2016 F1 season driver rankings #5: Rosberg

2016 F1 season review

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There is no asterisk next to Nico Rosberg’s world championship, yet the debate over the manner in which he won it isn’t going away.

Nico Rosberg

Beat team mate in qualifying 8/20
Beat team mate in race 9/19
Races finished 20/21
Laps spent ahead of team mate 549/1186
Points 385

His astonishing decision to leave the sport having won the title has done nothing to quieten his critics. He won’t get lucky a second time, the argument goes, so what’s the point in staying to be beaten by Lewis Hamilton again?

But even though Hamilton undoubtedly lost more points due to factors beyond his control than his team mate did, the Rosberg of past seasons probably wouldn’t have been close enough to take the title. The fact he did does partly reflect the fact Rosberg raised his game.

This was clear at Singapore, the high-point of his season, where he simply out-qualified and out-raced his team mate. Yes, Hamilton had lost some practice time with a technical problem. But the same was true of Rosberg in Baku and he won there too while Hamilton ruined his weekend by clipping a barrier in qualifying.

With the sting of his defeat at Austin in 2015 spurring him on, Rosberg turned to meditation to strengthen his mental approach and bought a go-kart to sharpen his racecraft. One result was a more feisty Rosberg in wheel-to-wheel combat, leading to clashes between the pair in Spain and Austria. The latter led to the Rosberg’s first penalty for a driving infringement in years and two more followed before the season was out as he sparred with Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen. He may have overstepped the mark at times but 2016-spec Rosberg was no pushover.

He began the year with four wins in a row, profiting from two poor starts for Hamilton plus a pair of technical problems in qualifying. By the summer break his team mate was back ahead. Rosberg squandered points in the Monaco rain, where he was deeply unimpressive, and at a slippery Silverstone.

The old Rosberg might have buckled at this point but he returned to action with renewed energy. Again technical trouble for Hamilton helped swing the pendulum but Rosberg was unrelenting in grabbing every point which came his way. Which driver played the stronger mental game in 2016: the one who bickered with the media and fluffed his start at Suzuka, or the one who beat him to pole position and victory?

This was the turning point. Now Mr ‘I’m taking every race as it comes’ only needed second places, and he delivered them. Even when Hamilton turned the pressure up to 11 at Yas Marina, Rosberg didn’t stumble.

It’s undeniable that Hamilton’s worse reliability cost him the title several times over. But Rosberg got within the margin of error because he raised his game. He stunned the man he’d been losing to since they were children, claimed the one success he craved, and bowed out in style.

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Over to you

I cannot help but admire Nico Rosberg this season. He was unflappable and drove the most logical season I’ve seen in a long time.

A crushing start to the season was followed by a crushing restart after the mid-season break and that was all he needed. When Hamilton retired in Malaysia (as happens in Formula One), Rosberg followed it up with a brilliant victory in Suzuka and wisely followed Hamilton home in the final four races.

In my opinion Hamilton was (and is) clearly quicker than Rosberg, but Rosberg is the 2016 world champion and that will be his forever.

What’s your verdict on Nico Rosberg’s 2016 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

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The F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings are produced by referring to:

View race-by-race notes on Nico Rosberg

Australia – Win number four in a row for Rosberg was not achieved in the same manner as the three at the end of last season. He didn’t quite have the pace of Hamilton in the run-up to the race and needed a second run in Q3 to beat Vettel. He got ahead of Hamilton at the start – he said he did not intend to force his team mate wide – but was passed by both the Ferraris. An early first pit stop got him ahead of Raikkonen and brought him onto Vettel’s tail, but it was switching to medium tyres during the stoppage which won him the race.

Bahrain – “I was sure that I had got pole when I crossed the line” said Rosberg – he was less than a tenth of a second away from Hamilton and joined him on the front row again. He got away more cleanly than his team mate and as his closest rivals had all hit trouble before the race was a lap old he motored on to an untroubled win.

China – With Hamilton compromised and Ferrari tripping up in qualifying, Rosberg was looking at an open net. He delivered on Sunday with a clean second run in Q3 to take his first pole position of the year, and had the added bonus of being able to start the race on soft tyres thanks to Mercedes’ performance advantage in Q2. The Safety Car meant he wasn’t able to take full advantage of the strategy, but with all his major rivals tripping up at the start a sixth straight win was never in doubt.

Russia – Quickest in the morning running on Friday, Rosberg didn’t manage to get a quick lap together on super softs in the afternoon. But in Q2 he produced stunning pace and looked capable of giving Hamilton a run for his money until his team mate’s misfortune gifted him pole position. The biggest threat to his race victory came from an MGU-K problem which he managed en route to his fourth win of the year.

Spain – Impressed throughout practice but was beaten to pole position by Hamilton. Grabbed the lead at the start but his power unit was in an incorrect setting – likely because of an error on Rosberg’s part, which left him vulnerable on the approach to turn four. He defended as firmly as the rules allow, but the consequence was a collision which ended both drivers’ races. A needless accident in more ways than one.

Monaco – Also had a fuel pressure problem during qualifying but was held in the pits and managed to get two runs in. That allowed to to grab second on the grid behind Ricciardo, but as the Red Bull disappeared up the road it was clear Rosberg was holding Hamilton up. Rosberg was at a loss to explain his lack of speed – “possibly a brake issue” – but said he had no qualms with the “simple decision” to let Hamilton by, in spite of the damage it did to his points lead. He slipped behind Alonso in the pits and was mugged by Hulkenberg in the last-lap drizzle. He took the flag a minute and a half behind his team mate and never looked like someone who had won this race three times before.

Canada – Well off Hamilton’s pace on Friday (with, curiously, a much higher top speed), but after scrutinising his team mate’s data Rosberg ran him close for most of qualifying until he got too greedy in the turn one braking zone on his final run. He left himself vulnerable to Hamilton at the start and should have expected his team mate to give him as little room as he did two years ago. After that his progress was hampered by a puncture and a penultimate-lap spin while trying to pass Verstappen.

Europe – It was Rosberg’s turn to run the harder tyre during practice which he felt disguised his pace on Friday, along with a loss of power in the second session. He came to the fore in qualifying and took an emphatic pole position as Hamilton tripped up. He was never headed in the race and while he was never seriously tested either it’s hard to see what more he could have done.

Austria – Headed the times on the first two days of practice but on Saturday morning suspension failure put him in a barrier, leading to a gearbox change penalty. He had the pace to beat Hamilton in qualifying – his sector times were better – but coped less well with the tricky conditions in Q3. From sixth on the grid he moved to the front with little difficulty, though his first set grained more quickly than Hamilton’s. He might have taken the win had Mercedes left their drivers on one-stop strategies but Hamilton took fresh tyres and put him under pressure, and on the final lap Rosberg buckled. Though he also had a brake-by-wire problem and debris from Vettel’s puncture to contend with, his move on Hamilton was cynical.

Britain – Only fractionally slower than Hamilton in first and third practice but was confined to the garage by technical problems in the second session. However when the serious business started in Q2 it became clear his team mate could access levels of performance Rosberg couldn’t reach. The same appeared to be the case in the opening wet stages of the race as Rosberg dropped back and was passed by Verstappen. However as the track dried Rosberg picked up pace and took second off Verstappen, though it proved temporary as he was penalised post-race for receiving radio assistance to fix a gearbox problem.

Hungary – Rosberg was undoubtedly lucky that Alonso’s spin in Q3 compromised his team mate yet gave him a chance to take pole position. As he passed the yellow flags he backed off sufficiently for the stewards – just as Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen did two races ago – and it’s unrealistic to expect a driver to do more. He was out-dragged at the start by Hamilton and Ricciardo and though he smartly re-passed the Red Bull and gave chase to his team mate it proved to be in vain.

Germany – Fastest in all three practice sessions, Rosberg’s pole chances took a blow when an electronic problem forced his to abandon his first run in Q3. However, despite having a couple of extra laps of fuel on board, he beat Hamilton to pole. However a tardy start threw it away and left him scrapping with the Red Bulls. He was unlucky to lose time at his first pit stop, but a repeat of his Austria defensive move while trying to pass Verstappen led to another penalty. The damage was amplified when Mercedes held him in his pit box too long, and Red Bull’s pace in the final stint was quick enough to block him from the podium.

Belgium – 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.

Italy – 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.

Singapore – 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.

Japan – Finally took the victory to go with the speed he has shown at Suzuka in the past. He delivered under pressure in Q3 and started cleanly, after which he had a straightforward run to the chequered flag.

Malaysia – Couldn’t live with Hamilton’s pace in qualifying and had to settle for second on the grid. He was blameless in the turn one collision with Vettel, and had to give his all as he made his way back to the front. He acted quickly and decisively to put a move on Raikkonen and collected a penalty which seemed harsher than those he’s previously had in 2016, but it couldn’t keep him from retaking third place.

United States – Always seemed to have the three-tenths deficit to Hamilton which was apparent in first practice, and qualifying bore that out. Like his team mate he started on the soft tyres but he allowed Ricciardo to get the better of him in turn one, falling to second. He was going to have to pass Ricciardo on the road to get the place back until the Virtual Safety Car handed him the position.

Mexico – Said Mercedes had a lot of work to do having been some way off Hamilton’s pace on Friday. He didn’t have his team mate’s pace during much of qualifying, but pulled out a decent final lap in Q3 to reach the front row. The gap in performance between the pair of them was apparent in the race, too: Rosberg never looked likely to catch Hamilton and instead came under attack from Verstappen, but kept second place.

Brazil – Heading into the final sector on his last lap in Q3 he needed only to replicate his run from his first lap to take pole position. But he fell short by a tenth of a second. If Rosberg genuinely was trying to win rather than settle for second it didn’t look like it, though his half-spin early in the race could have cost him dearly.

Abu Dhabi – Couldn’t keep up with Hamilton in qualifying but the chasing pack was half a second slower. Hamilton took care of that in the race, of course, which made for a very uncomfortable 55 laps for Rosberg. However at key moments he did what he needed to: he was quick enough on his first out-lap to keep Raikkonen behind, fought superbly to pass Verstappen, and kept his cool at the end. Slower than Hamilton, but deeply impressive under pressure.

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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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280 comments on “2016 F1 season driver rankings #5: Rosberg”

  1. 2016 verstappen better than 2016 Rosberg?


    Even HIS Monaco want that bad.

    1. Verstappen’s had the lower lows, but also the higher highs. And quite a few of the latter.

      1. I disagree. Verstappen has not had higher highs this season. He has had a lot of controversial moves. Rosberg should be above him. Probably third overall this year. After Hamilton and Ricardo.

        1. Rosbergs controversial moves won him this years Maldonado Approval award. Rival F1 site so no link, but you’ll find it if you look for it.
          Max took 1 penalty point this year. The controversy is in peoples minds, unable to accept the skill level displayed by a 19 year old.

          1. Absolutely agree, Max is someone who I believed truly didn’t deserve a spot in f1. Typical nepotism and ridiculously young. But he grew so quickly to be probably the most entertaining driver on the grid and if I owned a team he’d be on my short list. I think he has every chance of being the youngest f1 champion.

          2. Rosberg = Maldonado? I would argue that Rosberg won the Damon Hill award this year. Good, but not great. Profited from being consistent in the best car.
            I think you could much more more successfully argue that Verstappen won the Maldonado award this year. Great skill and very quick, but he made many mistakes and was involved in way too many incidents. Both Verstappen and Maldonado have one race too. Spain.

    2. RossoTorro (@)
      14th December 2016, 13:24

      People will remember Verstappen’s his Brasil drive in 10 years but they won’t remember who won the championship that year, that fight was bland and boring like the previous two years.

      1. 2014 was anything BUT bland and boring. 2015, 2013 and 2011 were both super dull WDC years with the Champion rampant.

        1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
          14th December 2016, 13:57

          @ju88sy I hope this trend of boring odd years gets an exception in 2017.

          1. @omarr-pepper Well, we know the incumbent champion driver won’t be smushing everyone. The incumbent champion team, however..?

            Maybe we’re seeing a repeat of the Williams decline in ’96/’97 – Hamilton might well take the ’07 title, but the team will slowly come apart now several key parts have left or are leaving. The question is, who are going to take on McLaren’s mantle in the story – Red Bull, Ferrari or (heh) McLaren?

          2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
            14th December 2016, 16:05

            @optimaximal last time I checked, Kimi took the ’07 championship. Unless Hamilton finds a 10-year-later (pun intended) way to appeal for the fuel temperature of the BMWs again.

          3. @omarr-pepper Indeed – blast the lack of an edit function.

            I did mean ’17…

      2. People will remember Verstappen’s his Brasil drive in 10 years but they won’t remember who won the championship that year, that fight was bland and boring like the previous two years.

        This is one of the biggest loads of nonsense I have ever read in my life.

        1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
          14th December 2016, 16:12

          @rob91 In a way it might be true. Unless you are an absolutely F1 Fanatic, you lose track of the exact year a championship was taken. I mean, I know Senna won 3, but I keep confusing the years (I’m sure about 88 and 91, but I always forget if the second one was in 89 or 90, I had to check now on Wikipedia to make sure it was in 1990).
          But about Senna, what many remember is Donnington. I don’t remember the year. 93 I think. Yes, I had to check that one too. But I absolutely know Senna’s best drive happened in that circuit, in the rain.
          So yes, Max’s drive in Interlagos is and will be one of the best drives I have ever seen. Different lines, no DRS, no fear, even after his near-miss. I hope to be proved wrong and to see that Max can drive even better in the future years.
          I was angry about his Mexico drive against Vettel (as a Vettel fan it’s obvious I got angry, honestly!) but there’s no way to deny his talent.

          1. I was angry about his Mexico drive against Vettel (as a Vettel fan it’s obvious I got angry, honestly!)

            But why? I can understand Vettel got angry because he was given wrong information, but I can’t see any reason why a Vettel fan should be angry. This situation was pretty standard. Verstappen commited a foul, but had to wait for a decision of the stewards. If a decision has not been made before the end of the race, the punishment should follow after the race. It’s just normal procedure.
            So, what’s there to get angry about?

          2. @omarr-pepper: I remember exactly which driver won the championship for every year I’ve been following the sport, which makes 21 years now. I guess I am an F1 Fanatic (heh) but even if I wasn’t, I think I’d be more likely to remember championships than invididual drives in one-off races.

          3. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
            15th December 2016, 2:58

            @estesark Wow! I couldn’t follow it some years, since here in Peru there wasn’t public broadcast and cable TV was expensive (for me). But without a doubt I remember every champion back from 1991.

        2. @rob91 That might happen though – I know who won Spain 1981 (Villeneuve), but I’m not sure off the top of my head who the champion was that year (Piquet?).

      3. I will remember his error in Monaco for life!

        1. Really, are you in such a bad state? My shortly forthcoming condolences… ;)

          Joking aside, Monaco was tricky. Many other drivers, including Vettel, got caught out at the same point.
          Monaco was a carnage on the whole. Max, at least, only took himself out, unlike some of his colleagues.

          Max gave it all, determined to fight for the podium coming from the back. Do or die.
          He could have taken it easy and finished 7th or so, take a safe 6 points home. But he fought for more, accepting the risk, and it bit him. Kudos for trying, I would say.

    3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      14th December 2016, 13:26

      This is what I think too really. Rosberg may have had several bad races. But none of them were as bad as some of Verstappen’s. Rosberg never had a race weekend anywhere near as bad as Verstappen had in Monaco. I think Verstappen seems to get better ratings by many people just because of what he has managed because of his age. His age is nothing to do with how well he has done. He has had many great races (quite possibly some of the best races out of any driver) but also has had more poor races than many other drivers have had. He has often recovered well from his mistakes but it will have been better if he didn’t make them. Because of the amount of avoidable mistakes he’s made this season, I really can’t see him being any higher than 4th.

      1. You can’t be serious…. Rosberg was driving mistake free by himself when controlling from the front. That is great use of his Mercedes, of course, but nothing spectacularly good. He has never won a race by grabbing it from others so to speak.

      2. @thegianthogweed I don’t think Verstappen’s age is the real reason. It is because of his lack of overall experience, especially at a top team, that makes his performances so admirable…and his mistakes, relatively more excusable. When you compare Rosberg’s F1 experience to Max’s, there is a massive difference.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          14th December 2016, 15:21

          I must just think differently to others. I don’t like to consider the drivers experience. Does this mean that Verstappen wouldn’t be rated as highly if he had had more past experience even if he had exactly the results? If any drivers performs at the same level as others, then no matter what their experience is, surely that should be rated similar! I don’t see what the past has to do with it. IMO, a few too many people seem to forget Verstappen’s poor reces and let him off because he hasn’t had much experience yet. It is clear that he could be far better, so that is why I couldn’t rate him that highly yet. I can tell that he will get better though. But everyone has their own opinion. I just don’t like to relate what they have done to there experience. Does this mean that if any other driver that had loads of experience and made Verstappen’s level of mistakes but also drove as well as he did, then would they not get the same rating? If they don’t, then that would puzzle me. I don’t see how the past really has anything to do with how well they have done this season.

          1. I see where you’re coming from…but drivers are supposed to learn from their mistakes. That’s where the past is significant to the present. Lesser the experience, more are the chances of making a mistake…and more often than not, a mistake has to be made to be able to realize the limits and gain knowledge otherwise unattainable.

            Because Verstappen has lesser experience, he is more prone to errors since there are many limits he is yet to realize and many things he is yet to learn…and that is why compared to someone like Rosberg, his errors are more excusable. Personally, I find it impressive that he did not make the same mistakes twice, indicating he learned from them.

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            14th December 2016, 16:01

            That confused me! I got a message saying just my name then I realized you just didn’t put it above. Still better than me not noticing.
            Yes, he didn’t make certain mistakes more than once, but I think his weekend in Monaco was possibly the worse race weekend out of any driver. He made the same sort of mistake 3 times over the same weekend. In my view, he should have learned from practice that he was carrying too much speed. He also made a big mistake last year in Monaco. But this year in Monaco, after the mistake in practice, he made a very similar mistake in qualifying, didn’t learn from that and made another mistake in the race. That weekend was really bad. He has had plenty of great weekends but I can’t say he’s had a really, really good season until his mistakes reduce. There are many drivers that are obviously not very interesting but have made far less mistakes this season. Bottas and Perez for example. There may well be just as many advantages to being solid and consistent as incredible at times but really bad at times. The fact that Verstappen could have got so many more points than he did is a good reason why I can’t rate him so highly.

      3. VES had several bad starts as a result of failing technology. So stated by the team. He had several bad strategy calls by the team as had RIC btw.
        So yes, VES had a great year with some fantastic overtakes,(record) and the bes tof the year ( Again) some astonishing rain driving and kept up with probably the best driver in 2017: RIC!

        1. He probably also won the award for most bumps, crashes and off track moments as well. I can think of 10 this year without trying. Did anyone else come close?

      4. I really can’t see him being any higher than 4th.

        That’s just your very own expert opinion from your very own couch. But you know, there are lots of other experts, and they thought different. Get used to it.

      5. You must have been watching another race season (athegianthogweed ).
        How many of young Verstappen’s GP2 rivals ( and half the F1 grid ) could have
        pulled off some of the staggering passes he made at Interlagos in the wet ?
        Yes….he still has a great deal to learn. Yes…. he first of all needs to understand
        that the very risky defence moves he makes could very easily be catastrophic
        on the wrong day, in the wrong place, in the wrong conditions.

        But this young guy is anything but passive. He reads the conditions extremely well.
        Makes his tyres last longer than most ( OK…the RB is basically kind to it’s tyres ).
        And he is thinking radically every hundredth of a second of the drive.

        Yes, his career will be dotted with some utterly disastrous races. But for every one
        of them I suggest he will outdrive the field on most occasions. Going to be an
        interesting couple of years ahead, eh ?


      6. I wonder, besides Monaco, Verstappen overall did a very good job in near all races, racepace has been great… in fact he showed better racepace in more races then Ricciardo who’s suppose to be the expierenced team mate.

        Sure he made a few errors, pitting when he wasn’t calles in, but that really pretty much all what went wrong beside Monaco.

        Contrversial moves…? So what… as long as it allowed controversial is just as fine as conservative… or in Verstappens case often better.

        Rosbergs final race and especially his interview after the Abu Dhabi race was one of my highlights of the season.
        Rosberg was very emotial, talking about crazy max… of a people crazy max. Verstappen has been the only driver on track succesfully beating a Mercdes driver…. multiple times.
        In an equal car Rosberg would have been defeated by Verstappen and that made a very big impression on Rosberg… till the very last race.

        1. Te get together of the Barzil podium candidates was telling. They were discussing Max’ save on the straight and the mad dash from 16th to 3rd in 15 laps and you could see Nico look amazed and admiring at Max.
          Then Lewis said he had seen both Max and Nico’s spins on the TV screens and it was Max’ turn to be awestruck.

    4. Jeffrey (@jeffreyj)
      14th December 2016, 13:37 I agree with what you say. Rosbergs strategy was impeccable. If Hamilton had not had that DNF, then who is to say that Rosberg wouldn’t have raised his game accordingly? He certainly showed that he had the character to do that. Keith is making far too many assumptions based on evidence that simply isn’t there. 5th for a world champion that had total control and a perfect game plan dealing with all the circumstances as they arose is worthy of a much higher rating. To have Ricciardo and a rookie above him is just laughable. Kieth, you have just ruined your ratings for me and I will never trust your judgement again on any subject.

      1. To be honest, Rosberg admitted that his form suffered due to the pressure of holding the championship lead after Suzuka. You say that Rosberg would have raised his game if Hamilton had not retired in Malaysia, but is slowing down in pressure excusable? He had all the more reason to raise his game after Hamilton’s retirement…the pressure should have made him go faster, considering how it was a golden chance for him.

        If Rosberg’s admittance is the truth, I think for the last four races, some people give Rosberg more credit than they should…because in that case, he didn’t ‘let’ Hamilton take those victories. He didn’t deliberately take it easy to secure second place in those races. That was not his ‘perfect’ game plan. He wanted to win and failed, thus being only the second best Mercedes driver towards the end of the season…and by quite a margin too.

        In any case, can you explain why Verstappen and Ricciardo being ranked ahead is laughable to you? Verstappen had many spectacular moments throughout the season, more so than Rosberg. Although he was a little inconsistent, it is only his second year in f1, after all. Those saying Rosberg was consistent throughout the season have forgotten his slump from Monaco to Germany(barring Baku). Ricciardo on the other hand, was the epitome of consistency and high-level performance for most of the season.

        1. It was easier for Hamilton to win those late season races because the pressure was off and he had nothing to loose.
          Look at Senna in Japan 91.Berger was faster than him in qualifying for 2 races in a row.But when Nigel went off in Suzuka and the pressure was of he was faster than he’s teammate by some margin.

          I don’t know how Hamilton can be in front of Rosberg this year.The weekends in Baku,Japan,Singapore are really poor. I’ve never seen a world champion make that king of mistakes ever.

          Ricciardo would be number one in my book.Fast and consistent.
          Verstappen was fast in the rain.But crashed 2 years in a row in Monaco.Not impressive.

          1. There has never been a driver who went through a season without 3 poor weekends. Relatively poor, even. Rosberg had more poor weekends than that: Monaco, Canada, Germany, Silverstone, Brazil.

        2. All this about Rosberg not trying in the last 4 races is just an excuse. He wanted to win those. We know because he said so. We also know because the times he was posting in qualifying. In Brazil, he was actually up on Hamilton’s time with just a few yards to go–he was pushing, nearly out-qualified Hamilton.And he copied Hamilton’s set up in Mexico qualifying to start as high up the grid as possible. He wanted to win, but Hamilton simply beat him in qual, off the start and into turn 1. We all know that which ever Merc leads out of turn 1 always wins–so the amount of effort Rosberg put into chasing down Hamilton becomes irrelevant.

      2. In Keith’s defence, F1 metrics ‘objective’ points-per-counting-race model ranked Rosberg even lower.

        As long as Hamilton is not too far ahead (4th, 3rd at best), it’ll be a fair reflection of his season.

        None of this diminishes Rosberg’s exceptional season, beating an all-time great on the same car, with a little, but not too much, luck by his side.

      3. @Angela I think, particularly with your last sentence, you are being heavy handed towards @keithcollantine as it is his site and his opinions and he supports them well. He is not trying to sell everybody that his is the be all and end all of rankings. It is as he has seen it, and this whole forum is a venue for the very thing we are doing…discussing and debating. It’s a conversation. To say you will never trust anything he says ever again is way over the top and misses the point of this site.

        Disagree with him at will…after all, if everybody just agreed with everyone on everything there would likely not be these forums of discussion as there would be nothing enthralling to go to but a ‘love in.’ But to call him untrustworthy is ridiculous.

    5. This guy won the championship, cricket what does he have to do to get ranked higher?
      I know, its subjective but still id gave him top 3 minimum

    6. Nobody knows it but Keith is in fact L. Hamilton writing.

    7. What i’m sick off is that no one ever talks about Rosberg’s poor starts. If you count Canada, he the same amount as Hamilton

  2. “Wasn’t”

  3. A good guy that knew he couldn’t really cut it at the top so decided to bow out a bit with his tail between his legs. Not a Hammy fan in saying this, but you don’t suddenly lose all drive just because you win a championship, and defending what you’ve earned should be inspiring in itself, no? Plus, he’s not the only driver with young children so I think the family angle is just a convenient excuse.

    1. 1) he’s not the only driver with young children so I think the family angle is just a convenient excuse. – Not every driver values quality family time the same way, in fact they probably value it all in their own unique way.
      2) Not a Hammy fan in saying this – Nah, probably just a Nico hater.
      3) defending what you’ve earned should be inspiring in itself, no? – No, it should not and it is not (for all).

      1. 1) They probably value it all in their own way. – True. I suppose everyone of them who get to the top probably values the chance of staying there. Once one realizes it to be pretty tiny, you know..other things suddenly appear more attractive.
        2) Or probably you are a Hamilton h@ter?
        3) It should, indeed. Most of all if everyone thinks you earned it with a little too much help. But again, you have to be realistic.

        1. @liko41
          Regarding 2) No, most definitely not. In what part of my comment do you see any hit at Ham, or even mentioning him? It was all about doubting the legitimacy of Ros’ motives, which is pretty far fetched and offensive really. As mentioned by Ham fans, he got beaten by Ham year after year, throughout different stages of their career. Yet he never quit before. In these situations, you will always get hated on by some, no matter what your decisions. If he had quit before, they would call him a quitter who knew he would never beat Ham. Now he has quit after he took the WDC, they are telling us that’s bc he knew he would never beat him to the WDC a second time. He now walked away from a what, two times 27 milion euro contract? If he had stayed and underperformed, they would be telling us that he isn’t even trying, bc it would be in vein, and is just filling his pockets. I myself would think of that amount of money quite soothing for the potential (yet another) loss against an opponent many people already rate higher than myself. Point is, you will always have these comments that are just constructed to channelize hate on someone in favor of their own hero. This also touches the subject of 1) and 3). He, apparently, values the extra time (with family) and what not, higher than that million euro contract and defending his title. Furthermore, you seem to be contradicting yourself by stating 1) as true but then proceeding by imposing your own preferences upon the rest of the world, including the World Champion.
          And like I said, I’m far from being a Ham hater, but I suspect you to be a Ham fan who hasn’t yet coped with and accepted the fact that “the other car” took the WDC this year. Which is fine.

      2. You know, the “family reasons” justification is one of the most used “respectable” excuses used in high profile resignations. Just saying.

    2. If I were him, I’d leave too. Then again, I’d rather race in IndyCar once I got the WDC out of the way.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        14th December 2016, 18:59

        @spdoyle17 – Yeah I always wonder why drivers don’t do this more. Someone who has won the F1 WDC as well as Indycar Championship or Indy 500 or Le Mans in infinitely cooler than someone who has won the F1 WDC twice!

        What has Hamilton got left to prove in F1? Imagine he joined Indycar and won the title next year. He’d be an even bigger international star than he is now, it would draw HUGE amounts of interest to Indycar and would make people respect him even more as a driver. He could come back to F1 after a year or two if he wanted – any team would want to sign him!

    3. Funny to see people that don’t believe he’s got enough of F1 and wants to be with his family.

      1. @spoutnik
        Yes I also find it odd. It is not as if it not has happened before (Hakkinen for example).

  4. #1 Lewis Hamilton, eh?

    1. @ssm0304 reaaaaaaaally doubt Hamilton will get #1. That’ll be Ricciardo, as in the mid-term rankings, I’m sure.

      An idea, @keithcollantine , maybe you could add to the little chart there the past rankings of each driver, specially the mid term ones. So we know how each driver evolved during one or more seasons.

      1. reaaaaaaaally doubt Hamilton will get #1. That’ll be Ricciardo, as in the mid-term rankings, I’m sure.

        Me 2. My guess: #4 Alonso, #2/3 Hamilton/Verstappen, #Ricciardo.

    2. Both Hamilton and Verstappen have made to many mistakes on their own to be #1 imho. As for Alonso, he did regularly out performed his McHonda but also drove into the back of Guittierez in Australia and spun from 6th in Brasil and got regularly frustrated with his team which might have prevented him from maximizing his perfomances even more.

      I think RIC deserves the #1 for a vitually mistake free season in which he almost always got the maximum result possible with his RBR, had more points and 1 more podium than VES during their 17 races together, won the Malaysian GP and was the victim of his team’s strategy mistakes in Monaco and Spain. Otherwise he would most likely have won the only 3 races that weren’t won by Merc, just like he did in 2014.

      1. Ifs, do not win points and certainly not WDC.
        So juist look at the figures at hand and score the drivers according to that.

        1. What’s the point of ranking the drivers according to the metric they are already ranked and that we all know the standings?

          This end-of-the-year rankings are supposed to tell what the points system can’t tell.

        2. That still would put him above your hero.

        3. Earlier comment: VES had several bad starts as a result of failing technology. So stated by the team. He had several bad strategy calls by the team
          And now: Ifs, do not win points and certainly not WDC.
          So juist look at the figures at hand and score the drivers according to that. – hahahahahah

        4. @seth-space that’s what the championship standings are for.

          This is a driver ranking based on how well each driver did in their respective teams. And besides that, this is Keith’s ranking so he can do whatever he want’s with it. If you make one, you can too. Or you could just copy paste the F1 standings table, print it out and hang it on the wall if want.

  5. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    14th December 2016, 13:16

    Uhm… I disagree with 5th. That means that Alonso was better than Nico? And Ricciardo? Take the top 3 between Hamilton, Rosberg and Max – Your choice. The 3 were highly impressive. I feel Danny Ric really felt the pressure of Max this year, so he would be my 4th, and 5th for Alonso would be fair enough.
    Nico was not an astonishing driver, I know. But as you also remark, he grabbed all the chances. And for the Malaysia debate, remember he was also clipped on lap 1, yet, and instead of reacting as “old Rosberg”, he pushed his way through the field to minimize the damage. That proved to be worth a championship!
    Well there is another “factoid”, and it’s the “we will never know” factor that, if Lewis had won Malaysia, probably Nico wouldn’t have felt so comfortable to just go for second places. I think the championship would have equally been decided by just a couple of points for any of them. But as I say, we will never know.

    1. +1 Very good comment!

    2. this is a good point (i was hoping to make it too!). i had thought that it made the title look a bit cheap by coasting to second place 4 times in a row, but actually it was smart driving and exactly what numerous previous champions would have done.

      brazil was the perfect example – why get blinded by hamilton’s spray at each restart when you don’t actual need to fight for the lead? it was uninspiring perhaps compared to hamilton’s win and verstappen’s charge, but in hindsight it was just as good.

      I would put rosberg 4th ahead of verstappen (still learning the ropes) and alonso (had some weak races this year compared to button, though admittedly not many), but behind sainz (outdrove his car and didn’t put a foot wrong as far as i remember).

      1. Last year, Lewis could have finished second in the last 6 (or so) races and still won the title. But real racers always go for it. That’s what Lewis did in Austin. WDC Rosberg is. Racer champion, he’s not. Good riddance.

        1. @kehinde
          and the real racer lost the last four?

  6. Hamilton in general is faster than Rosberg, but Rosberg was better this year and should be ahead in this list.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      14th December 2016, 13:22

      @hugh11 how was Nico better than Lewis?

      1. If you need to ask that, then you wouldn’t listen to my response, so I’m not going to bother writing one.

        1. That’s unfair, it’s a reasonable question. Leaving aside the other engine problems, if Hamilton hadn’t had a DNF in Malaysia, this conversation wouldn’t exist. I agree Rosberg was mentally hyper-prepared every race, bar Monaco, and Hamilton distracted in two races, but that’s not anyway near enough to swing the argument that he was better overall. So why did you think Rosberg was better?

          1. dont forget hamiltons insane luck in australia (ferrari strategy) bahrain(vettel dnf, few damage) russia (corner cut vettel dnf) monaco (rosberg brake problems red bull) spain (with rosberg dnf) canada (ferrari strategy turn 1 nuff said) austria (few damage) belgium (ferrari and verstappen crash) italy (ferrari strategy) japan (ferrari strategy) mexico (corner cut)
            rosberg had bad luck too in spain (hamilton taking him out) monaco (brakes) austria (brakes) britain (stupid penalty) canada (forced off the track) germany (stupid penalty) and malaysia (spun) i’m no rosberg fan but rosberg won this fair and square, he wasnt the faster but the overall better driver

          2. If… my god the year is done.. there are no IF’s available.
            ROS was the one with more points.. end of story.

          3. People bring up Malaysia but don’t mention Japan. lol. If Hamilton hadn’t cuckold himself into a bad start in Japan, Nico wouldn’t have had such an easy final run to the title. Lewis’ could have easily gained back some points after the unlucky DNF in Malaysia but he goof’d himself into another unforced mistake.

      2. @freelittlebirds Got more points. ;-)

      3. Nico had more points than Lewis. Case closed, end if story.

      4. Points tally, Nico beat everyone in the points for the Championship. Points is the measure of the Championship, Rosberg had the most points. I don’t see how that is confusing.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          14th December 2016, 16:18

          @dbHenry @dbHenry @seth-space

          So if we start a season and I beat Rosberg in 5 races but then have a heart attack and die, will that make Rosberg better?

          He was worse as a driver but an event I had off-track that I had no control over propelled him to be better immediately after my death.

          1. By the same logic, Lauda was better than Hunt in 1976 by miles and it makes James an undeserving champion…

          2. @freelittlebirds
            It depends, how many points did you have when you died and how many did Rosberg have, I assume in the end?
            If Rosberg had more points than you, then yes, Rosberg was better than you. Simple really how this works. If you were better than him you needed to finish with more points than him.

          3. I think Michael has been quite clear, based on the 2016 GP scoring system he would have accumulated 125 points (@25 per race win). So to add to his argument, if the season was an eight race season (using the current scoring system) and Rosberg went on to finish third in the remaining races and second to Michael in the first five, he would have accumulated a total of (18×5 and 15×5=) 135 points meaning he would have outscored his team mate by 10 points and win the WDC without winning a race – of course assuming the other race winners and points were distributed disparately amongst the other drivers. Then surely winning the WDC doesn’t make him the best driver, just the one with the most points and certainly not better than his dearly departed team mate when he was still around.

            I wouldn’t even go as far as to say that Rosberg was consistent – he just had more consistent results.

            Yes Hamilton did make mistakes, but I think we can accept mistakes will be made and you wouldn’t expect him to win every single race. However Rosberg made mistakes too, probably more than Hamilton during the 2016 season – so I don’t think you can attribute the mistakes as the reason Hamilton didn’t win the WDC, at worst the mistakes were the reason he was unable to overhaul the technical issues he had with his car and engine.

            If it was the mistakes then why was it that in the first half of the season Lewis after a few bad starts and two compromised qualifying sessions found himself 43 points behind Rosberg. But after Spain he overhauled that deficit and turned it into a 19 point lead. In the second half of the season a grid penalty another problem in qualifying and an engine failure were the main reason Nico was able to regain the championship lead.
            Unlike Hamilton Rosberg didn’t really make a remarkable comeback from being 19 points behind, this was largely due to Lewis having more misfortune. Even then Lewis still managed to pull it back to just five points, I accept just maybe if Nico wasn’t in the position he was in for the last four races he may have done more to win them, but if it was the case that he wasn’t leading the championship (which would probably mean Lewis didn’t have the engine failure at Malaysia) then Lewis would probably only have needed to win one of the last four races to get the WDC.

    2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      14th December 2016, 13:22

      @hugh11 I feel the same. Lewis more naturally talented, but Nico did all his homework this season.

    3. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
      14th December 2016, 13:49

      ‘Homework’ that would have seen him lose the championship by 15 points or so had Hamilton’s engine not gone pop in Malaysia. Any way you look at it, Nico’s performance alone was not enough to win him this championship, that one piece of luck plus all his mental strength and all his ability just about scraped it.

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        14th December 2016, 16:18

        @offdutyrockstar please read my other comment. If Lewis had won (one more IF for the collection of IFs) Nico would have reacted differently (I guess), not coasting to 2nd four times in a row. But I repeat, we will never know!

        1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
          14th December 2016, 17:27

          @omarr-pepper do you honestly think Nico could have won this championship if their reliability had been switched? He would have lost it by a mountain of points! It’s Hamilton that deserves the mental fortitude crown not Rosberg, to come within 5 points of the title having started from the back of the grid 3 times and blown up in the lead is frankly astonishing.

          1. @offdutyrockstar What ifs, what ifs … I tend to side with @omarr-pepper, Nico visibly played it safe and would have probably acted differently had reliability been reversed. But this is all what ifs, and there’s only one fact: Nico won it.

      2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        14th December 2016, 16:19


  7. Absolute Brit bias from Keith. Never expected this. Rosberg is Number 3 and Alonso should be 5

    1. I struggle to see how a Brit bias leads to underrating a German and overrating a Spaniard.

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        14th December 2016, 16:20

        @vvans now we will be in need to research Keith’s background until we find a Spanish great-great-greatgrandparent!

    2. He also goes off user inputs of who we thought was better, so inevitably a lot of people put Hamilton in the top 3 because he’s British and their favourite.

  8. As a neutral, thank God for Nico Rosberg. The last three seasons would have been terrible without him.

  9. WheeledWarrior
    14th December 2016, 13:24

    Can understand Hamilton and maybe Ricciardo getting higher marks than Rosberg, but Verstappen and Alonso too?

    Sorry, that’s just not right for a guy who won 9 races and the championship.

    1. The point is that if Verstappen or Alonso had that same car they could have done more with it.

      5 of those races Rosberg won because his team mate had technical difficulties and he lost 2 because of technical difficulties. So he really won only 6 or so on merit.

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        14th December 2016, 16:23

        @patrickl as Hamilton won Mexico, Canada and Monaco on merit, right?
        Mexico: Blatantly cutting the chicane
        Canada: Pushing Nico off track and not getting any penalty for it.
        Monaco: Lucky that Ricciardo’s tyres were still in Milton Keynes. And that Nico showed to be a real teamplayer.

        1. I agree – this is a pretty interesting read whether you agree with it or nothttp://www.grandprix247.com/2016/12/13/rosberg-vs-hamilton-the-definitive-analysis/

        2. Yeah, Ham won all those on merit. Deal with it.

        3. @omarr-pepper
          Mexico: they both went off. So what’s your point?
          Canada: They never get poenalties for doing exactly that. See Canada 2014 where Nico did exactly the same.
          Monaco: Well he beat Rosberg on merit yes. Besides Hamilton would have gotten pole if he had been able to compete in Q3 and then he would have won the race too. So at best that bit of luck was compensation for the bad luck he had in Q3.

          Does that help clear up your confusion?

          1. +1. Well said, Nico did exactly the same thing in Canada 2014 and didn’t get penalized.

    2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      14th December 2016, 18:23

      Verstappen overtaking Rosberg through Becketts at a wet Silverstone showed the gulf in talent between the two drivers.

  10. 5th for Rosberg is laughable

    1. Yeah, way too high up …

      1. Yeah, because he just lucked into his WDC… Seriously people sometimes …

        1. Yes he did. It’s bizarre how you make yourself overlook the massive deficit in points that Hamilton accumulated by technical issues compared to Rosberg.

          Just the engine blowup alone would have swayed the WDC by 28 points the other way. Not having to take 3 engine’s and starting from the back in Spa, but instead winning that race would have given Hamilton the WDC. Hamilton not having issues in at least 4 qualifications which cost him pole in all of those. All those starts where the clutch wasn’t set up properly. Although Rosberg had 2 or 3 of those poor starts too, but still less issues on that front too.

  11. I agree with this, I noticed a couple of times during the season that Rosberg would make mistakes on his Q3 qualifying run, like run wide or lock a tyre and yet would still be ahead of the over performing and flawless laps by red bulls because of the Mercedes car advantage. Alonso for #1

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      14th December 2016, 13:48

      What I find strange though is that even though Hamilton beat Rosberg more often than not in qualifying, Rosberg has managed to start on the front row every single race. Even though Hamilton couldn’t a couple of times, there were also 2 other occasions where he made mistakes in qualifying costing himself a front row start. It has actually been Hamilton who has made more costly mistakes in Qualifying than Rosberg. In Europe, he made a mistake and did a slow lap in Q2 that only just got him into Q3 as he was 10th. Then in Q3, he crashed. Even in Singapore, Rosberg did a much better job in qualifying and was 7 tenths faster than Hamilton in Q3. Ricciardo beat Hamilton in qualifying there. But the Red Bulls have never managed to beat Rosberg, but they have done better than Hamilton twice.

      I also will add that the Red bull drivers, especially Verstappen, have had a few qualifying times that they have not managed to do a perfect lap. I’d say Rosberg has been one of the most consistent qualifiers of the season for his positions.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        14th December 2016, 14:10

        @thegianthogweed you seriously don’t believe that Nico is faster than Lewis by 7/10ths, do you? Lewis’s car was probably as good as a McLaren that day.

        1. He said he was faster on that day by 7/10ths, not over the whole season. And Lewis’ car wasn’t as good as a McLaren, his car was as good as Nico’s, they had the same car ffs, he was just awful that weekend. If he messed up his setup which is why he was slower then that’s his own fault, but the cars were the same.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            14th December 2016, 16:23

            @hugh11 you could be right except for the tiny fact that Toto himself disagrees with you… They didn’t give specifics but Lewis’ car had issues.

          2. @freelittlebirds I know it had a slight problem but not one that would cause 7/10ths, one that would cost 2 probably

          3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            14th December 2016, 20:05

            @hugh11 I can’t tell how much it cost him, neither can Lewis nor Mercedes. We don’t know the car’s performance that day since he couldn’t put a proper lap in.

            The fact that the Red Bull split the Mercedes especially Lewis’s Mercedes indicates a pretty severe issue.

          4. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            14th December 2016, 22:59

            That 7 tenths wasn’t just because he had a “severe” issue as you say. The issue will have had a pretty small effect on his time. He made 2 mistakes that will have cost him most of it. He ran really wide at turn 1, then on the same lap, he went wide yet again further round.

            Quoted from the official F1 site “Hamilton’s lap was compromised from the start when he ran too deep into Turn 2 and fell to third”

            A problem with his engine won’t have caused this. It was on that same lap that he made yet another mistake. No driver could possibly have had a fast lap with the 2 mistakes he made. It was his mistakes that cost him most and his mistakes won’t be related to the engine.

            Quoted from another site: “Hamilton will start just third after a mistake in qualifying”.

            All his mistakes will not have been caused by car problems. A mistake is when a driver does something wrong! Hamilton didn’t do the best he could have done and he even said afterwards that he wasn’t on his best form that qualifying session. I recorded the Channel 4 coverage so that is where I’ve heard him say that when he got interviewed. There is no point trying to defend him when he admits he hasn’t done as well as he usually does!
            While Hamilton has overall clearly been better in qualifying overall, he has had 2 poor qualifying sessions where he cost himself a front row start. Considering how dominant the Mercedes is, it sort of shows that Hamilton really wasn’t performing as well on those 2 occasions. Rosberg hasn’t had any of these moments in qualifying and has managed to be 1st or 2nd every time he’s taken part.

            It is clear that Hamilton is much better overall as he’s beaten Rosberg more often even though he couldn’t take part several times. That is obviously better. My main point was to say that Hamilton has had more poor performances in qualifying than Rosberg.

          5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            15th December 2016, 2:20

            @thegianthogweed how do you know what his issue was and how it affected the lap? how do you know it was one issue? Toto’s statement was that the team let Lewis down which is practically 2016 summed up in a nutshell…

          6. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            15th December 2016, 8:16

            Do you really need me to say again? Hamilton said himself that he hadn’t been performing at his usual level that qualifying session! He also said that Rosberg was clearly a lot better in that session.

            Just accept that that was one qualifying session where Rosberg was much quicker than Hamilton. If you want to no another reason why, plenty of other sites say that Hamilton failed to warm him tyres up to the right temperature which was probably the reason why he went really wide at 2 corners.

            Just why are you trying to defend Hamilton when he said it wasn’t the best lap he could have done?!

            I may as well give up as you will never agree.

          7. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            15th December 2016, 13:30

            @thegianthogweed Hamilton took the blows for the team many times this year and if the car has an issue you can’t quantify if it’s a 0.1 second issue, a 0.5 second, or a 1 second issue. Like you said, it may have prevented him from warming up the tyres causing him to blow the lap.

      2. What are you on about? Hamilton didn’t participate in qualifying in China, Russia and Spa due to technical issues. Also in Monaco his car had to be repaired in Q3 and in the end he only had time for one last attempt at a banker lap.

        Rosberg only had a quickly fixed glitch in Germany Q3.

        Despite Hamilton not being able to properly compete for four times in Q3 he still beat Rosberg in qualifying massively.

        When you disregard those 4 races where Hamilton could not compete in Q3, Rosberg only ended up ahead of Hamilton four times over the whole season.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          14th December 2016, 15:01

          Sorry, I obviously forgot about the other occasions where Hamilton couldn’t take part in qualifying but my main point was that every time they have taken part, Rosberg has managed to be on the front row every time, while Hamilton hasn’t. Europe for Hamilton was more messy than any of qualifying sessions that Rosberg had and then Singapore wasn’t great for Hamilton either even if his car wasn’t quite as fast as Rosberg’s. He still went wide at several corners and had a messy lap.

          But then yes, even with all these issues, Hamilton has still managed to beat Rosberg more often that not which obviously is a good point.

          1. Indeed even Singapore turned out to be a car issue. So what really is your point then?

            Rosberg had plenty of poor Q3 laps, but because his car was so much faster it cost him nothing.

            When both had a working car Hamilton outqualified Rosberg 3 to 1.

            I really don’t see how one “messy” lap trying to get a stricken car to perform negates that utter thrashing.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          14th December 2016, 16:24

          @patrickl it’s insanity that anyone would consider that Nico did better in qualifying this year than Lewis. He should have had 16-17 poles and 16 wins if the car was anywhere as good as Nico’s…

  12. Rosberg won the title because Hamilton was impeded with unreliability and for no other reason.

    Lewis Hobbleton (see what I did there?)

    1. No other reason? So just magically ignore his start blunders and Baku that cost him more points than by which he lost the WDC?

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        14th December 2016, 14:19

        @Robbie start blunders? lol

        Do you mean Lewis wasn’t wearing the magic gloves that resolved the clutch issue?

        1. A ‘clutch issue’ that Nico managed better?

          1. There is no managing the issue. When the clutch is wrong you lose position. So it was a ‘clutch issue’ that occurred less often for Rosberg.

            Rosberg had the issue only in Germany and Hungary and he also “lost” both those races.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            14th December 2016, 16:29

            @Robbie @patrickl

            You are both wrong – the clutch was resolved by new gloves.

            In fact, Toro Rosso was so impressed that they will be introducing new pants that will up the Ferrari’s horsepower by 200hp next year. They call them the “Pantaloni Di Due Cento Cavalli!” and they come in 3 colors.

            Alonso is asking if can wear 2 of them!

        2. To add to what @robbie said: Which he managed better as he actually bothered to understand the car and learn how to fix its problems, like in Baku where they had the same problem but Nico was able to fix it right away. Only one he couldn’t fix was in Silverstone when the team couldn’t even fix it and just told him to shift through 7th gear (I think). That was another big part of it.

          1. Rosberg did not have the same issue in Baku. Rosberg messed up his own settings during the race and was able to reverse what he did. Hamilton was sent out in a car with incorrect settings and of course did not know what someone else had done wrong.

            It’s not a clutch issue either.

            A poorly set up clutch has nothing to do with bothering to understand the car either. If anything, Hamilton worked a whole weekend on helping the engineers get the hang of the start system. It worked perfectly for that race, but they still got it wrong in several races later.

          2. @hugh11

            That is not what happened in Baku at all. Go back and do a bit of research!

          3. @paulguitar They had a similar problem, both had incorrect settings on their car. Nico was able to realise that, and fixed it, Lewis realised it but couldn’t fix it. That is what happened.

          4. @hugh11 actually @patrickl explained it above. They were not in the same situation, Nico rather lucked out there as a result of his own mistake.

          5. @hugh11 See this link:

            The first bit is what the haters (including Lauda) want you to hear. The “update” is what the actual facts are.

            You know the hater bit and this is the update:

            “Nico had made a change during the race that caused the issue. So when told it was an issue with the mode, as permitted by the FIA, he switched back out of it.

            “Lewis had the setting from the start of the race and it was not obvious that this setting was causing the problem.”

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      14th December 2016, 15:16

      Rosberg won the title because Hamilton was impeded with unreliability and for no other reason.

      Actually Rosberg won because he collected the most points throughout the season. From winning the first 4 races to finishing high enough during the latter four.

      1. Yes and he only managed to do so because Hamilton had much more car troubles than Rosberg. So what’s your point?

        1. @patrickl Your comments lack objectivity and hold too much bad faith to my taste. You imply that had reliability been different Lewis would have won it but this is only what ifs and we’ll never know. This is a nonsense, be fair play. How many championships have been decided with reliability in the game? That’s how it goes and Nico IS deserving.

          1. @spoutnik considering even Toto acknowledged that only the Sepang blowup prevented Lewis winning I think it’s your post that lacks objectivity. 28 points is a very simple calculation.

            It’s entirely a different thing when it’s another TEAM that has different reliability. It’s a choice the driver makes in that case, along with a different car etc etc.

          2. Making assumptions on what never happened is easy on hindsight, @lockup. It’s as if Rosberg just lucked in and was a spectator to his own WDC. He’s better than that.

          3. @spoutnik, Paddy Lowe explained the difference. It might have been the same problem, but the FACT is that Hamilton was sent out with a faulty car and Rosberg created the problem himself.

            There are no assumptions there.

            He DID luck into it. This is also a fact. When you look at the races where they both had fully working cars, Rosberg was on pole only for a quarter and won only a third of the races.

  13. Agree with most of the review, except for bowing out in style. It was a surprise flourish, definitely, but it was immediately tainted by the idea that he was running away from defending the title. And it’s pretty difficult to argue that he wasn’t.

    1. No it’s not. Nico says that he want’s to be with his wife. He’s married for a year now, has a 6 month old baby and I believe another one is on it’s way. F1 is both a physical and metal taxing sport that keeps you away from home and an accident with severe injuries or worse is never away. Put those two (young family vs. F1) on a scale and factor in that you have just acomplished the highest achievement possible in F1 and one can quite simply understand his perspective and subsequent descission.

      Now, one can ignore the reason’s Rosberg himself gave that motivated his descission and choose a different motivation, but if you choose to do that you also have to proof it that (spoiler alert: you can’t). What you cannot do is say it was something different and then simply declaring it truth because Rosberg can’t deny it wasn’t…… That’s just rediculous if you ask me.

      1. @jeffreyj Well said. I was pondering whether to bother to respond and now you have done it justice.

      2. There’s one flaw in that argument. Rosberg said himself, that he would of continued if Hamilton had won the WDC. Therefore, if he wanted to spend more time with his family then he should of said he would be retiring no matter what. Oh well, it’s done now.

        1. @ijw1 Wanting to spend more time with his family does not mean he didn’t have their support to do one more year. And had he not won the WDC, we don’t know how hard a decision it would have been for him whether to do that one more year or leave it at that. Sounds like he would have raced but it sounds like he would have felt guilt on the family side of the coin too.

        2. Yup exactly @ijw1. If it was nobly all for his family it wouldn’t have depended on winning the championship. He simply knew he’d never get that lucky again.

        3. It’s because he achieved what he wanted to do, and then wanted to be with his family. If he hadn’t of won the WDC, he wouldn’t have achieved his goal, so would’ve kept on trying. He’s not “running away” from defending his title, he’s achieved his dream and is now going to be with his family, knowing he has what he’s always wanted.

          1. Exactly, that’s what I ment with ‘putting F1 vs. Family on a scale and factor in’ that you have just acomplished the highest achievement possible in F1′

            Without accomplishing his goal, the scale would have tipped the otherway. But he did, so it doesn’t.

        4. Exactly.

      3. If he was a true sportsman he wouldn’t give up after one win. It’s just absurd to actually buy into Rosberg’s odd propaganda attempts.

        1. More absurd than trying to dictate what a bloke does with his life?

          1. How absurd is it to try to dictate what people think about what he does? He does things -> people form opinions about it.

          2. Lol nice try but I am merely questioning (as per my question mark) not dictating, how someone can take what the man has said and totally disregard it, in favour of insults and commentary about what he should or shouldn’t have done with his life, like it’s his business.

          3. Has nothing to do with trying to dictate what he does. Merely pointing out that it’s a nonsense excuse. Like every cringe worthy PR campaigns he attempted over the last few seasons.

    2. Did Nigel Mansell run away from defending his title?

      1. Yes. He knew he couldn’t beat Prost and left.

        Makes perfect sense, but at least he didn’t present us with some sob story how running away was for the better.

  14. You put the guy that won the championship and 9 races, got 8 further podiums and even got past Max Verstappen without crashing in…fifth? Is this a joke?!

    He’s not my favourite driver by any means but Rosberg won the championship the only way he realistically ever could – through hard graft and consistency.

    I used to think Andrew Benson of the BBC was bent but this takes the biscuit. So much for “The independent F1 blog”.

    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      14th December 2016, 13:57


    2. Rosberg won the championship the only way he realistically ever could – through hard graft and consistency

      Add to that a bit of luck (HAM’s reliability) and the fact that he drove a Merc (which virtually garuantees finishing 2nd in the standings anyway). I’m not taking anything away from him but the fact that he won the DWC in a Merc doesn’t make him the best driver by default.

      1. Driving “smarter” than someone else whose advantage is more talent is probably the respectable thing a driver can do.

        1. So much for “The independent F1 blog”.

          come on.. if some one has a different opionion and the arguments to support it, you can at least use other words.
          Very childish behavior..

    3. Rosberg was not evan half a match for Hamilton and he was even often under threat and fighting with the Red Bulls for the second half of the season.

      The only reason he became WDC was that Hamilton didn’t get to perform in Q3 for 4 times and even had to start from the back for several, that Hamilton had more clutch issues than Rosberg and that Hamilton even lost a full race win due to an engine blowout. That’s like a 40 or even 50 race points deficit caused by technical issues for Hamilton.

      1. well HAM and ROS use exactly the same clutch.. so…
        ROS, hardly any problems
        HAM lots of problems with losing points as a result.

        1. HAM and ROS use the same engine, but in Hamilton’s case 3 broke and for Rosberg not one.

          And indeed Rosberg “lost” only 2 races because of clutch issues (Germany and Hungary) and Hamilton 3 or 4.

          So yes technical issues don’t always average out over the cars.

          1. It appears that Rosberg knows how to take care of his equipment better than Hamilton.
            I love it though, not a thing that can be said will change anything. Rosberg is the Champion.

          2. @dbHenry Your last paragraph made my day! All excuses are now indeed pointless.

    4. you may be misconstruing the meaning of independent… it doesn’t mean without an opinion

    5. @ joshgeake So you’re questioning Keith’s professional integrity because he’s formulated his own opinion that you happen to disagree with?

      Get over yourself.

    6. @joshgeake ‘Independant’ means it is Keith’s blog and he can do what he likes with it. No affiliations, no paymasters, just his own opinion.

      Have a different opinion? Join in, on Keith’s independent F1 blog…

  15. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    14th December 2016, 13:58

    Rosberg only 5th. Wow.

  16. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    14th December 2016, 14:00

    I think the ranking is too low (shocked?). Granted he lost the season by every other stat except for points without even taking into account the issues that Lewis had.

    Rosberg, however, is a very quick driver and he was able to pull off some wheel-to-wheel racing that in the end helped him secure the championship against all odds. It wasn’t elegant and at times it looked crazy but it somehow allowed him to get more points.

    I’m convinced his car is made of a titanium alloy as it’s practically indestructible and he somehow seems to be aware of it:-)

    If he was planning to retire after getting the championship as he said he would, he should have made sure to win at least 1 pole in the last 4 races and won at least 1 or 2 races to make a statement. That would have propelled him to #2 or #1 in the rankings.

    The last race he simply looked very weak and afraid of racing with Lewis and that showed that he wasn’t a racer at heart. Any racer would have accepted the challenge at Abu Dhabi.

    1. I think he did enough leading up to Abu Dhabi to show that he is a racer at heart…indeed throughout the season and his career. Oh I do know what you mean, but I just don’t think taking unnecessary risks in the last race would have been prudent, and as WDC I doubt he is concerned about any other ranking system. He has the #1 trophy.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        14th December 2016, 14:37

        @Robbie Not true because Nico seemed too afraid of losing his lead. As a racer, you have to be confident that you can beat your opponent.

        Lewis showed that he would have come back from a deficit of 100 points twice this season given enough races to make it happen and would do so while dealing with record setting engine unreliability from Mercedes that culminated in the car catching fire as he was leading a race and had the championship in his pocket.

        1. @freelittlebirds I’d word it differently. Afraid is your word, not one in Nico’s vocabulary. Nico was indeed confident he could beat LH to the WDC, by not throwing it away, especially under those ‘horrible’ (his word) circumstances of the last race.

        2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          14th December 2016, 17:17

          All year Nico appeared confident that he could beat his opponent. And he did.

          ‘Racers’ know there is only one stat that matters. It is engraved on the WDC trophy.

    2. Yeah, I think by negating the last 4 races, Nico could’ve made the top spot on the rankings.
      Actually it was Lewis’ DNF that prevent Rosberg to made it beyond 5th in the rankings, because without it he obviously won’t play safe.

  17. Personally I think that 5th is a bit low… Ok so he did have the best car on the grid and he didn’t win as many races as his teammate… But! He didn’t crack under pressure and delivered when he needed to… Races like Japan and Abu Dhabi I think prove my point. In Japan, Hamilton was fired up after his retirement in Malaysia yet Rosberg beat him fair and square both in qualifying and in the race thus putting himself in prime position to take the title by just finishing on the podium in the final 4 races… And despite Hamilton’s best attempts to put Rosberg’s title hopes in jeopardy in Abu Dhabi, Nico kept cool and brought his car home in 2nd which was all that he needed to become World Champion… In a way it was very Prost-esque if you ask me and for that reason, I think that Nico should have at least been in the top 3 if not #1…

    1. Panos my friend is that you? :) Btw i agree with your post.

  18. I too agree the ranking seems a bit low for Nico, but at the same time it is hard to argue with @keithcollantine ‘s assessment. I think he is critical of Nico in the right places as he is complimentary in the right ways too. I’m sure his assessment of the other remaining drivers will also be well backed with solid reasoning.

    1. Collantine is highly biased towards Hammy. I’ve been seeing it for some time now. Get some burnol

      1. Well said @robbie; Ani, Keith maybe slightly biased to think not too highly of Rosberg, but he certainly has been very critical of Hamilton too, when that was called for. As Robbie says, the reasoning holds up here, even if you value the plusses and minuses differently, and I am sure the same will be true with Hamilton’s ranking. I expect that Keith will rank Ricciardo higher than I personally believe justified, and I can see that Alonso too seems to be ranked higher than I expected, but we’ll be able to read the justification in the coming days.

        1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
          14th December 2016, 16:34

          @bosyber Alonso drives well, but his self-impulsed PR talk has given many the idea that he is the only worthy driver in the world. I would say that what happened in Australia can be lack of concentration. I mean, Gutierrez was not even changing lines or braking. Alonso’s mistake that day was luckily only a scary near-miss for both drivers.

  19. Nico’s season was all about taking full advantage of the possibilities offered to him. If they came to him due to Lewis’s mistakes, unreliability, or through Nico’s own speed is another debate, but I feel like he won the only way he could against an arguably faster opponent.

  20. Keith, you wrote that perfectly! an frankly its the best explanation I have seen for the Rosberg of 2016 and how he beat Hamilton, I disagree with the 5th place as the pressure on any driver fighting for the championship is so much higher then the others so I would give them extra points for that effect, but its not my website lol :-)

    1. I disagree with the 5th place as the pressure on any driver fighting for the championship is so much higher then the others

      Good point, that’s why I’d put him 4th not 5th.

  21. In my opinion he is slightly underrated. But I can understand the ranking: he had some luck, made some questionable manoeuvres and at the end of the season played it boringly safe.

    But, although he is not as talented as Hamilton, his work ethos is unquestionable. I have read several articles about the amount of training he does in the gym and simulator, and how he cooperates intensively with his engineers and mechanics. He is not as naturally gifted, but he does make it up by the amount of input. I think in that area Rosberg is highly underrated. I would not place him much higher, but I personally would put him above Alonso. True, it is difficult to show anything in that McLaren, and Alonso certainly tried given the situation, but I have not seen an inspired drive from him. I also feel the name subconsciously plays a big part. If it was Werhlein doing the exact same thing in the exact same car, he would have ended lower.

    But that is a subjective view, and Rosberg certainly is not top 3 in my view either.

    1. He has a youtube channel nicorosbergtv he shows all the work outs he does

  22. Spot on Keith

  23. Alonso higher than Rosberg? Wow

    1. As an Alonso fan, I’m a little shocked too. I would have thought the final 5 would have been –

      5) Alonso
      4) Rosberg
      3) Hamilton
      2) Verstappen
      1) Ricciardo

  24. “yet the debate over the manner in which he won it isn’t going away”

    Just like the debate whether the team was sabotaging their own car isn’t going away either.

    1. Hamilton fans pointlessly arguing something that isn’t true to try and explain why their hero lost… It’s sad, really.

      1. So you know 100% that it’s not true then ? You remind me of those that said it was ‘sad’ when people said Piquet crashed on purpose in 2008 and that it’s obviously not true…..only to find out afterwards that it actually was.
        I don’t know for sure if Merc did or didn’t sabotage Lewis’s car, all I know is that Lewis had the least reliable Merc engine of ALL the Merc powered cars which grossly effected his championship points.

        1. @Rick You prove my point. Just because someone is making a lot of noise about something, doesn’t mean that thing has any relevance or truth at all. This article – and I suspect the rating itself – is based on that premise, but as is well established now with the wildest claims and conspiracy theories since years, when it comes to why Hamilton loses, that noise isn’t to be taken for a representative and serious debate and factored in.

  25. Rosberg wasn’t that consistent was he? There was Monaco, 2 mistakes in Canada, 2 in Germany, 2 in Spain, Becketts, 2 in Austria, and Sepang.

    A screwup just over every other race, basically. More than Lewis. 5th is pretty generous I’d say.

    1. Who didn’t screw up in Silverstone?

    2. Monaco yes, 1 at Canada (Hamilton pushing him off the track doesn’t count), Spain was both their fault if not Hamiltons, Becketts yes, 2 in Austria yes (crash in practise and forgetting how turning works), and Sepang no, he just got torpedo’d by Vettel.

      1. Bad racecraft/positioning in Canada certainly does count @hugh11. Spain was 1. wrong mode and 2. swerving blind across the track right to the edge knowing his teammate was heading there with a lot more speed because he himself was derating. Sepang was the collision / penalty with Kimi (being generous not blaming him for staying tight round T1).

  26. Not a fan of Rosberg at all but you would think the man that won the Championship would be a bit higher than 5. Surely he did somethings right. I would have rated him 3 maybe 2.

    1. Well if you work down the order of merit, at what point do you reach a driver who would not have won in that car, on a handicap of 4 or 5 races? By 5 points. You’re below JB for a start, I suggest, which would be 15th.

      1. Do you mean a driver that won, as in won a race? Or won as in won a Championship by beating Hamilton? I don’t think you would find too many using your formula on merit to fit the latter.
        Rosberg beat Hamilton, so you are saying that working down the order on merit, 15 other drivers would have beat Hamilton to the Championship?

        1. Yes why not. Don’t forget Rosberg had a 43 point advantage and lost it again, and only won finally with the 28-point swing from Sepang. Tho to be fair JB would have driven a bit harder I daresay.

          1. Fair enough, I just wanted to be sure I understood. There’s a big difference in winning a race and winning a Championship.

  27. This ranking is just pandering to the most numerous and vociferous fans and has very little to do with the 2016 FIA F1 World Championship season.

    1. For this year especially.
      Ham’s fans: Rosberg is overrated! Alonso is overrated! Vettel is overrate! Ricciardo is overrated! No body worth the championship but Lewis! Its all the car’s problem!

      Could you guys please just shut up…

      1. Guybrush Threepwood
        15th December 2016, 2:31

        You know, you have just articulated in such a short and succinct way what every non-Hamilton fan is seeing and thinking. Although you can probably add a fair proportion of Verstappen fans to that as well! Well done.

      2. The funniest thing of all is that Rosberg went up against the driver most people rate as the best in the world at the moment and BEAT him. If that means that he’s only the fifth-rated driver, the logical consequence is that the man he beat cannot be anything other than a very much over-rated and over-hyped driver. Bottom line is that Hamilton was beaten and should therefore be ranked below Rosberg and as Hamilton and Alonso are the two best as in most complete and experienced drivers while Ricciardo and Verstappen surely will be WC and ranked on a par *in the future*, Rosberg should have been ranked #1. By ranking Rosberg fifth, Keith has put the “official seal of approval” on the fact that Hamilton IS a very much over-rated and over-hyped driver. He has also lost a huge chunk of credibility.

    2. Placing Verstappen, Ricciardo and Hamilton in the top three in any order is perfectly reasonable. They’ve earned that with top level performances, not just being a consistent second to a team mate except when lucking in. I watch Formula 1 to see racing for first place, not second. As do a hell of a lot of fans worldwide. And these were the drivers who delivered that edge. Alonso and Rosberg 4th or 5th sounds about right on that basis.

      1. How exactly Is Hamilton being too talented or too cool to put in Work to figure out the starting Procedure “lucking in”?

        1. I’d proceed on the basis of discounting ‘bad luck’ first (i.e. mechanical parts failing) and then evaluating their relative performances. True Rosberg had fewer bad starts than Hamilton, and that’s a plus in his favour, but they don’t add up to a better seasonal performance by any stretch of the imagination.

          1. Yes they do. Engines can always fail. Cars can always get hit in t1 by the Vettel. And noone can do anything about it. But sussing the Start Is entirely possible. If Ham had done it he could have won the wdc. He didn’t and he didn’t. End of Story.

  28. Yeah, let’s be controversial and faux-insightful by rating the guy who won 9 races and the world driving championship fifth.

    1. Won 9 races and still won fewer than his team mate. And to repeat the point only won the championship because of the mechanical issues on the other driver’s car. It’s a cold, brutal assessment if you’re a Rosberg fan, maybe, but it happens to be the reality.

      1. The reality, dear David, is that Hamilton was beaten, by Nico Rosberg, no matter what slant or imaginative excuses you dream up.

        1. But we’re not evaluating who won the championship are we Henrik? That would be somewhat pointless.

  29. bowed out in style

    Lol! That is laughable, Keith. He simply bowed out. No “style”, and eulogies needed. I don’t know why journalists are trying to make more of Rosberg’s retirement than it really is (though i understand it makes for good reading).

    This is just someone who defined his whole career through beating a childhood rival; and once that was accomplished, he felt there was nothing more to do. He simply did not have the stomach for another fight as close as this (he said as much himself). “Style”, it definitely aint!

    Liking the writing style, though. Well written!

  30. Rosberg won the championship by beating arguably the best racing driver in the world (currently), and he gets ranked a lowly #5? Surely, a guy who won the championship deserves to be ranked at least at #2; if not outright at #1!

    I understand Nico’s title win was aided (in no small part) by Lewis suffering the bulk of Mercedes’ reliability problems. But another overlooked reason why Rosberg won, was because there were also a lot of times during the season where he simply outdrove Hamilton — including races where he jumped the Englishman off the line! (I don’t get it really, whenever Hamilton fluffed his starts this year, his legion of fan(atics) were quick to blame Mercedes’ clutch set-up; but if Rosberg was the one who suffered the same fate, they charged it to his “incompetence”.)

    There’s no doubt Hamilton is the more talented racing driver, but I suppose like in the fight game: the winner of the fight is not necessarily the more talented fighter, but rather the fighter who was simply better that night (when it mattered). And in 2016 (during the races that mattered, at least), Rosberg managed to be better than Hamilton.

    (In 1988, Prost overall score was 105pts vs Senna’s 94pts. But the rules back then stipulated that only a driver’s best 11/16 results would be counted to determine his standing in the championship. In the end, Senna scored 90pts with 8 wins, versus Prosts 87pts and 7 wins. Prost’s consistency should have won him the championship, but Senna simply drove better when it mattered. Very few people now would argue against that fact.)

    Unfortunately, just when Rosberg finally figured out how to win an F1 championship (and just as important, how to beat Hamilton along the way), he’s concluded that it took too much of an effort and that he’s unwilling to put in the same amount of work in 2017 and beyond. Effectively admitting to himself that he doesn’t have it in him to be as great as his Lewis, and is content with achieving the “minimum” of his ambition — no doubt, made much sweeter by the fact that he finally bested his childhood rival while accomplishing it!

    Going back, Nico Rosberg is STILL the 2016 Formula 1 World Driver’s Champion. At least, in the context of the 2016 season, there’s him (at the top) and then there’s everybody else just below.

    World Champion = #1

    1. “(I don’t get it really, whenever Hamilton fluffed his starts this year, his legion of fan(atics) were quick to blame Mercedes’ clutch set-up; but if Rosberg was the one who suffered the same fate, they charged it to his “incompetence”.)”

      @rafael-o Please kindly refrain from applying logic to the situation, you’ll upset them.

      1. This is a Drivers ranking, based upon what Keith considers relevant, otherwise you may as well use the WDC standings to determine the Drivers ranking (which would be OK if all the cars were the same but they are not).

        1. My comment has nothing to do with anything you just posted, so… What?

          1. The reply is connected to the wrong message. Sorry about that.

    2. World Champion = #1

      Yes. Rosberg World Champion. Verstappen FIA personality of the year and overtaking action of the year.
      Those are the facts that will be remembered for years to come, and all those expert opinions and driver ratings on all these websites will all be forgotten before the end of 2016.

    3. Esploratore
      1st July 2017, 4:21

      Late reply ofc but I haven’t read all comments back then, now I did: @Rafael (but you’re not the only one I saw ofc) say “There’s no doubt Hamilton is the more talented racing driver, but I suppose like in the fight game: the winner of the fight is not necessarily the more talented fighter, but rather the fighter who was simply better that night (when it mattered). And in 2016 (during the races that mattered, at least), Rosberg managed to be better than Hamilton.”, but I’m really wondering how rosberg was better when it mattered in 2.016!

      Let’s make an example: rosberg didn’t have any mechanical problems that made him retire in any race, hamilton had one in malaysia while leading, let’s not remove that one, let’s say that he still has one while leading, and rosberg has one while being 4th in that same race.

      Now obviously this result would still favour rosberg luck-wise, cause hamilton just lost 25 points and rosberg would’ve lost 15 cause in reality he got 3rd in that race after hamilton retired.

      But what would happen in the championship? Hamilton, instead of being 5 points behind would be 10 points in front, you see what happened here? Simply hypothetically rosberg had the same engine issue in malaysia as hamilton and there it goes, hamilton becomes champion, so exactly how was rosberg better when it mattered?

      Maybe you meant to say rosberg’s engine was better?

      That rosberg would’ve probably done more to try and beat hamilton in the last races if this were the case is obvious, but doesn’t change the fact that for what we saw rosberg had NOTHING on hamilton and overall made more mistakes than him, just better reliability which was more than enough to demote him to 2nd in a f1 where cars don’t fail or they fail with the same rate as your team mate’s car.

  31. I think a lot of people are forgetting this is driver ranking not where they finished in the championship..I don’t think any driver that put in the poor performances Rosberg put in, at the time where driver skill not the car shines the brightest. During every wet race this year he was absolutely nowhere compared to his teammate so definitely not top 3 in my honest opinion.
    And there can be no “he was playing it safe” excuse all the way back in Monaco, or that he was being careful because he was thinking about retiring since he has said that he would have kept going if he had lost the championship..The whole point of driver ratings is how well someone drove this season no matter what the situation.
    If you take away Hamilton’s engine failure and techinical problems and compare both drivers on equal terms on an equal number of races that they both finished, Hamilton outdrove Rosberg there’s just no way you can ignore every single stat. Both Max and Ricciardo put in an amazing performance this year, especially considering how much more dominant the cars they were racing against were and definitely deserve to be in the top 3/4.

  32. I think that a lot of people here forget that realistically there were only 2 drivers fighting for the championship. Nico won the championship. That doesn’t mean there weren’t other drivers doing a better job than him.

  33. Its impossible to separate the season from the overall perception it would seem.

    Yes hes poor in the rain, so are most to be honest. Yes he lacks a little racecraft, so do most to be honest. BUT, and i like big but’s, he beat IMHO the best driver of his generation a year after being trounced by him. No, Nico is way higher than 5th. Way higher.

  34. So…
    #1 RIC
    #2 HAM
    #3 VES
    #4 ALO

    1. I suspect VES may get the #1 spot, what with his in-season promotion and all.

  35. Amazing! The author of this ranking has lost all credibility as a motor sports journalist.

    1. @jorge-lardone For making valid points in his article?

    2. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
      14th December 2016, 17:37

      @jorge-lardone bye then!

      1. I stay here because the information (not opinion of the owner) is good, and because the opinion of the readers also is good (not the owner)

    3. lmao!

      Yeah… No.

  36. Don’t know if Keith will let this be posted but it is a interesting comparison between other factors that played a part in the HAM and ROS duel.


    1. Had a look and wow!
      Any one who thinks that Rosberg would still of been WDC if Hamilton hadn’t had to start from the back several times, and didn’t have the Sepang DNF is a bit suspect.

      1. Read the article thoroughly if 1) you are capable and 2) not biased..

    2. I wouldn’t give credence to anything that’s not bylined. The issue of reliability was tackled at length here already:

      Did Hamilton’s unreliability stop him winning the title?

  37. This.. is.. a terrible article, full of assumptions. Weak. Very weak. By the way, I think you’ll find outside the UK few people will remember the Hamilton reliability issues. Like that’s never happened before. I’m sure it’s up there along with the Maradona robbery of Englands World Cup right? Does anyone remember that English team outside of England? Yawn.

    1. +1
      Maradona. One word that explains Brit bias.

  38. Rosberg managed to lose on qualifying even with Hamilton not taking part of Q3 4 times, one by his own fault.

    He managed to lose a 43 points lead within half dozen of races and only won the championship due to a perfect reliability of his machine.

    He did enough with what he had, and that includes his abilities, to win the WDC, but one must be crazy to say he was better overall. He hardly was better on the standings with all the troubles his team mate had.

    He was the best driver this year!

  40. Well… Clearly he was better than Hamilton and has a Championship to prove it.

    1. Sarcasm @jureo? Risky play on the internet.

      1. Not really… Despite Hamilton being a better qualifier, faster racer, overtaker, more popular…

        Nico won the championship by outworking and simply being s consistent. And winning in my book is better than being better and not winning.

        1. so if I winning is better than not winning then Hamilton is better because he won more races ? @jureo

        2. @jureo Rosberg was NOT more consistent. Nor is there any evidence he ‘outworked’ Hamilton. He had Monaco, 2 mistakes in Canada, 2 in Germany, 2 in Spain, Becketts, 2 in Austria, and Sepang. A screwup just over every other race, basically. More than Lewis.

          In Baku Nico changed to the faulty mode on the lap on which the fault kicked in, so he hit the derating immediately and naturally changed back again. Lewis had changed 3 laps earlier. Keith says this in his analysis as he links above. Nothing to do with work, just luck.

  41. This is a Drivers ranking, based upon what Keith considers relevant, otherwise you may as well use the WDC standings to determine the Drivers ranking (which would be OK if all the cars were the same but they are not).

  42. I hope you will not get angry with me for saying this but Rosberg is for me the best driver this season. Yes he made some mistakes, he wasn’t perfect every race but he was not a bully like Hamilton either. He had some very good races, some good ones and some bad ones but I was quite impressed with him all the season, mostly because I wasn’t expected this (this, as in really taking the fight to Hamilton). I can’t really compare him to Hamilton, I think that Hamiltol is mostly a bully, at times a coward also but this season Rosberg was just himself. He’s a nice guy and nice guys have no place in Formula 1, but he was the best this season! For me that’s all that matters and all I can say is that I am quite happy that he won the title.

    Being a Ferrari fan thou, I was quite dissapointed with the team but that’s a different story for another time.

    1. @neogalaxy Rosberg was a cheat. But explain how someone in the same car, subject to the same rules, is a ‘bully’? Try to fit your explanation in with Canada 2014 T1, Oz T1, Spain T3-4 and Austria T4 2016. And Hock T6 come to that, or Sepang T2.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      14th December 2016, 21:43

      @neogalaxy I’m not sure why you think that Lewis is a bully. He won’t be intimidated and won’t allow himself to be bullied but fighting for position on the track does not make him a bully. If anything the opposite can be said of Nico who has expressed bullying behavior on track by shoving Lewis (every chance he has) and damaging Lewis’ car.

      I think Spain was most obvious where Lewis gave the full width to Nico to pass him and a few turns later Nico’s car was in a slow setting and he had no chance of defending so he swerved 9 car widths to push Lewis into the wall…

      1. I don’t really think that you know what being a bully means. @lockup wrote there some incidents but he forgot to mention the other side of the story, which means the incidents where Hamilton was the one to blame. And there’s a lot of them. That’s not the problem thou, both drivers had their share of incidents but the 1st to blame is Hamilton since he talks about not letting others intimidate him, but when others do that, and he makes a mistake, he doesn’t have the courage to accept it. That’s what bullies do, if you can’t figure that not sure how I can explain it more, maybe ask your parents about what a bully is?
        Hamilton tried to shove Nico out of the track every chance he had, but this season Nico did the same and for a strange reason it’s something wrong. That’s the problem, when Hamilton does something wrong, it’s ok, but when Rosberg does something wrong… OMG… The heavens shall tremble. The question to be asked is rather simple: Has Hamilton ever pushed Rosberg out of the track? Yes, should do Rosberg the same? Hamilton’s fans will say no, “subjects to the same rules”, the fair answer would be, “the same rules apply to everyone, including Hamilton”.
        Hamilton had some technical problems this season, yet Rosberg had some technical problems in other seasons, I don’t remember when anyone ever bothered to even mention those problems, if Hamilton has a problem… OMG the heavens again if Nico has a problem who cares. See the problem?
        The debate can continue, but it doesn’t matter. Both of you are Hamilton’s fans and that means you just can’t accept other people’s ideas, no matter if they are right or wrong or even have an argument. I can’t say that I am Hamilton’s fan, but I can’t say that I was a Rosberg’s fan either, except this season when I really liked the guy. I just liked the guy, he pushed Hamilton out of the track, what’s Hamilton diserves anyway, he was polite at the press conferences, while Hamilton was mostly annoyed and angry, and he beat him on the track, by being smarter, that’s what I like most about him. Constant, relaxed, focused on every race, made mistakes, won there, lost there, won again somewhere, lost somewhere, but when he mattered he was 100% focused on the job at hand! And to be honest I was really impressed with that, as I said above. To cripple a bully, you have to be polite on the outside, while being focused on the inside. Mind over Matter!

        1. That is just vague nonsense @neogalaxy, evading the question. You seem to be saying Hamilton is a bully because of some people on the internet.

          On top of which Rosberg was not smarter nor relaxed or more consistent.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          15th December 2016, 1:55

          @neogalaxy You don’t understand what a bully is at all. If you are saying that he’s aggressive or passive aggressive well then yeah, he’s an athlete what do you expect? He’s not supposed to be letting everyone roll him over.

          As for Nico being nice and gentle, you must not really know Nico that well.

  43. crying!!! hahahaaa

  44. The longest season in F1 history. Your team mate is a triple champion with more wins than Senna or Prost achieved. Yeah, Rosberg had it easy! I mean, I could have driven that car backwards and still whipped Lewis! LOL! You people, Brexit really got the best of you didn’t it?

  45. “Rosberg squandered points in the Monaco rain, where he was deeply unimpressive”

    What was deeply unimpressive was the way Nico gifted the position to his teammate in Monaco. Even after 4 straight wins, you simply don’t do that (and of course the other guy would have never done it no matter what the team asked of him). Yes, Nico was having a terrible race but he had the position and had no reason to relinquish it. If the other guy was faster and couldn’t pass so much the worse for him. If you are fighting for the WDC you don’t gift the points like that to your main rival, teammate or not. If there’s something that Nico Rosberg has done this season that makes him less than worthy of a WDC, it’s this preposterous gift.

    We have all been reminded for years in all possible (and impossible) occasions the infamous “Alonso is faster than you” TO. But nobody seems to care about this “Lewis is faster than you” story. At least the Ferrari order made some sense, as Alonso seemed to be in his way for a win and could use the points. But it made no sense to make Nico lose a few points and favor the other guy who was clearly behind by then.

    And still there are out there people believing that Merc have been deliberately helping NR for the WDC in detriment of the other guy. They can join the Flat Earth Society and have a party together for all the sense they make.

    1. Nico was having a terrible race but he had the position and had no reason to relinquish it.
      You do realise losing 2s a lap for 78 laps is over 2.5 MINUTES? That there was a rival team’s car ahead? And he was trying to negotiate a contract?

      1. Well of course I do. Anyone can see the benefit for the team. But there was no benefit for Nico whatsoever. So he should not have agreed to it. Too bad for the other guy if it also ruined his race. The more it was ruined the better for Nico. Anyone should see that too.

        1. The benefit for Nico was not being thrown out of the team. Seriously…

  46. I am shocked by the ratings this year tbh. Palmer 16th and he was awful (one of the worst drivers in Formula 1). Raikkonen 11th and now Rosberg 5th. Ricciardo number 1 for me.

  47. Rosberg is and always will be #2, in more ways than one.

  48. Rosberg has definitly inspirered the f1fanatic community. At least double the amount of comments then other drivers.

  49. Rosberg’s Rating should be a bit higher (ahead of Vesteppen for sure). He held up under immense stress and the cheating incident by Hamilton when he cut the chicane in Mexico.
    The best man won – he deserved it and has the trophy.

    1. Yup, beating the guy who gets away with shortcutting across corners (a chicane it was not), cranelifts, overtaking the safety car and whatever else you may think of deserves plenty of merit. Some people should not be allowed to race even a golf cart.

  50. I was just wondering if there are tracks at which starting second is an advantage like maybe its off the racing line?

  51. I’m not exactly a fan of Rosbergs but I do think he deserves higher than #5. We simply don’t know how the other drivers rated above him would have managed with the pressure of a title fight. Hopefully we will be able to see this next year but TBO I think if Hamilton sorts out his starts and has better reliability it will be a 1 horse race.

  52. He WON the title and beat Lewis Hamilton, one of the best out there, and he beat him on merit at a few races not just this reliability thing everyone talks about, remember he also started last when he got spun by Vettel and made a great comeback.

    He only needed to cruise home for the last four races and he did exactly what he needed to.

    5th is ridiculous, but we didn’t expect otherwise from the boss here.

  53. I’d have put him 4th or 5th. Seems about right and fair, based purely on performance.

  54. Hello,

    Isn’t this asterisk story after Rosberg’s title a bit tiresome? Did you make such noise regarding HAM’s 2008 title?
    Because without the crashgate, most likely Massa would have won the title, by more than one point. I do not
    remember reading that many comments on whether HAM deserved the title then. Should I read a bias here?
    Please try and keep making sense, there are otherwise excellent things on this website — but more and more
    often some not so objective things appear, it seems…

    1. and 2014 Rosberg lost the championship due failures

  55. Who, outside the British press, is debating this significantly enough for it to be an issue?

  56. Nico? The world champion?
    I can’t believe it?
    Who did the ranking; Hamilton?

  57. I guess if Nico is that bad but beat Hamilton, anyone in the top 4 can easily beat Hamilton in the same car.
    Hamilton only beat pole half the time and early years Rosberg beat him.
    Nico is underrated even after being the world champion.

    1. +1

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