Review by Dave Bass
Email bassdave.47@gmail.com

Well that’s another season over and the biggest surprise of all was Nico retiring from Formula 1 leaving Mercedes with a dilemma.

There has been and will be a lot of speculation as to who will replace the newly crowned World Champion. It will be only the sixth time in history that a season has started without a champion on the grid; 1959, 1971, 1974, 1993 & 1994. Mike Hawthorn won in 1958 and retired, Jochen Rindt won the title posthumously in 1970, J Stewart won his third title in 1973 and retired, N Mansell won in 1992 and went to Indycar in America and then A Prost, after winning his fourth title in 1993, retired.

Seb for only the second time in his career has had a winless season. The last time was in 2014, his final season with Red Bull.

Checo became the first Force India driver to have scored more than 100 points in a season for the team which helped them on their way to claim the team’s best ever finish of 4th in the Constructors Championship.

Silverstone has been awarded a £9.1 million lottery grant and will open a museum. The Silverstone Heritage Experience will be housed in the only remaining World War II hanger at the former aerodrome and is due to open in early 2019. It will display iconic racing cars and bikes from all eras. There will also be a Collection and Research Centre offering museum & archive storage for the BRDC as well as a library and learning space for school groups. Money well spent I think.

The good news is that the French GP will return to the calendar in 2018 after a 10 year absence and will be held at the Paul Ricard circuit which has not held a race for 28 years. The circuit is to be dedicated to the late Jules Bianchi who died after a tragic accident at Suzuka.

How did the top ten drivers fare compared to last season?
2015 2014 pos / pts.
1) N Rosberg 08 pp, 06 f/laps, 09 wins – 16 podiums 385 points (2nd) – 322
2) L Hamilton 12 pp, 03 f/laps, 10 wins – 17 podiums 380 points (1st) – 381
3) D Ricciardo 01 pp, 04 f/laps, 01 wins – 08 podiums 256 points (8th) – 92
4) S Vettel 00 pp, 03 f/laps, 00 wins – 08 podiums 212 points (3rd) – 278
5) M Verstappen 00 pp, 01 f/laps, 01 wins – 07 podiums 204 points (12th) – 49
6) K Räikkönen 00 pp, 01 f/laps, 00 wins – 03 podiums 186 points (5th) – 150
7) S Perez 00 pp, 00 f/laps, 00 wins – 02 podiums 101 points (9th) – 78
8) V Bottas 00 pp, 00 f/laps, 00 wins – 01 podiums 85 points (4th) – 136
9) N Hülkenberg 00 pp, 01 f/laps, 00 wins – 00 podiums 72 points (10th) – 58
10) F Alonso – 00 pp, 01 f/laps, 00 wins – 00 podiums 54 points (17th) – 11

Ham led the most laps over the season with 587 (51.1%) ahead of Rosberg with 349 (30.4%), then came Seb with 176(15.3%), Massa (30), Kimi (10), Ricciardo (7) & Bottas with 1 of the 1,150 laps covered during the 19 race season.

There were 75 retirements during the 19 race season (10 less than last year), but with 2 drivers less and Caterham had 11 retirements last year. Maldonado gets the trophy for that category as he had 9 DNF’s as his team mate Grosjean retired 7 times giving Lotus 16 DNF’s in the season. (42.11%).

Seb, from the 1,150 laps available, completed 1,128 (98.1%) with team mate Kimi down in 12th place completing 964 laps (83.8%) leaving Ferrari with 208 laps down in total, achieving 91.0% of the available laps completed.

How did the teams compare to last year?
Mercedes
2015 – 1st place – 703 points
2016 – 1st place – 765 points + 62 pts =
Red Bull
2015 – 4th place – 187 points
2016 – 2nd place – 468 points + 281 pts h
Ferrari
2015 – 2nd place – 428 points
2016 – 3rd place – 398 points (-) 30 pts i
Force India
2015 – 5th place – 136 points
2016 – 4th place – 173 points + 37 pts h
Williams
2015 – 3rd place – 257 points
2016 – 5th place – 138 points (-) 119 pts i
McLaren
2015 – 9th place – 27 points
2016 – 6th place – 76 points + 49 pts h
Toro Rosso
2015 – 7th place – 67 points
2016 – 7th place – 63 points (-) 04 pts =
Haas
2015 – Did not enter – 00 points
2016 – 8th place – 29 points + 29 pts h
Renault
2015 – 6th place – 78 points
2016 – 9th place – 08 points (-) 70 pts i
Sauber
2015 – 8th place – 36 points
2016 – 10th place – 02 points (-) 34 pts i

Manor
2015 – 10th place – 00 points
2016 –11th place – 01 points + 01 pts i

Penalties were a big thing again this year
12 points accrued by a driver within a 12 month period would amount to a 1 race ban.

Daniil Kvyat 8. (Russia 3, Monaco 2, USA 2 & Brazil 1)
Esteban Gutiérrez 7. (Russia 2, Hungary 2 & Belgium 3)
Sebastian Vettel 6. (Britain 2, Malaysia 2 & Mexico 2)
Nico Rosberg 6. (Austria 2, Germany 2 & Malaysia 2)
Carlos Sainz Jnr 5. (Russia 2, Germany 2 & Mexico 1)
Filipe Nasr 4. (Austria 2 & Italy 2)
Kevin Magnussen 4. (Spain 2 & USA 2)
Jolyon Palmer 4. (Austria 2 & Abu Dhabi 2)
Esteban Ocon 4. (Singapore 2 & Brazil 2)
Valtteri Bottas 4. (Bahrain 2 & Monaco 2)
Pascal Wehrlein 4. (Monaco)
Sergio Pérez 3. (Singapore)
Kimi Räikkönen 2. (European Baku)
Marcus Ericsson 2. (Austria)
Filipe Massa 2. (Brazil)
Nico Hülkenberg 2. (China)
Max Verstappen 1. (Mexico)

Daniel Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button & Lewis Hamilton all escaped penalty points.

Nico and Mercedes collected their respective Championship trophy’s at the prize giving gala at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna on 3rd December with Ham & Ricci also collecting trophies for their respective 2nd and 3rd places. Max, for the second consecutive year, collected two awards, for the FIA’s “Personality of the Year” and another for “Action of the Year” for his pass on Nico at the Curva do Sol at the rain soaked Interlagos circuit.

The pre-season testing begins at Barcelona from 27th February until 2nd March and again at Barcelona from 7th to 10th March.

The calendar of 20 races for 2017 will follow very soon. The Azerbaijan GP has been moved, as last year it was the same day as the end of 24 hour Le Mans.