Formula One 2015

British driver Lewis Hamilton overcame stiff competition from his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to lift the Driver's World Championship for the second year in a row, concluding what has been a thrilling Formula One season with plenty of thrills and spills.

Mercedes, who also walked away with the Constructor's Championship this year will already have high hopes for next season, which may well see Rosberg turn up the heat on this already fascinating rivalry.

Here's our rundown on how the championship was won…


The opening race arguably set the tone for the rest of the season, with Hamilton coming out on top ahead of Rosberg in a dominant performance.

The Mercedes pair seemed to have little trouble in breaking away from the rest of the field, which had lost three cars before the race had even started.

A controlled performance allowed Hamilton to take full control of the gap between him and his team-mate, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel taking third.

It was a day to forget for fellow Brit Jenson Button, however, who finished at the back of an 11-car race.


Things were a lot closer in Malaysia, with former world champion Sebastian Vettel earning his first win for Ferrari, following a fascinating battle with Hamilton in a race that saw Mercedes struggle with tyres in the tropical heat.

Rosberg again ended on the podium, easing just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who had to fight back from an early puncture.

While no one would have been naive enough to write Vettel off, this race was certainly seen as a wake up call for Mercedes, and a reminder that they could still have a fight on their hands in claiming the world title.


The Ferrari revival suffered a major setback when the teams arrived in Shanghai the following month as another controlled performance saw Hamilton ease to an impressive victory.

This was certainly one of the Brit's more tactical performances as he drove with pace in hand, which was followed by pace when needed around the pit stops.

Rosberg, who finished second, then laid the foundations of this season's fierce rivalry, accusing his team-mate of trying to back him up into the chasing third-placed Vettel - a claim Hamilton denied.


The following week saw the drivers head to Bahrain and Hamilton was once again in full control under the lights at the Sakhir track.

The 30-year old led from the beginning and never looked like surrendering his lead, while in contrast, Rosberg's intense battle with the two Ferrari's eventually saw him slip out of the top two with a braking problem.

Raikkonen took full advantage to finish second, while Vettel slipped to third after going off track and damaging his car.


Rosberg fought back a month later in Barcelona, securing a dominant win in a race that saw Hamilton overcome a slow start to finish second on the podium.

Hamilton was initially stuck behind Ferrari's Vettel, but a brilliant strategic performance allowed him to get ahead, with the German eventually finishing in third.

Despite Ferrari arriving in Spain with a major upgrade that saw it make revisions made to nearly every aerodynamic surface on the car, this was a clear return to form for Mercedes, with Hamilton and Rosberg rarely looking troubled at the head of the grid.  

The result meant Rosberg reduced Hamilton's advantage in the championship to 20 points, while Vettel was cut 31 points adrift in third place.


Arguably the most glamorous race in the calendar, Monaco saw more signs of tension between Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate.

The previously dominant Brit was denied victory when his Mercedes team decided to pit him after a late safety car following Max Verstappen's crash.

That allowed Rosberg and Vettel to both pass Hamilton before he rejoined the race.

The result saw Hamilton's lead in the championship reduced to 10 points with Vettel another 18 away.

A disappointed Hamilton was seen driving slowly over to a stop at the Portier corner once he crossed the finish line, facing out to the Mediterranean Sea to seemingly gather his thoughts.


Hamilton returned to winning ways in Montreal, taking a deserved victory in the Canadian Grand Prix, successfully fending off Rosberg.

The Mercedes pair swapped the lead several times throughout the race, which was otherwise largely uneventful, although Williams's Valtteri Bottas beat Ferrari's Raikkonen to third.

Hamilton's fourth win in seven races extended his lead at the top of the championship to 17 points and went some way to easing the disappointment of Monaco.

The defending champion led from the first corner, building a four-second lead before pitting and maintaining what turned out to be a comfortable gap at the front of the grid.


Hamilton's lead was back to 10 points in Spielberg as Rosberg cruised to victory following an early overtake at the start of the race, which allowed the German to build an unassailable lead.

A frustrating day for Hamilton saw an attempt to retake the lead denied by the safety car, which was attending to a heavy crash involving Raikkonen and McLaren's Fernando Alonso, with both drivers thankfully emerging unhurt.


Hamilton was not to be denied a victory on home soil at Silverstone, battling back from a poor start to burst to the front of the grid in what was a thrilling race.

The world champion had to pass both Williams drivers after losing the lead off the line and then second place after a restart following an early safety car.

But he regained the lead at the first pit stop, before overcoming a chaotic finish to steal the win from team-mate Rosberg and Ferrari's Vettel, much to the delight of the 140,000 fans.


If Silverstone was a day of everything going right for the world champion, then the trip to Hungary could be seen as something of a disaster.

A drive filled with errors saw Hamilton finish sixth, although his blushes were partially spared by title rival Rosberg finishing eighth following a late puncture.

In a chaotic and compelling race, it was Vettel who took advantage to finish at the top of the podium, while Daniil Kvyat taking second place for his first top-three finish.

Daniel Ricciardo completed the top three on an emotional day, which saw the sport remember French driver Jules Bianchi.


Order was restored in Belgium as Hamilton and Rosberg eased to another Mercedes 1-2 in Spa, a result that saw the gap at the top extended to 28 points.

A sixth win of the season for Hamilton was, in truth, rarely in doubt, as he turned his pole position into a lead that lasted from the first lap.

Vettel's chances of third were ended after his car suffered a tyre failure, which prompted a furious reaction from the German with two laps to go.

Lotus's Romain Grosjean duly obliged, taking third place and a place on the podium.


Tyres were at the centre of attention again at Monza, with stewards investigating Mercedes over allegations they were using tyres below the minimum permitted pressure.

But after officials cleared Mercedes of any wrongdoing it allowed Hamilton to keep what was a dominant victory.

A seventh triumph of the season saw the Brit go 53 points clear of Rosberg, who retired three laps from the end with an engine problem.

Vettel returned to the podium by finishing second, while Felipe Massa snapped up third.


Hamilton's momentum towards a third driver's title was dealt a blow in Singapore as he suffered his first retirement of the year, allowing Vettel to romp away to his victory of the season.

A chaotic race first saw the introduction of a safety car before a spectator was found walking along the track.

Rosberg did his best to cut through the chaos and reduce Hamilton's lead in the championship but could only finish fourth.

Ricciardo took second for Red Bull, ahead of Ferrari's Raikkonen.


Hamilton responded in fine style, dominating the Japanese Grand Prix to once again tighten his grip on the title.

Rosberg also recovered from his disappointing showing to claim second, with rivalries between the two stoked by fierce battles on the first two corner, which saw the German forced out wide and into third.

But he recovered to pass fellow countryman Vettel after his second pit stop.

Vettel took third place on the podium, just ahead of Ferrari team-mate Raikkonen in fourth.


Sochi was a race that all but sealed a second consecutive world title for Hamilton.

Having run second to Rosberg during the early stages, Hamilton was able to take full advantage when the German was forced to retire due to a problem with his throttle, earning a ninth Grand Prix win of the season.

It was certainly a day to forget for Rosberg, who was also overtaken by Vettel in the title standings, after the Ferrari driver nipped in to claim second place.

Force India's Sergio Perez earned a surprise third after Ferrari's Raikkonen was involved in a dramatic collision with Bottas on the final lap.

The win meant Hamilton headed to the USA needing nine more points than Vettel and two more than Rosberg in order to seal the title


Hamilton sealed the deal at the Circuit of the Americas winning a thrilling United States Grand Prix to become only the second Brit after Sir Jackie Stewart to win three driver's titles.

A crucial turning point in the race was when Hamilton forced Rosberg into making a mistake ten laps after a safety car, before sweeping into the lead.

Vettel did his best to keep the title race open until Mexico the following week, but could only finish in third behind Rosberg.


With the title already sewn up, it seemed Hamilton had literally taken his foot off the gas in Mexico as Rosberg earned his first victory in over four months.

It was a thoroughly deserved win for the German, with the new world champion unable to get closer than two seconds to the lead.

The long overdue win moved Rosberg back into second in the championship standings, with Vettel crashing out. Williams' Bottas took third.


An impressive end to the season for Rosberg continued at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, as he beat Hamilton to top spot for the second race in a row.

Rosberg converted pole position into a lead at the first corner and found himself largely in control, despite Hamilton breathing down his neck more or less throughout.

Ferrari's Vettel finished third, ahead of team-mate Raikkonen.

Abu Dhabi

Rosberg got the better of Hamilton once again in the season's finale in Abu Dhabi, earning him a third straight win to finish the year on a high.

A tactical battle between the front two saw Hamilton do his best to surpass his team-mate, but Rosberg held firm, eventually producing enough pace to see him through.

Raikkonen finished third while his Ferrari team-mate Vettel produced one of the performances of the season by taking fourth place from 15th on the grid.

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