PART 2 – Brought to you by TJ13 contributor @F1TheaJ
With the new season looming fast, we look back to last season and see how the TJ13 Jury rated 2016 in a 3 part series.
Race 8, Azerbaijan: Rank: 19/21 (11/12, -8) Score: 4.78 Driver of the weekend: Sergio Perez (3rd)
Sadly, this brand new race track had promised so much but delivered little in the way of exciting racing. However, Sergio Perez, coming 3rd spiced things up nicely. Very little to report except that Rosberg won and Vettel took the remaining podium position. This race lost eight places in the standings to all the others races this season except Hungary and Monza.
Race 9, Austria: Rank: 2/21 (2/12, -0) Score: 8.16 Driver of the weekend: Max Verstappen (2nd)
The newly introduced kerbs proved to be quite troublesome in this race as four cars retired with suspension failure having strayed beyond the clearly defined track limits. Another DNF for Vettel due to tyre failure saw him retire from P1 (unhappy birthday.) A dramatic final lap saw Hamilton and Rosberg collide, with Rosberg loosing not only the lead but also his front wing. Limping home he was passed by Verstappen and Raikonnen, finishing fourth. To add to his woes he was deemed responsible for the collision and given a 10 second penalty and two points on his licence. Hamilton won, but please note Pascal Werlein won Manor’s first point of the season, crucially placing them ahead of Sauber in the constructor standings. All of which made us think this was the second best race of the season so far: not only that but it held its own against all the coming races to keep second place for the remainder of the season.
Race 10, Great Britain: Rank: 13/21 (6/12, -6) Score: 6.72 Driver of the weekend: Max Verstappen (2nd)
We had some good old British weather and the race got off to a wet start under safety car conditions. The intermittent showers did their best to outwit the drivers and, on the whole did a pretty good job, especially at turn 1 where no fewer than 10 cars came a cropper (some drivers more than once.) Hamilton led the race from start to finish but it was the wonderkid Max Verstappen that won our Driver of the weekend, for not only beating and out qualifying his teammate, but giving us some daredevil overtaking (well, one daredevil overtake on Rosberg, round the outside at Becketts) which was a prelude of things to come. Controversy intervened to further reduce Rosberg’s points lead over Hamilton, as with a gear box problem, his team told him how to get round it (illegal) resulting in Rosberg being given a 10s penalty and demoting him from second to third place. The race itself lost six places over the season, being pushed down the rankings by Brazil, Malaysia, Spa, Abu Dhabi, Japan and Singapore.
Race 11, Hungary: Rank: 20/21 (12/12 – 8) Score: 4.63 Driver of the weekend: Kimi Raikonnen (6th)
Not the most exciting race of the season and with the uncharacteristic downpour during qualifying (which brought out three red flags) most of the excitement of the Hungaroring had been used up before the race got underway. A difficult track for overtaking, there was not much to report, but there were (apparantly) three main races going on: Hamilton v Rosber for P1&P2 (Hamilton won), Riciardo v Vettel for P3&P4 and the spat which the TV cameras focused on between Verstappen and Raikonnen for P5 &P6. Try as he may, Raikonnen just could not get past Verstappen which resulted in several complaints from Raikonnen about Verstappen braking late. This saw the beginnings of what would result in the introduction of the ‘Verstappen Rule’. Hamilton won the race and took the lead in the Driver standinngs. The race itself slipped down the ratings as the season progressed, finishing behind all but Monza in the standings. Was it really THAT bad??? (or were we just sparing with our ratings?)
Race 12, Germany: Rank: 17/21 (9/12 -8) Score: 5.37 Driver of the weekend Danniel Ricciardo (2nd)
The outcome of this race may have been more interesting than the race itself, as here was a lot riding on it. Hamilton won, increasing his lead over Rosberg (who came 4th) to 19 points and Red Bull overtook Ferrari in the Driver standings. The race itself dropped 8 places in the seasons’ standings finishing 17th out of 21.
Race 13, Spa: Rank: 7/21 Score: 7.28 Driver of the weekend: Max Verstappen (11th)
Hamilton and Alonso were competing to see who could get the greatest number of grid penalties and finished on a dead heat with 60 each (although by not setting a time in Q3, Alonso managed to start behind Hamilton at the back of the grid. ) The Raikonnen/Verstappen spat (see Hungary) reached new heights with not one or two but three incidents between them this race, adding more fuel to the defending/blocking debate. The Verstappen fans were out in force, as even coming home 11th, out of the points he still managed to win our Driver of the weekend. Rosberg won this race, clawing back some much needed points from Hamilton, who was still leading the championship.
Race 14, Monza: Rank: 21/21 Score: 4.3 Driver of the weekend: Daniel Ricciardo (5th)
Was this REALLY the worst race of the season? According to our readers it was! Hamilton’s poor start from pole saw him drop to P6 before the first chicane, but managed to pull back positions via a one stop strategy, finishing second behind Rosberg. Vettel took the third podium place. Ricciardo, although finishing fifth made (what Eddie Jordan considered to be) the overtake of the season when he came FROM A LONG WAY BACK to overtake Bottas on the first chicane of L47, which may have been what won him our Driver of the weekend.