• 2015 driver line-up

How the 2015 grid is shaping up

ESPN Staff

A look at the line-up for 2015 after one of the more remarkable Formula One driver shuffles in recent memory.

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Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat
Almost as surprising as the announcement that Sebastian Vettel would leave Red Bull at the end of 2014 was the team immediately confirmed Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat as his replacement. The news closed off the seat to Fernando Alonso and shows Red Bull has lost no faith in its young driver programme, confidence surely strengthened by Daniel Ricciardo's incredible first season at the team.


Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
The champions have their current driver line-up locked in for 2015. Nico Rosberg signed a "multi-year" contract extension in May, while Lewis Hamilton's current deal takes him to the end of next season. Of more interest is the team's line-up for 2016, with talks over Hamilton's contract extension set to resume after being put on hold after the Belgian Grand Prix.

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Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen
In Abu Dhabi Ferrari finally confirmed what we all already knew, that Sebastian Vettel will partner Kimi Raikkonen next season. It marks the end of the Fernando Alonso era at Ferrari, which promised so much but ultimately failed to deliver the one thing that matters - a world championship. Vettel arrives hoping to emulate his idol Michael Schumacher, who joined a struggling team in 1996 and turned it into a dominant force in the early 2000s.


Pastor Maldonado, Romain Grosjean
Though the butt of many a joke in F1, especially after another crash-strewn season, Pastor Maldonado's raw pace and PDVSA backing secured his seat for 2015 earlier this year. Romain Grosjean will partner him after the Frenchman was finally confirmed ahead of the final race in Abu Dhabi. Both drivers will be hoping the arrival of Mercedes power next season helps the team move back up the grid.

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Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button
The remarkable news that Fernando Alonso has returned to McLaren was common knowledge long before it was confirmed, but Jenson Button had to wait much longer to discover his fate. Kevin Magnussen was a serious contender to keep his race seat at the team, but has been moved to a test and reserve role - a position the team was keen to underline the importance of. Ultimately McLaren opted for experience over youth, which could prove to be crucial as Honda makes its return as an engine supplier next season.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez
Force India has confirmed Nico Hulkenberg for 2015 after doors further up the grid were closed off. The news is good for both team and driver and it is the first time Hulkenberg will stay at the same team for two seasons in a row. He will also be allowed to compete for Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours, which should leave WEC as a career path if his F1 options ever run dry. Sergio Perez will join him once again after agreeing a "multi-year" contract extension that will also see the 2015 car launched in his native Mexico.

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Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr
Sauber will have an all-new line-up for 2015, but that is as much a reflection on the state of the team's finances as a need to shake things up behind the wheel. Marcus Ericsson was offered a career lifeline just over a week after Caterham fell into administration and brings big money to the team. Nasr has taken part in Friday practice sessions for Williams this year as well as securing a third-place finish in the GP2 championship and comes to Sauber with substantial backing from Banco do Brasil. It will be interesting to see the two drivers go up against each other, with Nasr coming to the team off the back of four wins in GP2 and Ericsson's form taking an upward turn in his last few races for Caterham.

Toro Rosso

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Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz Jr
Toro Rosso raised eyebrows earlier this year when it elevated Max Verstappen to its team for 2015, with the Dutch prodigy due to smash all sorts of records when he lines up on the Melbourne grid aged 17. At the time he looked likely to partner Kvyat but now the Russian is moving up the pit lane to Red Bull, another spot opened up. Jean-Eric Vergne was hopeful he could keep his seat but was ditched despite a strong finish to the 2014 season. Replacing him will be Formula Renault 3.5 champion Carlos Sainz Jr, son of the rally legend who shares his name, as Toro Rosso opts for a bold all-rookie line-up which will start the first race with a combined age of just 37 years old.


Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa
Williams locked in its drivers for 2015 at Monza, an indication of just how happy the team has been with them. In Valtteri Bottas the team believes it has a future world champion, while Felipe Massa has been solid and took pole position at Austria.


Caterham's future in Formula One is doubtful at present, but after making the grid in Abu Dhabi the team is in talks with three potential buyers. If it does find new owners, they will have to start by replacing Ericsson, who is confirmed at Sauber for next season.


There are no signs that Marussia will make the grid next year, meaning Max Chilton will have to look elsewhere in 2015. Jules Bianchi is still hospitalised following his horrific accident at Suzuka in October and the thoughts of the F1 paddock remain with him.