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The top 10 stories on F1.com in 2015

24 Dec 2015

What got people talking most during the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship? From title coronations to hurricanes, rule controversies and a trip to hospital, we've examined the stats to bring you the top 10 stories of the season, in date order, on Formula1.com...

Red Bull unveil striking camo livery

Red Bull caused a sensation before the season had even begun when their new RB11 rolled out in camouflage livery in the first pre-season test at Jerez. There was no official launch or grand ceremony - but that just added to the shock factor of the new colour scheme. It wouldn't remain past pre-season, but that was still enough time to grab the imagination of the F1 world.

- Black and white Red Bull hits the track
- Feature: Unusual testing liveries

 

Alonso taken to hospital after testing crash

There were scenes of a far more worrying kind later in pre-season when Fernando Alonso was airlifted to hospital after crashing late on the final day of the second test. The two-time world champion went off at Barcelona's Turn 3 and hit the wall on the inside of the circuit - and accident that would ultimately force the McLaren star to miss the first race in Melbourne.

- Alonso airlifted to hospital
- Alonso: Cause of crash might never be known

 

Vettel stuns Mercedes in Malaysia

Even after qualifying on the front row, no one expected Sebastian Vettel to be able to seriously challenge the Mercedes over a full race distance. Ferrari had made a massive step over the winter, that was clear - but jumping from a dismal 2014 to becoming a match for Mercedes seemed a step too far, especially in just the second race of the season. Luckily Vettel hadn't read that script, and in the searing heat of Sepang he and Ferrari returned to winning ways - stunning the F1 paddock and the watching world.

- Full race report and results
- Vettel: Victory for Ferrari a 'dream come true'

 

Tempers flare as Rosberg takes issue with Hamilton in China

After the shock of Malaysia, Mercedes immediately got back to winning ways in Shanghai, with Lewis Hamilton leading Nico Rosberg home for a Silver Arrows one-two. So far so good for the team - but in the post-race press conference things took a turn for the worse when Rosberg accused Hamilton of driving too slowly in an attempt to back him into the Ferraris. "It’s just now interesting to hear from you Lewis," Rosberg remarked, "that you were just thinking about yourself with the pace in front, and necessarily that was compromising my race." Hamilton gave the claim short shrift, but it lit the imagination of the fans - particularly given how the pair had fallen out in the heat of their 2014 title fight.

Hamilton baffled by Rosberg's criticism
Rosberg: Fallout behind us after 'intense' talks

 

Jules Bianchi, 1989-2015

French driver Jules Bianchi passed away on 17 July 2015 after succumbing to the injuries he sustained in a crash in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. His family and the F1 world came together to celebrate Bianchi's life and pay their final respects with a one-minute silence in Hungary, laying down their helmets in the centre of an emotional and poignant huddle.

- Video: A tribute to Jules Bianchi

 

Tyre pressures cause a storm for Mercedes at Monza

There had already been late drama for Mercedes at Monza, with Nico Rosberg retiring due to engine failure while running third. But a separate storm was brewing, and it revolved around their instruction ("don't ask questions, just execute") for leader to Lewis Hamilton to increase his pace. It emerged that both Hamilton and Rosberg's tyre pressures were found to be below Pirelli's specifications. The team were referred to the stewards - and for a while the official result was in doubt, even as the national anthems played on the podium. 

- Mercedes summoned over tyre pressures
- Mercedes: Investigation exposed rules confusion, not wrongdoing

 

The 2016 F1 calendar is revealed

A record schedule, including a new event? Six back-to-back weekends? And several regulation changes to throw into the mix? The 2016 calendar might have been provisional when it emerged on Formula1.com in September, but the story proved a massive draw as fans got their first proper glimpse of how the 2016 campaign will play out.

- FIA announces revised 2016 calendar

 

Raikkonen and Bottas clash in Russia

Sochi provided a thrilling finish in 2015 as Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez headed into the last lap tied together in a fight for the final step on the podium. Bottas had the advantage, but Raikkonen - urged on by Ferrari - wasn't about to let his younger compatriot take third without a fight. Through Turn 3 the Ferrari closed slightly, prompting Raikkonen to throw caution to the wind and gamble at Turn 4. The only problem? Bottas was already turning in, meaning the two Finns collided, allowing Perez to slip through for third. "What the **** did he do!?" was Bottas's immediate take. The stewards took a similarly dim view, summoning both and ultimately penalising Raikkonen for the clash.

Raikkonen penalised for last-lap clash
Sochi showdowns - onboard in Russia

 

Hurricane Patricia pays Austin a visit

Lewis Hamilton headed to the USA knowing victory would clinch him the 2015 title, but he wasn't the main talking point at the start of the weekend - that honour instead fell to Hurricane Patricia, one of the worst storms in the recorded history of weather. Lightning cracked and heavy rains battered the Circuit of the Americas on Friday and Saturday. Every attempt was made to run qualifying on Saturday, but the delays mounted until the fight for pole was eventually postponed until Sunday morning. In the meantime, teams, drivers and media found novel ways to fill the time - and some remarkably hardy fans braved the conditions for a front-row seat.

- Austin qualifying postponed until Sunday morning
- The 'other' Sunday qualifying sessions
- Video: Fun and Games in the Austin pit lane

 

Hamilton's historic hat-trick

Lewis Hamilton sealed his thirld world championship crown in fitting fashion in 2015, stealing ahead of Nico Rosberg on track to claim victory at the end of a wild, all-action race in the United States. "This is the greatest moment of my life," was the Briton's emotional out-pouring following his triumph, and he celebrated like he meant it. Along with the title came a slice of history - Hamilton became just the tenth driver in history - and the first Briton since 1973 - to become a three-time world champion.

Hamilton seals 2015 title with thrilling win
- Video: Hamilton's path to the 2015 crown