The Complete F1 Fanatic 2015 season review

2015 F1 season review

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As we say goodbye to 2015, enjoy every page of F1 Fanatic’s retrospective on the 66th running of the world championship.

Who won the battle against their team mates in 2015

It was a good year for Sebastian Vettel – it wasn’t for Pastor Maldonado.

The 2015 F1 season in pictures
The 75 best team radio highlights of 2015

“I have a wet bum and it smells like petrol” plus many more highlights from the drivers’ radio communications.

2015 F1 season in pictures

It wasn’t a specular season – but some of these pictures are.

Your top ten passes of 2015

Ten of the more dramatic moments of 2015, as chosen by you.

“That’s What Champions Do”: Official 2015 F1 season DVD reviewed

Is it worth splashing out on the official season highlights video?

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Driver rankings and team reviews


Grim stats for McLaren – they’re in their longest win-less run
2015 F1 season statistics: Car performance

How were Mercedes able to enjoy an even more successful season than 2014 when Ferrari were supposed to have closed the gap?

2015 F1 season statistics: the year in context

Put the 2015 edition of the world championship into perspective.

2015 Stats and Facts articles

Every statistics review from the 19 rounds of the championship.

Races and cars

All the reviews of every session this year – and look back on what you thought of the cars when they were launched.

Community highlights

Your driver of the year – for the third time
Sebastian Vettel voted F1 Fanatic Driver of the Year 2015

Vettel was voted Driver of the Year by F1 Fanatic readers for the third time, repeating his successes of 2013 and 2011.

F1 Fanatic’s Funniest Caption Competition winners of 2015

The F1 Fanatic reader hive mind has a quick wit.

Take the F1 Fanatic 2015 F1 season Quiz

Twenty question to check if you were paying attention during the last 12 months.

F1 Fanatic’s Top Tweets of 2015

Your top choices from F1 Fanatic on Twitter.

Your favourite – and least favourite – F1 races of 2015

How you rated this year’s races – and how the 2015 season stacked up again the previous six.

Watch the top ten races of 2015 outside F1

Had all the F1 you can take? Enjoy the pick of the action from ten other championships.

More season reviews

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “The Complete F1 Fanatic 2015 season review”

  1. Many thanks for all your work over the year(s) Keith – this is always my first stop when I log on every day. Enjoy your new years eve and have a prosperous 2016 sir.

    1. Thank you very much, and the same to you and to all!

  2. I don’t mean to be cynical, but I can review this year in one word: boring. First year since I started watching F1 (like three decades ago) where I utterly lost interest and early in the season at that. Lots of things go into it, but DRS and less powerful engines are the biggest culprits. This just isn’t racing.

    1. less powerful engines

      A misconception hard to kill.

      1. Funny, isn’t it? The old V10s were getting 950bhp, almost knocking on the door of 1000bhp, but the V8s that followed ended up closer to 850bhp. Yet no-one complains about the V8s being less powerful than the V10s. However they will complain about the new hybrid units that are already past 850bhp at full boost, and well on their way to 900.

      2. A misconception bred from animosity, most likely.

        1. @royal-spark, I also think that, to a certain extent, people assume that, as the V8’s were much louder, they assume that audio impact also translated across into power – even though, in reality, it is actually the opposite.

          @raceprouk, if anything, you’re probably overestimating the power output of the V8 engines – in 2009, the University of Cologne reckoned that, based on an acoustic analysis of the engines, the power output for most engines was between 730-750bhp (supported by the fact that Mario Theissen has confirmed that the power output of BMW’s engine in 2009 was 750bhp), with Toyota and Honda closer to 710bhp.

          As PorscheF1 says, there is a strong public misconception about the power output of the V8 and V6 engines that really should have died away by now – almost to the point where I half wonder if it is a deliberate act of self deception by some of those posters who still complain about the switch from the V8 to V6 engines.

          1. So these hybrids started more powerful than the V8s? (IIRC they started at around 800bhp at full boost.) That just makes the complaints about power even more ludicrous!

      3. Alright then, how about cars that just don’t move as fast?

        1. By far the best racing I’ve seen this year was in cars with a top speed of around 130mph that produce at most 2G in the bends. Of course, it helps that touring cars have very little aero.

          1. I think it is very much about ‘power to weight’ though. Anon, @xtwl @maciek @royal-spark @raceprouk Current F1 cars are like lardy tanks, relatively. What do they weigh now? I think is used to be 515 kilos, now I think it is over 600? So this, combined with the weedy, asthmatic soundtrack is why many fans are underwhelmed.

            Oh, and all the other problems too! (DRS, clown tyres, CVC, Maldonado, too much aero, etc etc)

          2. In terms of power-to-weight, F1 is about 5 times that of BTCC; however, the BTCC almost invariably produces exciting and close racing, with F1 more often or not turning into a procession.

            Basically, people keep focussing on the wrong things.

          3. Well, perhaps so, @raceprouk but people watch different race series for different things. I would imagine very few people tune into F1 or go to the races expecting to see the sort of ‘It’s a Knockout’ style of racing that can be seen in touring cars sometimes. If race fans were interested solely in wheel-to-wheel fights and overtakes, few would watch F1 at all, as they would all be far better off watching karting and the Clio cup.

            This raises the question of what it is that makes F1 special and unique, and I suppose we all see that a bit differently. To me it is on very shaky ground here, as my idea of the USP’s of F1 have traditionally been having the world’s finest drivers and the cars being clear step up from anything else, both in performance terms and, particularly, viscerally. I am not convinced that what we have now delivers in either area. Money is far too important in driver selection, although at the very top thankfully we do have a fantastic pool of talent. Mika Hakkinen described going from F3 to F3 as being like ‘going from a moped to Ferrari’. Today’s young drivers quite clearly do not feel the same way, with the teenager Max even complaining he was struggling to spin the wheels in his F1 car!

            As to the visceral situation well, F1 cars used to be awesome, intimidation and borderline frightening in the flesh. Now, the whole family and the dog can go and read a book while they are there.

          4. I think a big part of the issue with Verstappen being unable to spin the wheels was the anemic Renault engine :)

  3. Let us all hope 2016 becomes a tad better, for all I care Hamilton wins again but it would be pretty awesome if either Rosberg or Vettel could stretch it until the last few rounds.

    1. We can only hope that Rosberg carries his late form and that Ferrari deliver (but not so well that they assume Mercedes’ position of dominance).

  4. Congratulations once again keith. For yet another year, F1Fanatic proves why it deserves it’s place in the pantheon of F1 sites throughout the net.

    A blog driven by people who are passionate with the sport, people who put their heart and souls into this site, and the results they produce are simply flawless.

    To all the staff in F1F and the readers of the blog: May you all have a peaceful, happy and prosperous 2016! :D

    1. Thanks very much Keisalex!

  5. If I had to sum up the 2015 F1 season in one sentence, I would say that there was too little racing action to talk about and too much politics to worry about. That said, we still saw a couple of excellent races and I really enjoyed reading all the funny tweets, thoughtful comments and team radio transcripts on F1 Fanatic. I had a lot of good discussions here as well, which proves that even the bad days can be good if you are together with the right people.

    There are certainly a lot of resolutions and wishes for 2016 that you could make tonight but I don’t think that I will spend much time on them. I just hope that next year there will be more good racing to talk about and that I will have even more reasons to spend time on my favourite website.

    Happy New Year to all F1 Fanatics!

  6. I’ve become further and further removed from F1 in 2015 for a number of reasons: changing priorities in my life, the obstinate cable operators, the Mercedes monopoly, declines of McLaren and Kimi, Vandoorne missing out, Bianchi’s death (this one probably hit me the hardest, he had been my number one driver since 2010, plus I’d never witnessed an F1 fatality before in my years as an F1 fan).

    In that essence, my F1 year of 2015 has been a bit of a disappointment, but I hope that things will be better in 2016. Another new season to look forward to, lots of variables and a couple of new faces make it definitely worthwhile.

    Wishing a happy new year to @keithcollantine and everyone in the F1 Fanatic family.

    1. @wsrgo F1 has alienated me in 2015 for exactly the reasons you mention. F1 is defined by competition, by it’s headline stars, and by the talent it ought to field. With Mercedes monopoly and perhaps the most inspiring young talent since Hamilton himself missing out, F1 has some troubling symptoms. But F1 is in almost every dimension transient, and if I remember back to the experience of following F1 in 2012 or 2010, I will always be compelled by a sport with a infinitely greater capacity to thrill and inspire than all others.

      1. @william-brierty Ah yes, memories of 2010 and 2012 bring a smile to my face. I well and truly agree with the last sentence of your comment. Despite the many problems, there are some stories to look forward to. Let’s hope for a great season ahead.

  7. Except for the joke of Ric in 5th good articles…

  8. How marvelous we are.

    No other sport can boast such consistently excellent quality debates, can cultivate such articulate, multi-faceted discussions. With F1Fanatic, we have the tool to engage with similarly passionate individuals, and debate the present, past and future of our sport. Even when the on-track action is monotonous, F1Fanatic encourages us to debate on the future direction of our sport.

    The result is unquestionably the highest level of critical engagement with a sport I have ever experienced. It is just a shame that the sport’s governance will inevitably make no effort to access this resource, so long as the corporate cash rolls in.

    Keith, Bernie really should be paying you for keeping us engaged throughout the dull 2015 season!

    1. Incredibly well said.

  9. The highlight of my 2015 season was discovering your site Keith. It’s one of the first things I look at each day.
    Thanks for the hard work and great articles. Happy New year and may 2016 be a better competition than 2015.

  10. Some people have said it’s been boring, but it depends if you are watching a favourite driver like a hawk or simply following the field in general. I’ve been glued to every race.

    Great Christmas prezzie of Webber’s book. Couldn’t put it down. Some honest revelations in there, but Vettel is still my fave. It shows what a burning desire he has to win by any means possible, and has done so. Anyone who could fall out with a great guy like Mark must have razor blades under his hat, but all’s fair in love and war, and sport is a war.

    Great year of reports Keith. Thanks, dunno how you find the time.

  11. The thing with f1 is no matter the regulations there are a always a few enjoyable races each year and the only way to see catch them is to just keep watching. It is still enjoyable overall. It is not like cricket.

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