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The 2015 motorsports year in review

By raccars Published

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Britain had a fantastic motorsports year, with a winner in F1, the World Rally Championship and at Le Mans.

Le Mans 24 Hours

Le Mans in 2015 was all about Porsche and the delicate but lightning fast 919 Hybrid, a technical marvel. There was some significant sibling rivalry with stablemate Audi but the team of Earl Bamber, Nico Hulkenberg and Britain's Nick Tandy took Porsche to its first win since 1987 and its 17th overall.

Formula One

The end result of 2015's F1 season was almost tediously inevitable, with Mercedes retaining the constructors' championship and Lewis Hamilton the drivers' championship. He was followed by team mate Nico Rosberg, with Sebastian Vettel coming third for Ferrari. The Hamilton-Rosberg rivalry that was reasonably politely concealed in 2014 was only too evident during the 2015 F1 season, with the pair behaving like a couple of sulky teenagers in post-race press conferences.

For Hamilton it was a third F1 championship, and he also took the year's FIA pole trophy with 11 appearances on pole position during the season. Sebastian Vettel joined Ferrari after Fernando Alonso migrated to McLaren-Honda, where he along with Jensen Button suffered a torrid time. The team needs to gain at least two seconds to be in with any chance this year.

Renault is now officially the majority owner of Lotus F1, with Lotus managing to satisfy its creditors to allow the deal to go through. Details of the new team will be announced in February in Paris. Marussia became a British team for 2015 and added the prefix 'Manor' to its name after barely escaping administration with new investment. Tragedy struck when Marussia driver Jules Bianchi passed away on 17 July from injuries sustained in an accident at the Japanese Grand Prix in October 2014. Frenchman Bianchi, who was only 25, had been in an induced coma since the accident. The 2016 Formula One calendar starts in Australia on 20 March.

Formula E

Electric racing finally got exciting as London's peaceful Battersea Park hosted the deceptively quiet Formula E in the summer of 2015. Not only had motor racing returned to London but the competition was every bit as aggressive as F1.

WRC

It's been a while since the likes of Richard Burns and Colin McRae saw rally victory for Britain but in 2015 Kris Meeke finally fulfilled his potential and took his Citroen to victory in Argentina.

Dunlop MSA BTCC

There was plenty of excitement at Brand's Hatch as Gordon Shedden took on Colin Turkington, Matt Neal and Jason Plato. By the third race only Shedden and Plato remained. Plato was second on the grid in his VW and Shedden 19th in the Honda Civic Type R. Plato took the win but Shedden stormed through to fourth past the post to take his title place.

Indianapolis 500

Formerly of Formula One, Juan-Pablo Montoya showed what a motorsports polymath he is by overcoming what appeared to be catastrophic vehicle damage to beat Will Power and Scott Dixon in the final stages of the race, taking his second Indy 500 victory.

World Rallycross

Lydden Hill in Kent was the scene of one of the most nail biting motorsport finales of the year, when Solberg took the win over Ekstrom by only four tenths of a second. 2015 saw interest in World Rallycross peak and 2016 looks set to be a bumper year for the sport.

MotoGP

The Rosberg-Hamilton rivalry is amateur stuff compared to the enmity shown by Valentino Rossi and his former disciple Marc Marquez. Rossi appeared to suffer a particularly Latin rush of blood to the head in Malaysia, when Marquez took a tumble off his bike - allegedly nudged by Rossi's foot

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