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F1 Driver of the Year 2015 - 9th: Valtteri Bottas

After a stellar campaign in 2014, though this driver was a front runner in 2015, even he admitted to being disappointed with his season.
F1 Driver of the Year 2015: 9th

9th – Valtteri Bottas
Average poll score out of ten: 6.2
Team: Williams Martini Racing
Car: Williams Mercedes FW37
Wins: 0
Podiums: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Best Finish 3rd
Championship points: 136
Championship position: 5th out of 21

In isolation, Valtteri Bottas enjoyed a fairly strong 2015 season – certainly not one to be regarded as a disappointment or failure.

However, on the back of a spectacular breakthrough to the front with Williams in 2014, Bottas had a lot to live up to this year and with the team favouring evolution in order to consolidate its rediscovered pace – rather than risk going in the other direction again -, the car was never a match for Ferrari.

Charming and friendly off the track – if entirely uncontroversial -, Bottas made a few ripples in 2015 with his double high profile clashes with Kimi Raikkonen in Russia and Mexico, as well as airing his frustration at a catalogue of operational errors committed by Williams this year.

Though Williams was very much the 'third' power in F1 this year, Bottas' sheer consistency – at least until his first DNF at the hands of Raikkonen in Sochi -, he would out-perform it on occasion, his podiums in Canada and especially Mexico proving the highlights.

However, there were also unusually lacklustre weekends – Hungary and Monaco in particular – which took a sheen off Bottas at a crucial time when he was being touted for a potential Ferrari drive. Having been overlooked for the drive, it's ironic that he would then head into the final round at loggerheads for fourth overall with Raikkonen, though he would ultimately lose out for a still very creditable fifth in only his third year in F1.

So a year of consolidation for Bottas, the sharp upturn in form of 2014 somewhat unfairly always likely to result in diminishing returns for 2015. A safe pair of hands, Bottas may not have stolen many headlines this year, but he remains an undisputed talent.

Valtteri Bottas in the Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2014: 3rd
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2013: 9th

Do you agree with the poll results? Have your say in the comments section below...

About the vote:
Rather than repeat the Drivers' World Championship standings, the F1 Driver of the Year poll asks viewers to take into account factors such as machinery, performance relative to a team-mate, driving style, experience, injuries, progress and personality just as much as race results.

Over 120,000 votes were cast for the 2015 Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year poll, where viewers awarded each of this year's full-time participants.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.11.2015 - Free Practice 2, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW37
14.11.2015 - Free Practice 3, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW37
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Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
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Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40

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December 16, 2015 12:43 AM

I'm actually positively surprised with the crash commentariat on this, IMO, well judged position for Bottas. I thought last year that he had quickly become the next overhyped Scandinavian driver, also knowing in the back of my mind that Bianchi had him covered in lower formulae and that we never got to see him go through GP2. Yes he won in GP3 but that was driving for the utterly dominant ART team and only just beating one of his teammates (english guy, can't remember but I believe he races GT's now). So now we've seen Massa keeping him very honest for two years after some abysmal years at Ferrari, I'm glad to see objective sensible minds prevail. He's a decent driver, definitely deserves a place in the F1 midfield and pretty consistent, but no world beater like Martin Brundle still wants us to believe.

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