So, the season is over and we have a Champion, but how did he actually compare to his team mate through the season, and how did everyone else compare to theirs? Let's take a look in the 2015 end of season team mate battles.
The graphs on the left show how each driver compares to their team mate over various areas over the season. The areas compared are:
The story at the end of the season at Franklin mirrors that of the story at mid-season. Enrique Ruiz comfortably out-qualified Elroy Wagner, yet they both finished ahead of the other an equal number of times in races - with Wagner coming out on top in the final two races of the season, indicating a potential shift in power within the team. Due largely to the fact Ruiz had double the number of technical retirements to his team mate, he finished the season with less points.
Out-qualifying his team mate 12-4 should always have put Ruiz ahead, and he ended the season with a cumulative qualifying gap of nearly 2.5 seconds, but when he did lose out he tended to do so in a big way.
At the mid-point the shock of the season was how easy Enzo Domenicalli had the beating of highly rated Puccio Giodano, and come the seasons end very little changed. Giodano ensured they finished 5 races ahead apiece with some stronger drives, but more often than not struggled to match his team mates pace, as shown by the 11-5 qualifying deficit. He did experience 3 technical retirements to Domenicalli's 1 however, which could have been enough to eradicate the points gaps.
The one bonus Giodano had at mid-season was his cumulative qualifying advantage, but with poor showings in the wet in Germany and Japan, Domenicalli overhauled that as well to end nearly half a second ahead.
Liverpool ran three drivers in 2015. Simon competed in all 16 races, but Beckenbauer and Maxwell only did 8 apiece. Simon held a qualifying advantage over Beckenbauer when the German was swapped out - something that was further exaggerated by Beckenbauer's poor showing at his home race - but add that one to his earlier 7, and you can see Maxwell out-qualified Simon 4-2 in the six races since the mid-season report came out, and beat him cumulatively by nearly one second.
Races were closer but Simon was still bested by Beckenbauer, and only narrowly beat Maxwell, but managed to score more points than both his team mates combined, although he only suffered one technical retirement to Beckenbauer's three and Maxwell's two.
Westwood are the first of a few teams where form switched drastically between qualifying and race performance. Tumo Kinnumen ended up 8-6 down to Will Hoskins (and 2-0 down to Nathaniel Powers), but trumped Hoskins 5-3 in race performances and Powers 2-0. His two late wins were also very nearly enough for him to secure half of the teams points for the season, though it can only be speculated how this might have changed had Hoskins not been taken out of the car.
All of this is made even more impressive given Kinnumen suffered double the number of technical retirements, and ended up cumulative qualifying deficits to both team mates.
Downton has to herald one of the biggest surprises of all. Nathaniel Powers - and in turn Will Hoskins - dominated Marcus Thunder in qualifying (10-3 and 2-0 respectively) but Thunder managed 8-1 over Powers in races and 1-0 over Hoskins in a season where the young Brit really came of age in race trim. He broke the 100 point barrier but did suffer just half of the technical retirements of Powers, with many of the latters coming while in high points scoring positions.
Thunder can only be disappointed by the cumulative qualifying gaps however, as he ended up around 2.5 seconds down on both team mates, though in comparison to Hoskins this was largely due to a wet session in Japan.
The qualifying battle at Ingram was one of the tighest, with Milkovich coming out on top 8-7, but Mattson reached the flag ahead seven times compared to his team mates two, and scored more points as a result. While the graph looks fairly similar to the mid-season one, Mattson has forced more orange onto the page, but did suffer two less technical retirements.
The cumulative qualifying gap is falsified somewhat by the wet session in Japan where Milkovich took a stunning pole but Mattson struggled in last. The gap hadn't reached two seconds in either's favour but ended up over 3 at seasons end.
AMR heralds easily the most one-sided battle of the year, with Felix Beyer dominating in every aspect, and a fourth place finish in Japan just doing enough to ensure he score more points too. 11-5 in qualifying, 9-2 in races, 31 points to 25 and all while having one more technical retirement show why the Dutchman has been retained the Hiroto Nakumaya dropped.
Following the tight cumulative qualifying battle at mid-season, Beyer took the reigns and stretched the gap to nearly 3.5 seconds come the time the flag dropped in the final session in Japan.
Meteor ran four different drivers in 2016, yet one of them - Stuart Harrison - competed in every race, yet took the unwanted record of becoming the first driver to do that and fail to score a point. This was especially down-heartening when it's considered every driver who raced alongside him did get a points finish. Harrison out-qualified all three team mates except Johan Halvosen however, yet managed to finish on a negative cumulative gap to all except Scott Parsons, though again this was due to wet sessions.
Harrison cane feel hard done by however, as he suffered six technical retirements compared to two suffered by the other car all season, which surely ruined his hopes of a points finish at least once.
Carson Davenport comfortably held his qualifying advantage from mid-season until the end of the year, finishing at 10-3, but Romano Agostino fought back from being level to finish ahead in races 5-3. Sadly he wasn't able to turn the points situation around however as FUN's only points came way back in Australia.
Agostino's race record is even more impressive considering he retired with technical faults four times compared to Davenport's two and ended up over two second down in qualifying cumulatively.
At the mid-point in the season Judson Sikes was dominating experienced team mate Hugh Dwyer and looked like the next big thing. Sadly over the summer something vanished from the Russian, and Dwyer matched or bettered him more often than not. It wasn't enough to overturn the qualifying deficit, but in the last six races he never finished behind Sikes, and finished level on points after a strong driver in the wet in Germany, all while suffering more retirements.
Neither driver will be retained for 2016 with Sikes spending a year on loan at new outfit North Star and Dwyer dropped from the team, though if the results don't come questions will be asked if the right decision was made.
Warrior had possibly the worst season for a team in the series' history, finishing the year with just one point and occupying most of the back rows. Beckenbauer replaced the unfortunate Abel Osterhagen for the final five races and beat Harding in all qualifying sessions they both competed. He also bested his Australian stable mate in all race results and appeared to be the breath of fresh air Warrior needed, but even Beckenbauer couldn't get the car in the points.
Harding was behind both team mates in qualifying and Beckenbauer in races, while Osterhagen's lack of finishes ahead could be attributed to his five technical retirements. Both Harding and Osterhagen are reported to have contracts with Warrior for 2016, but it remains to be seen what roles they will both be alongside the rookie Dutchman Jochem van Snelheid on loan from Westwood.