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2015-02-03

Will The 2015 Formula One Season Be A Bit More Interesting than 2014?

For me, and I'm sure many other people as well, the 2014 Formula One season was a bit of a let-down in some ways. There was a lot of good racing, but the best scraps were mainly between team members and not between teams, because the difference in speed between the various teams was even more noticeable than usual.

Very early in the season, it became pretty clear that one of the Mercedes drivers would win the championship, with virtually no chance of anyone else getting a look in. Without in any way playing down the obvious skills of both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, nobody else had a car that was consistently fast enough to challenge them, leaving just the two of them to fight it out between themselves. At the end of the day, I think the right man won, but it was touch and go.

In the deciding last race of the season in Abu Dhabi, with double points at stake, Rosberg was unlucky to lose in the way he did, limping home in fourteenth place in a sick car, but Hamilton only needed to finish ahead of him to secure the championship, and only a breakdown or crash was going to prevent that happening. With eleven wins to Rosberg's five, most people would probably agree that Hamilton deserved to be World Champion for a second time.

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo was a very popular winner of three races, in Canada, Hungary and Belgium, and showed that the Renault powered Red Bull was just about capable of beating the Mercedes cars, and in Hungary the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso followed the Red Bull home to push Mercedes down to third and fourth places. That was in fact the only time that Hamilton was beaten on the track by a non Mercedes car, but he was also beaten in the previous race, in Germany, when Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes powered Williams finished in second place behind Rosberg, pushing Hamilton down to third. Although he was beaten in Canada and Belgium, he was forced to retire from those races due to car problems.

First impressions of the first three days of the opening test session of the season, in Jerez, Spain, suggest that Mercedes may not have quite such an obviously dominant car this year, but of course none of the teams is likely to show their full power until the first race, when we will find out their true strengths. With one day of the first test left, when everything could change dramatically, as a Ferrari fan I'm hoping that Ferrari's two days at the top of the leaderboard, with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel, followed by rookie Felipe Nasr's Ferrari powered Sauber taking the honours on day three, just possibly might signal a revival in the fortunes of the red cars. There's a long way to go, though, so I won't be laying any bets...

Ferrari SF-15T race car, image copyright Ferrari
Ferrari SF-15T
Image copyright - Ferrari