F1 2015: Team prospects for the season ahead

The Formula 1 season starts in Melbourne on 15 March with the Australian Grand Prix. Below are details ofteam prospects listed in 2014 world championship order. Prefix numbers are those the drivers will have on their cars.

Hamilton Rosberg


  • 44-Lewis Hamilton (Britain)
  • 6-Nico Rosberg (Germany)

Hamilton starts the season as favourite for a third championship, with Rosberg again his main rival. Champions Mercedes look the team to beat again, and their car seems both reliable and quick with others playing catch-up. Managing the two drivers in the heat of battle could be their biggest difficulty.

Kvyat Ricciardo

Red Bull Racing – Renault

  • 3-Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
  • 26-Daniil Kvyat (Russia)

Ricciardo had a breakthrough 2014 season with three wins and is now team leader after Sebastian Vettel’s departure to Ferrari. Renault have improved their power unit, with Red Bull now their main focus but star designer Adrian Newey is more occupied with other interests. Kvyat moves up from Toro Rosso and will be looking for his first win and to pressure Ricciardo. Holding on to second place may be the best they can hope for.

Massa Bottas Williams


  • 19-Felipe Massa (Brazil)
  • 77-Valtteri Bottas (Finland)

Could be challenging for win and tipped by many as likely closest rivals to Mercedes, who provide the team’s power units. Expect Bottas to be challenging for a first win, Massa to continue his strong 2014 form.

raikkonen vettel-001


  • 5-Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
  • 7-Kimi Raikkonen (Finland)

Big changes at Maranello, with ex-president Luca di Montezemolo and Spain’s Fernando Alonso gone. Former Marlboro man Maurizio Arrivabene is now principal, with Vettel arriving from Red Bull at what could be just the right time. Last year the team failed to win a race for the first time since 1993. Two wins would hit the target, three would be surprising.

Button Alonso McLaren-Honda-MP4-30

McLaren – Honda

  • 14-Fernando Alonso (Spain)
  • 22-Jenson Button (Britain)

Alonso will miss Australia on doctors’ orders due to his testing crash. Some suspect he will not miss much, with the 2015 McLaren struggling to put laps together in testing with newengine partners Honda. Likely to be a difficult year with plenty of catching up to do. McLaren have not won a grand prix since 2012. It may be a while yet before they can celebrate.

Motor Racing - Sahara Force India F1 Team Livery Reveal -  Mexico City, Mexico

Force India – Mercedes

  • 27-Nico Hulkenberg (Germany)
  • 11-Sergio Perez (Mexico)

Short on cash and with a new car that did only three days of pre-season testing. Unlikely to be very competitive at the start, despite having a Mercedes engine. Could struggle to retain their sixth place overall. Finances will be a worry.

Carlos Sainz Max Verstappen

Scuderia Toro Rosso – Mercedes

  • 33-Max Verstappen (Netherlands)
  • 55-Carlos Sainz (Spain)

Verstappen, 17, is the youngest ever driver while Toro Rosso have the youngest combined age of 37. The team have set a target of fifth place in the championship, which does not look impossible given McLaren’s problems.


Lotus – Mercedes

  • 8-Romain Grosjean (France)
  • 13-Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela)

A vastly better car than last year’s has revived the team’s confidence after a difficult 2014. The team have switched from Renault to Mercedes power units, which has made a big difference. A return to the podium will be the target.

Will Stevens

Manor Marussia – Ferrari

  • 46-Will Stevens (Britain)
  • TBC

Stevens has yet to obtain his super licence despite competing in Abu Dhabi with Caterham as a one-off last season after they had been put into administration. The second driver has yet to be named. The car is a tweaked 2014 one, with an old Ferrari engine, to meet new regulations. New ownership should make them more secure but funds are still tight.

Ericsson Nasr

Sauber – Ferrari

  • 9-Marcus Ericsson (Sweden)
  • 12-Felipe Nasr (Brazil)

Failed to score a point last year in a dismal season, with a completely new and well-funded driver line-up now in place. The car has done a lot of laps in testing which is a good sign but money is in short supply.