1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) F1
The defending World Champion has three wins in four races with the best team in F1. As long as Mercedes can deliver the updates, look for Hamilton to be in the fight.
2. Sebastien Ogier (FRA) WRC
Displaying his dominance has been a frequent occurence for the Frenchman in WRC, who opened up 2015 with three wins in the first three rounds of the season and holds a 46-point lead over second place in the standings.
3. Kevin Harvick (USA) NASCAR Sprint Cup
The defending Sprint Cup Champion has finished in the top two in nine of his last 11 races, including four wins during that span. If not for a being collected in mid-race wreck while leading at Bristol that left him with a 38th place finish, Harvick could very easily be at the top of the rankings.
4. Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) IndyCar
The Columbian finished last year strong and started off this year with a win at St. Petersburg. Then followed that up with another podium result, a pole, and a lowest finish of fifth. He is arguably IndyCar’s most dangerous man behind the wheel in 2015 so far.
5. Sebastian Vettel (GER) F1
The four-time F1 World Champion has been revived by Ferrari. Vettel scored a podium result in every grand prix this season until Bahrain where he finished fifth. If Ferrari can continue to push itself forward, Vettel will take the fight to Hamilton for the championship.
6. Valentino Rossi (ITA) MotoGP
Age hasn’t scrubbed any speed off this legend. Rossi has scored two wins and three podiums in the first three rounds of the season. Proving that two-time defending MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez will have to go through him if he hopes to claim a third consecutive title.
7. Will Power (AUS) IndyCar
The defending series champion came out of the gate strong with a runner-up result, but a seventh at NOLA Motorsports Park followed by an uninspired 20th at Long Beach has put Power in a hole early on this season.
8. Jonathan Rea (GBR) World Superbike
Since joining the Kawasaki Racing Team at the start of the season Rea has two Superpoles and six wins in eight races. Tom Sykes’ days as No. 1 rider with KRT appear to be nearing an end with the rise of Rea.
9. Joey Logano (USA) NASCAR Sprint Cup
The Team Penske driver has emerged from his own shadow and out of the likes of teammate Brad Keselowski’s. The 24-year-old has continued to back up what he did last season by kicking off this year with a consistent string of strong finishes, along with a win in NASCAR’s crown jewel race, the Daytona 500.
10. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) MotoGP
The Ducati rider has already surpassed his total podium finishes of last season in just the first three races this season, scoring three consecutive runner-up results. He currently sits second in championship standings, six points behind Rossi.
11. Marc Marquez (ESP) MotoGP
When Marquez falls from the top he falls hard. The two-time defending MotoGP Champion has had a rough start to the season, escaping the opening round with a fifth and suffering a retirement in Argentina. However, the Spaniard also has shown incredible pace that eludes his peers, like when he set at track record at the Circuit of the Americas and then won there for the third year in a row.
12. Nico Rosberg (GER) F1
Second, third, second, third – those are the finishes for the apparent number two driver at Mercedes through the opening four races this season. If the politics within the team were less one-sided then Rosberg may have a fighting chance for this season’s championship. We will see if the tide shifts come his home race in Monaco, where he will seek to join legends like Graham Hill and Ayrton Senna by winning the race for a third season in succession.
13. Martin Truex Jr. (USA) NASCAR Sprint Cup
A single-car team from Colorado, far from NASCAR country North Carolina, with a driver that has never challenged for a championship at the top level, has somehow become the perfect combination for both Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing. The duo opened up the season with seven consecutive top ten finishes, including a runner-up finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This team/driver combination are punching way above their weight and currently sit third in the championship standings.
14. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) F1
The “Iceman” may be one of the older drivers in F1, but Raikkonen has still shown he is a championship contender. The Finn has been fast out of the gate, but prone to bad luck – most notably serving as target practice for the nose of Sauber rookie Felipe Nasr in Australia and Malaysia. However, Bahrain showed the 2007 F1 World Champion’s talent with a remarkable drive that nearly had him on the top step of the podium for the first time in since 2013.
15. Helio Castroneves (BRA) IndyCar
Castroneves might be the most overlooked driver in all of IndyCar right now. One of the oldest drivers on the grid and the forgotten man at Team Penske, the Brazilian has a fourth and two consecutive runner-up finishes through the first three races this season. He trails fellow Penske teammate Montoya by a narrow two points in the standings.
Missed the cut:
– Valtteri Bottas (FIN) F1
– Ryan Dungey (USA) AMA Supercross
– Jamie Whincup (AUS) V8 Supercars
– Jimmie Johnson (USA) NASCAR Sprint Cup
– Tony Kanaan (BRA) IndyCar