Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016

2016 F1 season driver rankings #3: Verstappen

2016 F1 season review

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Max Verstappen received a surprise promotion to Red Bull just four races into the year and was arguably the team’s leading driver by the end of the season.

Max Verstappen

Beat team mate in qualifying9/21
Beat team mate in race8/17
Races finished18/21
Laps spent ahead of team mate602/1148
Points204

At the first race weekend of the year Verstappen put his Toro Rosso fifth on the grid with only the Mercedes pair and the Ferraris ahead. A tactical error by the team spoiled his race and he spun trying to pass his team mate, prompting predictable editorials about how he’d proved too young and impetuous for F1.

Those words were quietly forgotten four races later when he was standing on top of the podium at the Circuit de Catalunya in his Red Bull overalls. Undoubtedly an element of fortune had been involved. But Verstappen proved impervious to pressure from Kimi Raikkonen and that coolness served him well throughout the rest of the year.

It’s a measure of how Verstappen shook up his rivals that the FIA was provoked into clarifying areas of the rule book which then served to trip up those who were trying to beat him. Raikkonen was driven to distraction by Verstappen’s uncompromising, rigorous and letter-of-the-law legal defending.

Whether he was darting around the outside of his team mate on the first lap in Germany or flashing past Raikkonen at a restart in Malaysia, Verstappen pounced on passing opportunities with utter ruthlessness.

Some associated his aggressive style with wildness, though this usually wasn’t the case. Monaco was an exception, as in his post-Spain high he binned the car three times in one weekend.

At times a lack of polish in his performances cost him, too. Poor starts in Italy and Singapore proved costly. He came up short in the qualifying contest against Daniel Ricciardo, which was to be expected. However he was 4-2 up over the final six races: something for Ricciardo to reflect on during the off-season.

Verstappen’s day of days was in Brazil, where he danced around a soaking track performing passes at almost every corner on almost every rival. Whatever room there was for doubt about his potential has now been utterly extinguished.

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Shame he couldn’t win another one but he’s been really great, hope to see him fight for title next year. Also the top three overtakes made by him.
@Itswais77

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

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View race-by-race notes on Max Verstappen

Australia – It looked like being a very good race for Verstappen until the Safety Car came out. He qualified a strong fifth with only the Mercedes and Ferraris ahead of him, gained a place at the start and held Hamilton off with little trouble in the opening stint. But like Ferrari, Toro Rosso opted against switching to the mediums and paid the price. It was a triple-whammy for Verstappen as he was also called in for his last stop after Sainz, despite running in front of him, and the team then fumbled Verstappen’s stop. He made his displeasure clear in a series of radio messages and a late spin, though harmless, indicated he had let frustration get the better of him.

Bahrain – There wasn’t much to choose between the Toro Rossos in qualifying – Verstappen edged Sainz by just four-hundredths of a second. The pair fought hard on the first lap but Verstappen, running the super-soft tyres, prevailed. A long third stint on medium tyres allowed him to attack in the final stint on super-softs, although they were dropping off qualifying at the end of the race. He took sixth off Massa but ran out of time to get Grosjean.

China – Qualifying in the lower reaches of Q3 is not an advantageous place these days, and so it proved for Verstappen after lining up ninth. Lost ground at the start plus the timing of the Safety Car and being held up by Hulkenberg in the pits left him 20th by lap nine. Remarkably, he still managed to finish higher than he started, moving ahead of his team mate plus Perez and Bottas to take the flag in eighth place.

Russia – There was just hundredths of a second between the Toro Rosso drivers on Friday. Verstappen was vexed by too much oversteer but pipped Sainz into Q3 and qualified ninth. Having narrowly avoided the Vettel/Kvyat fracas Verstappen was well-placed in sixth until a power unit problem halted his run.

Spain – Gets full marks despite being edged by Riccirado on Saturday due to his stellar drive on Sunday. Verstappen’s lap one pass on Vettel and coolness under pressure from both Ferrari drivers displayed immense maturity for a driver of comparatively few race starts.

Monaco – Arrived in Monaco making all the right noises about staying out of the barriers but didn’t come good on that aim. By the chequered flag he’d made three trips to the wall, one of which condemned him to dropping out of the running in Q1 and another putting him out of the race. Prior to that he’d made some great passes and was flying after his switch to intermediates. But his Red Bull career now reads: one excellent weekend, one miserable one.

Canada – Beaten by Ricciardo in qualifying but got ahead of him at the start. He managed his pace at first, then got a hurry-up from the Red Bull pit wall. Like his team mate he couldn’t stretch his first stint out long enough to one-stop. However his defensive driving against Rosberg in the final laps was superb and made the difference between fourth and fifth place.

Europe – Was infuriated by Bottas in qualifying as he kept finding the Williams trying to occupy the same piece of track as him. He started well, passing Bottas and Kvyat, then fell foul to the same tyre problems which wrecked his team mate’s race. On his second set he was able to pass Massa and Hulkenberg for eighth behind Ricciardo.

Austria – Damaged his car on the kerbs twice in first practice. In qualifying he also only had a single run on slicks at the end of Q3 – and was over a second off Ricciardo’s time. His race was much better, however: he passed Ricciardo early on then jumped Raikkonen through his pit stop and held the Ferrari off to the flag for a strong second place.

Britain – Grabbed third with a super-committed lap yet the one second gap to Mercedes showed Red Bull still have much work to do. He was on a mission from the word go in the wet conditions, taking the fight to Rosberg with great verve and producing a stunning pass for second place. Rosberg inevitably re-passed him with DRS, but despite a minor off Verstappen still finished close enough to benefit from the Mercedes driver’s penalty.

Hungary – Not quite on Ricciardo’s one-lap pace and despite driving “like a grandma” in the opening stint his rear tyres began to go off sooner than his team mate’s. This was doubly problematic as Ricciardo ahead had pit stop priority, leaving Verstappen unable to keep Vettel behind. He also got caught behind Raikkonen at one point, but when the roles were reversed he fended the Ferrari driver off superbly in the closing stages on older rubber.

Germany – Attacked the Hockenheimring with gusto when track limits were not enforced in first practice, running wide at turn one on 14 occasions. That knowledge of the grip levels at the corner served him well at the start, where he passed a surprised Ricciardo with millimetres to spare. However his race pace wasn’t quite as good and he came under attack from Rosberg, who incurred a penalty while passing the Red Bull. Verstappen therefore reclaimed the place but yielded second to his team mate: “taking one for the team”, as he put it.

Belgium – The only driver in the top five to start on the super-soft tyres, Verstappen got a surprisingly poor getaway then tried to re-pass the Ferraris at turn one. But the space vanished and the result was a three-way collision which spoiled his race. Although his front wing was replaced he also had significant floor damage and spent much of the race having to defend position as he tried in vain to climb into the points. As usual he explored the limits of legal defensive driving.

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

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

Japan – Enjoyed “one of the strongest Fridays so far” and was consistently the quickest driver through Suzuka’s maximum-commitment first sector. Penalties promoted him to third, and Hamilton’s slow start handed him second, but he was quick enough to thwart the recovering Mercedes driver’s efforts to beat him to second place. He once again played it to the letter of the law when it came to defending his position.

Malaysia – Beat Ricciardo to third place and kept a lightly-used set of softs from Q1. He also made a much better start than he has in recent races, though he was delayed by the Vettel/Rosberg collision. However he pounced on Raikkonen at the restart and took Perez soon afterwards, bringing himself back into contention for a victory. He used the second VSC period to explore a different strategy, but a later VSC period meant we never got to see if it might have brought him victory.

United States – Led final practice but was shaded by Ricciardo in qualifying. Nonetheless he chose to start the race on the soft tyres having been pleased with his car’s long-run pace on Friday. However he lost a place at the start (to a car on softer tyres), and although he re-passed Raikkonen his pursuit of Rosberg appeared to cost him and then he spoiled his race by making the strange mistake of pitting when he wasn’t told to. He did follow the team’s instructions when it came to parking his car; the fact is was jammed in neutral hindered the marshal’s recovery efforts and prompted a Virtual Safety Car period.

Mexico – Missed some of the first practice session after his brakes caught fire. Couldn’t replicate his Q2 pace in Q3 – a session where everyone seemed to struggle – but nonetheless took third. He took the fight to Rosberg when a chance appeared in traffic and came close to snatching second, but after that fell into the clutches of Vettel. He was judged to have overstepped the mark cutting the first corner with Vettel but it was a borderline call – Rosberg had gone unpunished for a similar move on the first lap.

Brazil – Was third after his first run in Q3 but an error on his final effort dropped him behind Raikkonen. However the dire conditions provided a perfect showcase for his talents. During the course of the race he explored every millimetre of the Interlagos track in pursuit of extra grip and had overtaken the likes of his team mate, Rosberg and both Ferrari drivers. The gamble on intermediates was understandable, though it cost him second.

Abu Dhabi – Had to abort his last race simulation run in second practice due to a problem with his car. He was frustrated with himself after errors in Q3 left him sixth on the grid, then made another mistake at the beginning of the race and fell to last. However thanks to Hamilton’s slow driving Verstappen was able to catch up and converting to a one-stop strategy recovered fourth place which rather flattered his efforts.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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107 comments on “2016 F1 season driver rankings #3: Verstappen”

  1. Definitely the most exciting driver. If he can get better at the trickier circuits where he was terrible at this year (Monaco, Singapore etc) he could probably beat Ricciardo, especially as it seems Horner prefers him. Ricciardo’s still the better driver by a decent margin, but that has come down, and Max definitely isn’t afraid of going toe to toe with anyone. I’d have him ahead of Hamilton in this but still, 3rd is roughly where I’d say he is. Didn’t beat Ricciardo in qualifying, races, or points so he had to be lower. Brazil drive was superb, and I expect many more drives like that and quite a few WDC’s if he gets the equipment over the next 15 or so years.

    1. At Singapore Max wasn’t terrible he had a clutch issue and since it’s a street circuit it’s pretty hard to recover if you don’t have like 4 of 5 sets of fresh ultra soft tyres like Vettel did who was knocked out in Q1 because of his suspension failure. Bytheway it will be interesting who comes out on top at Red Bull next year. Ricciardo must win if he doesn’t want to become the next Webber but it won’t be easy for him since Max already gave him a challenge when switched teams during a season and had to get used to a new car during race weekends.

    2. Fully agree. Best potential of all.

      1. Max was flying through the field in Monaco as well, but the (many) crashes he had during that weekend seem to be in everyone’s memories.

        1. That is because there is a fine line between being fast and hitting the wall. Max was very fast that weekend. However, he was never as fast as Ricciardo that weekend at any stage. He tried very hard to keep up and as a result, he was fast, but he drove too fast and crashed.
          A good driver drives as fast as he can within the limits of ability and adhesion. If you drive 100% all of the time, there is no margin for error. Especially at Monaco. Most of the time you will make it stick and look like a hero, but at some stage, you will reach 101% and hit a wall. Max drove 100% all of the time and hit the wall 3 times. I can’t remember another top driver who has ever done that.
          I think the reason that people bring up Monaco so often is that Max supporters often point to Monaco as a a missed opportunity for Max. “He was awesome, but it didn’t go his way seems to be the thinking. Pfft delusion. He overdrove the car and crashed. Maldonado style.

          1. Running a car on 100% is only possible if you know the car and it’s handling . It was only his second GP in the RBR.
            You seem to forget this important parameter.

          2. Yeah he crashed but Vettel crashed as well at Malaysia, Alonso at Melbourne, the Mercedes driver hit each other about 4 times this year and one of them resulted a double DNF, Kimi is consistently crashing himself out of wet races so it’s not like Max is the only one who is making mistakes. Mistake is a part of the sport. Mario Andretti said when he was racing that if you feel like everything is under control then you are not fast enough and it’s kinda true. If you are driving on the limit then you will fail sometimes and hit somebody or the barriers but you will have the chance to become a world champion however if you are driving carefully and not taking any risks then you will end up as a number 2 driver.

          3. Max was faster then Daniel at several times during the GP, even faster while Daniel was in front without spray and Max overtaking cars. Please just stick to the truth when there are sites to clearly show the data.

            And please stop with the 101% BS, Max just made a mistake and afterwards owned up to it. How good he is in the rain we saw in Brazil, where he overtook his teammate and got onto the podium , this while his teammate only managed to end up 8th. The single biggest discrepancy in pace between any two teammates I’ve seen during the 2016 season.

          4. Ricciardo ran with the improved Renault motor in Monaco while Verstappen was quicker in the race despite being caught in traffic.

          5. Actually he crashed in Q1 because he was not driving at 100%!
            He was cutting the chicane overly sharp, expecting a mild drift as it happens on the limit, but the car gripped more than he expected and pulled him into the barrier.

            I read ‘Watching the Wheels’ by Damon Hill, in which he recounts leading one race where he was comfortably in the zone pulling away from the field lapping a second or so faster than the rest.
            Then he got a call from the pits to take it easy as to avoid any unnecessary risks. And smashes his Williams into the tires at the first chicane he encounters, as the car did not slide at all as it did when he went just that bit faster, totally caught out by the extra grip!

            Max learned the Red Bull often has more grip than the Toro Rosso.
            Bizarrely, he crashed out in the race when he was behind Carlos Sainz – in a Toro Rosso.

            Max did a stellar job for someone his age. In absolute terms it was good, but not best overall. He will improve though – God forbid he improves too much ;)

  2. Hamilton in the top 2…. Oh well.

    Verstappen impressed me more than Ricciardo but ignoring the fact he’s new to the team, car and sport, Ricciardo was slightly better so deserves to be above him.

    1. Hamilton was voted the best driver of the season by all team bosses, so him being ranked in the top 2 here shouldn’t come as much of a surprise really.

    2. I find Hamilton being in the top 2 quite surprising given he basically didn’t show up to Baku, Japan or Singapore, pulled a few dodgy moves throughout the season and somehow managed to escape penalties despite pulling a Mario Kart at T1 in Mexico. His complete lack of sportsmanship after losing the title doesn’t really help either.

      1. I have to agree. As for his sportsmanship, it was only respect for how great a driver he is that I had for him. After the way he conducted himself at the end of that race I’ve lost quite a lot of that as well. I’m also surprised he was top two, I’d certainly say the likes of Verstappen, Alonso and perhaps Sainz too had better seasons than Hamilton. I know Hamilton is still very popular with people and some will defend him relentlessly regardless, but that’s just my opinion.

      2. He won the most races, qualified on pole th most despite not taking part in 3 q3 sessions due to reliability of engine. Started from the back of grid twice not to his own fault. Crashed in Baku and didn’t show up to Singapore. Got hit by his team mate 2 times and had a DNF and still almost won the championship.

        Don’t get me wrong almost is never remembered but some of the performance he has put in have proved hamiltons ability and just reward in being top 2
        Silverstone dominated, Malaysia dominated, Brazil dominated, Monaco disappeared from rosberg, yes mistakes were made but same can be said by all.

        Apart from Singapore and Japan can you really say rosberg had measure of Hamilton at any race weekend.

        Ricardo i thought was going to come in behind verstapen just due to his end of season run especially being first year with the team.

        1. I don’t think it’s entirely fair to lay the blame of the season’s collision’s squarely at Rosberg feet (or hands for that matter). I guess the thing is, Hamilton’s pretty obviously the fastest driver out there so for him to not win the championship in the fastest car is a bit strange.

          1. @joshgeake
            for him to not win the championship in the fastest car is a bit strange

            Can you EXPLAIN how someone can win the championship in the fastest car, when he had 2 DNF, didn’t take part in 4 qualifying sessions (where the car who qualifies first is almost guaranteed to win the race), and started from the back 3 times? And a mention of any driver who has done it before would be quite helpful.

            He is Lewis Hamilton, not Jesus Christ. Even with all the above, dodgy starts and weekends where he was “missing”, he still came within 5 points of winning the championship. However, the “fastest driver” not winning in the “fastest car” makes for a good story, so we shouldn’t let the facts get in the way.

          2. @kbdavies Well, I think that’s quite easy, between the poor starts and the couple of poor races he had, he could have overcome the points deficit.

            You have to remember, the difference was only five points. A better start in Monza would have almost certainly won him the race.

    3. For me, Hamilton was no better than third or fourth… He may have pulled off some allegedly dramatic high position from back row starts, but, he was in a Merc and there still was no major competition for the majority of races.

      Verstappen in my book has been put in a position below where he should be. His ability is stunning and I have seen no other driver capable of doing what he has managed this season for a good number of years, he has made a few mistakes, but, so has every other driver out there, he jumped from the junior team and won a race, overtook more cars than any other driver and made driving in heavy rain (in traffic) look easy…

      Sorry, but, again, Max in Third, he should be first or 2nd…

  3. Ricciardo and Verstappen, for me were the best drivers on the grid this year. I honestly don’t see how Verstappen is below Hamilton.

    1. @rocketpanda
      Surely is is easy to see why Hamilton overall was better. He didn’t make any big mistakes during the races. Verstappen crashed in practice, qualifying and the race in Monaco. That was a simply awful weekend from him. Hamilton hasn’t had any weekends anywhere near as bad. Verstappen has had many great races and some better than Hamilton but overall, because he’s had several pretty poor races, I can quite easily understand why Hamilton would be rated higher.

      1. Spain was bad for Hamilton so was Baku qualifying.

      2. Baku crash in practise. Costly mistake

        1. RB (@frogmankouki)
          15th December 2016, 15:55

          I thing Ham actually crashed out during qualifying in Baku, then in the race he had an engine problem that his team couldn’t help him with due to the radio ban.

      3. Max was brilliant in Brazil, but he was fighting the conditions while Hamilton was cruising sovereignly even watching his competitors spin on the trackside TV monitor screens.
        As Nico was awestruck by Max’ actions at the get together after the race, Max was awestruck by Lewis watching TV while racing in the wet. And rightly so.

      4. @thegianthogweed your obsession with one weekend is a bit odd, and downplays your own point that Verstappen had a lesser season based on one weekend. If he has a lesser season, you would be able to give several examples.

        1. @hahostolze
          I do respect that Verstappen as overall had a great season. But if Monaco wasn’t as bad as it was, I wouldn’t keep brining it up. He made a mistake in practice and didn’t learn from it as he crashed in qualifying and the race. Drivers should learn from practice like Perez did at Baku. He may have crashed once in practice, but he didn’t in qualifying or the race and earnt himself a podium. My main point was that even if you include all of Hamilton’s mistakes, he didn’t crash himself out anywhere near as much as Verstappen.
          If you want other examples of where Verstappen made mistakes or wasn’t that impressive. In Spa, he made several very risky moves that nearly resulted in an accident. I can’t remember where, but ther was one race where he came into pit because he thought the team had asked him to when they actaully hadn’t. No other driver has made that sort of mistake this season. In Mexico, he forced Rosberg off the track in the 1st corner, then later on went wide and cut a corner and recieved a penalty. Then in Abu Dhabi, He spun himself on the 1st lap.
          Overall I do think Verstappen made too many errors this season to be ahead of Hamilton or Ricciardo. But he has had plenty of outstanding moment to be rated very near the top.

    2. @rocketpanda because even with clutch issues in 25% of the races, race setting issues, massive qualifying issues, engine issues that cost him 40-50 points, a crash that was life threatening by his teammate, Hamilton still found a way to score 10 wins, 12 podiums, and lost by 5 points.

      Don’t get me wrong Max was stunning in Brazil and a few other races. I would have put him at #2 in terms of promise, potential, and excitement.

      If I ever see Ronaldo or Messi (pick the order you prefer) score 50 goals with a broken leg in half their matches, then let’s talk again and reminisce about how great Ronaldo and Lewis were during those seasons…

  4. No way Ricciardo is above Verstappen.

    Don’t get me wrong I think Ricciardo is a future champion and an amazing person, but Verstappen is the next true legend.
    Verstappen will leave us all stunned in the near future because of how good he will be, I have put money on that!

    1. But in this moment in history Ricciardo was/is better and that’s why he has been rated higher. Ricciardo is better over lap pace and Max’s race pace isn’t better. In the wet Max is only rivaled by Lewis but how many wet races are there a season? Max will have to step up another gear ot two to beat Ricciardo next season. Danny boy is quick.

      1. Max ‘s race pace isn’t better???? lol Seriously thank you for making my day with that comment. You sure know how to make people laugh :)

      2. The fact is that RIC did set up 2 gear from Spain on. If Max wasn’t swaped with Kvyat this year RIC wouldn’t ended up so high in this ranking

      3. Because Ricciardo didn’t switch cars during the season while Max did. Before the summer break they had 8 race weekends together and Daniel outqualified Max 7 times. But after the summer Verstappen managed to improve his raw pace and he outqualified Ricciardo 5 times out of 9. That’s how important it is to feel comfortable in the car. Max said that the first time when he used is own setup was at Malaysia and that was a break-through in the season. So no wonder why even the team principals voted Verstappen as the 2nd best driver of the season. You shouldn’t look at this as a normal battle because the circumstances weren’t normal. If you look at Daniel and Max the Australian already has a massive advantage in terms of experience since he is almost 10 years older and this year he got another advantage by knowing the car that the Dutchman didn’t know.

      4. Daniel isn’t way better, this season he just wasn’t plagued as much by bad luck in qualifying and the races as his team-mates (don’t let yourself be fooled by the Spanish and Monaco GP, there were more races). There were about half a dozen of races (Baku second half of the race, Austria, Silverstone, Malaysia, Japan, Brazil and Mexico), where Max was comfortably having the measure of Daniel in race pace without strategy, damage, mechanical problems, or track position playing any part in it. With qualifying it was a similar story, Daniel later in the season also became depended on either the team making mistakes or Max making them…Daniel is quick, but not as quick as his team-mate (which will show itself more clearly in the upcoming 2 seasons).

        1. “There were about half a dozen of races (Baku second half of the race, Austria, Silverstone, Malaysia, Japan, Brazil and Mexico), where Max was comfortably having the measure of Daniel in race pace without strategy, damage, mechanical problems, or track position playing any part in it.”

          Well put. There has been a lot of hype about Ric this past season and how he has been top of his game and flawless, which is far from the truth. Yes he had a good season, being the only driver in the to finish every race in the points, but that’s not really a hard thing to accomplish given he’s driving the RB and didn’t suffer any reliability issues. But he has had some very poor races (some of which you have pointed out), which far outweighs the good ones and should not be overlooked.

        2. Max was much faster than Daniel in race pace in Malaysia, which is why he couldn’t get past him on the better line through turn 6 on much fresher tyres. And in Mexico, where everyone who did a 3 stop finished behind their team mate (including Alonso and Magnussen who are the better drivers at their team), yet Ricciardo was only just behind, while on a worse strategy, and got promoted to 3rd in the end. Max was constantly being given the better strategies, but Ricciardo still went and beat him overall. Don’t let yourself be fooled, the kid’s fantastic, but not as good as Danny Ric yet.

          1. Daniel needed to do another pit stop at Malaysia while Max didn’t, so without the engine of Lewis blowing up, Daniel would have ended 4th behind Rosberg with Max second. At Mexico they also could have switched Max easily to the softer tyres too with a late pit-stop, which they didn’t. Max wasn’t given the preferred strategy the whole season, it was more him making the alternative strategies working better as Daniel when given to him.

          2. Max was better at Malaysia but he was unlucky. First of all when Vettel crashed into Rosberg he had to take a wider line to not hit both of them so about 4 or 5 cars passed him and then Red Bull put him on a different strategy but when he started to attack Daniel Lewis’s engine blew up which resulted a VSC so Red Bull pitted both cars and put Max on a used set of soft tyres while Daniel was on fresh rubber. So in terms of pace that was Verstappen’s weekend but I have to admit that Daniel deserved to win a race after he was so close at Monaco and Singapore.

      5. If Max had been fully at home and in the Red Bull car at the start of 2016 he would have scored a lot more points. He started in the Toro Rosso in AUS – BHR – CHN and RUS. In those races he finished resp. in 10th – 6th – 8th and a DNF due to engine-problems. He collected 1 + 8 + 4 = 13 points in the STR races. In the other RBR 17 races he had 2DNF’s in MON and VST and scored points in 14 races. One win, 4 second, 2 third places and 3 fourth places resp. 25 – 72 – 30 – 36 = 163 points. Further more he had an 8th, 5th, 11th, 7th, and a 6th place in 2016 adding up to 28 points. In the RBR races he scored 191 points.
        Winning a combined total of 204 points in 2016.
        We can be sure that Max will be very fast fully at home in the new car in 2017 and if it happens to rain the others see his backlight fading in the distance.

    2. The fact that Verstappen will likely be better in the future doesn’t warrant him being placed ahead on a list for right now. Ricciardo outqualified him, outraced him and got more points while they were team mates, and they were in the same car. He was better this year, the best driver of all this year imo.

    3. No way Ricciardo is above Verstappen.

      Ric has been the more consistent driver of the two over the year, so I can understand him being ranked above Ves. Melbourne, Monaco, Austin… He has been more exciting to watch, but not almost flawless like Ric.

      I may have another opinion, but that’s just mine…

      1. Melbourne, Monaco, Austin

        Funny thing is Max racepace was equal in Melbourne (in a TR, before his race was ruined by a certain team mate), in Monaco.. yeah in free air Max was faster and in Austin Max was faster again on the same compound tyres

        1. In those races VES did himself no favour by a) losing his temper, b) crashing 3x in 1 weekend and c) making a silly & erroneous pitstop. RIC didn’t make mistakes like these.

          1. You are absolutely right about that, but in Melbourne and US it didn’t costs him any points…

            Surely Verstappen can improve on area’s, Ricciardo is just awefully consistant, but when it comes to raw racing speed Verstappen just was better depsite the lack of expierence. Verstappen really explored all posssible llimits, if he stays within next year and will be able to maintain or even improve on racespeed Ricciardo will be beaten.

    4. Verstappen is the next true legend.

      He certainly has that potential and at various races showed his talent to the full. But he also showed inconsistencies that reflect his relative immaturity, the absence of the 2 or 3 years extra learning before entering Formula 1. I think it’s great that he’s in Formula 1 now, already, but it does mean this season has had some major dips. That said, I think he’s been more or less on the same level as Ricciardo and Hamilton, difficult to choose between them.

    5. We’re not comparing future potential of the Red Bull drivers… we’re seeing how they performed over the length of this season.

    6. To win, first you have to finish and finish in the fastest race time. That means consistently fastest laps and an intact car.
      At one period during practice I noted the lap times and speed trap times.
      Riccardo was at that stage the fastest lap. However he was twelfth fastest speed trap time.
      That means that all the cowboys were flogging the engine gearbox and brakes pointlessly down the straight more than Riccardo. He was faster through the skill bits.
      Says it all for me. A better driver.

  5. I expect replys of F1fanatics that think Verstappen is ranked way to high and question @keithcollantine‘s objectivity in 1,2,3…

    I expect replys of F1fanatics that think Verstappen is ranked way to low and question @keithcollantine‘s objectivity in 1,2,3…

    1. I think he is where he should be, despite his great drives he made too many mistakes to be in front of Ricciardo who had a great and consistent season or Hamilton who showed why he’s currently the best driver on the grid.

  6. Verstappen is a very controversial driver. He has very outstanding moments but overall this kind of driving doesn’t provide results. Last year Verstappen was slightly ahead of Sainz (only one qualy and one race ahead when removing the DNF races), and this year against Sainz was virtually on par with Sainz during the first 4 races (it should be 2 vs 2 since the 3 to 1 was due to team orders, like those in 2015). This year after the swap with Kvyat, he has brilliant moments but also very embarrassing moments in more complicated tracks. Even disobeying team orders he wasn’t able to match Ricciardo. He was stable, constant, fail free driving and it could have been ever better if Red Bull had done it well in Monaco. Spain could have been his race too.

    Verstappen came to F1 with solid sponsors, with money and connections to the F1 shareholders, and Heineken was also on the spot. He is good but the hype on him is exaggerated. Vettel did better at Toro Rosso and he didn’t have so much hype. Horner is very happy with the situation and I am afraid that Ricciardo is going the way of Webber as a No. 2 and He is going to leave RBR before Max.

    I have no doubt that with a little more of self control and more strategic view, Max is going to be multiple WDC. He has the most important: support from his teams, Ecclestone and media. But this season his multiple failures weights against his brilliant moments and he has failed on placing the car ahead of it’s natural position. This is why I think Alonso should be ahead of Max and Max should be #4.

    1. It is time to take off your tin foil hat.

    2. I have never read so many lies in just one post with the sole reason to try and discredit a driver…It seems you’ve missed your career opportunity, if you aren’t already a politician. /s

    3. Okay, I agree with some criticisms of him but that’s just ridiculous. He’s a fantastic driver.

    4. Did you really looked at the same F1 championship?
      You really seem to hate VES.
      so…
      Your are entitled to have a opinion, but most of your post is just rubbish or worse: FUD.

    5. @oscar
      ‘Slightly ahead’.
      49-18 points Max- Sainz.
      I agree with @to the max.
      That is a lie, not just a wrong expression.

    6. That is pure jealousy. Max was much better than Carlos in race pace, tyre managment, overtaking and defending thats why Red Bull picked him. The only thing they were about equal is qualifying so there was no reason to choose Sainz. And if we compare him to Ricciardo.. He was already much closer to Daniel than any other of his team mates including Vettel and it wasn’t even a fair fight because Max switched teams after the 4th race of the season so he had a massive handicap. And how can you compare Vettel’s years at Toro Rosso to Max’s? That is ridiculous. In 2008 Toro Rosso and Red Bull had the exact same chassis just different engines and the fight was much tighter between the teams that year. In 2008 5 different team won at least 1 race (Mclaren, Ferrari, Renault, BMW, Toro Rosso) and we had 7 different winners (Hamilton, Massa, Raikkonen, Kubica,Kovalainen, Alonso, Vettel) Last year only Mercedes and Ferrari managed to win with 3 different drivers (Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel) Not to mention that Vettel had extreme wet races multiple times to prove himself while Max only had 1 half rainy race at Austin last year and he was battling the Ferraris on the intermediate tyres and finished 4th at the end.

    7. Verstappen easily beat Sainz in 2015 and had a bigger margin 2016. I’m not even a Verstappen fan but there’s no way he can be overrated as I feel he could be one of the best of this F1 generation.

    8. Verstappen is a non paying driver, no one pushed him towards F1, no marketing at all.
      Mercedes offered him a job, Helmut Marco shut Mercedes off by offering Verstappen a F1 car right away.

      Don’t spread such bull.

    9. “You know what, I’ll post some vile rubbish and see how many angry replies I get”
      Well played mate.

      1. Why would you even do that?! I don’t see a benefit.

  7. If this ranks Hamilton as the year’s best driver, this whole thing is moot and pathetic. Neither did he win the WDC, provide exciting racing and aggressive overtaking, nor did he do anything on track or off-track to deserve any mention. In other words, he did what most average drivers would do if they were given the best car… Definitely not noteworthy or spectacular. I’m not dutch or cheer for Verstappen, but to see him below Hamilton is really disappointing both for how overrated Hamilton is, and how underrated Verstappen is.

    1. – If this ranks Hamilton as the year’s best driver
      – provide exciting racing and aggressive overtaking, nor did he do anything on track or off-track to deserve any mention. In other words, he did what most average drivers would do if they were given the best car… Definitely not noteworthy or spectacular.

      While I don’t necessarily agree with this, it does make me wonder a bit what this ranking is based on. Being the best this season as in having maximized points tally bar out-of-your-control-situations, giving the most exciting racing, spectacular overtakes, best race, best wet weather perfomance, some weighted average of quali&race or what? Maybe the composer could give a little insight.

    2. how overrated Hamilton is, and how underrated Verstappen is

      That’s a naive comment. The only two drivers I can remember causing such an upset to the other drivers because of their aggressive and ‘creative’ racing style, enough to force rule clarifications, in the last ten years are Hamilton and Verstappen. They’re very similar in that respect. Only Hamilton received so many penalties he curbed some of that flamboyant aggression to maximize his points. I very much hope Verstappen keeps that edge for as long as possible, but if he’s still paired with Ricciardo and Red Bull do have a chance at the title, we may end up finding it costs him too.

    3. Agree. Lets not forget going into Malaysia Rosberg was 18 points ahead of Lewis before getting whacked by Seb at the start. Without either driver suffering issues it would have been 11 and Nico would be going all out for the title and not cruising to 2nd after Japan.
      This massively inflated the stats between them in Lewis’ favour. I do not understand the massive difference between LH and NR and SV and KR.

      1. Can you explain those times Rosberg went all out for the title and beat his team mate four in a row, while starting second and without any mechanical issues on the car?

        You know anywhere in the previous seasons where Lewis consistently won twice as many races?

        Honestly people amaze me.

        All out for the title.

        Hilarious.

  8. Next Year Max will not be so friendly als in Malesia. That cost him him his second race win

    1. agreed, they pitted Max when they didn’t need to do that, he was on relatively fresh tires. They only pitted him to be sure they get a 1 2 result, not to risk a tyre failure late in the race, which is understandable from a team’s perspective. But if Max would have been more experienced (or stubborn), he could have asked to stay out and manage the tires from P1 with a decent time advantage to RIC.

      1. The pit wondow was to small, Verstappen was behind Ricciardo (although ~22 seconds ahead, a full pitstop) , due to the safetycar the gap would be just to small.

        Ves was a sure P2 behind Hamilton, after Hamilton DNF-ed it was a sure P2 behind Ric strangely enough.
        This maybe was the one and only time Verstappen was not aggresive enugh overtaking Ricciardo, ironically people felt it was a good and fair fight, while in fact it was to brave. Verstappen could have gone wide leaving no room for Ricciardo which would have put him on P1. This would have been 100% legit…. but at that given time there was nothing at stake as Ricciardo had to pit quite soon.

  9. The only rankings that matter:

    AUTOSPORT’S 2016 TEAM BOSS’S TOP 10

    1 Lewis Hamilton, 234 points (No change)
    2 Max Verstappen, 183 (Up two places)
    3 Nico Rosberg, 176 (No change)
    4 Daniel Ricciardo, 133 (Up five)
    5 Sebastian Vettel, 90 (Down three)
    6 Fernando Alonso, 67 (No change)
    7 Kimi Raikkonen, 61 (Up three)
    8 Sergio Perez, 52 (No change)
    9 Valtteri Bottas, 26 (Down two)
    10 Carlos Sainz Jr, 25 (New entry)

    1. No rank really matter, pal.

      1. The only ranking that really matters is the WDC ranking. The others are just for entertainment.

    2. While I agree that the ranking made up by team bosses says a lot (although they are hardly independent opinion makers), if you want to be technical the only ranking that matters is the DWC standings after the last race.

    3. Of course the team bosses don’t watch and pick apart every drivers seasin like informed journalists do – only their own drivers and those that interest them, so I don’t put much credit in a Team Bosses ranking.

      1. @guybrushthreepwood what? team bosses are the ones that hire the drivers.

        1. Guybrush Threepwood
          15th December 2016, 21:53

          They don’t hire every driver though do they? The reality is that Team Bosses will not pay close attention to everyone on the grid like good journalists do – they have their own team and drivers to worry about after all and unlike jouranlists do not get paid or have the time to pick apart the season of every driver that is racing.

          1. Well actually they do, just listen to what Force India’s Otmar Szafnauer said last week at the 2016 F1 Report Season Review about if the Spain victory of Verstappen was a surprise…

            “The teams know which driver is capable of what. We see all the data, so I don’t think it’s a surprise when they made the move, and I think Max proved himself a worthy candidate at Red Bull.”

    4. Incidentally, the most likely combination for Lewis to have gotten 234 out of 275 points (11 votes) is:

      6 x 25 (150)
      3 x 18 (54)
      2 x 15 (30)
      Total (234)

      So over half the team bosses picked him as the #1 and 3 picked him as the #2. Of course, many of those team bosses picked their main driver or drivers as the #1 or #2 . We can name 3 bosses right out of the bat:-)

      Can anyone figure out the combinations that lead to Rosberg having 176? It’s 16 on average so he got 2 P3s for every P2 or 9 P3s for a single P1.

      1. Here are a few possible combinations for Nico:

        1 x 25 (25)
        5 x 18 (90)
        1 x 15 (15)
        3 x 12 (36)
        1 x 10 (10)

        Total (176)

        Without a single P1 :

        7 x 18 (126)
        2 x 15 (30)
        2 x 10 (20)
        Total (176)

        It’s possible Nico received 1 or 2 P1 votes maximum from the team bosses as there are 5 votes left from Lewis but he has to share them with Ricciardo, Verstappen, Vettel, and Alonso who are also P1 candidates.

    5. What’s the Mercedes team bosses’ top 10?

    6. Looks like Ferrari bribed a few team bosses to vote for Seb

  10. Verstappen has been great. His highs are higher than anybody else, but his lows were very low, too.
    His weekends at Monaco and Spa were utterly garbage.

    #3 is fair.

    1. While I agree his Monace performance was quite embarrasing, I must say that before he crashed in the race he was driving superbly. He made lots of overtakes on a track that generally doesn’t allow any. No wonder he crashed.

    2. Yep but people tend to remember Max’s lows more than from any other driver!

    3. The 2nd place in qualifying at SPA was pretty good to be honest. After that the start was a racing incident. Vettel turned in too much but he didn’t see that not only his team mate but Verstappen was also side by side with him. And according to Verstappen that accident damaged his floor that’s why he had no pace compared to the leaders. Similar thing happend with Hamilton in 2014 when Rosberg punctured his rear tyre. The punctured tyre ripped his rear wing and the floor and after that he couldn’t come back to the points and choosed to retire to save the engine.

    4. Considering the damage Spa was in fact a very good race, ask Raikkonen, he had a hell of a fight with Verstappen not giving up! Controversial..? Maybe, but nothing done wrong, just good racing.

  11. All my eyes are on him for 2017. Without any doubt, his wet-weather drive at Brazil 2016 is the best one he has ever made. No other wet-weather drives are better than his own.

    1. Max was also good in the rain during the 2015 US Grand Prix and this season at Silverstone too (remember the pass on Rosberg around the outside of Beckets?)

      Helmut Marko once said that they decided to sign VES to the RB junior Program after seeing him win a F3 race in the rain at the Norsingring in Germany (a streetcourse) where he was 1.5/2.0 seconds per lap faster than anybody else. That win was part of a 7 race win streak and within a week of sigining VES they announced him at Toro Rosso for 2015.

  12. Very impressive what he’s doing at his age and the manner in which he’s doing it. The real deal.

  13. I think Verstappens development rate was so high throughout the year that he already surpassed Ricciardo at the end of the season. As Helmut Marko rightfully said, Verstappen just needs to be a little more patient, eliminate the mistakes, and he will be almost unstoppable.

  14. A fair, even generous approximation of his season if you judge him on results alone. However, because this miraculous young man, in his third season out of karts, is already certifying himself among the very greatest drivers in the world and producing landmark drives that will no doubt echo in decades to come, it is actually almost unfair to compare him with his peers. By any measure of driver development if you ask any of the great experts on young driver (Trevor Carlin, Jean-Paul Driot, Frederic Vassuer…), what Max is achieving is not just anomalous, not just exceptional, but it simply shouldn’t be possible.

    He has some rough edges, unquestionably, and a somewhat belligerent instinct may not be the best personal manifesto for a sporting career, but given the rate of improvement he has achieved so far in F1, very, very soon we may be looking at a driver without almost any appreciable flaws.

    Just compare for a moment what his peers were doing in their third season out of karts: Vettel and Rosberg were dipping their toes in F3, Hamilton was racing to the Formula Renault UK title, Ricciardo was struggling to make an impression in Italian Formula Renault and Sainz was having a markedly underwhelming season racing in British and European F3. Meanwhile Verstappen is a Grand Prix winner, a legitimate contender for the title of “Best Wet Weather Driver in the World” and looking ahead to a season where he could, possibly, contend for a championship.

    1. @william-brierty
      But you have to take into account the possibilities that you are given. None of the drivers you mention have had the opportunities given that MVer has been given.

      1. @Krxx

        Andy why do you think MV got these opportunities in the first place??

        1. Because he won 4 consecutive Belgian karting championships, 3 consecutive Euroseries titles, 2 worldseries titles, 2 European championships and a world championship (among many other trophies) in karting with engines his father tuned in their backyard.

          The kid skipped entry levels of junior racing and won more races than any other in his first F3 season with a midfield team (only lost the title to Ocon on points due reliabilty issues and and some mistakes).

          Guys like Rosberg who grew up in Monaco and raced in F3 for his fathers team for crying out loud, and Hamilton who got financed throughout his entire junior level career by McLaren at age 13, they all got more help to get into F1 than VES did. Yes his father had more money than most dads because he is an ex F1 driver (and by no means at a Schumacher or Prost level at that at all btw) so he could afford his son’s karting hobby and he knew a few people to call from back in his day, but by far the biggest factor was VES outstanding karting career and F3 results that got him into F1.

          1. @jeffreyj as pointed out by krxx you are being completely unfair to Rosberg and especially Hamilton.
            Jos had the money and the connections to help Max go up the ladder. But without his results, Max wouldn’t be in F1. Same for Rosberg. They both had an ex-F1driver as a coach.

            Hamilton didn’t had those. Until McLaren picked him up (which is what RB did to Max, mind you) he only had his results for him. No money other than the BRDC’s prizes which are results bases and no connection.

            But my main point is that you can praise Max’s achievements without wrongly diminishing those of other drivers.

        2. @VA
          There are numerous reasons why he got them.
          and @jeffreyj
          If you really think that the world actually works in such a linear way, you still have a lot to learn.

          with engines his father tuned in their backyard. – here you’re making it look like it was some kind of amateur, first off project. Jos has cut short his own career to manage that of his son (on a side note, I think he was about of the same age as Ros is now), professionally on a full-time and exclusive basis. Heck, even his sole existence may even be explained by Jos’ dedication and dreams. And it is Max himself who acknowledged he has been very fortunate and owes a lot to many people for all the opportunities and without his dad, probably never would have taken up racing at all. If Max himself says this, why don’t his fans follow suit?

          Those results in the lower divisions, even if they are true, aren’t “outstanding” in comparison with a lot of other drivers’ results. Come to think of, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just Ocon who outscored him. There was another, a Swede I think. Besides, a little bit strange to say, that he only lost the title on points due (..) some mistakes. He was however, the best on the grid.

          raced in F3 for his fathers team for crying out loud – Indeed, Nico has been very fortunate too and so has Ham. But to state that they got more help is a bit of a hollow statement, bc you can’t back that up. What is a fact, is that they did not get an offer at age 16, to drive F1 races within a year.
          You state that his karting career and F3 results got him into F1. But that’s in fact one of my points. Beforehand, a team wouldn’t even consider offering a F1 drive to such a young and inexperienced driver. Couple of the underlying reasons may very well be that the F1 cars have become easier to drive, less experience is needed, ever improving sims, more accessible useful data etc etc. And maybe also just a change in morals. Peter Sauber, along others, may have paved the way a bit. You mention Prost, who never sat in a kart or racing car before the age of 14 or 15. We are all products of our time and the trend now is picking up teenagers. But Max still holds the edge, cuz we now have the age restriction thing, so nobody, for the time being, will get the same opportunity to seal a racing seat at age 17.

  15. Verstappen at 3 seems fair, though he is the reason that ricciardo is so high. Daniel had to wake up and bring his best to beat him. Exciting pair for next year.

  16. Quote
    “Whether he was darting around the outside of his team mate on the first lap in Germany”
    Verstappen outsmarted Ricciardo in Germany, got thrown back dus to team orders.
    Quote
    “At times a lack of polish in his performances cost him, too. Poor starts in Italy and Singapore proved costly.”
    RBR’s statements where quite clear: mechanical issues, not driver related.

    Add in the next issues:
    DNF in Russia
    DNF in the US
    Hit by Vettel in Spa
    Qualifying issue at Baku (blocked by Bottas) ruined a realistic P2. Verstappen was faster in the race and finished just 0.4 sec behind Ric
    Bad luck in Malaysia which cost Verstappen P1
    Actually finishing in front of Ricciardo in Mexico
    Giving up a sure P2 in Brazil… just to take a gamble

    Ricciardo got hit in China and got the short end of the straw in Spain

    Verstappen had one low, which obviously was his second race in the RBR at Monaco.
    Over the entire season, including the four TR races Verstappen had better racepace in 12 races, against 9 for Ricciardo.

    Verstappen made a few mistakes more then Ricciardo who was steady but overall a bit slower.

  17. Well, in terms of what he delivered #3 is probably accurate for Max. In terms of his promise, #2 is a better ranking because Daniel was slightly better than Max but he was also bested last year by Kvyat (no less) and also didn’t look that spectacular in his TR days either.

    Daniel has got a very likable personality and for that trait alone he deserves an extra spot but he needs to show up 2014 style next year!!!

    1. Did you even watch the previous years?

      3 points last year in which Ricciardo lost to Kyvat due to Ricciardo receiving the bulk of the unreliability when RBR finally got their car working properly, beat him in qualifying and all the major F1 publications still had Ricciardo above Kyvat in rankings despite this because they could see he was still the faster and better driver. Similar to why Hamilton is still ranked higher than Rosberg this year even though he lost the championship.

      His two years vs Vergne looked quite close on paper but really it was far more one-sided. JEV had the worse qualifying H2H against DR in those two years compared to the rest of the grid and by the biggest avg margin too. In races, it looked closer partly because of STRs inept strategies (DR’s dry race points vs JEV is very one-sided towards DR) and yet it was RBR who offered DR the test drive for the race seat. You know the team that has the data on ALL their drivers. Do you not remember DR putting the TR 6th on the grid in Bahrain while his team-mate was down in 16th? I guess not.

      Fair ranking for Verstappen, he has been brilliant this year with a few mistakes here and there but Ricciardo has been stronger over the season both in qualifying and race results.

      If fans actually think about this, it could have easily been Ricciardo winning 3 races to none this year in another Merc dominated season (similar to 2014). Neither two potential losses of wins weren’t his fault and Ricciardo has barely made any race ending mistakes compared to both Hamilton and Verstappen.

      This is going to be another great battle next year but I can see being a similar result where Ricciardo will win out over the season due to his consistency.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      16th December 2016, 2:25

      Yes, I have watched them and that’s the issue – JEV, Kvyat, and Max have exposed Daniel’s weakness in the race as was evident in Monaco where Lewis beat him with Ultra Softs on a super stint against Supers. Granted there was maybe a 1 second differential in pit blunders between RB and Mercedes but he could have made that up.

      Other drivers disappear in the race with a decent quality setup.

      2013 Teammate Battles


      2015 Teammate Battles

      2013 Teammate Battles

  18. The basic underlying premise of rating Verstappen higher than Rosberg is that he would have done better in the title fight, something I very much doubt.

  19. I think a top 3 position for Max is justified. It is also interesting to re-read the 2015 ratings and comments, notably on Ricciardo (#5 then). Several people were surprised that Ricciardo was higher rated than Kvyat and even hinted Ricciardo – not Kvyat – be worried not to be replaced by Max in the course of 2016 or 2017.

    I think Ricciardo had a very solid 2016 season however… pushed by Max. In my view Ricciardo has been on the top of his abilities, whereas Max is still learning and improving rapidly. His racepace has been good from the beginning, his qualifying pace since summerbreak enhanced a lot ( in the last six races the balance was even 4-2), a bit like in STR in 2015.

    I think Interlagos nailed Ricciardo and confirmed Max’ number 1 position within RB.

    It remains to be seen if Max can live up the expectations in 2017 but I am quite convinced he will, hopefully a nice Ham – Ves battle initiating.. :-)

  20. I’d say this is fair and I’d agree. But I would, in anticipation of Ricciardo as number one, really like to dispell this myth that he had some sort of flawless, consistent season. The amount of lacklustre races: Australia, Canada, Baku, Silverstone, Austria, Suzuka, Interlagos, Abu Dhabi. 8 races in which he was far from special. Yes, he didn’t make many mistakes. Yes, he upped his games significantly. Yes, his qualifying was impressive. But by the end of the season, Verstappen was firmly ahead, as this review quite rightly states. So, let’s not be too revisionist about Ricciardo, his season was good, but really, if he is number one and Hamilton two and Verstappen three and Rosberg five, it goes to show just how high the level of the field is right now (or, considering the amount of mistakes Hamilton and Verstappen made and the lacklustre races from Ricciardo and Rosberg, perhaps, how bad it is?!).

  21. Keith, have you ever placed any driver this high in your rankings when they haven’t beaten their teammate in the qualifying or race results stats? Curious to know. I highly doubt it.

  22. As a Dutchman and 90s F1 fan I’m totally back into the sport mainly because of Max. What an amazing fairytale story he is presenting to all of us!!!

    From winning it all in carts directly into F3 winning 10 races and from that directly in F1 at the age of 16 (17 when he season started). Doing a very impressive rookie year, followed by a roller coaster 2nd season winning a race and racing the top guys.

    It’s almost scary to see how good he already is still being a kid. What will happen next year? Will he improve again? Will the red bull be world champion good next year already? And will RIC be able to hold him of again?

    I really can’t wait for the new season to start. I’ll be watching all I can like it’s the 90s all over again.

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