8) Jenson Button
It all started well for the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion with a podium in Australia, but for Jenson Button that would be the only time he would finish inside the top three all season. However his performances during the year continued to show that the Briton, in his fifteenth season in the sport, still had what it takes to compete at the front.
In McLaren’s final year of collaboration with Mercedes before moving onto Honda power for 2015, Button was generally the quicker of the two drivers, with the Briton scoring 126 points compared to Kevin Magnussen’s 55, although Button could have done even better if he did not disappoint so much during the Saturday afternoon qualifying sessions. Sometimes he could be really good, such as starting third at Silverstone, but too often he found himself languishing at the bottom end of the top ten, and six times missed out on the top ten altogether.
However, his race performances often were far better than his qualifying efforts, with stirring drives in Montreal, Silverstone, Sochi and Interlagos where he finished just off the podium. Canada for one was a standout performance, with the Briton making a number of places up over the final few laps of the race.
He was classified in all bar one race of 2015, with his Singapore race coming to an end early with a mechanical issue. He also dropped out of the race in Bahrain in the closing stages but was ultimately classified seventeenth. Of the other races, he failed to score points in China, Spain, Austria and the United States.
Although his future was up in the air after the season finale in Abu Dhabi, McLaren have retained Button for a sixth season to be partnered by Fernando Alonso for Honda’s return to Formula 1. He was not fazed about having Lewis Hamilton as a team-mate between 2010 and 2012, and it should not phase him having another former World Champion as his team-mate next year.