Daniel Ricciardo voted Driver of the Year by F1 Fanatic readers again

2016 F1 season review

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F1 Fanatic readers have voted Daniel Ricciardo as the best driver of the 2016 F1 season.

The Red Bull driver has won the poll for the second time, having previously topped it in 2014. Ricciardo scored a single victory this season, in Malaysia, but also came close to victory in Spain and Monaco. He ended the season a comfortable third in the drivers’ championship standings.

Red Bull drivers took more than half of the votes in the poll this year, with Ricciardo netting 28.5% to Max Verstappen’s 23.3%.

World champion Nico Rosberg took the third-largest share of the votes with 15.8%, slightly more than team mate and championship runner-up Lewis Hamilton.

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Recent Driver of the Year poll winners

2015: Sebastian Vettel
2014: Daniel Ricciardo
2013: Sebastian Vettel
2012: Fernando Alonso
2011: Sebastian Vettel
2010: Lewis Hamilton

Ricciardo also won more Driver of the Weekend polls than any other driver in 2016, with four. Verstappen and Fernando Alonso won three times each while Rosberg, Romain Grosjean and Sebastian Vettel each won twice. The Ferrari driver’s two wins came in the final three races of the year.

RaceDOTW winnerVotes
2016 Australian Grand PrixRomain Grosjean61.0%
2016 Bahrain Grand PrixRomain Grosjean39.4%
2016 Chinese Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo44.7%
2016 Russian Grand PrixKevin Magnussen32.6%
2016 Spanish Grand PrixMax Verstappen68.5%
2016 Monaco Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo49.6%
2016 Canadian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton28.5%
2016 European Grand PrixSergio Perez67.3%
2016 Austrian Grand PrixPascal Wehrlein43.2%
2016 British Grand PrixMax Verstappen55.2%
2016 Hungarian Grand PrixKimi Raikkonen38.3%
2016 German Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo45.5%
2016 Belgian Grand PrixFernando Alonso43.3%
2016 Italian Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo37.4%
2016 Singapore Grand PrixNico Rosberg34.0%
2016 Malaysian Grand PrixFernando Alonso33.8%
2016 Japanese Grand PrixNico Rosberg51.5%
2016 United States Grand PrixFernando Alonso43.6%
2016 Mexican Grand PrixSebastian Vettel22.6%
2016 Brazilian Grand PrixMax Verstappen68.0%
2016 Abu Dhabi Grand PrixSebastian Vettel30.4%

2016 F1 season review

Browse all 2016 F1 season review articles

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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67 comments on “Daniel Ricciardo voted Driver of the Year by F1 Fanatic readers again”

  1. Congratulations DR. And Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

  2. No doubt a wc in the waiting, hope he has the package for 2017

    1. It’s funny how outstanding talent shows itself even before the correspondent results: Ricciardo and Verstappen have only five wins between them, and already are the safest bets for the next new champion…

  3. Always good to have a ‘wc in waiting’ with all the drinking I do these days.
    Merry Christmas.

    1. RIC will urgently need a wc himself, if he continues his shoe drinking habit next year.

    2. Could end up with “Athletes mouth”

  4. Quality driver and a top bloke. Him and Max will do bits next season.

    1. The thing is, it depends what you mean by ‘driver of the year’. In terms of impact, it’s not as laughable as it first seams.

    2. Just goes to show how subjective this all is. 70.000 people voted there, that’s a lot more than here. Teamboss vote had another winner. Etc etc.

  5. Guybrush Threepwood
    25th December 2016, 13:22

    Well deserved. He was in a class of his own in 2016. Can’t wait to see what he can do in a front running car without all the bad luck he had this season.

    1. Ridiculous list and your comment isn’t any better. Hamilton was clearly the driver of the year. 10 wins 12 poles, they are better stats than most will have after a career in F1. After a rain-swept and delayed Brazil Verstappen walked off with the plaudits yet a cursory look at the data shows Hamilton to be peerless in the rain. There is no question that Hamilton is the driver of this generation and better than all but a handful of past generations. Are you really serious that you’d not bat an eyelid to see Hamilton finish 4th in this list? Risible!

      1. Yes Hamilton is a great driver bit the fact he has had (in the best car on the grid) so many amazing performances make him boring. Who wants to see a race that is always lead from the first corner? It does not make good viewing. To be honest Im never interested in the race winners (or second for that matter) it’s always the “best guy who ain’t in a merc” I’m interested in because 9 times outta ten that guy has fought to be there,not just flown away at the start. That is the reason (in my own opinion) why the mercs are 3rd and 4th in this list. And another thing Hamilton is one of the greats in the sport, but some of the stuff he has pulled at merc would have had a lesser driver loose his drive. Very happy rosberg won’t he wdc it just on consistently performing well. And yeah Ricardo deserves it because he was deffinatly the “best guy who was not in a merc” Hopefully there are many shoeys next year!

    2. Arnoud van Houwelingen
      27th December 2016, 13:38

      @Guybrush .. he isn’t in a class of his own .. already in the last 6 races he is outperformed by his teammate. Verstappen is already of the same level right now and will outperform Daniel next year!

      1. Arnoud what a load of rubbish..you got a crystal ball to say that about next year? Dan had some awful pit and strat calls by the team including the last race

    1. Pretty sure Sky also said Palmer was rookie of the year ahead of even Wehrlein lmao.

      1. @hugh11 yes but f1 fanatic also has Palmer ahead of Wehrlein. Bad years for F1 rookies this year imo, none of them really impressed such as eg Verstappen 2015 or Bianchi 2013

    2. Interesting in the SKY interactive poll VES leads with 31.3K votes
      RIC and HAM second with approx 23.9K votes.

  6. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all!
    DR is obviously guy to watch next season, along with Max.

  7. Well Verstappen was the driver of the year for me but i wont argue about putting Ricciardo there :)
    If Max hadnt crushed him in the wet and he hadnt whined half the season about his lost P1s he would be easily number 1.

  8. Sky Sports & Crash.net suck at ratings…. Really Max & Lewis DOTY? Ricciardo by all possible means.

    Thanks STR for the update 👍

    1. No problem, would send you a copple, just for the habbit (fun)
      Verry happy Cristina’s everybody and happy new year. Can’t wait for Next year.

    2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      26th December 2016, 9:48

      @godwin Lewis and Max are my two top picks, both looked better than their teammates this season – Verstappen kept improving at a colossal rate, so that by the end of the season he just looked better than Ricciardo. Whereas Hamilton looked better than Rosberg for just about the whole season and was often clear by a huge margin.

      Ricciardo is probably the nicest guy in F1, but if the ratings are on talent rather than sunshine, I’d put him third.

      1. Tgu the ratings are on the entire season

  9. It had to be either Ricciardo or Verstappen. Arguably Red Bull go into next year with the strongest lineup of any team, and if they have a championship-winning car you’ve got to expect one of them will win.

    Though looking at the driver of the year tallies, next year is Sebastian Vettel, right?

  10. Lewis Hamilton is DOTW for one out of the 21 races, that too with the least share of votes. Nico Rosberg twice this year with over 50% share of votes in Japan. Majority of the websites and the associated journalists, including Keith rated Rosberg below Hamilton in their driver rankings. I beg to differ on the matter. Hamilton had very very few standout moments this year, which would include qualifying for Malaysia, Monza etc. but was it really a surprise? Hamilton on average has been fractionally quicker than Rosberg during their time as teammates. Did he do his ‘fighting back through the pack’ all that convincingly? In China his drive was nothing special, nor in Spa. That’s relative to his other comebacks, like in Hungary 2014. On the opposite pole, Rosberg was soaking up all the pressure put on him by his teammate, the media and even himself after his decision to retire. He was untouchable in Singapore and Hamilton’s ‘sexy lap’ in Bahrain put him just 0.077 seconds clear of Nico. His utterly ballsy passes on Verstappen in Germany, Raikkonen in Malaysia and Verstappen in Abu Dhabi doesn’t need reminding. I think the 2016 driver rankings was more close to being the ‘2016 and a few other seasons combined’ driver rankings.

    1. Totally agree. There seems to be some sort of recency effect, where Hamilton’s flawless performances in the last races have more value than his mediocre performances seen in the first half of the season.

      1. If there was a ranking for “performing nearest the peak of your own capacity”, Rosberg’s season would be one of the best ever

    2. Hamilton was just generally better than Rosberg this year. With 21 races it’s not hard to pick out a few times Rosberg was better, or pretend the unsporting never-mind-the-apex dives that attracted his 3 penalties had something clever about them. But his ass was saved strictly by Lewis’ two MGUH failures, the water leak, back-of-the grid start for PU penalties and the PU blowup.

    3. Take tbe blinkers off. But for an engine failure in Malaysia (I was there !) Lewis would have been world champ. DOTY without a doubt.

      1. Of course he lost points there. But he lost other points by his own fault ( bad starts, Baku, etc..) needlessly.
        If he really did well he would have been WDC. It’s not only Malaysia i mean!

        1. All the drivers lost points by their own fault, as they always do. Rosberg lost more, in fact. Canada, Germany, Austria, for example, on top of all his 2nd places.

          1. And Monaco, how did I forget.

      2. Malaysia again, how boring…

        I like to think of the Sepang event as preemptive poetic justice for the Mexican shortcut

    4. Lewis Hamilton is DOTW for one out of the 21 races

      What you have to realise is that the DOTW votes here are mostly completely meaningless affected more by peoples personal feelings to a driver than there respective performances. People cant even agree the voting criteria (does the whole race weekend count fri/sat/sun or just the actual weekend sat/sun, does race perfomance weight greater then qualy or are they equal, does anything other than the race matter at all).

      Did he do his ‘fighting back through the pack’ all that convincingly? In China his drive was nothing special, nor in Spa.

      China he had significant damage after one of the Saubers ran into him. In Spa his setup was compromised for top speed then performance through the second sector into the third. This was done to aid overtaking the back of the field but meant he was compromised compared to the front runners. His predicated finishing position by Merc before the race was 8th yet he finished on the podium.

      His utterly ballsy passes on Verstappen in Germany

      Which was at best clumsy and at worst illegal (he got penalised)

      Raikkonen in Malaysia

      Where he clattered into him, a move that could have easily ended both their races.

      Rosberg was soaking up all the pressure put on him by his teammate, the media and even himself after his decision to retire

      Yeah because Hamilton had no pressure during the season *rolls eyes*

      It is an undeniable fact that Hamilton drove better than Rosberg over the course of the whole season. Its arguable whether or not he was driver of the year but I dont think it is laughable to vote him that, the team bosses did after all (Personally I would go with Ricciardo).

      1. Well, it is deniable.

        1. Well you are welcome to be openly wrong if you like but it is a provable fact that Hamilton was the better Merc driver last year so it would be rather silly to deny it.

    5. I honestly don’t know which metric you could use to rank Rosberg above Hamilton. Occasionally Rosberg was better than Hamilton. More often it was the other way round.

  11. Well He is good. No wonder.

  12. I don’t know didn’t attempt a vote because I don’t feel anyone really shone this year but I tell you what, popularity screws with the way performance is viewed on this site.
    I am becoming less enamoured and interested in the opinions shared.

    Ahh well happy holidays

    1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      26th December 2016, 9:52

      My thoughts too. Fans aren’t objective (nor should they be expected to be). This was a popularity contest, nothing more. F1 websites are much more objective than the fans.

  13. Obviously no bias in this poll haha. “Driver of the year” could be called based on so many different things:
    • Who got the most points
    • Who overtook the most
    • Who was the most consistent
    • Who beat their teammate the most
    • Who got the most fastest laps etc

    That’s why i can have my armchair opinion but realistically the professionals are better at deciding. The team principles have had their vote.

  14. I would say it takes something to pick out a driver that’s not really involved in the title fight as that has it’s own unique demands compared to the freedom outside of that, so impressive for Ricciardo to come out on top here and in several other respected motorsport magazine reviews.

    As others say, top bloke and driver. Very much hope he will be our champion coming years.

  15. If you click on the percentage of votes you get another story: three of the top five most comprehensive votes, including first and second, went to Verstappen. That suggest that when he’s good, he’s good.

    1. Max is awesome, but young and inexperienced. It just depends on your criteria, whether you vote excitement and potential. or more the final results achieved; and how you allow for the quality of the car, the racing it was involved in, and generally what you expected in the first place.

      For me, Max was a LOT better at the end of the year than the beginning and middle.

      1. Agree @lockup, I think that’s what the votes show, some really outstanding weekends by Verstappen and a few duff ones, with Ricciardo more consistent, but only to be expected give Max’s youth and inexperience.

      2. He was quite good in his first RBR race ;)

  16. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
    25th December 2016, 21:06

    I wonder what would happen if @keithcollantine would put the outcome of this poll next to the outcome of all DOTW polls added up. Would it be different, to add up all votes entered throughout the year (bear in it includes mind multiple votes per voter), then to ask for one overall DOTY?

    1. One thing we can be sure would happen @hanswesterbeek is that whoever came out on top of the meta-poll, most of us would disagree :)

      1. whoever came out on top of the meta-poll, most of us would disagree :)

        Best comment, @lockup

      2. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        26th December 2016, 9:33

        LOL, spot-on @lockup

  17. Well deserved for Ricciardo! Hope our Ferrari guys can do better next year!

    1. That’s an advantage.. they only can do better ;)

  18. Complete joke.

  19. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    26th December 2016, 1:08

    Yeah but if you were the team principal of a major team and wanted the fastest driver, where would Ricciardo fall in your lineup?

    Would he be your top pick over Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel? Would you pick him over Verstappen, Rosberg, or Hulkenberg?

    You can’t say yes to that any more than you would choose Griezmann over Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez, and Ibrahimovic…

    1. Well he already destroyed seb so why would you not pick him and the great Lewis didn’t finish higher than 4th for 4 years before he got the most dominant cars in history

      1. @davidmcgrory That’s actually true about Hamilton. If you look at the scores in 2010,2011,2012, you might actually think that Vettel, Alonso and even Jenson are better drivers. Even in 2012 Jenson nearly outscored Lewis in a tremendous twist.

    2. I’d have him in my top 2 drivers.

    3. Best drivers on the grid

      1. Alonso
      2. Hamilton
      3. Verstappen
      4. Vettel
      5. Ricciardo

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        27th December 2016, 8:18

        Hmm id say:

        1. Alonso
        2. Verstappen
        3. Vandoorne
        4. Riccardo
        5. Hamilton

  20. Well, the people that are at the track every weekend, who get to see everything and hear most every word said, who understand engines and cars more than we will ever do out here, are the F1 team bosses. They look at and understand driver data as well as the aspects of F1 that are not available to the fan out here.
    And this year they voted Lewis Hamilton the driver of the year.
    Case closed, IMO.

  21. What about Sainz. He impressed menmore than Ricciardo who had the car to be up there in the standings.

  22. Ricciardo versus Verstappen is very much like Rosberg versus Hamilton…

    Ros scored more points, was more consistant while it was Ham who suffered more DNF’s and had some more bad luck in races (clutch issues, crashes). Ham the better racer, probably all will agree.
    Ric scored more points, was more consistant while it was Ves who suffered more DNF’s and had some more bad luck in races (clutch issues, crashes). Now it gets complicated… Ves is new and fresh with less expierence, Ric always smiling and the most lovable chap of the grid… Results in races are 9-7 in favour for Ric.

    Some races are undisputed, but if we look closer we’ll find out Ric had things going for him a couple of times.
    Baku > Ric P2, Ves P9 (due to Bottas blocking in Q3), although Ves had a bad pitstop which cost him ~2 seconds he finished right behind Ric. Ves was faster over 30 of the 51 laps.
    Malaysia > We all know what happened there.. Ves was comfortably ahead by a full pitstop. Ves was faster over 35 of the 56 laps.
    Mexico > Ves in front all race

    Leaving races like Spain, Hungary and Germany out of the equation, ignoring the mechenical issues in the US, Italy and Singapore. I just can not agree Ric did better then his brand new unexpierenced team mate.

  23. Some of those Ricciardo DOTW wins… Germany? Italy? Really? Ricciardofanatic.co.uk.

  24. Well Riciardo has several things going for him. .:
    1. Smile
    2. Underdog
    3. Not in a dominant car…

    Really he performed much like Rosberg while not being a crybaby… Or primadona like Hamilton…

    He is the Rosberg of RBR…

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