Motorsport.com's Top 10 F1 drivers of 2015 - Part 2

The Motorsport.com team has pooled its thoughts on this year's Grand Prix racing action to determine the 10 best performers in Formula 1 this year. Read on to see who takes the coveted top spot:

If you haven't yet read Part 1, featuring our choices for places 10 through 6 as well as some honourable mentions, you can do so by clicking here.

5.  Valtteri Bottas

Williams Martini Racing - 5th, 136 points

PE: Put in some great performances throughout the year, but somehow the 2014 Bottas had a stronger season than the 2015 one. That said, he deserved a better result in some races - namely in Russia, where Kimi Raikkonen cost him a podium finish.

VK: Despite having the rejuvenated Massa as his teammate, Bottas was Williams' top dog in 2015 in basically every regard.

CB: Only a couple of podiums after last year’s star turns, and Massa was closer to him than he perhaps should have been, but he’s still hot property.

AVL: Not a spectacular season, but another year of delivering more often than not. Only criticism would be that he should maybe be further ahead of veteran Felipe Massa.

NDG: Despite a couple of run-ins with fellow Finn Raikkonen, the Williams driver was regularly the first driver trailing the Mercedes and Ferrari pilots at the chequered flag, with 11 top fives in 19 races.

4.  Max Verstappen

Scuderia Toro Rosso - 12th, 49 points

JK: Guilty of some rookie errors, but more than made up for these with some spectacular passing, prodigious speed and an incredible amount of self-belief. A big future undoubtedly lies ahead.

PE: The star of the year, and the most entertaining driver to watch all season long. He made several mistakes, as was expected, but showed he is a champion in the making and embarrassed all those who had warned he was too young for F1.

VK: The best thing about a dreary, tiresome season. Verstappen drove his first open-wheel race in January 2014, and what he's achieved since then, both in terms of pace and racecraft, is simply remarkable.

JN: F1 has discovered its new wonder child – who delivered breathtaking action and some sensational overtaking moves to mark himself out as a future champion.

AVL: It’s so tempting to put this guy higher, but the list isn’t judged on just who is the most spectacular driver of the season. Still, clearly an absolute star and one of the most exciting storylines in 2015.

3.  Nico Rosberg

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team - 2nd, 322 points (6 wins)

CB: Last three races proved he can operate at very top level, but was disappointing on far too many weekends before his late-season spurt.

NDG: Despite a stellar conclusion to the year, he couldn’t match what his triple world champion teammate was able to accomplish with the same equipment.

JN: A brilliant end to the year has set him up nicely for 2016, but just a shame for him that form did not come earlier.

VK: His early-season form was not befitting of someone with a seat in Formula 1's strongest team. But championship potential reared its head in the final Grands Prix, even if the 2015 battle had already been done and dusted.

PE: Late-season winning streak aside, Rosberg was hardly a match to Hamilton. He went eight races without winning and lost the title early due to a big mistake in Austin. It will be interesting to see what his three wins in a row do to his confidence in 2016.

2.  Sebastian Vettel

Scuderia Ferrari - 3rd, 278 points (3 wins)

JK: Reinvigorated by fresh surroundings at Ferrari, Vettel was on top of his game just about everywhere, blowing Raikkonen into the weeds and banishing memories of a nightmare 2014 season.

JN: Was the key player in the resurrection of Ferrari, and despite subdued showings in Mexico and Bahrain, delivered sensational form.

AVL: Took to Ferrari like a duck to water, drove beautifully all year, and won whenever he had a realistic chance to do so. Also finished 128 points clear of his former World Championship-winning teammate.

CB: Three wins in a distinctly second-rate machine was a solid return to form after an average-by-his-standards 2014.

VK: Given just how poor his 2014 was by his standards, Vettel's 2015 recovery was remarkable. His teammate was in a different timezone and he managed to be a headache for the Mercedes duo on many occasions.

1.  Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team - 1st, 381 points (10 wins)

PE: A league apart for most of the season and deserving of his third title. His late slump may have boosted Rosberg's confidence, but the reality is that, until the title was no longer up for grabs, Hamilton dominated his teammate. 

VK: The champion of a two-car series, and a deserving one at that, but has displayed his inability to cope with defeat on more than one occasion – and should instead be more grateful for just how good the Mercedes cars are.

JK: Deserves plaudits for addressing his chief weakness from last year – qualifying – and for dominating Rosberg for the bulk of the year. But the lacklustre end to his season takes the sheen off his success.

AVL:  When he’s on song, he’s the fastest racing driver on the face of the planet. It’s as simple as that. On outright speed alone, he’s a deserving World Champion.

NDG: What else do you have to say? World Champion, 10 wins, 11 poles, 17 podiums, 587 laps led - Hamilton was in a league of his own in 2015.

Full Motorsport.com rankings:

DriverCBJNPENDGJKAVLVKTotal
 Hamilton 10 10 10 10 9 10 7 66
 Vettel 9 9 9 9 10 9 9 64
 Rosberg 7 7 8 8 8 3 49
 Verstappen 5 7 5 10 45
 Bottas 6 4 2 7 5 32
 Perez 3 3 5 5 4 2 6 28
 Ricciardo 8 1 1   5 4 26 
 Grosjean 2   6   6   8 22
 Kvyat 4   2 3 1 4 2 16
 Massa   4   4   6   14
 Sainz   6 3       1 10
 Alonso 1 5     3     9
 Raikkonen       2       2
 Nasr           1   1
 Rossi       1       1

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg , Sebastian Vettel , Valtteri Bottas , Max Verstappen
Teams Williams , Ferrari , Mercedes , Toro Rosso
Article type Analysis