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Which F1 Driver Was The Best Value For Money In 2016?

Nico Rosberg might have won the 2016 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship, but was he the best value for money driver? We find out!

An infographic showing which Formula 1 driver was the best value for money in 2106

We all know Formula 1 is a business, and as with anything in business, some offers are better value for money than others. With this in mind we’ve taken a look at who provided the most value for money in 2016.

Which constructor won the most points per pound?

Toto Wolff Mercedes F1

The Checkered Flag

Team Budget Pounds per Point
1. Mercedes £378,594,000 £494,894
2. Force India £105,057,000 £607,265
3. Red Bull Racing £379,647,000 £811,211
4. Ferrari £338,580,000 £850,703
5. Williams £150,984,000 £1,094,086
6. Toro Rosso £111,294,000 £1,766,571
7. Haas £81,000,000 £2,793,103
8. McLaren Honda £376,650,000 £4,955,921
9. Renault £112,671,000 £14,083,875
10. Sauber £83,592,000 £41,796,000
11. Manor £67,230,000 £67,230,000

We found that a bigger budget doesn’t always equate to a bigger haul, as displayed by Ferrari’s lack of performance last year. Despite having a budget of £376,200,000 the Maranello-based team were only able to get 398 points in the season - that's just 13 more than Nico Rosberg won on his own.

Meanwhile Sauber’s very bad year meant their £83,500,000 budget and 76 points means they paid £41.7m per point in 2016. Manor’s single point meant their entire £67.2m budget got them just one point.

Having the second highest budget Mercedes were able to win the Constructors’ Championship with 765 points in 2016, meaning they only paid £494,894 per point and making them the best value for money team. Force India were second best value for money team, having only paid £607,265 per point. Third place went to Red Bull Racing, whose 468 points and £468,700,000 budget means they paid £811,211 per point.

Which driver was the best value for money?

A photo of Max Verstappen driving his Red Bull Racing car at the Silverstone track

Wikimedia

Driver Pay Pounds per Point
1. Max Verstappen £450,000 £2,205
2. Carlos Sainz Jr. £450,000 £9,782
3. Daniel Ricciardo £3,700,000 £14,453
4. Sergio Perez £2,200,000 £21,782
5. Valtteri Bottas £2,250,000 £26,470
6. Daniil Kvyat £700,000 £28,000
7. Nico Rosberg £12,000,000 £31,168
8. Nico Hulkenberg £3,000,000 £41,666
9. Felipe Massa £3,000,000 £56,603
10 Lewis Hamilton £28,500,000 £75,000
11. Romain Grosjean £2,270,000 £78,275
12. Kevin Magnussen £600,000 £85,714
13. Kimi Raikkonen £19,000,000 £102,150
14. Felipe Nasr £250,000 £125,000
15. Sebastian Vettel £33,400,000 £157,547
16. Pascal Wehrlein £250,000 £250,000
17. Jenson Button £9,000,000 £428,671
18. Fernando Alonso £27,100,000 £501,851
19. Jolyon Palmer £600,000 £600,000
20. Marcus Ericsson £250,000 0 points
21. Esteban Gutierrez £1,400,000 0 points
22. Esteban Ocon ? 0 points

Whilst it’s fun to look at the constructors, a Formula 1 season isn’t just about the teams – it’s about the drivers as well. We decided to look at which driver was the best value for money, taking their salary for 2016 and the amount of points they scored to see who was the best (and worst) value for money.

Max Verstappen’s fantastic season, in which he moved from Toro Rosso to Red Bull and took his first win, saw him earn 204 points. This tally, compared with his £450,000 salary, means he brought a point to his team for every £2,205 he was paid.

At the bottom of the table it's Jolyon Palmer, who scored just one point for his £600,000 salary. Below him are Marcus Ericcson, Esteban Ocon and Esteban Gutierrez who all failed to score a point, with Gutierrez being the highest paid of the three on a reported £1.4m a year.

Who earned the most per lap?

Sebastian Vettel driving his Ferrari F1 car in FP2 at Malaysia

Wikimedia

Driver Pay Pay per Lap
1. Sebastian Vettel £33,400,000 £96.70
2. Lewis Hamilton £28,500,000 £82.51
3. Fernando Alonso £27,100,000 £78.46
4. Kimi Raikkonen £19,000,000 £55.01
5. Nico Rosberg £12,000,000 £34.74
6. Jenson Button £9,000,000 £26.06
7. Daniel Ricciardo £3,700,000 £10.71
8. Massa, Hulkenberg £3,000,000 £8.69
9. Romain Grosjean £2,270,000 £6.57
10. Valtteri Bottas £2,250,000 £6.51
11. Sergio Perez £2,200,000 £6.37
12. Esteban Gutierrez £1,400,000 £4.05
13. Daniil Kvyat £700,000 £2.03
14. Palmer, Magnussen £600,000 £1.74
15. Verstappen, Sainz £450,000 £1.30
16. Nasr, Ericsson, Wehrlein £250,000 £0.72

To work out how much each driver was being paid for a single lap, we took the fastest lap times from all the races over the 2016 season to find a low average. The average fastest lap time was 1:31.3 minutes, so we used that as our average lap time.

We found that, having the highest salary, Sebastian Vettel earned the most over the course of a single lap. In just 91.3 seconds, Vettel earned £96.70. Second to Vettel was now former World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who took home £82.51 over the course of a lap, and Alonso earned £78.46 over a lap. Mercedes teammate and now World Champion Rosberg, who’s consistently been the lower-earning of the two Mercedes drivers, took just £34.74 on an average lap.

Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericcson and Felipe Nasr were the unfortunate drivers who made the lowest amount of money whilst on a lap. Whilst we’re not accounting for the additional time it would have taken the Manor and Sauber drivers to navigate a circuit, they earned just 72p a lap. That's just 1p more than Jenson Button made in the course of a single 2.5 second pit stop...

Who made the most from pit stops?

The Williams team performing a pit stop

FOM

Driver Pay Pay per Lap
1. Sebastian Vettel £33,400,000 £96.70
2. Lewis Hamilton £28,500,000 £82.51
3. Fernando Alonso £27,100,000 £78.46
4. Kimi Raikkonen £19,000,000 £55.01
5. Nico Rosberg £12,000,000 £34.74
6. Jenson Button £9,000,000 £26.06
7. Daniel Ricciardo £3,700,000 £10.71
8. Massa, Hulkenberg £3,000,000 £8.69
9. Romain Grosjean £2,270,000 £6.57
10. Valtteri Bottas £2,250,000 £6.51
11. Sergio Perez £2,200,000 £6.37
12. Esteban Gutierrez £1,400,000 £4.05
13. Daniil Kvyat £700,000 £2.03
14. Palmer, Magnussen £600,000 £1.74
15. Verstappen, Sainz £450,000 £1.30
16. Nasr, Ericsson, Wehrlein £250,000 £0.72

A Formula 1 race is a frantic battle to the chequered flag with barely any respite. Aside from the occasional safety car, the only break the drivers get is the pit stop – a roughly 2.5 second gap in the action where the driver doesn’t have to do anything besides sitting and waiting. Looking at an average pit stop as 2.5 seconds, we can find out how much each driver made per pit stop...

Once again Vettel's monumental salary ensured he was paid the most over the 2016 season during pit stops, with the German’s pit stops earning him £2.65 per 2.5 seconds.

At the other end of the table it was Wehrlein, Nasr and Ericcson again who were the unfortunate drivers to earn the least amount of money, making just 2p per pit stop.

Who's the overall worst value for money driver?

Esteban Gutierrez driving his Haas car

Wikimedia

Though he wasn't the only driver to score 0 points in the 2016 season, Esteban Gutierrez was the highest paid driver of the non-scorers, making Gutierrez the worst value for money driver.

Though he has had bad luck through the season, Gutierrez managed to accrue more points on his F1 Superlicence than he did in the twenty-one races of the 2016 season, picking up seven points for incidents including blocking Pascal Wehrlein on the Kemmel Straight at Spa. Unfortunately for Gutierrez, that was the one table he did top.

Are you surprised by the results? Let us know below!

Sources: http://en.f1i.com/magazine/40044-2016-f1-driver-salaries.html http://www.cityam.com/237030/f1-team-budgets-ferrari-have-more-money-to-work-with-than-anyone-else-but-mercedes-get-best-bang-for-their-buck