THE HITS AND THE
MN runs the rule over the biggest news stories from the grand prix paddock MOST UNDERRATED DRIVER NICO ROSBERG
ewis Hamilton won more races across this year’s F1 World Championship than his team-mate Nico Rosberg, but the Brit lost out in the long run due to some duff starts and some poor reliability from his Mercedes.
Those are the headline facts of the 2016 campaign, but it will be a season remembered for so many other things.
Aside from the fractious relationship between Hamilton and Rosberg, which spilled over into on-track clashes on more than one occasion, the year will be acknowledged as the one when Max Verstappen broke through.
The teenager was a sensation in the Red Bull after his promotion to the top team, taking a breakthrough win in Spain. His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo also tasted success, while Ferrari underperformed again with neither Kimi Raikkonen or Sebastian Vettel mounting the top step of the rostrum.
Our reporters Anthony Rowlinson, Stuart Codling and James Roberts have travelled the globe to see the drama unfold, and we have asked them to pick out the best and worst of the season.
The strange thing about F1’s ill-fated elimination qualifying is that it ever happened at all. Judging by the veritable hurricane of ‘I-told-you-sos’ that blew through the paddock after, everyone in the Strategy Group that voted for this knew it wouldn’t work.
As usual with the laughably misnamed Strategy Group, it was all someone else’s fault.the root of the idiocy was the faulty assumption that the spectacle of F1 is broken. From this point of view you can see why some people might think qualifying needed a gimmicky revamp.
In track cycling there’s a successful ‘elimination race’ that works because all the riders are on track at once and the last person over the line on a given lap is out. But in F1, where cars need to stay separate to reach their peak pace, and they’re running on tyres that give up if pushed too hard, it was doomed to fail. Result: drivers shot their bolt and then retired to the garage, leaving the clock counting down over an empty track. Stuart Codling
Remember last year Maxverstappen made that amazing move on Felipe Nasr around the outside of the daunting 170mph Blanchimont corner at Spa? Well this year,verstappen’s gone and done it again, with another brilliant pass around the outside of a rival.
A downpour had soaked the Silverstone track in the minutes prior to the start of the British GP and so the opening laps were held on a slippery surface.verstappen, running in third, was closing in on Nico Rosberg and was able to find more adhesion than the Mercedes driver ahead of him.
Entering the fearsome Maggots/becketts sequence on the 16th lap of the race,verstappen closed right in on Rosberg. And when he saw the Mercedes step out of line on the wet, he pounced.telemetry showsverstappen was travelling 14mph quicker than Rosberg as he drew alongside – 107mph to 93mph – and came out ahead onto the Hangar Straight. A move that Martin Brundle instantly called “outrageous.” in his TV commentary.
Montreal, Canada Hungaroring, Hungary Silverstone, Britain Shanghai, China Circuit of the Americas, USA Abu Dhabi, UAE Monza, Italy Suzuka , Japan Sochi, Russia Bahrain Albert Park, Australia Monaco Hockenheim, Germany Singapore Spa, Belgium Indianapolis, USA Fuji, Japan Istanbul Park, Turkey Nurburgring, Germany Sepang, Malaysia Barcelona, Spain Red Bull Ring, Austria Mexico City, Mexico Interlagos, Brazil
Zandvoort, Holland Nurburgring, Germany Monaco Monza, Italy Watkins Glen, USA Kyalami, South Africa Montjuic Park, Spain Silverstone, Britain Paul Ricard, France Mosport, Canada Charade, France Jarama, Spain Buenos Aires, Argentina Belgium, Zolder
Barcelona, Spain Interlagos, Brazil Osterreichring, Austria Suzuka, Japan Hungaroring, Hungary Jerez, Spain Albert Park, Australia Monaco Hockenheim, Germany Nurburging, Germany Montreal, Canada Spa, Belgium Silverstone, Britain Indianapolis, USA