Start, Hungaroring, 2016

2016 mid-season driver rankings part three: 5-1

Driver Rankings

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Who are the top five drivers of 2016 so far? Here’s the final part of F1 Fanatic’s mid-season driver rankings.

5. Carlos Sainz Jnr

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Sainz had his best result of the season on home ground

Carlos Sainz Jnr

Beat team mate in qualifying6/11
Beat team mate in race6/7
Races finished10/12
Laps spent ahead of team mate389/521
Points30

In what has typically been the fourth-quickest car on the grid at best, Sainz’s results have been remarkably consistent, including four eighth places and three ninths. Potentially better results have been lost to sluggish Toro Rosso pit work.

But in Spain, where the two Mercedes took each other out on the first lap, Sainz produced a peak of sixth place. This was a well-timed performance by Sainz who had just been overlooked for promotion to Red Bull in favour of his team mate. This may have been a closer decision than it initially appeared, for although Verstappen bagged the most during their brief stint as team mates this year Sainz was the victim of others in Bahrain and Russia.

The last race was arguably the only occasion so far where Sainz has failed to score due to an error on his part. Even then time lost in the pits was partly to blame. Aside from a touch of over-exuberance during qualifying in Canada this has been a very strong season for him so far.

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Over to you

Very nearly as good as Verstappen. Which means he’s an exceptional talent and a potential champion. Extracted 100% of Toro Rosso’s performance nearly everywhere.
@Montreal95

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

4. Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2016
Verstappen won on his Red Bull debut – but his Silverstone drive was even better

Max Verstappen

Beat team mate in qualifying4/12
Beat team mate in race5/9
Races finished10/12
Laps spent ahead of team mate369/656
Points115

Verstappen endured a frustrating start to the season in Australia where a tactical error by his team not only dropped him down the running order and cost him a place to his team mate. His radio messages left no one in any doubt what he thought of their error, and an inconsequential spin while trying to pass his team mate prompted many hasty articles about how he was a hot-headed teenager who’d been promoted too quickly.

There were distinct tones of ageism to much of the coverage of Verstappen at the time, and the in context of what came later it now looks rather foolish as well. Three races later Red Bull took the astonishing decision to promote Verstappen to the top team, and he produced the even more astonishing outcome of winning his first race for them.

While Verstappen was a little fortunate on the day, since then he has arguably produced better drives for less of a reward. His pass-of-the-season move on Nico Rosberg at Silverstone ultimately yielded second. He’s proved more than a match for Kimi Raikkonen, too, who on three occasions has had to follow the Red Bull home and instead of whingeing about his rival’s reluctance to being overtaken could do with taking notes.

Verstappen’s error-strewn Monaco weekend cannot be overlooked, however. Nor can the fact he’s only out-qualified his team mate once since joining Red Bull. But his status as F1’s most exciting new talent is now unquestionable.

Over to you

Took a surprise win at Spain and his aggressive driving is entertaining to watch.
@UltimateUzair

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

3. Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2016
Vettel was on course to win the season-opener before Ferrari slipped up

Sebastian Vettel

Beat team mate in qualifying8/12
Beat team mate in race5/7
Races finished9/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate355/489
Points120

Baffling strategy errors, grid penalties due to broken gearbox and a ‘did not start’ in Bahrain after a power unit failure. Ferrari have lost Vettel an awful lot of points so far this year.

Australia and Canada were the big ones that got away: both occasions when strong qualifying performances and excellent starts by the four-times champion got him into an early lead which could and arguably should have been converted into wins – especially in the season-opening race.

Commendably Vettel hasn’t vented at his team in public yet but he was furious after being taken out in Russia by Daniil Kvyat. Yet more lost potential points.

Approaching the summer break Vettel’s form took a dip which he will need to reverse when the season resumes. He was sub-par at Silverstone (though he had yet another gearbox penalty) and didn’t get his car set up well in Germany. But the difference in performance between the two Ferrari drivers has been close to what we saw last year, even if the points scores doesn’t reflect it.

Over to you

Still performing very well, which is more than can be said of practically everyone at Ferrari this season.
@GeeMac

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

2. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2016
A last-gasp pass on Rosberg secured victory in Austria

Lewis Hamilton

Beat team mate in qualifying6/11
Beat team mate in race6/11
Races finished11/12
Laps spent ahead of team mate345/682
Points217

According to Hamilton, his appearance at the top of the drivers’ standings at mid-season having been 43 points down on his team mate after five races is an incredible turnaround. Realistically, given that the Mercedes remains by far the best driver and Hamilton is dependably a much better driver than Nico Rosberg, what we’re really looking at here is regression to the mean.

But that overlooks both how solidly Hamilton has driven for much of the year and the fact that much of his initial setback was not of his own doing. A spate of early-season power unit problems, particularly in qualifying, put his team mate in a stronger position in several races and Rosberg usually capitalised on those chances. Though its true Hamilton made life harder for himself with poor starts in Australia and Bahrain.

Since the flyaway races ended Hamilton has been back to his formidable best and duly won six of the last seven races. It took a slip-up from Red Bull for him to win his first race since October, but he’s grafted for the rest of them, notably in Austria where he calmly prevailed in a last-lap fight with Rosberg.

His season is now firmly back-on-track, and even the inevitable power unit penalties he will take in the second half of the season are unlikely to prevent a fourth world championship title.

Over to you

Completely untouchable recently after a difficult start to the season due to reliability problems.
@LolzerBob

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

1. Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2016
Ricciardo was untouchable on F1’s toughest track

Daniel Ricciardo

Beat team mate in qualifying11/12
Beat team mate in race5/10
Races finished12/12
Laps spent ahead of team mate313/645
Points133

The last race was the first time Ricciardo had finished higher than he qualified since the second round of the championship. Surely that’s not a fitting record for the driver at the top of this list?

Not necessarily: Ricciardo’s superb qualifying performances have at times set the bar beyond what the Red Bull can reach in the races, particularly when his starting positions have often been further elevated by other drivers’ penalties. He’s also had periodic bouts of ill-fortune which seem to lie in wait until he is in a position to win a race.

In China he stuck his car on the front row and took the lead at the start only to be struck down by a puncture. His first genuine shot at victory came in Spain, but Red Bull needed to cover both strategy options to see off the threat from Ferrari and Ricciardo found himself on the wrong one. Then came Monaco, where the number three Red Bull showed everyone the way to go all weekend long until his team fluffed his pit stop, leaving him second.

Nonetheless Ricciardo has delivered points in every race with a single exception: 11th place in Russia having been caught up Kvyat’s first-corner crash. There’s no doubt Verstappen’s arrival has led Ricciardo to raise his game and the newcomer can point to Canada and Austria as examples of him beating Ricciardo on merit in a straight fight. The scrap between these two in the second half of the season promises to be more compelling than the fight for the world championship.

Over to you

Staking his claim as being among the top echelon of drivers in the world, and a champion of the future. Classy, consistent, assured performances have proven that 2014 wasn’t a flash in the pan.
@William-Brierty

What’s your verdict on Daniel Ricciardo’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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  • 125 comments on “2016 mid-season driver rankings part three: 5-1”

    1. Agree Ricciardo is the best driver in F1 at the moment

      1. I can’t disagree nor agree. He’s been beaten by Kvyat in China; and Verstappen in Spain, Canada, Austria and Great-Britain – at the wheel of a machinery he knows better than any of his team mate.

        1. Some of these results are not telling. Ricciardo outperformed Kvyat in China, but was set back by a puncture. In Spain strategy cost him.
          On the other occasions, however, he lost track position to his teammate at start and got stuck behind slower cars after pit stops as a result. In terms of pace he was equal to or not far behind Verstappen in those races.

        2. Come on… in China he had a puncture, in Spain it was a strategy issue… only race he’s been out performed is the British GP…

          Just looking at the finishing positions is foolish.

          1. Strategy may have cost him in Spain, but strategy also got him ahead of verstappen in Germany

      2. True, because his only non-scoring finish was in Russia after the first lap incident. Otherwise it’d have been points in EVERY SINGLE race!
        And his pole lap in Monaco was the single most amazing thing I saw in the entire season.

      3. I still don’t know how strong Ricciardo really is. In equal cars drivers like Hamilton or Alonso may still be better (maybe Vettel too, as I don’t think 2014 was representative), as Ricciardo never was much better than Vergne or Kvyat. It seems that Ricciardo is incredibly fast in qualifying, but considerably slower in the race, which is of course a huge handicap in the current DRS era. By the way, I get the impression that the Red Bull drivers are pushing each other a bit too much in the races, which causes them to run out of tires earlier. Especially in Hungary they should have been quite close to the Mercedes’, but instead the Ferraris were faster in the race. In Canada and Europe/Azerbaijan their tire problems were more obvious. Whether the car set-up or the drivers were the culprit, it seems they failed to make most of their package. If Red Bull gets closer to Mercedes in terms of performance we may get a better impression of Ricciardo’s (and Verstappen’s) strength compared to the Mercedes pair.

        Having said this, there wasn’t really a driver who stood out this season. Rosberg started well, but since Spain he has been quite poor and the opposite applies to Hamilton. Vettel was unlucky, but he’s lost a large part of the advantage he had over Räikkönen last year. The McLaren drivers are quite good, but their car doesn’t allow them to show their potential every race. Sainz is beating Kvyat, but that has a lot to do with Kvyat’s demotion.

      4. The current formula 1 format makes rating drivers extremely difficult. Back then a driver would the car and himself to the edge. Even if the car wouldn’t brake the driver might. This made easier to rate skill. Today rating is biased against the driver with the best car in the lead. Because if you’re leading why would you push to limit when tires, fuel, engines are limited? So as leading driver in the best car you’re ability is masked, it’s pretty left to anyone’s imagination or know how. Personally I rate the fact That Mercedes has not gone to Ric and said you want come to us? As sign that he is not much better than Ros who doesn’t make Mercedes many pr favors.

        Next years format might shake things up in the physical department. With drivers pushing their bodies along with their cars and creating a scenario where physical and mental strength/fatigue plays a role again.

    2. I woudn’t have put Vettel 3rd, but I fully accept the reasoning for doing so. He has been let down by his team for too many times, either through unreliability or strategic errors. However, he has to up his game in the 2nd half of the season, especially in qualifying.

      Kudos to Ricciardo for being exellent all season. If luck had been on his side, surely he would be perceived to be even better. I think his season is matching that of Alonso in 2012.

      1. Vettel has made multiple errors this season, and even Kimi ‘rubbish since his broken back and crucified by Alonso’ Raikonnen is starting to match him. Keith is a shameless Vettel fanboy, and never even accepted 2014 was the destruction of his reputation.

        1. you should work for fereari

        2. And you’re still a Hamilton fan after his 2011 season? That’s amazing

        3. Seriously though, who writes these comments? Just ban his IP,…

    3. The tragedy is that Ricciardo is looking increasingly like falling into the ‘best driver never to win it’ bucket. An Aussie pre-92 Mansell. When the Merc dynasty ends he needs to find himself in the right car at the right time like Lewis was in 2014 for the fall of the Red Bulls.

      1. I don’t get that comment at all. Tragedy? Already? Come on. And it can be said of all drivers that they ‘need’ to find themselves in the right car post-LH/Merc. Including LH.

      2. You know there’s a big rule change coming next year which could really favor his team, right?

      3. This could be said by a lot of drivers, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Perez, Grosjean, could all be argued to get one or more championships. Ricciardo made the right move extending his Red Bull contract, we have a big rule change next year and a big impact on aero, i don’t think anyone would disagree that Red Bull are always front runners when it comes to these kind of changes. 2017 could be a 2 way fight between Red Bull and Mercedes with a potential chance of a 4 driver fight for the championship, in case any one cares i think it would be Ros, Ves, Ric, Ham and yes i am biased and i’m not ashamed of it ;)

      4. Err you do know Nige was 12 YEARS older than Rici when he won the title?

        He was 39

        And won Indy the following year at 40…

        And had won over 30 F1 races by then not just 3!

        Ricci has plenty of years and plenty of time left.

    4. Sorry, i don’t agree with this reasoning. The only real stand out performance for Ric all season was Monaco. Yes he got on the front row in China, but that was partly due to Lewis’s PU issues. He was soundly beaten by Max in Austria, Canada, Great Britain and has been outscored 102 to 97 since they became teammates.

      The only real setback he has faced was that debacle pitstop, so how he’s top of the list i find incomprehensible.

      Lewis should easily be at the top and not just because he has the best car, but all the issues he had to deal along the way.

      1. Hamilton at the top after Baku? Never. Ricciardo was better and never put a foot wrong for this first half.

        1. +1 Hamilton’s qualifying performance at Baku was dreadful. The race was pretty ordinary too

          1. Hmm at least his 18 year old team mate is not besting him race after race…

      2. The gap between Ricciardo and Verstappen makes no sense at all. Especialy since Verstappen has outperformed Ricciardo in most of their races together and they even gave Ricciardo the Germany win to make sure both cars ended up ahead of Rosberg. Verstappen actually let that happen without complaints. Was very impressed with that.

        I really don’t get how people can keep on saying that Ricciardo had that Spain win in the bag? Verstappen beat him fair and square. Ricciardo simply couldn’t make his strategy work when in fact that was supposed to be the fastest one. He ruined his tyres fighting with Vettel. Which brings me to another point, Ricciardo has been very clumsy with his overtakes and starts. Verstappen seems to focus his setup more on the race and it’s paying off.

        Hamilton had some technical difficulties at the start of the year, but when he gets a car that works he’s supreme. Even when he got that ridiculous penalty in Silverstone where they took his pole time away after he understeered off track and lost time, he put down another blistering lap while the rest faltered.

        The pressure he must have been under to get back from that 43 point deficit must be immense and he did it seemingly effortless barring his qualifying mistake in Baku, but all drivers have made a few mistakes this season. Is it wors than other seasons?

        I’d say it should be
        1) VES
        2) HAM
        3) RIC

        The rest of the field is way behind those guys.

        They do benefit from very good cars though. The other cars are difficult to gauge since the pecking order seems to keep changing so much from track to track.

        I think Bottas has been outperforming the potential of the car and his teammate. Grosjean impressed too.

        Perez and Hulkenberg are difficult to place. Especially since Hulkenberg suffered from a lot of bad team calls when he was ahead and they had their best chance for good points which Perez then picked up. For instance Monaco and Silverstone.

        Sainz is finally been showing some solid performances in a row. At least he stopped making all those stupid mistakes trying to outperform himself trying to keep up with Verstappen.

        Not sure who to put where. I’ll put them all ex aequo in P4 The rest have been to lackluster to even bother :)

    5. I do not agree with Keith here. Ric 1st and Ves 4th seems unjustified, they’ve been pretty close and Ves is almost a rookie and jumped in a new car with great results. In races where the two have been together on track, like spain and germany, Ves was always on the tail of Ric. Sometimes he’s made mistakes like in Monaco, but at 18yo that’s something we can accept, even schumi or vettel made mistakes in their first years. Qualifying is important but we know ricciardo is a qualy beast, if Ves can perform better in race what’s the big deal in being one position behind at the start? I would put Ves at least 3rd.

      1. I am also very impressed by Verstappen, but fact of the point is, you use “at 18 yo that’s something we can accept”. But then should we say of Hamilton “from an unprivileged background that’s…” or of Werhlein “from somebody who comes from DTM, that’s…” or of Alonso, “for somebody in the twilight of his carreer, that’s…” etc. (those are just examples, please don’t read much in them). Verstappen has to now be judge as a F1 driver and only that, and I believe it’s the best show of respect of his talent and quality that we should regard youth induced mistakes as… mistakes. And as such, Keith seems to believe he has made too many mistakes to be a top 3 (and I tend to agree).

        1. But then Keith has Vettel at third, Hamilton at second, they’re both F1 drivers who’ve this season made quite a few errors and the argument that Verstappen is inexperienced (ie, nothing with age) should then count for him, which apparently it hasn’t.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        19th August 2016, 14:52

        Verstappen did have one very scrappy weekend which Ricciardo most certainly has not. Also, when Verstappen was at Toro Rosso, his first race in Austrailia wasn’t good either. Getting frustrated on the radio about not being able to get pass Sainz and then just ends up spinning and loosing unnecessary time. If he wanted to get past, just do it. Like the team told him many times last year.

        His win was obviously a great achievement but would have been pretty unlikely if the 2 Mercedes drivers didn’t collide. His team mate also had a poor strategy that race. I think if Ricciardo had won in Monaco (which I’m pretty sure he would have done if it wasn’t for the teams mistake), that win would have been a whole lot less lucky that Verstappen’s win.

        I think Verstappen is certainly getting better but I agree with Keith that Ricciardo is still quite a bit better. Since being at Red Bull Ricciardo has had a fair bit more bad luck which seems to make him look worse that he really is.

        One thing that makes me think that so many people are giving Verstappen such a high score is because of his age. Yes, Considering his age, it is amazing what he has been able to achieve. However, if I compare him to other drivers this year, he has made quite a lot more mistakes and still has a lot to learn. When I rated my drivers on the Planet F1 Forum, I put Max in 6th place. If every race had been as good as all of his podium results, then I would probably have rated him quite a bit higher. In my opinion being a very solid driver is just as important, if not more so than being aggressive. I am sure that max will keep improving though.

        1. “Verstappen did have one very scrappy weekend which Ricciardo most certainly has not”…

          Really? So what would you call his performance in Canada, Baku and Austria?

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            19th August 2016, 19:02

            Can you explain what you mean please? I can’t tell if you are asking about Ricciardo or Verstappen in your question.

            If it is about Ricciardo, then he hasn’t had any races this season that were anywhere near as bad as that race weekend Verstappen had at Monaco. Ricciardo has been very solid throughout the whole season.

            Verstappen has had several very good results but has also had one very bad race and one other race that wasn’t very good either.

            1. One very bad race? OK, he crashed. But his race until then did bring him from back of the grid to near the front. How is that bad in Monaco?

              Which race was not very good either? Ricciardo was on p2 in Baku and ended just a few seconds ahead of Verstappen. That was pretty poor of him!

              Then, let’s not talk about Barcelona and strategy. The same happened at Hockenheim and that race Verstappen was on the wrong strategy.

            2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              19th August 2016, 21:07

              I meant that the whole weekend overall wasn’t good. As he crashed in practice, qualifying and the race damaging the car quite badly in all 3 of them. I just think he should have learned from his first mistake, if not, his second mistake in qualifying. Even though the first part of the race was impressive, he let himself down.

              The other race I didn’t think he did that well in was qualifying. I know he did end up getting a point but it just looks like some rather messy driving from him. He was complaining on the radio about Sainz not moving over for him when he has refused team orders before. He was also complaining about how slow he was. If Sainz was that much slower, then it shouldn’t have been that hard to get past. Instead he fussed and made a bit deal and ended up spinning the car. Since he has been at Red Bull though, other than one poor race weekend, he has been very good. I still think Ricciardo is better though.

            3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              19th August 2016, 21:12

              Ugh, my bad mistakes. The first sentence in the 2nd paragraph won’t make sense. I wrote the word “qualifying” instead of “Australia”. I think I need some sleep!

        2. Verstappen crappy at Australia? He was insane there. His race pace was 2 seconds faster than Sainz until he got a pitstop like Ricciardo in Monaco had which everybody seems to forget. It cost verstappen 5 places because he would be 5th easy with a normal pitstop. He couldn’t pass Sainz because he had a 2 car block infront of him. Sainz was defending, hence why it took so long to get around Palmer while Max instantly passed him.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            20th August 2016, 16:20

            Yes but he did end up spinning unnecessarily. If he had just stayed calm, that wouldn’t have happened. Other drivers that are much faster than their team mates haven’t ended up spinning their car trying to get past this season. Even if a lot of that race was good, that was a low point that the commentates said didn’t look very professional. These are the sort of mistakes I haven’t noticed Ricciardo make this season.

            1. He was spinning because Sainz had a huge lockup while Max was right in his back.

            2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              21st August 2016, 10:35

              Well, I happened to record this race on channel 4. I have watched that incident again. I still think Verstappen should have held back a bit. Last year he a mistake in Monaco of being too close to Grosjean because of braking too late. Even though Sainz locked up, I don’t see how Verstappen managed to clip into the back of him. He was just carrying too much speed. Maybe David Couldthard was who I got the word Scrappy from as after that incident, he said “Little bit of a scrappy race from Verstappen”. Even Ben Edwards who normally gets rather over excited about Verstappen was saying this race wasn’t as good as his usual standards. Both of these commentators thought that Toro Rosso not allowing Verstappen though was fair enough also.

      3. @lello4ever

        [Verstappen] is almost a rookie

        I agree that what he’s achieved given his experience is impressive. But for all the drivers this is purely about their performance this season. It’s a ranking of they’ve performed this year, not a ranking of how they’ve performed weighted by how much experience they have.

        1. Right then as you say it yourself…
          How come Ric got a higher rating while he’s clearly had some team favours and still got beaten by Ves…? I tend to agree Ves had some more highs and lows, but it only makes Ric look more avarage.

          Ric does have the overhand in qualy, altough Ves had a few compromised qualies and comes very close, in races Ric just doesn’t get away from Ves, while Ves did leave Ric far behind a couple of times.

          Seems like Ric was rated partially cause of status, we expected him to have the overhand, but no matter how you like to put it, he just hadn’t.

          1. How has Ricciardo had “team favours”?

            1. Team calls in favour for Ricciardo:
              Spain > No favour, 3 stopper was faster on paper but both Ric and Vet wasted their tyres and time fighting each other
              Monaco > PU update
              Canada > No favour, when Ves was asked to speed up he did
              Baku > Best possible timing in Q3 (free air), Ves got blocked by Bottas
              Austria > Better timing in Q3, Ves ended his Q3 way to early (drying track conditions)
              GB > No favour
              Hungary > Ves was asked to back off when he was closing the gap with Ric (stay out f DRS range)
              Germany > Ric had the first strategy, Ves had to block the Ferrari’s (and Rosberg) team call to let Ric pass

              Team calls in favour for Ves:
              Spain > Yes, Ves was faster in the opening stages, Ric was put on a 3-stopper
              Monaco > No
              Canada > No, Ves went pass Ric at the first corner
              Baku > No, Ves from P9 to P8, Ric from P2 to P7
              Austria > No, Ves went pass Ric within the first few laps
              GB > No, Ves was faster in the wet
              Hungary >No, Ves was asked to back off when he was closing the gap with Ric (stay out f DRS range)
              Germany >No, Ric had the first strategy, Ves had to block the Ferrari’s (and Rosberg) team call to let Ric pass

              From the 8 races, Ves was better in 5 (Spain, Canada, Baku, Austria and GB).
              From the 8 races, Ric was better in 3 (Monaco, Hungary and Germany).

              If we leave out Baku, it’s still an even score, considering he clear and open team calls in favour for Ricciardo there can only be one conclusion, Ves did slightly better.

        2. @keithcollantine
          Sorry Keith I can’t understand this, are you saying that just pure performance is the ratio to rate the drivers? Would you rate the first half of Hamilton’s 2007 season the same as Alonso’s since they achieved similar wins and points, not taking into consideration that Lewis was a rookie?
          Ves made mistakes, that’s obvious. He’s a very fast and aggressive racer and at 18 is clearly in need of more experience, but I think that one has to consider the whole picture.

          1. I have to agree with Keith on this one. The point is to be objective. If you put a ten year old in the car and he managed to finish every race just 15 Laps down on the leader, he’s done an amazing job for a 10 year old, but best driver it does not make.

            Also, Verstappen is very very talented but these arguments that, ‘yes he crashed in Monaco, but had been doing great before that!’ are also not objective. You are more likely to make good progress if you are driving past the limit, but if that means you don’t finish the race it doesn’t make you a better driver, it makes you a more reckless one

            1. At last someone that recognises someone in the second best car on the grid amazingly overtaking a few of the rear end of the grid to make up for a terrible qualy (crashing in the same place time after time? Come on) and then punting it regardless, as not being a ‘excusable weekend’ for the second coming?

              Particularly as MV fans suggest his ‘not very good – Max is better’ team mate somehow had pole and all bar a pit stop issue, a certain win…

    6. I think Vestappern should be above Hamilton and Vettel to be honest, he’s done an incredible job so far (apart from the somewhat amateurish weekend at Monaco). Both Red Bull drivers have been a class above the rest this season, they have the potential to be one of the best driver pairings we’ve ever seen.

      Credit to Sainz too, shame Red Bull can’t field 3 cars.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        19th August 2016, 13:27

        probably what I would have changed as well. @davef1
        Vettel had more poor weekends than Verstappen, and Hamilton’s lead mid season (in the best car) does not offset his less than stellar start; and then Baku!
        I’m not saying that young Verstappen is already at the level of VET/HAM, just that his season so far as been more impressive than those guys’.

        1. I know you don’t rate LH but I keep seeing your suggestion that the early part of the seasons issues were and remain completely down to LH?

          Why? Even you must be aware that losing three engines one qualy after another leaves you at the back, good car or not? I assume you also know that Mercedes admitted to long standing clutch issues?

          Bottom line – a couple of iffy starts (from pole mind) and reliability issues seem to have cemented this perception of a ‘weak start’ by the detractors then Baku is trotted out – forgetting he topped FP1 and 2 there by whole seconds and then suddenly there was something really odd about his car thereafter including during the race. Certainly not a good qualy but 1 iffy qualy – all year?

          What cannot be ignored is the mental fortitude to ignore all this and just produce win after race win and the application of such a level of pressure on his highly rated team mate that he completely falls apart (he was probably thinking he had this year made with a 46 point lead, five healthy engines and a team mates dislike for the Merc clutch)

          And turn the season round.

          To be leading.

          Yet still not be seen to have achieved anything much…

          While I respect (and on past form knew who he would place 1st) I personally do not see anything like the above in Ricci’s season, more the opposite actually and I certainly don’t see anything of that fortitude from Max given Monaco was quite possibly the worst weekend by a driver since Crashror left.

    7. 4 drivers out of the top 5 are from the Red Bull young driver program. :-)

      1. Kinda throws out the theory that teams need to recruit “top” drivers like Kimi, Alonso, Massa etc – Red Bull bucked the trend and have delivered a wealth of new talent into F1.

        Everybody thought they were crazy to replace Webber with Ricciardo and then Seb with another from STR but look at them now – arguably the most impressive, exciting and talented drivers in F1.

        1. With respect, nobody thought they were crazy to replace Webber when they did

        2. Errr…

          DB-C90, Vettel was a) replaced by Kvyat, and b) as a result of signing for Ferrari. Other than that, you make a great point.

    8. The one that does not belong in this list is Vettel. He had hos share of bad luck but kimi had some to and outscored Vet several times.
      Missing here is Rosberg, who had a great start of the season but it seems his recent performance nulified that.
      My list:
      1: Ham, just a great driver with a lacking personality. But still
      2: VES: unbelievable performance and very steady
      3: RIC: reactivated by the new teammate,
      4: SAN: One of the best, still growing
      5: ROS: if he is good he is great, if he is bad he is terrible ( i.e rain)

      1. Agree with your list. +1

      2. Most people who says Lewis lacks personality, are mainly people who despise him. If you wanna talk about someone who lacks any kind of personality, it’s Kimi. Somehow people find his often rude and uninterested demeanour as likeable, which I find to be a joke.

        1. His demeanor is not likeable at all but F1 fans go gaga over Kimi.
          As a driver though Kimi is great.

          I think the gap between Kimi and Seb is not justice to how close Kimi has been to Sebastian.

          Even if he has benefited from Seb and his strategy woes, he deserves to be in the top 10. As for Vettel he should be lower down.

          1.HAM
          2.RIC
          3.VES
          4.ROS
          5.ALO

    9. Nah, I realise this is all a personal opinion, but not having Verstappen only fourth.

    10. Also, in reference to Sainz in fifth. If we are to look at comparisons to teammates, he was roundly and thoroughly beaten by Verstappen in the first races together this season, and Verstappen is only one place higher. That makes no sense.

      1. This is also why the comment to Sainz’s season by @Montreal95 is just wrong. He hasn’t extracted 100% from that car in at least four races, unless you assume Verstappen somehow extracted 105%?

        1. @hahostolze Roundly beaten? They had 4 races together. In qualifying it’s 3-1 to MV. Average gap is actually in favor of Sainz because while MV beat Sainz in Aus , Rus and Bah by tiny margins, Sainz beat Max by a lot in China

          Moving on to the races. In races when there was a direct comparison it’s 1-1. How’s that a sound beating?

          Sainz had his one bad weekend of the season in Russia, while Max had his in Monaco

          Moreover I said got 100% out of the car nearly everywhere, not everywhere. Sainz was ascloseasthat to Verstappen when they were together. Therefore placing him 1 place behind in the ratings is very much justified. What’s not justified is putting Vettel in front of any of them, given his performances this season. Or above Alonso for that matter. But that’s a different topic entirely

    11. Vettel should have been fifth. His recent dip is just his. Might be because of feeling disappointed of the team.
      Then comes Alonso as 4th, Verstappen 3rd, Hamilton second and Ricciardo first.
      Just saying.

      1. Alonso 4th? Hmm…

        1. Yeah, I wouldn’t rate Alonso higher than Vettel to be honest, Button has beat him several times this season and Alonso has also been quite error prone take Australia, Silverstone for example.

    12. Verstappen should be first IMHO, I don’t care what his qualification stats are, points are awarded on Sunday, and he scored the most points for Red Bull after Russia.

      Monaco was a low point for Verstappen, but I haven’t forgotten Ricciardo’s awful performance in Canada and several other races this season where he just didn’t had the race pace of Vetstappen.

      1. Well on that basis Hamilton should be 1st.

        He has scored more points and had more wins than anyone regardless of his self induced or reliability driven qualy issues but, hey no logic on the MV bandwagon is there?

        1. Hamilton made a couple of awful starts at the start of the season and had a shocking Baku weekend.

          Hamilton’s lead over Rosberg is a bit flattering given the general awfulness of Rosberg in the wet, which cost him big time in Monaco and at Silverstone.

          1. @paeschli one might equally argue that Verstappen’s lead over Ricciardo is a bit flattering given the awfulness of Ricciardo’s race management by his team, but who are we kidding here? The premise is obviously leaky due to your Verstappen skew :)

            1. He lost out on team strategy in Monaco and Spain, but was actually the one who received first driver treatment in most races, examples are given in the posts above (received the engine upgrade earlier, Verstappen was told to hold position etc.)

              Anyway, I’m a big disgusted that one of the Mercedes drivers will take home the title, they have both driven awfully this year and they don’t really deserve it IMHO. Both Red Bull drivers have driven far better than them.

          2. Baku? Weekend? Really?

            Take a look at the times for FP1-2.

            I still can’t explain the next day.

            And it’s not like RB shone is it?

    13. I agree with this ranking as far as is possible. What I mean is that it’s impossible to differentiate between the top drivers this season but I believe the top drivers are all there in the top 5.
      An exercise which helps rank the drivers is try to imagine yourself as a team principle and on current driver form what drivers would you have in your team.
      I would say that the top 3 drivers for me (based completely on my gut feeling at this stage of the 2016 season)
      Riccardo, Vettel, Alonso. These are drivers that could lead from the front without errors or make the most of a substandard car and battle towards the sharp end.

      Hamilton is obviously a fantastic driver but is susceptible to hot headed decision making at times. Granted we’ve seen him mature and improve in that regard, but there is still a risk.

      Verstappen is superb but through no fault of his own he is young and the risk is that some errors due to lack of experience are yet to be uncovered.

    14. 1. Ricciardo – Very consistent and fast so far. Deserved the win at Monaco the most but was unlucky.
      2. Hamilton – Hampered by issues at the beginning but good mini comeback from him.
      3. Verstappen – Took a surprise win at Spain and his aggressive driving is entertaining to watch.
      4. Sainz – He is quietly proving himself. Consistently finishing in the points and outperforming Kvyat.
      5. Vettel – When the car actually works he has done a good job. Ferrari’s strategists have often screwed him over.

    15. Evil Homer (@)
      19th August 2016, 15:03

      Always happy to see Daniel at the top of any list and he has been very solid – seeing him through the swimming pool in Monaco this year was awesome! Been a bit frustrating at times in races when he seems to get bogged down a bit & wears the tyres! Very much hoping WDC for 2017!

      Well Max has been pretty impressive hasn’t he! Monaco he was off but very good otherwise……….. I remember what I was doing at 18- drinking beer & chasing girls! He may be a young lad but he’s an ol’ soul -he’s been around this block before!

      Rosberg should be higher I think- first 4 wins were impressive but seems forgotten. But yes, form since a bit scratchy, I think I would been just as quick in a go-kart around Monaco.

      Lewis? Well he’s just Lewis isn’t he- Nico will need to pull something special to beat him from here, but I still hope he can keep it coming!

      Bring on Spa!!

      1. Yes… Rosberg wins are forgotten.. However, let’s look at the races itself.

        Australia- Vettel was put on the wrong tyre by his team while leading allowing Rosberg to do one less stop and Hamilton too.
        Bahrain- Bottas hit Hamilton and his floor had damage preventing a possible comeback. Don’t forget that Vettel also had to retire before the race started.
        China- Hamilton started last due to problems in his engine. Vettel and Raikkonen were hit at the start and Hamilton also was hit damaging the floor like in Bahrain. Ricciardo was also hit by a punctiure at the back straight allowing Rosberg an easy pass, though it was always obvious that he would have overtaken the RB with ease.
        Russia- Hamilton started 10th but came back to 2nd. So we could call this a fair win because he had the chance to chase down Nico. Vettel also retired during this race.

        Closely looked. Rosberg won all of his 4 races whenever his competitors had trouble and bad luck. Though the one in Russia could be considered a fair win.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          20th August 2016, 16:33

          I would also say that Rosbergs win in Baku was very well deserved. Hamilton had very poor performance in qualifying and let himself down. From what Toto Wolf (or Niki Lauda) said, Hamilton and Rosberg both had the same technical problem during the race but Rosberg figured out how to fix it far quicker than Hamilton. This was a race weekend where Rosberg did better than Hamilton pretty much the whole way through.

          1. @thegianthogweed

            You have oversimplified the Merc fix in Baku. Rosberg did not figure out the fix ‘far quicker’ than Hamilton, what happened was he (Rosberg) was in a different mode due to a previous switch change that resulted in a simple solution. Put simply they were actually in totally different situations.

            1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              20th August 2016, 22:21

              Ok, I didn’t realize that. I have found out that Niki Lauda did comment afterwards though that Rosberg found a solution to his problem faster than Hamilton. Maybe I shouldn’t believe what he says as much as I did.
              For example, he said that one of the races last season was the best he had ever seen. Not sure I agree with that! I think he’s maybe forgetting how much more interesting the races were when there wasn’t one team absolutely dominating pretty much every race!

            2. @thegianthogweed

              Haha good point! I do like how Niki totally speaks his mind with no apparent filter, but it does lead to some ‘eccentric’ statements from time to time………..

          2. Not sure what you were watching Ben.

            Have a look at FP1-2.

            LH was seconds faster.

            I have no idea what occurred the next day but I can tell you that Rosberg did not have the same fault as Hamilton at all. In fact he had no fault at all other than a self induced switch change.

            If we are to believe the detractors – LH is a useless driver flattered by his car and his true speed was shown in Baku!!

            1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              21st August 2016, 13:23

              Ok, I must be remembering Rosberg doing better that Hamilton in practice from another weekend. I have looked it up and yes, Hamilton did better in these practice sessions. But not by seconds. The furthest he was behind Hamilton was just over half a second. One of the others was only just over 2 tenths slower. Not exactly seconds slower.

            2. Appreciate the response but in the actual sessions yes LH was seconds faster the NR – it took some time for NR to close that down. In fact the whole session. Each time.

              But let’s dwell on that for a mo. Half a second faster at the end! Set much earlier on in the same car?

              Given we expect hundredths?

              Like I said I have no idea what happened the next day but I assume his team do – and it’s not happened again.

            3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              21st August 2016, 22:00

              I have found out the weekend where Rosberg was faster in every practice session. Germany. He was only hundredths faster in one of them. But over 3 tenths in the other 2. One of them being very nearly 4 tenths. Might it not be because the drivers weren’t pushing to their limit at any point that they are sometimes way behind their teammate? Its often the case that the Williams team don’t show their true performance in practice.

              Lets not go too far into this. It’s not that it really matters anyway.

            4. Absolutely Ben – he was faster there as he sometimes is. There is no question he is fast. There is much evidence for many years going all the way back to karting that he has one lap and lead from the front ability. Trouble is a mid field LH even back then would come through and mostly win much to the angst of Keke (I was racing at the same time hence have some visual knowledge of these statements)

              I can’t explain Baku – but I can say that NR has grabbed the freebies that have been thrown his way very ably.

              He has not however earn them and I suspect despite his comments to the opposite, knows this and his increasingly desperate driving reflects that. It’s not a first I can assure.

              Thanks for a sensible and none hater/fanboy (cannot stand those words) filled dialogue.

    16. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      19th August 2016, 15:27

      I have actually been a bit underwhelmed by Vettel this year. Granted, he has been consistently hampered by unreliability and strategic meltdown, but coming off the back of a near perfect campaign in 2015, I feel he has struggled at times this year, particularly in qualifying. He certainly hasn’t produced any truly outstanding driving performances this year.

      Canada was probably Vettel’s highlight, but he was still not able to produce the error-free race Hamilton routinely produces. Two races later he had a shocker at Silverstone, outqualified by Raikkonen, before producing a scrappy, even clumsy drive to P9. With the consistent heroics we have seen from Verstappen and Sainz, I don’t see why Vettel deserves third place on anything more than what we know he ought to be capable of. Personally, I would have given his spot in the top five to Rosberg.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        19th August 2016, 17:20

        For those that care my top ten would have been:

        1) Ricciardo
        2) Hamilton
        3) Verstappen
        4) Sainz
        5) Rosberg
        6) Alonso
        7) Perez
        8) Vettel
        9) Button
        10) Raikkonen

    17. Vettel 3rd!!thats a good joke.

      1. It would have made at least some sense if he hadn’t put Raikkonen at 13th, Vettel has only been marginally better if Raikkonen is 13th, Vettel should at most be 10th.

        1. I agree. I think Vettel is ranked too high and Raikkonen way too low. I never have been Kimi’s biggest fan but he has been a lot closer to Vettel than 3rd v 13th. This is even more confusing than Alonso 6th and Button 12th!

    18. Evil Homer (@)
      19th August 2016, 15:53

      @william-brierty
      I think the problem with Seb this year is one of immense frustration.
      He came on board and had a few wins and I think we all thought (and maybe hoped) Ferrari would push Mercedes this year. The started ok and now Red Bull looking good maybe thinking he should have stayed. Yes Dan beat him in 2014 but you cant win all the time.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        19th August 2016, 17:12

        @evilhomer Frustration? …meh…

        I don’t really think Seb is the kind of drivers that has much regard for cumulative psychological fatigue. He was immensely frustrated by the entry rear imbalance of his RB8 in the early races of 2012, and was duly outqualified by Webber in each of the first three races…before tearing up the formbook and winning from pole in Bahrain. In 2014 Seb had had an abyssal preceding race in China, broke down in Q3 in Barcelona before producing a storming drive to P4 the following day. If Seb likes the car, Seb is right there.

        He has a rather unusual driving style in the way he does not over-energize corner entries but prefers to roll through the apex with plenty of throttle, and is therefore vulnerable to entry instability and imperfect torque mapping. The balder patches in Vettel’s career are therefore unsurprising – I certainly think the developments to the chassis versus 2015 has moved the package away from Seb’s very particular approach.

    19. This kind of surprised me, but then again maybe not…

      How could Ricciardo be ranked higher than Verstappen, being outperformed by a newcommer in the team…?
      If Ricciardo is the #1 driver on the grid how come, he’s been overtaken so many times by Verstappen, in fact how many times did Ricciardo pass Verstappen without any help from the team….? Right!

      if it’s about consistacy things aren’t adding up as well, Verstappen had two races going not his way and one DNF due to car failure. However Australia was an outstanding performance, he saw his potential P5 compromized by his much slower team mate, this showed TR biggest problems. Monaco’s result was quite bad, but the actuall race, comming from last to P9 in just 24 laps in the rain was promising.

      Ricciardo was consistant… behind others, never seem to get it all togehter, with rather poor performances at Spain, Canada and Baku. Add some favours from the team (engine update Monaco, better Q3 timing at Baku and Austria, some help from the team at Hungary and especially Germany) Ricciardo should have had the upper hand.

      In my opinion he was to often in front of the grid of Verstappen and finishing to often behind Verstappen to be #1.

      They are quite eqully matched, considering the very little expierence from Verstappen I would most certainly rate Verstappen higher (points tell us as well).

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        19th August 2016, 19:19

        Australia was Verstappens worst race race of the season after Monaco IMO. If he was stuck behind his “much slower team mate”, then it shouldn’t have been hard to get past. His team shouldn’t have had to forced Sainz out the way all the time as Verstappen has refused to do this the other way round on plenty of occasions in the past. If he thought Sainz was slow enough to be affecting his race badly, then it shouldn’t have been that hard to pass. He then made a mess of it and ended up spinning himself. Who else it to blame but himself for that?

        1. That’s one way to look at it… what if Ricciardo wuld have been stuck behind Verstappen in Germany…?

          Sainz admitted post-race it had something to do with payback.
          This was an example of how a team should not function, I rated this even worse as Rosberg and Hamitlon, Erikson and Nasr taing each other out.

          It’s to simple to compare this event to Singapore, Ves cam from the pit that race and finished 8th position in front of Sainz with better speed. In Australia Ves was on a potential and realistic P5 race, Sainz stayed in Ves way just for himself as the team mate battle was more important to him than team result.

          Surely Verstappen was frustrated, but he had every right to, TR was on a dead end street at the very beginning of the season.

      2. How could Ricciardo be ranked higher than Verstappen, being outperformed by a newcomer in the team…?

        Because I don’t agree he has been outperformed, and as mentioned above Verstappen doesn’t get special treatment for being the ‘newcomer’.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          19th August 2016, 21:18

          This is just what I think Keith. I have seen several people say they are impressed with how well he has done considering he is so young and has moved from one team to another during a season. He is getting good results but I agree that it makes more sense to base it on how he is preforming and not how well he is doing considering his age, the fact he has had less experience and other things.

        2. It’s the midseason ranking of 2016, strange rules seems to apply…?
          Verstappen isn’t treated as being a newcomer , that’s rather strange cause you can’t compare a driver with 3 years expierence with a total newcomer.

          Ricciardo not outperformed…? When is a driver being outperformed? Ricciardo himself felt he had no excuses being outperformed by a rookie driver (I believe that where about his eaxact words).

          Verstappen may not be the better overall driver of the two, but the facts are he outperformed Ricciardo more often then the other way round.

          A ranking is not all about opinions, there are some facts to consider.

        3. NO keith this is not true, Simply put since Spain Ric scored only 97 Points and Max 102 Points and Max had a DNF to his name albeit its his mistake. Ric had bad luck but he got preferential PU advantage in Monaco which lot of people forget. Max scored at a rate of around 14 Points per race and Ric only 11 Points per race. I will swap Ric with Max. Also Max was getting used to car which was never a problem to Ric due to pre season testing. So doing that whilst in season and getting solid results and out performing Ric by a margin is nothing short of sensational.
          Gap before Spain where max was in STR
          Ves – 13 Points with DNF in sochi / Ric – 36 Points with finishing all 4 races (yes he got damaged in Sochi but still i cant see him higher than P6 that race)
          Ves – 115 Points / Ric – 133 Points
          If any thing gap came down with max getting extra DNF and getting used to all settings and other things.
          My ratings are
          1. Max

          3. Ham
          3. Vet
          4. Ric

          1. If there is no one in 2nd place then both Hamilton and Vettel are 2nd Miki.

            1. Well :D forgot that
              thanks

    20. Ricciardo #1 is nonsense

      Verstappen is by far at the top of this list. Look at what he has accomplished. Lewis a close second making the best of a poor start and will be number at seasons edge.

      1. And that will also be the view after the second half of the season

    21. I knew the top 5 would be in a stupid order, but wow!

    22. I’m sorry but honestly, I think this list is quite terrible as I said in other posts, there is pretty much no logical reasoning you have followed here, in any case this would be my top 10:-

      1. RIC
      2. VES
      3. HAM
      4. VET
      5. ALO
      6. RAI
      7. BUT
      8. SAI
      9. ROS
      10. PER

    23. What i think is funnier is everybody saying “for a 18 year old Verstappen is..”
      Age doesn’t matter. The number os races he raced is what is all about.

      When he reaches 22 he will be a 5 seasons veteran and everybody will still treat him like a rookie because of his age….

      1. The number of KM’s in the RB12 does matter, RIC should have been dominating VES in the races (if you want to place RIC above VES).

        1. Mattered at first but not anymore.

          8 races, 32 sessions, he already have a considerable mileage himself with that car for that not to matter anymore.

        2. You clearly have never raced competitive.

          Anyone getting ‘better machinery’ has a huge jump in benefit initially – it happened to Ricci when he got to RB and it should happen to MV – however Ricci has realistically performed better.

          You guys need to realise he has been racing for 1.5 seasons now, is not a rookie and is not the second coming.

          He is good. Others are better. Live with it.

      2. Age doesn’t matter, points do.

        It’s 102 – 97 in Max’ favour.

    24. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
      19th August 2016, 20:08

      I absolutely hope Verstappen gets up to the Top 3 spot. I’m kinda harsh to Vettel but that’s due to Ferrari’s results being a flop.

    25. Vettel shouldn’t be top 3 imho.

      Yes he’s had car/team troubles but if you take the British GP for example he was stuck in 11th for the longest time, unable to be particularly quick and he spul on his own in T2 after going off at T1. There’s also the spin in T14 in Melbourne while chasing and he’s trailing Kimi in the standings to boot. Ferrari hasn’t been great but neither has Seb imho.

      1. 3 DNF’s no fault of his own and 3 Gearbox penalties with ultra super strategies handing wins of platter rings a bell ?

        1. He’s simply made too many mistakes on his own to me, regardless of his team’s woes

    26. Guybrush Threepwood
      20th August 2016, 9:20

      List is about spot on IMO.

      Those complaining that Verstappen should be above Ricciardo are probably the same people who thought Kvyat was better than Ricciardo last season just because he finished with more points than him. Sometimes you need to look at the reasons behind the results and without some of Ricciardo’s shocking luck he would be outscoring Verstappen head to head in the team.

      I think Hamilton could probably be dropped a few spots. If not for his rocket ship car, his poor getaways in the opening rounds and crashes would be hurting him dearly on the points table.

      1. The reason why people would put Verstappen ahead of Ricciardo is this…

        Verstappen was just as fast as Ricciardo when he was still sorting out his set up (Spain and Canada), but the moment he got his set up more right (Baku second half of the race, Austria and Silverstone wet & dry) he was faster. Ricciardo looked to be faster the 2 following races, but that was dictated by track position and strategy. So Ricciardo never has been on merit faster as Verstappen, yet Verstappen has been on Ricciardo. And the end result of it all is, despite Ricciardo having mostly a big advantage in grid position, Verstappen still was able to score more points (at which it’s all about).

        The ranking most of you make aren’t actually performance based, because only taking into account how consistent a driver was and how little mistakes he made, doesn’t matter that much when race pace is completely ignored.

        1. You are trying to demonstrate how others are wrong for not thinking like you.
          One can make the ranking he wants, not giving the first spot to the fastest guy. Consistency is part of the job of a racing driver so paying credit for it is reasonable.

          1. Of course it’s reasonable to also put some value on consistency, however when race pace is being ignored, it simply has become a consistency ranking and not a performance ranking.

        2. Guybrush Threepwood
          21st August 2016, 2:02

          Of course we know how Ricciardo got stuck behind the Force Indias in Canada and Silverstone with the virtual safety car plus power unit issues in Austria. Max has driven well though for the most part barring Monaco. 2017 is going to be a fun year to watch RBR.

          1. Ricciardo did not have any power issues in Austria, he only said he felt like he had it in the first few laps because both Red Bulls were down on power. At Silverstone Ricciardo first lost out when running on inters, and after Verstappen didn’t need to take defensive lines any more in the dry to fend off Rosberg, Verstappen again was faster.

            Ricciardo did got stuck behind Raikkonen in Canada just like Verstappen in Hungary got, and both times there was no telling if either driver was actually faster. In Germany Verstappen experienced what Ricciardo got in Spain, not the best strategy. It’s going to be interesting to see in the upcoming races if Ricciardo actually has closed the race pace gap between them or not, because Hungary and Germany weren’t telling enough (it was only track position and strategy).

      2. Yeh, cos he is the only one driving a reliable Mercedes right?

        You might have noticed he is driving the unreliable Mercedes and his team mate is behind him on points…

        I honestly wonder about you – some reasonable comments always coupled with a pop at Hamilton?

        Bias? No course not…

    27. List is fairly spot on I think for the most part. I would have Raikkonen much closer to Vettel, they’ve been on the same pace most weekends, bar Kimi in Canada and Seb in Britain but it does seem to be fashionable to talk down Raikkonen these days. Otherwise its a good list and looking forward to second half of the season!

    28. Ricciardo at one, Verstappen 4. Good joke Keith.

      If Ricciardo would have crushed Verstappen, yeah I would agree, but he didn’t…

    29. Keith is nog among THE best 100 analist

    30. The worst part of the rating by far out of all the 22 drivers is Vettel in 3rd. Totally unjustified. The gap in the ratings between him and Raikkonen in 13th is just ridiculous. The biggest between team-mates save STR boys. Yet there were many drivers who outperformed their team-mates more convincingly than Seb. Putting Seb above MV, CS and FA is totally uncalled for, and it’s nip and tuck between him and Rosberg and Perez for 6th. As in 2014 SV lets his disappointment over the car’s pace to influence his driving which becomes erratic. He’s had a lot of bad luck, true, but that’s not the end of it by a long shot. It’s only part of the truth. The other part of the truth failed to be represented in this rating

    31. Jelle van der Meer
      22nd August 2016, 10:22

      I am Dutch so maybe biased but I would agree with Keith putting RIC above VES however I strongly disagree with the gap between them same that I disagree that VET is placed higher than VES and Sainz is only 1 place behind VES.

      VES was better at Toro Rosso than Sainz – he then moved to RBR and did an amazing job (ignoring Monaco) being new in that car compared to RIC and yes age & experience should be ignored but car experience – mid season transfer should be taken into account. That RIC beat Verstappen 7-1 in qualifying shouldn’t have much effect on the rating – that is single lap – most weight should be put on Sunday performance in which Verstappen did an equal job. Also for all those saying that strategy cost RIC the win in Spain I would seriously question if RIC could have made the tyre last or keep RAI behind for that many laps.

      Also that Vettel is placed above VES I can not see any logical reason for as I can not recall anything special Vettel did this season except complaint (sometimes justified) – compare that to Verstappen WIN in Spain and his frequent spectacular overtaking or defending most special overtaking Rosberg in UK.

      Without changing the people in the top 5 I would say putting VET 4th and VES 3rd would have been much better and fair certainly also reading a lot of the comments above. Personally I would have put VES 2nd and HAM 3rd but not sure the majority will agree to that. Yes HAM is championship leader – yes he had misfortune but he also made various mistakes particularly at start and should have achieved so much more with that Mercedes.

      @Keith – most of the times you allow people to vote on a pole or DOTW – why not allow people to make their top 5 or 10 and publish the results (you could use F1 points to rank them).

    32. Here’s my ranking:

      1. Hamilton
      When he’s out in front, on his own, he occasionally reminds me off Jim Clark. That’s enough for the top spot.

      2. Perez
      The underdog type. First people kinda liked him, then he was a lazy, overrated paydriver and now some reluctant appreciation seems to return. He has gritty determination without the schumacheresque ruthlessness. I like that.

      3. Hulkenberg
      If I was forced to spend time with one of the F1 drivers I would pick the Hulk. He seems a thoroughly nice, intelligent chap with a good sense of humour. How the hell did that happen to German?

      4. All the others, except…

      22. Raikkonen
      He’s not cool, he’s boring. He hardly ever speaks and when some words leave his mouth, there’s a 87.4% chance they are “Let’s wait and see”. I’m waiting on seeing him go.

      I’m pretty sure my ranking will be exactly the same at the end of the season ;)

    33. Sainz number five, really?? Perez should be in the top five.
      1.Ham
      2.Ves (outscores his teammate and jump into the car without experience, remarkble)
      3.Riccardo
      4.Rosberg
      5.Perez

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