Monday, April 11, 2016

Formula One: Elo Ratings, Post-Bahrain Grand Prix

For the first time since the completion of qualifying at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, we have a new leader atop our Elo ratings. Rosberg's seemingly-effortless victory -- his fifth in a row -- has put him ahead of his teammate for the first time in over a year.

Once again Lewis Hamilton failed to convert a pole position to a win, as he got bogged down on the start, shoved wide in the first corner, and surrounded by mid-pack drivers.

Lewis Hamilton (right) about to get tagged by Valteri Bottas (center)
Source: Bleacher Report

Rank+/-Driver TeamRating+/-
1 +1 RosbergMercedes 1680 +19
2 -1 HamiltonMercedes 1674 -16
3 -- VettelFerrari 1418 --
4 -- RaikkonenFerrari 1408 +42
5 -- RicciardoRed Bull 1308 +27
6 -- MassaWilliams 1214 -29
7 -- BottasWilliams 1159 -34
8 +1 VerstappenToro Rosso 1127 +40
9 +2 GrosjeanHaas 1109 +67
10 -- Sainz Jr.Toro Rosso 1071 --
11 -3 HulkenbergForce India 1059 -129
12 -- KvyatRed Bull 1021 +53
13 +2 VandoorneMcLaren 901 +29
14 -- ButtonMcLaren 884 --
15 -2 PerezForce India 874 -89
16 -- MagnussenRenault 859 +22
17 -- AlonsoMcLaren 829 --
18 -- GutierrezHaas 802 --
19 +1 EricssonSauber 797 +20
20 -1 PalmerRenault 788 --
21 -- WehrleinManor 738 +15
22 -- NasrSauber 701 +4
23 -- HaryantoManor 638 -41

Further down the grid, Romain Grosjean continues to impress as the lead driver for the new U.S.-based Haas F1 team. His fifth-place finish moves him up two spots in our ratings, breaking the top ten. This is the first time in the last 20 years that a truly new team -- not a rebranded team such as Jaguar-to-Red-Bull or Honda-to-Brawn -- has had a driver break the top ten. Not only that, but Haas and Grosjean have managed to do it by the second race. It's unclear if they'll be able to sustain this pace, as Kvyat and Force India both had off-races, but it's been made clear that Haas is not going to be another Manor or Caterham.

As for Force India, Bahrain saw the end of a run of top-ten finishes, dropping both drivers out of the top ten and to the back of the mid-pack teams. Finishing behind both Saubers and one of the Manors is not exactly the best way to claw your way towards the front of the pack.

One bright spot was Stoffel Vandoorne, the GP2 champion and reserve driver for McLaren, filling in for the injured Alonso. Vandoorne qualified 12th, ahead of Button, and managed to score a point in his Formula One debut. This makes for the seventh-best debut since the 2000 season.

1Lewis Hamilton1098
2Kevin Magnussen1077
3Nico Rosberg972
4Sebastian Vettel955
5Daniil Kvyat915
6Felipe Massa907
7Stoffel Vandoorne901
8Felipe Nasr900
9Robert Kubica896
10Heikki Kovalainen881

Alonso is still questionable for China next week, so Vandoorne may get another chance to prove himself. We'll keep an eye on this new talent and how he does in comparison to other rookie drivers in their second outings.