21 December 2015
F1 Driver of the Year 2015 - 3rd: Lewis Hamilton
Not even back-to-back title wins were enough to elevate Lewis Hamilton above third position in your F1 Driver of the Year poll.
3rd Lewis Hamilton
Average poll score out of ten: 7.4
Team: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Car: Mercedes W06
Fastest Laps: 8
Best Finish 1st
Championship points: 381
Championship position: 1st out of 21
If Lewis Hamilton's route to the 2014 F1 World Championship was arduous, then his passage to the 2015 title win – the third of the career – would prove a relative walk in the park.
Picking up where he left off from a rapid end to the 2014 season, Hamilton was similarly comprehensive from the beginning of 2015, his three wins from the opening four races forging an early advantage he would ultimately protect all the way to the end of the season.
From here, Hamilton simply consolidated the buffer back to Nico Rosberg, rattling up consecutive pole positions and race wins to stretch further clear until he wrapped up back-to-back world titles in the United States with three races remaining.
Statistically speaking, this was as comprehensive a title win for Hamilton as he could have hoped. Eleven pole positions and eight wins from 19 races speak volumes alone, but it was the nuances of Hamilton's evolution from 2014 that also played their part.
Indeed, after a 2014 season that became as much about mental edge as it did about the racing, Hamilton was notable for his relaxed demeanour and attitude in 2015, while his confidence visibly grew with each win.
Even when circumstances threatened to unsettle him – most notably in Monaco when a strategic blunder cost him an almost certain win -, Hamilton's kept his mental attitude in check to bounce back almost straight away and reassert his authority.
It wasn't a flawless season by all accounts, with Hamilton berating is error-strewn performance in Hungary as the worst of his career, while he was comprehensively out-classed by Rosberg in the final three races of the season. Even so, there was rarely a moment in 2015 where Hamilton didn't seem in control.
Naturally, Hamilton benefitted from having the superior Mercedes beneath him, but there were still some standout moments for him, notably his savvy strategic move at Silverstone to win the British Grand Prix, while his ballsy pass for the lead at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix certainly sent out a message…
Divisive though he occasionally is, this was undoubtedly another coming of age year for Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton in the Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2014: 2nd
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2013: 8th
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2012: 3rd
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2011: 11th
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2010: 4th
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2009: 4th
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.
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