For the third consecutive year Mercedes were in a class of their own. The German manufacturer won a staggering 19 out of the 21 races last year and took 20 pole positions on their way to scoring a record-breaking 765 points in the constructors championship. There were a few reliability issues along the way with the most notable Lewis Hamilton’s engine blowout in Malaysia. However, nobody can argue that they weren’t the best team in 2016.
2. Red Bull:
At the start of the year we were predicting a battle between Ferrari and Mercedes but it was Red Bull who were the closest challengers to the world champions. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Versatappen produced a number of great drives in 2016 and helped with improvements in the Tag Heur branded Renault engine Red Bull were a lot more competitive than what many expected. Verstappen became the youngest ever winner in F1 when he won the Spanish GP and in the next race in Monaco, Red Bull let victory slip through their hands with a mistake in the pits causing Ricciardo to finish 2nd. Later in the season, Ricciardo won in Malaysia with Verstappen second to give Red Bull their first 1-2 finish since 2013.
3. Force India:
Force India continue to exceed expectations in F1. They finished 4th in the constructors championship in 2016 their highest finish to date earning them the tag of the best of the rest in 2016. The team manged to finish ahead of big names McLaren, Williams and Renault and with significantly less resources and money than the other teams that is no mean feat. Notable highlights were two podiums for Sergio Perez in Monaco and in Azerbaijan.
The biggest underachievers in 2016 were Ferrari. The season got of to a good start with Sebastian Vettel just missing out on victory with the team choosing the wrong tyre strategy. Unfortunately for the Italian marque that was to be the story of the season with a number of poor strategy decisions and a number of reliability issues costing them podiums and race wins. Ultimately 2016 was a hugely disappointing season for Ferrari finishing a distant 3rd to Red Bull in the championship and they went backwards rather than forwards in 2016.
Haas were the first new entry to F1 since 2010. In their first two races in F1 Haas scored a remarkable 18 points all thanks to Romain Grosjean. After a dream start, the rest of the season proved more challenging for the American outfit scoring just 11 points from 19 races with Grosjean scoring 100% of the teams points. Nevertheless, Haas will be delighted with their first season in F1 finishing ahead of French giants Renault.