40. Fernando Alonso F1 World Championship - 10th

A substantial step forward from his reliability addled results of 2015, while Fernando Alonso's 2016 campaign wasn't exceptional on paper, the McLaren-Honda stayed together long enough to prove the Spaniard's enduring quality a decade on from his last world title. Whilst the occasionally wild inconsistency of the MP4-31 stopped a regular flow of points, when the car found its sweet spot Alonso was there to capitalise, his drives in Sochi, Monaco and particularly Spa a welcome return to form for both driver and team when allowed.

39. Leon Haslam British Superbike Championship - 2nd

Despite enjoying more success at World Superbike level in 2015 than he had managed for several years, Leon Haslam found himself back on the British Superbike Championship scene in 2016 but showed no sign of settling down as he invigorated rivalries of old against Shane Byrne. On the JG Speedfit Kawasaki Haslam couldn't quite rival the consistency of Byrne when it mattered in the Showdown, but showed enough renewed tenacity and fighting spirit to take it to the wire.


38. Mark Webber - Brendon Hartley - Timo Bernhard World Endurance Championship - 4th

The 2015 championship winning trio of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard may have fallen short in their aims of either defending their WEC title or securing an elusive Le Mans 24 Hours success, but they firmed their status as one of endurance racing's most formidable line-ups of all-time. Iffy reliability and errors all but ruled the three out of title contention early on, but beyond Le Mans they were barely beatable, notching up four wins from the final six races.

37. Gustavo Menezes - Nicolas Lapierre - Stephane Richelmi World Endurance Championship - Champions & Le Mans 24 Hours winners (LMP2)

The LMP2 class has always been competitive but the line-up for the 2016 World Endurance Championship took this to a new standard with a variety of teams, chassis and drivers - including many ex-F1 competitors - ensuring this season as the toughest yet. Nonetheless, the class was largely dominated by the Signatech Alpine team, complete with two prototype racing rookies in Gustavo Menezes and Stephane Richelmi. Anchored by the dependable Nicolas Lapierre, the trio blended youth and experience to great effect, its four wins and seven podiums making them the clear winners in a challenging arena.

Nicky Hayden

36. Nicky Hayden World Superbike Championship - 5th

The jump from MotoGP to World Superbikes has been littered with successes and failures over the years, but as the first MotoGP champion to make the move into the production-based series, Nicky Hayden faced more pressure than most before him. Coupled with the tricky-to-master Honda CBR1000RR, Hayden's progress was keenly observed but the American successfully made the transition with aplomb. Though he didn't have the machinery to rival Kawasaki and Ducati consistently, Hayden four podiums - including one win - and consistent points showed he has settled into the rigours of Superbikes successfully and could spring a surprise in 2017 with the latest 'Blade at his disposal.

35. Andrea Dovizioso MotoGP World Championship - 5th

Andrea Dovizioso found his patience rewarded in 2016 as the MotoGP stalwart returned to winning ways a full seven years after his first - and only - win in the premier class. Indeed, though the Italian's class has never been doubted, with the GP16 showing stronger pace than ever in 2016, Dovizioso had to prove he had the form to capitalise on years of painstaking development. Andrea Iannone provided a close - sometimes too close - barometer in pace but Dovizioso brought the consistency needed to ensure he remains on board alongside Jorge Lorenzo. Victory in Malaysia was the icing on the cake and fifth in the standings a just reward.

Thierry Neuville

34. Thierry Neuville World Rally Championship - 2nd

After admitting to losing his mojo in 2015, Thierry Neuville regrouped and re-established himself as Hyundai's lead driver in the Korean firm's increasingly potent World Rally Championship line-up. The exploits of his less experienced team-mate Hayden Paddon stole the headlines, but Neuville brought the consistency to supplement the pace, the Belgian's seven podiums - including a win in Italy - earning him the runners-up spot in one of the most evenly-matched and competitive fields for many years.

33. Charles Leclerc GP3 Series - Champion

One of the standout performers in his rookie season of European F3, Charles Leclerc began 2016 with high expectations having earned himself Ferrari backing, a Haas F1 testing deal and a plum seat in ART's GP3 line-up. The Monegasque driver didn't disappoint, establishing himself as a front runner early on before edging clear of his main rivals - led by team-mate Alexander Albon - to secure the championship and ensure high hopes weren't misplaced.

32. Simon Pagenaud IndyCar Series - Champion

Having flown the flag for the European contingent since stepping up to the IndyCar Series full-time in 2012, Simon Pagenaud finally turned that into a title-winning charge in 2016 as he claimed an elusive maiden championship stateside. Four wins and six podiums from the opening six races did the damage for the Penske driver as he sprinted clear and though a mid-season lull gave rivals a sniff of an opportunity, two more late-season wins gave him the margin he needed to seal championship glory with room to spare.

Sergio Perez

31. Sergio Perez F1 World Championship - 7th

Sergio Perez kept his stock rising in parallel to Force India's as he built on his career-best season from 2015. A lack of understanding with the VJM09 contributed to an indifferent start to the year, but a podium at Monaco kick-started a marvellous run of form that rarely dipped below 'best of the rest' behind the big three and but often saw him punching above his weight. A second podium in Baku on merit represented a new career highlight but points in 16 of the 21 races speaks volumes for the Mexican driver's newfound confidence behind the wheel

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