Start, Monza, 2016

Second-lowest rating this year for Italian GP

2016 Italian Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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The lack of competition at the front of the field was impossible to ignore at the Italian Grand Prix. It was the second race this year to receive an average score of less than five out of ten.

Nico Rosberg romped to victory in one Mercedes while Lewis Hamilton easily regained second place despite a poor start which dropped him to second place.

While there were a few high points – notably Daniel Ricciardo’s memorable pass on Valtteri Bottas – few of you were especially excited by the Italian Grand Prix:

Well, they drove 305 kilometres in 53 laps, that’s about it.

Superb pass by Ricciardo, though.
Jayfreese Knight (@Jeff1s)

Dull, dull on track. Racing was the complete opposite of the fans in the grandstands and track-side banking!
Calum

Will probably be remembered more for the announcements of Massa and Button than anything that happened in the race.
Robert (@Rob91)

A thriller it may not have been, but some people did find points to appreciate:

I don’t think it was quite as bad as people make out. Was a bit boring for sure but not a terrible race by any means.

The directing of the footage however was terrible. Why did we needed to see Hamilton fail his start from three different on-board perspectives when there was so much happening throughout the field? Even throughout the race almost all of the camera action was focused on the front of the field where nothing was happening. Considering that I’d be pretty livid at the lack of camera time for such a race if I was a backmarking team owner, these type of “boring” races should be made for them to get some advertising time at least.

Refreshingly we didn’t hear the words “track limits” or “blue flags” 200 times throughout the weekend and there was little in the way of luck or controversy influencing the results.
Tristan

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Monza, 2016
Many continue to doubt the merits of DRS
The Drag Reduction System was a bone for many people at the previous race in Belgium and the same was true last weekend:

One of my biggest gripes with the current template of F1 races is the rate at which the field sorts itself out.

In the years before DRS, a lot of race-long rivalries would form, and even if one driver were stuck behind another until the flag, there’d at least be the anticipation that a move could occur. They’d wait in the tow, they might try a different line through a corner, or they might feint a move into the braking zones. Now what you get is a faster car waiting until lap three to get DRS, and then they’re sorted.

There’s no slogging it out any more if the field can re-aligns itself by the mid-distance mark. This needs eradicated if we’re see a return to proper racing.
Black n Blue

Any potential fun was killed dead by DRS. Really starting to crush my love for this sport, now.

I think what bothers me most is the sheer laziness from the FIA to not adjust/move the zones and try some different things. After its first year in 2011, they made various changes and tweaks to many of the zones for 2012/13. Since then, we’ve seen barely any changes made, which suggests they’re perfectly happy with highway passes.

It’s killing my love for this sport. I can’t force myself to be excited for inevitable passes, I just can’t. I don’t even have that same adrenaline that I used to get for the 5 lights going out now. The dull hum of the V6 doesn’t exactly help.

This was sad.
@Ecwdanselby

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Monza, 2016
Has Monza had its day?
Monza’s place on the F1 calendar has been in doubt and some felt the race showed it doesn’t deserve to stay:

A track living off its memories and hardly relevant to today’s cars. The new three-year contract reflects the lack in confidence. Pretty poor reaction from the crowd at the end too – that’s not passion, more like the football ultras realising there’s no league football to go and watch this weekend.
@gregkingston

Year after year Monza and Monaco produces the worst races of the season. History this, heritage that… Time to move on.
@huhhii

The problem is not Monza. The problem is the current set of F1 aero & tyre regs. Most other formulae produce exciting slipstream racing at Monza. Having said that I enjoyed today’s race – not exactly edge of the seat stuff but tense, tight & tactical nonetheless even if the result was never really in doubt.
Robert

Monza is the ultimate track of speed. I think it ranks the dominant engines and cars in the field. It’s brilliant.
Sam (@Crunch)

Hamilton’s inability to take the fight to Rosberg after his poor start also raised concerns:

I thought the race was OK. I don’t mind particularly if there isn’t much overtaking up the front end, or even if there is no direct wheel to wheel into a braking zone. I think what irks me most about current f1 races is the lack of tension, some of which is generated by the tyres. (I do acknowledge that we have had some very good races this year however)

On tyres that could go flat out, watching Hamilton be able to run flat out every lap to try and make up for the start (there would be some argument that he should be able to chip away consistently if this was the case based on yesterday), whether he makes it or not, would at least add suspense, whereas knowing that on the same strategy its unlikely takes that away.

I know this isn’t the only contributor, and certainly isn’t a new opinion but for me this is one of the most annoying aspects of the current regulations.
@Jowen7448

2016 Rate the Race Results

RaceAverage score
2016 Spanish Grand Prix8.706
2016 Austrian Grand Prix8.097
2016 Chinese Grand Prix7.853
2016 Australian Grand Prix7.757
2016 Monaco Grand Prix7.747
2016 Bahrain Grand Prix7.382
2016 Belgian Grand Prix7.249
2016 Canadian Grand Prix6.583
2016 British Grand Prix6.478
2016 German Grand Prix5.814
2016 Russian Grand Prix5.396
2016 Hungarian Grand Prix5.052
2016 Italian Grand Prix4.944
2016 European Grand Prix4.728

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2016 Italian Grand Prix

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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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29 comments on “Second-lowest rating this year for Italian GP”

  1. I’m baffled, the race was nothing special but there were a couple of highly rated races that were even less interesting than the Italian GP which apart from the novelty means dull race. The Belgian GP was interesting on Saturday dreadful after the start, we lost the chance to see such a great race there. The Hungarian gp the British GP and the Austria GP had it not been a clash it would’ve been a great ending as the ending of the Monza gp2 race but the rest was stale.

    1. I said I’m baffled but perhaps these numbers illustrate the deviation caused by very low ratings from exasperated fans.

      1. @peartree
        Yeah, I get the feeling that when we have a run of sub-par races the ratings tend to dip even if the quality of the races are fairly similar, just due to people’s enthusiasm falling. Similar thing happens when you get a run of great races though, the first one or two get really high scores, then as we get used to it the ratings begin to fall.

        1. There’s also the effect that if there’s a run of dull races, an exciting race is so surprising that the shock induces a massive increase in rating. It would be interesting to see a chronological rating graph (and I suspect it would be quite easy for any of us to do with spreadsheet software).

      2. I think it’s a combination of things. Sometimes you get a race that is just a bit dull – nothing really happens… That’s the very nature of sport so I think we can all accept that.

        Where the really low ratings come in is where we can see that we should have had a really interesting race however it was ruined by stupid rules – in this instances, DRS. Without DRS, we would have had a tactical race with close battles into the first corner. Instead, we had a bunch of motorway passes that meant nothing.

        When this has happened over and over again, the rating will continue to drop each time.

    2. Personally I found Hungary, Russia, Germany, Britain, and Canada all to be worse than the Italian Grand Prix this year, so I agree with where you are coming from.

      I’m surprised it is this low, I enjoyed that race and gave it one of the highest ratings for a long time. I definitely think you’re right @peartree, it dips based on what people are expecting and what has come before it.

      1. @george @strontium I think you are right, I was actually referring to something else, I agree. We all rate the races based our expectations and the outcome of the season, perhaps we all would vote differently after the season it’s over. (I mentioned Austria because if it wasn’t for the only thing that controversial clash it would have been the worst race of the year for me)

        I was actually thinking of “fanboy” votes, giving really low ratings such as 1 to 3 because your favourite driver didn’t win the race. I suggest such occurs, if that’s the case a 1 rating has a bigger impact on an average of 7, than a 10 rating does.

        @montreal95 I’m not saying you are not right, I’m just saying that, last years race had a better rating, a race in which, Lewis won comfortably, 2014 had a better rating still, Lewis won after pressuring Rosberg, and crucially before that, it was a race in which RB’s opponents, including Lewis, benefited from the perks of a less downforce sensitive circuit hence breaking the mould of such seasons. I see a Lewis connection but more importantly before 2014, stretching back to the early 2000’s the dominant cars were not as great at Monza.

        1. This could be fixed by removing a number of lowest AND highest before calculating the score. Your could depend the number on an 1% of the votes.

  2. People who are wishing Monza leaves, have very short memories. Yes the last race wasn’t great and neither was 2015, but up until this year, Monza was ranked in the top ten of the F1 Fanatic Rate the Race. With an average grade of 7.00. As recently as 2014 Monza had a decent race, and the 2012, 2011 editions were excellent

    Yet by those comments, it seems like Monza had awful racing since forever. Such opinion is not supported by the facts.

    I do agree with the comments that state the real problem in F1-the cars(DRS included) ,which in itself is a result of poor decision making and awful leadership. And next year it might be even worse

    1. Monza was fun before stupid DRS and joke tires when drivers actually had to TRY something different other then wait for DRS before Ascari or on the main straight. And yeah when they could actually follow closer car in front. So solution is and will be simple:get rid of stupid: DRS,complicated front wings only made to work in clean air. Get better rubber that don’t fall apart after 5 laps of following other car.

  3. I think it’s fairly clear that DRS in its current guise is simply not good enough. It has quite simply destroyed the racing this year. The quicker that changes, the better.

    1. @craig-o In defence of the DRS system: Monza is really the worst place for DRS. It’s basically 3 long straights, an extremely high-speed corner leading up to one of those straights and a short straight, all strung together with 3 chicanes and 3 regular corners. Really, that’s it.

      So I’d opt for races like Baku and Monza (possibly Spa?) to be raced without DRS from now on.

      Let’s not forget DRS was introduced because the high amount of kart-like tracks nowadays (Monaco, Singapore, Hungary are the most obvious) on which it’s extremely difficult to overtake.

      In other words: if you remove DRS completely next year, those races become much more boring, so it’s just the other way around. I sincerely believe it should be chosen based on track lay-out and previous results. The FIA shouldn’t be afraid to just say: everyone agrees 2016’s Monza GP was lacklustre, let’s just disable DRS in 2017 and see if that helps. It can’t possibly be worse than this year.

      1. DRS is relatively ineffective at the Monza circuit due to the low-downforce packages used as there’s less air resistance to reduce by DRS, so I wouldn’t say Monza is the worst place for DRS.

  4. I really think this whole “rate the race” thing is pretty ridiculous and silly. There’s already way too many fans these days that seem to think every race should be filled with excitement and lead changes. Rate the race is just adding to this nonsense. In the decades I’ve been watching F1, it’s not really changed. Some races are exceptional, but most are strategic and predictable. It’s always been this way. This is all part of the drama of an F1 season. When truly spectacular races do happen, they are that much more exciting because it’s rare.

    1. @jfever78 +1.

      These past couple seasons what has disappointed me, is when a race promises to be good; it is for a while, and then we get the same winner.

  5. It’s definitely unfair to blame the circuit for the poor race. The quality of a race has very little to do with the track. Most of the best (and worst) races are entirely circumstantial. This race, for me, was ruined due to the fact that one of the two potential winners took himself out of contention at the start of the race. If Hamilton had lost just one place, or if Vettel snatched the lead, or if Rosberg had an equally terrible start, it could have been a cracker. Factors like these have nothing to do with the circuit.

    When I look at the top 10 races on F1 Fanatic, I don’t see a particular type of circuit consistently ranking near the top. I see a lot of well-timed safety cars, mixed weather, and mechanical problems for dominant cars.

    1. I agree – stuff like this is just (IMO) a problem with the human condition where we seem to like to use stats to justify and order things.

      A better system would be a ‘Did you enjoy this race?’ Yes/No question in each race review thread. That way, at least you’re making the question simple and avoiding lumping together genuinely good races with circumstantial ones.

    2. @jackysteeg, I very much agree that it’s unfair to blame the boredom on the circuit. After all, the GP2 and GP3 races were excellent; same circuit, same weekend and weather conditions.
      F1’s problems are unique to itself and largely self-generated.

  6. Why can’t F1 be like F1 2013 the game. that would spice up the racing as my tyres don’t last 4 laps.

  7. Hum… Second least eventful race of the.season… Sounds about right.

    Essentially race start happend, then that was mostly that.

  8. I guess I have to add a few lines to the list of comments here. I was in Monza Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the whole day each day. And it is becoming increasingly clear to me, that there is a big hiatus between what I got as an experience being there and what I would have got if I had stayed home to watch the same thing on TV. The race was dull, no denying that. But the experience was powerful and as exciting as is gets (and got in the past). I’ve been to Monza for at least one day during F1 weekends for 8 times during the last 11 years (missing 2007, 2008, 2010). The experience hasn’t lost any interest or amusement. I’m not a Ferrari-fan (I support Raikkonen since 2003), but experiencing Monza sort of remains something not too much tied with how good or bad the racing is. It’s something else: people don’t really care that much once there. I still remember 2009 when running on the circuit for the podium, passing by some fans on the other side of the barrier they asked “Who won the race?”. They didn’t know until then, and couldn’t care much. People just care about F1, the event in itself, and of course, expressing their love for Ferrari. How good Ferrari does in the race is hardly relevant towards the wildness of the podium cerimony. This year’s sunday I was in the grandstands in front of the 3rd row (Red Bulls, namely). As I was a big detractor of the new engines from a sound-point of view, I have to say that they did an excellent job since 2014, making the sound much more enjoyable and powerful. The volume is just below painful (V8s) and the pitch is at least unique, different from anything else. It’s not the most beautiful sound in the world to me, but at the start I had the biggest goosebumps of my life. That is something. Of course none of this is perceivable from any TV speaker system.
    All of this is to answer those comments who want the race out of the calendar just because it produces dull races more often than not. Luckily it’s not you who take this decisions, but consider taking a plane to Monza next year and reevaluate your statements after you’ve experienced the actual thing.
    Sorry for the long post and my english mistakes.

    1. Hopefully next for me Stefano, thanks for your interesting post and even more keen now.

  9. I agree with most of you.

    Circuit is great, rules as they are make F1 racing here rather booring.

  10. Despite being an overtaking-friendly circuit on paper, Monza has produced similar races to the most recent one quite often, for example, 2007, 2008, and 2010 editions were similar regarding on-track racing.

  11. Monza has always ranked car and engine quality, at least in the general sense (tactics and a certain amount of boldness have, at various times, subverted some of that tendency). When it was the only race to do so, this made Monza unique and the “Noah’s Ark” grids (if not always finishing orders, due to its historically high mechanical retirement rate) understandable. The trouble is that these days, half the circuits on the calendar are like that, making Monza no longer unique in this aspect. Raised reliability and the diminishment in the importance of boldness, combined with tyre-dictated strategies, take out much of Monza’s potential contribution to exciting race results.

    Monza needs to be kept, partly because of its history, but partly as a reminder of how far F1 has strayed from where it needs to be.

  12. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    10th September 2016, 12:24

    It’s time for me to quit rating. No joke, but anyone doesn’t know when.

  13. Monza is a great track . A spectacle of speed and since this is F1 we want to see speed don’t we ? Its a lot better than the “No straights ,no room to pass “excuse of a race that is Monaco. Fix the rules and stop blaming great tracks and everything else that actually makes F1 the best circuit we have.
    Some have said get rid of DRS ,well get rid of the ” different rules system” DRS that F1 uses. Every thing will be better when all the drives are racing with the same set of rules and the same set of rule interpretations . If you want a way for cars to overtake get ride of the fall -apart tires which mean if you can’t pass in two laps you need to pit and get new tires. You can also try the push to pass system. it works for Indycars and adds another factor of planning and driver skill . Further , it will eliminate what we saw in Hungary where the second place car can wait until the last lap ,use DRS to pass the first place car and finish the race in first before the other car can try the same move. A driver can lead the whole race and lose only because of the 12mph advantage of DRS and the fact that only the slower car get to use it ,hardly fair or a test of skill . Push to Pass gives both drivers the same boost and the strategy is in using it or saving it to be used and the best times not in being second best until the last turn and then being given an extra 12mph as a reward for being behind .
    There is of course the ultimate turn-off ,the reason so many have left the fold or fell asleep watching the races for the past 3 years : no real competition for the first two spots. We all know that Mercedes built a better car ( or two cars ) and that the split-turbo can not be matched so the only race is between the two Mercedes drivers. Who wants to watch a race for third or lower EVERY week. Put that to anyone as your business plan and see what support you get.
    F1 needs to legislate competition or the sport is nothing more than an exhibition for the team who builds the best car, which will usually be the one that can spend the most ( like the one with over 1000 employees dedicated to the performance of two cars ) . F1 knew that the smaller constructors and even the bigger ones could not afford to compete in the race to build the best hybrid but, F1 used that formula anyway to attract the auto giants ( even though only one came back) and what did we get: Boredom .
    Go back to race cars with race engines ,V8’s,10’s and 12’s ,engines that sound like race engines and that race constructors can build .
    Do all this and we shall have a marvelous and beloved sport once again-otherwise ,its more of the same :ZZZZZZ .

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