2016 Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

2016 Italian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Only one driver got full marks for their performance in the Italian Grand Prix weekend. Here’s F1 Fanatic’s verdict on the full field.


Rosberg took his seventh victory of 2016
Lewis Hamilton – Didn’t repeat his 2015 clean sweep of practice sessions but came close, and took pole with an impressive margin of almost half a second over Rosberg. According to Mercedes his stockpile of extra power unit components has not handed him a decisive performance advantage over Rosberg and the speed trap figures seem to bear that out: Hamilton was 2.5kph faster than Rosberg which bears comparison with what we’ve seen at other tracks this year. It all went wrong on Sunday when he started poorly, again. Although he passed Ricciardo and Bottas with little difficulty, and jumped the Ferraris with even greater ease, he couldn’t push on the tyres enough to catch Rosberg.

Nico Rosberg – Simply not on Hamilton’s pace in qualifying and admitted as much afterwards. If they were in slower cars there would have been several rivals between them on the grid. But they aren’t, so when Hamilton fluffed the start Rosberg was straight into a lead he never looked like losing.


The Ferrari drivers were closely matched
Sebastian Vettel – His second run in Q3 got him ahead of Raikkonen on the grid despite running wide at the exit of Parabolica. He backed out of lunging at Rosberg at the start, and from there on his race was straightforward aside from a sluggish first pit stop. Racing Hamilton for second place wasn’t an option as the Ferraris had to pit twice.

Kimi Raikkonen – After a “messy” (his word) second practice session he qualified alongside Vettel on row two, less than a tenth of a second between them. There was little to choose between them in the race either.


Bottas qualified fifth but Ricciardo hunted him down
Felipe Massa – Qualifying gave cause to view Massa’s decision to retire as a timely one: he was half a second off Bottas and missed the cut for Q3. He made amends with a decent start which got him up to eighth, but he was jumped by Verstappen at the first round of pit stops. He was a much closer match for Bottas on race pace, though.

Valtteri Bottas – Produced some brilliant laps in qualifying and his final one, where he found the six-hundredths of a second he needed to stop Ricciardo taking fifth place, was a gem. He also reaped the reward of taking the cooling vents off his helmet, which he reckoned was worth a thousandth. He was never going to keep Hamilton behind but he might have seen Ricciardo coming to deprive him of fifth, but he deserves credit for having the awareness not to turn in on his rival.

Red Bull

Ricciardo dived past Bottas from a long way back
Daniel Ricciardo – Both Red Bull drivers tried to get through Q2 on the soft tyres but couldn’t make it. Ricciardo was one-thousandth of a second off beating Bottas to fifth. Choosing to run super-softs for his final stint gave him a chance to pass the Williams, but he had a narrow window of opportunity during which the Red Bull’s braking advantage was bigger enough to make it possible, and he came from an enormous distance back to complete a remarkable move.

Max Verstappen – Not as happy with his car as Ricciardo in qualifying and further hampered by radio problems, but backed his team mate up on the grid. He could count himself fortunate to avoid a reprimand for impeding Rosberg in final practice. Verstappen didn’t get off the line well, his car going into anti-stall, but despite Red Bull’s top speed disadvantage he passed a Mercedes-powered Force India in his first stint, and Alonso’s McLaren too. He took the second Force India at the end of the race for seventh – a decent recovery.

Force India

Perez couldn’t keep Verstappen behind
Nico Hulkenberg – Admitted he found it hard to nail a balance on his car, though sitting out first practice while Alfonso Celis drove his car won’t have helped. Even so he was only two-hundredths off Perez in qualifying. He lost ground at the start having to dodge around Verstappen, who then passed him for tenth on lap five. He was handed a place by Alonso’s slow pit stop and collected the final point.

Sergio Perez – The VJM09s couldn’t match the low-drag FW38s at Monza: Perez was four-tenths off Bottas in qualifying. Although he benefited from Verstappen’s slow start he was demoted by the Red Bull driver at the end of a lonely race.

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up


Magnussen tried everything to get through Q1
Kevin Magnussen – Back in the cockpit five days after his heavy crash at Spa, Magnussen said he was suffering no ill effects. He tried everything to get into Q2: getting a tow from Hamilton, and over-driving to the point of going off, and ended up two-tenths off Palmer as a result. An aggressive strategy left him with a 22-lap stint on super-softs at the end of the race, and the ease with which Ericsson left him behind indicates a better finish was unlikely.

Jolyon Palmer – A chance to bring his car home in front of his team mate was lost when Nasr took him out.

Toro Rosso

The Toro Rossos couldn’t keep quicker cars behind
Daniil Kvyat – Blamed Grosjean for failing to get into Q1 after catching the Haas driver at the end of his final flying lap, which Kvyat reckoned cost him two-tenths of a second. His race never really got going: He was passed by Alonso and Gutierrez and later retired due to his battery overheating.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – It was clear from practice the year-old Ferrari engine was hurting Toro Rosso at Monza. Sainz got into Q2 where he was slowest, but was promoted to 15th by Grosjean’s penalty. An attempt to do a one-stop race with a 29-lap stint on super-softs was extremely ambitious and predictably didn’t work.


This wasn’t Nasr’s finest hour
Marcus Ericsson – Was disappointed with his qualifying run after picking up oversteer after final practice. He ran a one-stop strategy in the race but didn’t have much pace on mediums at the end and couldn’t keep Sainz behind.

Felipe Nasr – A loss of power at Lesmo compromised Nasr’s final run in Q1. He missed the cut for Q2 but still lined up ahead of his team mate. After a decent start his lap two collision with Palmer was entirely unnecessary – even the GP2 drivers had shown it was possible to go side-by-side through the Rettiflio, so what excuse did Nasr have?


Alonso set the fastest lap
Fernando Alonso – A single run on new tyres in Q2 was not enough to gain a place in the top ten on this power track. A typically great start put him in the hunt for the points, but a hesitant getaway from his pit stop when the traffic lights failed to change crucially dropped him behind Hulkenberg. After that he took the curious decision to put on a fresh of soft tyres at the end of the race and set fastest lap.

Jenson Button – Wasn’t entirely happy with his run in Q2, admitting “Fernando pulled out a little bit on me”. He was elbowed wide on lap and dropped to the back of the field from where he did well to recover to 12th at one of McLaren’s weaker tracks with better pace than Alonso after the first stint.


Manor were plagued by breakdowns
Pascal Wehrlein – Reached Q3 for the third time this year and split the McLarens on the grid, though Q3 proved too far for Manor to reach. He almost got by Verstappen at the start, but lost a place to Grosjean on lap two. He changed to mediums on lap 16 which would have been a big ask for a one-stop strategy, but his car failed at half-distance rendering the question moot.

Esteban Ocon – Utterly luckless as his car stopped in practice and again in Q1, leaving him at the back of the grid. He did ran a long stint on mediums at the start of the race but slipped to the tail of the field and was lapped twice.


Gutierrez started tenth but never ran inside the top 12
Romain Grosjean – At one of the team’s strongest venues for several races, a gearbox change penalty pushed Grosjean down to 17th on the grid. However a fine start and a pass on Wehrlein put him in contention for the points. Haas needed one of the five fastest cars to drop out, however, and it didn’t happen, though he resisted Button to the end.

Esteban Gutierrez – A fine effort in qualifying saw Gutierrez give Haas their debut appearance in Q3. He made a terrible start, however, falling to the rear of the field. As he had to start on used tyres this hampered his efforts to recover lost ground, though he made it as far as 13th.

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 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2016 Italian Grand Prix articles

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

36 comments on “2016 Italian Grand Prix driver ratings”

  1. For once Raikkonen gets what he so deserves.

  2. Although (Hamilton) passed Ricciardo and Bottas with little difficulty, and jumped the Ferraris with even greater ease
    Bottas was harder than I thought it would be. But the way Hamilton passed him, especially the way he set it up, was beautiful.

    Of course ‘jumping the Ferraris’ was with great ease; it happened when they were in the pit!

    1. “But the way Hamilton passed him, especially the way he set it up, was beautiful.”

      This is what I don’t get about:

      1) Rate the race comments: There were some awesome overtakes in the race. Hamilton, Button and Ricciardo all were exciting to watch. Just because there was no fight for the lead people say it is a boring race :(
      2) The first corner redesign: Is this because of other race series? I cant think of many corners on the entire calendar where literally every passing attempt is on the knife edge of either successful overtake or collision. Seeing cars go into Turn 1 at Monza side by side is what I look forward to most at the start of the season.

    2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      5th September 2016, 17:09

      @coldfly Agree with you about Hamilton’s overtake, he went very deep, I suppose to get cleaner air all the way through Parabolica – it was the best move of the race, I thought, I don’t remember seeing anything similar in the past.

      Special mention for Werhlein, who I think deserved more than 3 despite the premature end to his race. Really impressive performance for a Manor.

  3. I hope you’ll use 10-point scale from 2017. Ranking most top drivers (except Ricciardo) 4/5 is just silly because some of them were better than others:

    Hamilton: 6/10
    Rosberg: 8/10

    Vettel: 8/10
    Raikkonen: 7/10

    Ricciardo: 9/10
    Verstappen: 7/10

    Bottas: 8/10
    Massa: 6/10

    Something akin to this would be more just. Bear in mind I wrote these numbers down without reviewing the race properly. My point is not to say the ratings are wrong, but rather that a 5-point system doesn’t leave much nuance in the ratings.

    1. Great point. Marks out of five does not tell you anything.

      1. Yeah marks out of 5 seem pretty meaningless. For instance 1 and 5 should be rare occurrences so you have the majority of a 22 driver field getting 2, 3 or 4 which is a very coarse rating system.

  4. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    5th September 2016, 16:17

    Rosberg 4/5?

    1. @iluvsoundtracks, I would not give him a 5/5 when behind his team-mate on Saturday, nor automatically for winning in a Merc on Sunday!
      Very solid race, but not a perfect weekend.

  5. @keithcollantine – regarding Magnussen, in a Danish interview he said, Renault told him to turn engine power down halfway through the race to minimize wear: http://ekstrabladet.dk/sport/anden_sport/motorsport/formel_1/renault-opgav-halvvejs-tragisk-loeb-for-magnussen/6274430?ref=lokalavisen

    That certainly doesnt make it easier :)

  6. Sorry Keith, your website is amazing and I love F1 fanatic but you rate the frontrunners well but every race weekend you simply give everybody else random numbers. The McLaren drivers get a guaranteed 4 or 5 every single weekend, even if Alonso was ten places ahead of his teammate and fell behind and Grosjean always scores a 4 for no reason. All the other midfielders get 3 for no basis. So Wehrlein mixes it up with the frontrunners and gets a 3 when his teammate is lapped twice and gets the same rating. And Magnussen finished 40 seconds behind Ericsson in similar machinery and they score the same? Basically everybody scores a 3. Thank you for these articles, it’s that what gets me excited and make me comment on these!

    1. Agreed. Alonso a 4, yet Buttons run was far superior? Come on…

      Rate them out of 10 for some differentiating at least.

    2. Agreed. Its hard to read that Hamilton get same score as Rosberg. Hamilton was on pole for the race, but flunked the start and as result dropped 1 place in race and came only number 2. Rosberg started as number 2, passed his teammate at the start and won the race. Yeah, some argue about Hamilton made a fantastic qualifier. I totally agree, he blew everybody else away incl his onw teammate. But when it comes to result, its where you end in the race that matters.
      If Rosberg gets a 4 it maybe a big 4.5, while if Hamilton this race gets a 4, its maybe a 3.7 rounded up? In any case. agree with fellow posters that a scale from 0-10 would probably be better indicative of these variances.
      Other cases of similar character are Alonso vs Button and Ricciardo vs Verstappen. Hard to give them same ratings vs teammates if one advances during race while the other stays status quo or drops down in places.

  7. I never agree with Romain’s score. Romain is Romain, but when the results are good I’m willing to rate him, but honestly most of his career he hasn’t been F1 material and he still isn’t but somehow everyone rates a guy that hasn’t had a decent teammate in 4 seasons. It’s like saying Nasr is actually a good driver…

  8. The drivers appear to get default scores that go up or down by 1 depending on race results but not by how they actually drive.
    The front-runners default to 4 (even if they ruin their races by fluffing the starts).
    The mid-field get 3 (unless they drive for McLaren).
    The tail-enders get 2 (unless they’re Grosjean).
    The ratings should rather reflect the race performance. Those who ruin their own (HAM, VER) or somebody else’s race (NAS) should get 1 or 2 maximum.

    1. Suggest we listen to Keith and what his algorithm truly is instead of getting lost in speculation!
      But I do like your mathematical and crispy clear simplification of the model you propose. ;o)

  9. Explanation for Max’s 4 points out of 5:

    -1 for impeding Rosberg in FP
    -1 for worse than his teammate quali (as usual)
    -4 for horrid start
    +10 for being Max Verstappen

    1. Agreed. The person rating is obviously on the bandwagon.

    2. The start was not his fault so that shouldn’t count.

      1. -1 for impeding Rosberg in FP > small mistake indeed, excuse came right away, not a dangerous situation though
        -1 for worse than his teammate quali (as usual) > difference of 0.022 sec, I call that as close one can get
        -4 for horrid start > wrong software settings, confirmed by the team
        +10 for being Max Verstappen > for overtaking Alonso, Hulkenberg and Perez maybe..?

        No seen on TV, but Max overtake on Hulkenberg was most remarkable going on the outside of Hulkenberg.
        Verstappen recovered rather good from his ruined start, with good overtaking, good races peed cutting through traffic.

        1. VES is usually not far off RIC in qualy but it ís 8-2 for RIC. Samething with in the races, VES is doing well and even won a race but he’s now 20-odd points behind RIC during their time together at RBR.

          As a Dutchman and VES supporter, I have to say RIC clearly has had the edge over VES so far this year.

          1. Ricciardo has more experience in the car….

          2. Its 9-2 now after Monza.

          3. Sorry no…..you are correct….8-2 currently.

          4. It’s 6-4 in races… that’s close enught if you consider Ric did get a free pass at Hungary and Verstappen’s race was ruined at the start in Spa.

            There quite evenly matched, last qualy showed a difference of 0,022 seconds, in favor for Ric… but hardly a defeat for Verstappen.

            With only 10 races under his belt, no data from previous years and lined up with Ricciardo, who’s considered to be among the top 3-5 drivers of the grid, I call that close enough.

  10. RIC does indeed. It would have been even more amazing if that wasn’t the case. Max is instantly incredibly quick without experience.

    As a Max fan I still hope he will beat RIC this year already but since RIC is one of the best in the field this il not be likely.

  11. Pascal Wehrlein a 3?
    I am guessing this was a typo.

  12. Funny how all the blame goes to Nasr.
    You english people put too much faith on Palmer.

    1. Palmer? Who is Palmer?

    2. Like us in Brazil we place faith in Nasr. But in my opnion he was not guilty. Race incident is what i can say.

  13. The incident between Nasr and Palmer, for me is a race incident, no guilty. For not have the inccident, one driver have to reduce the speed, and we all now if a f1 driver like to reduce their speed.

    1. Exactly, just a race incident. Both of them could have avoided the collision but they did nothing.

      1. Will Palmer be in a F1 race seat next year?
        Or should we save that discussion for another subject thread I am sure Keith will hatch as silly season gets under way? ;o)

        1. I think it all depends on the next very few races.

Comments are closed.