As we near the end of 2015, we take a look back at some of the best – and worst – F1 moments making the headlines over the last twelve months…
Best of 2015: Ballsy Verstappen makes his mark in rookie campaign
Max Verstappen enjoyed a sensational start to his top flight career in 2015, and despite jumping straight into the Toro Rosso line-up after only one year of single-seater racing, he challenged for points from the off, and quickly showed he wasn't 'too young' or 'too inexperienced' to be in F1.
He also arguably provided one of the best quotes of the season in Singapore, when, after fighting his way back to eighth, he defied team orders near the end of the race to let team-mate Carlos Sainz past, later joking he would have got a 'kick in the nuts' from his Dad had he obeyed.
He certainly showed balls to ignore his team - and while it may have divided the critics – it illustrated perfectly he has the ruthlessness needed to get to the top, and it is no wonder you voted him runner-up
's F1 Driver of the Year vote and it is no wonder he also scoop three individual accolades at the annual FIA Gala
, walking away with the Rookie of the Year accolade, the Personality of the Year award, and the honour for the best on-track F1 moment of 2015...
First published: 21st September 2015
Defiant Verstappen avoids 'kick in the nuts' from Dad
Max Verstappen has joked his father, former F1 racer Jos Verstappen, would have 'kicked him in the nuts' had he obeyed team orders to let Carlos Sainz past in the closing stages of the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Dutchman endured an eventful evening around the Marina Bay Circuit after seemingly scuppering his hopes of a good result after stalling from eighth position, leaving him a lap down initially.
However, an early safety car permitted him the chance to un-lap himself, enabling Verstappen to begin making ground through the pack. A second safety car period then put him in range of the points, with his super-soft rubber allowing him to pull off a series of impressive passes en route to eighth.
Shadowed by team-mate Sainz, Verstappen was then controversially asked to swap positions with the Spaniard after the team determined he had fresher tyres with which to challenge Sergio Perez ahead in seventh.
Eliciting an angry response from Verstappen, he would defy the order to keep eighth place, a decision that the team says it now supports.
“I was told five laps before the end,” he said. “First of all, if you're one lap down and you manage to be back in the points as the leading Toro Rosso, then for me there is no reason to switch positions.
“With Checo, we couldn't have got past because his top speed was unbelievable. After the second time I made it quite clear I didn't want to do it, and at the end they told me it was the right decision.”
Indeed, Verstappen suggests the wrath he would face from the team for retaining eighth would be more favourable than the reaction he would get from his father had he swapped positions…
“He told me if I had let him past he would have kicked me in the nuts…”
Verstappen right to ignore team orders – Toro Rosso
Sainz: I now know what 'bad boy' Max is about…