The 2015 Formula One season will probably be remembered as little more than a continuation of the previous year.
Mercedes continues to win by much the same margin, though once again there was a single driver who was able to beat them on exactly three occasions. And while Mercedes’ reliability improved, Renault’s continued problems and the arrival of Honda meant this year’s cars were, on the whole, no more reliable than they were 12 months ago. It made for a rather static season.
However there was evidence that the deeper trends in the sport remain unchanged: especially for longer seasons and smaller grids.
The new V6 turbo hybrid engines presented a significant reliability challenge 12 months ago. It caused one of the periodic reversals in the generally improvement of reliability in F1, matching previous setbacks in 2010 (when three new teams arrived) and 2006 (when V10 engines were replaced by V8s).
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With Caterham not returning in 2015, one of last year’s least reliable cars was gone. And with the likes of Mercedes making significant reliability gains, 2015 might have been expected to see another step improvement in reliability.
This didn’t happen largely due to frequent breakdowns at McLaren (who were running a new Honda engine) and Toro Rosso.
For the second year running only three drivers won races and only three drivers started from pole position. Over the past two seasons Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have amassed 36 pole positions, losing out on just two occasions: to Felipe Massa in Austria last year and Sebastian Vettel in Singapore this year.
The 2015 season was also the fourth time in the last five years that one driver has won ten or more races. Hamilton did so in the last two seasons while Vettel did in 2011 and 2013.
Drivers, teams and races
The 2016 F1 calendar is the largest ever seen with a record 21 races currently scheduled. If it wasn’t for the arrival of new team Haas F1 would have more races on the calendar than drivers competing in them.
The appearance of Haas will help reverse the gradual; fall in team numbers, something which would have been almost entirely unchecked had it not been for the FIA’s efforts which led to three new teams arriving in 2010. Two of these have since fallen by the wayside, leaving F1 a long way from the heyday of the late eighties and early nineties.
The 2015 season in statistics
Review the stats highlights from each race during 2015:
- Mercedes raise the bar with record-smashing 2015 season
- Rosberg keeps Hamilton waiting for first Brazil win
- Rosberg gets first hat-trick as Ferrari’s finishing streak ends
- McLaren enduring their longest ever win-less streak
- Mercedes join elite rank of back-to-back teams’ champions
- Hamilton is second driver in five races to match Senna
- Vettel passes Senna before Hamilton reaches him
- Hamilton set to match Senna in more ways than one
- Hamilton matches Senna’s podium tally as Vettel’s points streak ends
- Vettel matches Senna’s win tally with 9 fewer starts
- Hat-trick Hamilton takes a record from Stewart
- Rosberg matches Massa as Hamilton reaches a record
- Hamilton can equal 45-year-old record at next race
- Rosberg takes first Monaco hat-trick since Senna
- Rosberg is ninth different Spanish GP winner in a row
- Hamilton passes 10,000 kilometres in the lead
- Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel monopolise 2015 podiums
- Vettel one win away from equalling Senna
- Hamilton closing on Vettel and Senna after 34th win
2015 F1 season review
- The Complete F1 Fanatic 2015 season review
- Your favourite – and least favourite – F1 races of 2015
- The best stories, debates and pictures: F1 Fanatic’s must-read highlights of 2015
- Take the F1 Fanatic 2015 F1 season Quiz
- Watch the top ten races of 2015 outside F1
17 comments on “2015 F1 season statistics: the year in context”
24th December 2015, 13:04
Typo, should be fourth
24th December 2015, 15:37
And yet in the 5 years before that (2006-2010), even the eventual WDC never won more than 5 to 7 races, and there was never really a dominant car.
Although F1 from 2011-onward has had significantly more overtaking (mostly because of DRS and tyres), I still prefer the F1 from 2006-2010.
We had 5 different champions in 5 consecutive seasons, and going into every weekend, we never really had a clue about who was going to win or what was going to happen. It was this kind of uncertainty and unpredictability which kept me tuning in every race, even if the racing was not always great.
24th December 2015, 17:23
The FIA used to meddle more when Mosley was in charge, maybe that’s why those championships where closer. F1 certainly feels less like a sport and more like a marketing exercise these days though.
24th December 2015, 15:20
I knew that last two year were boring. But reading
is really depressing.
24th December 2015, 16:35
And its not looking good either for next two years.
24th December 2015, 17:11
F1 needs a change, that’s for sure. I don’t mean to disrespect Rosberg, but if there was a recognised top driver in the other Mercedes seat it would mean a lot to the fans.
24th December 2015, 17:21
@george and @ruliemaulana
Yet out of the 36 pole positions that have been taken by Mercedes in the past 2 years, they have been evenly split (18-18) between Hamilton and Rosberg. It is not like Williams’ domination of 1992-93, where the leading driver took 13-14 poles in a season, and the second driver took one or two.
But yes, a better racer on Sunday alongside Hamilton would be nice.
24th December 2015, 17:15
Since the chart only went back to 1992 I decided to look further back to see the last year we had three or less race winners. The answer, unsurprisingly, was 1988. That was still an anomaly though, you have go back to 1963 for the next time, and that was when there were only 10 rounds. 1957, 1952 and 1950 are the other years with three or less winners but of course things were so much different back then, and with fewer rounds.
Still, basically we went 63 years of F1 with three or few winners in only 5 of those years, now we’ve had two on the trot and a pretty good chance for a third.
24th December 2015, 20:11
You mean it’s an exponential growth trend? That in the future it can only get worse?
24th December 2015, 20:50
I read it more as it’s highly unusual to have three or fewer winners in a season
24th December 2015, 20:51
Here’s an interesting question: has there ever been a season with just two winners?
24th December 2015, 21:55
No, unless you discount the Indy 500, in which case the seasons mentioned above that are before 1960 count.
24th December 2015, 21:23
“Longer seasons”? I’ll believe it when I see it. It feels like we’ve been talking about that 21-race calendar for four or five years, but it never ends up happening. Every season since 2011 has had at least 20 races scheduled, but only 2012 has held 20 races — the rest saw races getting cancelled or postponed. And with Monza and Hockenheim looking shaky, Austin desperately struggling and a new Grand Prix in a country with questionable human rights and an unstable economy, I would be astonished if we saw all 21 races happen next year. We’re bound to lose at least one of them.
24th December 2015, 22:45
“with Monza and Hockenheim looking shaky, Austin desperately struggling and a new Grand Prix in a country with questionable human rights and an unstable economy”
There is no F1 without Monza and the laws have been changed so F1 will stay.
Austin should never have been funded by tax payers, which was what would have made the New Jersey circuit so intriguing. And the speed.
I’m guessing you are referring to Azerbaijan but your reasoning of “questionable human rights and an unstable economy” has never stopped F1 before. That literally describes more than one country where F1 has raced in the 21st century.
25th December 2015, 1:11
It was very boring.
25th December 2015, 18:22
I wish they would improve the coverage.
For example it’s ridiculous that in amongst Bernie’s finger-pointing at everyone in sight his incredibly wealthy and experienced organisation can’t get it together to show battery use. Like they used to! So we can’t see how drivers are using this key weapon to overtake and defend.
All year they failed to link the website to the app. They are each so poor anyway, sublimely unaware that we might want all the cars on one screen. Their idea of using gps data is a massive fail.
The TV director is a refugee from soap operas apparently, who doesn’t understand that the interest in pass is what happens at the entry onto the straight as much as at the end. I’d like a smaller grid just to make his job a bit simpler as he jumps around from one duel to another.
Next year I’m expecting the racing to be better – Lewis vs Seb hopefully – but the commercial rights holder to deliver the same pricey lost opportunity, while blaming everyone else.
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
28th December 2015, 0:02
As he thinks you don’t even know how many cylinders the engines have, I wouldn’t hold your breath on this one!
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