Fresh from celebrating his third Formula 1 win at the Belgian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing star Daniel Ricciardo has been presented with an exclusive award in honour of the late Ferrari driver, Lorenzo Bandini.
The Trofeo Bandini, established in 1992, was set up in honour of the Italian F1 driver who died in 1967 in a fiery accident at the Monaco Grand Prix.
It is awarded to the driver who has delivered the most impressive performances over the past 12 months, and being the only driver to have challenged the Mercedes team’s dominance of the 2014 season, it’s perhaps fitting that the young West Australian pilot has earned the accolade.
Ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo was awarded the trophy at an elaborate ceremony in the Italian village of Brisighella, where Bandini spent his childhood. The award was presented by Brisighella’s mayor, David Missiroli, along with Bandini’s sister, Gabriella (pictured right).
“I was quite overwhelmed with the reception I received at the event. The Italians really love their motorsport,” Ricciardo, who has Sicilian heritage, said.
“To be awarded with the Lorenzo Bandini trophy was an honour and to join the many great drivers on that list makes me proud.”
He is the twenty-first recipient of the trophy. Previous winners of the Trofeo Bandini include many of the recent greats in Formula 1, including Ricciardo’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel (2009), Mark Webber (2006), Michael Schumacher (2003), Nico Rosberg (2011) and Lewis Hamilton (2010).
Other attendees included Mercedes’ Italian designer, Aldo Costa, and former F1 team principal, Gian Carlo Minardi, whose eponymous team was sold to Red Bull and renamed Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2006. Ricciardo spent two seasons racing for STR before graduating to Red Bull’s senior team in the 2013-4 off-season.
The Formula 1 World Championship battle resumes in Italy this weekend at the historic Monza circuit, with Ricciardo sitting third in the Drivers’ Championship standings on 156 points, behind points leader Rosberg (220) and Hamilton (191).
Images via XPB Images and Red Bull Racing