Start, Yas Marina, 2017

2017 ended with second-worst race of last ten years

2017 F1 season review

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The final race of the 2017 F1 season received the second-lowest score seen since Rate the Race began in 2008.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix earned an average score of just 3.743 out of 10 – lower than any race bar the 2010 German Grand Prix.

However Baku, the venue which produced the lowest-rated race of last year, soared to the top of this year’s chart after a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix won by Daniel Ricciardo. It was the only one of this year’s races to feature among the top 10 grands prix of the last ten years.

Following concerns that changes to the cars would impair the racing this year, 2017 had the third-lowest average Rate the Race score of the past ten seasons. However it was rated better than the 2015 championship.

Best and worst races of 2017

Average Rate the Race scores, 2008-2017

YearAverage ratingHighest ratingLowest rating
20086.6518.756 (Brazil)3.977 (Europe)
20096.3168.309 (Brazil)5.276 (Turkey)
20106.7598.668 (Canada)3.740 (Germany)
20117.239.241 (Chinese)3.871 (Europe)
20127.3679.449 (Brazil)5.158 (Korea)
20136.6917.826 (Bahrain)5.017 (Abu Dhabi)
20147.1279.190 (Canada)4.064 (Russia)
20156.3329.115 (Hungary)4.566 (Brazil)
20166.8298.706 (Spain)4.728 (Europe)
20176.6038.790 (Azerbaijan)3.743 (Abu Dhabi)

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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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  • 43 comments on “2017 ended with second-worst race of last ten years”

    1. So Sochi, race which featured no overtakes, no dramas and cars running more than 2 seconds apart (with the exception of Bottas locking up and Vettel chasing him during last few laps) was rated higher than Abu Dhabi, with plenty of battles (Massa-Alonso, Grosjean-Stroll, Wehrlein-Magnussen, Hamilton-Bottas for the lead) and interesting moments (Hulk’s and Sainz’s pit stop problems, Ricciardo retiring, Gasly spinning, Stroll destroying tyres)? OK, seems right.

      1. @armchairexpert New/First time winners in time of dominance always score well.

      2. @armchairexpert Both races were incredibly boring, but in Sochi the championship was completely open and that made the difference I think.

        1. Well, 2009 is the lowest scored year of the last ten years, so what do you imagine?

        2. Exactly, we don’t seem to vote races (and drivers) purely based on the action on track.
          When there is a new/unexpected winner – even in an average race – scores skyrocket (Baku ’17, Spain 16, Hungary ’15, etc.).
          And an average race gets scored downwards if there is no championship at stake (Abu Dhabi ’17, Brazil ’15, etc.).

        3. @f1infigures ”but in Sochi the championship was completely open and that made the difference I think.”
          – That’s irrelevant as the Russian GP took place very early in the season.

          1. @jerejj It shows that the ratings drop when the title has been decided.

    2. Did Baku knock Brazil 2008 out of the top 10? It was a good race, but I doubt I’ll remember it in 9 years time.

      1. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
        26th December 2017, 12:51

        @george It knocked Valencia 2012 out.

        1. Oh, well that’s quite fitting then, considering those tracks’ respective reputations before those races :)

    3. I personally thought Sochi was the worst.

      The Azeri one was fantastic and my favourite. A huge improvement after their debut!

    4. The first half of the season has better average which falls down steeply in the second half especially from summer break. I think it has more to do with championship fight getting diluted as the season progressed and getting over with 4-5 races remaining (read: had vettel and ferrari not fumbled, it could have been a different story)

      1. Pretty much – it’s like watching the 2nd half of a football match when the other team has had 7 of their players sent off.

      2. @rahulm From Austria (1st half) to Singapore (2nd half) the races were rated very similarly. Only the final races were affected by the championship being decided (Brazil would likely have been a 7-8 too had the championship been open).
        Basically there was one insane race (Baku), but the rest of the season was underwhelming (no other race was rated better than an 8). I’m actually surprised 2017 was rated higher than 2015, as 2015 had a couple of very highly rated races (Hungary, US).

      3. @rahulm. Things can change so easily. If Vettel had been calmer at the start in Singapore and only finished third, say, behind Raikkonen and Verstappen but ahead of Hamilton, he would have gone to Brazil still in the hunt. In which case Hamilton crashing in Q1 would have taken on huge significance. But that’s the way it goes.

    5. 3 out of 5 of Ricciardo’s wins are races in the top 10 best races here. That’s more than half of his wins, and the other 2 also had a good rating here if I remember.

      So, Ricciardo, can you, please, win more races in the future :D ?

      1. His wins are almost invariably in races in which faster cars/drivers have technical errors and/or make unexpected mistakes. So yeah, they’re highly rated.

    6. Says a lot about F1 right now that Baku was the best race and in the recent top ten. It was Hollywood but it was terrible. F1 races are exciting when there is tension, racing, not this farcical festival of errors. Awful.

      1. I must admit that there was a lot of tension even though it was created by (unnecessary) safety cars.

    7. Yeah… The more the underdog the higher the rating.

      Also Abu Dhabi is a lame track…

    8. Not sure I could definitely place it as the second-worst in the last 10 years, but it was certainly a horrible ‘race’.

      1. Germany 2010 was the Fernando is faster than you one. So I believe it’s the worst ever with no remarkable incident.

    9. IMO the races were quite boring this year. There wasn’t a lot of action in most of them and the fight for the title (for the first time in five years) made for better scores as well. A lot had to do with one-stop strategies – when it was between one or two stops in USA, it suddenly was more exciting throughout the field.

      This season was all about Vettel/Hamilton rivalry and had it been for Abu Dhabi showdown it would have been a classic. Otherwise it will be remembered as continuation of Mercedes domianance. There was many good things but also many bad ones as well. It was way better than 2013-16, but nowhere near 2010 or 2012.

      1. @michal2009b Just wondering why you left out 2011? For me 2011 was a great season even though I saw Vettel win many races whilst my hero in the same car won but one race. We’re all quick to put it in the ‘dominant seasons’ row but really it had 5 winners, and some very inspiring performances.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          26th December 2017, 23:22

          2011 was a great season, better than the past four seasons.

    10. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
      26th December 2017, 17:21

      I never wondered why Germany 2010 was the worst of them all. Was that because of the Ferrari team order?

      1. Yes, you had a lot of people voting down that race as a form of protest against the team orders that Ferrari imposed in the 2010 German GP.

        As many others observed at the time though, Ferrari’s biggest crime was the fact that they were comparatively blatant about it. It was a fairly open secret at the time that other teams had imposed team orders in previous seasons, but a lot of the time we did not get to hear the order as the radio transmissions were not made available to the broadcasters. Furthermore, there was probably greater empathy for Massa given the injury he had sustained in 2009 and the fact that this had looked like one of his stronger performances during his recovery phase.

        It does also highlight that, in reality, a lot of the time the “rate the race” vote in most average races is not being driven by the actual quality of the racing, but is usually governed by off track factors: whether people want to protest about something (say, a decision by the FIA or the conduct of a particular team or driver), perceptions of a venue – I’ve seen some people here admitting to giving more favourable votes to “historical” venues and downvoting modern venues, irrespective of the actual quality of the races that took place – or as a way of rewarding an individual who has made a breakthrough, such as the likely slightly higher rating for Bottas winning in Sochi.

    11. Let’s all admit it, Well done Baku.

      1. Let’s also admit: in retrospect, Baku wasn’t the best race this year!
        (and Ricciardo was better in Brazil than he was in Baku)

    12. A fair number of existing tracks panicked under the death of Senna and willingly offered up significant alterations to their corners where boys became men and ruined the rhythm of what was once the very thing that attracted race drivers, fast corners that take some balls to get it right. Maybe it’s time to revisit what once made Formula One great, men in machines challenging each other’s limits at racetracks infamous throughout the world in pursuit of becoming the World Driving Champion. The drivers want to go as fast as they can but have to race at a pace that no longer separates the men from the boys. Some of the great tracks have even even replaced with events solely to create revenues. Finally we have great cars again that test the drivers and the quality of the racing is much better. Maybe rethink parts of tracks or when developing new race sites seek designs which attract the challenge of the driver and the fans will come and spill their wallets. Better watch out Abu Dhabi.

    13. My claim to fame………..I went to watch both the highest AND lowest rated races featured in these polls. Brazil was phenomenal. Abu Dhabi abominable.

      1. My claim to fame………..I went to watch both the highest AND lowest rated races featured in these polls. Brazil was phenomenal. Abu Dhabi abominable.
        Edit…….second lowest.

    14. The racing media is partially to blame for this…I am an American, so I know when I am being messed with by the press… and the IMMEDIATE negative coverage fallowing Abu Dhabi was blatantly obvious… are they up for a contract renegotiation??

      1. I actually thought the race was pretty good.. but it seems like there was Abu Dhabi bashing on the agenda either ways.

    15. as a hungarian i’m proud to declare that we have THE BEST TRACK considering race excitement. :-)

    16. I could name quite a few races from the last ten seasons that I found more boring than the most recent edition of the Abu Dhabi GP. From last season, I found both the Russian and the Monaco GPs, for example, more boring than this one maybe even the Australian GP. Two at the very least were more boring than the Abu Dhabi GP. The inaugural Abu Dhabi GP, for example, which I re-watched ahead of the 2016 edition was even more straightforward/dull than any 2017 race. The same applies to most races from the refuelling era.

      1. Agree, Abu Dhabi wasn’t that bad.

        We must have become Grumpy Old F1 Fanatics!
        What’s next? Complaining about the next safety feature because of aesthetics ;)

        1. @Egonovi ”Complaining about the next safety feature because of aesthetics” – That’s pretty much already happened, LOL.

      2. @jerejj Voting only started in 2008.

        1. @flatsix Hence why I stated ”the last ten seasons”.

          1. The same applies to most races from the refuelling era.

            @jerejj Only two years are within those 10, so I thought by above you included everything from 2000 onwards to 2009.

            1. @flatsix Even though the ‘rate the race’ voting has only been active since the penultimate refuelling era season, I decided to type the last paragraph of my original comment anyway as that’s the case.

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