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Felipe Nasr

Felipe Nasr
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2014
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

Is this the man to follow in the footsteps of the Fittipaldis, Piquets and Sennas of this world?

Brazil has an enviable F1 pedigree, so Felipe Nasr had better be ready for some challenging comparisons when he assumes the mantle with Sauber in 2015.

Like many of his predecessors from that great country he comes with substantial backing – Banco do Brasil is a long-time supporter and probably just as welcome in the Swiss camp as the driver himself.

Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2014
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

Out of the frying pan into the fire?

That’s not meant unkindly as Marcus switches from the ill-fated Caterham team to Sauber; it’s just a salutary reminder that the Swiss team endured the worst season of its long F1 history in 2014 and has its work cut out to make significant improvement in 2015.

Ericsson only came into the F1 paddock last year, joining Caterham after long service in GP2 where fairly regular race wins over the years never quite added up to a title.

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2014
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

Did it really happen, or was it a dream?

It seems hard to believe that Pastor Maldonado did actually win a Grand Prix in 2012 for Williams, and did so with some aplomb, fighting off the attentions of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari in front of the Spaniard’s home crowd in Barcelona in 2012.

The Venezuelan must also have felt it was all a long way away in 2014, when he endured a season with just two points – and they came only in the third-last race of the season in Austin.

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2014
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

Two top-10 finishes, eight World Championship points, 14th place overall: the bare statistics of Romain Grosjean’s 2014 season, his third full year as a Formula 1 driver, make pretty sorry reading.

It will be small consolation to the Swiss/French driver that he was two places and six points better off than teammate Pastor Maldonado, for Lotus – fourth in both 2012 and 2013 – were never in the hunt and finished in a remote eighth place, with only Marussia and Caterham behind them.

Carlos Sainz Jr

Carlos Sainz Jr
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2014
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

It’s a weird and wonderful world. At just 20 years of age, Carlos Sainz Junior is already the senior member of a Grand Prix team.

With Daniil Kvyat moving up to replace the departed Vettel at Red Bull Racing, the Madrid-born Spaniard gets his chance in the ‘junior’ team which originally overlooked him in favour of the 17-year-old Max Verstappen.

Sainz, son of double rally World Champion Carlos, arrives as the youngest World Series by Renault 3.5 champion in history.

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2014
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

There’s nothing like saddling a 17-year-old with the burden of expectation.

As if being the son of a former F1 driver were not enough to live up to, Red Bull driver advisor Helmut Marko has said Verstappen stands comparison with Ayrton Senna.

Max will become the youngest driver in Grand Prix history when he lines up for Toro Rosso in Melbourne in March. At 17 years and 166 days he will be almost a full two years younger than the previous holder of that record, Jaime Alguersuari – and where is Jaime now?

Nico Hülkenberg

Nico Hülkenberg
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2014
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

This will be Nico’s fifth year in F1 – remember he missed out in 2011 – and it sees him still stuck in the middle tier of the grid after opting to continue with his current team.

The log-jam at the top of the Grand Prix field means that despite his talent the 2009 GP2 champion is still waiting for the chance to show what he can do in a front-running car.

Nonetheless, Hülkenberg insists that 2014 was the best of his four seasons in F1 so far. “It was the moment when I felt I really arrived and became comfortable with everything that surrounds the job,” he says.

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2014
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

In a Force India season of two halves, it was ‘Checo’ who came home the stronger of their two drivers in 2014, although in the end he finished one place and 37 points behind teammate Nico Hülkenberg.

This is the Mexican’s third team in his four F1 seasons to date: two years with Sauber were followed by a short-lived stay at McLaren, but now he seems settled in these more exotic surroundings.

Jenson Button

Jenson Button
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2014
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

He’s an old married man now, and he’s going into his 16th F1 season.

Jenson Button, 34, finally popped the question to his long-time partner Jessica Michibata and the pair were married in Hawaii at the end of 2014.

The joy of that day counter-balanced the way the year had begun, with the death of Jenson’s father and good mate John Button at the age of 70.

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