2015: A flashback

Mercedes Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton of Britain is pictured during the annual 'Stars & Cars' event in Stuttgart December 12, 2015. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany drives during the race at the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN - JANUARY 28: (L-R) Paddy Lowe the Mercedes GP Executive Director (Technical), Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP and Toto Wolff the Mercedes GP Executive Director unveil the new Mercedes W05 during day one of Formula One Winter Testing at the Circuito de Jerez on January 28, 2014 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)
Winner Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates after the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit, near Budapest, Hungary July 26, 2015. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 04: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Scuderia Toro Rosso receives his trophy for Rookie of the Year during the 2015 FIA Prize-Giving Ceremony at the Lido Theatre on December 4, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Florent Gooden - Pool/Getty Images)
McLaren driver Fernando Alonso of Spain talks with a reporter at the 'Sochi Autodrom' Formula One track , in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. The Formula one race will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat of Russia steers his car during the qualifying session at the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 28: Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela and Lotus drives during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 28, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Formula One in 2015 was more or less a droning re-run of the 2014 season with Lewis Hamilton’s ascendancy never in doubt, not at least until he had sewed up his third World title, his second on the bounce, at the United States Grand Prix, with three races to spare. Ten victories and seven podium finishes more than explain the kind of grip the Mercedes driver had over the 19-card season.

If Hamilton’s coronation seemed a foregone conclusion, which, in a way, had sucked the season dry of any interest even before the Formula One caravan moved into Asia for the second time, the renewed acrimony between him and his team-mate Nico Rosberg kept the circuit abuzz in anticipation of something as dramatic as the clash between the two at the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix.

Overall, the season was largely without the hum normally associated with the sport, even if Rosberg upped his game in the last three races to steal Hamilton’s thunder.

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