A host of Formula 1 stars were among the winners as this year’s prestigious AUTOSPORT Awards, which took place at Grosvenor House in London.
Despite the weekend featuring racing activity at the Race of Champions and at Felipe Massa’s annual karting event, there was still a great turn-out of Formula 1 stars at the event, with Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button both flying in from Germany to pick up awards on the night.
Watching via web stream from Australia, the event proved plenty of fun, with master of ceremonies Steve Rider copping plenty of teasing over the poorly-kept secret that he will front SKY Sports’ F1 coverage next year.
Button picked up the ‘British Competition Driver of the Year’ award in recognition of his three Grand Prix victories and twelve podium finishes he earned in a year where he finished best of the rest behind the all-conquering Sebastian Vettel.
It was the third time that the McLaren driver has won the award, and this he beat fellow F1 driver Paul di Resta, IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti, World Touring Car Championship runner-up Rob Huff, Porsche Carrera Cup Germany title-winner Nick Tandy and the late Dan Wheldon, the winner of this year’s Indianapolis 500, to claim the honour.
Despite not winning the British award, Paul di Resta won a hotly-contested race for ‘Rookie of the Year’ honours, in recognition of his excellent debut season with the Force India team this year.
The 25-year-old Scot beat fellow Formula 1 rookies Sergio Perez, Jerome D’Ambrosio, Daniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado, as well as Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, IndyCar debutants James Hinchcliffe and JR Hildebrand, DTM racer Edoardo Mortara and GP3 rookie Lewis Williamson to win the award, which is voted for by readers of AUTOSPORT.
Di Resta became just the seventh driver in the sport’s history to finish in the points in his first two races, and he went on to achieve a further six finishes in the points, finishing thirteenth overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Not surprisingly, the Red Bull RB7 was voted ‘Racing Car of the Year’, after its outstanding performances helped the team claim back-to-back Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship crowns.
Equally unsurprising was Vettel’s win in the ‘International Racing Driver’ award, which was also marked successive wins for the German. Vettel was in fine form during his acceptance interview with Rider, making his win all the more popular.
The late Dan Wheldon was rightly recognised on the night, earning the Gregor Grant Award in recognition of his achievements in motorsport after he won his second Indianapolis 500 race this year, six months before his tragic death at Las Vegas.
Former World Champion Damon Hill also picked up a Gregor Grant Award, a well-deserved award for the former BRDC President’s behind-the-scenes work in securing Silverstone’s future as the long-term host of the British Grand Prix, as well as being the driving force behind its major redevelopment.
Co-founder of the Dallara chassis-building company, Gian Paolo Dallara, was the popular recipient of the John Bolster Award, recognising his company’s outstanding achievements in motorsport.
And it was a case of two wins for the makers of the SENNA documentary, with the film’s writer Manish Pandey accepting the ‘Pioneering & Innovation’ Award for the film’s worldwide achievements. SENNA also scooped the ‘Best Documentary’ award at the British Independent Film Awards, held on the same night.
[Images via LAT]