Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016

2016 Belgian Grand Prix driver ratings

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg won the Belgian Grand Prix but it was a race which saw some excellent performances from those who’d started further back. Here’s F1 Fanatic’s verdict on the field.


Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Rosberg grabbed his chance
Lewis Hamilton – On Saturday evening Toto Wolff said that in light of the unusual conditions at Spa it might have been better for the team to wait until Monza to perform Hamilton’s engine change. He had cause to revise that opinion after Sunday’s incident-packed race where Hamilton took advantage of errors, crashes and – crucially – a mid-race stoppage to deliver third place. The latter gave him a free pit stop which helped cement his position in the top five, from where he easily passed Alonso and Hulkenberg. His stints weren’t quite as good as Rosberg’s, though.

Rating four out of five

Nico Rosberg – With Hamilton compromised Rosberg duly delivered pole position, though it looked like there was more pace in the W07. After his rivals tripped over themselves at turn one he built up a four-second lead in the first lap alone. This wasn’t a day when Rosberg was significantly taxed, though he managed two medium-tyre stints very well to make a two-stopper work. This was little to get excited about, but nothing to fault either.

Rating four out of five


Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
The Ferraris tangled at the start – again
Sebastian Vettel – Not on a par with Raikkonen in qualifying but made a superb getaway. Unfortunately he then indulged in his occasional habit of turning into the first corner as if no one else was there (see also Mexico 2015). This provoked a three-car tangle which, according to team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, cost Ferrari a potential double podium finish. From then on he got his head down and produced solid pace and good passes, but the damage had already been done.

Rating three out of five

Kimi Raikkonen – A mistake on his first lap on Q3 cranked up the pressure for his final run but he produced an excellent lap with the exception of a small error at the final corner – one which he suspected cost him pole position. Pinched by his team mate and Verstappen at turn one, he collected front wing damage which would have ruined his race, but he was rescued by the red flag. From last he was soon on the tail of Verstappen who frustrated him once again, though Raikkonen was able to jump ahead by making his final pit stop with 20 laps to go. That was a big ask of his tyres and while he passed the fading Massa he couldn’t do anything about Alonso or Bottas.

Rating four out of five


Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Bottas ran fourth before strategy slip-up
Felipe Massa – Software problems compromised the qualifying efforts of both Williams drivers but Massa was six-tenths slower than Bottas. He benefited from the first-lap chaos to move up to fourth but then pitted immediately to get rid of his super-soft tyres. He tried to get to the end with a single further stop but his tyres had gone in the closing laps. He was told to let Bottas through and after initially resisting he complied, then was demoted to tenth by Raikkonen.

Rating three out of five

Valtteri Bottas – Felt he could have beaten the Force Indias in qualifying had it not been for the software glitch. He was one of several drivers to miss out on a free pit stop by coming in under the Safety Car before the red flag was shown, so having been fourth he was twelfth when the race resumed. His pace and tyre preservation over the final stint was much better than Massa’s and he took eighth.

Rating four out of five

Red Bull

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Verstappen’s best starting position yet came to nought
Daniel Ricciardo – With Red Bull diverging on strategies Ricciardo lined up fifth behind the Ferraris and Verstappen but on the soft tyres. Once that trio took itself out of contention he occupied third but struggled for pace due to front wing damage. Red Bull were able to rectify this under the Safety Car and give him a free pit stop. From then on his pace was good, often a match for Rosberg’s in the final stint, and he delivered second place.

Rating four out of five

Max Verstappen – The only driver in the top five to start on the super-soft tyres, Verstappen got a surprisingly poor getaway then tried to re-pass the Ferraris at turn one. But the space vanished and the result was a three-way collision which spoiled his race. Although his front wing was replaced he also had significant floor damage and spent much of the race having to defend position as he tried in vain to climb into the points. As usual he explored the limits of legal defensive driving.

Rating three out of five

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
A podium finish continues to elude Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg – A power unit problem in Q3 meant he was unable to improve on his Q2 time and so started behind his team mate. However he capitalised on the turn one melee to move into second. Unfortunately for Force India they chose to pit both drivers just before the red flag came out. Even without that Hulkenberg would have had a difficult time keeping Ricciardo and Hamilton behind, but fourth was the best available for him in any case.

Rating five out of five

Sergio Perez – Reckoned there was no more than a tenth of a second left in the car after claiming a place on the third row. At the start he slipped to eighth avoiding the turn one carnage but he made up places from Grosjean and, after the restart, Kvyat. He pressed on the second stint, passing Massa and Alonso, and wasn’t too far behind his team mate at the end.

Rating four out of five

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Jolyon Palmer, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Palmer was well up the order before the red flag
Kevin Magnussen – Despite taking a strong 12th on the grid he conceded his qualifying lap had been less than perfect. Both Renault made up places at the start but Magnussen slipped behind Palmer and lost control of his car in his team mate’s slipstream on lap six, ploughing into the barriers at high speed. Remarkably he was largely unhurt.

Rating three out of five

Jolyon Palmer – Joined Magnussen in Q2 but was four-tenths of a second slower after his final effort. Having got up to seventh at the start he lost ground by pitting under the Safety Car before the red flag. Stuck behind Kvyat at the restart he was passed by the Ferraris, the Haas pair and Bottas and had to make two further pit stops as he grappled with high tyre degradation.

Rating three out of five

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
A puncture ended Sainz’s race
Daniil Kvyat – Said there was little more in the car despite going out in Q1 – Sainz was less than two-tenths of a second faster. The race went well: he ran eighth after the restart having changed tyres during the suspension, and he even raced Perez before being caught by the quicker recovering cars. The car’s shortage of top speed meant he wasn’t able to keep Grosjean behind, though. “We can say we did our absolute best today, ” he reflected afterwards, “unfortunately not many people will see this, as we only ended up P14”.

Rating four out of five

Carlos Sainz Jnr – It was tough going for Toro Rosso at a track which punished their performance on the straights and he only managed 15th on the grid. He was unfortunate to collect a puncture on the second lap while running in the points, but carelessly blundered back onto the track and lost control of his car as the tyre disintegrated.

Rating three out of five


Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Nasr also picked up a puncture
Marcus Ericsson – There was just a tenth of a second – but three places – between the Sauber drivers after Q1. Ericsson was on the wrong side of the divide after a power unit problem. A gearbox fault then ended his race.

Rating three out of five

Felipe Nasr – Was close to making it into Q2 but his rear tyres faded at the end of the lap and he missed the cut. He picked up a puncture from debris on the first lap and although he was able to continue a damaged floor prevented him from taking any serious part in the action.

Rating three out of five


Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Alonso hauled his McLaren into the points from last
Fernando Alonso – Wasn’t able to run in qualifying after problems with Honda’s new power unit meant Alonso’s had to be replaced more than once. However having started last he was as feisty as ever at the start and took advantage of the chaos to move into the points by lap three. A free tyre change during the red flag period also aided his cause. Remarkably, he’d also got ahead of Hamilton in the opening laps but the Mercedes inevitably came past when the race resumed. He was powerless to resist Perez and Vettel too, but seventh was a huge reward.

Rating five out of five

Jenson Button – Was very pleased to reach Q3 and split the Williams drivers in qualifying. He got away from the line well but was held up at La Source and slipped to 12th, and was then rammed out of the race at Les Combes by Wehrlein.

Rating four out of five


Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Manor’s newcomer was the team’s only finishert
Pascal Wehrlein – Took his Manor into Q2 again but without any fresh super-soft tyres he could only manage 16th. He made a decent start but showed a lack of awareness by running into the back of Button and was fortunate not to get a penalty.

Rating two out of five

Esteban Ocon – Admitted his first F1 qualifying session had been “tough” after Wehrlein beat him by half a second. However he kept it clean in the race – something many of his more experienced rivals failed to do – and beat Nasr’s ailing Sauber. With his team mate out there was little to judge him on besides the fact he was the one who brought his car home.

Rating three out of five


Romain Grosjean, Haas, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Grosjean ran in the points but dropped back
Romain Grosjean – As is becoming increasingly typical Grosjean grumbled through practice but delivered the goods in qualifying, taking ‘new tyre poll’ after missing the cut for Q3 by three-tenths of a second. He took advantage of the La Source mess to rise up the order, only to run wide at Les Combes. By pitting him before the stoppage Haas made the mistake they avoided in Australia, and as he struggled for top speed in his second stint he couldn’t keep the quicker cars behind. His final stint was better, and he closed back up to his team mate.

Rating three out of five

Esteban Gutierrez – Drew the ire of his rivals for not looking in his mirrors again after Wehrlein had to dive off the track to avoid him in practice; Gutierrez was duly given a grid penalty. He was quicker on the softs than Grosjean but was being caught at the end when they switched to mediums.

Rating three out of five

Vote for your driver of the weekend

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

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

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

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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111 comments on “2016 Belgian Grand Prix driver ratings”

  1. Of course I don’t wish/want this to happen, but here’s my prediction for the next race: On the S/F straight he will make a similar move to a driver behind him to what he did to Kimi on the Kemmel straight in the last race or what Perez did to Massa on the final lap of the 2014 Canadian GP, and therefore, both him, and the driver behind him will crash out at around 350 kph or more. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this scenario happens in some of the remaining races of this season. Sooner or later the inevitable will happen if he won’t stop performing over-aggressive defensive moves, which bring in unnecessary danger.

    1. Verstappen.

      1. You sound like kimi

      2. The other drivers just need to do the same dangerous moves on him at 300+ kph and he should hopefully get the point.

        1. Grosjean already did in Monaco last year, Max learned it was acceptable, you just have to be prepared for it (as he crashed).


      this is to all who have no idea what blocking in even less than 300 km/h can cause.

      1. Sviatoslav (@)
        30th August 2016, 19:46

        Cool! Then this is what Max has to do to gain even more respect! I am sure his fans will like it and blame the guy behind.

  2. What does Rosberg need to do to get a 5?

    He won the race at the slowest pace possible. Isn’t that what every driver wants?

    1. With a car like the Mercedes, you need to put in an extraordinary performance to get that 5 point rating. For a weekend without incidents (like Rosberg had this weekend), a Mercedes driver would probably need to lead most if not all practice sessions, take pole position, and get a Grand Chelem (or close to it).

      Taking pole position when your closest rival is not even part of the equation, then managing clean-air race pace while your competitors scrap it out behind you is not worthy of a 5 point rating IMO.

      1. You can’t be a top driver in a Mercedes. It’s one of the Rules. The other Rule is that Hamilton is never the best driver. He can put in a flawless drive, pass everything on the grid, take a grand slam, do a triple somersault on the podium, and will still come in second in driver ratings.

        Let’s look at this weekend– Hamilton got lucky, admittedly (as did HALF THE GRID!!) due to the 1st turn / 1st lap idiocy, then benefits again from the red flag, finishes 3rd from 21st, drives a near-perfect race, but gets 4 out of 5 because he couldn’t make his tires last as long as the guy who was in clean air for the entire race and never overtook anything.

        Rosberg gets pole, stretches out an early lead, recovers that lead after a safety car, recovers it again after a red flag, finishes the race 14+ seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, but gets dinged because he could have gone faster (according to Keith) in Q3.

        Driver ratings tend to be highly subjective.

      2. I think for a Mercedes to get 5, they would have to have a prefect weekend like you said, but also win from down the field a bit (for example due to a grid penalty).

        1. Keith your love affair for Mutton is now at a new level, he gets the same score as the poduim?? Omg he was in the race for 5 minutes!!!!

      3. @Pastaman – What about the “European” GP where he was so perfect that he forced Hamilton into making several mistakes and had the triple of Pole, Fastest lap and Race Win and STILL did not get the driver of the weekend? In a cyberworld where Hamilton walks on water, Rosberg will never get the recognition he deserves. There is also the small matter of his years as team mate to Schumacher which I suspect the fans of the latter have never forgiven him for. One fact that will always remain is that he’s the least feted GP driver in the history of F1 with 20 or more career wins.

        1. “What about the “European” GP where he was so perfect that he forced Hamilton into making several mistakes”

          So perfect that Hamilton beat him in all 3 practice sessions? Rosberg did not force Hamilton into any mistakes. Hamilton was under no pressure from Rosberg going into qualy he just couldn’t get comfortable with the car after a setup change made by Merc and messed up qualy all on his own. He would have had a terrible qualy no matter what Rosberg did.

          “In a cyberworld where Hamilton walks on water”

          Hamilton doesn’t get 5 for doing what Rosberg did today either, so not sure what your point is. Monaco for instance Hamilton put an arguably better performance than Rosberg on Sunday but still got 4. If you want an idea of what Rosberg would have had to do for a 5 look at Hamilton’s write up for Silverstone

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

          Ultimately this doesn’t have anything to do with Hamilton and everything to do with the fact that anything less than pole and win for Rosberg this weekend would have been an absolute failure and he did nothing more than that.

          1. Kudos for an excellently factual response to a sentimentally-charged comment!

  3. Also amazed at the recklessness that rewarded Sainz with a ‘3’.

    1. What do you mean? Which is your mark for him?

      1. He completed half the weekend, so he can’t be evaluated on full pointage. Then, his driving after the puncture was seriously dangerous and stupid. A 3 seems high, honestly.

    2. I’m more amazed at how Verstappen doesn’t have a 1.

        1. agreed on the 1 point for spoiled child. I think Keith needs to modify the rating system to include negative numbers on spoiled child’s behalf.

      1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
        29th August 2016, 16:08

        Why? The incident at the start was mostly Vettel’s fault. After that his race was gone. His defensive moves where on the limit but where considered legal by people who have a lot more data at their disposal than you. So no, its not that amazing that Max wasn’t given a 1/5 rating.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          29th August 2016, 18:24

          It was both of their faults IMO. When he dived up the inside, it was always going to end in contact. To finish out of the points when your team mate finishes 2nd, it’s hard to give more than a 2. Then we move onto his defensive driving…..

          1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
            29th August 2016, 18:54

            His defensive driving was considered legal by the stewards so no -points for that. After the start his race was nothing special, so certainly not more than 3/5 (also taken into account that he was quicker than Daniel all weekend).

          2. Just look back at how the start went. Notice that most of the fields goes through that first corner 3 abreast. There was nothing weird in Verstappen going over the kerb. 4 or 5 cars behind him did the same.

        2. Max pulled a high risk, high reward move– He left himself exactly Zero options should anything go wrong in that turn, and of course, nothing ever goes wrong at turn 1, lap 1, at Spa.

          Of course, if he’d made a decent start, he wouldn’t have had to pull that move.

          Regardless, he boxed himself in, and rather than seeking “payback”, he needs to accept he made a high-risk gamble that didn’t pay off.

          1. 100% this.

            I’ll also add that he drove like an imbecile for the rest of that first lap. Deliberately leaving the track to gain advantage multiple times and re entering the track multiple times with cars behind at racing speed. There was also deliberate blocking whilst driving a damaged car in addition to litany of off tracks. That he did not receive a penalty for any of this is a disgrace and makes a mockery of the sport.

      2. Keith is a Max fan boy, there’s no way he would lower his rating.

        1. And most F1 lovers are fan boy of Max (at least most of the time), so maybe you’re the odd one out?

          But I agree that this was not a race Max or his fans can be proud off. For me the most disappointed thing was how he lost his temper in, but most off all, after the race. His comment for Dutch television wasn’t very mature. I know he is 18 but most of the time it’s an old soul in a teenage body, but today it was a teenager all the way.

          Niki and Jos should have a long talk with him.

          1. I’m sorry but I noticed that you forgot a word from your sentence, did you mean “most DUTCH F1 lovers”, because after that your post makes some sense.

      3. And that would be generous.

  4. My driver ratings:

    Hamilton – 4/5 – Could not do much in qualifying, but kept it clean in the race and finished on the podium. He did benefit a lot of he crashes though.
    Rosberg – 4/5 – He was faultless throughout the entire weekend. Did what he needed to do.

    Vettel – 2/5 – Slower than his teammate and was partly responsible for the turn 1 collision along with Verstappen. Lucky to finish ahead of his teammate, this time not entirely on merit.
    Raikkonen – 4/5 – It could have been a 5, but Verstappen was driving like a fool unfortunately for him. Still did well to finish in the points and was faster than his teammate.

    Bottas – 4/5 – Got the maximum out of what is now a midfield car. 8th place is good for a Williams. I think that even the McLarens are faster now, in the corners anyway.
    Massa – 3/5 – Not as fast as his teammate.

    Red Bull:
    Ricciardo – 4/5 – Solid performance in the race and picked up another podium. Got outqualified by his teammate though, so that’s -1 point.
    Verstappen – 1/5 – 1 might seem harsh, but what the hell was this kid doing in the race? Pastor Maldonado would be proud. His driving was stupid, and his attitude after the race was poor.

    Force India:
    Hulkenberg – 5/5 – Amazing performance from this man. I’ve noticed in the past few races that he is actually starting to beat Perez again. Great job and unfortunate to once again miss out on a podium.
    Pérez – 4/5 – A solid result for him rounds off an incredible weekend for Force India. They are legitimately fourth. Wow.

    Magnussen – 3/5 – His qualifying was very good, and his race was also going well until he had a massive crash after the Eau Rouge/Raidillon section. Glad to see that he’s OK.
    Palmer – 3/5 – Outqualified by Magnussen, but was also having a decent race. Was unlucky with the timing of the red flag, and the lack of pace in the Renault meant that he was unable to score points.

    Toro Rosso:
    Sainz – 2/5 – Did alright in qualifying with the slow 2015 Ferrari PU. His race unfortunately ended almost immediately, but he should have parked it to the side of the track instead of trying to rejoin.
    Kvyat – 3/5 – Did a pretty decent job in the race, but was beaten in qualifying by Sainz. He can take comfort in the fact that he was better than Verstappen.

    Nasr – 3/5 – Cannot do much in a slow Sauber with damage.
    Ericsson – 3/5 – Cannot do anything with a car that doesn’t work.

    Alonso – 5/5 – My driver of the race. Last to 7th and holding off faster cars. Brilliant drive.
    Button – 4/5 – The unluckiest driver of the weekend. His qualifying performance was the best out of anyone, but he was hit by Wehrlein in the race. What a shame.

    Wehrlein – 2/5 – Great qualifying from him to make it into Q2, but his race performance was bad and he just hit the back of Button’s car.
    Ocon – 3/5 – Pretty sold debut for Ocon as he actually didn’t crash, unlike his teammate.

    Grosjean – 3/5 – Outqualified Gutiérrez, and was running well in the race but could not hold off the faster cars.
    Gutiérrez – 2/5 – Had a similarly average performance to Grosjean, but -1 point to him for once again not using his mirrors.

    1. To be fair I would probably give Max a 2/5 based on his qualifying on the front row and out-qualifying his teammate.

      His overdriving in the race was very rookie like and it seemed as though he was taking too many chances to impress his “home” fans. His way over-compensating, for his poor start, dive move into turn 1 was definitely a contributing factor to that incident leaving Kimi nowhere to go outside or inside. His driving immediately after that from what we could see on the feed and replays was nearly as scary as his move on Kimi later in the race. He was out of control going on and off track like a wild man.

      I am a fan of Max and his talents, but he proved yesterday that he still has a lot to learn on and off the track.

    2. Fortunately this isn’t your blog but thank you for your thoughts regardless.

      1. I completely you agree with you Bull Mello. I am not sure what TallyHo was watching??

        1. I believe TallyHo was referring to @ultimateuzair‘s contribution.

    3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      29th August 2016, 23:07

      From what I can see, I think you are basing your ratings for over the weekend. I agree with most of them even if they were just for the race alone. Hope you don’t mind me adding my opinions. I still appreciate that you do this after each race as it is interesting to see someone else’s view on each driver

      For the race, I would just change a few. I think Kvyat really did get the max out of his car. Did nothing wrong that race and was pretty high up at one point. I’m pretty sure he only fell back because the Toro Rosso was quite easily one of the weakest cars this weekend. I agree with the 2/5 for Sainz. I seriously don’t know why he continued to drive with this car in the condition it was in. I can’t understand why he didn’t get a penalty for that.

      I would probably put Vettels score to 3/5 as I don’t think he was really that much more to blame than Verstappen. I didn’t think the rest of Vettel’s race was that bad actually.

      For the race, I would probably give Verstappen a 1/5. For the weekend, a 2/5 as he did fine then in everything other than the race.

      I like to see a comment saying that Bottas is doing well. I actually think he is one of the most solid and consistent drivers on the grid. I have seen too many people say they think he isn’t as good as he used to be. Well, I’m pretty sure it it the car going backwards. He did indeed get the max out of his car this last race, especially considering he was one of the last to pit after the Magnussen incident because of another late call from the team. As Kieth said, he was running 4th and came out 12th. Most of the other drivers didn’t loose that many positions. Bottas kept gaining positions while Massa kept loosing them.

      1. Thanks for the feedback @thegianthogweed I agree and respect your opinion. I think that for Vettel it was very close between a 2 and a 3. He wasn’t too bad, but I expected better in my opinion, and I personally think that him and Verstappen were equally to blame for the turn 1 collision. Verstappen for divebombing the corner, and Vettel for turning in too early.
        The main reason why I give Verstappen a 1 is because of his attitude after the race as well as his driving. I really hope that he rectifies this as soon as possible as I really want to respect the guy.
        As for Kvyat, I didn’t see much of him but it was a solid performance and I hope that he keeps doing this as I think that he still deserves a seat in F1. Red Bull were too harsh on him, and Verstappen has arguably been as scrappy as him.

  5. If I give Hamilton a 5/5 for his drive in Hungary 2014, I’d give him a 3/5 for this race.

    1. Why? What did he do wrong in Spa? Did he drive recklessly? Did he run into other drivers, or run them off the track? Did he make illegal blocking moves?

      Because Hungary was as much down to the safety cars as this race was for Hamilton. The only impressive move Hamilton really made in Hungary was his pass on JEV going into turn 4– but he also damaged his wing by spinning out on lap 1. The rest was just good, solid driving, and making fewer mistakes than those around him– exactly the same as he did in Spa this weekend.

      I don’t understand why someone who makes up 18 places in a race gets a worse ranking than someone who started 7th, and finished 4th.

      1. Hamilton benefited greatly from the race incidents to gain positions.

  6. I think some of the worse drivers ratings are too high and Hulkenberg should be down a bit

    Here’s my ratings

    Rosberg – 4/5
    Hamilton – 4/5

    Vettel – 3/5
    Raikkonen – 4/5

    Red Bull
    Ricciardo – 4/5
    Verstappen – 2/5

    Bottas – 4/5
    Massa – 2/5

    Force India
    Hulkenberg – 4/5
    Perez – 4/5

    Alonso – 5/5
    Button – 3/5

    Toro Rosso
    Kvyat – 3/5
    Sainz – 1/5

    Grosjean – 3/5
    Gutierrez – 3/5

    Magnussen – 2/5
    Palmer – 3/5

    Wehrlein – 2/5
    Ocon – 2/5

    Ericsson – 1/5
    Nasr – 2/5

    1. Not really sure what Sainz did to deserve a 1.

      1. Well he did keep driving his stricken vehicle and made a bad situation much worse…..its a 1.

    2. Ericsson 1/5 – if you hate the guy, you hate the guy. Facts are his engine didn’t work properly in qualifying and he lost 6th gear on lap one. I suppose in your world, he would have gone on and even if his gearbox seized and got out he would have had to push it by hand into the top ten to get more than a one…

      Another fact is that if it weren’t for Marcus Ericsson, Sauber would have folded no later than May. Think about THAT fact every time you watch F1 and see the blue and yellow cars – without Ericsson, they would not be there.

      1. I like Ericsson a lot more than Nasr, but unfortunately he basically didn’t do anything this weekend, most people probably forgot he was there. I didn’t know about the engine problem, I might have skipped on it. But the fact is he didn’t do anything this weekend that warranted a higher rating than a 1

        1. Perhaps we have a different opinion on what a “1” constitutes? In my world, a “1” is what one would have awarded Maldonado for going for gaps he spotted in the middle of walls (and crashing on his own without contact with the car he was going to overtake) or between the front and rear wheels of a competitor’s car. A rating of “1” would also have been merited by Kvyat who repeatedly tried to overtake Vettel by driving through his car (1st and 3rd corner, Russian GP). Another “effort” that I consider worthy of a “1” is to crash so heavily on the warm-up lap via the expedient of weaving to put heat into the tires that you destroy your car as one hapless driver managed to do not too long ago.

          PS. Ericsson also had a cooling problem which forced him to start the race from the pitlane.

  7. Lewis shouldnt get the same grade as Nico, IMO.
    And I wouldnt say Seb was the main responsible for the crash. He could have avoided it, but he had no way of knowning Max was there. The difference: one was on the race track, the other on the kerbs.

    1. It seemed like Verstappen wasn’t even trying to turn to the corner, you can use methods like that later in the race but in the start it will surely cause collision, there is no way 3-5 cars could all avoid the crash if 1 driver dive-bombs.

      1. Is that very similar to Nico on Lewis – The shots showing him putting very little effort to turn the steering

    2. Vettel didn’t hit Max– He hit Kimi, and he should have known Kimi was there.

      1. @grat Sigh… And if Max hadn’t dive bombed, there would have been space for Kimi to turn, space that Vettel left for him. Get real, please!

        1. On is a video clip of the first corner from different angles. From an onboard of one of the Force India’s you clearly see both Kimi and Max have enough room until Vettel cut’s across. Even if Max wasn’t there Vettel would have hit Kimi.

          1. Max had enough room but then he should have turned the car, and he braked so late I think he would ended colliding with someone else even if Vettel wasn’t there.

  8. My ratings for the Belgium Grand Prix – Drivers’ Ratings (not including qualifying)

    Rosberg 4/5
    Ricciardo 3.5/5
    Hamilton 4/5
    Hulkenberg 4.5/5
    Perez 4/5
    Vettel 2.5/5
    Alonso 4.5/5
    Bottas 2.5/5
    Raikkonen 3.5/5
    Massa 2.5/5
    Verstappen 1/5
    Gutierrez 2/5
    Grosjean 1.5/5
    Kvyat 2/5
    Palmer 2/5
    Ocon 2.5/5
    Nasr 2/5

    Magnussen N/A
    Button N/A
    Wehrlein N/A
    Sainz N/A
    Ericsson N/A

  9. I really can’t understand how Verstappen would deserve 3/5, he started from 2nd, was at least partly responsible for the 3 car collision that took away all Rosbergs main competitors, used very unsportsmanlike defensive moves that could have cost someones life and ended up 11th, after that keeps complaining that others ruined his race and he has never done anything wrong. I would say that is strong 1/5.

    I lost most of my respect for young Max, not because how he drove but how he has responded to the critics, he sounds like totally spoiled brat.

    1. Ferrari have done their job quite good, not only taking out Verstappen but also make him look like he’s the worst driver out there. Some seem to forget when a driver is along side going in to the corner the defender HAS to yield, not what happened here, Verstappen got crashed by two Ferrari drivers.

      Defending tactics are on the limit, but did anyone see Raikkonen making a good attempt, he was just trying to cruise alongside like he did with Guiterez. Verstappen gives him a fight, so did Grosjean who was hit by Raikkonen as well.

      Verstappens outburst was not professional, his driving was though, he has the stewards to back that up, it was on the limit, but legit. Not his best race due to a damaged floor.

      How about Vettel hitting Raikkonen, Raikkonen hitting Verstappen and Grosjean, Alonso hitting Hulkenberg, Wehrlein in the back of Button… c’mon much worse things happen this race, it’s just Raikkonen trying to put the spotlight on Verstappen over and over again.

      1. Can’t really agree, if you dive-bomb into the corner you don’t really own it, Max had a poor start and tried to take back positions too fast and braked too late, making a move that completely depends on all the other drivers seeing him and avoiding, something Max himself wasn’t going to do.

        Verstappens driving wasn’t professional, there is huge difference in defending your position and just blocking much faster car in 300 km/h, the latter could have cost Kimis life if Max did it milliseconds later.

        And you are basically saying that Kimi does great job in playing F1 politics, lol

        1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
          29th August 2016, 15:38

          I didn’t see a divebomb at the start. Max wasn’t deep in the corner, no locking, no ondersteer, good turn-in. He was even able to turn in even sharper when Vettel cut across. In the brakingzone he had his whole car next to Kimi. Just good racecraft. His defensive moves where on the edge but then again, if you watch Schumachers defending at spa 1995 or 2000 this isn’t so bad.

          1. Well dive-bombing was a strong word, it was more like breaking really late to get to the side, but still main reason he was able to make the turn was because Vettel and Kimi slammed him that way.

          2. I am sorry but his behaviour was absolutely outrageous from beginning to end.

            When Mercedes have a chart for their drivers indicating the line you will never succeed at on this first corner and having fluffed the start he ends up with all wheels off the track as he does pretty much all race (as we can see) you know it’s a stupid move. Ok he is young – let’s give him a break.

            What followed was quite simply the very worst behaviour I have seen (and I taught some 4-5000 much harder done by lads of his age)

            playing games with weaving and (not sure if anyone noticed the flashing light) recharging after as if to give the crazy moves some legitimate reasoning – sorry the kid is so far out of order it’s ridiculous.

            Obviously his defenders missed the comments in the press conferences after.

            The following occurred in different languages but essentially…

            ‘They are all big lies’

            ‘That’s a lie’

            ‘He ruined my race so I am going to make it hard and not let them past’ (oddly then saying it was Vettel that was the problem rather than him sticking his car in a place that was never going to work but spending his time trying to destroy Kimi)

            ‘I would rather run them off the circuit than let them past’

            Sorry – spoiled brat that somehow has the badge as saviour of F1, his father’s attitude amply fired by some truly poor management and, happily is quite obviously getting great service from the best marketing company in the world and thus the F1 owners and the FIA.

            Do we really need the big one before this kid winds his neck in?

            We got all upset over the Alonso incident earlier in the year. This little stunt on the straight would have been absolutely tragic and about three times faster. But that’s ok, he is young, he fluffed his start, he is exciting, he is such a fabulous talent, he overtakes in races (to go from 9th to 10th or 2nd to 11th!) etc etc

            He skipped the classes that would have taught him his stunts will hurt unless your up against a Kimi.

            The classes that ironically are being used as the reason we must have the halo, or g string, or flip flop!

            Actually we just need some consistency.

          3. @wickedwicktheweird That’s divebombing in my book. There was about 5 centimetres left of the car on the track and the rest on the kerb. Audacious, but not a good racecraft as he ended 11th. He was never going to make it, those gaps always fade. I like the guy but it’s a misjudgment that cost him a chance of podium. Surely he’ll learn from that.

      2. @Matn – Get real! Other drivers like Rosberg and Räikkönen have been penalised for “causing an avoidable accident” like Max did. Just because he’s the hottest young thing on the grid doesn’t give him a carte blanche even if he’s the pet of the stewards and darling of Bernie/FOM.

      3. @Matn – Get real! Nico Rosberg was penalised for causing an avoidable crash when he did exactly that as was Marcus Ericcson at Monaco. If F1 is to be respected, there CANNOT be one rule for certain drivers such as Max Verstappen and another for everyone else.

    2. I agree with you @peterh. I hope that he learns from this and becomes not only a better driver, but just a better human being with respect for other drivers.

      1. And Raikkonen and the other drivers did NOTHING to Verstappen. The only driver that Verstappen can criticise is Vettel, but then again, he’s a 4 time WDC and Verstappen is only a 1-time race winner. I don’t know where matn got the ideas about Raikkonen from.

        1. I don’t have a large opinion about Raikkonen, in fact I like his aggresive approach as much as Verstappens…
          It’s the calls for penalties that bugs me, the stewards are controlling the race, Raikkonen should focus on his own driving which isn’t flawless either… what happened with Grosjean..?

          Verstappen clealry boiled over, was heavily frustrated and very much triggered by Raikkonen’s radio messages

          Vettel was in the wrong at turn one, these are race incidents and do happen, it isn’t worth much of a fuzz

          1. Well he overtook Grosjean, Grosjean had space on the left but then they collided wheel to wheel and nothing happened. Then he overtook Grosjean again.

            You can see the video for free in Youtube, you don’t need to ask here what happened.

    3. Max verstappen will cause more problems and he will play a big role in championship battle between Lewis and Nico.surely he will screw up championship hopes of either Lewis or Nico at some point in upcoming races.The worst sportstsmanship in f1 grid.

  10. Max has all 4 wheels off the track (inside white line). Not allowed, and hence Seb only left space for Kimi. The stewards should have instantly given Max a drive through….or some more days at driving Kindergarten.

  11. I think frame by frame doesn’t tell the real situation, it seems like Maxs idea was to drive first corner wide and force both Raikkonen and Vettel of the track.

    1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
      29th August 2016, 16:18

      Have you even watched the race?

      1. Yes he did, and Verstappen and Vettel were both to blame for turn 1. Afterwards Verstappen’s driving was pathetic, forcing other drivers off the track and cutting the corner himself to keep the position. Also moving across Raikkonen who had to come off the throttle to avoid a potentially huge crash. These all obviously warrant penalties. Rosberg got penalties for similar moves, so should Verstappen.

        1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
          29th August 2016, 18:29

          Well obviously not, because he was not penalised. I have to say that i’m a bit suprised how much the stewards are willing to let go, but i don’t mind that. It is still miles better then in 2006-2008 when drivers got penalties for everything.

        2. So you’re OK with a driver forcing another driver off the track who was cleanly trying to pass, and then the driver who caused the incident also cuts the corner to gain the position. It is stupid driving. Also moving over at the last moment to block a pass, which only did not result in a crash because the other driver had to let off the throttle is more stupid driving. And then also just generally being a spoilt brat in the post-race interviews. There’s aggressive driving, and then there is stupidity. Verstappen falls under the stupidity option. Maldonado would be proud of him.

      2. Yes I watched the race like almost every GP since 1996 (6 year old cheering for Hakkinen), with exceptions like 2001 Monaco when I spent whole day vomiting and just listened the GP. But I believe that it doesn’t matter to you because I don’t share your great adoration of the young Verstappen.

        Today I chatted with my elder patient and even he hoped he could hit Verstappen in the face.

        1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
          29th August 2016, 21:39

          Vettel hit Kimi first, whilst Kimi was moving away from Vettel. How on earth can you argue that Max was the cause of this by forcing both wide? If you say that this is 100% on max and 0% on Vettel you must be high as a kite.

        2. Whats your language, all I’m saying is that Verstappen had no hope getting away with that move without colliding with someone even if Vettel wasn’t there. Max had a terrible start and he just tried to save it by diving into the corner by braking too late.

  12. The problem with your analysis is that it does not consider the trajectory of each car. VES was pointed “straight” at the apex whereas RAI and VET were pointed “in” through the turn. Had RAI disappeared VES would have collided with the cars turning “in” behind” as VES’s trajectory (his line) would have cut across all,of the other 21 drivers that weren’t driving like insane 15 year old go kart racers.

    1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
      29th August 2016, 16:48

      I do not agree. If you check the sixt frame you see that max his car was aligned with Kimi’s. If you check the onboard shots you see that max was easily turning in. Had max dissapeared Vettel would have still made contact with Kimi, voilating the first rule of f1; don’t hit your teammate.

      1. You can’t see from the frames that Kimi and Vettel braked tens of meters before Max did. In Finland we call this “toivotaan toivotaan” tactic, meaning “lets hope lets hope”

  13. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    29th August 2016, 16:27

    My review on all drivers:

    Both Mercedes drivers: 5/5. Excellent drive from Hamilton. Rosberg meanwhile pulled away from everyone.
    Both Ferrari drivers: 3/5
    Ricciardo: 5/5. He’s done it all good for the team.
    Verstappen: 2/5. That’s it. I’m fed up.
    Both Williams drivers: 3/5.
    Both Force India drivers: 4/5.
    Magnussen: 3/5. Glad to see that he’s alright.
    Palmer: 2/5.
    Kvyat: 3/5.
    Sainz: 2/5.
    Both Sauber drivers: 3/5.
    Alonso: 6/5. Rated him 6 because I wasn’t expecting a points finish for McLaren at Spa.
    Button: 2/5.
    Wehrlein: 2/5.
    Ocon: 3/5. Thought he would finish last.
    Grosjean: 3/5.
    Gutiérrez: 2/5. Made Wehrlein angry back in Free Practice.

  14. Is there some obligation Vettel has to concede space to Verstappen when he is going through it a full car length ahead of Vertstappen and there is a car between them? If you look at those pictures and imagine that Kimi wasn’t between the two cars, there’s no way it could have been Vettel’s fault. And it seems to me that, absent Verstappen, the Ferraris would have made it through the turn without wrecking each other out. Tight but ok. If all that’s true, then Verstappen’s move on Kimi was effectively asking Kimi to surrender space to him, which space Vettel was currently occupying, so, by extension, Verstappen was claiming Vettel’s space. Is that in the rules? How is this not 100% Verstappen’s fault? In any case, I think asking Vettel to know or care about Verstappen’s move somehow is a big ask and highly likely to result in a crash no matter who the driver in Vettel’s place is, so it’s probably not the best move to try to pull off. Maybe on the last lap of the last race of the season.

    1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
      29th August 2016, 17:03

      Not to Verstappen, but he should have left Kimi more space. Vettel said so himself after the race. You should always be a little more carefull when you are battling your teammate. If there is a sizeable portion of the other car on the inside you just can’t expect the other car to vanish into thin air. Since Vettel was the only one who was in a position to give more space he is the one to blame, especially if he could have done it without conceiving a position.

    2. Vettel wasn’t a car length ahead from Verstappen. See the frame caps above. He only got ahead of Raikkonen when Raikkonen tried to brake out of the situation he probably saw unfolding. That’s why Verstappen and Vettel suddenly lurched forwards relative to Raikkonen.

    3. You are putting racing rules upside down.

      Any driver attacking on the inside and is at least half a length of the car next to the defender has the right for the corner.
      In any case the defender has to yield.

      it’s not like there wasn’t a gap, the gap got squeezed.

      The Ferrari drivers have their way with Verstappen publicly, it’s apitty, it will ruin relations.
      Racing should be about racing, not public opinions

    4. Why don’t we all just leave it up to the stewards. Racing incidents happen. If they don’t you’ll complain about how boring it all is. So, let’s celebrate and compliment those who drove a decent race

      1. imo Vettel just turned into Kimi, didnt leave him any space, even though they were alongside each other

  15. I almost never blame anyone when there’s three cars in a corner. It’s virtually impossible for the guys on the sides to see the far car. That is, unless one of the cars comes in very late, then he has a chance to see both of the other cars. Also, if you’re going to apply blame to a three car incident, it almost certainly had to go to the car that’s furthest back in the corner, he’s the one that can see the most. That’s obvious. In this case I wouldn’t blame anyone.

    1. Seriously look at how many of the cars went 3 abreast through that turn with one of them well up on the kerb. Only the group where Vettel decided to cut off his teammate ran into trouble.

      It’s utter nonsense to claim they didn’t see each other. Raikkonen was ahead at the braking point. Vettel knew 100% sure that Raikkonen was there and he cut him off. I guess he would (barely) have survived if Verstappen wasn;t on ht inside, but that move is just insane.

      He did the same thin in 2015 in his first race for Ferrari in Australia. Raikkonen was slightly ahead yet he gave Vettel space and Vettel ran him clean off the road. Costing Raikkonen a whole lot of positions.

      You could understand such behavior if the two were fighting for the WDC, but not in a race where they desperately needed the points and both needed to finish ahead of the Red Bulls.

      1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
        29th August 2016, 21:43

        Totally agree! This isn’t about Vettel vs Max, this is about Vettel unnecassarily taking risks hitting his teammate. If he gave a meter more space he would have come out of la source taking secong place, with a third place for kimi.

  16. I can not understand how Max gets a 3 and Raikkonen a 4. Did I watch a different race? Verstappen destroyed his own floorboard by running off the track repeatedly on the first lap, and ruined his own race. Raikkonen fell more than a lap behind, Ferrari then inexplicably put him on the super soft tires, then they pit him right before the red flag, so another wasted pit stop. Things finally normalized for him after that. The red flag absolutely did not assist him, he and a number of other drivers stopped before the flag came out, and so were probably hurt by it, not helped. Also to criticize him for not passing Bottas and Alonso is strange, besides the Williams being very fast on the straights, Bottas had DRS, so getting around him would have been nearly impossible. I mean he passed his own teammate shortly after Kimi caught up to him so he was in very good shape with his tires too. And I don’t think Kimi was ever behind Fernando, so I don’t have any idea where that criticism comes from. The fact that Kimi basically caught Vettel up by the end after being WAY behind him, shows how much he dominated the Ferrari garage this weekend. He drove a very impressive race, and besides a couple miniscule little lock ups making passes, he was flawless. As far as qualifying goes, I don’t think pole was really in the cards. I think he probably pushed a little too hard in the first two sectors, and therefore his tires were pretty much shot by the last corner. He seemed to think it was a possibility, so I might be wrong about that.

    1. You don’t know when Verstappen’s floorboard was damaged. Could also have been from the damage that was incurred by Vettel ramming them all together. Perhaps from a wheel or when the bit of his front wing went under the car.

      Although I do agree that it’s bizarre how he didn’t get a penalty for all that off-roading. How wasn’t that gaining an advantage? Like he could ever have been ahead through eau rouge other than just straightlining that corner like he did and Les Combes etc etc.

      Also agree on Raikkonen’s great performance. The guy just can’t catch a break. He does tend to go fast around this track, but somehow he does seem to have an inordinate amount of bad luck. It’s amazing he got back so high after all that he had to deal with. But you have to really follow the race in detail from every car’s perspective to notice all that. It’s not easy to do that for 22 cars.

  17. To be perfectly honest I think a 3 for Max is very, very generous. Even if you take out the who’s to blame on the incidents, he finished out of the points on a day when the car was clearly capable of much more.

    1. Well, let’s see… Hamilton started 21st, finished 3rd, was involved in zero incidents, drove a very clean race, but gets 4/5.

      Verstappen blew the start (although to be fair, the Ferraris have a very good start procedure), painted himself into a corner at turn 1 (and exceeded track limits), broke his wing, visited a few other postal codes on his way back for a new wing, and drove incredibly aggressively at Kimi because of ‘payback’, and finished 11th, outside the points… and gets a 3/5.

      Hulkenberg, meanwhile, runs from 7th to 4th, and gets a 5/5.

      Makes perfect sense to me. :)

      1. With the best car of the grid, in a track like Spa, this not impressive. What Fernando do is impressive. With a Mclaren, starting behind Lewis, and achieve a 7th place.

        1. ALO was far more impressive than HAM in those opening laps. The Spaniard started behind but was ahead of the Mercedes when MAG hit the wall. HAM just followed through behind. By the time the red flag came out they were both very high in the points.

          Given the ranking system is/should be 5 for brilliant driving, 3 for achieving normal result, 1 for a shocker, I’d give:
          ROS, RIC, HAM all 3 points (not 4: they did what they could in the cars they were driving but nothing special)
          HUL and PER 4 each (the car was obviously good at this track but they both drove very well including overtaking and defending)
          ALO a 5 (overtook a Merc and held it off while all around was chaos, later defended brilliantly against the Williams)
          VET a 2 (could have been more circumspect with his teammate at first corner)
          BOT and MAS 3 each
          RAI a 4 (more for being innocent victim of teammate at first corner and dangerously stupid driving by VER, but qualified and mostly drove very well)
          VER a 1 (stupid dive at first corner and also stupid defending and illegal attacking up to Les Combes)
          The rest of the field a 3, because I hardly saw anything of any of them in the race.

  18. Does Hulkenberg have more 4th and 5th places than Perez has podiums?

    1. Yes, actually… Hulkenberg has finished 8 times in the top five without a podium, if I remember correctly.
      Perez has 7 podiums.

  19. Its people like the writer of this article that are partly responsible for Maxs idiocy.
    Said driver spent all day trying to run cars off the track and he is given a 4 out of 5 for what reason exactly? Non objectivity by the auther of this piece? SMH @ the so called media.
    Reason #200 why max thinks he can do no wrong and is always right… hell i would feel the same way if i had most of the press corp fellating me.

    1. he is given a 4 out of 5

      I didn’t give Verstappen four out of five.

    2. wut.

      Try reading the article again.

  20. Its a pity that this list was not made at the beginning of the season. We could made a average score, and see who was the best driver of the season

    1. @nbadallas To be clear, the end-of-season driver rankings won’t just be a dumb addition of the scores for each race with no further analysis, not least because sometimes new information comes out about drivers’ races days, weeks or even months later.

      1. @nbadallas By way of an example, before I wrote this I wasn’t aware the software problem which affected the Williams drivers in practice had a greater bearing on Massa’s lap time than it did for Bottas, which partly explains the difference between them.

  21. Max verstappen will cause more problems and he will play a big role in championship battle between Lewis and Nico.surely he will screw up championship hopes of either Lewis or Nico at some point in upcoming races.The worst sportstsmanship in f1 grid.

  22. Something wrong with Massa
    “Felipe Massa – Software problems compromised the qualifying efforts of both Williams drivers but Massa was six-tenths slower than Bottas.”

    He was only three-tenths slower than Bottas after the first lap, and he had a good reason for this.
    have a read, please.
    “from Turn 1 to Turn 4. That was on Felipe’s car.”
    When Valtteri went out, we were more attuned that there could be a problem and we were able to turn his engine down from qualifying mode to race mode quite quickly”
    I hope for some corrections.

  23. Button drive 2km on Sunday and gets a 4… not sure how that one works

  24. In terms of this race alone, I’d give Hamilton a 3/5. But in terms of this race in the context of the season I’d give him a 5/5 – he recognised that reigning in his aggression and staying out of trouble were going to benefit him more in the long run than pushing for a position that was realistically out of reach. I know we want drivers to push and fight, but on a day where leaving pointless and losing the the championship lead was a real possibility, staying out of trouble and “settling” for third is the smart choice.

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