Driver Review 2015

Formula One 2015 has shown some great talent from drivers up and down the field. Now we review the year and look back to who have made their mark in 2015.

11/12/2015

Lewis Hamilton

  • Team: Mercedes
  • Wins: 10
  • Pole Positions: 12
  • Podiums: 17
  • Fastest Laps: 8
  • 2015 Finish: 1st, 381 points

2015 Season

Lewis Hamilton has been one of the fastest and dominant driver of 2015. Having won last year’s title, Hamilton’s dream was on emulate his “hero”, Ayrton Senna on 3 world championships and he did that at the American grand prix. Saturday’s Qualifying was Hamilton’s strong point earlier in the year and more importantly, he converted them into race victories and held a comfortable lead in the championship. Hamilton has only recorded 1 retirement and 1 non podium finish.

Nico Rosberg

  • Team: Mercedes
  • Wins: 6
  • Pole Positions: 7
  • Podiums: 15
  • Fastest Laps: 4
  • 2015 Finish: 2nd, 322 points

2015 Season

A downgrade from 2014 where Qualifying was his strong point was forgotten and was out-paced by team-mate, Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg took his first pole position and win at the Spanish grand prix. Rosberg then won in Monaco and Austria. Rosberg retired with 3 laps to go in the Italian grand prix. This left Rosberg 28 points behind Hamilton. Rosberg then took pole position in Japan, Russia, America, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Hamilton won in Japan, Russia and more importantly in America, where he won the Championship. Rosberg then won in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Rosberg’s late season storm didn’t come soon enough. The battle is on in 2016!

Sebastian Vettel

  • Team: Ferrari
  • Wins: 3
  • Pole Positions: 1
  • Podiums: 13
  • Fastest Laps: 1
  • 2015 Finish: 3rd, 278 points

2015 Season

Podium on his debut, gave Ferrari its first win since 2013 and finished 3rd behind both Mercedes drivers in the drivers championship. What a great comeback year! Vettel finished 3rd in Australia on his debut with Ferrari after leaving Red Bull where he has had all of his success. Wins in Malaysia, his first win since the 2013 Brazilian grand prix, Hungary and Singapore. A puncture with 2 laps of the Belgium grand prix to go, drops him out of the podium and the points. An out of the blue race at the Mexican grand prix sees him record his only retirement. Ends the year with 3 wins, 13 podiums and 1 fastest lap.

Kimi Raikkonen

  • Team: Ferrari
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 3
  • Fastest Laps: 2
  • 2015 Finish: 4th, 150 points

2015 Season

A better season compared to 2014. 2nd place in Bahrain secures his first podiums since the 2013 Korean grand prix. Retires in Australia, Austria, Hungary, America and Mexico grand prixs. 3rd place in Singapore and in season final in Abu Dhabi. Dominated by Vettel most of the year and beaten 15 – 4 in qualifying. Vettel beats him in the championship by 128 points. Signed for next and could be last year in F1.

Valterri Bottas

  • Team: Williams
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 2
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 5th, 136 points

2015 Season

Didn’t race in season opener in Australia due to an back injury. 14th in Monaco is his worst result of the season. 3rd in Canada and in Mexico. Was Ferrari’s man if they wanted to replace Kimi Raikkonen for 2016. Ferrari keep Raikkonen for 2016 so he could have a better chance in 2017. Out-qualifies team-mate Massa, 11 – 8. Only records 4 races out of the points and 1 retirement.

Felipe Massa

  • Team: Williams
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 2
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 6th, 121 points

2015 Season

Performs better than expected compared to Bottas whole year round. 17th in Japan is his worst result of the season. 3rd in Austria and in Mexico grand prixs is his only podiums appearances. Retirements in Singapore and American grand prixs. Disqualified after the race in his home in Brazil due to temperatures over the maximum at the start of the race on his right rear tyre. Scores 15 points less than Bottas in the final standings.

Daniil Kvyat

  • Team: Red Bull
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 1
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 7th, 95 points

2015 Season

The start of the season is poor and has to wait for Monaco where he finishes 4th. 2nd in Hungary ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in 3rd. Suffers a nasty crash in qualifying for the Japanese grand prix. Crashes near the end of the American grand prix after having a great fight with both Mercedes cars and Ricciardo in the rain. Finishes just 3 points ahead of Ricciardo in the final standings. 2 retirements, 2 non point scoring and 14 scoring races ends of a decent season.

Daniel Ricciardo

  • Team: Red Bull
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 2
  • Fastest Laps: 3
  • 2015 Finish: 8th, 92 points

2015 Season

Scores in all of the races until Canada, retires in Britain, 3rd in Hungary then retires in Belgium. 2nd in Singapore behind Sebastian Vettel. 15th in Japan and in Russia. 11th in Brazil and then 6th in Abu Dhabi. 2 retirements, 4 non point scoring races and 2 podiums. Still great racing and overtakes but could had better results if it wasn’t for the poor reliability of the Renault engine.

Sergio Perez

  • Team: Force India
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 1
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 9th, 78 points

2015 Season

An overall better year for Perez. Out shone by team-mate Hulkenberg in the early part of the season with the first car. Best finish is 7th in Monaco. The team introduced the B-spec version at the British grand prix and it had a much better effect. Perez crashed heavily in practise for the Hungarian grand prix, Perez retired in the race and marked his only retirement that year. 5th in Belgium, 6th in Italy, 7th in Singapore and then 12th in Japan. Perez finished on the podium with 3rd place at the Russian grand prix. This year marked the return of his home race of Mexico, where he finished 5th. 12 point scoring races and 6 races out of the points.

Nico Hulkenberg

  • Team: Force India
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 10th, 58 points

2015 Season

Hulkenberg started off the year in 7th place in Australia. 14th in Malaysia, Retired in China, 13th in Bahrain, 15th in Spain, 11th in Monaco and 8th place at the Canadian and Austrian grand prixs. Hulkenberg suffered a front wing failure in Hungary where he retired near the end of the race. He then stalled on the grid for the Belgian grand prix and then had to retire. He then retired in Singapore, in a collision with Felipe Massa, Russian and American grand prixs. He rounded the year off with, 7th in Mexico, 6th in Brazil and 7th in Abu Dhabi. In June, Hulkenberg won the the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. That made him the first active F1 driver to win since 1991.

Romain Grosjean

  • Team: Lotus
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 1
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 11th, 51 points

2015 Season

It has been a much better year for Grosjean being more reliable and scored 43 points more than he did last year. Grosjean scored his and the team’s first points of the season with 7th in China. Another 7th place in Bahrain, 8th in Spain then 10th in Canada. Two straight retirements in Austria and Britain, 7th in Hungary then followed by his best race all season with a strong drive to 3rd place at Belgium. 7th in Japan, 10th in Mexico, 8th in Brazil and then 9th in Abu Dhabi. Grosjean announced that at the end of September that he had signed for Haas, entering the sport at the start of the 2016 season. Grosjean ended the year with 6 retirements, 10 points scoring races and 3 non point scoring races.

Max Verstappen

  • Team: Torro Rosso
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 12th, 49 points

2015 Season

Verstappen has been one of the stars of 2015. Many people criticised him for he was only 17 years old and maybe too young to compete. Verstappen was on course for points at the opening round in Australia until his engine gave up. 7th place in Malaysia made him the youngest driver to score championship points. A brilliant 4th place in Hungary and then 8th place in Belgium. From Singapore to Brazil, he scored in every race with a best finish of another 4th place at the American grand prix. He ended the year with 4 retirements, 5 non scoring races and 10 point scoring races. Verstappen has also done some brilliant overtaking during the course of the season which has made him exciting to watch. Only one of his mistakes of the year came at the Monaco grand prix where he misjudged his braking point and collided with Romain Grosjean.

Felipe Nasr

  • Team: Sauber
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 13th, 27 points

2015 Season

The season for Nasr started out well with a 5th place in the first round in Australia. 8th in China, 9th in Monaco, 10th in Singapore, 6th in Russia and 9th in America are his point scoring races. Nasr recorded only 1 retirement and 1 race (British grand prix) where he did not start. Nasr is the second best rookie this year behind Max Verstappen. Nasr also bet team-mate Marcus Ericsson, 10 – 9 in the qualifying battle.

Pastor Maldonado

  • Team: Lotus
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 14th, 27 points

2015 Season

It has not been the greatest season for Maldonado with only scoring in 6 races. 5 retirements of of the first 6 races and another 4 retirements followed through out the year. 7th in Canada and Austria then 8th in Japan, 7th in Russia, 8th in Mexico and 10th in Brazil was his point scoring races. Thrashed by team-mate Romain Grosjean in qualifying. Grosjean out-qualified him in 17 sessions while Maldonado out-qualified Grosjean only 2 times. With Grosjean departing to Haas, Maldonado will become team leader at Lotus but will he step up to the job?

Carlos Sainz Jr

  • Team: Torro Rosso
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 15th, 18 points

2015 Season

Sainz, along with Felipe Nasr, scored his first points at the Australian with 9th place. 8th in Malaysia, 9th in Spain, 10th in Monaco, 9th in Singapore, 10th in Japan and 7th in American grand prix was his point scoring races of the year. Team-mate, Max Verstappen stole the show at Torro Rosso but Sainz was also there and doing a great job. 7 retirements and 5 non point scoring hindered his season. Sainz could have scored more points if reliability was better.

Jenson Button

  • Team: McLaren – Honda
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 16th, 16 points

2015 Season

Pre-Season testing was tough, scoring points were tough and the whole year was terrible for a standard for McLaren. Button and team-mate Alonso just about coped with that. Button and McLaren’s first points came at Monaco with 8th place. 9th in Hungary and Russia then 6th place in America was Button’s point scoring races. 5 retirements and 1 race (Bahrain grand prix) where he did not start. His future has been put in doubt but Alonso and him are hoping for a much better year.

Fernando Alonso

  • Team: McLaren – Honda
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 17th, 11 points

2015 Season

Alonso’s frustrations at McLaren have been heard on team radio through out the year and more importantly the “GP2” Honda engine. Crashing in Pre Season testing and replaced by Kevin Magnussen is Australia. Alonso returned in Malaysia, only to retire. Retires in Spain, Monaco, Canada and Austria before his first points of the year with 10th place in the British grand prix. A season best 5th in Hungary and that was his last point scoring race. 7 retirements and 9 non scoring races ended Alonso’s worst year since debuting in 2001. Rumours at final race that Alonso was thinking about taking a sabbatical if things did not improve. Alonso is to stay.

Marcus Ericsson

  • Team: Sauber
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 18th, 9 points

2015 Season

Having spent last year driving for Caterham when the opportunity to drive for Sauber came along, he took it and just in time as Caterham went into administration. With 8th place in Australia, Ericsson scored his first ever points in F1. 10th in China, Hungary and Belgium and 9th in Italy was his point scoring races of the year. Lost out in the qualifying battle with Nasr winning 10 – 9. 3 retirements and 11 non scoring races ended his year.

Roberto Merhi

  • Team: Manor Marussia
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 19th, 0 points

2015 Season

In a slower car like Marussia, small gains are a giant leap for the team. Merhi made his F1 debut at the Malaysian grand prix for the team did not participate at the Australian grand prix. Merhi retired at the Canadian grand prix. Merhi was dropped in favour for Alexander Rossi for 5 of the last 7 grand prixs. Merhi then missed Italy, Singapore, returned for Russia, missed America, Mexico and Brazil grand prixs. He returned for the last round of the year at Abu Dhabi. Merhi recorded Marussia’s and his best finish of 12th at the British grand prix.

Alexander Rossi

  • Team: Manor – Marussia
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 20th, 0 points

2015 Season

Rossi was chosen to replace Merhi for 5 of the 7 grand prixs. Rossi was announced at the Singapore grand where he eventually finished 14th ahead of Will Stevens. He then raced at Japan, Merhi came back for Russia then Rossi came back and raced in America, Mexico and Brazil grand prixs. Rossi then gave the car back to Merhi for then final round in Abu Dhabi. Rossi finished 12th, equalling the best finish at his home grand prix in America.

Will Stevens

  • Team: Manor – Marussia
  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 21st, 0 points

2015 Season

Many think Stevens is actually a rookie for this year but he competed in the final race of 2014 in Abu Dhabi for Caterham. Both cars did not participate in the opening round and Stevens did not start at the Malaysian grand prix due to a problem with the fuel system. Stevens raced in all races after that and redecorated 2 retirements with a highest race finish of 13th in the British grand prix.

When you think of it actually 22 drivers competed this year. Kevin Magnussen, who drove with McLaren in 2014, came to replace a recovering Fernando Alonso, who crashed in Pre Season testing. Magnussen stopped on the way to the grid due to an engine failure.

This year has been great for many drivers and not for some.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s