Grid, Singapore, 2016

2016 Singapore Grand Prix driver ratings

2016 Singapore Grand Prix

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While Nico Rosberg chalked up another victory in Singapore there were fine drives of note by several of his rivals during the weekend. Here’s the F1 Fanatic verdict on the field.

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Singapore, 2016
Rosberg claimed his eighth win of 2016
Lewis Hamilton – A hydraulic problem in second practice limited the amount of race preparation he was able to do. A suspension problem was fixed on his car overnight but he never managed to bounce back from his Friday setback. In final practice he was having difficulty getting the car stopped at turn seven and he lost out to Ricciardo as well as Rosberg in qualifying. Matters scarcely improve in the race as another error at turn seven dropped him behind Raikkonen. At least an aggressive change in strategy helped him get back on the podium.

Rating three out of five

Nico Rosberg – While Hamilton toiled away, Rosberg had a rather smoother practice and was on top form in qualifying, blowing away the competition in Q2 and Q3. Although he pulled out a healthy lead early in the race it wasn’t an easy cruise to victory this time: Ricciardo came on strong in the final stint while Rosberg had to stay out on worn tyres. He coped with the pressure superbly, moderated his pace well and clung on to maximise his points haul on a tough day for his team mate.

Rating five out of five

Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Singapore, 2016
Raikkonen made one pit stop too many
Sebastian Vettel – Was off Raikkonen’s pace in practice and complained of a lack of rear grip. However a broken anti-roll bar wrecked his qualifying effort, leaving him last on the grid. Much like Hamilton in Spa, a plentiful supply of fresh tyres made his job of cutting through the field rather easier, and he recovered to fifth place. He was fortunate that the early Safety Car minimised his losses in the opening laps, but to only lose six seconds to Raikkonen from lap two while making up all those places was a fine effort.

Rating four out of five

Kimi Raikkonen – A slight error in Q3 possibly kept him from beating Verstappen, but he looked the quicker of the two Ferraris before Vettel’s problems. He had good pace on the super-softs, stayed in touch with Hamilton, and was able to take advantage when the Mercedes driver went off. Ferrari’s subsequent strategic decision amount take taking a guaranteed fourth instead of a possible third, which was hard to fathom.

Rating four out of five

Williams

Felipe Massa, Williams, Singapore, 2016
No points for Massa
Felipe Massa – Backing off for yellow flags in Q2 might have cost him a place in Q3, though he was slower than his team mate. Running three stints on the softest tyres didn’t work out: he kept falling into traffic and having been ninth early on he finished out of the points.

Rating three out of five

Valtteri Bottas – Promoted to tenth on the grid by Perez’s penalty, he was hit by Button as both tried to avoid Hulkenberg’s crash on the first lap. He sank to the rear of the field and matters got worse when his seat belts came loose, forcing a lengthy pit stop. With temperatures rising the decision was taken to retire the car.

Rating three out of five

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Singapore, 2016
Ricciardo was half a second from victory
Daniel Ricciardo – A rapid time in Q1 raised hopes another pole position would be possible but he had to settle for second place behind Rosberg. He gave chase to the Mercedes all race long, especially when he had a chance to attack in the closing stint. Finishing less than half a second behind the Mercedes, it was clear he’d left nothing on the table.

Rating five out of five

Max Verstappen – Like his team mate he made it through Q2 on super-soft tyres, but he qualified two spots behind Ricciardo. He made another of this recent starts, this one relating to a problem with his clutch, and inadvertently triggered chaos behind. His subsequent fight back to sixth was first-rate, however.

Rating four out of five

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Singapore, 2016
It was a short night’s work for Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg – Came within a hundredth of a second of splitting the Toro Rosso drivers in qualifying. However this decent qualifying position came to naught when he was involved in a racing incident at the start which fired him into the pit wall.

Rating three out of five

Sergio Perez – Failing to obey double waved yellow flags earned him a total grid penalty of eight places and cost him a start inside the top ten. This error was the prelude to a fine race performance in the usual Perez mould: stretching out two long stints to claim a useful points haul for the team.

Rating three out of five

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Renault

Kevin Magnussen, Renault, Singapore, 2016
Magnussen took Renault’s second points finish
Kevin Magnussen – Renault’s hopes of reaching Q2 were dashed as Magnussen needed another four-tenths to do it. However he took full advantage of the first-lap collision to claim a place in the top ten. A long, 17-lap opening stint on ultra-softs opened up the possibility of finishing the race with two further stints on super-softs which was just the trick, and landed Renault’s second points finish of the year.

Rating five out of five

Jolyon Palmer – Admitted he pushed his tyres too hard in qualifying and “the performance fell off a cliff” as a result. He picked up a slow puncture early on in the race, had to pit early and dropped behind the Manors. He eventually got ahead of them but could only manage 15th.

Rating three out of five

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Singapore, 2016
Ninth was a shot in the arm for Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat – Needed and deserved his confidence-boosting seventh on the grid, right behind Sainz. Stuck behind Alonso early on he then slipped behind Perez too and had to give best to Verstappen after a superb tussle between the two.

Rating four out of five

Carlos Sainz Jnr – Delivered the maximum in qualifying on a track which suited the chassis but the race left him angry. A black-and-orange flag for damage repairs dropped him out of the battle for points, and an MGU-K problem consigned him to a frustrating evening.

Rating three out of five

Sauber

Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Singapore, 2016
Sauber’s wait for points goes on
Marcus Ericsson – Power unit problems led to an engine change in practice, but in qualifying he was Sauber’s only representative in Q2. A decent start got him up to 11th place but Sauber took the surprising decision to sacrifice that track position as early as lap nine, committing Ericsson to a three-stop strategy, and he lost too much time in traffic as a result and was even beaten by one of the Manors.

Rating three out of five

Felipe Nasr – Having been pleased with his car’s performance in practice he was dismayed to struggle in qualifying with poor rear grip and difficulty getting the temperatures right. However his two-stop strategy proved the better option in the race, and he brought his car home 13th. Between the contrasting performances of the two Sauber drivers on Saturday and Sunday it’s not hard to believe a points finish was possible here.

Rating three out of five

McLaren

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Singapore, 2016
Alonso again had his McLaren up where it didn’t belong
Fernando Alonso – Consistently the quicker of the two McLarens, Alonso got his car into Q3 and qualified ninth. He made his usual combative start and was up to fifth early on, then managed his pace very carefully in order to be sure he could make a two-stop strategy work without giving away track position. That done, he brought the car home seventh having only lost places to two considerably quicker cars.

Rating five out of five

Jenson Button – Clipped a barrier during Q2 and picked up a puncture which ended his bid for a place in the top ten. He got caught up in the Hulkenberg crash at the start which broke his front wing and left him with other damage which couldn’t easily be repaired. Rising brake temperatures later forced him out.

Rating three out of five

Manor

Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, Singapore, 2016
Wehrlein was solid in an uncompetitive Manor
Pascal Wehrlein – “This is a track where you need a lot of downforce and good traction. We don’t have enough of either,” said Wehrlein after qualifying 20th. Nonetheless in the race he managed a 24-lap stint on ultra-softs at the end to keep Ericsson behind and finished far ahead of Ocon.

Rating four out of five

Esteban Ocon – Didn’t get to grips with Singapore as well as Wehrlein on their first visit to the track and was comfortably out-qualified by his team mate. In the race he was penalised for overtaking under the Safety Car – a big no-no – and his pace was quite a bit slower too.

Rating two out of five

Haas

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Singapore, 2016
Grosjean had a miserable weekend
Romain Grosjean – It was a dreadful weekend from the start for Grosjean. An engine air inlet leak sidelined him in first practice, he hit the barrier in the second session and he crashed again in qualifying. Having described the car as one of the worst he’d ever driven, he was spared having to do just that due to a pre-race brake-by-wire failure.

Rating two out of five

Esteban Gutierrez – A standard weekend, in that he finished eleventh and the leaders complained he held them up. To his credit, he out-qualified his unhappy team mate and finished in front of a Williams, but a point was definitely in the offing here.

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:

2016 Singapore 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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38 comments on “2016 Singapore Grand Prix driver ratings”

  1. I may be a bit biased but I don’t see why Perez keeps scoring 3’s in pretty much every weekend even for great performance

    Spain (3) – maxamised his quali and race and did the same as Sainz who scored 5

    Austria (3) – Suspension problem ended his quali and passes his teammate who started 2nd on lap 24 on the same strategy and was on course for seventh before thr car failed

    Britain (3) – Lucked a bit with the VSC but still finished in a fine sixth. Scored lower than Alonso, who spun and finished 13th with an equal car

    Monza (3) – Perez outqualified and beat his teammate in the race by 20 seconds, and was close behind Ricciardo for most of the race who scored a 5

    Singapore (3) – After a mistake in quali he dropped to the back and recoverer to eighth racing Verstappen who started 4th in the Red Bull and made an improbable one-stop work, but max scores a 4. Stills scores the same as his teammate who crashed out 2 metres and Palmer who finished 15th

    Of course i am biased but i kept thinking about this. I know you definitely don’t have any bias btw

    1. In all fairness, I don’t think Hulkenberg should have been rated at all in Singapore. He barely lasted 20 metres(Not his fault). I don’t know on what basis did Keith rate him. Since the ratings are based on the performance over the entire weekend and Hulkenberg effectively couldn’t even take part in the race, he shouldn’t have been rated. Same goes for Grosjean. I think something like an “N/A” would be more appropriate in this situation, especially since the race is the most important part of the weekend.

      That being said, I do agree that sometimes Perez has been rated a bit lower than he deserves. He deserved at least a 4 in Spain…but I suppose Keith gave him a 3 here in Singapore because he struggled all weekend until qualifying and made a judgement error that cost him 8 grid positions ultimately. That’s the only possible reason to cut marks.

      I also think that some of the comparisons that you have made between Hulkenberg and Perez in your post are a bit unfair.

      In Austria, Hulkenberg had struggled horribly with the handling of the car in the race and the tyre deg he faced was
      a lot more than normal.

      The same goes for the comparison you’ve made in Singapore. Even though that I believe Hulkenberg shouldn’t have been rated at all, in all fairness, he was genuinely faster than Perez throughout the weekend…up until the race anyway, where he didn’t get the chance to show his pace.

  2. So, Vettel and Vestappen get the same rating, Vettel starting last and ending 5th and Verstappen started 4th and ended 6th..

    1. Also makes no sense to me – consider there performance against their team mate and the other Rebdbull/Ferrari…

    2. Yep, that pretty much puts it in perspective. Add to that the mention of Vettel only losing 6 seconds to Kimi while fighting his way through the field – Max lost almost 70 seconds to Ricciardo after the end of the safety car period, despite fighting for many fewer positions.

      Seems like a pretty equivalent drive to me. But of course, he’s only 18…

    3. How did Max Verstappen score a 4 out of five? That’s an easy question:

      Bad quali: -3

      Bad start: -3

      Being Max Verstappen: +10

      Business as usual

      1. +2 There is no way on earth Verstappen drove as well as Vettel. His over driving cost him massively. If he had kept a cool head and driven accordingly he would have finished ahead of Vettel.
        Instead he ruined set after set of tyres through impatience and mis judgement.
        Max deserves no more than a 3

        1. Totally agree with Homer Max was a 3 because of his tyre chewing..needs to control his aggression and use it like Ric, he has a lot to learn about trying to pass people on every corner.

        2. His tire degradation was massive indeed and it cost him the chance to get past Kvyat during the first round of pitstops for example. A very poor race.

    4. It makes sense to Max brigade…..apparently. Ricciardo trounced his team mate this weekend and only ended up 1 point better off…..laughable.

  3. These ratings are a joke, how does VET get the same as RAI and VES and other 4s awarded all over. He is a 5 then. The fact his car broke was no fault of his in quali, so there is no way to gauge where he qualifies. Practice is practice, in 2015 he was also behind RAI and RIC and in most FP and walked qualifiying.

    VES should be on 2, bad start and finished 30s down on VET and further to RICc

    1. >These ratings are a joke

      Fortunately driver rating is not an exact science, so every armchair analyst is entitled to his or her own expert judgment.

  4. I think Vettel should have had a 5. Lord knows how Verstappen got a 4 compared to Vettel’s performance but he does seem very popular with someone. He is good and great on some occasions but not here really. If Vettel has a 4, VERS should have a 3.

    1. Are you taking in consideration the clutch issue? On the other hand though how did a slower car get in front of a faster car?

  5. Btw strange to think about that Ocon beat Verstappen in Formula 3.
    Some drivers appear to do proportionally well in F1 versus their performance in previous lower classes and vice versa for others. Likewise still to see if Palmer manage to pull through and stay in F1.

    1. It’s important to remember that that was Max’s first year in cars, whereas Ocon had done two years in Renault 2.0 prior, so it’s hard to put a figure on how much the ‘Max-beater’ title is really worth.

      1. Considering that this is only Ocon’s second race in F1 while Max has 30 races below his belt, I think maybe it’s too early to draw a conclusion.

        I know it’s a bit of a punt, but I would bet that Ocon would match and even better Wehrlein’s performances in the last couple of races of this season.

  6. My driver ratings:

    Mercedes:
    Hamilton – 2/5
    Rosberg – 5/5

    Ferrari:
    Vettel – 4/5
    Raikkonen – 4/5

    Williams:
    Massa – 3/5
    Bottas – 3/5

    Red Bull:
    Ricciardo – 5/5
    Verstappen – 3/5

    Force India:
    Hulkenberg – 3/5
    Perez – 4/5

    Renault:
    Magnussen – 5/5
    Palmer – 3/5

    Toro Rosso
    Sainz – 3/5
    Kvyat – 4/5

    Sauber:
    Ericsson – 3/5
    Nasr – 3/5

    McLaren:
    Alonso – 5/5
    Button – 2/5

    Manor:
    Wehrlein – 4/5
    Ocon – 2/5

    Haas:
    Grosjean – 2/5
    Gutierrez – 3/5

    1. Yep, much closer to reality @ultimateuzair – I wonder if Keith would let you write this column?

      1. >Yep, much closer to reality

        ITYM: “Reality as conceived by me”.

        >I wonder if Keith would let you write this column?

        I surely & sincerely hope not.

      2. Agreed – Or at least ‘a perceived fair’ distribution of points versus reality on the ground during FP, Qualification, Race and final Result by driver. Never an easy task, as we all carry some level of ’emotional preferences’ one way or the other. But that is why this forum is great and all have an opportunity to voice their personal opinion! ;o)

  7. Whilst I don’t think Gutierrez is f1 material he’s time and time again under rated. The real problem here is that despite of grosjean’s problems Romain is not a great driver, giving Gutierrez low scores so he won’t overtake Romain is silly.

    1. I Might be biased being a fan of his, but i agree with you @peartree, he is no F1 driver but he has not been that far off grosjean during the length of this season.
      He has finished ahead of his teammate on merit, And while he has obviously not taken a couple of points that were within reach, there seems to be an issue in balance with the Haas towards the end of a stint, with old rubber I’d like there was no rubber.

      1. @faulty I’m glad I’m not the only one. When Romain gets beaten there’s always some problem, he’s been having problems for the past 4 or 5 seasons, probably not the mechanical type. Regardless what your opinion of a driver you’ve got to look at the facts and the results, the avg score of Gutierrez in “the driver ratings” is far lower than that of Romain, even if Romain was only deservedly superior when the Haas was capable to score good points.

  8. I think these ratings need to be out of 10 to prevent drivers being lumped together on the same score, despite quite contrasting performances.

  9. Oh boy, oh boy. Alonso gets a five. Vettel only gets a four? Alonso started 9th finshed 7th(helped by hulk) in probably the third best chassis on the grid on a high downforce track. How does a driver start last finish 5th get a 4 and a guy who started 9th and finished 7th gets a 5. This is pure bias.

    1. (helped by hulk) in probably the third best chassis on the grid on a high downforce track.

      I have no idea which race of which season you are watching. Mclaren has the 3rd best chassis on the grid????

      They were probably the 5th quickest team on this race weekend, after the Merc, RB, Ferraris, Force India and Toro Rossos. And how on earth was Alonso helped by the Hulk???

      I’m guessing your not a fan of Alonso, but at least arm your animosity with logic.

      1. Alonso is the one saying that they have the 3rd better chassis, you can see this everyday in spanish press, so don’t balame people for thinking its true.
        Vettels race was better than Alonso and he should have had a better rating.

  10. Alonso said he was bringing the fight to Ferrari well that challenge was accepted from 22nd and he still lost. How much is Nando paying you, Keith? Scandalous. Every Damn race this Singapore race-fixing popinjay gets 4+. Every race.

    1. Actually, it was his teammate which fixed the first race. Alonso had no idea of the tactics otherwise he would jabe been punished.

      You can’t just consider starting and finishing position, you have to consider relative performance of cars and teammates etc. Alonso had a crap car and battled well in the race, not to mention beating button throughout the whole weekend.

      Vettel one of the fastest cars perhaps even fast enough to win and its no surprise he came through the field like that. Anyone would expect Hamilton to do the same.

      I rate their races the same for those reasons

      1. Well, he claimed that he didn’t know.

  11. Here comes my take on the drivers ratings.

    Mercedes:
    Hamilton – 2/5
    Dominated by Rosberg all weekend, made a mistake that should have costed him the podium.

    Rosberg – 5/5
    Pretty much flawless, kept his calm when being chased 2-3 seconds a lap and just delivered.

    Ferrari:
    Vettel – 5/5
    Delivered the maximum, ended up ahead of Verstappen who started 16 positions ahead in a faster car.

    Raikkonen – 4.5/5
    Great drive, pressured Hamilton pretty much the whole race. Opportunistic overtake on a Mercedes in dry conditions and should have been ahead by the flag. Normally a 5 star performance but decided to give him 4.5 based on Vettel finishing one place behind despite their starting positions.

    Williams:
    Massa – 3/5
    Average race, Williams simply did not have the pace.

    Bottas – 3/5
    Hard to gauge his race.

    Red Bull:
    Ricciardo – 5/5
    Made the race interesting towards the end, pushed as hard as possible and never gave up. Was matching and sometimes exceeding the Mercedes.

    Verstappen – 2/5
    Donkey of the day for me (only beaten to that title by Ferrari strategists). Even taking his clutch issues into consideration, he ended up lap one 13-14 positions ahead of Vettel in a faster and healthy car and yet finished half a minute down the road. Was beaten in qualifying too by his teammate. The only reason I gave him a 2 is because of some racing and overtakes he made that made the race slightly more interesting.

    Force India:
    Hulkenberg – 3/5
    What to say, he was out of the race immediately, literally.

    Perez – 4/5
    Good recovery, got FI ahead of Williams in the standings. Made practically a single pit stop strategy work by picking his fights carefully.

    Renault:
    Magnussen – 5/5
    Maximium result possible.

    Palmer – 3/5
    Average.

    Toro Rosso
    Sainz – 3/5
    Hard to gauge his race, had to come in early which pretty much ruined his race.

    Kvyat – 4/5
    Upped his game and found his mojo, spirited personal fight with Verstappen.

    Sauber:
    Ericsson – 3/5
    Nasr – 3/5
    Both were average, Nasr came ahead due to better strategy.

    McLaren:
    Alonso – 5/5
    Maximum result available, consistent drive in an underpowered car (and chases IMO).

    Button – 3/5
    Hard to gauge his race.

    Manor:
    Wehrlein – 4/5
    Good overall.

    Ocon – 2/5
    I think this guy is overrated, he better shows something special soon.

    Haas:
    Grosjean – 2/5
    Hard to gauge his race, 2 because of crashes and continuous moaning.

    Gutierrez – 3.5/5
    Despite his favorite 11th position, I think he did slightly above average given the car he drive.

  12. Is it just me or doesn’t Ocon look like much of an improvement over the much maligned Haryanto?

    1. It’s just his second race. I think he’ll need a couple of more race weekends to really tune in. It’s a shame he had to join in so late this year.

    2. Will it be enough for Ocon to convince Renault that he deserve their race seat in 2017?

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