9th – Nico Hulkenberg
Average poll score out of ten: 6.4
Sahara Force India
9th out of 24
Nico Hulkenberg marked his final season as a Force India driver with a fourth consecutive run to the overall top ten, even if he failed to secure that elusive maiden podium result he so dearly craves.
The German began his sixth season in the sport with a clear objective to step foot on the rostrum but while Force India gave him its most competitive machine yet with the quick and consistent VJM09, he fell just short of his aim.
Nevertheless, while Hulkenberg's season didn't necessarily sparkle with one standout result – unlike his two-time podium winning team-mate Sergio Perez – a steady stream of points' finishes marked arguably his most complete season yet.
After an indifferent start to the year, the arrival of Force India's uprated chassis from Spain spurred on Hulkenberg's form thereafter. From Monaco onwards he failed to score on just three occasions – twice because of lap one incidents and once after a last lap brake failure -, though he only cracked the top six just twice as well.
Peaking with a fourth place finish in the Belgian Grand Prix – the best result of his four seasons in total with Force India -, though ninth marks his equal-best overall result since making his F1 debut in 2010, he would finish the year 29 points in arrears of Perez.
Nico Hulkenberg in the Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year poll
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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, progress and personality just as much as race results.
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F1 Driver of the Year poll, where viewers awarded each of this year's full-time participants.