Ranking the 2016 F1 drivers…Bottas 18th?

The BBC asked readers to vote for the best drivers in 2016 and they even offered some picks from their own pundits with brief paragraphs with their explanations. Perhaps there are no surprises here for you and this is exactly how you would have voted but for me, there are a few picks I can’t say that I agree with.

I think it’s a tough call between Lewis and Nico. Lewis had a great year winning 10 races (more than Nico) and that’s hard to argue with but winning the title and managing your points is no easy task either. 

I don’t disagree with Perez ranking as high as he did, he had a fantastic, if not quiet, season. I am a little surprised about Sebastian Vettel who I felt drove the best he could in a car that quite honestly fought him every step of the way. I also am surprised at ranking Nasr at the bottom. This is a man who delivered Sauber 2 points and millions of dollars for 10th place in the constructor’s championship. 

I felt Hulkenberg and Bottas certainly deserved a higher position on the list too. How did you see the season as juxtaposed with this list? Maybe it’s being an American, but my list would be a bit different than the BBC’s readers, would yours? 

Best drivers of 2016 table
Positions based on the amount of times each driver was ranked first
1Lewis Hamilton
2Max Verstappen
3Nico Rosberg
4Daniel Ricciardo
5Fernando Alonso
6Jenson Button
7Kimi Raikkonen
8Sergio Perez
9Carlos Sainz
10Sebastian Vettel
11Pascal Wehrlein
12Rio Haryanto
13Kevin Magnussen
14Nico Hulkenberg
15Felipe Massa
16Jolyon Palmer
17Daniil Kvyat
18Valtteri Bottas
19Romain Grosjean
20Esteban Ocon
21Esteban Gutierrez
22Marcus Ericsson
23Felipe Nasr

Hat Tip: BBC

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Ian Robinson

I gotta say i agree with some like the top 3 but Alonso and Button so far up? and how the Goot avoided being bottom is beyond me. Bottas is just so underwhelming, thats why i think us British seem to see him as an under-performer??
good to see Kimi ahead of Vettal too.

Henrik R

British press never liked Sauber so not very surprising… I mean Ericsson 22 ? Have the voters even followed the season..


…add Ferrari.

Fred Talmadge

Look at how sad the Ferrari drivers are in the portrait.

Dr T

I cannot see how LH was the top driver of the season. His performance in qualifying and the race in Baku was less than stellar… I don’t understand how Esteban Ocon isn’t closer to Haryanto and Wehrlein – all three of them did really well. I used to love listening to every F1 podcast I could get my hands on, but have gotten a little picky as of late. I just can’t listen to the BBC 5Live podcast anymore. I know they are speaking to a British audience, but they fall over themselves so much to praise LH. Fortunately they… Read more »


German media very seldom engage publishing subjective opinions, never mind selling such as statement of facts. There are automobile type of specialized publication, and depends whom you talk to, but Vettel has been this yer rated in my recall usually in 4th to 6th place. Rosberg 5 – 7th. Here Vettel is 10th, yet returning to facts, he is the only driver who was overtaken least from them all in 21 races. One overtake only by Verstappen, who in his exuberance had a run on him, and his attempt ended up with Vettel having to leave the track to avoid… Read more »

Dr T

Fair comment on Canamasas though

Max Johnson

I no longer read BBC F1 after that article by Andrew Benson (http://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/38125831. BBC is heavily bias and this rating only reflects that so I’m not going to take them seriously. The rating by Motor Sport Magazine is much better.


Thanks for the links Max, the BBC one made me throw up a little, the Motorspot article at least created some good debate in the comments.


I’m sorry BBC, your list is absolute rubbish. I rarely bother reading driver ranking articles anymore, they’re a waste of time.


The BBC driver rankings are a popularity contest. We have next to no idea what contribution any of the drivers make to the overall performance of the car / team. We hear from Martin Brundle that the Mercedes is a perfect race car, very easy to drive, so converting its capabilities into wins may require less talent from a driver than getting the Haas into the points, when the cars braking system threatens to put the driver into the wall every other corner. In my view, F1 is a technological team sport, so the more relevant question would be, ‘which… Read more »


I’d agree with much of this list, but Jenson belongs nowhere near 6th. For me, he was driving much of the season uninspired and with sandals on. Kvyat endured a horrendous season too, although Nasr fully deserves his last place.