2015 season review: team-by-team

By on Monday, December 14, 2015

F1Zone.net runs through how each of Formula 1's 10 teams fared in the 2015 campaign.

Mercedes: 1st

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton 1st | Nico Rosberg 2nd

Mercedes built on its dominant W05 Hybrid with the W06 Hybrid, which was just as quick and even more reliable, save for some drama two-thirds of the way through the year when it tested 2016 components. Lewis Hamilton was in command during the bulk of the campaign and delivered a devastating run of 11 poles from 12, wrapping up the title during a frantic United States Grand Prix, with some inspired performances – most notably at Silverstone – along the way. Nico Rosberg was unable to provide a season-long run and only turned up once the championships had been decided.

Ferrari: 2nd

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel 3rd | Kimi Räikkönen 4th

The winter of 2014/15 was one of upheaval from Ferrari but the changes propelled the outfit forwards, as James Allison delivered a stable SF15-T, with progress aided by substantial developments from the engine department. It left Ferrari as Mercedes’ primary challenger and Sebastian Vettel capitalised whenever he could to register three victories and prove that he could win outside of Red Bull. Kimi Räikkönen made some progress compared to his dismal 2014 showing but he was too often adrift of Vettel.

Williams: 3rd

Pirelli Media

Pirelli Media

Valtteri Bottas 5th | Felipe Massa 6th

Williams hoped to establish itself as Mercedes’ nearest opponents but was leapfrogged by Ferrari. The FW37 was a strong package and fared well on high-downforce, power hungry circuits, but was woeful in wet conditions and at venues such as Monaco and Hungary. Third overall was a commendable effort, though Mercedes/Ferrari form meant fewer podiums and points than 2014. Valtteri Bottas recovered from a back injury and mid-season Ferrari distractions to edge out Felipe Massa, though both drivers had stand out moments.

Red Bull: 4th

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Daniil Kvyat 7th | Daniel Ricciardo 8th

Red Bull’s season was blighted by engine problems, both driveability and reliability, which left it on the back foot as it become embroiled in a political game off-track with a view to 2017. However, the RB11 chassis was not Milton Keynes’ finest at the start of the year and it took until mid-season upgrades at Silverstone for it to be regarded as a strong machine. Daniel Ricciardo remained cheerily optimistic but admitted he struggled having expected to fight for the title, while Daniil Kvyat made progress after a difficult start and established himself well in a top outfit.

Force India: 5th

Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India

Sergio Pérez 9th | Nico Hülkenberg 10th

Force India began 2015 on the back foot amid supply issues, financial worries and the move to a wind tunnel in Germany. However, its B-spec upgrade delivered the desired progress and on occasion enabled Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg to flirt with the leading squads, leaving the Silverstone-based operation with its highest placing of fifth in the standings. Pérez in particular gelled with the VJM08B as he was outstanding across the second half of the campaign, while Hülkenberg’s Le Mans win was his highlight, as some strong Formula 1 runs were generally overshadowed by Pérez.

Lotus: 6th

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Romain Grosjean 11th | Pastor Maldonado 14th

Lotus made progress with a balanced Mercedes-powered E23 Hybrid but updates were few and far between due to off-track issues, leaving the ardent mechanics to plough on with what they had at their disposal. In the circumstances, sixth overall was a fine result, as it simply lacked the resources to compete with Force India. Romain Grosjean excelled, most notably with a podium in Belgium, but Renault’s deliberation over 2016 meant he switched to Haas, while Pastor Maldonado had a cleaner campaign, but lacked pace compared to Grosjean and generally disappointed.

Toro Rosso: 7th

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Max Verstappen 12th | Carlos Sainz Jr. 16th

Toro Rosso enjoyed its strongest campaign points-wise in 2015 as its STR10 chassis was strong, albeit repeatedly hampered by the Renault power unit. Early on the outfit even battled senior squad Red Bull, before it established itself in the midfield and eventually lost out to Lotus. Max Verstappen became the youngest ever Formula 1 driver and acquitted himself with aplomb, pulling off outrageous moves and also impressing with his maturity. Carlos Sainz Jr. was quieter but was affected by the bulk of in-race mechanical woes and also caught the eye on occasion.

Sauber: 8th

Sauber F1 Team

Sauber F1 Team

Felipe Nasr 13th | Marcus Ericsson 18th

2014 was an awful season for Sauber but it began 2015 on a high with a haul of 14 points from Australia, putting aside its legal wrangling with Giedo van der Garde. The C34 was a more balanced machine, helped by Ferrari engine gains, but the team couldn’t develop as effectively as midfield rivals and consequently slipped back, though still amassed sufficient points to net eighth place. Felipe Nasr maximised his opportunities at the start of the season and made few mistakes, while Marcus Ericsson improved, by which time Sauber was only scrapping for points.

McLaren: 9th

McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

Jenson Button 16th | Fernando Alonso 17th

McLaren expected a tough season but few believed 2015 would be quite so appalling for the team. Gains were made with the MP4-30 chassis, as it changed its mind set compared to recent years to focus on constant high downforce. However, it was always held back by Honda’s nascent power unit. Reliability improved across the course of the year but, without the ability to make substantial in-season developments, a lack of deployment left Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, who treated the situation with good grace, adrift towards the back.

Manor Marussia: 10th

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Roberto Merhi 19th | Alexander Rossi 20th | Will Stevens 21st

Manor Marussia’s 2015 was all about rebuilding, as it secured a last-minute return to the grid and was only able to get up and running in Malaysia. With 2014 Ferrari power units, and the 2014 MR03, it was understandably significantly off the pace, though minor developments were added to the car, as well as positive movements off-track with commercial agreements and Mercedes power units for 2016. In the circumstances, Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi (and Alexander Rossi for five races) were only racing each other; Stevens frequently out-paced Merhi but Rossi bested the Briton.


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