Skip to content

Italian GP 2016 driver ratings

A race of poor starts and strong finishes at F1's Temple of Speed

Nico Rosberg was on the back foot heading into Sunday's race having been unable to live with the pace of Lewis Hamilton in qualifying. A deficit of nearly half a second in Q3 would be a blow to anyone's self-belief!

However, when it mattered in the race Rosberg didn't fluff the start and after taking the lead drove a controlled 53 laps to victory. "I've really improved on my starts since the summer break," Rosberg told Sky Sports F1 after the race.

Three months' half-price Sky Sports
Three months' half-price Sky Sports

Watch live Premier League football, the Ryder Cup and F1

Indeed, the only blemish on Sunday was stopping slightly too long at his pit-stop which cost the German around a second, but that was not a concern such was his advantage at the head of the field. From 43 points ahead to 19 behind, Rosberg's two-point deficit means he's right back in it heading to the final flyaways.
Rating out of ten: 8.5

For Lewis Hamilton it must have felt like Hockenheim in reverse. Much in the same way Rosberg managed to make his chances of winning disappear from pole before Turn One in Germany, the world championship leader performed almost exactly the same trick at Monza.

Down in sixth by the end of the first lap, Hamilton then did what he needed to do and got himself back above the Ferraris and into second by the chequered flag to limit the damage in the title race.

Hamilton baffled by poor start

Also See:

Hamilton admitted: "I don't know what happened, l did everything as normal. I did the sequence exactly the same. I just got lots of wheelspin."

Once back up to P2 it did look at one stage as though he might be able to claw back the gap on Rosberg, but a fightback never transpired as Hamilton became the first driver to fail to win the race from pole in Italy since 2009. The gap is now two points in the drivers' standings.
Rating out of ten: 7.5

La gioia di Sebastian Vettel sul podio di Monza (Getty)

Best of the rest was the most Ferrari could aim for and Sebastian Vettel duly delivered to give the Tifosi one driver to cheer on the podium.

A tenth clear of Kimi Raikkonen in qualifying was a solid advantage for the German, having been outperformed last time out at Spa.

Without the pace to challenge the two Mercedes cars, Vettel drove a solid, if unspectacular race, to achieve the maximum available for Ferrari. 
Rating out of ten: 8

Kimi Raikkonen è il pilota in attività ad aver vinto più volte sul circuito di Spa (Getty)

A largely uneventful afternoon for Kimi Raikkonen after briefly moving up to third in the early stages following Hamilton's poor start.

The Finn was behind team-mate Vettel all weekend and that never really looked too much like changing as he eventually cruised from fourth in qualifying to fourth at the chequered flag.

Ferrari would have hoped to be closer to Mercedes than they managed at their home Grand Prix, and the lack of competition from Red Bull behind meant Raikkonen was left without any real racing to do. 
Rating out of ten: 7

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo moveed up to 5th position in the Italian Grand Prix after overtaking Valtteri Bottas into the first turn.

"That is the overtake of the season for me," oohed Martin Brundle as Daniel Ricciardo dived past Valtteri Bottas for fifth position late on at Monza.

The Australian came from a long, long way behind the Williams driver to take the position into Turn One and even he celebrated in the car after pulling the move off cleanly.

The overtake of the year?

While his team-mate grabs the headlines, sometimes for the wrong reasons, Ricciardo continues to deliver the results for Red Bull and is establishing himself as one of F1's most consistent performers.

Aside from Rosberg, Ricciardo was the only driver in the top eight to improve on his qualifying position, underlining the impressive job he did. 
Rating out of ten: 8.5

It's not often that a driver would feel too pleased about a race finish that saw them drop a place from where they started on the grid, but Valtteri Bottas can take plenty of positives from his weekend in Italy.

A fifth place in qualifying was certainly above expectations and it was never going to be easy to keep both the Red Bulls behind him, and the fact he held Ricciardo off until the closing stages and managed to split him from his team-mate was an impressive feat in itself.

It was also his highest finish since the European GP in Baku in June, and the points gained helped Williams jump back above Force India into fourth in the Constructors' Championship.

All the attention may have been on his team-mate Felipe Massa a few days after he'd announced his retirement, but Bottas proved his worth again as Williams prepare to announce their 2017 lineup. 
Rating out of ten: 7.5 

After the headlines at Spa - both positive and negative - this was a quiet weekend for Max Verstappen.

Out-qualified by Ricciardo, albeit by only 0.022 seconds, Verstappen started seventh and finished seventh in the race after a poor start hit his chances of a better result.

Perhaps the word in his ear from FIA race director Charlie Whiting calmed the youngster on an unusually unspectacular weekend. 
Rating out of ten: 6

The speculation that surrounded the future of Sergio Perez at Force India this weekend was probably far more interesting than the Mexican's actual race as he started and finished in eighth at Monza.

It does now look more and more like Perez will be staying put next season, and he lifted his tally to the season to 62 points, 16 ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

His finish past legendary Brazilian goalkeeper Dida during the five-a-side match on the pit straight on Friday definitely made it worth the trip, though. 
Rating out of ten: 7

Starting outside of the top 10, Felipe Massa made good use of his free choice of starting tyre to progress from 11th on the grid to ninth at the flag.

Having announced his retirement from the sport just days earlier, an emotional weekend could have got the better of the Brazilian. Qualifying was a disappointment, with Massa over four tenths slower than Bottas in the sister Williams in Q2 as he made an early exit.

That did mean Massa could start on new soft tyres, however, which gave him an advantage over those ahead on used supersofts, allowing the Brazilian to score points on his final race in Italy. 
Rating out of ten: 6.5 


Starting in ninth and finishing in 10th, Nico Hulkenberg would ultimately have been happy to keep himself in the points at Monza. 

It also meant a fifth straight top-10 finish for the German, which represents a fairly impressive achievement considering his first five races of the season featured two 15ths and two retirements.

That new-found consistency will be key in the battle for fourth between Force India and Williams for the rest of the season. 
Rating out of ten: 6

Another near miss for Haas as Romain Grosjean finished just outside the points in 11th.

Starting from 17th on the grid thanks to a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, Grosjean utilised a one-stop strategy to good effect to progress through the field. 
Rating out of ten: 7 

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 10:  Jenson Button of Great Britain and McLaren Honda in the Paddock before the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silv

Jenson Button may not quite be retiring, but the decision to step away from F1 in 2017 is a significant moment for a driver who has been in the sport for longer than anyone else currently on the grid.

And his display at Monza perhaps proved why he has grown so frustrated during recent years at McLaren. A couple of classy moves - particularly in the closing stages on team-mate Fernando Alonso - showed he's still got what it takes, but a 12th-placed finish is all he had to show from it.

You imagine that Button will only be back on the grid at Monza in 2018 if he has a car that will give him the opportunity to show off his quality higher up the field. 
Rating out of ten: 7 

After the highs of Saturday, Sunday was somewhat of a nightmare for Esteban Gutierrez.

The Mexican became the first Haas driver to ever reach Q3 and had the opportunity to deliver the team's first points since Austria from 10th on the grid.

However, the start was a disaster as he got away slowly from the grid and dropped to 21st position by the first corner. Not the best thing to do when 2017 contracts are being sorted! 
Rating out of ten: 6.5 

You get the feeling that Fernando Alonso is just trying to keep himself entertained in any way possible as he scraps it out in the lower-middle order with McLaren.

The Spaniard's decision to pit three laps from the end to put some fresh tyres on and set the fastest lap time appeared to be an attempt to keep himself awake until the chequered flag as much as anything else. "We fitted new tyres for the last two laps and I just went out and maximised the grip," he said. "It doesn't make for much difference - it's only good for the stats - as we were basically never in the running for points today."

He is now, though, in the standings for the 2016 DHL Fastest Lap Award, but will need a few more late pit-stops between now and the end of the season to catch up with Rosberg's tally of five. 
Rating out of ten: 6.5

The long straights of Monza coupled with a 2015 Ferrari engine were always likely to make this a difficult weekend for Toro Rosso and so it proved.

Starting 15th, Carlos Sainz finished 15th on a quiet weekend for himself and the team. But he did manage to finish the race, unlike Daniil Kvyat. 
Rating out of ten: 6

It's fair to say that the 2016 Italian GP wasn't exactly a back-of-the-pack classic, and that was highlighted more than anything by Marcus Ericsson's jump from 19th to 16th coming entirely because of the three retirements ahead of him.

Sky F1's Mark Hughes said in his half-term report that "you need to really see him in a more competitive car to gauge where he's really at," and the fact he hasn't finished higher than 15th since round five in Spain is certainly proof of that. 
Rating out of ten: 6 

It may have been his joint-lowest finish of the season but, in all honesty, it was just good to see Kevin Magnussen back out on the track so soon after his crash at Spa last weekend. 

The Dane cruised through Monza in something of a second-last limbo, knowing that a Manor was somewhere behind him, but probably needing something more powerful than just his rear-view mirrors to actually see where it was. 
Rating out of ten: 5.5

The only man to finish two laps behind, at least Esteban Ocon managed to complete the race unlike his unfortunate Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein - who was enjoying an excellent weekend before being forced to retire for the second race in a row.

Still, though, it's two races down in the Frenchman's F1 career and he's managed to finish them both. And that's got to count for something. Rating out of ten: 5 

Did not finish: Daniil Kvyat, Pascal Wehrlein, Jolyon Palmer, Felipe Nasr

Don't miss the F1 Report for the analysis of the Italian GP. The Telegraph's Daniel Johnson and former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley join Natalie Pinkham in the studio at 8.30pm on Wednesday.

Watch Sky Sports' derby day extravaganza on Sep 10 - Man Utd v Man City and Celtic v Rangers - as part of our three months half price offer.

Around Sky