Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2016

Verstappen dominates Brazil Driver of the Weekend

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend result

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Max Verstappen took one of the most emphatic Driver of the Weekend victories this year following his scintillating Brazilian Grand Prix performance. His victory in Spain was the only time this year a driver has received a higher share of the vote.

A late charge through the field on a rain-soaked track saw the Red Bull driver rise from 16th to 3rd in just 14 laps.

Verstappen picked up 68% of the vote to top the poll for the third time this season. Race winner Lewis Hamilton was the only other driver to get a substantial number of votes, taking 16%.

Max Verstappen’s Brazilian Grand Prix weekend

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2016
Verstappen dazzled in the wet
Verstappen had the better of his team mate throughout the weekend but a slip-up on his final qualifying lap meant he was pipped to third on the grid by Kimi Raikkonen. But he soon made amends once the race got going on a soaked circuit.

The moment the safety car left the circuit Verstappen wasted no time in diving up the inside of Raikkonen at turn one. Job done, he began his race-long mission to overhaul the Mercedes drivers.

When Marcus Ericsson hit the wall on lap 13 Verstappen gambled on a switch to intermediate tyres, but this became irrelevant when the race was red-flagged and the field instructed to switch back to full wets.

After the ensuing Safety Cars and red flags Verstappen pounced again, this time pulling a brave move on the outside of Nico Rosberg at turn three. But he nearly threw his race away soon after as he tried to chase down Hamilton, narrowly avoiding contact with the barriers himself at the final corner with a well-held spin.

However a second gamble on intermediates again failed to pay off as the rain worsened. A further stop to refit the full wet tyres saw Verstappen slip to 16th.

This proved a prelude to a masterclass in wet weather racing as the Red Bull driver exploited used every millimetre of the circuit in pursuit of extra grip. He scythed past over half of the field in just 14 laps to reclaim his spot on the podium.

If all you’d seen of this race was the footage involving him, you’d still rate it higher than almost any other race of the season.

Out-qualified his team mate, and drove a fantastic race to third – even if the team made some questionable strategy calls that may have cost him second place.

Hamilton was flawless, and couldn’t have done better all weekend, but the drama of Verstappen’s race made him my Driver of the Weekend.
Beneboy (@Beneboy)

It takes a very special driver to manage to climb ten places in twelve laps (I think that’s right). And, of course, Verstappen is only 19 years old. Plus his recovery from that spin on the pit straight to somehow manage to hold onto second is one of the best moments of the season.
Jonathan Balsdon (@jb108822)

I cannot fault Hamilton’s race weekend, and he probably deserved Driver of the Weekend due to his dominance throughout the whole weekend.

But Verstappen was exciting to watch all race, and I had to go with heart over head and give him this one.

I, for one, hope he doesn’t change the way other drivers (Vettel especially) want him to. He is continuously finding new lines, new overtaking opportunities, new ways of driving. I love it, long may he continue to show the rest of the field how to put on a show!
drmouse (@drmouse)

Oh I am not a fan of Max Verstappen but today he was twice as good as anybody else. The way he found different lines through corners (especially turn three) made him unstoppable. He mastered Interlagos, he mastered the rain.

Red Bull and Verstappen made some questionable calls but it didn’t matter for him. He was still best of the rest.
Christopher (@chrischrill)

He found places on the track to use that nobody else was using. Before he passed Rosberg on the restart you could see him exploring different lines all around the track to see where he could make his moves. He tested a few of them coming alongside Rosberg while they were still under Safety Car. You just knew he was going to get Rosberg and he did.

Coming back from sixteenth to third was amazing to watch. Even passing his team mate on tires that were nearly as fresh as his. A memorable drive.
bull mello (@bullmello)

Brazilian Grand Prix winners and losers

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2016
No one could touch Hamilton
Hamilton earned plaudits for a dominant, error-free win in appalling conditions. Felipe Nasr and Sergio Perez also received praise after taking useful results for their teams.

Verstappen stole the show, without a doubt that was one of the most exciting drives I’ve watched since Button at Canada 2011. And he nailed it in qualifying as well ahead of both teammate and a Ferrari. I’m not voting against him deserving the vote, but you can only pick one driver and for me that was Hamilton.

Solid qualifying, nailed the Safety Car restarts multiple times, had way more pace than his teammate and had Verstappen under control as well when he needed extra pace. It was a faultless drive without any moments, not featuring on the TV footage never helps with a driver of the week vote but I’m still giving it to Hamilton.
Philip (@philipgb)

Hamilton came to a track he has never won at, with the pressure of knowing that in all likelihood he had to win to keep his championship fight alive and completely nailed the weekend. He was flawless in the race and handled each red flag and restarted perfectly. Even on 30 lap old tyres at the end of the race he was still pulling away from the field.
Martin

Nasr was also amazing – bring arguably the slowest car to points in a home race is superb driving.
Robert_EST (@robert_est)

Perez gets my vote, him and Hamilton are the only drivers that I can not remember making any errors in the race but, unlike Hamilton, he did not have the massive advantage of a clear track in front of him. He achieved a good result and would have been on the podium if it wasn’t for Verstappen’s drive on much fresher tyres in a much better car.
Robert (@rob91)

2016 Driver of the Weekend winners

RaceDOTW winnerVotes
2016 Australian Grand PrixRomain Grosjean61.0%
2016 Bahrain Grand PrixRomain Grosjean39.4%
2016 Chinese Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo44.7%
2016 Russian Grand PrixKevin Magnussen32.6%
2016 Spanish Grand PrixMax Verstappen68.5%
2016 Monaco Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo49.6%
2016 Canadian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton28.5%
2016 European Grand PrixSergio Perez67.3%
2016 Austrian Grand PrixPascal Wehrlein43.2%
2016 British Grand PrixMax Verstappen55.2%
2016 Hungarian Grand PrixKimi Raikkonen38.3%
2016 German Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo45.5%
2016 Belgian Grand PrixFernando Alonso43.3%
2016 Italian Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo37.4%
2016 Singapore Grand PrixNico Rosberg34.0%
2016 Malaysian Grand PrixFernando Alonso33.8%
2016 Japanese Grand PrixNico Rosberg51.5%
2016 United States Grand PrixFernando Alonso43.6%
2016 Mexican Grand PrixSebastian Vettel22.6%
2016 Brazilian Grand PrixMax Verstappen68.0%

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix

Browse all 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix articles

31 comments on “Verstappen dominates Brazil Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Great drive and a well deserved DOTW.

    1. +1
      Driver of the Weekend and Drive of the Year.

      1. @uncleben Let’s wait with that. In my opinion both Sainz and Ricciardo are both possible DOTY.

        1. Sainz? Don’t make me laugh. He had no chance against Max at the beginning of the year and after that ha got a new team mate who was mentally broken because of his demotion. So definitely not. If he was anywhere near driver of the year then Red Bull would have took him instead of Verstappen but they didn’t and quite frankly the only big team who was interested in him was Renault while Max was on the radar of Mercedes and Ferrari.

        2. @uncleben said ‘drive’ of the year, @xtwl.
          It’s very unlikely that we’ll see a more spectacular drive in Abu Dhabi; Max has my vote.

          For Driver of the Year we still have a few candidates, who can all shine or falter next week.

          1. Arnoud van Houwelingen
            19th November 2016, 22:48

            DOTY must be Rosberg because of he won the WDC in spite of having a teammate who has much more talent!

        3. i believe you are reffering to Driver of the Year, while the UncleBen meant Drive of the year.

          But it’s interesting how people see things so differently when it comes to rating performances: for me Sainz was completely unmemorable this year… i’ve seen all races this season and can’t remember him doing anything extraordinary, like a great overtake or a sensational performance in the wet (when the engine doesn’t count so much, but aero does – and STR has great aero).

          Sure, for his age he’s pretty quick, constant and kind on the tires, but so is Perez, Bottas or Grosjean. Why should Sainz be DOTY over these guys or over the usual suspects like HAM, ALO, RIC, VES, etc? Just because he’s in a lesser car?

          1. @gechichan Sainz has absolutely trashed Kvyat, who even had several races in the Red Bull and this should be way ahead on points. On quite a lot of races he has absolutely brought to car up to a level it did not belong. Don’t forget the engine is still a 2015 Ferrari spec.

            For me there is no doubt he belongs in the aisle of Vandoorne/Verstappen/Ocon/Wehrlein and is well above the likes of a Perez/Bottas who’ve been in the sport twice as long.

          2. @gechichan yes and yes.

            Sainz and Perez are doing really well this season, and in the case of Sainz, fair or not (fair4me) hasn’t won any DotW and doesn’t reflects the strong season hes doing.

            Of course DotW is just that, DotW, not a measure of season performance, But somehow we could take in acc. 2nd and 3rd places in DotW, i think we can get a pretty nifty chart/idea of the drivers that are performing better overall.

            I haven’t been here like in ages but glad to se @keithcollantine still putting lots or love/work in the site.

        4. @xtwl

          Sadly I completely can’t agree here. Sainz was beaten easily by Verstappn in the first four races and has had a steady season, but hasn’t maximised the car at all. Just like in 2015, he has made many silly mistakes (Canada, Britain, Germany, Spa, Japan, Mexico) and has been hardly hit by reliability aswell. He has had some standout drivers such as USA and Spain but we have to remember that the Toro Rosso was faster than the Force India for the first part of the season. Also Kvyat I feel has really improved and has now outqualified him three times in the last five races. Perez and Bottas have scored much more points on a regular consistent basis and have made hardly any mistakes this year and have shown alot in the career to show they can make it at the top level, and tbh Sainz is pretty much at the same sort of level in the future

          1. @lolzerbob I can only advise you to reread what Keith wrote about him in the mid-season ranking, in which he was fifth.

            Also the Force India and Williams should never finish behind a STR, that’s how much better those cars are. Ergo saying they have scores more points is as similar as comparing the Mercedes car versus the Force India.

            I’m inclined to think you never really took a good look at his performances. I certainly cannot believe you’d dare say he’d be the same in the future considering how much he even improved over the winter of this year.

            Comparing him to Verstappen is also quite pointless as Verstappen is that one driver in a million, if we’re going to compare all drivers to him we’d end up with a field with only a handful of drivers instead of 22. Sainz very well deserves a spot among the fastest drivers on this planet. Agreed he hasn’t had the junior record of a Vandoorne but his two seasons in F1 warrant a seat at a better team.

            If I was Ferrari and looking to replace Kimi right now, with the contracts that are signed, I had hunted down Sainz and not Perez or Bottas.

          2. @xtwl

            The Toro Rosso car is quite underrated I’d say, the team were clearly ahead of Force India until the latter started developing the cars and the two were relatively evenly matched until about Hungary i’d say, when the effects of the 2015 engine started to come into play. The car has a great chassis, being able to qualifying P6 and P7 in Singapore shows that it is the fourth quickest.

            I have payed attention to Sainz’s performances, and he’s only struck me with one super performance, USA, which was a classy drive. He’s had good weekends too in Spain and Hungary, but I’m pretty sure Bottas and especially Perez have had more. Sainz has a good season, but nowhere near the best driver of the year, more like ninth best driver of the year.

            Sainz’s junior career is sub-par. He will improve, but I don’t see him as a future world champion, maybe a few podiums with Renault and maybe a win down the line, but not a top class drivver.

            It would be stupid for Ferrari to try and sign Sainz, a driver who was comfortably beaten by Verstappen, who could be their big rival for years to come. Sainz isn’t ready yet, think about him driving with half of the car in the air with a puncture in Spa, imagine if he does that in a top car. Perez has consistently bagged points and Ferrari would like a consistent driver at the moment, who delivers moments of magic, with two podiums this year, who could fit in a top team at this moment.

          3. @xtwl

            If your curious, in my ranking Sainz would be ninth so

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

        5. Arnoud van Houwelingen
          19th November 2016, 22:51

          How can Sainz be DOTY when Verstappen clearly was the better driver in the first part of the season. Sainz was lucky that Verstappen had a DNF in Russia or otherwise the point gap between them till Spain would have been even greater!

      2. @Uncle Ben…

        Driver of the year? Now slow down a minute there.

        1. Sainz is really good, but not a different driver then Max. More of a Rosberg, consistent, fast. Off course lets not forget the 2015 engine. Quite some great drives from Sainz this year.

          1. *a different driver then Max

  2. Driver of the year is the man who pulls spectators, viewers and brings spectacle to F1 again. Thats why we look or not? No offense to Mercedes, Hamilton and Rosberg an all others but without Verstappen it would be rather boring to watch.

    1. I can’t argue with that. Max has certainly reinvigorated F1 this year, and under normal circumstance, that’s without even having the car to help him compete for the win!

      For me it was the same when Lewis arrived in 2007 and shook up the order, and he’s been a consistent attraction every year since.

      I just hope Lewis has still got it in him when we finally get the Max vs Lewis showdowns.

      1. @psynrg
        If the racing Gods could arrange it so that we get Lewis vs Max vs Dan vs Sebastian vs Kimi vs Fernando next season it would be very interesting to see if the (relatively) old guys could still take it to the younger guys in cars with similar levels of performance.
        Lewis was quite lucky to start in a top team, but his performance from his first weekend showed he really did deserve such a good car. He certainly turned a few heads, and livened things up back then, and it’s good seeing Max doing it now.

  3. How can Perez get a vote if he was slower than Hulkenberg the whole weekend, and only finished in front of him through pure luck?

    It was a useful drive, but nothing special

    Agree with the other drivers that were mentioned

  4. Here’s the difference between Hamilton and Verstappen. Hamilton had no spray, was the one who had the wet line in optimal form and anyone wishing to overtake him had to go on a wetter line. Verstappen had to go onto a wetter line to overtake. Driving in the wet is finding the ideal line, having to overtake means going past it. Don’t get me wrong, Hamilton was brilliant. He felt the conditions and managed to use them perfectly. Verstappen overtook 12 people. Would Hamilton have been able to use the wet lines as effective to get by all them? I doubt it. That’s the difference.

    1. We will never know what happens if we put other drivers in Hamiltons or Verstappens cars. Both the drivers where untouchable and crushed their teammates on equal conditions. It aint very impressive to crush Rosberg that isnt even motovated to win but he did so nevertheless.

      At the end of the day Verstappen was more spectacular and did something noone expected or thought was possible. If we excluded Verstappens last stint it would be a hard choice for me but now its clear as day.

    2. Overtook people when he strapped on fresh rubber. When he didn’t have the newer tires, all he could do was maintain position, just like everybody else. Oh, and lest we forget, when Max passed Nico after Nico’s mistake, he got to within 1 – 1.1 seconds of Hamilton’s gearbox, then Lewis put in some fast laps and left Max 5 seconds behind, just before Max spun pushing to try to bring the gap down. Lewis for the win.

      1. LOL, even Pirelli confirmed that the newer tyres hardly brought an advantage in the wet; since they didn’t deteriorate in the wet and some parts of the tracks actually gave advantage to lesser grooved tyres (like worn tyres or the intermediates) . And for Hamilton to create a gap in the fastest car and the only one with a clear track ahead of him, is nothing special. It actually looked more like Verstappen took a step back to get out of the spray and wait for better moments …

        Overtaking 13 people in 14 laps in the wet and behind spray is way more impressive as it requires way more risk, balls and car-control than just cruising upfront in the fastest car …

        1. “the newer tyres hardly brought an advantage in the wet; since they didn’t deteriorate in the wet and some parts of the tracks actually gave advantage to lesser grooved tyres”
          And there goes your credibility, as you just showed that don’t know what you are talking about, when in fact, it’s completely the other way around: in racing, be it on dry or wet surfaces, the advantage is always, ALWAYS, for the car with the newer set of tires.

          “Overtaking 13 people in 14 laps in the wet and behind spray is way more impressive as it requires way more risk, balls and car-control than just cruising upfront in the fastest car”
          Nope. The one on the lead, having no one in front of him a) can go faster, which means that he is in greater danger of losing control, and b) he doesn’t have other cars’ lights ahead so, even if he is not getting sprayed, he also has to constantly guess where the track is (as every “civilian” driver out there can also attest). Furthermore, guess what? Both Lewis and Seb (as well as Jenson) have overtook +10 cars in wet conditions on several races, and at least a couple of those have been from starting from the very bottom of the grid.

          1. Antoon van Gemert
            24th November 2016, 20:37

            I guess you can always find a reason to play a brilliant performance down….

  5. Antoon van Gemert
    22nd November 2016, 14:11

    Who else but Max Verstappen! Never mind the fresh rubbers, Max gave a masterclass “How to race in the wet”. Not only in the last storming 16 laps, but also at the beginning with great overtakes on Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg (This one is nominated for the FIA “Action of the Year” award). And yes, some of his ‘students’ picked his lessons up and put them into practice as told over the radio! But the last 16 laps were the true icing-on-the-cake. When Max went in for the last time for the wets, I though his race was over. I was so angry that my dog was a bit scared of me, not knowing that “The Max Verstappen Show” would soon begin. And what a show it was, putting a smile on my face and a happy-tail dog! The hardest overtake, according to Max, was that on Sebastian Vettel, who immediately complained that “his nose was a little bit in front”. His own nose or the nose of his Ferrari? Who cares, his reaction was unworthy of a four-times worldchampion and I guess Ferrari was little bit ashamed too. Vettel is not a very popular man in the Netherlands right now! The great and last overtake on Sergio Perez meant a wel deserved third place on the podium and a handshake from Martin Brundle. The Brazilian crowd went wild during the race, because they know when they see a true racer at work! Personally I think that Max could have won this one, although Lewis Hamilton was also, as ever, great in the wet conditions. Nevertheless, his third place felt like a victory and his amazing drive was news all over the world! People who still think that Max Verstappen is overrated, just can’t be F1-fans!

  6. Au contraire, people who still think that Max Verstappen is overrated have been F1 fans for more than 30 years.

    1. Antoon van Gemert
      24th November 2016, 15:47

      Well, if that’s the case they just doing a bad job recognizing true talent in F1-drivers! By the way I’m a F1-fan for more then 35 years now……

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