Rate the Race and Driver of the Day results for German GP 2016 by TJ13 contributor @F1Theaj
Rate the Race Reader Score: 5.37
Scoring higher than Hungary but Lower than Silverstone, the German GP was nestled comfortably between the two (in the opinion of our readers.) The outcome of the race threatened to be more interesting than the race itself, as there was quite a lot riding on it. Lewis continued his race winning advancement to secure his position at the top of the Driver Standings, now 19 points ahead of Rosberg (was it ever going to be any other way?) HAM made an excellent start and took pole from P2 before the first corner and there he stayed for the duration, comfortably controlling the race throughout. Verstappen elbowed Ricciardo and Rosberg out of the way to take P2; Riciardo held on to P3, Rosberg was bludgeoned into P4, Vettel swapped places with Raikonnen for P5&6 , and so the ‘best of the rest’ in the Constructors Standings was sorted before the race had entered its second lap.
The order shuffled around a bit as the front runners moved onto fresh tyres at the various pit stops, but interestingly the final podium positions were determined when a)Red Bull split their tyre strategy and b) Ros received a time penalty for ‘pushing VES off the track’ . Red Bull put RIC onto SS and VES on S tyres. RIC was faster than VES and (although we didn’t hear the radio message) VES was likely to have been told to let RIC past, as uncharacteristically, he didn’t put up any defence when challenged by RIC. After the race both VES and the team principle, Horner, commented on how the two drivers had ‘worked together for the good of the team’ (also VES didn’t look overly pleased on the podium.)
It’s a pity that there isn’t an award for ‘Best Whippingboy’ as ROS would surely win that. If there are ever any penalties to be handed out (fair, borderline or otherwise) ROS is there at the front of the queue. Last week VES got off with ‘defending strongly’ against RAI and this week, when ROS tried it he was slapped down with a five second penalty. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his own team converted it to an 8 second penalty when their stopwatch wasn’t working properly (started from -3) when the penalty was applied at ROS’s pitstop. This scuppered any chances he had of getting a podium place (having pitted from P2) and so the result was as it was.
Thankfully the restrictive radio rules had been relaxed for this weekend, so (apart from on the formation lap) the drivers and their race engineers could communicate freely. How interesting was that? The highlight of the radio communication transmissions must surely be the discourse between VET and Ferrari. When told to box for his final set of tyres VET overruled this decision saying there was still plenty of life left in his current tyres and (being 8s behind his nearest opponent) who were they planning on getting the undercut on anyway? Back and forth this ‘discussion’ went until the team finally told him to stay out, which he did. He was very circumspect afterwards, saying that he probably blew a chance to put pressure on those ahead of him. The TV commentators, however, felt that the interaction well and truly showed who was boss at Maranello.
Driver of the weekend- Daniel Ricciardo 41.73%
Although (as in the GP itself) the same three drivers were on the podium for this award, Danniel took first place (and thankfully there was no swigging of champagne from sweaty shoes afterwards….. at least not to my knowledge).
The top step of this particular podium was awarded to Daniel Ricciardo, with 43.09% of the vote, followed, In second place by Lewis on 25.41% and Max on 13.81%).
Having put in a couple of blistering laps in qualifying, Daniel started the race from P3 and finished in P2 (his highest placing of the year so far.) He gave chase to the Mercedes in a way that really did look as if the RB12 had come on in leaps and bounds. He gave the Mercs a run for their money and knocked the Ferrars into a cocked hat AND won the DHL fastest Lap (1:18.442). Having recovered from the recent disappointments of Spain and Monaco, Danny Ric is back with a smile, and what a smile it s too.
Worthy of an honourable mention is Jenson Button coming in a respectable P8 beating Fernando.
My driver was Jenson, only because he seems to get the best out of this wheelbarrow of a car and keeps smiling while doing it.
Not really a Lewis fan but he deserves to be the driver of the weekend. Great start and managed to stay away from Max and Daniel who have the better car for this circuit.
Mercedes have the better car for almost any circuit, including this one.
Especially in clean air
Yeah … and rainy days and Sundays!
Ricciardo and Verstappen both were fast and had moments of brilliance between qualifying and the race, and their (rare) well executed teammwork helped make a 2-3 out of a 3-4. How often has a Mercedes driver, either one, been left without an answer for another teams speed in between 2014 and 2016? So it’s hard for me to tell them apart.
Both of them along with Hamilton and Button are my drivers of the weekend.
Believe you can only pick one Erico …
Interesting thing about Button is that, judging by his comments after the race, it sounded like Alonso was “doing a Vettel” and completely ignoring his team’s strategy calls to save fuel and tyres, presumably because he was trying not to finish behind Jenson. Which went well for him! And led to nil points for Fernando instead of what should have been a P9 if he’d driven more intelligently. So applause indeed for Button – (another) great start and good pace and car management. And outdriving Fernando where it matters.