but if you get the job done in the race, as Alonso did in Hungary, it somewhat negates it.

    5. Wow! Nico Rosberg 8th?
      I knew there were surprises coming but this is certainly a shocker. Nico is definitely not supposed to be anywhere lower than 3. I don’t know why Keith has always been harsh rating Nico. Giving Nico 5th best after 2014 where he finished 2nd, was not appropriate and scoring him 8th after 4 straight victories or 7 straight victories (across two seasons) is also not acceptable.

      1. Have you watched any of the races after the first four? I think 8th for Rosberg is generous.

        You don’t think there’s at least 7 people who couldn’t do better in his situation?

      2. That’s because Keith is British and he will favour Hamilton even if Hamilton is coming last in every race, he will be number 1. Kimi is deserving to be here. I would switch places with the two Finn’s.

        1. @Blink
          Nationaity is not the issue. The issue is that Keith like every other F1 fan has one or two drivers that are close to his heart. It is normal.
          Having said that, I don’t think LH has performed well enough given his machinery this season so far to be placed 1st. He was roundly beaten severally by Nico in the early stages of the championship and he obviously was not prepared for the new clutch rule change. Then his early races were not as clean as they should have been with the first lap contacts.
          Among the top remaining 5, the person I would place on top is Max V who has nailed every opportunity he has had to score points, followed by Danny, Seb and finally Ham in 4th.

          1. Right…

            So Tata – Keith as a respected journalist is somehow nationally biased towards someone he has yet to actually post a rating for but you of course, being the completely non objective user of his free site assume the answer and criticise him beforehand based on what was actually a very fair assessment of his team mates performance this year? Incredible.

            (Said evaluation was frankly rather generous given the ridiculous head start offered up through a series of acknowledged Merc clutch issues, some questionable sitting on the apex at the start drives thus forcing a crash for his team mate and some truly desperate and wholly unnecessary driving that even forced his team and then the erratic FIA to have a word and penalise him)

            You however, unilaterally decide that Keith has a national bias and therefore claim the moral high ground, then suggest you are completely unaffected by any such form of bias, and state the greatest person on the grid this year is, in your opinion, Max. Someone who has without doubt been very well marketed but hardly outshone his team mate. The claim? Well.

            It’s based on nothing more than ‘he scored points’ and conveniently ignoring some useful strategic help, an excellent car and a tendency towards some truly questionable defensive tactics that would and may well see him sitting in the barriers when he tries than on say, Alonso and co.

            You know, just like his fabulous Monaco run where he really grabbed lots of points. In how not to race!

            Let’s keep the accolades until he has actually run a championship fight and won something shall we?

            At the moment and in this year, if you can’t see turning a 43 point deficit into a 19 point credit up against a team mate driving the very same car all in 7 races without a reliability issue for said team mate is impressive?

            Well let’s hope you apply similar criteria to you unbiased non national choice in the future.

            1. I should have said Tata and Blink

            2. @Drg
              I don’t think I ever said or alluded to Keith being nationally biased. In fact, I am the first to criticize him on how he handles matters regarding his fellow country man Lewis in comparison to another if his fellow country man JB.
              Lewis has done astonishingly well in turning a 43 point deficit into a 19 point lead in a matter of 7 races no doubt about that but we must not forget that he has also had a rather poor start to the season part of which stem from his initial difficulties in mastering the new clutch rules. But as with most things, Hamilton has tackled that issue head-on and dealt with it as we have seen in the last few races.
              Yes Nico lost a massive advantage due to under-performance on his part but it is not appropriate to simply forget the stellar performance he had in the first races of the season.
              Looking at what Keith has done, he seems to have among other critieria taken a serious look at drivers who have consistently moved themselves upwards through performance unlike Nico who seems to have gone backwards. But that is still not enough to rank him 8th. I think.

            3. ‘Keith as a respected journalist’
              Erm, ok…

          2. Max didn’t nail every opportunity to score points, he did badly in Monaco.

        2. @Blink
          “That’s because Keith is British and he will favour Hamilton even if Hamilton is coming last in every race, he will be number 1. ”

          That’s got to be sarcasm, Hamilton was ranked 2 last year and 3 in 2014, after coming first over half the races in that time!

      3. The Merc duo generally isn’t doing that well this season. I am not surprised to see Rosberg in 8th and Hamilton is lucky to be included in this poll in the top five. They both have made so many mistakes this season and have left many points on the table. The car is doing most of the work here.

      4. Nico Rosberg should change his name by deed poll, to Nico Bottleberg. A 43-point lead over Hamilton to a 19-point deficit in less than 8 races is poor. I ranked him 6th which is more than generous.

        1. I was thinking that or Nico Rowboat as he goes backwards in the wet

      5. How could Nico Rosberg be considered the 3rd best driver so far this year!? His starts have been poor, his racecraft has been poor and he’s thrown away a massive lead in the Championship!

      6. Not sure why Keith was so hard on Rosberg, particularly when he started the season so strongly.

        I do know putting Vettel in the top six is another shameless example of his Vettel favouritism though, despite having yet another season of having been showed up as mediocre.

    6. No way Hulkenberg can be rated above Raikonnen. Alonso is too high – I would put him at 10th just followed by Button & Hulk. The 13th place should go to Bottas who has been unimpressive all season.

      Rosberg should finish in the bottom of the top which hopefully shd be in this order
      1. VES
      2. RIC
      3. HAM
      4. VET
      5. ROS

      My Rating from 6-15
      6. Perez
      7. Raikonnen
      8. Sainz
      9. Grosjean
      10. Alonso
      11. Button
      12. Hulkenberg
      13. Gutierrez
      14. Bottas
      15. Wehrlein

      1. I would be inclined to agree mostly, but, would drop Rosberg and Perez to 6th and 7th whilst lifting Raikonnen to 5th (who has been performing very well this season)..

        I’m not sure about having Ves on top either (although he has had a win and Riccardo definitely denied a win), he would certainly be equal in my viewpoint to Riccardo…

        Finally I would swap Hamilton and Vettel around… Being controversial, but, Hamilton did effectively trigger the Spanish collision…

    7. Sainz getting an exceedingly generous rating then – would he really be doing a better job than Alonso, Rosberg, Button, Perez, Grosjean, Hulk? Really?? I would put him in the Bottas/Raikkonen league just outside the top 10 range personally but will be interested to see KC’s reasoning.

      1. @danieru I stuck Sainz in sixth http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/groups/f1/forum/topic/2016-f1-driver-rankings-your-mid-season-verdict/#post-326459 but he is fully deserving of all the praise he is getting this season. Remember that he has stuck a Toro Rosso with a year-old power unit in the top eight on no less than five occasions this season, including three races consecutively. He has completely annihilated a demoralised Kvyat. He is just outside of the top ten in the standings ahead of the Kvyat, Alonso and Button, and has just three points less than Hulkenberg. Arguably all of those have driven better machinery this season.

      2. I think Keith’s ranking of Sainz, at least for now, in the top 5 is spot on. The guy had done extremely well with the equipment he has been given so far this year. People tend to forget that the guy is driving a car that is powered by a 2015 Ferrari engine. And as @craig-o pointed out his ability to pull that car into the top 8 finishing position severally this year is something to be commended.
        Now, no one knows how his second season will pan out, but for now, he has performed exceedingly well.

      3. @danieru Sainz has done a great job in the Toro Rosso and is deserving of a top 5 position. He ranks at number 4 on my list. He has consistently finished in the points in an underpowered car, and has definitely done a better job than Bottleberg, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Bottas and Raikkonen. Perez has done well but at times has been inconsistent. The McLaren pair have done a good job, but I think that Sainz is better.

      4. @danieru I think the majority will disagree with your opinion not just Keith. Sainz has been getting universal praise from both the insiders in the sport, the press and the fans for his performances this season. Not everyone will put him in their top 5( I did, I’d put him P4) but most would place him well inside the top 10. And I would very much like to hear your reasoning for putting him behind the drivers you’d mentioned. Everyone has their own opinions and the difference in their validity is about how well they are supported by evidence. I’m open minded about this and if your arguments are good I’m prepared to change my opinion

        1. You won’t hear any.

          He just had the temerity to be a team mate to the hallowed one and dared race him here and there!

      5. I would put Sainz at #5. Honestly, after Ricciardo, Verstappen and Hamilton he has been the standout performer of the season. I’d put his performances level with Vettel this season.

    8. I would definitely switch Bottas and Button around. The Finn hasn’t really impressed this year, whereas Button has performed surprisingly well. Admittedly I had high expectations for Bottas and lower expectactions for Button, but still.

      1. Why is his performance surprising exactly?? Honestly, I just don’t get the criticism/lack of faith in Button.

        Only guy to ever score more points than Alonso – BUTTON
        Only guy to ever score more points than Hamilton – BUTTON

        He’s beaten new ‘young guns’ and world champions alike. He’s a world champion and every single year he’s had a car capable, he’s been in the fight for the title.

        His performance is surprising?? Give me a break!

        1. Absolutely agree!!! Button finished 4 places ahead of Alonso at the last race battling the same conditions and having been running nose to tail for a lot of the race. Button just managed the race better.

        2. Button is one of the most underrated drivers on the grid. He is a world champion and is the only driver to have outscored both Hamilton and Alonso but still he is not regarded among the best.

    9. For the love of all hell someone give Grosjean a car!!! He took the HAASmobile no where it belongs. My passion, drive and therefore performance would be diminishing too if no matter how well I perform I’m stuck in a back marker’s car. Why Ferrari didn’t pair him with Vettel for next year is beyond me (Is Raikkonen’s marketability worth so much?)

      “there has been more than one occasion where Rosberg has had to do little more than show up on time to collect maximum points.” and arguably there’s been more than one occasion where he hasn’t even managed to show up “on time” :’D Especially when the checkered flag’s waving. Glad to see him down the order, although I still question if he shouldn’t be further.

      Looking forward to the rest! Certainly don’t envy the job of compiling these. There’s always arguments that can be made for where drivers could be ranked higher/lower. I don’t think it’s possible to get it “right”.

    10. A repeat from last years mid-season ranking, Sainz again is being ranked too high. He was on average 1s a lap slower as Verstappen in Spain (that was when Red Bull still had the first specification Tag Heuer engine), so he did nothing special in that race. Canada was another race at which he only overtook a Manor in the first lap and Gutiérrez (after Kvyat already had overtaken him), all the other overtakes were done be strategy.

      Sainz really isn’t doing anything different as he did when Verstappen still was driving at Toro Rosso. Keith really needs to put more emphasis on the race pace of the different drivers, because staying at a much more safe distance of the limit really doesn’t take much skill (it only gives a way bigger margin of error, making it much easier not to make big mistakes, but it also makes drivers not that fast in races). However it’s actually race pace which brings in the most points and not staying comfortably away from the limit. I wonder how Sainz is going to do next year when there’s again the need to drive closer to the limit with the new tyres, doing it for one lap is one thing, but having to do it multiple times without too many big mistakes is something else.

      1. I think Keith knows what he is doing, much more so than a bias Verstappen fan…

        1. …so you agree with Keith race pace isn’t what brings in the points?

      2. You might well be very surprised how well certain drivers you seem to suggest have little skill, do when faced with a car and tyres that allow a solid two hours of so at near qualification pace. It a whole different skill to tyre whispering, measuring out pace, never overheating the tyres and driving around as slow as possible, and if as I dearly hope, we are getting regs that finally stop trying to equalise the field, make the mediocre look ‘fast’ and allow the truly fast guys to show what they can do.

        That’s just fine by me.

        1. And just to clarify. Race pace in what is the best chassis on the grid in an era of tyre and fuel saving is an absolutely ridiculous measurement when up against a car with 10% of the budget and a year old engine.

          Particularly so when the fastest guy is spending his whole race at the front trying to save his engine because the first three expired!

          Even more so when you add some seriously odd lower level ‘karting’ defensive stunts into the equation.

          Bottom line – the kid is fast. He is however in the very best chassis on the grid and in the best funded team with a real know how on winning.

          Yet measured against a chap not far behind in a year old engined TR?

          Come on you lot – be a little sensible.

          1. I’m pretty sensible. Accept for one fluke race (Bahrain ’15), in the 22 races Sainz and Verstappen were teammates, Sainz did not have once more race pace, even in the few races Verstappen ended up behind. Which also gives you an answer as to why one driver was able to score more points (similar between Ricciardo and Verstappen now, once Verstappen sorted out his set up he was faster in 3 consecutive races (Baku, Austria and Silverstone (in Hungary and Germany track position and strategy played a part)))…a better race pace (without making too many mistakes) is simply the single most important thing to score the most points.

            Now Keith and some of you of seem to think, driving more safely (slower) and consistently will result in more points over a season as driving faster without too many mistakes…and I need to be sensible?

            1. You confusing our defence of Sainz with a debate on Sainz being better than Verstappen. Nobody above is even coming close to saying that. That however does not mean we cannot praise Sainz for the work he has done which has been brilliant.

              Every single time someone praises Sainz for one of his races you’re so quick to jump in with the Verstappen comparison whilst nobody actually cares what Verstappen was doing. Verstappen in itself is a brilliant racer and a great talent but when we want to talk about Sainz please don’t always drag Max into it.

              And if anything Sainz deserved DOTW in Spain, not Verstappen! The End.

            2. I wasn’t about Sainz being better as Verstappen. It was about Sainz wrongfully being put above other drivers because driving slower to prevent making a lot of mistakes is synonymous to being better apparently.

    11. Lol ricciardo above Hamilton, that’s a good one!

      Is this a “who has the better Instagram content”? Or is driving part of the discussion?

      1. Ricciardo deserves the to be P1. He has been outstanding every single race. Had strategy or SC fallen his way rather than Verstappen he would’ve won both Monaco and Spain.

        1. Still can’t believe lots of fans feel like Spain was a sure win for Ricciardo…

          Like in a couple of more races Ves was faster in the early stages of the race, held up in fact.
          Ric was asked to take distance from Ves, but he just couldn’t, that’s the reason Ric was put on a different more aggresive 3-stopper (on paper the better strategy). After that he wasted precious time fighting Vettel, made a very poor move on Vettel, ruined his tyres and above all ran a flat. Ric ended in fourth, not third not second… Vettel beat him on a same stategy. It’s the same as saying Verstappen would have won in Germany…

          Ric was unfortunate at Monaco, but then again he got some team favours in Monaco, Baku, Austria, Hungary and Germany. He surely is top 5, awefully curious about the objective top 5…..

          5. Vet, we all know he can do better, but frustation make him over do things
          4. Rai, surprisingly more consistant than Vet
          3. Ric, often beaten by his fresh team mate on racepace, often been overtaken by his team mate
          2. Ham, undeniable hardly beatable, messed up a few times though, big ego results in to crashes with team mate
          1. Ves, outclassed Sai in 2016, new to the team, but still slightly the overhand on Ric, only winner outside Mercedes

          1. @matn
            I disagree with Vet being 5th. He was the only driver has highest badluck in top 6 2-3 times he put him self in the position to win and lost it only through the super strategy brains in Ferrari pit wall along side the horrid reliability of Gear boxes and Engine Failure of Bahrain and oh Torpedo in Russia he lost more points and kimi is hardly ahead of him by 2 points considering all this.
            My ratings is
            1. Ves – Absoultely nothing short of sensational considering this is his 1st season with RBR and he swapped with Kvyat from Spain.He made mistakes but he shown he has the skill.
            2. Ham – Sublime with some small mistakes here and there
            3. Vet – Did what he could at max with the Stupid strategy calls and Worst reliability
            4. Ric – Good but not great he finished all the races compared to Every one of top 6 and unable to use the advantage of having RBR for first 4 races considering the fact that he was on 36 Points and Max just 13 when they reached spain and the gap is only decreased than increased even with max making a poor job in Monaco. he has bad luck in Monaco but then again comparing to his team mate it wasn’t stellar
            5. Sainz – Making good use of STR as much as he can

            1. I could swap Ham with Vet though
              6.Kimi – He was there but not enough to challenge Vettel when he has a issue free race but lot of consistency from him than 2015

      2. Ricciardo is better than Hamilton this season and should get P1. Hamilton has not driven as well compared to last season, so it’s no joke. Ricciardo, Verstappen and Vettel and even Rosberg have been better than him at times this year.

      3. Ricciardo, Verstappen and Vettel should be ahead of Hamilton.

        He’s been clumsy on the first lap and is slower than Rosberg in quali way too often.

        1. @paeschli Hamilton has been fine in qually. Ros and Ham im sure would love Kimi as teammate. 20/1 the score would be. Ham was on a mega lap in Hungary remember. Baku and Hoc Ham messed up. You do know he could not set a lap a few times right?. Rosberg is very quick. Vet does not even have a silly adv over Kimi in pace. And Ros would be 3xwc with Kimi as teammate.

          1. Lol, what are you smoking mate?

      4. Ricciardo above Hamilton

        Neither of those drivers have appeared in the ranking so far.

    12. Honestly agreed with most of the list except Button/Alonso. I’ve felt they’ve been pretty evenly matched, I don’t think there’s that much of a gap between them to be honest.

      1. Also, Sainz in the top six? He’s been good sure, but there’s a few drivers that have done better.

        1. I fully agree with you. Both Alonso and Sainz are overrated.

    13. Alonso in front of Perez? And in 6th?

    14. Like many, I’m also disagree with Button/Alonso placement. IMO Button done better than Grosjean, Hulkenberg, and Bottas. Button and Alonso performance is really close, and I think Button is a bit better because Alonso did some silly mistakes this year. Rosberg, which all the blunder he made in last few races still doing great job until Monaco and still a genuine threat to Hamilton in qualifying. With that, my rank would be:

      1. Hamilton
      2. Verstappen
      3. Rosberg
      4. Ricciardo
      5. Vettel
      6. Sainz
      7. Perez
      8. Raikkonen
      9. Button
      10. Alonso
      11. Bottas
      12. Hulkenberg
      13. Werhlein
      14. Grosjean

      1. I like most of this. I would go for the order you have except:
        3. Ricciardo, 4. Rosberg
        6. Perez, 7. Raikonnen, 8. Sainz
        9. Alonso, 10.Button
        13. Grosjean, 14, Werhlein

        1. Considering how close their performances were, I can agree to your proposed order too. Although, I’d still put Sainz above Perez and Raikkonen and Wehrlein above Grosjean.

    15. Sainz: outclassed by Verstappen in the first four races, then trashes his new team-mate.

      Not really understanding why that’s a top 5, but I’ll wait for Keith’s reasoning.

      1. VES, RIC and indeed KVY all did very well, very quickly, migrating up to the Redbull – seems the learning curve is shallow making that transition. I think that KVY is suffering badly from the reverse scenario (TR not being the same car that he left and his driving habits/style adjusted for the pre-eminent chassis in the interim).

      2. Sainz has definitely benefited from Verstappen’s move, because he wouldn’t be shining nearly as much next to him. Has done brilliantly, as a whole, though.

    16. OAlonso and Button can’t have that big of a difference. I found them evenly matched most of the time. Either Button should be higher or Alonso should be lower.

    17. Five wins, five pole positions and five fastest lap and also two grand slams and yet Rosberg is ranked eight at a british blog.

      hahahhahahah

      1. that’s because he gave away a 43 point lead in the best car which makes him the worst driver of the season

      2. Keith gave his rationale in the article, you’re welcome to counter the argument but try and use some logic in your argument rather than just branding it nationalistic prejudice. In case you didn’t see Alonso was above Button and Magnussen was above Palmer.

        And Hamilton has out driven Rosberg, the points difference despite his bad luck show that. So if Keith wanted to make Hamilton look better because of his British bias he’d rate Rosberg higher to make Hamilton look better surely?

      3. Maybe cause is not making a difference on track with a car wich is ought to make that difference…

        I remember Hamilton at Australia saying ‘I can’t pass this guy’, Ham came in and pitted to get rid off…
        Rosberg, in a superiour car beaten three times by that same ‘guy’, spun in Canada, was beying overtaken in GB, got himself a penalty at Germany for doing the same as in Austria. On top… Rosberg lied about it…

        Rosberg lost more then just positions, he lost a great deal of respect

      4. He also has five engines – you know unlike his team mate who, shock horror and despite such handicaps as having Honda style reliability, is beating him. Again!

        And with the desperate antics his team mate with a head start, engine advantage and equality, has employed, I for one am glad.

        i suspect the issue is Hamilton once again is beating everyone else as well and no matter how it’s sold, deserves to.

        Again!

    18. Nico placed 8th? Obviously he is. Mercedes people are out of their minds to keep him. Whatever.

    19. Alonso 6°? That is a good joke…

      1. WillOfTheSupremo
        18th August 2016, 23:11

        What is the case with this guy? For real?

        I’ve seen him ranting Alonso at least since 2014 in the rankings -and elsewhere. The F..

    20. So, Sainz makes it to top 5. That is obviously because Verstappen has measured up so well to Ricciardo. And he himself has defeated Kvyat as well as Ricciardo did.

      But honestly, if the driver swap wouldn’t have been conducted by Red Bull, then would Sainz have been this high? Him and Verstappen both would have featured in the 6-12 list without Ricciardo pulling them both up the rankings as he has done now. I would even bet that Kvyat wouldn’t be as low as he is now (last but one).

      And therein lies the biggest flaw with even trying to make a driver ranking. With everyone driving different cars and different engines, it is downright impossible to make objective comparisons. Once in a while, where a driver drives for two different teams in the same season, we end up with a situation where one of the drivers, Kvyat ends up last but one whereas the other three drivers end up in the top 5. Such a big gap between these 4 drivers? I don’t think so.

      Also, Red Bull academy drivers now form 4 of the top 5. An amazing achievement for a drinks company, isn’t it?

      1. I like your argument and tend to agree. We tend to overlook the machinery tends to offset any driving skills. Look at Alonso languishing in a McLaren versus what he was doing in the Ferrari years. He has not lost the passion or talent just that he tends to overdrive the car thats incompatible for that. Button seems to know the limits of the car and is able to maximize the results from it in terms of acquiring points.

        There can be no objectivity in these ratings.

      2. I agree up to a point. Verstappen would still be top five, because what he was doing in that STR was pretty special. But Sainz would definitely be lower, because he was being quite comprehensively beaten this season. The fact that Sainz now gets fifth (I’m assuming) is more or less well deserved, but he was comfortably second to Verstappen in the first four races, and I doubt that would have changed. So he benefited more.

    21. 1 Ricardo
      2 Hamilton
      3 verstappen
      4 perez
      5 sainz
      6 Rosberg
      7 Alonso
      8 vettel
      9 Button
      10 grosjean

    22. Can a.driver who is not good in the wet really be considered for top 5? I think not.

      Rosberg thus was really great first five races… After that not so much.

      Meanwhile Hamilton was not that good in first five… But a lot better after that.

      It is fair to say they both dont deserve to be top 5 based on their poor performance in several races.

      SAY Ham 5, Alo 6, Ros 7?

      And first slots? Ver, Ric, Vet, Sei?

      But this is only half season so far.

      Hamilton can have amazing 7-8 races, and claim #1, but right now others were more great.

    23. It’s interesting to me that so much of the feedback concerns pairs of drivers from the same team who some feel should be closer together – Button and Alonso, Rosberg and Hamilton, Sainz and Kvyat. It occurs to me that a rating which took into account a lot of this feedback would move closer towards being a ranking of which team has the best car. I’m not dismissing your points of view, merely pointing out this brings us back to the usual F1 problem of separating driver performance from car performance.

      And thanks as always to those of you who took the time to explain why you feel a particular driver should be higher or lower rather than just complaining I don’t agree with you or implying I’m a mindless xenophobe.

      1. I think it does indeed come down to the problem that Sumedh noted in his earlier post, which is that our perceptions of the ability of a driver are all too often skewed by our perception of the performance of the team.

        To a certain extent, I feel that the drivers for the teams at the extreme ends of the performance spectrum probably have the most difficult situation – those in the slowest cars rarely have an opportunity to excel and are usually passed over by the TV crews, so more often than not their efforts are forgotten about. Even in the case of Wehrlein, we didn’t actually see much of his performance in the Austrian GP – we heard the commentators make a few comments about him in the opening laps, but he was then mostly forgotten about until the end of the race. If you’re driving extremely well but the performance of the car limits you to, say, a best finish of 16th place, it is still going to look like a fairly unimpressive result in the grand scheme of things.

        At the other end of the scale, when you look at the drivers in the faster cars on the grid, the anticipation of success makes it harder for a driver to be able to outperform expectations – even when a driver puts in a performance that is close to being technically flawless, there is a tendency to dismiss it by saying “it’s the car that’s making him look good”. It’s very hard for a driver to do better than he is expected to do, but the high expectations therefore make it quite easy for a driver to fall below that perceived baseline performance.

        The situation that Sumedh outlines is one that I think is quite fair – with regards to Verstappen, if the quality of his driving was the same, would we still rate him quite as highly if he was still driving for Toro Rosso and was simply picking up 7th and 8th place finishes, perhaps with an occasional 6th place finish? Or, given that is the sort of position that we’d expect him to finish in when driving that car, given Toro Ross’s relative performance, would we therefore downgrade our rating of him accordingly?
        If we were to strip out Wehrlein’s performance in the Austrian GP, would we rate him quite as highly as we have done so? Would we still speak so highly of him if his best finish was that 13th place finish in the Bahrain GP?

      2. WillOfTheSupremo
        18th August 2016, 23:14

        Loved the sour taste in the end, @keith. Show ’em all ;)

    24. “there has been more than one occasion where Rosberg has had to do little more than show up on time to collect maximum points”

      And Hamilton has not? With this kind of argument, Hamilton shouldn’t be in the Top 5 at all as all he’s had to do is to turn up to collect maximum points – provided his Merc didn’t break down and provided that Rosberg didn’t outdrive him (as happened when in Baku when Rosberg had the perfect race weekend and Hamilton was woefully inept). Furthermore, if either of Alonso or Vettel been in the other Merc, it’s highly doubtful that Hamilton would have won even once unless the other car had suffered from unreliability issues. No, given the machinery at his disposal, Hamilton hasn’t impressed more than any of Perez, Wehrlein or Grosjean.

      1. To be fair Hamilton has been faster than Rosberg on occasions too. Rosberg hasn’t beaten Hamilton in the wet this year.
        Both had their highs and lows.

      2. And you know this how? I suspect Alonso would have a different opinion. In fact, he’s even shared his opinion.

        http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/13949062/lewis-hamilton-already-one-f1-greats-fernando-alonso

      3. That makes no sense at all!

        Hamilton’s car HAS broken down repeatedly, his team mates has NOT thus making your comparison ridiculous.

        And in case you have not noticed, he is out driving his team mate time and time again which is the only measure we have. You mention Baku as an example of being out driven in return – yet fail to point out the faulty car?

        Oh and forgetting that 60 plus point swing in seven races to lead the championship by 19. On two engines…

    25. Come on, the difference between Alonso and Button is by no means so big!

    26. So Vettel makes the Top 5, but Raikkonen is 13th behind Hulkenberg, Perez, Grosjean etc, may I ask what logic have you used to come to this conclusion. Raikkonen and Vettel have been almost identical in pace in qualifying and race and ahead 114-110 in points, Vettel has had 2 more DNF’s than Kimi, which weren’t his fault but Raikkonen had bad luck in Hungary qualifying and China(first lap) as well which ruined both the races for him and robbed him out of probable podium places. I see no reason why you would put Raikkonen 13th considering you rate Vettel that highly.

    27. I too think the gap between Alonso and button is a little large. I would have put Alonso at #8 and Button at #10. Although, I think Sainz has been pretty stellar this year, especially after Max left the team. I’d put the top 12 as below –
      12. Bottas
      11. Raikkonen
      10. Button
      9. Hulkenberg
      8. Alonso
      7. Perez
      6. Rosberg
      5. Sainz
      4. Vettel
      3. Hamilton
      2. Verstappen
      1. Ricciardo

      1. More putting Ric in front of Ves, ofcourse Ric could be your favorite driver (for years?) or expected to have more potential, but the truth is Ric hasn’t performed better than Ves.
        Season 2016 (so far) Ves outscored Ric, took more podiums and often had better racepace despite being new in the team.
        After the second half of the season we may come to different conclusions, but based on the first half… objectively, Ric could never be in front of Ves.

        1. Well.. Ricciardo got a weaker strategy in Barcelona and was mugged of a victory in Monaco. He’s also been the only non-Mercedes driver to take pole this season, that too in commanding fashion. You also have to take Verstappen’s disastrous performance in Australia and Monaco when coming up with these rankings.

          It’s not like I put Ricciardo in #1 because he ‘s my ‘favourite’ driver. I honestly think he’s been better than Max so far this season.

          1. Strategy at Germany evened that out, Ric did get a very large benifit there. Spain was a rather weak performance from Ricciardo, not his best race, spent to much time chasing Vettel, the attampt to overtake was quite a bad one and on top he ruined his tyres. Monaco was a clear team mistake. Canada was a very poor race for Ric, so was Baku.

            You could say Ves was robbed from a potential good result at Australia, I think Ves made it clear there was something going terribly wrong inside the team. Sainz would not let him pass although this had been discussed of the winterstop. Something easily forgotten, but Ves TR races in 2016 have been quite good as well.
            Monaco was terrible ofcourse

            If we compare the races both drivers driving for RBR, ves unexpected did have the upperhand.

        2. Well, Red Bull robbed him of a sure victory in Monaco and a potential one in Spain so I agree with Todfod there.

    28. My rankings for the top 12:
      12. Hulkenberg
      11. Raikkonen
      10. Bottas
      9. Button
      8. Alonso
      7. Rosberg
      6. Sainz
      5. Perez
      4. Vettel
      3. Verstappen
      2. Hamilton
      1. Ricciardo

    29. Let me guess, Verstappen will be on N1 spot while Hamilton on 3 or 4th….

    30. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
      19th August 2016, 20:05

      Rosberg’s recent results have gone bad since the insane Spain take-out and the insanest final lap in the history of F1 at Austria.

      Could’ve been so bad if his ranking got down to 10th or lower.

    31. I think so about Rosberg. It was great his first 4 races, but after that …

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